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Johan NOT starting on Opening Day

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Postby AKhomebrewer » Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:35 am

I think you guys are on to something ...
Since the Twins open vs. Seattle, perhaps Gardenhire is simply rigging his rotation so that he has Santana available against that intimidating ace Piniero. ;-)
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Postby The Jury » Sun Jan 30, 2005 3:26 am

SuptownSpartans34 wrote:It really isn't much of deal, The Twins know what they are doing, they are 3 time central division champs and have a huge amount of young talent.....A baseball game is a baseball game, it is not like it will effect Johan.


I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that it won't affect him. He easily maybe have taken one step away from the Twins in future negotiations.

One thing though, the Twins likely didn't make this move to reduce the pressure on Santana. He's the reigning AL Cy Young winner, so the pressure is definitely on.
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Postby Registered_Guest » Sun Jan 30, 2005 3:30 am

Perfect example of what I absolutely hate about Rotoworld.

Perhaps they want to show a bit of gratitude to Radke??? Afterall he did stay for a discounted amount & has been the face of the Minnesota rotation for what 10 years now??

So what is the big deal of Santana not being opening day starter exactly??
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Postby HOOTIE » Sun Jan 30, 2005 3:45 am

I don't think it's a big deal. Veterans usually get the honor. Radke has been there through the years, Santana hasn't.
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Postby davidmarver » Sun Jan 30, 2005 4:25 am

HOOTIE wrote:I don't think it's a big deal. Veterans usually get the honor. Radke has been there through the years, Santana hasn't.


Exactly. Especially in the free-agent era, it's nice to see some mutual respect between a player and his team by re-signing for less money and the team subsequently annointing him as the opening day starter.
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Postby nikku88 » Sun Jan 30, 2005 5:03 am

I don't see a problem with it. Even though Radke's overpaid, he still took a discount to stay, will Santana do that? I doubt it.
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Postby looptid » Sun Jan 30, 2005 8:52 am

I live in St. Paul, and I was mildly concerned when I saw the annoucement. More so because the Twins already spit in his face offering a contract extention to Santana this off-season of $19.5 million over three years, with $4.5 million in the first year, which is less than he figures to make in arbitration, and less per year than the contract they gave Radke.

One important point to note, that no one in the thread mentioned, is that the Twins still have Santana under arbitration through 2006, so he won't be a free agent until 2007, assuming he signs no long term extention between now and then.

I love the Twins, but they are very fortunate to play in the AL Central. The front office has made a whole slew of stupid moves this offseason:
    Further alienating the franchise player. In addition to being rediculously lowballed via the contract offer, Santana hasn't forgotten about how he was kept in long relief when he was the team's best pitcher. If you go back to 2002, among pitchers to throw over 100 innings, only the incomperable Big Unit struck out more batters per nine innings pitched.
    Giving Jacque Jones $5 million for 2005, which is 8.3% of the team's entire payroll, when Jones' glove in right can easily be replaced by Ford, and his offense easily replaced by LeCroy at DH (which is where Ford is slated to start the year, even though both he and Jones are better defensive outfielders than Shannon Stewart, who is coming off an injury plagued year in which he came down with plantair facitis).
    Giving Jaun Castro $2 million over two years. His career batting average is .226, his career on base percentage is .269, and his career slugging percentage is .331. For those of you adding at home, that's a career .600 OPS. And he'll leave Spring Training as the starting shortstop. He's no different than Nick Punto or Augie Ojeda (except they make league minimum), who would only need to hold down the job until midseason when Bartlett is ready to come up from AAA.
    Choosing to overspend on the likes of Jones and Castro, while taking a hard line approach to the Koskie negotiations, when the loss at third base is more difficult to replace internally than either right field or shortstop.
    Allowing Ron Gardenhire to remain the manager. He doesn't manage. He just follows a script. "Hey, Ron, Balfour is throwing bullets. He sat down six consecutive Yankees, striking out two. His fastball is topping at 97, and New York is looking completely lost at the plate. We're up 5 to 1, what do you want to do?" Ron: "Well, it's the eighth innning, and Rincon always pitches the eighth, so regardless of what is actually happening in the game, we're sending in Juan."
Don't get me wrong, Rincon had a great year for the Twins, but you would hope that what is happening in the game would have some influence on a managers decision. Everyone brings up the call to send Nathan back in for a thrid inning in game two, but that doesn't bother me. What does, is that after Nathan goes out and starts walking people, and it becomes obvious to everyone that he's worn out and his control is gone, that Gardenhire leaves him in. Or all the idiotic baserunning during the series, like getting thrown out trying to stretch a double into a triple down by six runs. If Kelly were still the manager, Hunter would have been cussed out to no end when he made it back to the dugout, but Gardenhire defends stupid as agressive (what it really showed was that Hunter had no confidence in his teammates to drive him in).

The front office makes some terrible moves, like leaving Morneau in the minors to start 2004, where he could obliterate AAA pitching for a second season (because the Twins have such a huge surplus of power), citing that he needs to work on his defense. A first baseman! If he could play defense, he wouldn't be at first base. His job is to mash. Better to have Dougie Baseball hit .230 and play solid defense at first. Never mind that when Morneau got called up, he hit more dingers in half a season than Mientkiewicz has in any given year.

This year, the Twins will let Balfour rot in long relief like Santana did, and keep Scott Baker stuck dominating AAA hitters, while the likes of Terry Mulholland, Joe Mays, and Kyle Lohse continue to define mediocrity.

For fantasy purposes, should Balfour ever get a crack at the rotation, he should post an ERA a shade above four and strike-out a batter an inning, though his K/BB won't be all that much higher than two.

I need to move away from the computer. I'm too worked up.
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Postby Sticky Spice » Sun Jan 30, 2005 9:26 am

davidmarver wrote:
HOOTIE wrote:I don't think it's a big deal. Veterans usually get the honor. Radke has been there through the years, Santana hasn't.


Exactly. Especially in the free-agent era, it's nice to see some mutual respect between a player and his team by re-signing for less money and the team subsequently annointing him as the opening day starter.


Amen! I bet the Twins fans love that Radke has been a Twins "lifer" and that their heart and memories are more with him than Johan.

Love that last rant by the Twinkies fan. I too think Balfour is a talent and should get a true shot at the rotation.

But let me play devil's advocate...

Maybe Gardenhire is a genius with how to bring along a pitcher. Maybe he played his cards perfectly with Johan and Balfour in terms of how they were brought along methodically.

We cuss him in fantasy circles, but in real baseball he'd be damned either way if he were to bring a kid along too fast and hurt his arm or mess with his head. Then you're screwed. It's just like how sitting a rookie qb for a season can be a good thing. It is a far worse sin to rush a guy and wreck him than to be patient. If you can be patient with your youngsters AND keep winning the division, why stop now?

The fantasy side of my brain is screaming let Balfour pitch so I can have my sleeper! But the baseball side of my brain says Balfour has a long career ahead of him - why not take it easy. Balfour does have some consistency issues, so maybe this will help even his keel.

It's too bad this move to have Radke start opening day could only be taken by Johan as a slap in the face and not as an exercise in respect and integrity ;-7
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Postby looptid » Sun Jan 30, 2005 10:28 am

Sticky Spice wrote:Maybe Gardenhire is a genius with how to bring along a pitcher. Maybe he played his cards perfectly with Johan and Balfour in terms of how they were brought along methodically.


To be fair, it's not just Gardenhire, but an organizational approach. As much credit/blame should go to Terry Ryan. It's fairly obvious, however, that many of the moves are financially motivated. Keeping Santana in long relief kept his win totals down. As stupid as judging pitchers by wins is, aribitrators aren't always baseball people (just legal types), and it does keep costs down. Also, keeping your prospects in the minors as long as you can allows you to keep them under arbitration during more of their peak years.

The problem, and Santana is the best illustrative point, is that these financial decisions are becoming too transparent. Johan knows why he wasn't allowed to start, and it had nothing to do with his development.

It's a good approach as long as long as you don't offend your best players, but that is starting to happen. Saving a couple million from 2002-2005 might end up costing the Twins any chance at signing Santana to a long term contract. Players are starting to realize that their playing time or promotion to the big league roster might have very little to do with their actual ability or play.

And, who cares if you save a couple million, if you are going to hand out $7.65 million to get Jacque Jones, Luis Rivas, and Jaun Castro to start for you on opening day, when your total payroll will be at or under $60 million? Especially when there would be no difference in production if Ford were moved from DH into the field and LeCroy, Cuddyer, and Punto were substitued in their place. Even if he wasn't going to take it, I'd rather they offered the extra $7.65 million to Santana. $27.15 million over three years seems a little less insulting.
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Postby Lofunzo » Sun Jan 30, 2005 11:00 am

Registered_Guest wrote:Perfect example of what I absolutely hate about Rotoworld.

Perhaps they want to show a bit of gratitude to Radke??? Afterall he did stay for a discounted amount & has been the face of the Minnesota rotation for what 10 years now??

So what is the big deal of Santana not being opening day starter exactly??


I don't really think it's that big of a deal but you know what?? They gave Radke what I believe to be $8M per season. That's enough respect, IMHO. They should start their best pitcher on Opening Day and that's Santana. If he had a better deal in Boston, he should have taken it and started on day 4. ;-7
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