Thursday, September 13, 2007

Bill Smith

His name might as well be John Doe. Put tag on his toe, stick him in the freezer, cut him up and let’s look for someone else. This can’t be the name of the guy that’s going to lead my favorite baseball team to the promise land, is it? BILL SMITH!?!?!? Couldn’t he go by Billy or William? Anything but...B- I- L- L. (I’m not knocking the name Bill, but team it up with that rare Smith last name and you got one smoking name) I’d feel better about this right now if it was Billy Smith. I’m officially in full-blown lock up the shutters; get the kids in the basement panic mode right now.

One of the most respected general managers in the game of baseball, Terry Ryan, stepped down after 12 years on the job for the Minnesota Twins. First six years not so good, second six pretty good or real good. Depends on who you talk too. With the payroll Terry was handed, I’m in the real good corner. See, I remember the days of the 90’s, post 91’ World Series, where the Twins flat out sucked. Tinkering around 65-70 wins for about eight years. By the all-star break, you were looking forward to football and forgot what Pat Meares was hitting or what crazy thing Rich Becker did the night before. You lost all interest. Terry Ryan brought us out of that hole. Forget this year for a second, but for the last five years at any point in the season I could give you the averages of every player on our team. Maybe not down to the exact point, but pretty damn close. When things are good, you pay attention to everything. When they’re bad (this year and pre 2001) you don’t give a shit. I hate this right now and I hated it before.

Heading into the most important off-season of the last 10 years I had faith in Terry to bring us out of this rut. This has been an annoying year, but Terry had a plan. He always does. It must be said that the last couple years, Terry’s “plans” haven’t been so good. Batista, Cirillo, Ponson, Ortiz and Sierra are the names he brought to this team. All bombs. Thank God he had his scouting talents to fall back on so we weren’t completely hopeless, even making an incredible run last regular season winning the division on the last game of the season. Terry might have been in a slump, but like a cold shooter in basketball, keep shooting and things will turn around. His good moves have been well documented, including all the trades where he almsot stole players from other teams. Where did that Terry go? I expected this turn around this off-season and I wasn’t more confident with Terry effing Ryan calling the shots.

Sign Santana- trade Santana, let Hunter walk- sign Hunter, bring in a 3rd baseman or maybe a left fielder. Definitely bench Tricky Nicky (copyright Q). Whatever he had up his sleeve, he was going to make it right. Call it a hunch, but I had faith. We are one of those classic “on the cusp” teams right now just waiting for our chance to make the jump of being a serious contender. This is the off-season it was going to happen and now this magic man with all the special potions is gone (at least from the decision making position).

Insert the bouncy Bill Smith. Ok, maybe I need to lay off Bill, because it is just a name but frankly, I know nothing about him. Apparently he’s been with the team for 22 years. I like the loyalty, I’ll give him that but I hope he was a shadow to Terry and not some grunt who’s put in his time, so let’s give him the reins type of deal. Remember the Pohlads are cheap. Bill (this name is killing me. It just isn’t cool to be running “America’s team” with a name like Bill. Wouldn’t a name like Jake Conway ease your mind a little? It would for me.) gets thrown to the wolves immediately. This is why I’m red faced towards TR right now. Is it out of line to think that Terry is bailing on us? He signed those no talent ass clowns to play for us the last two years and now when the kitchen is getting a little hot, he can’t run fast enough. He’s leaving it all up to Bill. Let’s make a short list of decisions to be made:

1) Torii Hunter. Do you sign an aging center fielder to long term deal? He’s asking for five years, can we afford that? He is one of the franchise faces and you have no one, I mean NO ONE ready to replace him. Does he want to play here? This is a biggie and it starts in like 15 days.

2) Johan Santana. Did you forget about him? Two time CY Young winner who is considered the top pitcher in the game. Some people are predicting a 20+ million a year deal once he hits the open market. If you can’t pay that, you have to send him packing for prospects. (FYI: we can’t pay that). That’s easy for me to type, but to make that call in your first off-season, not so easy. This might be bigger then the Hunter decision. Do you gamble and hope for a playoff run with him or get rid of him before he walks? Yeah, good luck Bill. Either way you might be up the creek without a paddle. Look, picking what grub shop I’m going to visit for lunch is my toughest decision of the day, Bill just got thrown into a whole different beast.

3) Justin Morneau. MVP last year and we couldn’t get a deal done with him last winter. He’s young and he ain’t coming cheap. Any second thoughts yet Bill?
4) Try to figure out 1-3 and then still have the skills to figure out how to get better from your annoying year where the Twins are going to finish below .500. All of these choices to make while the other teams in the most competitive division in baseball are getting better.

Man, no wonder why Terry quit...

Maybe Terry was burned out (which he said in his news conference today), maybe he’s pulling a Nick Saban, lying to us all and is going to join the Houston Astros in two weeks. Or maybe he’s sick of being an adult and needs to find a carnival with a magic wish machine and go back to being a kid like Tom Hanks in “Big.” Whatever his motives for quitting were, it still leaves John Doe as our new driver of this baseball team.

I’m a die hard, so I’ll be watching this closely. The last thing we want is to go back to the Pat Meares and Rich Becker days, they sucked if you forgot. I haven't. I’m chalking up this year as a speed bump that we didn’t see and messed up the alignment on our tires. It’s time to fix it and get back on the road. I’m buckling back up for this new ride Jake I mean Bill is about take us on.

Bill’s time to make a name for yourself...


Q said...

Check, check

Anonymous said...

Hey, I like it. Good work on this piece. I didn't know about this site. I'll check back when I can. Go twinkies! -Mark