The baseball season is only a little over a month into the season and already the local nine in Minnesota are doomed. The Minnesota Twins stand at 8-23 with the 7-23 Atlanta Braves being the only other team in Major League Baseball to not have at least 12 victories so far. It’s pathetic, it’s sad and it’s painful.
The list of reasons why the Twins are so bad runs as long as it is from Buffalo Lake to San Diego but if you say the right things, maybe the fans will get off the team’s back for awhile and simply accept a losing season. Sure, it’s not the best option, but the right public statement can help, at a minimum, contain the fire for a little while.
The Minnesota Twins can’t even get that right.
Jim Pohlad, owner of the Minnesota Twins, talked with Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune on Friday and made all the wrong comments. The highlight being:
“We’ve been at this for a little while … the owner can’t do a whole lot. But what could (General Manager) Terry (Ryan) do? Or what could (Manager) Paul (Molitor) do? I just don’t know at this point. It’s just a total system failure, so to speak.”
First of all, the owner of a Major League Baseball team can do a lot of things. The owner of any business can do a lot of things, really. The owner has power that is only controlled by the laws and, in this specific case, the rules of the MLB. If Jim Pohlad wanted to fire everybody from Twins President Dave St. Peter all the way down to the fry-cook at Hrbrek’s, he has that power. That’s just the tip of the iceberg of the powers that owners have.
Should someone be fired for this, to put it nicely, mess? There’s truly an argument for both sides. The view that many have right now is that it’s hard to know what to even do to start to fix the Twins. That’s okay for fans and the media to say that they don’t know what to do, but not the owner of the team. Even if Pohlad isn’t the most hands-on owner in the sports world, you still need to be able to say something half-intelligent to put the fans at ease. That something intelligent isn’t putting the blame fully on the players either which is something Pohlad also did in his talk with Scoggins:
“I believe that somebody on this team has to step up as individuals and start winning some games for us. I don’t mean the team. I mean individuals have to step up and win games. They do on other teams. We’ve got to do it for our team.”
Would it be nice if Brian Dozier would be playing like he did before the All-Star break last year? Of course, it would. Would it have been nice if Byron Buxton could have not been a strikeout victim seemingly every at-bat during his MLB tenure to start the season? No doubt. But at the point of crisis, and in the sports world the Twins are well-beyond crisis, someone needs to take responsibility of what is going on.
Jim Pohlad had the perfect platform in front of him to take the blame and say that he needed to do better and that Terry Ryan needed to do better and that Paul Molitor needed to do better, but instead he guaranteed the job security of Ryan and Molitor and blamed the 25-some guys that Ryan assembled and Molitor has to get ready to win games and they both have miserably failed.
Somewhere along the line, most of us are taught, I hope, that you should take responsibility for your actions. Ultimately, Pohlad is responsible for the Twins. Maybe he doesn’t do day-to-day decision making, but he has the authority to put the pieces in place and so far that has failed this year and has been a failure a majority of the time since the team has moved into Target Field.
This isn’t leading up to a call for the Pohlad’s to sell the Twins, if you got the money and you want to be hated by your fans, hey, that’s your prerogative. Just own up to the mistakes of your organization. Be like a politician and lie to our faces if you have to. Say things are in action to fix the problem when, in reality, you don’t have a clue where to begin. Sure, people might still be mad, but at least it looks like you know how to run your business.