As many can tell I am not a typical Twins blogger in that my posts are very infrequent. That is because I go to school in Texas and am very busy. I know everybody is busy, but for me my blogging is a hobby that I only do if I have time for it. I will blog more in the summer when I don’t have classes, but I felt the need the need to write my feelings with how everything is going with the Twins right now.
As many of you know I was 30 years old when I went back to College and will graduate next spring. When I decided to go back to school there were tons of people that thought I was crazy. They said why would someone give up a job that were you were making a steady income to chase a dream. These people created a chip on my shoulder in that I am determined to prove to each of them including some in my own family that yes I can do this and do it well. I see this same chip on the shoulder of several Twins players. With the departures of Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel, and Joe Nathan many have written off the Twins as a hopeless cause in 2012. Every prediction I have seen has the Twins fighting the White Sox and Royals for 3rd place behind Detroit and Cleveland. They say there are too many unknowns with the Twins with the injury situations of Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, and Denard Span along with the lowering the payroll by 13-18 million over 2011. However, when I look at Joe Mauer I see a guy who has a chip on his shoulder much like I do. He is out to prove that people have forgot just who is and that is one of the best players in the game. He is out to prove that 2011 was an aberration, and that he is a catcher first and foremost. I see that same chip on Denard Span’s shoulder who is sick of hearing about how the Twins should trade him, that Ben Revere is a better centerfielder than him. Denard Span is one of the top 5 leadoff men in the major leagues and people will give him the credit he justly deserves.
As a whole I see a team with a huge chip on their shoulder with a manager in Ron Gardenhire who just knows how to win. In case anyone forgot he has won six division titles in ten years as manager. This team will be better than what the so called experts think and those that undersell this team your in for a rude awakening. For those that think that the Twins have no chance to hang with the Tigers you will be wrong. Much like you can’t ever discount Bill Belichek and Tom Brady in a big game, you should also never discount the Twins when expectations are low and the Twins can be the underdogs Gardy loves to be. When they are underdogs the Twins have a tendency of just finding a way of getting it done.
I know many are perturbed that the Pohlad’s cut the Twins payroll and my response is simply who cares. Since when did payroll determine who wins the world series. If that was the case the Yankees would win it all every year. By my Minnesota math I believe the Yankees have only won 1 championship in 11 years while having the highest payroll by a large margin. Teams are build with cohesiveness and working well as a team. I would much rather play the Twins way and that is develop their talent and if that means letting free agents go then so be it. I have come to realize for some people it wouldn’t matter what the Twins payroll is it would be too low. Mr. Pohlad would get crushed no matter what he did as he should have done more. What people need to realize is as much as this is entertainment for us it is a business for him as it should be. In what business do you spend your own money on the product besides at the startup of a company. When your established the business should run on its own and you should get a profit out of it. The fact that he spends 52% on payroll is a credit to him and he should’t be expected to do more even though some people will never give him credit.
Those bitching about the moves Terry Ryan has done this offseason should be ashamed of themselves as he is working inside a budget. There was no way that Michael Cuddyer is worth 10.5 million anymore. He was never a superstar and his defense has slipped to below average. Credit Ryan for knowing that there was no way to sign Cuddyer at that figure so instead he signs Josh Willingham for seven million and to be honest Cuddyer and Willingham are very similar players. To be able to get a similar player for 3.5 million a year is pure brilliance by Ryan. Signing Jamey Carroll was also a good signing if you ask me as the Twins did not have the money to sign Jose Reyes and after last years debacle at SS they needed a steady hand at SS and that is what Carroll is and that’s steady. The coup of the offseason was signing Ryan Doumit for 3 million. Doumit is a .800 ops guy who can catch if something happens to Mauer. So in my mind with the budget they had and the moves he made Terry Ryan should get credit and not get bitched about. For those that say the Twins are not contenders with this roster you are wrong and you will be proven wrong over the next 6 months.
The guy that people are really wrong about is Aaron Hicks who for some reason people are starting to doubt. Seems like your average fan just looks at a few numbers and judge that he is a bust. If you look deeper with his walk rate and his gap power you are looking at a stud. It irritated me when I read Baseball America’s prospect list and saw that Hicks had dropped from 45 before last season to 127 this year. I followed every game that he appeared in and I really don’t get it. He has the chance to be a 6 tool player in that he will hit for average, hit for power, got speed, great range on defense, tremendous arm, and incredible intangibles. I talked to a fellow blogger about Hicks and he asked me on a scale of 1-10 how good he would be with 10 being a hall of famer and I said 8, but I think more of a 9 now. He has all the tools you want in a prospect and I truly believe that he is going to be a stud.
For those worried about the Twins system don’t be they have 15-20 players in their system that I believe will have the chance to be major league players. Then with all the draft picks they have in June the system will get better. It is probably middle of the pack now, but by the end of the year it will be a top 10 system if you ask me.
My biggest peeve with Twins fans is they believe everything they read instead of investigating things themselves. You don’t have to take my word for it think about it yourself and come to your own judgement. Just because something is written doesn’t mean that it is true so form your own opinions is my best advice. I thank you for taking the time to read this and look forward to getting to know all of you much better in the future. If you have any comments or questions you can either leave a comment in the comment box or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.