Thursday, December 6, 2007

TKOT Roundtable

All that hype and what? Nothing. I'm of course talking about the baseball winter meetings this week. My refresh button almost got worn out of all the times I clicked that dirty bastard waiting to see where Johan Santana was going. What a waste of time. After three million different rumors he's still a Minnesota Twin. That didn't stop us from getting together in a smoky damp basement with giant cubans and hashing on what happened in Nashville and more importantly what didn't happen. Your favorite Q couldn't make it down to the roundtable so we went to our bullpen. We called in the big league chewing with a nasty deuce--Schmick Schmarx. So it's starters Fuzz and Dogg with Schmick Schmarx filling in the third spot in our rotation.

Fuzz: I'm really ok with having Johan on the Twins after the winter meetings. We have 16 weeks until the start of spring training so hopefully from now until then, the Twins gain some more leverage. It didn't think it was good when only the Red Sox were talking to us. GM's will go back and evaluate their teams and hopefully come back at us with a better deal. I'm loving Bill Smith's patience.

Dogg: You got to think highly of Bill Smith thus far. Patience is a virtue in life and he displayed that to its max this week. You know Epstein was throwing back Scotch and Waters with Smitty this week and Smitty still didn’t give in. I’m glad to see patience with the best pitcher in the league but on the other hand I still want to move him. There’s no chance at winning with the bats we have right now and at least get some return for him because he’ll be gone for a cheap price in my mind if we wait even until trade deadline. Teams will know we’re desperate to get something for him when we are 20 games back at the break so move him ASAP. One more Scotch Smitty and make the move.

Fuzz: I agree. They need to trade. Personally, I wish they could sign him. I love Jo'Hizzy. It's nice having the best pitcher in the game. But I also know this organization. They can't afford to sign him AND sign other players to fill our other holes (center, 3B, & DH.) That's not in the cards and it sucks. So, if a guy gets really good like Johan did, no way we can pay him and stay competitive. Our only chance at a World Series title is to get a bunch of young promising prospects and hope they develop quickly before they reach Johan's status. Our next title (if we have one) will be a young ball club that figured it out and got hot. I don't see us ever winning with a bunch of expensive veterans.

Dogg: I think things might change a little bit in 2010 when we open the new stadium. There might be some heat on the front office if this team doesn’t compete again in the next couple years. Fans were used to seeing this team in the postseason and the last thing fans want to see is another run of mediocrity. If they want to win a title, the front office will have to nut up and sign a name that requires a larger sum of money. Yeah Florida won with a lot of young players but a lot of those guys had career years in their early 20’s. That entire pitching staff with the exception of Beckett has flopped so unless we catch a bunch of young players playing like veterans it will be very tough to win a playoff series let alone a WS. We will spend more when Old Man River (Pohlad) takes a backseat, which might not be until he passes away.

Fuzz: Pohlad's close to kicking up daisies. You seen that guy lately? He takes a breath about every 20 seconds. Unfortunately, his sons are just as cheap I've heard.

Dogg: Honestly, why would they be cheap? How much f’n money does one family need? Are they trying to tell me it wouldn’t be fun to win consistently while laying back, drinking top shelf booze similar to Theo Epstein? Have these tools given up anything in their lives? Granted I know these players are asking for way too much money but the Pohlad’s have a dollar or two laying around that they can spare. Give the fans what they want since they are the ones putting money in your pocket. Go ahead and charge me $25 for a hot dog and beer because I’ll enjoy it if we are consistently making runs at the postseason.

Fuzz: It goes back to Pohlad being so f-ing cheap. He's a very smart businessman. He's not like the Mark Cuban type that is more about the game. He's all about the bottom line. A very informed financial friend of mine told me that Pohlad built and sold off major banking operations twice. The point being is that he always looking for the best deal. Here's my informed friends rant coming from the finance side:

I think the biggest issue is that he's running the Twins as a smart business man and not as a fan. I can't say I entirely blame him. If the economics of the current Twins situation aren't favorable, I can't say I’d expect anybody to support the team at a loss every year. I haven't seen the p&l statements (profit and loss) for the Twins but I’d imagine he's keeping the finances in the black. Hopefully, with the improved economics of the new stadium, he'll be reinvest some of that back into the franchise. Personally, I think he'll sell. Hot Carl wasn't exactly saying no to the idea of contracting the Twins if my memory serves me correctly.

Thanks financial professional friend. We should move on. Marx you have to have something on your mind.

Schmick Schmarx: I do. In light of the recent trade (Detroit-Florida) and our overall standing last year with this club, I think we only have two options:

1. Trade Johan, Joe Nathan, and Mike Cuddyer. Use the money to sign Morneau and Neshek. Develop our team while hovering around .500 and keeping ours eyes on all other trade options that are out there until 2010, when we move into the new stadium. This will also require us to hire a smoking hot public relations lady to put a good spin on the situation and try to avoid the PR disaster.

2. Keep Johan, trade for someone in the Garrett Atkins, Adam Dunn, Jason Bay, Miguel Tejada mold(or even two of these guys), mortgage the future and go for it in the next 2 seasons.

Its painfully obvious that the thing we can't do is nothing, which, unfortunately, is the direction we have taken in the past and seem to be heading down this year. Would anyone here have a problem with absolutely selling out and going for it? Even if we didn't win the World Series one of these 2 years, at least we took our best shot and would be fun to watch

Dogg: I agree with you 100% Schmick. Go one of two ways rather than looming in the middle all the time. Lets sign an average guy or two and hope for the best is our mentality where it should be go for the gold or sellout now. I’m sick of being 10 games over .500 and missing the playoffs by 8 games. We did win some division titles but I think that had more to do with our weak division at the time rather than our team being that good. Now that our division is the best in baseball we need to head north or south starting this year. I just heard that we are in talks with Luis Gonzalez. Really?

A has been who is well past his prime isn’t going to help this squad. Please do not sign him Smitty. Andrew Jones signed with the LA Dodgers, which might open up room for them to deal Matt Kemp to the Twins in a Johan deal. I believe that he would be the best hitter we can get in return for Johan with all the deals mentioned. I got him going 25+ 100+ next year. He’s legit.

Fuzz: The Twins went down to the meetings as the hot topic but Detroit ending up stealing the actual headlines. Are they the favorite now? That lineup is absurd. They had the best offense in the league last year I believe and they still didn't make the playoffs. That lineup might get them to the postseason, but it's up to that staff to get them to the promise land. Verlander, Bonderman & Willis are going to be the key for them. You have to like that they're going for it though...

Schmick Schmarx: Detroit's team on paper is outstanding. The problem is their pitching, namely their bullpen, isn't as strong. Joel Zumaya is out for at least half of next season, Fernando Rodney was hurt last year, they lost Jamie Walker before last season and he was a big part of their bullpen, and Todd Jones is always an adventure in the ninth. Nobody knows what 57 year old Kenny Rogers is going to give them, or if Dontrelle Willis can bounce back from his poor '06 season against American League lineups. They are going to be able to hit, though, and I'm really looking nit picking their pitching faults.

Dogg: Detroit is the favorite to win our division I believe but not to represent the AL in the WS. You still have Boston and NY who are loaded with big time names every year as well so nothing will be handed to them by any means. Yes they did lead the league in runs scored last year and look where that got them…nowhere. Jim Leyland is one of the best managers this game has ever seen so I do trust him to take all this talent and somehow get them to play as a team unlike other organizations I know (Yankees and Dodgers). They should be for real but “will be” for real is yet to be determined.

Fuzz: Everyone keeps forgetting Cleveland in this whole deal. They were a game away from going to the WS last year yet everyone is anointing Detroit the division in December. This division is really, really good. The Twins and White Sox are after thoughts right now and both teams have had good success the last 3-4 years. Kansas City is adding guys too. Anyways, back to Andruw Jones. Did you see Andruw Jones got 18.1 a year from the Dodgers? He'll hit .210 with 35 bombs this year for them. Whatever.

Schmick Schmarx: I don't mind the Andruw Jones deal. $18 million per year is a lot, but its only a 2 year deal. They are getting a guy who is 30 years old and has been a very good player every year except for last year. Jones should be motivated to rebound from his poor season last year. He also fills a gaping hole in center for them and allows them to demote Juan Pierre to fourth outfielder status.

Dogg: I don’t think anybody is forgetting about Cleveland but the teams who make big time moves always get talked about in the off season. Everybody knows who Cleveland has and if you don’t think they’re going to be good again you probably should think again. The majority of their starters are reaching the prime of their careers and that lineup will always produce runs. Jones will not hit .210. I’ll take the over on .240 and the over on 30 HR’s this year. Also, I would take Juan Pierre to be our starting CF in a second but not for the money he makes.

Fuzz: Maybe it's not to bad but it's a guy like Jones that we could never get. That's what's frustrating. The Twins will never take on a contract like this with a guy that isn't a sure thing. We can't make any mistakes with our money. Until this changes we might be stuck in middle ground.

Dogg: Of course we will be stuck in middle ground. We find young talent better than most teams in this league but 99% of the time you can’t win with just young talent. This isn’t college basketball. We are talking about a veteran’s sport where savvy can take you a long way. You think Nick Punto has more talent than every minor leaguer? No, not even close but he works his tail off and has grit like no other player in this league. I’m not saying 9 Nick Punto’s is going to win you a championship but they will do everything in their power to contribute and that’s what baseball is about.



Buddha said...

Ohh to be a fly on the wall at the TKOT round table. Not sure where I would rather be, there, (borrowed from Common)abugrab, watching paint dry, folding my socks or watching the t-wolves???

On a side note, has anyone heard George Karl's sound bite the other night when asked about the Lakers playing pretty well after playing the night before? Pretty classic and definetly describes the state of the t-wolves.

Dogg said...

Yeah, that was a great line by George Karl. Pretty much saying the Lakers didn't play a game the night before because they played the Wolves. Whatever though, we knew that was coming once we got rid of KG and bottomed out. I'm fine with it especially with the draft picks potentially coming out (Gordon, Beasley, Rose). George Karl can go fuck himself.

Hemi said...

Buddha, can you stay on topic here please. This is a Twins post. But since you brought it up Dogg, dont forget about Donte' Greene at Syracuse. He is legit, plus he has some size at 6'9" which is something the Wolves need. Watch him if you haven't, he doesn't get the hype of the other guys but just as talented.

Buddha said...

Why do you losers even follow NBA bs? Get a clue. I will gladly get back on topic if we can stop talking about who the wolves will draft. So back to this "roundtable"...who were the prestigious guests invited? Any media (other than TKOT) covering the event? How does one get in this circle to absorb the overflowing knowledge that is spewing everywhere?

Wenner said...

I agree that the old man needs to go. Not because it will help the Twins. I have a $20 bet with Q he dies before the stadium opens. We were a little drunk but the bet is still legit.

Mr. Cue said...

The bet is still legit and I will win come April of 2010. That MF'er will not die anytime soon...

Dogg said...

Donte' Green from the Cuse definitely has NBA game Hemi. I saw him play early in the season but would like to see him later in the year again. Beasley looks NBA ready to me and think he could be a force for many years. The NBA has become a big time combo guard game where you can be 6'9" like Green, be able to shoot, handle and post up. He's got all that.