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More money, more problems in Minnesota

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08:13 AM ET 08.10 | Is there a bit of buyer's remorse in the Twin Cities? The Twins spent a franchise-record $115 million on a team that will be lucky to avoid last place in a weak division. After decades of overachieving despite financial constraints, the 2011 edition is proving that neither a new ballpark nor inflated spending ensures success. "It's deceptive, because we haven't had our payroll on the field," manager Ron Gardenhire said. That is true, and incomplete. Injuries remain the primary reason this team has imploded. There is another reason, though: The Twins, like novice investors or the uninitiated in Las Vegas, found themselves with just enough cash to get themselves into trouble. With a lower payroll, they never would have invested $14.5 million in a skinny Japanese shortstop.

Star Tribune

Joe Mauer, Getty Images Joe Mauer, Getty Images
August 10, 2011  09:09 AM ET

What a shame.

August 10, 2011  09:09 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

What a shame.

Yes, quite.

August 10, 2011  09:17 AM ET

Injuries have been what killed us. Morneau hasnt been the same, Mauer missed a lot of time. At every position we've had setbacks. I think the biggest problem is pitching. We lost 1/2 r bullpen 2 FA, what can we expect?

August 10, 2011  09:56 AM ET

You root for teams like the Twins. Being an entertaniment industry, people just don't have the money like they used to.

August 10, 2011  10:14 AM ET

2011 is a complete aberration in twins history. Not indicative of the talent on the roster.
The off-season cannot come soon enough for this beleaguered club. They'll be back.
Nishioka has been AWFUL. Just awful. Hard to watch a guy in a MLB uniform perform so poorly.

August 10, 2011  10:27 AM ET

"Nishioka has been AWFUL. Just awful. Hard to watch a guy in a MLB uniform perform so poorly."



Try watching Alex Rios or Adam Dunn

August 10, 2011  10:33 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

"Nishioka has been AWFUL. Just awful. Hard to watch a guy in a MLB uniform perform so poorly."Try watching Alex Rios or Adam Dunn

Try watching Ryan(did I just glove that over the wall for a HR)Raburn or Brandon(they're pitching to me like Babe Ruth)Inge !

August 10, 2011  10:42 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

Injuries have been what killed us. Morneau hasnt been the same, Mauer missed a lot of time. At every position we've had setbacks. I think the biggest problem is pitching. We lost 1/2 r bullpen 2 FA, what can we expect?

I expect people to save that lame **** "text speak" for their phones. You let me down.

August 10, 2011  10:47 AM ET

Isn't that what happens to HALF the teams these days?

August 10, 2011  11:09 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

Injuries have been what killed us. Morneau hasnt been the same, Mauer missed a lot of time. At every position we've had setbacks. I think the biggest problem is pitching. We lost 1/2 r bullpen 2 FA, what can we expect?

so is it injuries or is pitching the problem??? The starters have been mostly healthy, but also mostly awful. The pen has been bad, but outside of Nathan (who was coming off TJ surgery) who has gotten hurt. To read most Twins fans on this board and others it was good riddance to both Fuentes and Crain, who were good relievers for the Twins in 2010.

This franchise will have really limited payroll flexibility due to Maeur's deal and alot their young players have not impressed this season. They have some talent in the minors, but if only some of those players pan out. That team may be in some trouble for a few seasons.

August 10, 2011  11:28 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

2011 is a complete aberration in twins history. Not indicative of the talent on the roster. The off-season cannot come soon enough for this beleaguered club. They'll be back. Nishioka has been AWFUL. Just awful. Hard to watch a guy in a MLB uniform perform so poorly.

why would they immediately bounce back next season?

Their top pitching prospect in the minors (Kyle Gibson, 34th best by BA) was just diagnosed with a partial ligament tear in his elbow.

Also Aaron Hicks their top rated position player prospect (45th ranked prospect by baseball america) was promoted to high A ball this season and has seen his batting average drop 40 points and his OPS drop 111 points.

They have some $$$ coming off the payroll, but the Twins rarely go after another team's big time players in free agency. They improve from within and with young players like Delmon Young taking big steps back this season I don't see the supposedly obvious rebound.

August 10, 2011  11:31 AM ET

Slink
I think last night's Tigers/Tribe game set back modern baseball 20 years last night. Some pretty mediocre bullpen arms looked lights out last night and I terrible execution. That said if I was a Cleveland fan, I'd be very happy with that W.

August 10, 2011  11:32 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

Injuries have been what killed us. Morneau hasnt been the same, Mauer missed a lot of time. At every position we've had setbacks. I think the biggest problem is pitching. We lost 1/2 r bullpen 2 FA, what can we expect?

Mauer is what he is. A .300 hitter with little power and injury prone. That is not going to change. If he could be an every day catcher, that would be fine, but those days do not seem realistic through that contract.

August 10, 2011  11:37 AM ET
QUOTE(#13):

Slink I think last night's Tigers/Tribe game set back modern baseball 20 years last night. Some pretty mediocre bullpen arms looked lights out last night and I terrible execution. That said if I was a Cleveland fan, I'd be very happy with that W.

You bet. This is a very important series for both teams. With Verlander going tomorrow, the Tribe needs to win tonight.

August 10, 2011  11:42 AM ET

The 'skinny Japanese Shortstop' isn't the problem, it's the overpaid catcher that's the hometown hero. Look at how long the whole Twins organization was hamstrung by the moves to keep Kirby Puckett & acquire & keep Jack Morris ... yes, it brought two world series titles, but those teams were FAR better than the recent ones.

The Twins stink and I for one think it starts and ends with re-signing #7.

August 10, 2011  11:43 AM ET

Further, the organizational philosophy with the pitching is ridiculous... guys need to have the handcuffs taken off and be given the freedom to make bats miss in Target Field.

August 10, 2011  11:47 AM ET
QUOTE(#13):

That said if I was a Cleveland fan, I'd be very happy with that W.

Although, I was at the game. I had 3rd row seats behind homeplate. They had about an hour and fifteen minute delay that we waited through, then they removed the tarp and we sat down. We waited another ten minutes and they put the tarp back on, this time staking it down heavily, so we figured they were going to call the game and left.

Amazing seats for two innings. . .

August 10, 2011  11:49 AM ET
QUOTE(#17):

Further, the organizational philosophy with the pitching is ridiculous... guys need to have the handcuffs taken off and be given the freedom to make bats miss in Target Field.

Kyle Gibson's elbow is the Twins biggest pitching concern right now

August 10, 2011  11:51 AM ET
QUOTE(#18):

Although, I was at the game. I had 3rd row seats behind homeplate. They had about an hour and fifteen minute delay that we waited through, then they removed the tarp and we sat down. We waited another ten minutes and they put the tarp back on, this time staking it down heavily, so we figured they were going to call the game and left.Amazing seats for two innings. . .

damn, oh well. Before the rain came it looked like a decent crowd, but I kinda expected more folks there. I know you have said its a football town through and through, but it is obviously a big series.

 
August 10, 2011  11:55 AM ET
QUOTE(#18):

Although, I was at the game. I had 3rd row seats behind homeplate. They had about an hour and fifteen minute delay that we waited through, then they removed the tarp and we sat down. We waited another ten minutes and they put the tarp back on, this time staking it down heavily, so we figured they were going to call the game and left.Amazing seats for two innings. . .

Going this weekend when they are here in Baltimore. Was going to go Friday, waited to buy tix, then looked at the Tigers having Monday off and thought they might have Verlander start on his normal rest Thursday vs Cleveland instead of Friday his originally scheduled day.

Now I think Penny will start Friday in Baltimore and he is just brutal to watch (he's bad and he takes FOREVER to throw the darn ball).

I'm glad I waited. I'll be going to Sunday's game, I think Fister's starting.

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