Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A Proper Voicing Of Twins Frustration

The Minnesota Twins started their 2016 season out on the road. They were tasked with bearing the Baltimore Orioles, and the defending World Series Champion Kansas City Royals. In a season destined for heightened expectations, they returned home for their opener winless, an 0-6 start. The home cooking didn't change the tide either, on to 0-7. Then it happened, the boos came.

Here's the deal, this isn't intended to be a romp through the Twins misery, and conversely, it's not intended to provide rainbows and butterflies. At the end of the day, the goal should absolutely be perspective. There's some out there that will implore you to look at the bright side, how much time is to come, and try to downplay the desperation of the situation. There's others that have written this team off, thrown in the towel, and have begun looking towards the offseason. What the two factions may have in common, is that the vocal outcry at Target Field during the Twins home opener was incredibly misplaced.

In booing the Twins, a level of frustration has been reached. No matter your reasoning or justification for doing so, it's an odd effort to push for the outcome you actually desire. On the surface, it's more than apparent that the club needs a better effort in the results column. Of course the biggest issues have been with the strikeouts and bullpen. What booing effectively suggests however, is nothing more than a cop out in relation to an actual understanding of the process.

Right now, Paul Molitor's squad has a pretty broken process. I touched above on the strikeouts. The team has struggled to bunt effectively (as most recently witnessed by Kurt Suzuki's latest attempt). Maybe most importantly, productive at bats have become a thing of wonderment. Added together, the sum of the parts is a pretty ugly final set of results. That said though, we're plenty far from being able to call anything final. After all, I don't wait five months for baseball to dismiss a team 4% of the way into the schedule.

It's well out of my realm (or care really) to suggest that booing cease to exist. What may be better placed efforts though are a honing in on the changes desired. Focusing the energy towards tuning into the broken processes advance an understanding of a complex game. Did the bunt get down? Was the runner advanced? Did the at bat produce a productive result? Breaking the greater game down to more intricate scenarios allows for the level of advancement to be more correctly analyzed.

On a game-by-game basis, the margin really is irrelevant. Whether or not a team completes the situations that should produce favorable outcomes are why the schedule is 162 games long. Over the course of the season, completing the process most effectively is what should in turn, produce the desired results.

No doubt I can sympathize with vocalized frustration, booing has become a thing synonymous with sports for as long as anyone can remember. Whether you participate or not however, the reality is that it serves next to no purpose. Regardless of your belief that some millionaire should be outwardly made aware (as if they already aren't) that their job isn't being completed appropriately or not, a more rewarding approach is available.

As things stand, the Twins are in an ugly scenario. The losing streak isn't ideal, but there's no argument to the fact that it's being amplified due to the time it's taking place. Many a playoff team has had seven game losing streaks in a season. The Houston Astros experience it a year ago, and the 1991 World Series winning Twins started 2-9. At this point, we have no more idea as to what the final results of the 2016 season look like as we did before the season kicked off.

What we do know, is that the Twins have quite a few broken processes at this point. The results indicate that, and that's where the focus would be. Choose to boo if you'd like, but focusing on the analysis of the process and the growth or progress that happens could be plenty more insightful as the months draw on.

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