what comes close to the twins releasing david ortiz in terms of bad decisions? ownership alienating rod carew to the point that he wanted out in 1979? drafting travis lee second overall in 1996 but losing the chance to sign him due to a clerical error? drafting (but not signing) tim belcher with the number one pick in the 1983 draft (and passing over roger clemens - as did the dodgers - in the process)? giving up on luis tiant in 1971?
the tiant thing probably comes closest, but there has been no worse decision in my opinion than the one tom kelly and terry ryan made to give up on ortiz and keep matt lecroy as the team's dh. sure, the twins had some success at the division level following the release of ortiz, but big papi and the red sox have the rings. and, as great as it was to have jim thome in the twin cities hitting bombs all over target field in 2010, it might have been even better with ortiz.
i recently came across a bunch of ortiz cards from the bowels of my collection. i actually had a bit of a pc going in the late 90's since i was here and he was hyped locally. this 1998 bowman's best card
it's unfortunate for the franchise that there weren't more.