by Peter Ripka
The Minnesota twins have done little in their rebuilding efforts over the last three-plus seasons.
They seem to have the same business plan every year: rest on their laurels and spend/do nothing to legitimately improve their team. They do just enough to keep the fan base somewhat interested, hoping that they’ll just accept that their storied franchise is heading towards a road of futility that only the Kansas City Royals have ventured down.
It’s sad for many reasons. The Twins showed so much promise and hope in the early 2000s. After convincing the state, county and city governments, the media, and the populace that they couldn’t survive playing in the Metrodome (including a famous fake threat to move to Charlotte) they were granted a new tax-payer funded stadium.
And what have we received for our investment? A squad that was competitive for one season and has since resembled a minor league team. All the while, of course, charging major league prices. Every Twins fan should be shaking their head furiously.
The Twin’s recipe over the last three-plus seasons has been the same. First, start the season by selling hope that the team will finally be competitive. After the first month of the season have the look of a team that might be able to make a playoff push. Then by the end of June the downward spiral begins so they start shopping the only players on the roster that have been productive.
Finally, fnish the season with 90 or more losses, go into the off-season vowing to make changes to return the team to its . Only to sign middle-of-the-road or over-glorious days of yesteryear. They sign over-the-hill veterans and second-and-third-tier free agents hoping that it will be enough to convince the fan base to renew season tickets or to buy single game tickets to watch their product. All of this while keeping the payroll of the team at a “reasonable” level.
Despite the constant futility they sell hope by promising that the future looks bright with all of the quality prospects in the farm system. The problem with promising that the future is bright is that the current coaching staff and front office have done very little to prove that they would be capable of helping the young prospects achieve their full potential. If they actually do they might as well trade them the first chance they get because the ownership will only shell out so much money (for a non-local player at least)
After starting this season looking like they may have a chance to make the playoffs they have spiraled out of control and have fallen off the map again. They are destined to have their fourth straight 90-loss season and they could even set a franchise record for losses in a season with over 100.
Don’t get me wrong. I hope the team can turn things around and prove me wrong. But the last few have proven that this team is punchless. Selling hope for the future can only go so far. The team needs to do something to help their situation as soon as possible if they hope to keep the fan base at all engaged.