Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Part Where I Drink Some Kool-Aid

The Twins probably won't do anything to address the holes at 2nd and 3rd base until February. That leaves we baseball fans to make silly lists of the best things of the decade or discuss the Hall of Fame candidates.

Others will keep hoping for that move, becoming frustrated at BS&Co perceived indifference. It's easy to get stir crazy; other teams are moving Cy Young winners while the Twins most recent move was releasing Boof Bonser. That old Twins fan motto starts to get popular this time of year. "I Wish They'd Spend More Money." Or some derivative. They should sign a free agent. They're so cheap. When have they ever brought in a meaningful free agent? Just look at their payroll. If they just had one impact bat and one more arm. They're content just competing for the division. Oh, to be a Twins fan.

But I don't buy it. It's too cliché. And it's too convenient. Who's going to argue with a guy in a bar who says, "The Twins need to spend more money." There's no simple reply. And as a fan, why disagree? It's not our money. However, I don't think the Twins are being stingy all the time. I'd put it at about 87% stinginess and 13% shrill baseball philosophy.

The Thing About Free Agents

They're all old. Which is fine, except that they want multi-year deals. Torii Hunter was 32 when he signed a five-year contract worth $90 million. He'll be getting paid elite money as a 37-year-old, probably chewing up 20% of the Angels payroll.

But I have to admit that I wish we could have signed a solid starting pitcher for the 2008 season. If we had the best arm from the free-agent class, there's no way we would have lost to the White Sox in that one-game playoff. Who was the best starting pitcher of that FA class? Oh right, Carlos Silva.

Or if they still had the money to bring in an outfielder and a starting pitcher, that would be sweet. Players like Johan Santana and Torii Hunter, who helped the team to 79-83 record the year prior.

Free Agents!

The Thing About Payroll Figures

Here's a little theory of mine. True to Alright Hamilton form, I'm not going to crunch any numbers or present any data to back this up. Payroll figures are generally indicative of the average age of the team, rather than the awesomeness of a team. Old players get paid more than younger players.

The Twins payroll is going to be a bunch more than it was last year. Why? Because the average age of the team is climbing as well! (no evidence to back this up.) A bunch of guys are due raises, most notably the catcher. If Mauer gets $20m per year, along with some other raises and the additions of Carl Pavano and JJ Hardy - - that'll push the payroll close to $100 million dollars. Compare that to opening day 2009 when it was barely over $65m.

The $20m per year revenue boost from Target Field can basically go straight into Joe Mauer's pocket. And that's fine with me.

They're spending, alright. They're giving raises instead of huge long term contracts. That's Twins Baseball.

MMMMMMM, Kool-Aid.


Holmer said...

I like that unproven theory. It holds true in my limited knowledge of the scope of average ages and payrolls as well. I suppose the old guys staved off the waves of young guys long enough to be old guys, and hence make more money. That's about as far as my research goes. Good theory though.

While you drink the Kool-Aid, I want more silly lists until February. Tracy Morgan is funny.

Broker said...

Yeppers, I like those unproven theories too. If you look around you find that the older guys get paid more than the younger guys. For one thing there is that serdom period where a young simply isn't going to make much for a while. Then after that they are getting paid on reputation and as they age they use their rep to get higher salaries. Often times it seems that there are a bunch of older players earning money with long term contracts that they don't deserve anymore.