February 2, 2006
The problem with that sort of reactionary thinking is two-fold. First, it's based on a really small sample of games and it's tough to draw meaningful conclusions that depend so much on things like Marcus Banks scoring 20 points in 21 minutes. Beyond that, the two wins were over horrible teams. I might be wrong about the trade, but it certainly wasn't shown by the Wolves beating a 15-28 Houston team that was playing without Yao Ming and then beating an 18-26 Boston team at home.
Of course, the flip side is that me being right about the deal certainly isn't shown by the Wolves losing big on the road to San Antonio and Detroit. We're still a long way from being able to judge the trade on results, but so far with the new guys the Wolves are 2-0 against horrible teams and 0-2 against great teams. I understand the excitement that comes from a win like the one over the Celtics, but sometimes it makes sense to let things play out a bit before you send the "you're an idiot" e-mails.
With that said, Sierra simply doesn't bring a whole lot of value to a team at this point. It's true that he's both a veteran and left-handed (in fact, he's a switch-hitter), which seem to be the two qualities Ron Gardenhire and Terry Ryan are constantly lusting after in a reserve. Sadly, the "bat" part is where Sierra comes up short, hitting .229/.265/.371 in 2005 and a combined .251/.302/.423 over the past three years.
The beauty of baseball is that anything can happen in a limited number of at-bats, so if the Twins actually limit Sierra to pinch-hitting duties he's as likely as most to get a few key hits and end up with a surprisingly solid season like the one Offerman had in 2004. That doesn't make signing a 40-year-old who has struggled to post a .700 OPS and has no defensive value a good idea, and the thought of Sierra and Batista on the same roster is depressing unless there's a time machine involved.
C Joe Mauer C Mike Redmond
1B Justin Morneau IF Juan Castro
2B Luis Castillo IF Nick Punto
SS Jason Bartlett OF Lew Ford
3B Tony Batista OF Ruben Sierra
LF Shannon Stewart
CF Torii Hunter
RF Michael Cuddyer
DH Rondell White
Once again, thanks to everyone for what has been an overwhelmingly positive response. If you enjoyed these first four, I'm sure you'll really like the next 36.