Monday, March 14, 2005

Sunday recap; Twins 4, Red Sox 2

As I listen to Gordo & Dazzle announce the Twins/Marlins game this afternoon, I have to ask: is there any excuse for a professional announcer in major league baseball, at this point in history, NOT knowing proper Spanish pronunciation of names? If you can't pronounce "Guillermo," should you really be in the booth? C'mon, boys. We're just talking about basic professional standards, the broadcasting equivalent of tucking in your shirt, running out groundballs, and "playing the game the right way." There are 9th graders all over Minnesota who can pronounce that name correctly. Why can't you, Gordo?

Anyway, it was great to see the Twins on TV again this weekend. Dick & Bert were in fine form, and we were even treated to an interview with Johan Santana on his birthday. Happy Birthday, Johan! Joe Mauer got behind the plate again for 4 innings on Sunday, and apparently The Knee felt fine. He even ran out an infield single hit to the deep right of the 2nd baseman, betraying no signs of a limp or pain, and also blocking several Kyle Lohse pitches in the dirt. Lohse frequently had trouble hitting his targets yesterday, and he ended up with 66 pitches in his 3 innings of work, but the Red Sox bats didn't punish him for it much. He looked like someone headed for trouble by the 5th inning, had he stayed in the game, though. JC Romero was all over the place again, too. Tell me why the club signed this guy to a two-year deal this winter? But it was good to see the Real Deal come in to pitch a scoreless 5th inning, even if he had to walk a guy. Progress, Dealer! Slowly but surely....

I'm also pleased by what I saw of Jason Bartlett again. In the 2nd inning, he took Matt Clement out of the yard to straight CF, just under the scoreboard. Then playing the field in the top of the 3rd, he ranged deep into the hole to his right and launched a rocket to throw out the speedy Edgar Renteria at 1st base with steps to spare. Wow. Guzman never showed an arm like that. Guzy probably could have reached the ball, but he never would have thrown out Renteria from the hole. Sure, Bartlett also had a throwing error while trying to turn the pivot on a double play; but as Gardy explained afterwards, it happened because the kid was trying to throw around the oncoming runner instead of going through him. He told "He got a little confused when the guy didn't slide out there. He just tried to throw it around him rather than throw it right through his lips. If he throws it right at his lips, I guarantee he would get the heck out of the way." Ah, rookie mistake. Some growing pains are to be expected, but give me a kid with his range, that kind of arm, and a bat that can take Matt Clement out over the fence in straight CF, and I'll put up with rookie mistakes. Rumble, young man, rumble.


At 3/14/2005 5:57 PM, Anonymous YankeeFan said...

I like Bartlett. A player with everything to prove, runs out all ground balls, makes an effort on every play -- even backs up the cutoff man like he's supposed to...

Can he play 2nd? 3rd? What are Gardy's options with respect to Rivas?


At 3/14/2005 8:02 PM, Blogger frightwig said...

Bartlett was originally a 3rd baseman, but it seems that he will either make the Twins roster as the starting SS or be the starting SS in Rochester to begin the season. Gardy said in the papers that he didn't want to move Rivas into the SS competition. He'll be the 2B on Opening Day, and I expect he'll get at least 2-3 months to show some improvement before getting the final thumbs up or thumbs down from his bosses.


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