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Another deadline passes

August 4, 2008

by Stephen Wiblemo

Well, the non-waiver trade deadline passed last Thursday, and as usual, the Twins management dazzled us with its inability to swing a trade to acquire key components the Twins need to make a playoff run.

After an exciting winter full of trades and negotiations, something Twins fans are not used to, I thought Bill Smith was representative of a changing of the guard for Twins management.

But, after last week, I can see that Smith inherited Terry Ryan’s playbook when he took over as general manager.

I wasn’t looking for the Twins to go out and make a landmark trade, like Ken Griffey Jr. going to the White Sox, or Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers.

But we had needs to be filled.

How about an eighth-inning pitcher, because Matt Guerrier and Jesse Crain aren’t cutting it right now.

Alexi Cassila’s hand is unknown. Whether he needs surgery or not, an extra middle infielder to solidify that position would have been a key fit.

There were several options available, and Twins management explored some. But, in the end, they did what they always do, and sat on their hands.

The thing Twins management doesn’t understand is this: to make a World Series omelet, you need to crack a few eggs.

After the deadline passed without any move by the Twins, Smith’s excuse was that they couldn’t find anything they wanted that was a price they were willing to pay.

In other words, Smith is more concerned with keeping his 2010 “Dream Team” intact than he is with going after a pennant that is there for the taking, right now.

They always seem to be building for the future, but that someday they are working toward never comes.

The attitude of Twins management seems to be happy, but complacent (we expected this to be a rebuilding year, so lets just ride out this success and enjoy it).

Oh well, I kind of expected this.

At least it was funny to watch Gardy kick his hat in the air.

Its nice to know the Twins players want to win a pennant race, and beating Chicago 3-1 in that series was huge.

Also, just because we didn’t make any moves at this deadline, doesn’t mean we won’t make any before the Aug. 31 waiver deadline.

Washed-up veterans, you have a home in the Metrodome.

Morneau making MVP run

I’m glad to see that Justin Morneau’s stint at this year’s home run derby hasn’t affected his swing, as some overpaid athletes have said.

While the Twins continue to fight for a division lead, Morneau has been a major contributor to its success.

Against the White Sox alone, he racked up 10 RBI to bring his total up to 86 this year.

He also has 18 home runs and a .320 batting average.

In 2006, his MVP season, he finished with 130 RBI, 34 home runs, and a .321 average.

I’m not saying he would win the MVP today, he is second in RBI behind the Rangers’ Josh Hamilton (104), and not even close in home runs.

But, if he keeps up what he’s got going now, it could be close at the end of the year.

I wonder what ESPN would say if Morneau beat the former drug addict for the home run derby trophy, and MVP trophy in one year?

Welcome Liriano

As I suspected, the Twins finally called up Francisco Liriano, along with another guy named Randy Ruiz.

I guess they were hoping this move would distract fans from their failure to make a trade before the deadline.

In order to make room for the two, Livan Hernandez and Craig Monroe were cut from the Twins roster.

Apparently Hernandez was surprised when he got his release.

Really Levo?

He was 10-8 this year with a 5.48 ERA in 23 starts with the Twins.

Let’s just hope Liriano can do better than his 11.32 ERA after his first three starts in April.