Another brutal loss last night, this one because Nathan blew a rare save. That happens, I guess. It’s hard to take right now, especially given the stretch we’re in, but there’s nothing wrong with Nathan, and we’ll continue to win right around 90% of the games we’re leading in the 9th inning. The remaining 10% do hurt a lot, though. I think Gardy can feel what we’re feeling too, by the way.
“We’re in one of those stretches where you have to keep battling,” he said. “You’ve go to work your way out of it. No one is going to give you anything. No one is going to feel sorry for you in this game. If they start feeling sorry for themselves, shame on them. I don’t feel sorry for myself as the manager of this team. You have to keep playing. You have to keep going out there and trying to figure out how to win ballgames.”I’ve seen a lot of fans screaming, lately*, about the lack of aggressive moves by the front office. Just make some trades, damn it! Steal us some pieces without giving up anything in return! But is it really a good idea?
* When I say “lately,” what I really mean is “today,” specifically. If you haven’t seen the open letter to Twins management that’s been bouncing around the Twins Twitterverse this morning, you might want to go read it. I mean, just to be caught up and all. I think most of it is pretty off base, myself.
The problem with this team is that they’re not good enough. And when I say that, I mean it in the most profound, complete sense that anyone can possibly* mean it.
* I’m not kidding. Read on. If you’ve gotten this far, you should really continue. Is it natural that I have this ongoing fear that people read about the first third of every one of my posts and then just bomb the browser tab, possibly cackling ominously? I should probably think of some way to get over that. It can’t be healthy.
This team is not good enough as it is right now to compete for, well, anything. They also don’t have any bigtime prospects that other teams value and would offer difference-making players for — and that’s a good thing, because the Twins are more than one or two pieces away from being good enough.
When you look at your team in mid-July and say “Okay, we just need 3 infielders, an outfielder, a starting rotation, and a bullpen,” then it’s not time to be a buyer at the trade deadline. It’s time to wonder how you’re only 2.5 games back in the division, and wonder if it even matters, when there are real contenders to play against in the playoffs.
But you know what else this team isn’t good enough at? They’re not even good enough to be sellers. I suppose that’s part of being a young team across the board; if you’re in a position where you should be a seller at the deadline, you can’t because you don’t even have any movable assets in the majors. Who’s the only person the team might be able to move? Cuddyer? What team is going to make a deadline deal to improve their team and give up a prospect for Michael Cuddyer? It’s not happening.
So while it’s frustrating to hear Gardy talk about the need to keep on battling, and it feels like they’re just sitting on their hands and doing nothing in their ivory tower on Kirby Puckett Place, the front office has certainly appraised their chances and seen that a) they have too much buying to do, b) they don’t have anything to buy with, c) they have nothing to sell. So yes, the only thing they can do is “keep battling,” and hope that the 25 hits that Punto and Casilla get for the rest of the year happen at opportune times.
The question they have to ask, though, is whether the fans will watch that. I suppose we all have to ask ourselves that too.
My answer is yes, I will watch. I’ll watch every game, I’ll still fume when we lose and feel like we’re a couple good hits away from the World Series when we win. I’m not getting off this roller coaster until they kick me off.
I don’t know what that says about me, though. I doubt it’s good. And if too many people feel that way, then what incentive does the front office have to do anything?2 comments