Published on December 3rd, 2014 | by Thompson0
Minnesota Twins are Worse with Torii Hunter
Minnesota Twins’ GM Terry Ryan is putting his neck out, again, signing Torii Hunter to a $10.5 million, one-year deal. Frankly, this Twins reunion shit is getting old – literally. Hunter will be 39 years old next year, is the worst defensive right fielder in the game, and will be severely overpaid. He should be making low-end DH money, yet he’s being paid ten times more than any outfielder the Twins have, despite being worse than any outfielder the Twins have (I think Arcia will hit much better than Hunter in 2015). Surprising, right? Not if you’re a Twins fan.
As a fan that said “good riddance” to Torii when he refused to play for a contender in Minnesota to make more money and play for a contender in California, I can honestly say that this is the last straw. I didn’t become a season ticket holder to watch 40-year-old men who can’t play outfield play outfield, and I didn’t stick with the Twins with hopes of a Torii Hunter reunion. I never wanted him back and still don’t. Torii’s a self-righteous, selfish prick, despite him calling Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press the same for asking tough questions at today’s press conference about whether his conservative and out-dated stance on gay marriage effected his free agent value. And I don’t buy all that “clubhouse leader” bullshit. Do you think a single team offered Torii more money than the Twins? If you do, you’re out of your mind.
You’d think at least one of those great teams he was on would have won a championship with him leading in the clubhouse, right? Wrong. But AJ Pierzynski did. You want to lead my team? Do it on the field. Torii hasn’t been doing that lately. Kirby Puckett did. That was your hero. Remember, Torii? Yet you bolted when Twins fans needed you most. Kirby didn’t do that. He played for some of the worst teams in history, and did it with a smile on his face. He made you what you were.
Why do the Twins need a clubhouse leader, anyway? The new manager, Paul Molitor, should set the tone in the clubhouse, yet he was pushing for a reunion with Torii. Is he not confident in his ability to do the job? Maybe we should have hired someone else. Perhaps Rusty Kuntz or Ozzie Guillen would have been better. Rusty could have provided outfield instruction at a fraction of the $10.5 million Torii will be paid. Ozzie would have single-handedly rebuilt the winning attitude that’s been lacking in the Twins’ clubhouse. Did we replace nearly the entire coaching staff for nothing? The answer is a resounding “YES.”
Ron Gardenhire wasn’t the problem, although I’ve wanted him gone for years. Terry Ryan and the entire front office is the problem. There will be no championships won, lost, or even dreamt of until the entire front office is fired. When the front office pays no attention to the opinion of educated fans who resoundingly said “NO” to a Torii Hunter reunion, the front office is no longer doing its job. Its job, if you don’t know, is to keep fans happy and coming back to the ballpark. Years ago I thought it was all Bill Smith’s fault, but I realize now that the Twins organization is no better than our own government – a fraternity of rich, entitled pricks that never listen to their constituency and rarely lose their jobs unless ownership changes hands.
What this team needs is a new owner, and that owner should be the fans. Hell, I think most of us have a better handle on how to run this team than those in office. I could say the same about this country. With new technology comes new ways to determine your consumers’ wants and needs. Ignoring those wants and needs is not only stupid, but costly. The media have employed this technology to better determine what fans want, yet no one seems to be listening. It’s as simple as reading blogs, forums, and comments, yet the Twins organization seems to devalue these technologies, despite them being a direct reflection of their consumers – the people who pay their salaries. I’ve worked in many businesses, and marketing is all the same. Knowledge is power, and Terry Ryan and the Twins have neither, because they willingly ignore the people whom they are employed to entertain.
Some say this is a gimmick to sell tickets, and to them I say, “Sure, if you’re an idiot who enjoys bad baseball.” Frankly, I’m not too thrilled with Twins fans and never have been. They’re too quiet, too reserved, and too indifferent. They just don’t care enough. That may sound stupid, but fans should be proud of their home team – not satisfied that they stuck around as long as they did. And they certainly shouldn’t welcome back a former star who left for the big money and big lights when he was needed most.
But we don’t have to take it. If you truly care about the future of baseball in Minnesota, you won’t attend a single game at Target Field next season. I know I won’t – not until Hunter is traded at least.