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View Full Version : Minnesota Twinks--Central Division Benchmark


Procol Harum
09-26-2006, 10:42 AM
I'm in the mood for some abuse this morning, so here goes:

Much as I dislike them with visceral intensity (I hate the baggydome, Joe Nathan's constant smirk, John Satan [unless he was on my team], etc., etc.), I think if we set aside our black kool-aid and let our brains override our emotions we have to say that--big picture, overview and all that--that the prototype organization in the AL Central thus far in the 21st-century is sitting up in the Twin Cities. 4 playoff appearances in the last 5 years ain't no lie--we have experienced yet again how difficult it is to haul our carcasses into the playoffs for just two measly seasons in a row. Worse yet for us, this minor baseball miracle has been pulled off in what is arguably a Triple A market.

Much love and kudos to Kenny and company and the 2005 team for brightening our universe last year and fulfilling our dreams.

But, in light of the holes and shortcomings that 2006 revealed in our White Sox--lack of team speed, middle relief problems, inconsistent starting pitching, and home run-or-nothing offense--I'm thinking more and more that our dream year last year was just that: a convergence of mojo, breaks, possible career years, and scrappy play which we could not duplicate. In fact, baseball historians might sit down w/ 20-20 hindsight in the future and say that the Sox slipped in during a down year for the Twins (83-79 after 92-70, 90-72, and 94-67 the three years prior...by the by 93 and counting this year).

For the future, I'm afraid that I'm not likin' what I see up in Minnesota in terms of their top 5 everyday players vs our top 5 guys--particularly in terms of age and speed: Mauer, Morneau, Hunter, Castillo, Punto vs. Konerko, Thome, Dye, Crede, Pierszynski....

And let's not even go into Satan vs. Garland...and if Liriano does turn out to be something more than a Twin Cities version of Kerry Wood....:mad:

Short term: here's hopin' we revive from last night's effort and start playing a bit: I do not look forward to the prospect of going up to the Baggydome this weekend and watching the Twinks strut around and rub their leaving-us-in-the-dust-run in our faces....

Ok....you may begin talkin' about my Mama now....:rolleyes:

Thome25
09-26-2006, 10:49 AM
Your post offered some comic-relief to a pretty miserable day. I'd have to agree with you though.

I don't think you should be flamed for this thread. The Twins play good fundamental baseball with good, solid, hungry ballplayers.

I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting that for our White Sox.

kobo
09-26-2006, 10:51 AM
I won't bash you. For as much as I hate the Twins that still does not take away the fact that they are a well run organization and that they have an incredible farm system. Pohlad may be cheap, but the team he puts on the field competes every year and you have to give them credit for that. I'd love for the Sox to win 90+ games a year, be competitive, and make it to the playoffs every year. Who wouldn't want that?

Hangar18
09-26-2006, 10:55 AM
I'm in the mood for some abuse this morning, so here goes:

Much as I dislike them with visceral intensity .............this minor baseball miracle has been pulled off in what is arguably a Triple A market.

Much love and kudos to Kenny and company and the 2005 team for brightening our universe last year and fulfilling our dreams.

But, in light of the holes and shortcomings that 2006 revealed in our White Sox--lack of team speed, middle relief problems, inconsistent starting pitching, and home run-or-nothing offense--I'm thinking more and more that our dream year last year was just that: a convergence of mojo, breaks, possible career years, and scrappy play which we could not duplicate. In fact, baseball historians might sit down w/ 20-20 hindsight in the future and say that the Sox slipped in during a down year for the Twins (83-79 after 92-70, 90-72, and 94-67 the three years prior...by the by 93 and counting this year).

For the future, I'm afraid that I'm not likin' what I see up in Minnesota in terms of their top 5 everyday players vs our top 5 guys--particularly in terms of age and speed: Mauer, Morneau, Hunter, Castillo, Punto vs. Konerko, Thome, Dye, Crede, Pierszynski....




This is a good post, and these are LEGITIMATE concerns. Hopefully we wont see any "procol is a twins fan" posts, because last year was the 1st time Kenny Williams acknowledged the Twinks as the benchmark, and built his team more along the lines of the Twinks, more speed, hitting behind the runner, intense focus on fundamentals, making Contact, manufacturing runs, strong bullpen.
If you notice, every one of these factors played a chief role in the Sox Demise of 06. Kenny called it a "grinder" philosophy, and unwittingly got away from it with some of the moves he made this past offseason.

the Twins are a team we are always going to have to reckon with as long as were in this division. Now the Tigers have some money to spend, which also doesnt bode well for the SOX. I trust that Kenny will Re-Acknowledge this, and make the appropriate moves.

OK, start the Procol Bashing now ..........

Paulwny
09-26-2006, 10:58 AM
I'm in the mood for some abuse this morning, so here goes:

Much as I dislike them with visceral intensity (I hate the baggydome, Joe Nathan's constant smirk, John Satan [unless he was on my team], etc., etc.), I think if we set aside our black kool-aid and let our brains override our emotions we have to say that--big picture, overview and all that--that the prototype organization in the AL Central thus far in the 21st-century is sitting up in the Twin Cities. 4 playoff appearances in the last 5 years ain't no lie--we have experienced yet again how difficult it is to haul our carcasses into the playoffs for just two measly seasons in a row. Worse yet for us, this minor baseball miracle has been pulled off in what is arguably a Triple A market.

:rolleyes:

It's as if you were listening to the Tribe call in show after last night's game. Benchmark was the exact word used by the host (?) to describe the Twins organization. I totally agree.

Jerko
09-26-2006, 11:06 AM
The Twins a benchmark. :angry: I say we make them a skidmark starting next season. If the Sox didn't lose 70 games to Cleveland and KC it would have been a different story, no matter what the Twins did. Oh well. Give the Twins credit for this year, but I think they're in for a HUGE fall. None of them will match this year's numbers IMO.

Procol Harum
09-26-2006, 11:31 AM
Kenny Williams acknowledged the Twinks as the benchmark, and built his team more along the lines of the Twinks, more speed, hitting behind the runner, intense focus on fundamentals, making Contact, manufacturing runs, strong bullpen.
If you notice, every one of these factors played a chief role in the Sox Demise of 06. Kenny called it a "grinder" philosophy, and unwittingly got away from it with some of the moves he made this past offseason.

OK, start the Procol Bashing now ..........

I think you're right on the fact that Kenny "unwittingly" got away from his '05 boilerplate. Thome was a needed left-handed bat, but--besides staying healthy--his integration into the lineup really depended on our continued ability to overcome his slot in the lineup making for a base-clogging pile-up in our offense. Unfortunately, that didn't happen--combined with Konerko and Crede's slogging and penchants for the double play along with Podsednik's lack of spark, and Uribe's continued free-swinging downslide we were in a bad way. On that line of thought, you add Rowand's bat and speed back into the line-up in April and May and you wonder if the Sox might have won 5-6 more games early in the year and we might have actually still been in the hunt at this point despite our second half downturn (don't get me wrong, I love Anderson's glove and think his .290+ average the last two plus months is probably indicative of the player we'll have out there for the next few years, representing an upgrade over Aaron). Mix in a disastrous bullpen aside from Jenks and.....yikes!

PaulDrake
09-26-2006, 11:32 AM
I'm in the mood for some abuse this morning, so here goes:

Much as I dislike them with visceral intensity (I hate the baggydome, Joe Nathan's constant smirk, John Satan [unless he was on my team], etc., etc.), I think if we set aside our black kool-aid and let our brains override our emotions we have to say that--big picture, overview and all that--that the prototype organization in the AL Central thus far in the 21st-century is sitting up in the Twin Cities. 4 playoff appearances in the last 5 years ain't no lie--we have experienced yet again how difficult it is to haul our carcasses into the playoffs for just two measly seasons in a row. Worse yet for us, this minor baseball miracle has been pulled off in what is arguably a Triple A market.

Much love and kudos to Kenny and company and the 2005 team for brightening our universe last year and fulfilling our dreams.

But, in light of the holes and shortcomings that 2006 revealed in our White Sox--lack of team speed, middle relief problems, inconsistent starting pitching, and home run-or-nothing offense--I'm thinking more and more that our dream year last year was just that: a convergence of mojo, breaks, possible career years, and scrappy play which we could not duplicate. In fact, baseball historians might sit down w/ 20-20 hindsight in the future and say that the Sox slipped in during a down year for the Twins (83-79 after 92-70, 90-72, and 94-67 the three years prior...by the by 93 and counting this year).

For the future, I'm afraid that I'm not likin' what I see up in Minnesota in terms of their top 5 everyday players vs our top 5 guys--particularly in terms of age and speed: Mauer, Morneau, Hunter, Castillo, Punto vs. Konerko, Thome, Dye, Crede, Pierszynski....

And let's not even go into Satan vs. Garland...and if Liriano does turn out to be something more than a Twin Cities version of Kerry Wood....:mad:

Short term: here's hopin' we revive from last night's effort and start playing a bit: I do not look forward to the prospect of going up to the Baggydome this weekend and watching the Twinks strut around and rub their leaving-us-in-the-dust-run in our faces....

Ok....you may begin talkin' about my Mama now....:rolleyes: Both yours and your mama's honor remain intact, and that was a real good post.

Procol Harum
09-26-2006, 11:34 AM
Both yours and your mama's honor remain intact, and that was a real good post.

On behalf of Mama, thankee :D:

KyWhiSoxFan
09-26-2006, 11:41 AM
The Twins have been able to do something the Sox are either incapable of or afraid to try: successfully work a number of young players out of their farm system into their starting lineup.

Every ballclub needs some young players to inject some enthusiasm and energy into a long, draining season. The Sox need to find ways to work in players like Fields, Sweeney, and Haeger in 2007.

Iwritecode
09-26-2006, 11:52 AM
On that line of thought, you add Rowand's bat and speed back into the line-up in April and May and you wonder if the Sox might have won 5-6 more games early in the year and we might have actually still been in the hunt at this point despite our second half downturn (don't get me wrong, I love Anderson's glove and think his .290+ average the last two plus months is probably indicative of the player we'll have out there for the next few years, representing an upgrade over Aaron).

The team was averaging 5.8 RPG in April and 5.1 RPG in May. Granted it may be a case of "don't tell me what you hit, tell me when you hit em" but offense wasn't the problem in the beginning of the season. It really hasn't been a problem all year long.

There were a few 4-3 or 5-4 losses in those months but the majority of them were 8-2, 5-1, 7-1 type losses. Rowand may have made a difference in one or two of them but I'm doubting it would've been enough for the Sox to still be in the race.

Procol Harum
09-26-2006, 12:03 PM
The team was averaging 5.8 RPG in April and 5.1 RPG in May. Granted it may be a case of "don't tell me what you hit, tell me when you hit em" but offense wasn't the problem in the beginning of the season. It really hasn't been a problem all year long.

There were a few 4-3 or 5-4 losses in those months but the majority of them were 8-2, 5-1, 7-1 type losses. Rowand may have made a difference in one or two of them but I'm doubting it would've been enough for the Sox to still be in the race.

I'll grant that offense wasn't as much of a problem in the first few months--but someone possibly hitting 200 pts or more higher in the lower part of the lineup might have made a difference--I'd have to go back over the schedule game-by-game to take a look and I don't have that kind of time at the moment.

On the larger question of the offense in general, however, I would argue it has been a problem--as evidenced in your post. As many here will agree methinks, our tendency towards all-or-nothing games wherein we bash multiple home runs has meant that those total numbers make for a more consistent average than is effectively the case. 35 runs over 7 games looks great as a 5-run average until you realize that 20 of them came in 2 games....of course, this is true for all teams to a degree, but it really did seem to be an exaggerated reality in the case of the 2006 Sox.:?:

oeo
09-26-2006, 12:11 PM
If you notice, every one of these factors played a chief role in the Sox Demise of 06. Kenny called it a "grinder" philosophy, and unwittingly got away from it with some of the moves he made this past offseason.

Which moves? This team was basically the same as last year, with a few exceptions. I don't know what it was, the player's changed their philosophy, or maybe the coaches did, but there were no drastic changes between the 2005 squad and this year's. The lineup, with the exception of Thome, was basically the same. This team could have done what they did last year, for some reason they chose not to. For some reason, they thought they needed to get a hit out of a sac-bunt, a basehit out of trying to move the runner over, or a homerun out of a sac-fly. All the things you saw last year, could have been done again this year...look to the players and the coaching staff, not Kenny Williams. He didn't know that they were going to abandon everything that made them great.

Iwritecode
09-26-2006, 12:42 PM
I'll grant that offense wasn't as much of a problem in the first few months--but someone possibly hitting 200 pts or more higher in the lower part of the lineup might have made a difference--I'd have to go back over the schedule game-by-game to take a look and I don't have that kind of time at the moment.

On the larger question of the offense in general, however, I would argue it has been a problem--as evidenced in your post. As many here will agree methinks, our tendency towards all-or-nothing games wherein we bash multiple home runs has meant that those total numbers make for a more consistent average than is effectively the case. 35 runs over 7 games looks great as a 5-run average until you realize that 20 of them came in 2 games....of course, this is true for all teams to a degree, but it really did seem to be an exaggerated reality in the case of the 2006 Sox.:?:

I think a bigger part of it was the bullpen problems. How many times did we lose a lead and eventually the game in the 7th inning or later this year? Last year it seemed like if the offense scratched out 3 runs, that was enough. This year it seems like even when the offense explodes the pitching staff either coughs it up or makes it way too close for comfort.

infohawk
09-26-2006, 12:58 PM
Look, let's not make the mistake of thinking that somehow the offense was the problem this year. True, we hit into a lot of double plays at inopportune times, but adding Jim Thome to the lineup didn't upset the precarious balance between speedy players and basecloggers in favor of the basecloggers. The Sox did not win playing smallball last year. They hit approximately 200 home runs. Substituting Jim Thome for Carl Everett/Frank Thomas wasn't a significant downgrade in speed. Anderson for Rowand was a wash.

Sure, the team executed better when they needed to in 2005, but the bunting and sac flies and hitting behind runners didn't win them a world championship. The pitching did. The failure of the Sox to win the division was 100% on their inability to pitch as well as they did last year. The offense was light years better this year than it was last year. We got away with a low average/.OBP offense last year because of the ability to slug and because we didn't need to score too many runs to win games. If our offense wasn't going hell's bells over the summer this year, the Sox wouldn't be anywhere close to winning around 90 games. We'd be lucky to have a .500 club.

Take a look at these 2006 team ERA's for the central division:

Tigers -- 3.75
Twins -- 3.99
Sox -- 4.64

The team ERA's correlate perfectly with the current division standings. That's certainly no coincidence. I wouldn't trade anything to have the Twins' or Tigers' offenses. Ours is better. We lost because we pitched like crap. I firmly believe that if KW does nothing but seriously upgrade the middle relief, this team can win 100 games next year. I also expect a couple of the starters to bounce back after having bad years. In my opinion, Buerhle and Contreras were hurt.

EndemicSox
09-26-2006, 01:09 PM
They get their world series this year as well, and then they sell off everybody...

palehozenychicty
09-26-2006, 01:17 PM
Anderson for Rowand was a wash.

I firmly believe that if KW does nothing but seriously upgrade the middle relief, this team can win 100 games next year. I also expect a couple of the starters to bounce back after having bad years. In my opinion, Buerhle and Contreras were hurt.


For the first quote, statistically it was a wash. I highly doubt, however, that Mackowiak would have played CF if Rowand was still around, despite his average skill and execution. So psychologically, it made a difference regardless of everyone's willingness to move on from Rowand.

As for the second point, I buy it. A better bullpen performance puts the Sox in first place today. I think the Sox are close to leading the majors with blown holds. If someone can verify my stats, feel free. It's impossible to be a playoff contender with that level of incompetence.

Procol Harum
09-26-2006, 01:53 PM
As for the second point, I buy it. A better bullpen performance puts the Sox in first place today. I think the Sox are close to leading the majors with blown holds. If someone can verify my stats, feel free. It's impossible to be a playoff contender with that level of incompetence.

All year long, the bullpen was the biggest thorn in our side, I'll agree. I hope somebody could look into that stat somehow. Looking at the non-Jenks spots inthe bullpen (and giving some kudos to Hermanson for coming back at all and pitching fairly well in these last few weeks) there's not one guy out there who did an acceptable job with anything like decent consistency throughout the season--MacDougal probably came the closest. That said, I still think our offense has been problematic this year as stated in earlier posts.

Palehose Pete
09-26-2006, 02:16 PM
Nice thread. I had been afraid to voice the same sentiments about the Twins organization for fear of being verbally stoned to death as a heretic. You have to admire that Twins' baseball factory up north that keeps producing such consistently successful teams.

Heck, I'm tempted to root for them simply because they are the better team in the division right now and I'd like to see the American Central bring home another championship banner.

(...and here come the stones for that last sentence...)

caulfield12
09-26-2006, 02:44 PM
Twins 39/49 in save opportunities (only one loss when leading after 7)

Tigers 45/59 in save opportunities

White Sox 45/62 in save opportunities


The White Sox simply didn't have a good bullpen until the second half of the season, and then we lost our offense AND bullpen the final month.

However, the additions of Riske, Thornton and MacDougal at least made us competitive...although, as stated many times, we blew six winnable games in the first two months due to Cotts, Nelson, Politte and Logan.

The fact of the matter is that Minnesota deserves to be there...

1) Lost Liriano and Radke for significant time in the 2nd half
2) Used Bonser, Baker, Garza (four rookies w/ Liriano) and Silva against a rotation earning roughly $50 million

3) Were without Shannon Stewart for almost the entire season, had Tony Batista at 3B for two months and Rondell White hitting below .200 for 4 months

4) Will end up with a better record than 02-04 teams

5) Castillo, Punto, Tyner and Bartlett (was in AAA for first two months) all had much better "small ball" seasons than Anderson, Pods, Uribe and Iguchi.

Those four were much better contact hitters and had more stolen bases as well...it's pretty crappy for Anderson and Pods to hit with little power but high K ratios, although Anderson did hit quite a few doubles in the second half.

6) For four months of the season, they sustained a clip of almost 40 games over .500 at 2/3rd's the payroll of the White Sox.

So, to summarize
1) The Twins' starters, despite all the injuries, were MUCH better and consistent
2) The Twins' bullpen is the best in the league
3) The Twins bought into the team concept (just as the Sox did in 05)
4) The Twins played "small ball" better, had better overall team speed and did a much better job putting pressure on the their opponents

It's really quite simply, and it was inevitable (I still thought we would win when Liriano went down a second time due to our superior talent, but it wasn't to be).

infohawk
09-26-2006, 02:45 PM
there's not one guy out there who did an acceptable job with anything like decent consistency throughout the season--MacDougal probably came the closest. That said, I still think our offense has been problematic this year as stated in earlier posts.
Don't forget Thornton.

infohawk
09-26-2006, 02:49 PM
So, to summarize
1) The Twins' starters, despite all the injuries, were MUCH better and consistent
2) The Twins' bullpen is the best in the league
3) The Twins bought into the team concept (just as the Sox did in 05)
4) The Twins played "small ball" better, had better overall team speed and did a much better job putting pressure on the their opponents

I think the real key to the Twins consistency over the years, and their ability to weather injuries this year, has been a consistenly solid bullpen full of power arms. They haven't really had guys who were good one year and bad the next. Their bullpen arms flat-out perform.

caulfield12
09-26-2006, 03:01 PM
I think the real key to the Twins consistency over the years, and their ability to weather injuries this year, has been a consistenly solid bullpen full of power arms. They haven't really had guys who were good one year and bad the next. Their bullpen arms flat-out perform.

In all honesty, Crain and Rincon haven't been as good as I would have expected.

However, Neshek (a 26 year old rookie picked somewhere in Buehrle territory in the draft) and Dennys Reyes have been the miracles of that pen. I don't think the Twins would have won without either guy.

Guerrier and Eyre were okay, but nothing significantly better than Riske.

But it's where the season breaks down. The Twins had five very good relievers (adding in Nathan), we had three.

Those games that went to Logan, Cotts, Politte, Hermanson, Riske, Tracey and Nelson were a HUGE difference this season. That's arguably five games (and probably 7-8 games) in the standings right there, if not more. And some of the disasters came head to head against Minnesota, KC and Cleveland, making them doubly painful.

Procol Harum
09-26-2006, 03:10 PM
You have to admire that Twins' baseball factory up north that keeps producing such consistently successful teams.

Heck, I'm tempted to root for them simply because they are the better team in the division right now and I'd like to see the American Central bring home another championship banner.


Behold, this and Caulfield's reasoned exposition doth make me actually re-think my Twins hate--ya gotta give 'em credit. And if they end up going against 666 (Yankees)...it's real food for thought....
:?:

caulfield12
09-26-2006, 03:17 PM
Behold, this and Caulfield's reasoned exposition doth make me actually re-think my Twins hate--ya gotta give 'em credit. And if they end up going against 666 (Yankees)...it's real food for thought....
:?:

The Twins have gotten one game in Yankee Stadium twice this decade before folding at home (in the playoffs).

Obviously, Santana has to win out of the game, then they have to somehow get a win from either Bonser or Garza. That's asking a lot of two rookies, one a little more than a year out of the CWS.

It's why Twins fans (the short series) thought they should be favored to win the the whole thing (if they had Liriano as well).

I don't expect them to beat the Yankees, but I would be very happy to see it happen, then we might get A-Rod (half-teal).

I definitely like the Twins' chances better against NY. Something about Oakland just scares me...maybe I'm biased as a Sox fan, but it's two underdog teams against each other. The only time they met, the Twins beat the A's to advance, but there's nothing psychologically to be gained.

Detroit's starting to look like the White Sox of 2005 now, it will come down to Bonderman and Verlander pitching much better than they have recently.

Skorch
09-26-2006, 03:46 PM
Heck, I'm tempted to root for them simply because they are the better team in the division right now and I'd like to see the American Central bring home another championship banner.

(...and here come the stones for that last sentence...)

This is why I was cheering for the White Sox last year once the playoffs started. I'll admit until your Sox clinched it last year I was hoping the Indians would win the division which I'm mature enough to concede was rather spiteful. Still, once the playoffs began I wanted to see the AL Central represented all the way through. If the Twins get knocked out in the first round (*sigh* again...) I'll cheer for the Tigers. Honestly though, this is the first time in these four recent playoff appearances that I really like the Twins chances to win it all because they can actually field, pitch, and *hit* consistently. Sounds a lot like last year's champions.

DickAllen72
09-26-2006, 04:31 PM
KW patterned the 2005 Sox after the Twins.

I hope he does that again in 2007, with similar results.

Palehose Pete
09-26-2006, 04:38 PM
KW patterned the 2005 Sox after the Twins.

I hope he does that again in 2007, with similar results.


Make it so, KW.

Winning is fun and fun is winning. Let's win some more, please.

Iwritecode
09-26-2006, 04:44 PM
Which moves? This team was basically the same as last year, with a few exceptions. I don't know what it was, the player's changed their philosophy, or maybe the coaches did, but there were no drastic changes between the 2005 squad and this year's. The lineup, with the exception of Thome, was basically the same. This team could have done what they did last year, for some reason they chose not to. For some reason, they thought they needed to get a hit out of a sac-bunt, a basehit out of trying to move the runner over, or a homerun out of a sac-fly. All the things you saw last year, could have been done again this year...look to the players and the coaching staff, not Kenny Williams. He didn't know that they were going to abandon everything that made them great.

Well, that and half the pitching staff deciding to have the worst year of their careers all at the same time.

AnkleSox
09-26-2006, 05:01 PM
I still say that once they blow up that god forsaken metrodome, the twins will begin to continually suck. (Not based on much, just a hunch.)

Oh yeah, the original poster mentioned joe nathan's constant smirk. It's really extremely creepy, almost serial killer or pedophile like.

caulfield12
09-26-2006, 05:36 PM
I still say that once they blow up that god forsaken metrodome, the twins will begin to continually suck. (Not based on much, just a hunch.)

Oh yeah, the original poster mentioned joe nathan's constant smirk. It's really extremely creepy, almost serial killer or pedophile like.

I wonder what the Twins fans are saying about Politte and Cotts' expressions this season?

I'll take the second best closer in baseball, thank you very much.

pipdipchip
09-26-2006, 05:54 PM
As a Twins fan, this has been a very nice thread to read. It's see some people can be, well not as biased and give props to other teams. I can't believe I've crossed in the enemy territory.

The White Sox are a great team. You had us guys to the north... and slightly west very concerned. The outcome could have very well been swapped. In the end, I think the White Sox pitching ended up costing them, as you probably know. The White Sox clearly has the hitting. With a few tweaks, I think the White Sox could be back in the playoffs next year. I was actually hoping the White Sox would get in rather than the Tigers. Because of the whole rival thing.

As for Joe Nathan, I sort of know what you're talking about. He's just a really nice guy. I don't think you can a blame him for that. Also, about the whole Yankee track record. First off, the Twins still have a good chance at the division. Secondly, I think the '03-'04 teams are quite a bit different than the '06 team. We'll see...

caulfield12
09-26-2006, 06:01 PM
As a Twins fan, this has been a very nice thread to read. It's see some people can be, well not as biased and give props to other teams. I can't believe I've crossed in the enemy territory.

The White Sox are a great team. You had us guys to the north... and slightly west very concerned. The outcome could have very well been swapped. In the end, I think the White Sox pitching ended up costing them, as you probably know. The White Sox clearly has the hitting. With a few tweaks, I think the White Sox could be back in the playoffs next year. I was actually hoping the White Sox would get in rather than the Tigers. Because of the whole rival thing.

As for Joe Nathan, I sort of know what you're talking about. He's just a really nice guy. I don't think you can a blame him for that. Also, about the whole Yankee track record. First off, the Twins still have a good chance at the division. Secondly, I think the '03-'04 teams are quite a bit different than the '06 team. We'll see...


Those Twins teams were better defensively and more athletic. There's no comparing twenty-somethings Jones, Stewart and Hunter with their current broken-down versions. Hunter has 29 HR's, but he's a shadow of his former self defensively.

Koskie/Guzman/Rivas/Doug M.

Huge advantage defensively, not even close offensively because of Morneau and the "small ball" attack of Castillo, Punto and Bartlett.

Mauer is a huge difference over AJ.

Better and more experienced starting pitching back then (across the entire rotation), but this year's staff is more talented.

Bullpens comparable, this year's team goes deeper than any of those, although we NEVER did anything against Romero, Hawkins and Guardado in their primes.

This year's Twins more talented overall, but the Hockings and LeCroys of the world always seemed to come up with big hits to beat us. I can't put a Jason Kubel in the same category, although Rabe looks like a keeper.

Interesting to see what decision is made on Hunter and then the money from Radke, how much they'll spend to improve the club.

There's $25 million or so right there they could save and "invest" in another starter and a younger, cheaper CF like Gary Mathews, Jr. or Vernon Wells.

soxinem1
09-26-2006, 06:19 PM
Take a look at these 2006 team ERA's for the central division:

Tigers -- 3.75
Twins -- 3.99
Sox -- 4.64

The team ERA's correlate perfectly with the current division standings. That's certainly no coincidence. I wouldn't trade anything to have the Twins' or Tigers' offenses. Ours is better. We lost because we pitched like crap. I firmly believe that if KW does nothing but seriously upgrade the middle relief, this team can win 100 games next year. I also expect a couple of the starters to bounce back after having bad years. In my opinion, Buerhle and Contreras were hurt.

Agree 100%. And it was a nice recovery by the Twins too. Remember when they had an ERA of 6+ by their starters, Santana included, at the end of June? Lohse, Radke, and Silva were getting bombed like crazy then. To have made the turn around that they have accomplished is amazing, even if they don't advance past the first round.