October 8, 2019: 0-16

It's the top of the ninth as I type this, but congratulations to the Twins for tying the most consecutive playoff losses in all of professional sports (The MLB record is already well wrapped-up)! Guessing I'm not going to have to go back and edit this...

99 thoughts on “October 8, 2019: 0-16”

  1. It was a lousy way to end the season, no question. But let's not let that make us forget all the fun we had this year. If someone had told us at the beginning of the season that we'd win the division, win 101 games, and set an all-time home run record, I think most of us would've taken it, even if it meant losing to the Yankees in the playoffs for the nine thousandth time. That doesn't mean we have to settle for that, of course. This team took a big step forward this season. The question is, can they take another step forward next season?

    It's going to be an interesting off-season to watch. We've said before that Falvey and Levine are trying to play both a short game and a long game simultaneously. They're trying to make moves to improve the club this year, but they're also trying to build a club that will contend for many years in the future. It's not an easy thing to do. We'll see how they do it in the months to come.

    In the mean time, there's still the Arizona Fall League to follow. Winter leagues will be starting soon, too--I'm not sure how much time I'll have to cover them, but I'll do my best.

    And tomorrow, we start 1991 Rewind! The return of Jack Morris! Worst to first! "We'll see you tomorrow night!" It's going to be a great season!

    1. See, the problem was that the Twins weren't last in 2018. Proven model for winning a World Series.

  2. There were no games in the AFL yesterday. Here's how Twins players are doing so far:

    Royce Lewis is batting .364/.396/.682 with three home runs in 44 at-bats.
    Luke Raley is batting .175/.222/.275 in 40 at-bats.
    Ben Rortvedt is batting .111/.200/.111 in 9 at-bats. I don't know why he hasn't played more.

    Zach Neff is 1-0, 2.35, 0.65 WHIP with 7 strikeouts and 0 walks in 7.2 innings.
    Jovani Moran is 0-0, 3.60, 2.20 WHIP with 9 strikeouts and 7 walks in 5 innings.
    Dakota Chalmers is 0-1, 4.32, 1.44 WHIP with 13 strikeouts and 5 walks in 8.1 innings.
    Moises Gomez is 0-0, 4.50, 2.33 WHIP with 10 strikeouts and 5 walks in 6 innings.

  3. I am looking for silver linings today.

  4. The Twins trailed for 24 of the 27 innings. They weren't just swept to extend their losing streak to 16 games - they were the least competitive team in the playoffs and as we learned last night - the first and only team to win more than 100 games and get swept in the playoffs.

    None of this is a surprise. As much as the front office deserves credit for putting together a 101 win team they deserve the criticism for failing to improve that team to have even a chance in the postseason.

    For me - this probably marks the beginning of the end of my lifelong passion for the Twins. The Twins are an entertainment product - and they aren't living up to their end of the bargain. MLB owners don't profit on year to year revenue - they profit on the equity value of the franchise - and the Pohlads have seen a more than 18X return on their purchase of the Twins - yet they aren't willing to pay for playoff pitching. They don't get my support any more.

    I'm not demanding a $200million payroll, I'm not demanding a world series win, I'm not demanding making the playoffs 4 out of every 5 seasons. What I wanted was a pitcher to take the mound in this playoff series that wouldn't be a more than 2 to 1 underdog in doing so. I wanted to have more than 3 or 4 total innings of playoff baseball that was in doubt.

    You can flame me - you can tell me good ridden's and that's all fine. My stopping the 1 or 2x/year of going to see a Twins game either in Minneapolis or when they road trip out west and my purchases of Twins gear won't be felt by the Pohlads or the team front office. And I don't really care if I am a total minority or not - I don't wish the Pohlad family or the Twins franchise any ill will - but they aren't willing to put forth the money or the effort to give the best home run hitting team in the history of all of baseball a chance to win a postseason game - Im not interested anymore.

    1. For me - this probably marks the beginning of the end of my lifelong passion for the Twins.

      Seriously? You've been a Twins fan and this is the season that pushed you over the edge? That's funny.

      1. What was communicated to me this season was that there is no quality of roster that will prompt the ownership group and front office to spend the money or make the effort to be competitive in October. They are happy with 101 wins and a home run record and extending their losing streak to 16 games. I don't want to support that. I would have understood losing in 4 or 5 games - I would still be disappointed as a fan with a 3 game sweep had they brought in an ace pitcher - but not angry like I am now that they didn't even try.

        1. I agree with that but your criticism needs to be more specific. What should they have done? Greinke wasn't available. Strohman would have been nice but wouldn't have moved the needle much. I know there were rumors about Syndergard but I wouldn't have traded Buxton. And I wouldn't call Syndergard an ace.

          1. My specific criticism has been clear - the Twins needed to acquire a starting pitcher that would not be a significant underdog in a playoff game.

            Everyone says Greinke wasn't available - and yet I have never heard confirmation that the Twins asked and received a clear answer that he would not waive his no trade clause. Maybe the front office did and I am not aware - I sure hope they at least asked - but it wouldn't surprise me if they didn't.

            I don't know what the Vegas Odds would have been for Strohman starting game 1 - but I know for certain Strohman starting game 2 would have made a huge difference - same with Syndergaard - but I agree that Buxton was too high a price.

            1. If Odo had pitched 3 more innings this season, the Twins would have started 2 pitchers in the Top 10 in the AL in ERA in this series. Both Berrios and Odo had better ERAs than James Paxton, the Yankees' best starter. These weren't run-of-the-mill scrubs that were being thrown out there. I'd argue this was the Twins' best two pitchers to start in the playoffs since Johan and Brad Radke back in 2004, when this streak started. Remember, in 2006, the Twins started Boof Bonser in Game 2 because Francisco Liriano was out recovering from TJ surgery and Radke was a shell of himself due to a bad shoulder that caused him to retire after the season. The 2009 starters were Brian Duensing, Nick Blackburn and Carl Pavano. In '10, the Twins had Liriano and Pavano, who both had pretty good years but not as good as Odo and Berrios this year relative to their league.

              Regardless, the starting pitching was probably the best part of the Twins in this series. The bullpen certainly was worse. The defense was bad at what few critical times there were and the offense was bad except for Arraez, Polanco, Rosario and Cruz. The Twins had 4 guys start all 3 games and have an OPS of at least .900 in the series. And they scored 7 runs total. That's crazy. Of course, the entire Yankees team had a .929 OPS in the series.

    2. What I wanted was a pitcher to take the mound in this playoff series that wouldn't be a more than 2 to 1 underdog in doing so.

      I get that but that would have helped, arguably, in one game. As happens in every postseason series, the Twins stop scoring. In 2010, the scored exactly the same number of runs in the same order: 4, 2, 1. You have to go back to 2004 for the last time they scored more than four runs, and they did it twice in losses. Their lone win was because they had the best pitcher in baseball keep the Yankees from scoring at all. They scored only six runs across four games in 2003.

      They don't have the 5-4 losses that an ace turns into 4-2 wins. They lose 5-1 instead.

      1. This.
        So. Much. This.

        Kepler, Rosario, and Sano were inept. At the end Cruz and Gonzalez were over-matched. We played Jake Cave. That's 6 problems right there. The offense looked nervous.

        1. I agree on the first two games but they hit the ball and worked the count last night. Just bad luck on hard hit balls.

          1. I'd agree that they looked better last night than the previous games. I think I said something about growth in the game log.

        2. I suspect more will trickle out in the days to come, but so many guys just didn’t look right. I think Kepler was playing out of necessity; he didn’t look comfortable at the plate. Arraez was clearly not healthy, given his limited range and the way he was swinging. I wouldn’t be surprised if Marwin was still playing through the effects of his oblique strain. We know Cron’s thumb has been a problem.

          That’s not an excuse. Just a recognition that these nagging injuries happened at about the worst time possible in the schedule. Normally, you’d expect other guys to step up, but that didn’t happen. Garver may have been ice cold, but Sanó’s bat was absolute zero.

          1. Sano and Rosario especially to me looked bad. When Sano hit his HR in game 1 I said to Beau that was a good sign, as I thought Sano would be key for the Twins. Obviously that keyed the wrong direction.

            1. That line drive Sano hit to Judge was especially cruel. He smoked that. He did miss on a lot of fastballs in the zone.

      2. The Twins not scoring - that is a coaching, or an individual player not handling the postseason pressure and/or the ghost of 0-13 and facing the Yankees was in fact on the player's minds no matter what their manager claimed.

        Im not making an all or nothing demand here - Im saying that anyone paying attention in May and June knew the Twins were likely to win the central and likely to face Houston or NYY and that they didn't have the pitching in place to be competitive and the front office failed to do anything about it.

    3. There's no real point in talking about this any more. I just want to point out the records of the Twins' four best starters at the trade deadline:

      Jose Berrios, 10-5, 2.80 ERA
      Jake Odorizzi, 12-5, 3.73 ERA
      Kyle Gibson, 10-4, 4.10 ERA
      Michael Pineda, 7-5, 4.30

      There may not be a Verlander-type ace there, but Berrios was pitching very well and so was Odorizzi. Gibson had made five out of six solid starts. Pineda had made five consecutive solid starts. Sure, an ace would've helped--an ace will always help. But at the end of July, the front office had no reason to think their starting pitching was going to become the mess it became.

      And with that, I'm going to leave the subject, because I don't think any of us has anything to say about it that hasn't been said quite a number of times.

      1. And at the time most observers knew those numbers were not sustainable and a regression to the mean was likely.

        As we just witnessed - regular season numbers don't seem to have a great correlation to postseason performance. We needed a pitcher with postseason experience that could take the mound and have a legitimate shot to win a playoff game.

        1. I guess I’ll have to post this yet again:

          Greinke didn’t want to come to Minnesota. The Twins engaged the Blue Jays on Stroman, but Toronto stupidly never called back and took the Mets’ offer without soliciting a counter. I doubt you’d want Robbie Ray or Matt Boyd pitching a postseason game in the Bandbronx, let alone at the cost of Alex Kirilloff & Royce Lewis.

          You want to keep arguing this direction, Geoff, then tell us who the 2019 equivalent of Randy Johnson with the ‘98 Astros or CC Sabathia with the ‘08 Brewers was that the Twins should have traded for, which team had such a pitcher available to trade, and who the Twins should have surrendered for a shot at getting any further than the ALDS.

          By the way, the LDS was exactly as far as the Astros and Brewers got in those years. That Houston team had three Hall of Famers in their primes.

          1. You can't argue on one side that the front office deserves credit for the offensive line up they put together and they are worth huge salaries and they are specially qualified to do their jobs in a way every day fans are not and then argue on the other side that what we know publicly about starting pitchers that were or were not traded is the sum total of all information and everything that was or was not possible.

            I am not claiming to be smarter than Falvey or anyone else - but I also do not accept that we know for certain that the Twins FO made every possible attempt to improve their starting pitchers and it just wasn't possible or feasible. If anything there is evidence and reports that they 100% did NOT do everything they could have.

            I am also not demanding that they get a Randy Johnson level guy - I've stated multiple times my hope was a starting pitcher that wouldn't be a 2 to 1 or greater underdog. How many starting pitchers better than Rodney Dobnak were available at the trade deadline what wouldn't have even cost 1 of the top 5 AAA prospects?

            1. Randy Dobnak wasn’t in the Twins’ starting rotation at the trade deadline, because the Twins had at least five pitchers better than him in the rotation already.

              I get it. You’re going to put words in my mouth about the argument I’m making, refuse to answer the question posed, conflate the timelines for addressing pitching depth problems as they actually emerged, and generally obfuscate a debate you’ve created to fit the terms you want to debate at any given moment. You can’t support your warrants, so rather than double down with strong answers, you want to bluff on a weak position. Call.

              In case you have forgotten, pitching depth was a subject we discussed here at the all-star break and the trade deadline. The argument that the Twins could have benefitted from adding a high-quality starter is not novel. Everyone here is well aware that this was a goal, but I haven’t seen anyone else assert the Twins balked at a trade offer for a guy who would’ve made a legitimate difference. You seem to be suggesting that the inability to know whether the front office did balk is sufficient grounds to suspect they did.

              It’s okay to have high expectations for the way this team is run, or the decision–making that informs its composition. Those expectations have been set, in part, by those hired to run the team. I think the bar of expectation has been raised — significantly — for the coming offseason. Most of us were not alive the last time the Twins won this many games in the regular season. Many of us would like to share a championship run with our friends in adulthood and our younger loved ones.

              My observation is that it doesn’t seem many people around here are interested holding positions that allow them to revel in their dissatisfaction with the management of the franchise, financially profit from the team’s failures, and then deride the experience of rooting for the team, all while being able to turn 180 and enjoy victory in the postseason, should that be the outcome instead. That position seems riddled with conflicts of interest.

              Maybe this isn’t the right forum for that kind of position. It certainly gets old having it rubbed in my face.

              1. I haven't put a single word in your mouth.

                Your reaction here is puzzling to me - but if you want to put anger towards me because you don't like or agree with my opinion rather than anger towards your favorite team that refuses to do what it takes to win in October so be it.

                Sports bettors bet odds - not teams and not what they want to happen. Betting the Yankees was an easy numbers decision and yes the money does help watching my favorite baseball team become a laughing stock with yet another 3 game series sweep. If that bothers you - that is a you problem not a me problem. I'm not rubbing anything in anyones face - I am articulating a point of view that is probably a lot more common than you realize - just not in this particular echo chamber.

                  1. I guess to be more clear -

                    Professional/Success sports bettors bet odds

                    Everyone else bets teams and/or what they are rooting for

                    But please tell me how much professional sports betting expertise you have.............

                    1. I can't comment on specifics because I don't gamble, but MGL said the postseason odds aren't as good as the regular season. Enough people make dumb bets to shift the lines.

                    2. Sean - who is MGL?

                      postseason odds aren't as good as the regular season. Enough people make dumb bets to shift the lines.

                      There is truth to this. If by "good odds" you mean the most possible value and/or odds that are not in line with the consensus predictions of the game - yes. With new states being legal - specifically New Jersey - and a popular team like the Yankees - you will see more volume on the Yankees which could bring the actual odds on the Yankees down a bit.

                      It's a common misnomer that there is a direct correlation to total amount of money bet on either side of a game and the movement of the line or odds. While it is correlated - it is much looser than the general public would assume. Most often sports books do not have an even 50/50 split of money on both teams. However when you see the money split across spread, moneyline, totals and take into consideration single game bets within parlay cards - more often than not sports books profit regardless of a games outcome - but that is not always the case and often a sports book prefers an outcome to avoid losses on a single game.

                    3. Whether I have professional sport betting experience or not doesn't belay the point that there are LOTS of people throwing $20 sentimental on their home teams, for example, and that pool is larger in a population center like NY. Doesn't mean they're going to win or not, it just skews the odds, at least initially.

                1. I can be heartily disappointed with and frustrated by the Twins’ performance and still object to repeated, precariously argued diatribes that are nonetheless soothed by winning wagers placed on the misfortune of the franchise allegedly supported. I’m not going to tell you how to be a fan, but I’m going to tell you I don’t see many other comments attempting to reconcile these two positions around here.

        2. I am sure there was a three game stretch during the season where the Twins scored 4,2, and 1 run.

          Losing stinks, for sure, but let's be thoughtful that we had a string a crap luck in a small sample size (spread out over a few games and a few years).

          Giving up on fandom seems like an overreaction but whatever guides your happiness, man.

      2. Both Berrios and odorizzi pitched well enough to give them a good chance at winning, too. Berrios just had to get more outs than he should have had to get and odorizzi is inefficient by nature.

        What's really frustrating is bringing Littell and Stashak in to a very winnable game.

        Also, Buxton needs to stop f@$&ing diving.

        1. This.

          Contrast Severino. A few inches here or there and the Twins would have out up big, crooked numbers in the first three innings. The offense just didn't come through. That happens.

          I prefer to focus on the joy the regular season brought and string expectations that this core of young talent (Arraez, Berrios, Buxton, Kepler, Sano, Polanco) and young vets (Rosario, Garver, Cron, Odo, Taylor, May, Duffey) are bringing to the table.

          If Pineda comes back clean, he can be part of a solid top 3. Maybe Graterol makes the leap and becomes a star. Maybe one or two of Thorpe, Smeltzer and Dobnak becomes a solid 4th or 5th. Maybe Gonsalves comes back and is ready to pitch in the Majors.

          I see no reason to sell the farm for a Frontline starter. Berrios is a Frontline starter entering his age-26 season. Odo is a solid 2nd starter entering his age-30 season. Pineda is a capable 3rd entering age 31. Maybe seek someone around the Odo-Pineda level if the price is reasonable. With that young core, there should be free agents willing to come.

          1. If Pineda comes back clean

            Then the team that signs him in free agency the offseason can reap the benefits. Note, he only missed the postseason because he was suspended late. If it happened August 1, he would have been able to pitch.

            Odo is a solid 2nd starter entering his age-30 season

            Who is also a free agent.

              1. Pineda’s suspension carries over to the first 39 games of the 2020 season, so I’d view him as a “mid-season” acquisition if they do elect to retain his services. What role they choose to give him at that point shouldn’t be an impediment to signing a better pitcher, too, and I’d hope there’s a humility discount given what his suspension cost the team this year.

        2. Yeah, going with Littell in a tie game in Game 1 is the decision that frustrated me the most in this series. Yeah, the Twins were trailing before the Twins batted, but once the game was tied, it should have been Trevor May or Tyler Duffey. The way the bullpen pitched on the whole, it may not have made a difference, but I certainly didn't think it was putting the Twins in the best position to win the game and/or the series when Littell started the inning. And that was before his meltdown.

    4. ummm... good riddance?

      While the playoffs were frustrating for some of the reasons mentioned above, I can't get my head around being provided a very fun and entertaining 6 months of baseball and throwing that all away on a lousy playoff performance. But "hike your own hike" I guess.

    5. Yeah, I don't believe you are going to take your ball and go home when it comes to your Twin's fandom. You obviously have a lot of passion for the team and will get sucked back in like the rest of us do when we get ticked off.

      I think they wanted to add a pitcher at the trade deadline. There are few teams who are willing to over pay at the deadline anymore. All front offices are getting more cautious. Most are now looking long term. Yes, it sucked they came up empty. But to be honest, I think they made the right call not to over pay. It was obvious, even with our bombas and record, this team wasn't quite ready for prime time, especially with 2 much more complete teams staring at us in the playoff scenarios. This series showed us our post season flaws.

      This off season they have more answers than questions when it comes to the younger core. We have a much better idea of what it will take to go to the next level. I will wait and see what they do this off season to truly judge. My hope is they can find a #1 or #2 starter who is willing to play in Minnesota and create a 1-2 punch with Berrios. If they can bring back Odorizzi and Pineda they have the base of a solid rotation. It will be interesting to see what they do with Sano and Rosario. Lots of raw talent and pretty darn good production, but so undisciplined at the plate and marginal in the field. We will probably need to sign a couple border line positional starters to keep our depth. I hope they target a couple good bullpen arms to fill out what looks like the beginnings of a solid bullpen.

      In the end this is the off season when we know what we have with Falvey and whether or not Pohlad is willing to part with his enormous hoard of cash to win in the playoffs. If they don't spend this off season, then I will lose some interest in the team. I will always be a fan, but probably not as engaged as the past 32 years. After 28 years without a WS appearance the championship buzz is finally wearing off. That being said, for a 162 games this year, this was a fun team to watch and they gave us a hell of a ride. It's too bad the trip ended with 3 flat tires and a blow radiator.

      1. I do have a lot of passion - and I have no expectations that Falvey and CO will do what is needed - but if they do - I will be pleasantly surprised.

        I do see that passion dwindling though - part of it is the amount of time I have to commit to anything that isn't work or my family and part of it is my perception that the Pohlad's aren't ever going to commit what is needed to make the Twins a contender and I don't feel like I "owe" the Twins loyalty anymore simply because my father passed on his local team to me.

        I admit I lost a lot of interested after the trade deadline - and that's on me. Should I have just enjoyed the ride of 101 wins and the home run record without being the overly negative ass hole I've been? Probably. The fact that my predictions turned out to be totally correct doesn't really matter does it?

        No one is going to convince me that the Twins FO couldn't have done more to give the team a chance to win in October - and Im not going to convince anyone that is certain they tried and nothing was available and or the opportunities they turned down were in the best interests of the team. And thats fine. To those who listened to me and understood my point of view (regardless of whether you agreed or not) - thank you. To those who I just riled up - I would say Im sorry, but Im not sorry to be honest. Some people can separate how they feel about an argument and an opinion from the person making the argument or having the opinion and some people can't. The people that can't are about as likely to change as I am likely to change or tone down my opinions and the manner in which I communicate them.

        1. Neither side of this argument is right Geoff. Because we truly have no way of knowing if they truly tried or not. That's the point. Falvey or Pohlad are not going to give us the transcripts of the conversations that were had. We are all speculating.

  5. I didn't have high expectations for the game last night. It felt like 2010 where the team wasn't at 100% at the right time, plus the pitching question marks. But I was happy with the regular season and any post season wins would be a bonus. My biggest hope for the night was that the fans wouldn't do the wave. And sure enough, the guy in front of me apparently felt the same way, and single-handedly squashed an attempt at starting the wave in my section. Also I was amused by the number of Yankee fans who had jerseys with names on the back.

      1. And yet they can count the rings.

        I don't have much to say that can't be saved for the next four months when there is no baseball. It was a great season, and I hope the experience will make the FO, coaching staff, and players want to do even better.

        1. I had some ideas for posts about appreciating 2019 after the postseason. I guessed the season would end quickly again so wanted new things to cleanse the palate for 2020.

    1. Seriously, I was the ONLY ONE who picked the Yankees?! I realize this is a Twins fan site, but I figured most of us would be familiar enough with our past history to know the odds of winning that series.

      1. My approach to postseason picks is always to pick the team I like more. It's a big crapshoot anywho, so may as well not divide my loyalties.

        Caveat: I have never won a postseason pick 'em

        1. I am the opposite. I pick the teams I don't want to win. That way, if my favored team does lose, hey, I still can having bragging rights in the prediction pool.

      2. I never pick against the teams I root for, even if logic tells me otherwise. And as others have observed, we weren't risking anything, so there was no penalty for choosing with my heart.

    1. What kind of signing bonus did he get? Answer, $100,000 in 2014, at age-22.

      The standard minor league contract is $1,100 per month the first season, then "negotiable." Of course, the players are locked in to indentured servitude, so I don't know what they can in practice negotiate.

      They get a daily pro rata for each day they are on a roster until the season is over, including playoffs for their club. Plus $25/day meal money when traveling.

      Tough way to make a living, but promotion to the Majors is a winning lottery ticket.

      1. Sure, if you make it you're set but it's grueling until then and maybe letting the players train in the off-season rather than maintain their 4.99 rating would help.

  6. While having an ace pitcher would've been nice, that wasn't the only problem.
    The problem is that there isn't an "only" problem.
    Odo did as good a job as one could expect. Berrios, while not perfect (his breaking balls were too low to be effective) did okay. Dobnak… should have never been called on to pitch Game 2.
    Hitting was a major issue, and always has been. The team scored an average of 6 runs a game during the regular season. They got 7 in the entire series. 4 of those from solo homeruns. Cruz and Sano each had a homer, but not much else. Kepler did nothing. Polanco did alright, and Arraez had 4 doubles! The guy who had a sprained ankle, who we didn't even know would be available hit 4 flippin' doubles. Cron looked awful in Game 1. Eddie looked lost as well, but had a couple good results in Game 3.
    The commentators mentioned that with bases loaded and no outs, teams will score at least one run 85% of the time. I had a lot of hope going into that situation, and when they came out of it with a whole handful of nothing, I knew this game was not trending our way. Sano literally needed to hit that ball anywhere but straight up. A double play would've produced a run (most likely). Golden situation, nothing to show for it. Twins had chances all night, but couldn't capitalize. To be fair, the Yankees made some phenomenal plays. Torres going out to get that ground ball in right field to stop the rally in the 5th or 6th (I can't remember). Judge fully extending to catch that gapper. Hard hit balls snagged by the infield. Which brings me to another point. The Yankees were able to turn those hard hit balls into outs. Meanwhile Sano was unable to get to or handle several hard hit balls sent his way. Polanco however started that brilliant double play that was perhaps the highlight of the night.

    Case in point, the Yankees were the better team. They executed better, they took advantage of scoring situations more, and were able to come through when it mattered. Twins, frankly, did not. 101 wins is a great accomplishment, but let's remember that it was still only 3rd best in the AL. I'm not sure what the front office can do when the players on the field, who had been successful throughout the year, just cannot make the plays that they needed to make.

    What can the front office do? Hire more players with more positive playoff experience? Better experience against the Yankees? I'd love an ace starter, but they're expensive. Better defenders? Hard to say. However, I do feel like there's a core there, and I'm anxious to see what next year will bring.

  7. Here's an interesting tweet. What Ken doesn't mention is that the Cubs got a ring out of the deal and Chapman was a key part. So worth it? Something to think about as the Twins head into the off-season and teams ask for prospects for veterans.

    1. Matt Trueblood's take on that trade is that Chapman absolutely did not give the Cubs the ring, and was far less key than the narrative frequently suggests. To the point where he takes tremendous heat from the Cubs version of stribbers for his take.

      1. Clearly a topic for discussion and not cut and dry. I guess I'd argue that Chapman pushed the existing Cub relievers down one spot, giving them a more effective bullpen earlier in the games.

        1. Yeah, it's a good discussion. I come down on the "Yankees ripped off the Cubs" side. Plus, the blown saves in the NLCS and World Series don't speak well of his being some sort of key, though.

        2. In the big picture, I think a big problem with the analysis “was it worth it” is the idea that the Cubs had to make that move to get that value. Supposing that Chapman was “the” difference, and supposing it was a huge overpay—you’ve royally messed up the big picture if you back yourself into a situation where you *have* to make an overpay.

          In the big picture of planning for that season, Torres-for-Chapman or not is something of a false dichotomy. There are dozens of other moves the Cubs could have made either to prevent themselves getting to that situation, or even getting a somewhat lesser reliever for much less than Torres, which may have suited near and long term goals.

          Also, Torres was not guaranteed to be this good at the time, and basically every “steal” trade is overvalued when viewing with hindsight. That goes for Chapman as well. Basically, Torres has been very good and Chapman contributed to a WS but neither party could guarantee either of those things when the deal was completed.

  8. From Inside Edge.

    How unlucky were the Twins last night? We charted 11 Well-Hit balls for Minnesota last night.
    In the 2019 season, there was just *one* other time where the Twins had 11+ Well-Hit balls and scored one or fewer runs.
    As for the Yankees pitching staff, they had never allowed 11+ Well-Hit balls and 1 run or fewer in a game until last night.

    Better luck wouldn't have changed the outcome of the series, but it could have easily ended the stupid playoff game losing streak.

    1. Yeah, you basically have to have bad luck to lose 16 straight. Even awful teams rarely lose 16 straight to a good team. So for an average-at-least team to lose 16 straight is going to be rare. If they played it all over again, Minnesota may never advance, but they’d at least win a handful of games.

  9. The past week or so has reminded me of a story a mentor once told me. If you are walking down the street and someone passes by and says "nice tail". You may laugh and say "yeah, whatever buddy". If a second person walks by and says "wow, like the tail". You may scratch your head and say "Geez, another whacko." If a third person comes up and says "man, you have a tail", you might want to turn around and look to see if you have a tail. I think of this story every time I deal with confrontation.

  10. Not that you need another reason to love him, but here's one anyway.

    1. Plus, Arraez really needs to be the leadoff batter next year and probably should have been in the playoffs in the last 2 games with Kepler coming off an injury and not having any chance for rehab games after being out for 2 weeks.

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