Counterargument: Twins Should Keep Losing

If you are familiar with the “remember the beer” argument, this will sound familiar. If you haven’t, well, here’s some literature in case you’re not a fan of summaries.

Basically, Ken Arneson argues that a stat-head looks at a baseball team from the viewpoint of a general manager, whereas the non-saberists look at a team as a fan. Upon reading his post, I had to agree. I used to look at the Twins as a fan, but now I’ve moved into the mindset of a general manager. Hell, why else would I have made this prior to the 2011 season?*

* I just skimmed that post for entertainment purposes, and I came to this header:

8. Trade OF Michael Cuddyer and $5 million to anyone that will take him for anyone that is cheap.

The Twins basically listened to me, except for the wrong players. They instead carried out this suggestion with J.J. Hardy and Delmon Young, and up until Cuddyer’s injury problems, this has been a very foolish suggestion.¬†

Thanks to MLB Trade Rumors’ Reverse Standings, we have the ability to quickly check that the Twins have the 3rd worst record in the majors this season. It may not be a pretty sight, but I have one thought as this terrible season winds down. If you’re going to lose, you might as well lose big, and losing big means a much better draft pick.

Right now, the Twins are only 3 games away from the 6th worst record, and 1 game from the 2nd worst, prior to Tuesday night’s game. What happens over the next half-month means quite a bit. However, the Twins most likely won’t be able to attain the first pick in the draft, as the Astros are still 9.5 games worse than the Twins (again, prior to Tuesday’s games). This year’s draft isn’t very deep, but no matter what, getting as high of a pick as possible when the playoffs aren’t going to happen should be a goal for this team.

Eric Pleiss of Puckett’s Pond still wants to see the Twins win, however. I will admit that from a fan’s perspective, winning should be most important, and that brings me back to the “remember the beer” argument. But when Joe Mauer hasn’t been healthy the entire season and Michael Cuddyer and Justin Morneau are nursing injuries, winning just doesn’t appear to be possible.

Some fans think that they’re being cheated by having to watch a near-full Triple-A team disguised as major leaguers, but I think that’s just a result of being spoiled by good Twins teams in the past. For me, I’m happy to see guys like Chris Parmelee and Joe Benson in the lineup. Benson sure has looked ugly at the plate (and in the field if you saw his throwing error from left field last night against Kansas City), but we’re getting a chance to see future Twins players now.

I’m not trying to say that Eric Pleiss is wrong, or that I’m right. He’s taken the fan’s side, and I’ve taken the GM’s side. Plus, I watched the Timberwolves over the past 2+ years. That should tell you right there how I feel about losing once the season has become hopeless.


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