I just got back from the only dry county that I've ever been to -- and that I'll ever go to -- and when I arrived home I found a nice stack of mail waiting for me. After culling through the usual bills, store coupons, and letters from secret admirers, I found an interesting piece of correspondence that I think was somehow delivered to the incorrect address... I feel kind of wrong about sharing this with everyone, I know opening someone else's mail is a federal offense, but as Twins fans it's kind of hard not acknowledge this:
550 3rd Ave North
Minneapolis, MN 55403
14100 6 Mile Cypress Parkway
Fort Myers, FL 33912
I'm writing to you today in part out of consternation over the lack of a closer and in part out of justification in my choice of Alexi Casilla for our final bench spot.
I know the decision with Alexi was as tough on you as it was on me. Jacque is quite beloved in our clubhouse, and in my heart, and I'm sure it would have added to the joy of Target Field to come north with us. But really, we have no room on our roster for a slick-fielding outfielder and I think we all know the hopes we have for Delmon. It pains me to say, but perhaps Jacque just wasn't the right fit for us at the moment.
Alexi and I have had our differences in the past, and I'm sure we will in the future, any meaningful relationship always does. But I don't want to let you down in this regard. I know we've parted ways with some great infield prospects over time,
and we don't want to make the same mistake again. I've already learned from my connections around the league that the Kansas City Royals didn't think that they had enough light-hitting middle infielders, and there were rumors that the Yankees themselves were waiting to shove off that under-performer Derek Jeter so that they could try to steal Alexi off of waivers. In truth, 29 clubs around the MLB would be clamoring for his services if he hit the waiver wire. I know, I know, he's never lived up to expectations and this spring is representative of his entire career, but they all keep mentioning that fabulous 2008 year and I don't think we can make them believe it was simply an aberration.
If we lost Alexi on waivers, it would really come back to haunt us. Name one person from our minors who could come up and hit .240 off the bench while providing shaky defense and maybe I'll reconsider my position.
Besides, my faith in Alexi will either be proven right and we'll look like geniuses, or else he will fall on his face again and your hand will be forced to rely on Tolbert or someone else
to fill his place on our bench. I think we are in agreement on this issue, so I'll spare my words and move on.
This is the hardest thing for me to write, and it really pains me to say, but I'd like you to sell our farm for a closer. I know, I know, there's no sense in being rash, but I've thought about this for the good two weeks that it's really been an issue, and I just have no faith in our bullpen or the depth in our system to fill the void at the back end of our bullpen. Perhaps I betrayed my position too quickly in saying "closer by committee". I know those are words you probably didn't want to hear from my voice and it pains me for you to see it from the Star Tribune first.
I can understand that these "prospects" have "potential". Ben Revere is fast and scrappy and plays great defense. Wilson Ramos has been popular for quite some time. But please, try to look at it from my perspective: they'll never see time on my team as long as I have established players ahead of them, so why not give them away in desperation for someone who might or might not be able to help us out in the short term?
Of course my preferences would be for Trevor Hoffman and Billy Wagner so that I wouldn't be the only person in the clubhouse chatting about grandchildren and hemorrhoids, but even one of those younger guys like a Heath Bell or anyone from Toronto would satisfy my need for even more activity this offseason.
I know what you'll say, of course, that Matt Guerrier deserves a chance or that Jon Rauch has experience or that Jesse Crain and Pat Neshek were supposed to be closers of the future, but let's face it, those are just words. Perhaps, instead of Jacque, we could bring back the familiar faces of Fast Eddie or The Hawk to be a closer and fulfill your desire for a little bit of nostalgia this year? I hear Jeff Reardon is even planning a comeback.
In short, there's no sense looking forward when we can always look back.
I hope you understand my position on this matter. I'd hate to resort to using Francisco as a closer just to prove my point.
Yours in All Sincerity,
Ronald Clyde Gardenhire