Your FAQs (Frequently Anguished Questions) about the 2019 Minnesota Twins:
Q Can we run the Twins front office out of town?
A Yes. This would be a wise move. Tar and feather those who put together the team that will set the big-league record for home runs in a season and vying for one of baseball’s best records while operating under a limited budget.
Q Why didn’t the Twins do more at the trading deadline?
A This was always the likely outcome — acquiring two useful arms without giving up any major league players or top prospects.
A reminder: Derek Falvey and Thad Levine were hired to make the team an annual contender, and they answer to the team president and owner. Their bosses don’t want to see another drought like 1993-2000 or 2011-2018. So they weren’t going to trade players who are a big part of their plan to incrementally increase their chances of a title this year.
Q Shouldn’t they have dumped Miguel Sano?
A Twins fans didn’t want to hear it in 2017 when Sano was out of shape and uncoachable. Now that he’s in fine baseball shape, coachable, and performing at an MVP level, they’re treating him like he’s the 2017 Sano.
Sano is setting himself up for a powerhouse career. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him finish in the top 10 in MVP voting next year if healthy.
Q Didn’t the Twins need a starter?
A That would have helped. They couldn’t have landed Zack Greinke, who has the Twins on his no-trade list. The Mets didn’t move Noah Syndergaard, an indication their asking price was way too high for every team in baseball.
Want to get mad at the Twins front office? Here’s your chance. They might have been able to land Marcus Stroman, but the Blue Jays inexplicably traded him to the Mets for two average prospects well before the deadline. The Twins could have offered more and probably would have if the Jays hadn’t acted so prematurely.
Q So they should have signed Craig Kimbrel?
A Entering Saturday, Kimbrel had a 6.17 ERA.
Q How can anyone defend the Twins for not doing more?
A I’m reminded of former manager Ron Gardenhire complaining every trade deadline that the Twins didn’t do more. Then his boss, Terry Ryan, invited him to sit in the front office on deadline day.
Gardenhire came back to his office that afternoon and said, “I wouldn’t have done any of the deals that were offered. They were ridiculous.’’
Not getting fleeced at the deadline is an unappreciated skill.
Q Why are the Pohlads so cheap?
A I don’t know. I don’t know what it’s like to be a billionaire. I don’t know how much of that “billion’’ is tied up in other businesses and investments and gold-plated toilets.
I know that after being aggressively cheap during the 1990s and much of the 2000s, the Pohlads have spent a lot of money on international facilities and scouting, and Target Field upgrades, and analytics staff. The same Twins employees who used to complain privately about Pohlad penuriousness now feel like they’re working in a fully funded franchise.
Should the Pohlads spend more on player payroll? Sure. But I don’t think they are far out of line with the approach of almost every other owner in Major League Baseball — they spend a certain percentage of revenue on players. That’s always going to be a bigger number in New York and Los Angeles than Minnesota.
Q Why don’t the Twins want to win a World Series?
A One of the strangest of fan notions is that any general manager “doesn’t want to win.’’ GMs get fired for not winning. Winning a championship immortalizes them. Of course they want to win.
On a daily basis, though, their job is to make good deals, because bad deals will haunt an executive and a franchise for years.
The Twins made two pretty good deals over the past week, and appear to have avoided doing anything disastrous. That’s at least a lowercase “win,’’ even if it forced them to erect pitchfork-screening devices at the Target Field gates.
Jim Souhan’s podcast can be heard at TalkNorth.com. On Twitter: @SouhanStrib. firstname.lastname@example.org