Its pretty easy to make the Carl Pohlad-Ebeneezer Scrooge comparison, so I’m going not going to do it. Although I do think the Twins front office needs to be visited by three ghosts in order to jump start them out of this state of complacency they seem to be in. So, without further ado, FireGardy.com presents: A Twins Carol.
Bill Smith sits comfortably in his cozy metrodome office, basking in the glow of his most recent offseason move: the resigning of St. Nicholas Punto. A move sure to bring joy to all of the fans. As he dozes off, he is visited by the ghost of one of his old bosses: Andy MacPhail. MacPahil tells him he will be visited by three spirits who will guide him to make the correct decisions in running the Twins. Visibly shaken, Smith heads home to bed. But first leaves a memo to the scouting department to draft only pitchers in next June’s draft.
The Ghost of Baseball Past: The first visitor is actually two, Doug Mientkiewicz and Corey Koskie. They bring Smith back to the fall of 2002, the Twins first playoff berth since their World Series run in 1991. They remind Smith how much fun it was to be a part of the team that brought so much joy to fans. However, they were not content with just being in the postseason. Riding mostly a group of no-name players they beat the A’s and their vaunted Big Three in five games, only to fall to the eventual World Champs, the Angels. The Team was hungry, the former Twins remind Smith, he and Terry Ryan would need to build a winner out of this core group. The fans were hungry for more winning, and Ryan and Smith were in great position to feed them. 2002 was a happy time for the Twins and their fans, but one could see the dark and ominous clouds forming around the Metrodome. Smith asks what is in store for his beloved team, but he realizes he is back in his bed and Doug and Corey are nowhere to be seen.
The Ghost of Baseball Present: The next visitor is in the form of backup catcher Mike Redmond (thankfully wearing clothes). He brings smith to Las Vegas for the winter meetings, showing Bill for the first time what a GM sitting on his hands looks like. Mike summarizes the last few Twins baseball seasons for Bill, from a players point of view. He shows Bill that after that first playoff appearance or two, the Twins fell into a state of complacceny. Signed dreadful free agent, after dreadful free agent. Tiny Tony Batista was supposed to provide the much needed power threat the Twins have lacked since the mid 80’s. He didn’t last the season. Sidney Ponson, Ramon Ortiz, and Livan Hernandez, were supposed to provide a stabilizing veteran presence for young pitchers, none of them lasted a full season. Mike explains to Bill that all of this, and zero playoff wins since 2002 have caused Twins fans to be frustrated and embittered at the Twins inability to make moves. This comes to a head at the 2008 winter meetings, where Bill wanders around the Bellagio saying very little to the press, or to free agent infielders. He then calls a press conference to announce a huge signing that will solidify the left side of the infield for 2009. Nick Punto. As Mike and Bill watch on, even Smith realizes how stupid that is. He shouts at himself to no avail, as Mike explains to him “Nobody can hear you”. Worried at how dangerous a position the Twins are in for 2009, Mike returns Bill back to his home in Minnesota, telling him to wait for the final spirit.
The Ghost of Baseball Yet to Come: The final visitor arrives in the form of Carlos Gomez. Unable to speak any English, Gomez uses rapid hand guesstures to signal Bill to follow him. They arrive just over a year in the future. April 2010, in the bleachers of the new Target Field. Bill hardly recognizes the team that takes the field for that opening day. Toby Hall is behind the plate, and a hobbled Paul Konerko is playing first base. “What happened to Mauer and Morneau?” Bill asks Gomez. Carlos points to the opposing dugout, Mauer and Morneau are sitting in there wearing White Sox uniforms. “Oh no! I must have traded my two best players to the White Sox. But why?” Again, Gomez points to the suite level, and there sits Carl Pohlad throwing money around, laughing muttering something about scamming the tax payers into buying him a new stadium. Smith screams in terror, fearful that he will be unable to assemble a winning team when the new stadium opens. Gomez points again to visiting owners box, and there sitting next to Kenny Williams and Jerry Reisndorf if Smith himself “Jesus Christ, I work for the White Sox now?!” Smith wakes up in his own bed in a cold sweat, vowing to build a team that will not just compete for the division, but a team that will compete for a World Series title for years to come. He immediately jumps out of bed and begins to work on contract extensions for Baker, Liriano, and Slowey. While devising a clever way to get rid of Michael Cuddyer. The End.
Editor’s note: While I do not believe Carl Pohlad is required to spend all of his money on the team, I just thought it made for a more compelling story. Merry Christmas everyone.5 comments