2012 Winter Meeting Recap!

It's a holiday tradition as old as Barack Obama's presidency (...hmm that didn't sound quite as impressive as I thought I would...); every year, shortly after the Winter Meetings end, we Peanuts offer a poorly digested, mostly fabricated recap of the glad-handing and back slapping that turns four days of business meetings in a fancy hotel into something somewhat amusing.

We hope you enjoy this absurd dramatization of a professional business convention (and if you are somehow still amused by such absurd dramatizations feel free to explore our other recaps for 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2008.)

It's all so magical!
9:23 AM--The serious professionals in the Twins organization are gobsmacked upon registering at the Opryland Hotel at the expansive atrium that could easily contain all the non-Lutherans in Minnesota!

10:05 AM--After purchasing a lot of swag at the Opryland Hotel Giftshop team budget managers sheepishly inform Terry Ryan that they have blown all the money saved by trading Denard Span

12:28 PM--Terry Ryan begins the going through his rolodex of available starting pitchers beginning with Blanton, Joe and Correia, Kevin.

4:41 PM--Ryan becomes seriously twitterpated before dialing "Grienke, Zack". Feeling just as nervous as  he did before he tried calling Suzi Charmical for a date to the Junior Prom back in Zanesville

Greinke wishes someone in LA would
think up doofy photoshops for him.
4:43 PM--Remembering the crushing rejection suffered at the hands of Suzi Charmical, Ryan decides to just move on to the next name on his list (who won't cost more than the state's budget for education) Jackson, Edwin.

8:45 PM--After a super awkward dinner with representatives from the Dodgers, Greinke wishes that those nice guys from the Twins would call him so he could just once know what it was like to have *nice* executives talk to him. (*tear*)

3:23 AM--As he hangs up with Zambrano, Carlos (who may or may not have been at a rave) Ryan lets out a contented sigh at having called every eligible free agent pitcher with a pulse.

4:03 AM--After a 30 minute cat nap, Ryan takes out a Ouiji board and begins calling free-agent pitchers without a pulse: beginning with Alexander, Grover Cleveland.
Johan, Bert and Three Zombies!...Dare to dream..

11:38 AM--Braves General Manager Frank Wren stops by to take Ryan to lunch and gauge interest in trading Josh Willingham. But his aura interrupts productive discussions about a 2 year/3 Million brain deal with Zombie Christy Matthewson, and trade talks are abruptly cut off

6:45 PM--Having failed to procure a magical amulet to raise the dead and sign them to pitching contracts, Ryan returns to his rolodex of available pitchers only to discover that Joe Blanton will be signing elsewhere, and thus Kevin Correia is the most alphabetically appropriate pitcher.

7:00 PM--Ryan rage quits on his free agent pursuits and the front office staff has to calm him down by starting the traditional Winter Meetings TV Show marathon a skosh early.

7:20 PM--Three scenes into the first episode of Sherlock, no one can remember who they are, what they are doing, or why anything except the fact that they HAVE TO watch more of this show.

6:01 AM--Ryan cries at the last scene of "Richenbach Falls"

6:02 AM--Ryan unleashes a stream of profanity about series creator Steven Moffat after seeing the ACTUAL last scene of "Richenbach Falls"

7:27 AM--The front office staff concludes their tv gorging winter meetings ritual by ordering up some room service, including an extra big banana split to calm down a still ragingly furious Terry Ryan.

10:43 AM--Finally emerging from the stale air of their suite, Ryan and his colleagues connect with their counterparts in the business and begin to gauge interest in possible trades.

2:18 PM--The staff reconvenes to compare their measurements on their "gauges of interest"; realizing that surprisingly Justin Morneau's interest rated at "14.8 STPE" (seconds thought per executive) which was below the measurements on the Ben Revere gauges: 47.7 STPE.

4:33 PM--Bert Blyleven calls in to plead with the Twins to step up their pursuit of trading for Texas lefty and his relative Derek Holland.

4:53 PM--After quite a bit of effort, the front office staff convinces Blyleven that just because his name is "Holland" does not mean that he is actually from Holland. But appreciate that thought.

"Finite Sucktarium!"
8:15 PM--As word leaks that Bluefield Blue Jays president Richard McGonagale will be named "King of Baseball", the Twins quietly inquire as to whether or not McGonagle has any relation to that British witch lady and if that magical touch chan be swayed into our organization.

6:18 AM--Trade discussions about Revere nearly derail when Assistant Bill Smith asks Ruben Amaro Jr. "What the hell is a Phillie anyway?" making Amaro a little overly defensive.

8:53 AM--As the scouts plan to take to pick Ryan Pressly (a starter converted to a reliever) in the Rule 5 Draft; they have to awkwardly wait through the terminally unpopular Rule 1, Rule 2, Rule 3 and Rule 4 Drafts.

Don't cry Ben, we'll send your
forwarding address to Santa
11:07 AM--The team puts the final touches on a trade that will send Ben Revere to Philadelphia for pitchers Vance Worley and Trevor May, which forces Terry Ryan to do the hardest thing in the world...watch Ben Revere's childlike innocence die.

11:09 AM--When asked if Santa will still be able to find him in Philadelphia, Ryan can't help but say "YES! OF COURSE! Don't worry! Santa totally will find you and he is real!"

3:28 PM--En route the airport, Terry Ryan remembers that he was supposed to talk to Jared Burton at some point this weekend, calls him with the offer of 5.5 Million over two years with a 3.6 Million dollar option for the third year PLUS any razor he wants to shave down his neck scruff.

3:29 PM--Burton agrees, but doesn't require the "razor clause".


A Little Bit Country...

but not at all rock and roll...that's our prediction for what the Twins will do during this week's Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tennessee.

Every offseason, when there is precious little else to write about, I make prognostications/recommendations for what will/should happen when the Twins' brass heads down to whatever exotic locale has agreed to host the most powerful people in baseball for four days.

This year, there's a lot that could be done to improve the team; some would go so far as to say there's a lot that needs to be done. The only question is what actually will  be done, when TR and company head down to the home of the Grand Ol' Opry.

What will TR get done?
I have no idea of course, but that won't stop me from making bizarre guesses for my and (hopefully) your enjoyment.

Who will be the next
Jason Marquis?
1. The Twins sign a mediocre pitcher who makes fans go "Him?"
We all know the Twins need starters, but with the frequently frugal Ryan spending the parsimonious Pohlads' dollars in a market where any one with a few Ws on their stat sheet is guaranteed a cool million dollars a year, Zack Grienke isn't happening.

Sure there are dreams of Brandon McCarthy and Shawn Marcum, but it's far more likely that we'll be perusing the "Livan Hernandez Memorial Bargin Bin" so brace yourself for Jonathan Sanchez, Ching Ming Wang and (dare we dream?) Jeff Karstens.

2. Josh Willingham and Justin Morneau sit awkwardly beside their phones for several days
Now that Denard Span is shopping for apartments in Foggy Bottom, the two most prized commodities in the Twins' stockpile are the bopping big men. So, for Josh and Justin, it's time for several tense days updating "mlbtraderumors.com" and playing Angry Birds in space to pass the time.

Of course, we tend to have a slightly higher opinion of both player's abilities than the market will likely bear (I mean, how much can you really expect to get for a corner outfielder with limited defensive abilities, or a first baseman who's still coming back from a concussion.

3. After signing another aging middle infielder, the Twins replace their post game buffet with Perkins' early bird special coupons.
There's always someone who wants to make the Twins their last stop on the road to the retirement home: Tony Batista, Jose Offerman, Jamey Carroll, and without a set of high calibre prospects to replace them, there's always a demand.

Rather than begrudging this fact, let's celebrate it! If we're going to try appealing to Marco Scutaro or Placido Palanco we might as well sweeten the pot with Perkins' all day breakfast deals...after all, who wouldn't want a chicken fried steak right before a big game? And hey, if we can splurge on a box of Werther's originals and the right to do an Andy Rooney style rant in the 8th inning each night then we'll  have officially cornered the market.

4. Scott Boras mistakes Terry Ryan's polite conversation for interest in a mediocre player and uses it to procure a grossly over indulgent contract.
You're welcome, Scott
Every year there's one or two of Scott Boras' clients who bring up a "mystery team" in an effort to boost the bidding for their services. Whether or not these teams actually exist is irrelevant, all that matters is the money pit Boras gets to jump in for his troubles.

The Twins won't be so foolish as to actually hire a Boras client; but Ryan's unflagging Minnesota Nice demeanor and past experience with Kyle Loshe may well lead to a casual conversation in the hallway, which leads to intense rumor mongering between Boras and the Dodgers, which leads to a $60 Million dollar pay day for Loshe...the least Boras could do would be to pay for the almonds Ryan takes from his minibar.

5. A fat lot o' nothing happens.
The most likely situation of all: each year there's a tremendous amount of speculation in the days and weeks leading up to the winter meetings, and each year we end up pretty much where we were at the start of it...a little bored and none the wiser about who or what the coming year will hold.

Still! The conjecture is fun and the impending sense of doom being alleviated when we don't waste our money is even better!