Twins First WeekPublished 10:36pm Sunday, April 10, 2011
The Twins season is now a week old and things aren’t going quite the way they were planned. Although there are other teams that haven’t been playing as well as they would like, am I right Boston?
Here are a few odds and ends so far.
-With Tyoshi Nishioka getting injured it has exposed the Twins weakness at the middle infield positions. Luke Hughes, who burned up the place early in spring training, was called up and at least hit the ball hard. Sunday the Twins put Cuddyer at second base because the team isn’t hitting. So much for speed and defense.
-Nishioka getting hurt on the double play didn’t really surprise me because after watching him play a few games I couldn’t help think he just isn’t ready for Major League Baseball. He has a lot to learn about the American game and had he not been from Japan and had he not signed a big contract, I wonder if he wouldn’t be better off in the minors for awhile. That won’t happen by the way.
-Like I said, Cuddyer was at second base to get himself, Kubel and Thome in the lineup. The reason is because the team is just not hitting the ball. We can all say that with the type of players the Twins are that this won’t go on forever but I have seen some things I don’t like about it. One is that they are taking way too many called third strikes. Is their approach to the plate all screwed up? Or maybe it’s the second thing I don’t like about their not hitting, giving too much credit to the opposing pitcher. Their biggest excuse is that they have faced some tough pitching. It is just that attitude that has prevented them from advancing in the playoffs. It is that killer attitude that is missing that other Twins championship teams had. They didn’t give the other pitcher credit, they would blame themselves and then go out and get the job done. This team needs that fire.
-Does anyone really care about FSN’s “Pick the Stick” thing they do? All it does is waste air time and the only people who like it are the broadcasters who are doing it, and I’m not so sure all of them like it either.
-The Twins pride themselves on playing the game “the right way”. With all of the mental and physical mistakes they have been making along with all the walks by the pitchers, I’m not sure this is “the right way” they are noted for.
-The interpreter job for Nishioka has got to be a great one. You get to sit in the dugout for every game this season and get paid for it. I wonder if Nishioka and his guy get along, if they don’t it could be a long season for both of them.
-With Nishioka getting hurt on the break up of the double play brought up a point/counter point discussion on one sports show I saw. Should there be a rule about taking out a player on the double play. As a former infielder I will say that this may be one of the more dangerous plays in the game. I would go along with a new rule but it would have to be defined very strictly because this could be a very hard judgment call for an umpire. Hanley Ramirez was injured on a similar play this week as well.
-My next comments may be a little controversial with some of you. Is Rick Anderson as good a pitching coach as some people think? Since most people think he is a good one, here are some thoughts on why he may not. Other than Johan Santana, what other pitcher has Anderson developed into a number one guy? He has had Baker, Blackburn, Slowey and Liriano for a few years now and they don’t seem to be getting any better. Liriano’s mechanics are terrible and always have been and Baker and Slowey haven’t learned how to pitch at all by making the same mistakes. I suppose we can defend Anderson by saying that he can tell them all he wants to and if they don’t listen it isn’t his fault. But do you know what, after this long it is his fault. This is his job to develop these guys and if they aren’t progressing then it is either his fault or they should be getting rid of these guys. It seems like the Twins coaches can’t be blamed for anything or held accountable for anything. I agree with Tom Kelly when he says “the players make or break a manager” but the coaches are ultimately accountable. I will now sit back and look forward to your comments.