This is simply startling, a list of the worst professional sports franchises that includes the Minnesota Twins in the bottom ten, seventh in fact. What's worse is the reasoning, which we'll break down point by point here.
"Moneyball" is to baseball what frugal is to cheap; it's a creative way of saying, "we're not going to pay for our stars or reward our veterans who have earned their keep."
Since when are the Twins associated with Moneyball in any regard? Maybe he has the wrong franchise in mind?
Sabermetrics and scientific stats are used to evaluate players and give a better indication of their worth, but teams like the Minnesota Twins use this strategy to kiss their superstars goodbye at the trade deadline or the first day of free agency.
Or maybe he simply doesn't know what he's talking about. When you think of statistically savvy teams I imagine the franchises that pop to mind, in no particular order are the A's, Padres, Jays, Red Sox, Rays, Indians, and perhaps the Pirates nowadays, but the Twins? Not so much.
As for Golokhov's second point; how many superstars have the Twins shipped off over the past few years that actually have came back to haunt them? David Ortiz is one, but outside of Casey Blake the players they've let walk, like Jacque Jones and Cristian Guzman, haven't exactly been "superstars" or "good" since leaving. Further being a statistical orientated team doesn't mean you just let your superstars walk, or have we forgotten how those darn stats teams re-signed players like Jake Peavy, Mike Lowell, Travis Hafner, and Eric Chavez over the years?
If the Twins are considered a stats franchise who lets players walk, why did Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer, Michael Cuddyer, and Joe Nathan get re-signed to deals ranging from 24 million to 80 million?
The Twins constantly sell proven veterans for prospects and draft picks, but when those youngsters finally develop, they get shipped away to start the cycle again. The Twins incessantly look to the future and winning now is not a priority. Translation: the Twins care more about the dollars than about winning.
Again, what players have the Twins shipped away for prospects or draft picks lately? As far as I can see they made moderate to fair offers to Johan Santana and Torii Hunter, but obviously couldn't match the resources presented by the Mets and Angels, that doesn't make them cheap, that simply means they lack the financial resources to make such commitments. Instead they'll receive compensatory picks for Hunter and attempted to get a few youngsters back for Santana, there's nothing criminal about that, look at what Billy Beane does.
Puzzling personnel plays: Trading Johan Santana and failing to re-sign Torrii Hunter.
They really aren't puzzling, we're not playing with Monopoly money here.
Remember ... 2002: A year removed from a contraction battle, the Minnesota Twins (under first-year manager Ron Gardenhire) make it to the American League Championship Series. With a solid roster and a light payroll, 2002 would have been the perfect season to sacrifice some future players to add some veteran players at the trade deadline and make a serious run. Instead, the Twins entered the playoffs with the youngest roster in the league and never stood a chance in the ALCS after beating fellow cheapskates, the Oakland Athletics, in the first round.
This is quite possibly the most ridiculous part of the story, and that's saying something. Instead of praising the job done by the organization, namely Terry Ryan, it's somehow his fault for not selling the farm to make a push and essentially win three more games. That Angels team's payroll was all of 20 million higher -- not Yankee levels -- and in 2003 the Twins payroll was 55 million, roughly seven million higher than the World Series champion Florida Marlins, and just over half of the difference of the runner up New York Yankees payroll edge over the Marlins.