Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Average Fan: What is their Perception of the Twins?

I like Patrick Reusse and I’m not ashamed of that. Every night before I go to bed I listen to SportsTalk starring him and Joe Soucheray because they do and don’t talk about sports. It’s like me in a nutshell, but a couple decades down the road. I understand that there’s a good portion of the public that don’t always agree with Reusse, but I beg you to stay with me here.

On 1500ESPN’s website, Reusse writes a P.J.R. column with those letters standing for Patrick James Reusse. These columns usually result in a ‘no punches pulled’ take on something which I absolutely adore. The latest edition came out on Tuesday morning with the title “There’s strong perception that the Twins aren’t trying”.

That’s a strong take, which I can’t help but finding myself somewhat agreeing upon. Reusse compares the Pohlads to ever other owner in this state and by comparing them it looks obviously that the Twins, at the very least, are trying the least.

It’s hard to point a finger at a whole organization and say, “Hey, you’re not giving an effort. You’re not trying at all.”

That’s what has happened to the Twins. People have stopped caring. It’s gone from agony to empathy and as much as the former stings, the latter is something that is so very hard to get out of.

I never thought I’d not give a flying leap about the Twins, but it happened. By the end of this past season, I didn’t watch a single game. I’d get alerts on my phone saying the Twins were losing by a remarkable margin and then flip over just to catch a glimpse of the glorious dumpster fire.

I do care about the Twins, though. It was kind of like the Twins and I were taking a break.  I flirted with some other teams, but when the feelings started to get strong I couldn’t get the Twins off of my mind. That’s me though.

What about the fans who aren’t as tied to the Twins as I am? I know they are lost for a while, but what gets those fans back… A winning record? A playoff run? A playoff series win?

We have a good glimpse at what this team could be. A lot of people are excited about Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton, as they should be, but to the general public this team may not appear to be trying. The one’s reading this are the ones who will stick with the Twins through hell and high water.

The Twins have a tough job building this team back up to contention, but will also have to build up a fan base again.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Wanted: Innovation, Desperately Needed

Math stinks. It’s probably a good thing all in all, but I stink at it, so it therefore stinks. The Minnesota Twins and I might just have that sentiment in common.

1500ESPN’s Phil Mackey wrote a column earlier this week about how the Twins lack innovation, which resulted in Twins’ General Manager Terry Ryan saying he thinks Mackey just wants a job with the Twins, but that’s a different story. The thing is that Mackey is so on it’s sad.

The Twins, as it seems on the surface, do not have a big analytics department. The payroll-wise lowly Tampa Bay Rays have nine people in that category. A team that won’t be able to maintain one of the best pitchers in baseball (David Price) has nine guys that crunch baseball numbers. You have to use numbers and, in a broader sense, every single piece of information you can get your hands on.

It’s like Facebook stalking that the younger generation partakes in. The first moment you have any romantic interest or any interest at all in a person: you go to Facebook, look up their profile and study everything they like/dislike. You use every single piece of information you can get your hands on before you put your neck out on the line with that person. You have to do that in baseball, too.

That doesn’t just go for advanced statistics either. If you keep failing, something has to change. If you stub your toe every night, you move the furniture.

This isn’t a call saying that brining back Ron Gardenhire is the end of the world, but something has to change. Some certain way of doing things, some certain way the Twins’ organization looks at things. It has to be shaken up, even if you don’t want to shake it up.

I hate math, but I still have to deal with it. The Twins have to deal with the changing landscape.