5.11.2016

How Hamilton Explains This Lousy Twins Season

In the midst of one of the most disappointing Twins seasons in memory, it's natural to look around for something, anything, to explain or distract from what promises to be a long, hard campaign.

That's where pulitizer-winning, grammy-winning, genius-crafted (even if said genius is a Yankees fan), best-selling, award-monopolizing musical Hamilton comes in. Sure you can listen to it and distract yourself from the announcement of yet another dropped fly ball, blown lead, or ill-timed strike out. But you can also catch a glimpse of what how it might feel and what can still be done this year.

My favorite example of Hamilton as metaphor for the Twins Season comes from the voice of George Washington in his first appearance on stage (starting at 0:52)

So how does this explain...and offer a possible solution to the Twins situation? I'm glad you asked

We are outgunned (witness the Pitching); outmanned (witness the ill-timed injuries); outnumbered (witness the teams lack of statistical acumen); outplanned (witness seemingly every decision that the manager or front office has made in the past six months).

Still, we have model of a "modern major (field) general", the "venerated...veteran" Joe Mauer, who must be dumbstruck that just as he gets back into form, the entire squad built to support him has gotten blown into smithereens. The players he could be leading "keep retreating", regressing in their performance or being sent back down to Rochester to work out their kinks. And great as Joe has been, he "cannot be everywhere at once people", and remains: outgunned, outmanned, outnumbered, outplanned.

While some, including me, have long preached patience, confidence and trust in that the same tactics that led to past success, it may be time to stop admiring "how [we] fire...from a distance" and just see "how things work out" and try something different.

Mauer (L) and an unnamed rookie (R)
Or Christopher Jackson (L) and Lin Manuel Miranda (R)
So, Mauer needs a "right hand" man, a Hamilton to his Washington. Someone fearless enough to stick it out through the problems, and get aggressive now and then. Someone who is optimistic, ready to "rise up", and capable of acknowledging that doing the same thing over and over can end your career, but adapting and adjusting is what's necessary to survive. Put another way, in the big leagues: "dying is easy, living is harder."

We can't expect that the "right hand man" is going to come galloping to our rescue from outside the organization. Mauer and company can do battle on the field, but they're going to have to make do with "what our Congress [aka the Twins Front Office] has promised". We can't beat other teams at their own games, but for all the rookies who rise up "young, scrappy, and hungry" we can't afford to "throw away their shot".

We are outgunned, outmanned: so whichever youngster is ready to step up, they can and should help to lead the way and promote the culture of winning with the fellow prospects who fought with them on the fields of Fort Meyers, Chattanooga and Rochester.

We are outnumbered, outplanned: but if you can adapt and bring in a few strong skills from outside the organization (maybe defensive metrics? maybe different attitudes about pitch selection) you can "master the element of surprise" and even if we lose the battle, we can win the war.

So, who is it going to be? Berrios? Sano? Buxton? Chargois? Any of them...all of them...because while our general might need a right hand man, there's more to it that one silver bullet, or one pump up song

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