Monday, July 18, 2016

Twins need New Owners, Not a new GM

The decision to fire Terry Ryan while insisting that the new GM keep Paul Molitor as manager is an indication of how far the Twins organization has come since the days when Carl Pohlad let his baseball people run the show. Pohlad's sons have come to see the Twins as part of their own identity and went into a state of panic over the Twins horrendous start.

Part of that was no doubt a result of the apparent belief of Twins management that last year's record was something to build on rather than the product of over achievement. While no one could have anticipated a nine game losing streak to start the season, even a repeat of last year was optimistic. As I pointed out elsewhere - the Twins were 5 games under .500 after the all-star break and finished the 7 games under .500 from their peak in the middle of June.

What the Twins really lacked this year is patience. As I pointed out in an earlier post, they started the season with a bunch of players who had yet to establish themselves as major league players. They are just starting to see the arrival of the bright new stars they were able to draft during their down years. The first wave of those players,  Buxton, Duffey and Rogers were all drafted in 2012 and are now on the major league roster.  Berrios and Chargois from that same draft got their first taste of the majors and are now back at AAA working on what they learned. No one since 2012 has appeared in the major leagues.  To put that in perspective Rosario was drafted out of high school in 2010. Sano has been in the organization just as long. These two are just now working at establishing themselves.

Unfortunately, the Twins owners are no longer lead by seasoned business guy who had that kind of patience. Carl Pohlad was vilified by some fans for failing to spend his money to buy them a winner. But it was his willingness to hire people he trusted and then let them do their jobs that lead to the Twins series of successes in the early part of the century. In fact, you can make the case that it was only when he closed his checkbook in frustration at the lack of a new stadium that the Twins took off. Forced to play for the future, the team centered around Terry Ryan built success from a group of prospects with a lot less talent than the current crop. Its not that Ryan has lost his touch or that the game has passed him by. Its that the owners lack the patience needed to build a team from scratch.

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