Want a secure job? Apply with hapless Twins

  • Article by: PATRICK REUSSE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 27, 2011 - 6:52 AM

The Twins front office seems more concerned about not hurting anyone's feelings than it does about making people accountable for their failures.

hide

Twins catcher Joe Mauer

Photo: Renee Jones Schneider, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Matt Tolbert reached on an infield hit with one out in the first inning. Jason Kubel followed with a bouncer toward the shortstop hole, and Twins fans were left open-mouthed by what happened next:

Seattle shortstop Brendan Ryan backhanded the ball and, without a bobble or hesitation, whipped a throw toward second. Jack Wilson arrived on time for a perfect throw, made his turn with precision and fired a waist-high strike to first baseman Adam Kennedy.

Kubel was out and turning toward the dugout a few steps short of first base.

"What do they call it when the shortstop fields a grounder, and then outs are promptly recorded at both second and first?" someone in the second deck was overheard to ask.

Answer: Most teams refer to this as a double play, although if the 2011 Twins were to execute a 6-4-3 so crisply, it would be called a miracle.

This is beyond frightful, watching a ballclub that won 94 games transform itself at alarming speed into a team that's going to lose 94 games (or more) a season later.

Gary Gaetti had a tremendous knack for self-deprecating quips during his time with the Twins, starting as a rookie in 1982 when he said: "Every time we come to a new town, the first paragraph in the newspaper calls us the hapless Twins. I'm starting to think that's our nickname: the Hapless Twins."

That was the outfit that started 16-54 and was the only team in the Twins' first 50 seasons to lose 100 games (60-102). It was also a team that had 15 rookies and a future.

From here, these are the Hapless Twins II. I go back to Day 1 as a Twins follower and -- when you match expectations to performance -- this is the most disgusting team in franchise history.

First, we were supposed to blame injuries. Now, we're supposed to blame Kevin Slowey.

How about discussing the laissez-faire attitude that set up this mess and has allowed it to fester through 16 wins and 32 losses?

The Twins front office seems more concerned about not hurting anyone's feelings than it does about making people accountable for their failures. No matter the level of futility, it has become dang near impossible for a player to lose a job with the Twins.

We should start by mentioning the team's cowardly behavior in the case of Joe Mauer, the $184 million invisible man.

The Twins spent over eight months saying of Justin Morneau: "We just want to see Justin get healed, so that he can live a long, healthy life, and hopefully get back to playing baseball."

This worked with Morneau, since he was dealing with the mysteries that can accompany a serious concussion.

It doesn't work with Mauer, who has two sore legs and one sore shoulder.

What we have is an employee salaried at $23 million being allowed to work the slowest program in the history of rehab. And he's doing so with no apparent pressure from his employer to get back in the lineup, even as the fans' honeymoon with Target Field dissipates faster than a Larry King marriage.

Blame the players making the big bucks, yes, but it's an example of a systematic failure that so many other guys get to keep a spot on the roster for no apparent reason. For instance:

• Drew Butera, batting .122, is as secure on this roster as Troy Tulowitzki in Colorado. Drew's a good catch-and-throw guy -- and it's hard to find one of those who might hit, say, .202.

• Jason Repko. Where are you going to find an extra outfielder who can catch a fly ball and still hit over .200? Clearly, impossible.

• Alexi Casilla (.215) and Matt Tolbert (.162). A matched pair. When it's a tossup as to which player has done the most to get the axe, the Twins solve the problem by keeping both.

• Jim Hoey was given a shot in the bullpen. He allowed 19 baserunners and 13 runs (nine earned) in 8 1/3 innings and went back to Class AAA Rochester. And 10 days later, Hoey apparently will be the guy to replace Kevin Slowey.

Hoey for Slowey. Does that say it all about the 2011 Twins?

Not quite. I'm tired of Jim Thome and the Blue Ox. I want a new ad:

The ship Hapless Twins II is sinking into the deep. The captain, Ron Gardenhire, looks across the bow and urgently shouts, "Women, children and Joe first."

Free idea, Twins. Start filming.

Patrick Reusse can be heard noon-4 weekdays on 1500ESPN. preusse@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
Final123456789RHE
Minnesota000000000040
Detroit «00100002X340
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:D.Price(15-12) L:K.Gibson(13-12) S:J.Nathan (35)
HR: MIN- None DET- I.Kinsler (17)

ADVERTISEMENT

Kansas City - WP: J. Guthrie 3 FINAL
San Francisco - LP: T. Hudson 2
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
New Orleans 10/30/14 7:25 PM
Carolina
Dallas 117 FINAL
Orlando 92
New York 80 FINAL
Toronto 83
San Antonio 87 FINAL
Houston 96
Miami 104 FINAL
Memphis 98
Minnesota 113 FINAL
Chicago 112
Phoenix 105 FINAL
Utah 100
Sacramento 93 FINAL
LA Lakers 92
Denver 112 FINAL
Golden State 119
Portland 99 FINAL
LA Clippers 89
Dallas 3 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 2
Tampa Bay 4 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
Vancouver 3 FINAL
Colorado 7
Carolina 3 FINAL
Edmonton 6
Columbus 1 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Connecticut 21 FINAL
(18) East Carolina 31
Miami-Florida 30 FINAL
Virginia Tech 6
So Florida 17 FINAL
Cincinnati 34
Troy 13 FINAL
South Alabama 27
BYU 30 FINAL
Boise State 55
(6) Oregon 59 FINAL
California 41
North Texas 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10:59 PM
Hawaii
(2) Florida State 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Louisville
Troy 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Cincinnati 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Tulane
Tulsa 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Memphis
Purdue 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
(17) Oklahoma 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa State
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(22) West Virginia
Texas 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Texas Tech
Northwestern 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa
Maryland 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Penn State
Houston 1 FINAL
Chicago 2
Montreal 23 FINAL
Ottawa 17
Saskatchewan 27 FINAL
Calgary 40
Hamilton 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who should get the Twins' managing job?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close