Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Gardy weighs in

So the news today on Mauer's knee is: Hey, don't freak out, y'all. It feels better this morning.

The Chairman claims the swelling is down today, and he's not feeling so sore anymore. He's taking anti-inflammatory medication, icing the joint, and doing light workouts. Doctors have told him the swelling and soreness was expected, but he should be fine. We'll see. I mean, it's not like they weren't saying the same things last May, when they first thought he should be good to go.

Gardy still insists that a position change is out of the question. He told Mark Sheldon at mlb.com: "He has a chance to be an All-Star catcher and help our ballclub behind the plate. Just ask them if they want to see pinball. We try to catch the ball here. We're doing OK. If Mauer is behind the plate, we're going to be OK. If it ends up the other way, we could end up with pinball. That's my belief."

Can I say Uff da here? Occasionally my sweetheart questions my Norwegian credentials for using uff da at allegedly inappropriate times. So how about I say, as they do in Oklahoma: Bollocks!

This is a manager who plays a 2nd baseman with no range up the middle, who is moving Cuddyer back to a position where he has a career Fielding Pct. of .939 and posted a .923 FP last year, whose Rightfielder never hits his cutoff man and tends either to get the ball to the infield on five hops or airmail his throws to the backstop, and who will play Shannon Stewart in Leftfield while he stashes a superior fielder in Lew Ford at DH. This manager would have us believe that all bedlam would break out on the field if he moved Joe Mauer to 3rd base, or that the Twins are somehow above playing around with such experiments when it comes to their defense.

Hey, we all know that Joe Mauer has a chance to be an All-Star Catcher. We know the team is going to be OK, even better than OK, if he is behind the plate. So far, however, this lingering knee problem has kept him out from behind the plate, and out of the lineup entirely, more often than not. At what point, Gardy, do you have to take a hard look at the reality of the situation--and that is, that 11 months after the injury, he's still missing games because the knee hurts and is swelling--and do what is necessary to keep him feeling well enough to stay in the lineup? What is the top priority: preserving the hope that Joe Mauer might be an All-Star Catcher someday, or finding the best way just to help him be a productive, active member of the team?

5 Comments:

At 3/09/2005 5:22 PM, Blogger SBG said...

So you're not of the opinion that Gardy is the best manager in the AL?

When Gardy says stuff like this my buddy Moss usually goes through the roof. I say hey he's just engaging in misinformation to stop media speculation. But, I'm not always sure I believe my own statements. I would hope that at some point the Twins would see things like you have spelled it out. If Mauer can't catch, play him somewhere else.

Never mind the bollocks, here's the...

 
At 3/09/2005 7:24 PM, Anonymous Dianna said...

I've already said what I have to say about the knee over on Twins Territory. The knee is a non-issue. He's not moving to third base and there's no reason to move him there. He's not moving to first, or second or short. He's not going into the outfield and he sure as not is not converting to a pitcher. And no, he's not coaching either. He's gonna play behind the plate this year. That's where he belongs.

 
At 3/09/2005 10:20 PM, Blogger frightwig said...

Dianna, OK, but what if this is still happening to Joe in May or June? At what point would you have to say that the knee problem just isn't going to let him play his preferred position, and perhaps it's better to have a very good 3rd baseman in the lineup every day rather than an All-Star talent at Catcher whose knee is killing him by July?

 
At 3/09/2005 10:28 PM, Blogger frightwig said...

SBG, nah, I'm not Gardy's biggest fan. I think he is good for the club in some ways: he keeps the team loose, but can crack the whip when necessary. He's loyal to players, but isn't afraid to try some changes. But I often disagree with his lineup and personnel decisions, and I think he's a poor tactician in games.

This latest quote is probably a mixture of disinformation to quell the rumors and some genuine belief in the whole "we catch the ball around here" mythology.

 
At 3/10/2005 6:38 AM, Anonymous Dianna said...

I honestly don't think the knee will be an issue in July. I think he'll be fine. The newspapers make it sound like a big thing but again, they weren't there. The kid didn't even limp off the field. He caught pitching drills, the took batting practice and he caught two full bullpen sessions. So he was a little sore. Heck, you'd a be little sore after that too!

 

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