Taylor's Twins Talk

Focusing on the Twins, with a few ramblings on other things that catch my attention

Sunday, June 11, 2006

It's Official...

Sid Hartman has thrown in the towel on the season. I can remember a couple of years ago when the Twins were trailing by about 8 games at the All-Star break, and Hartman was insisting there was no way that the team could win. They just didn't have the talent, he said. The teams in front of them were too good, he said. Uh, Sid? That's why they play the games.

I confess, I've never been a big Sid Hartman fan. His columns are filled with name dropping (my friend X says this), and are written in a style that has always grated on me a little bit. He must be doing something right, though, to have survived this long in the business, and I don't begrudge him his success. I just find it a bit mystifying.

Anyway, back to the reason this article is mentioned in this blog. Is it really time to "go young," and throw in the towel on the season?

I've hinted in earlier posts that I think the answer is no, but the formula to get to that answer is a bit complicated. First, name the Twins prospects that are ready to come up and develop in the big leagues? Ummm...well...Pat Neshek! Ok, besides him...

Other than Jason Bartlett, you don't get too many answers to that question, because most of the Twins best young prospects are in AA rather than AAA. So, the first part of the answer is that there just aren't that many guys who are going to contribute in the Major Leagues that are ready to come up and develop here yet.

There's more to the story. At most of the positions, it would be nonsensical to bring up a top prospect right now. The Twins have solid starters at C, 1B, 2B, LF, CF, and RF. Jason Kubel is quickly sewing up the DH position. We have in fact done what Hartman wants with our Starting Pitching, since Liriano and Bonser are now in the rotation. Other than Jesse Crain, the bullpen has been solid. So, where would these players play? I'm a firm believer that a prospect should get playing time, and if that isn't going to happen regularly at the big league level, then keep him in AAA.

Additionally, there is the money factor. When players collect three years of service time, they become arbitration eligible. As we have seen from the saga of Kyle Lohse, that means they start to make money whether they've really contributed or not. Why start the clock running on their major league service time before you're ready to have that player contribute? Why waste it by having a prospect sit on the bench? They can develop at AAA without letting that clock run, AND get regular playing time.

Maybe Hartman wants the Twins to blow up the team and turn it over to the AAA bunch. He has wild fantasies of winning a World Series in about 2012 by doing this. I think it makes more sense for the Twins to hang on now, bringing up players as positions open up (say if Matt Moses had a great run and could be given a shot at 3B, or if one of the shortstops got injured and Jason Bartlett could be brought up) rather than artificially bringing them up and hoping lightning struck again, as it did for the Puckett, Hrbek, Viola Twins of the 80's and early 90's.

The Twins probably aren't going to make the playoffs. But assuming that what is needed is blowing up the team is irrational and counterproductive. Sorry Sid, but there are better ways.


  • At Mon Jun 12, 09:16:00 PM , Blogger Marty said...

    Sid Hartmann isn't the most polished boat at the show. In fact, I think Sid Hartmann died 22 years ago and they've been "replaying" his old columns by replacing the old players names with new players names.

    Listen to his radio show, that has to be a corpse. Do yourself a favor and never read his "column" again.


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