Twins baseball-speak hasn’t changed much, from Calvin to ‘Falvine’
The Twins introduced baseball CEO Derek Falvey, a graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., and General Manager Thad Levine, a graduate of Haverford College on the Philadelphia Main Line, to head their baseball front office on Nov. 7, 2016.
In a way, the Twins were going back to their roots. Calvin Griffith was the president and general manager from the franchises arrival in October 1960 until a sale to Carl Pohlad in September 1984. Calvin also was Eastern-educated, attending Staunton (Va.) Military Academy and then George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
As the Twins went through the late July fire sale, now followed by the go-home-Byron Buxton controversy, we have monitored their comments. And it has been impossible not to wonder what Mr. Griffith, the original Eastern-educated Twins decisionmaker, might have offered on these issues.
FALVEY, on the trades of Brian Dozier, Eduardo Escobar, etc.: We played north of 100 games, and when you get to a certain point in the season we try not to let one day or a few days to sway the decision. I dont expect the players to always understand
What Calvin Once Said (WCOS): We aint Americas farm team. I think were smarter than Hades to get rid of those players.
LEVINE, on not recalling Buxton: The decision really for that is driven off of three mean factors.
WCOS: The way I look at it, sports owners dont owe an athlete anything. The athlete owes everything to the sport hes participating in.
LEVINE, on the first Buxton factor: One is a continued desire to put him in the best position possible to be healthy going into 2019 [so] that hes unencumbered from a health standpoint.
WCOS: A guy will become a man over the winter. We have a few ballplayers Im hoping will become men over the winter.
LEVINE, on two other factors in the Buxton decision: Two, there is a performance standpoint factor and three, quite frankly, its just a playing time situation. As we look to the major league team right now, we obviously view Byron Buxton as a starting outfielder. Those at-bats were not necessarily prevalent at this time
WCOS: The trouble is, we baseball people can never be trusted to do anything sensible.
LEVINE, on Buxtons unhappy reaction to the decision: From this day forward, I think we recognize a responsibility to make amends. And were going to need to invest in the Byron Buxton relationship moving forward
WCOS: If you keep a player a little hungry, hell play better for you. If you grease his palms all the time, theres no incentive for him.
LEVINE, on the teams desire for collaboration with Buxton: We understand this is a blow to the player and were prepared to try and stay as consistent as we can and reinvest in that element of this because we realized this was information that was not appealing or certainly collaborative.
WCOS (on collaboration): I am the boss and the only one in the organization who can hire and fire people as I desire.
More WCOS: I dont mind being called a dinosaur. A dinosaur from what Ive seen on TV is a pretty powerful person. A dinosaur usually pushes himself around to where he doesnt get hurt.
LEVINE, on a possible grievance and other actions by Buxtons camp: In terms of conversation with his agent displeased, disappointed for sure. Their recourse has not been laid out for us.
WCOS (on grievances): The more pressure put on me, the more stubborn I get. And when I get stubborn, I dont change my mind. I just say, No.andthinsp;
More WCOS: Most lawyers are paid to get people out of trouble. [Baseball] lawyers are paid to get us in trouble.
More WCOS: I cant tell you exactly what I intend to do, but I can tell you one thing it wont be anything rational.
And there is also this comparison between todays Twins and Calvins Twins on marketing.
Twins 2018 advertising campaign: This Is How We Baseball.
WCOS: We got rid of it. You spend $250,000 to $300,000 a year telling people, Come on out and see us, were great. Then, you win five out of 15 and make yourself look like a horses rear end.
Calvin signed over the Twins in a Metrodome ceremony on Sept. 22, 1984. And its amazing that in 34 years, the smooth-talking responses of these Eastern-educated baseball bosses really havent changed all that much.