Friday, August 31, 2007

For #@%$s sake, it's not 1968 anymore!

First, check out GameDay editor John Bonnes' post On History, Performance and Disappointments over at his blog. My response is thus:

Did I think Nick Punto would be this bad? No. Did I think counting on a utility infielder coming off a breakout season that thrust him into usefulness for the first time in his career to be able to handle a corner position offensively was a mistake before the season began? Yes.

Did I think it was a mistake to resign an aging designated hitter on the merit of one good month at the end of the previous season prior to the 2007 campaign? Yes.

What's with the knock on Jason Bartlett? He's been worth around two wins over replacement and makes league minimum. That's not anything to get excited about, but still well within the realm of tolerable.

As far as learning from mistakes, the Twins' problems constructing a potent and consistent offense predate this season and they still haven't joined the modern era of baseball. Look at the type of hitters that bat second in the Twins line-up, the kind of hitters that are slotted in at designated hitter and that the organization would draft a position player that doesn't even weigh 160 pounds in the first round if you want a window into the minds of the Twins' brass.

The organization has failed to adjust to an era of baseball that has long abandoned astro turf* and giant multipurpose stadiums while conversely adopting tighter wound Dominican baseballs (as opposed to the ones manufactured in Haiti prior to 1987) and the teachings of the sabermetric revolution.

The Twins' organizational approach to scoring runs is at least 20 years behind the times. And this is the garbage the local press allows the team to get away with calling "playing the game the right way."

This huge problem has been masked by some awesome pitching over the past half decade, which makes up for a grand multitude of sins and is admittedly more important than offense. But the problem remains as it has been, and it doesn't look like the organization is learning much of anything from their continued failures that are a direct result of an outdated philosophy.

Until the Twins do, fans are going to have to continue to hope for years in which seemingly everything goes right at the plate.

*Even the Twins have moved to the much slower playing surface of field turf.

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