Thursday, June 15, 2006

So Long, Fat Tony. Hail to the New Twins!

While Intern Snarky at GameDay registers his surprise at the lack of blog gloating about Tony Batista getting his pink slip Tuesday night, I haven't got around to even mentioning the news.

I suppose it's because the event seemed inevitable from the day Terry Ryan announced his commitment to the guy. I, and a number of others in the Twins online community, predicted the disaster. It was never a question of whether the dreams of 30 HR and 100 RBI out of the 7-spot would go bust, but when. To see that it took until June 13 for Twins management to admit its mistake does not make me feel giddy. It's more of a quiet relief that this depressing element in my life as a Twins fan is finally gone.


Aaron Gleeman recently wrote that the Twins management had been so rudderless, "either unable or unwilling to address the issues that have plagued the team since last season," that he realized he no longer cared about the team enough to write about the Twins every day. I reached that point last winter, after Batista had been signed and I read that the Twins could not trade for Koskie, or pursue any other upgrade, because the GM was committed to Batista and also Kyle Lohse.

Realizing that Terry Ryan had no intention of trading Lohse or Shannon Stewart, and that his plan to upgrade the worst offense in the AL stopped at acquiring Luis Castillo, Rondell White, and Tony Batista just gave me a great, dark braincloud. To see the club go on to jerk around Jason Bartlett, Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel, and Scott Baker in succession through the spring just made me feel more and more pessimistic, and less interested in keeping a regular blogging schedule.


Even losing teams can be entertaining and give a fan hope for the future. Supporting a losing team that wastes money on, and gives priority treatment to, mediocre or marginal veterans while running down its homegrown youth, the lifeblood of a franchise like the Twins, just feels pointless and depressing. Most days this spring, if I felt like saying anything about the Twins at all, I just felt like posting angry rants--usually spontaneously, when I'd come across some news or chatter on other sites like the SBG blog or the Bat Cave. It would feel cathartic to vent, but it wouldn't be fun to make a blog into a Daily Rant, and if I'm going to keep a regular blog schedule again, I'd like it to be fun.

I get no kick out of writing about Tony Batista, even when he's been designated for assignment.

I feel joy, however, in seeing Jason Bartlett called up and making an immediate impact, and in the news today that the Twins are showing some commitment to Bartlett by trading Juan Castro to the Reds.

I feel joy in seeing the Twins beat up on the Red Sox this week with the young guys leading the charge.

Jason Kubel this evening has hit his 3rd home run in as many days, has an 8-game hitting streak going, and is batting .351/.373/.649 (thru the 6th inning tonight) since becoming part of the regular lineup on May 29. The performances of Mauer, Morneau, Cuddyer, Santana, Liriano, and Nathan can also make me giddy. This season I've been rooting for my Twins off the à la carte menu, and it feels good to see my guys, mainly the young guys who will form the future nucleus of the team, getting a chance to play and making good.

If you want gloating, just picture me doing a little dance every time Michael Cuddyer delivers a hit.

Tony Batista is just an unfortunate history I'd rather write off. I only hope that when management has to make decisions on the futures of other mediocre to marginal veterans on the roster, Terry Ryan won't forget the lessons he should have learned from Batista and the other moves he made, or failed to make, last winter.

11 Comments:

At 6/16/2006 8:15 AM, Anonymous AaronGNP said...

Amen, fright.

Aaron GNP/Spew

 
At 6/16/2006 8:46 AM, Blogger Moss said...

Moss will second that AMEN!! That is exactly how Moss feels!

(PS Thanks for the info on the Pac NW, fw. We had to postpone by one week because Moss' wife dislocated her kneecap a couple weeks ago. But we are set to leave on Sun for two weeks. Moss will report back upon return.)

 
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