By Saturday night it already seemed inevitable, so while I watched most of the game, I did so with zero expectations. More precisely, I watched with the expectation of a loss. It made for a less tense viewing experience, and by the time I bailed just before the seventh inning stretch, I had already moved on to next season.

Since that night, it has been quite easy to pick up some themes with just a general perusal of Twins blogs. Here are the major ones, with my thoughts attached.

Theme 1: Anger/disappointment.

There were some significant expectations attached to this team, but in the end they came up short – much like the Twins teams in recent years that didn’t have the same level of expectation (read: payroll) attached to them. It’s a rough way to end a season, and it is of little consolation that all but one of the playoff teams will ultimately come to the same end.

A lot of the anger has been directed right at the Yankees – I will have more on that later in the week.

Theme 2: Fire Gardy.

I am just as capable as anybody of being driven mad by Gardenhire’s managing, but I don’t find any way of watching the last three games that indicate that any other manager would have gotten different results. Gardenhire has had, in the past, a tendency to overmanage in October. That was not the case this year, and any attempt to pin the loss on the manager can only be justified with some fairly severe anti-Gardenhire glasses on.

Theme 3: Lack of Fire.

This seems to be a particular criticism leveled at Joe Mauer, though the general feeling seems to be that the Twins need a “fiery clubhouse guy” who will be vocal when times are bad. My response to that is the Twins had a guy who, by all accounts, was the fiery clubhouse presence for several years. Those teams, however, had just as much playoff success as the current team.

Theme 4: 2010 Was a Complete Failure

An anonymous commenter at Nick’s Twins Blog sums up this argument:

“After watching this team win six division titles, what is painfully clear is that division titles are irrelevant. I hope the organization now realizes that.”

I couldn’t disagree more. I see nothing irrelevant about being the best team in a division after 162 games. There is a reason that teams celebrate this accomplishment. No matter how much emphasis you want to place on baseball “when it counts,” discounting 162 games is foolish. Frankly, I don’t understand why a person with that kind of mentality enjoys baseball – what is the point of following a team (not to mention spending money to go to a game) if 98% of the things the team does are irrelevant.

Don’t get me wrong. This was a profound disappointment, and the language I want to hear from the organization should reflect that. The last thing I want is for the Twins’ front office to feel there is no room for improvement or to be satisfied with the status quo. I don’t get the sense that is happening, however, and I have no problem celebrating 2010 as a success overall.


3 Responses to Postscript

  1. Blake says:

    Here are my thoughts…

    While I don’t consider the season a disappointment, I certainly class their post-season performance as disappointing (as we all would). I don’t think that Gardy is a bad manager and I have no real premise to call for his firing. I can’t really find fault with losing Nathan and Morneau because the team played at a high level without them. But here’s the thing…

    The team just can’t keep going in the direction (or non-direction) that they seem stuck in. I think we’ve reached the point where the team needs a change. Is it Gardy…maybe. Do we trade some vets like Kubel, Cuddyer, Baker, Morneau?? and bring in a new crew?? I don’t know the answer, but I firmly believe that we can field the same team in 2011, win the division and then face the same fate year in and year out…rinse, repeat. It’s time for a change!

  2. Beau says:

    As an owner, I look at what puts butts in the seats. Winning division titles year after year will do that, regardless of postseason success. I would guess that a team that is consistently good but never wins will keep their fan base better than a team that wins the World Series (hello, Marlins) but is inconsistent and makes frequent changes.

    Target Field will continue to sell out for a while, but eventually it won’t. If we win a World Series, that would probably help that even more. But the fans will still come out to support a good team regardless because there’s a good chance you’ll be entertained if you give away your hard-earned money. And no matter how disappointed we are by the playoff losses, we obviously have found the regular seasons entertaining.

    On a side note, it pisses me off that the media discounts regular seasons. The 2001 Mariners and 1995 Indians should be heralded as two of the greatest teams of all time but they will be mostly forgotten.

  3. Scot says:

    I’m with you on the regular season, Beau, and I wonder if the discounting of the regular season that you mention might come back to bite MLB. How does a team like the Pirates or Royals sell games after June when everybody with an opinion and a microphone keeps telling us that nothing matters until October?

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