Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Hearty Thank You, and a Special Offer

Yesterday, I wrote an article eulogizing the 2010 Twins, and I was none too flattering in my assessment of the team's postseason performance.

It was tough to write. It's difficult to speak so coldly about the team I've cheered on all season. Difficult to come to terms with how quickly and unceremoniously they were ousted from contention. Difficult to acknowledge that we'll have to wait at least a year for another shot.

There's comfort in numbers, though, and the post did solicit some 49 responses in the comments section (29 more on the TwinsCentric blog on StarTribune.com, where the entry was reproduced). I didn't agree with a lot of the comments -- heck, some of it was just aimless venting -- but I appreciate everyone who took the time to share their thoughts and feelings. Thank you all, for your participation yesterday and throughout the season. As always, it's the readers who have made this time-consuming hobby worthwhile.

It's been a long and crazy ride that we've shared this season, and while the Twins are done playing for the year, I will of course continue updating the blog throughout the fall and winter until spring training rolls around once again. Many of those updates will center on the team's offseason moves, and you can get a jump start on that conversation by pre-ordering your copy of the TwinsCentric 2010-11 Offseason GM Handbook today.

We published our first GM Handbook when the Twins' season concluded last year and to this day it's my favorite product we've released. For one thing, I loved the concept -- putting the reader in the role of Twins' general manager and providing all the information necessary to craft your own offseason blueprint. In addition, I think we executed it really well. I'm quite proud of how accurate the Handbook was; for example, the first trade target we listed was JJ Hardy and the top free agent second baseman listed was Orlando Hudson.

A lot of hard work goes into these projects, and as a result, the final products contain a lot of valuable information and entertaining content. We sold last year's version for $9.95 and had a lot of satisfied customers. This year, we'll sell the e-book at that same price.


To reward the loyalty of our readers, we're announcing a special offer on our blogs for a limited time only. If you're one of the first 500 people to pre-order your copy, you'll get it at a special price of $4.95, and you'll receive it a week or two before it becomes available to the general public. Feel free to share this offer with as many people as you like, but it's aimed at rewarding those who've checked in on the blogs regularly.

For all the details, head over the TwinsCentric site, where you'll be able to pre-order with quickness and ease. As we did last year, we'll hold a contest wherein people can submit their offseason predictions using the Handbook and the one that ultimately proves most accurate will take home a prize next spring. I look forward to seeing your submissions.

The GM Handbook is not a necessary companion to my offseason coverage here (nor at the other TwinsCentric blogs), but I'll refer to it often and I have no doubt that any Twins fan will get a ton of mileage out of it. Not to mention that, in purchasing a copy this week, you'll be supporting this labor of love and doing so at a special price.

Yesterday's comments section would seem to indicate that many of you disagree with Jim Pohlad's use of the term regarding a contract extension for Ron Gardenhire, but I really do believe this deal is a "no-brainer." Whether or not you choose to take advantage of it, thanks -- as always -- for stopping by.


Anonymous said...

Free books? Thats lazy. Francisco Liriano should win the cy young.

Ed Bast said...

Nick, thanks for the great work all year. Though we don't always see eye to eye yours is still the first blog I check in the morning - high quality stuff. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

If all you Twinkie fans thought you had a tough season you should try being a fan of the Red Wings, your AAA team. Yes, we've sent some great fill in players up there and I really enjoyed rooting for the Twins the last couple of years but losing in Rochester in getting OLD. The Twins and Jim Rantz must provide the team with a few AAA veterans. THink the rotation could of used Tim Redding this year, he was available earlier this year and is a Rochester home boy. The atmosphere here was terrible in 2010 for players and fans. Not the place where I would want to be ...

Matt said...

Like reading your blog, I confess I checked it daily.
I wasn't always in agreement with ya, but that's what blogging is for, sharing opinions and commenting on your reader's reactions; you were a good sport on the real big disagreements, which says a lot.
Keep up the good work!

DAVID said...

No need to buy the book.
I will save you all the $4.95

Trade Brendan Harris and Glen Perkins for Mark DeRosa

Resign Pavano

Sign Jim Edmonds

Pick up the option on Nick Punto

Resign Thome 2 years/13 million

Ed Bast said...

Well unless we want a really old, expensive, and crappy team, let's not do any of those.

I want Thome as much as the next guy but $6.5m/per for a guy who played less than half the games and still broke down in Sept/Oct?

Anonymous said...

I am new to Twins blogs this year and I have totally enjoyed checking in everyday and sometimes weighing in, even though I am not a hard core stat head or anything, I am just shooting from the lip. This is the first blog I check each day and it is my favorite. Always a good discussion. Thanks for hosting it Nick.

Jesse said...

I have enjoyed reading your blog over the past couple of years. I have a question on the "No Brainer" decision on Gardy. How many consecutive games can he lose in the playoffs? I say he gets 6 more. If he bombs out in the next 2 years of playoffs he will have proven that he is unable to lead a team in the playoffs and needs to be removed. Can you provide a number or are you willing to accept playoff failure for an unlimited amount of time as long as we win our division? Thanks!

Nick N. said...

I just think the impact of managers is overrated, when it comes to both winning and losing. The Yankees would have won the World Series last year under Gardenhire. The Twins would not have gotten past the first round under Girardi. I have zero doubt in my mind about that.

If the postseason issue persists then maybe we can start thinking about a change but as long as Gardenhire keeps winning in general this team is eventually going to get over the postseason hump.

Jesse said...

Just to clarify, what is the number of consecutive playoff losses? Your response is an articulate defense of the lack of impact a manager has on the game but you provide no numerically defined cutoff. Are you ok with 18 straight playoff losses before a firing like I am? 21, 24, 27, 30? Can you provide a numeric definition instead of a generic "postseason issue persists" statement because one could argue that 12 losses in a row is already persistent. Thanks!

USAFChief said...

Nick: Just wanted to say thank you for the blog. I don't always agree but I sincerely appreciate having the content to read, and I appreciate the effort you put into this. Thanks.


Ed Bast said...

A lot of Gardy defenders would be just fine with 50 straight playoff losses. They heap praise on him for winning divisions and then absolve him from every ounce of playoff blame. If there's a threshold of miserable losses, then the whole "manager's impact is overrated" thing gets contradicted.

Again I just don't understand how a manager who "get the most out of his players" in the regular season can get the absolute least out of them in the postseason - to the extent where they give up and refuse to compete for him in Game 3 - and not be part of the issue.

Ed Bast said...

When you look at the championship series it really illuminates a fundamental difference between the Twins and teams serious about the World Series. Look at some of these trade deadline acquisitions:

Texas - Cliff Lee
Philly - Roy Oswalt
NYY - Wood & Berkman
SF - Cody Ross

Twins - Matt Capps

All those players were vital in the DS and figure to be moving forward. Capps gave up a crucial insurance run in 1 inning of work, and the man he replaced was perhaps the team's best reliever in the postseason.

Anonymous said...

Idk about 50 straight but im certainly cheering for atleast 2 more. You cant get this close to that all time losing streak and not set the mark.

Nick N. said...

Ed, but if you really believe that the players on this team actually gave up and refused to play for the manager in Game 3 then that's the players' problem. These are millionaire pro athletes playing front of 40K-50K people, they should need no extra motivation from their manager to perform at their highest level in the playoffs.

Sorry, I just really can't conceive that anyone believes that. It's astoundingly silly.

Matt said...

Two arguments here.
For Gardy, if you fire him, who do you replace him with who's better? Seems like a tough thing to do. As Twins fans, we shouldn't be interested in a merry-go-round of managers. How do those teams do? If Gardy has to go, he should be replaced by someone in/near the organization who is committed to manage for several years. Hey, Gardy's not perfect, but the challenge is to find someone in need of a job who's better. Good luck.
Second, having an ace or even a deep rotation with more than one ace will not gaurantee you playoff success. Look at the Braves of the '90s. Three hall of famers, all pitching on the team for several years, one world series victory. Lots of things have to go right to get into the playoffs and win once there. I know it looks bad now, but would adding Cliff Lee (likely at the expense of Aaron Hicks) for a few months have pushed us past the Yanks? Remember, they still have to hit and they didn't do it. Johan lost to the A's in 2006 for pete's sake, despite pitching a darn good game.
*Sigh* there's always next year I guess.

Ed Bast said...

I'm not saying they refused to play for him. Again, I ask you: what is the job of an MLB manager? If you believe that the manager's job consists solely of filling out the lineup card and making pitching changes, fine, but you're wrong. I thought a good manager "gets the most out of his players"? That's why Gardy was so wonderful in those low payroll years, right?

Well what happens when a manager gets the worst out of his players?

It took about 10 minutes of that game to see that the players had given up. That tells me the manager had given up too.

I don't lay all the blame on Gardy, not by a long shot. But I take issue to folks (like you) who praise him when the team does well and absolve him when they do poorly.

I can't think of another city or sport where 12 straight postseason losses, and 6-21 over 9 seasons, would get a manager an extension. And I think canning Gardy would send a message to the organization that being swept in the first round every year simply isn't acceptable anymore.

Instead, the Twins are saying - screaming, really: we only care about the division. The playoffs do not matter to this franchise.

It's really frustrating, as a fan and taxpayer who was promised that this new stadium would allow the Twins to compete for a World Series. That was mere talk. By extending Gardy, the Twins' actions speak much louder than words.

USAFChief said...

I purchased the primer, but can't figure out how to download it. Can you post something for us computer illiterates that lets us know how to get what we paid for? Thanks.


Nick N. said...

I purchased the primer, but can't figure out how to download it. Can you post something for us computer illiterates that lets us know how to get what we paid for? Thanks.


It was a pre-order. The official release date is the day after the World Series, but those who have pre-ordered will receive it as soon as it's finished and ready to roll out, which should be in about 12 days. Thanks for your support and feel free to email [email protected] if you have questions/concerns.

USAFChief said...

Thanks. Like I said, I'm somewhat illiterate.