Well, I think its fair to say the season is officially over. Yes, I know there are many games left to be played, but I am not believing the Twins will take 10 of 13 from the Pact-with-devil-Ken-Williams' White Sox. It just won't happen. But, the Twins do need to make the right moves now to ensure a decent chance at contention next year. Do they have the talent? Yes, more than the White Sox do, but they are poorly coached talent.
So, here's a list of five things to-do before the season ends:
1) Fire Scotty Ulger
Yep. I still think this is a good move and I think plenty of others see it, just time to make Terry Ryan see it. Ulger, like Gardenhire, was a do-nothing player, except Ulger was worse than Gardy. He hit .190 with an OPS below .500 and he's coaching our hitters. I don't know about anyone else, but I'm pretty sure whatever advice he tells Morneau or Mauer isn't do much good because he never had a power swing. He couldn't drive balls with authority. But, do you know who could? Paul Molitor and Tony Oliva. Thery are both former Twins still connected to the organization, one a Hall-of-Famer and one easily could be. Lets get serious and give these guys the right direction. Its obvious that Ulger doesn't do much good when Jacque Jones and Torii Hunter exhibit the same problems they had in 1999.
2) Call up some young guy, get rid of the old guy
All right, the Terry Mulholland experiment has gone on long enough. Jettison him now and please let one of our great talents going to waste in Triple-A get a chance to get a little seasoned at the major league level. Scott Baker? Great. Travis Bowyer? Even more exciting. Boof Bonser? Why not he leads the internation league in strikeouts. To hell with it. Send down Michael Ryan too while your at it. He's hitting sub-.200. Bring up two of them and let them throw away. We have nothing to lose, but plenty to gain if they get experience for next year.
3) Fire Al Newman
Let Newman go to Kansas City or wherever, because I'm sick of his calls at third. He doesn't give runners the go when we need a run and when he does, his judgement is terrible. I know I haven't complained much, but thats only cause his uselessness has always been overshadowed by others mistakes.
4) Trade Kyle Lohse, J.C. Romero, Joe Mays, or all them, if you can
Lohse has been good, but we all know he isnt consistent like that, so lets be realistic. Lohse has the most value here and what the Twins need now is some offensive talent just about anywhere, and of course, it has to be cheap. Tampa Bay's Jorge Cantu is a good option, as he is inexpensive and the Rays always need pitching. Romero might as well be released. I honestly don't care if he gets any value back because he is the factor in the Twins 47% inherited runners scoring stat. Mays? He had one good season and I think that may have been a fluke. He probably isn't going to be traded because the Twins will just decline his option this offseason. Good that gives the young guys a chance.
5) Find Lew Ford a new role
Lew Ford is not a designated hitter. In that role, he has failed all year. The only time he puts up decent numbers in when he is on the field. If the Twins wish to keep him so badly, then he needs to become either a utility player or be traded. He won't be in the outfield next year because Jason Kubel will likely get that job, despite his offseason surgery. I like Ford. He hustles, plays fairly good defense, and is a good clutch hitter. But he needs a role that suits him, and that appears to be as a utility player. Of course....we have plenty of those...from Punto (can't bunt) to Cuddyer (can't field) to Castro (can't hit). What to do? Drop them all? Who knows. But the Twins do need to make some changes before the season is officially over.