Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Valentine's Day letter

Dear Bill,

I knew from the moment you started as the Twins GM that you were the GM for me. You took the reins of the team and wanted to change things. You wanted to make this a team that was strong from in terms of pitching, defense AND offense. You were dealt a bad card with the Johan Santana situation, but you made due, netting what was presumably the best package on the table and sending him out of the division. You also addressed the teams need for a right handed hitter and acquired Delmon Young by sending off surplus pitching in Matt Garza. Garza, it appeared, wasn't going anywhere with the Twins, and even with Santana and he gone, the Twins had plenty of pitching.The other problem was with the left side of the infield. You added Mike Lamb and Adam Everett, one for his glove, one for his bat.
Now it appears, after some tough times last year, you are succumbing to the pressure of fans, management and idiot sportswriters. Delmon Young hit .290 and hit 10 homeruns last year at age 23. It wasn't a regression if you look at the course of the season, but rather a very similar season, statistically, to what he did the previous season in Tampa. If you look at it over the course of one season, he improved dramatically. In fact, he was, without a doubt, the best right handed hitter on the team last year. Of course, your critics want you to get rid of him. I have no idea why. Why not Carlos Gomez, who is terrible?
Also, you have received criticism for dealing away Garza. I deem Garza's success in Tampa as the "Kyle Lohse" effect. He was a jerk who needed someone to tell him off. It took the Rays organization, apparently, to set him on the path for success. Besides, the rotation you have is spectacular. The teams' success can be traced directly to the pitching whch broke down at the end of the year, thanks in large part due to mismanagement of the bullpen which led to all around fatigue.
Another critique this offseason is the lack of a third baseman. Last year, you added Mike Lamb who, in previous seasons has been reliable mostly as a bench player and acceptable as a starter. He was also known for some lengthy slumps, but equally capable of very good hot streaks. Unfortunately, he entered a Twins uniform and went into a slump. I think I can forgive you if you are a little gunshy on the prospect of adding a free agent third baseman.
I guess, Bill, what I'm trying to say is, don't ever change. Don't let people convince you to re-sign awful but scrappy guys like Nick Punto when they are more likely to hurt than help the team. Continue to build your team. Screw everyone else if they would rather watch bunting than home runs. You're trying to build a winner using common sense. Go Bill Smith. I like you just the way you are.

- Ryan



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