Posted on August 1st, 2007 – 12:05 AM
By Howard

Now Johan Santana has added his name to the list of wanna-be general managers, as reported by Joe C. in his excellent story.

Among Johan’s quotes: “It’s not just about hope. In a realistic world, you have to really make it happen and go for it. You always talk about future, future. … But if you only worry about the future, then I guess a lot of us won’t be part of it.”

Being the best pitcher in baseball over the last 3 1/2 years doesn’t translate into GM skills.

No matter how good or great, players typically have the worst seat in the house when it comes to personnel issues. They want to take full advantage of the magnificent working conditions their union has masterfully negotiated over the years (as they should) — and also tell management how to do its job. Spare us. What did the Twins have to offer to swing a deal of team-reshaping magnitude for the final two months of this season? Sorry, Ty Wigginton doesn’t reshape a team, in my opinion.

The flawed Twins are six games behind flawed Detroit and five games behind flawed Cleveland. The Tigers have a bullpen that scares themselves more than their opponents and Cleveland’s rotation nosedives after Sabathia, Carmona and Bird. And Pronk’s numbers don’t exactly remind you of … of … of Torii Hunter’s, do they?

Here are two things for the clubhouse GMs to consider.

Exhibit A: Standings on August 1, 2006.

        W   L    GB 
Det  71  35     -  
Chi   63  42   7.5
Min   61  44   9.5

Exhibit B: Johan’s contention that the lack of a deal is ”why we’re never going to go beyond where we’ve gone.”

Huh? St. Louis won the World Series last year after an 83-78 regular season during which they weren’t even close to being the best team in baseball. (And wild-card teams won the World Series in ’02, ’03 and ’04.) Sometimes, winning the World Series is about getting hot at the right time. (See ’87 Twins.)

As much fun as it was to watch the Twins revel in clinching a playoff berth and then the division title on the final-day miracle of ’06, I was thinking at the time (when I wasn’t getting swept away in the fun) that it would have been nice for one of the veterans to step away from the champagne spraying and say something like: ”You know, winning a division title isn’t new for us. We still have work to do.”

Just like they do right now.

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