For crying out loud, can’t you just lie to us, Jim Pohlad?

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.

Advertisement

Business of Sports Getting In The Way of Sports

adrian-peterson-nfl-chicago-bears-minnesota-vikings-590x900

Chances are likely that the Minnesota Vikings won’t make a franchise altering move before Thursday’s NFL Draft and it all depends who they select on Thursday on how franchise altering Thursday might be. If the Vikings were smart they would pull the trigger on an Adrian Peterson trade between now and then.

I can hear you already saying, ‘Collin! They can’t trade Adrian, he’s awesome and popular!’ That’s the problem.

The rule of thumb is that NFL running backs start to break down around the age of 29 or 30. Adrian Peterson is currently 29. He is still productive enough to be valued by a contending team, though. For a team like the Vikings that is in rebuilding mode and realistically a couple of years away from Super Bowl contention, Peterson doesn’t really fit into any plans or at least he doesn’t need to.

The Vikings find themselves in an interesting spot. When it comes to in terms of football, purely just the sport, it’s a no-brainer to trade Peterson. Football, NFL football, is not just football, though. The NFL is a business and that business keeps Purple Jesus in purple.

Adrian Peterson sells tickets and that’s why he’s still a Viking. Peterson is the only guy this team can currently plaster on billboards with everyone knowing who he is. Peterson has been that guy for his whole career with the Vikings other than two years when a certain Mississippi native was playing gunslinger, er, quarterback. The Vikings moving to the outdoors for a couple seasons and the fall out of sorts from the seat license fiasco all results in the email being sent from a New Jersey mansion to Rick Spiellman  that simply says, ‘Don’t trade #28.’

Sports being a business brings a lot of ethical questions up and only about 120 people have to face these ethical questions.  We’ve found out recently that despite the group being so small, some pretty unethical people get in.

The Vikings would be a better team without Adrian Peterson in the long run, but they are not trading him for the business aspects of the team. Is that right?

I’d think the Vikings would make more money in the long run by winning a Super Bowl than holding on to one guy, but there might be a reason that I type this on a laptop and I’m not saying it in a conference call at Winter Park.

At one time in the world of sports it was all about having a winning team and a team that might just win the championship in their sport. Now it is about making as much money as you can with the assets that you currently have. That’s the way business is and sports are now a business, we just have to deal with it.

I would trade Adrian Peterson. Everyone that could look at the situation rationally from a football sense would trade him too. It’s funny looking at football decisions by jersey sales, but that’s the world that we live in. It’s also the reason that Johnny Manziel would be an owner’s wet dream.

UConn: Showing The Unexpected Can Happen

Things are supposed to go to plan, right? Trusted persons and experts should be able to look at something and say this and that will happen and it will. The UConn Huskies proved that sports aren’t for those who follow plans to a T.

If you are not affiliated with Connecticut in some way and said that the Huskies were going to win the NCAA Tournament Championship at the beginning of the year, it probably would have been suggested that you get your head examined. The same cross-eyed look would have come your way if you had said that in the middle of the Sweet 16, too. UConn simply wasn’t supposed to win.

Kentucky was supposed to. The Wildcats were number one in a whole lot of rankings and polls before any college hoops had tipped this season, then they faltered, but started playing well together when it mattered and got all the way to the championship game. It wasn’t a David-Goliath matchup, but it was pretty close.

UConn winning is the reason we watch sports. We watch for the unexpected. We might not admit that that’s why we’re watching or even consciously know that’s why we are watching, but that’s why we love sports.

Twins fans on Friday sat through four innings of baseball and we’re thinking ‘Oh, my God. Mike Pelfrey might pitch a perfect game.’ It fell apart, but that unexpected had us hooked.

We watch sports for that Brett Farve to Greg Lewis moment in the back of the endzone against the San Francisco 49ers. For the Christian Laettner shot. For Blake Hoffarber hitting the buzzer beater from his butt.

American society as a whole loves reality television because it’s ‘unscripted’ and anything can happen. We know that that isn’t always the case in reality TV, but it is in sports. Sports is the ultimate reality TV, anything can happen. The WWE even proved that it doesn’t always go to script in scripted sports.

Congratulations, UConn. You reached a pinnacle that not many reach and when you got to the pinnacle you made it your own. You made the unexpected happen. Any given Sunday.