122 thoughts on “September 1, 2011: The Dregs of August”

  1. The Twins, at 57-79, have eight more wins than their third order winning percentage suggests they should. Eight! They could very well be 49-87 and a lock for 100 losses, if they hadn't been so lucky this year, luck being a relative term here. They are easily the worst team in all of MLB. Easily. So, to answer the question, I expect them to stumble toward the high nineties in total losses.

    I blame Joe Mauer. 😛

    ...adding: If Mauer had a season like he did in 2009 this year (i.e. 7 more wins), this team would still be terrible. I'm as disappointed as the next guy with what he's produced this year. I do believe that he's hurt (but of course, I can't really prove that other than, you know, the number of games he's missed), but even if he was having an historic season, it would be on a team likely headed for 90 losses.

    I suppose if he were a leader, this team would magically have 20 more wins or summat.

    1. I do believe that he's hurt (but of course, I can't really prove that[...])

      sounds like there's a spot on the team's medical staff for you.

      1. Close, but you missed the "I do believe he's hurt" part of the message. They never believe a guy's hurt. Or hurt badly.

      1. Whether he's hurt or not or a leader or not, he needs to give back $X million.

        Either that or give more interviews to the beat reporters and columnists.

    2. If Mauer was having a 2009 season, he would be healthy and replacing Butera's at-bats, who is now at -1.1 WAR, after being replacement level the year before (probably the best-case scenario for a healthy Mauer season), so that would be another win, but if the Twins weren't as lucky as they are now, then even with a 2009 Mauer they would have the same record.

  2. The front office deserves a pass on some of this mess. Morneau's concussion was just fluky bad luck. People are quickly forgetting what an awesome year he was having last year before he went down. He was legitimately taking another step towards Miguel Cabrera-levels of production.

    But the Hardy/Nishioka fiasco...Slowey/Duensing...trading Garza for Delmon...trading Ramos for Capps...yikes.

    1. The front office also deserves some blame for letting the farm system deteriorate to the point where there was no one there they could bring up to actually help. Yes, the injuries have been more than normal, but some amount of injuries is to be expected. Most teams at least have a couple of guys they can bring up to get them by for a while. The best the Twins have been able to do is Swarzak, who isn't a rookie, and Revere, who is exciting but isn't actually very good yet.

      1. The deterioration of the minor leagues happened before Smith took over. I've been pretty happy with Smith's drafting and he's done well signing international free agents, especially with Miguel Sano, who probably has the highest ceiling in the system. Don't forget Kyle Gibson should have been ready by August or so to help the Twins but got hurt as well. Joe Benson, Brian Dozier, Deolis Guerra and Chris Parmelee could all help the Twins out possibly sometime next year. My big concern for the system is the starting pitching. Gibson, Manship and David Bromberg have all been hurt and Alex Wimmers had a big-time setback this season. Many expected him to take the Gibson fast track through the system. Liam Hendricks is the only one I see being able to help out much next year. The Twins seem to like Scott Diamond but I doubt he's much of an improvement over Swarzak or Duensing.

        1. Bill Smith has been the GM for four years, and was Terry Ryan's top assistant before that. The decline may not have been all his fault, but he's not blameless, either.

          In addition, the Twins used to be good at developing good prospects from other teams' systems, so their player development was not solely dependent on the draft. Under Smith, they've gone the other way, trading away prospects instead of acquiring them. Some of the individual moves can be justified, but they still contributed to the current weakness of the farm system.

          1. I prefered the develop from within style of Terry Ryan, but that was probably the only way to go because of the payroll and the Metrodome. When you decide to spend money on free agents (and extend big name players), you're going to end up with a few bad contracts. When you make deadline deals, you're going to lose some minor league depth.

            Who knows what decisions TR would have made had he stayed on as GM, but he just seemed to lean more toward the "no trade is better than a bad trade" side than Bill Smith. Smith seems much more willing to risk mistakes to demonstrate that the front office is trying. Turns out stribbies don't like either approach.

            1. Remember, TR is still a consultant to Bill Smith. Smith is the one ultimately responsible for making decisions, but I'd be shocked if he's continually ignoring Ryan's advice, especially on the scouting end of things.

              1. Yeah, I'm sure TR has input. Like I said, who knows what he would have done if he was in charge? But it sure feels like the front office has a new strategy since the change. At first it made me uneasy, but it was kind of exciting to see all the action. Now it just makes me uneasy.

          2. Four years is not enough time for a winning team to rebuild the minor leagues. Low draft picks and few trades of veterans for prospects. Plus, he wasn't allowed to spend extra on international players until two years ago, right before Target Field opened. Chris Parmelee was drafted by Ryan and he's not exactly lighting up AA, especially for a corner OF/1B. Ben Revere was Smith's first draft pick and he's in the majors (although probably ahead of ideal schedule because of injuries). I feel like it is getting better, but it has yet to filter up to AAA, other than Gibson, who was injured, and Revere, who was pulled up to the majors earlier than he should have due to injury.

      2. I feel like the impact guys are in the lower levels of the system, with the exception of Gibson, who unfortunately wasn't ready to help this year because of his injury.

    1. Cue people excoriating Twins for waiting so long.

      I'm a little surprised he opted for surgery, since the second opinion agreed with the Twins on rehabbing it. Maybe he had a setback in his rehab? Overall, I approve. It sucks, but I think the odds of him needing it anyway were high.

      1. Not around here, I would hope. It's been said multiple times that it's a worthy gamble, since he'll miss no more time than if he'd had it right away.

        More than anything, it just felt like the hope spot that inevitably went crappy and wrong. Just another chapter in the 2011 Twins yearbook.

        1. Gibson's injury will ultimately delay his major league debut at least two years. He would have been called up in July if healthy, I'm sure, and instead he'll be out all next season and will undoubtedly start 2013 in the minors, assuming a full recovery. Even if all goes well, I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't debut until some time in 2014, although I'm not sure how his option status will be affected. Of all the injuries this year, I think this is the worst single one because it has the biggest impact on future seasons (that we know of for sure).

  3. I just received notice that I'm being considered for an international artists residency. While I'm extremely happy to be considered for an opportunity like this, it just couldn't have come at a harder time financially. If selected, I think I'll have to take extra shifts on the corners to cover my flight.

    1. Congrats meat. Even if it isn't something you end up doing, at least it feels good to know you're wanted.

    2. Good luck.

      My brother was in France for a residency this past summer and I think he's looking at going to Armenia next summer.

  4. i was checking out the football league, and it occurred to me that i don't believe we've ever done a hockey league yet. soooo, uh... yeah. i made a hockey league.

    League ID: 16719
    Custom League URL: http://hockey.fantasysports.yahoo.com/league/stickandpuckguys
    Password: wgom.org

    i've got it capped at a whopping 12 teams, but if there's a huge clamoring for more, i suppose we could raise it. have at it, y'all.

      1. yeah, i've got a placeholder name for now (i had to make a team to start the league, and was put on the spot).

  5. I used to think it didn't get worse than Twins coverage on KFAN. But the print guys are making a push:

    Bob Sansevere asks Joe Mauer if he thinks it's cool that everyone thinks Joe Mauer is a pussy.
    Joe Mauer says no, a lot of the criticism is unfair.
    Bob Sansevere says Joe doesn't know what he's talking about because people who commented on his story said that Joe really IS a pussy.
    Bob Sansevere finds an "expert" to say that Joe Mauer needs to be more humble and not get defensive when people call him a pussy. That's right, Joe Mauer needs to be MORE humble.

    If you would have told me before the season that people would be complaining that Mauer isn't humble enough... wow.

    Bob needs a visit from the mauermafia

    1. Mauer should come out and declare "I am the most humble dude in the history of the planet! Deal with my awesome lack of ego!"

      By the way, how do I become "made" in the Mauer Mafia?

        1. I don't know if I can stomach adding them even if it's only to get banned. Though I actually like all the Strib writers other than Top Jimmy. Sid, Pat, LENIII, Howard, and even JoeC, despite his contretemps with SBG yesterday. As the last line of Some Like it Hot says:

          Spoiler SelectShow
          1. Barreiro on the radio today:

            "I wouldn't have given Michael VIck that big contract yet. He only threw 21 touchdowns last year. That's Gus Frerotte numbers."

            He failed to mention those 21 touchdowns were in 12 games. Or that he rushed for almost 700 yards and 9 touchdowns. Other than that, Vick=Gus Frerotte.

            (And, yes, I know I shouldn't do this to myself.)

    2. Bob Sansevere also suggested in November 2007 that the Twins trade Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, and Carlos Silva to the Boston Red Sox for Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, Jonathan Papelbon, Jon Lester, and Clay Buchholz. Note that this was after Silva's contract expired, making him a free agent at the time.

  6. Sign o' the times in Cali. Our h.s. band director (who is also serving as preznit of the district teacher's association) just announced that there would be no pep band for tomorrow's home football game, due to the fact that the school board/administration has failed to reach an agreement on extra duty stipends.

    that is, all our district's coaches and extra-curricular leaders (e.g., outside of school hours performances for band, choir, drama, etc.) are currently working as "volunteers".

  7. I was just in the lobby headed for the elevator and who do I see coming towards me but Tony Oliva. I caught his eye, shook his hand and told him I'm a big fan. He seemed pleased to be recognized and talked with me for a minute or so before heading out the door. So count my day as totally made right now.

      1. i can't remember if i related this, but jane's not from minnesota, nor was she really a baseball fan. we were attending a game at the dome a few years back, and as soon as we walked through the gate, tony olivia was standing there and chatting was a few folk. i said, "holy crap, that's tony oliva!"

        jane asked, "who's that?" and i told her to wait a few moments, and took her to our seats. once seated, i pointed to those giant pictures of the twins greats they had hanging in the upper deck and said, "that's tony oliva."

    1. Moss will try to recount this a little better at a later date, but the Moss clan got to meet Mr. Carew last Friday, then saw his plaque in Cooperstown on Saturday. Pretty cool.

      Also, Moss did see Tony O. hanging in the Legends Club for an April game, mainly by himself, but was willing to talk to anyone. Seems pretty down-to-earth.

    2. I met Oliva at my one game at Target Field this summer. He was in one of the main concourses and was taking pictures with any fans that wanted to. Trey and I got our picture taken with him. Junior was too lazy/scared to go walking around with us, so he missed out. I didn't have time to talk with him because so many people were waiting, but I shook his hand and thanked him for the photo. He's got huge, strong hands.

    1. "Stefani" is misspelled (twice)! I unfortunately had to see one of those bands as part of my brother's bachelor party, but it's one on the slightly less terrible side of that spectrum, at least.

      The Jesus Fish really ties the whole thing together, too.

  8. My new bedroom is really a home office, so it has a door with glass in it. After work I swung by the store to get construction paper to help block out the light. This is what I came up with:

  9. it's always tragic (and criminal) when someone dies in a hit-and-run. It's extra tragic when the case involves a sports hero.

    I'm speculating here that the driver was one of his daughters, but we won't know for a while.

  10. We are having some feeding difficulties with the trinket (which we're told is common with babies that come out a bit early). She hadn't passed any wasted since we got home yesterday. Tonight, she had a good, solid pee.

    To all you parents who got excited when your kids peed/crapped: I completely understand now.

    1. If they're supposed to do it, and they do it, it's a good thing.

      Runner daughter took care of business between the time she was born and the time they got her on the scale, and we've been getting nothing but crap from her ever since.

      1. She did real good for the first 30 hours or so. But since we got home its been a slightly different story. She's right at the verge of the weight loss percentage that they start getting worried about, but fortunately for us, our pediatrician likes to make a home visit within a couple days of the birth. So she came over today and gave us some advice on how to make sure she's getting what she needs from feedings (having a lactation consultant as a pediatrician is really helpful). We're making good progress already, so I think we'll be ok.

        1. All four of my kids have been 50% bigger by weight when I brought them home. That is hard to believe. But she's stronger and more resilient than you can imagine at this point. Stick with the lactation consultant. You and she and mom will be fine.

  11. I was forced to run some errands today near Camp Randall stadium. I hope the Badgers lose every single game this season.

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