Hello all. You know what's weird? We are sitting here, the day before the World Series starts at the end of a season where the Twins fired their manager and I haven't written one word about it. I still love baseball. I've still watched almost every playoff game possible. I have a strong rooting interest in the Royals over the boring and overused Giants. I still care about who is going to manage the Twins. Yet nothing. I was worried at one point that I may have lost my interest in blogging, but I'm super excited to write about college hoops again. So basically the problem is the Twins. The Twins have destroyed my interest in writing about baseball. Completely. I hate them.
It's hard to care about who the manager is going to be when they're already saying they're not going to spend. Like this. And they can't stop doing things like signing Ricky Nolasco for four years or needlessly extending Kurt Suzuki instead of trading him at the peak of his lifetime value. They finished dead last in the division and won the second fewest games in the AL, and this in a year when they got a miracle season from Phil Hughes and saw Danny Santana break out. Without two or three breakouts from the youngsters in the rotation they once again have a better chance at losing 90 than winning 82, and too many bad contracts have assured that they can't add any kind of impact starter which means they'll sign some schlub and hope to hit another Hughes-like home run, which is damn unlikely once and nearly impossible twice.
At this point the hope is to wait for all the talent in the minors to get up to the big leagues, a plan which was pushed back with injuries to Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton, but it's a plan nonetheless. This year's Royals show that it can work, although I'm pretty sure that plan fails more than it works and the development of the three-headed monster in the back of the bullpen may be more important. Maybe 2-3 years from now Sano and Buxton are studs, Santana and Brian Dozier are an excellent double play combination on both sides of the ball, Josmil Pinto has learned how to be a catcher, Oswaldo Arcia and Aaron Hicks are viable big league outfielders, Kennys Vargas is a big time power hitter, and Kyle Gibson, Alex Meyer, and Trevor May are solid rotation pieces. Maybe then they emulate the Royals and package Kohl Stewart and Nick Gordon for a big-time stud top of the rotation ace and really go for it. Sure, maybe. That's a whole lot of ifs though for a team without any more money, and a whole lot of eggs in one basket without much of a contingency plan.
This all sounds awfully negative, but it hasn't been all bad. Despite Denard Span and Ben Revere's outstanding seasons (they finished tied for the NL lead in hits) I was in favor of those trades to stock the farm system with power arms, and low-cost low-year signings on reclamation projects like Hughes are just fine as long as they are low-cost low-year. I also thought they did a nice job clearing useless players at the trading deadline for whatever they could get last season, except of course for throwing a bunch of money at Suzuki.
It's just disheartening, knowing that they won't spend money to increase payroll in any meaningful way, and I'm convinced they're going to hire Doug Mientkiewicz as the coach since he's already completely inundated with the Twins small market crap that doesn't work. All of which would mean nothing would change and they'd continue to pin their hopes on hoping a big group of young players all hit their primes at the same time. Like I said that can work and it's happened before here, but ugh, it has also gone horribly wrong. Remember this is a team that seems like the last holdout refusing to experiment with a bunch of radical defensive shifts, so I find it unlikely they'll be changing philosophies any time soon.
And with all that being said, I bought into a season ticket package for this upcoming season for the first time. I'm an idiot.
Royals in 7. And I'll try to live blog at least one game.