Frustrated Twins FanPublished 9:28pm Saturday, April 16, 2011
Ok, so what the heck is going on with Minnesota sports? We lived through a bad Viking and Gopher football season, a bad Timberwolf and Gopher football season, and a bad Wild and Gopher hockey season, and then just when we were looking forward to the Twins, this happens.
I am writing this after the loss on Saturday when both our closers failed the team for the second time in three days. Tampa Bay wasn’t playing any better than the Twins were going into the series but with the Twins play they have given the Rays lots of confidence that their season could turn around. I wish I felt that way about the Twins, but I don’t as this looks like it may be a long summer.
To top off the bad week Joe Mauer goes on the DL. I am glad to here that what he has wasn’t as bad as it could have been but geez this guy is sure fragile for such a great athlete. I may also add that he is a very highly paid great athlete. It also shows how week the Twins are at catcher. I like Drew Butera but as a back up not a starter and this Holm guy I think is the same. Can we get Redmond out of retirement?
I don’t like to kick my team when they are down but this is getting a little to hard to take. I am a competitive guy and I like my teams to be competitive and right now this is pathetic.
Remember when I wrote about the reason that the Twins would lose? Most of them are coming true here in the early going. I said if Alexi Casilla and Tysoshi Nishioka couldn’t make it the Twins were in trouble because of lake of depth at those positions. Nishioka gets hurt and Casilla has not played well and we have Cuddyer playing second base against right handed pitchers and Matt Tolbert playing shortstop more than we had hoped.
Everyone was scared about the Twins relief pitching. I was a little more optimistic but I also said that Nathan would be the key and he has struggled. I like the fact that Nathan has all this confidence in himself but right now he is doing the team more harm than good. Of course it isn’t his fault that he is left in there to close games when he is struggling it is the coaching staff. Some of the relievers have had their moments but over all they have sucked a little bit. I was high on Slowey as a reliever but then he gets hurt.
The starting pitching has been up and down with Baker pitching a good game on Saturday and Pavano an exceptionally good game on Friday night. But as a rule they have struggled to get 5 innings in with Lirano a total basket case.
Speaking of Liriano, the coaching staff is attempting to make him in to a pitcher that he is not. The Twins try to clone all their pitchers into the same type which is not walk anyone and to pitch to contact. That is good for some pitchers but Lirano is not one of them. He is a strikeout pitcher and he thinks like a strikeout pitcher and there is nothing wrong with that. The coaches think if he pitches to contact that he will last longer in games but tiring out isn’t why he doesn’t last. It is because he has those innings when his mechanics and rhythm go out of wack which is what they should be working on, not turning him into something he is not. The Twins have always liked to clone their hitters too by wanting them to hit pitches the other way, which again works for some hitters but hitters like David Ortiz it does not, and we all know how well he did when he left the Twins.
Another reason they may be losers is if Justin Morneau can not regain his status. Justin has given it his all but he sure is rusty from lack of play. Mauer hasn’t hit either along with Delmon and Cuddyer. The only one hitting at all is Kubel. They put the pitchers in a tough situation where they think they have to be perfect to win.
Coaching was also a reason if they don’t do well and that hasn’t been all that good either. Our players are not running the bases well and are getting picked off. There are mental and physical mistakes in the field that we are not used to and I mentioned the hitting and the pitching. Gardy is to be commended for being a loyal guy but baseball is a business as they say and the business is to win. He may have to look at putting Nathan in some non save situations until he gets stronger and maybe he may have to raise a little heck with the players instead of being their friend.
The Twins organization is a very loyal group and that too is to be commended in these times but to say that their manager can stay as long as he wants and doesn’t have to worry about being replaced may not be the way to go. Gardy is too comfortable and so are the players. They may need a little edge to get things going. What other organization would keep their manager with the playoff won/lost record that Gardy has? With the poor play and poor record so far this season how come we never here any rumblings about changing the manager? Are the manager and coaches not held somewhat accountable?
Those of us who have followed the Twins since their inception have lived through some pretty lean years and the fact that the Twins have been competitive in their own division for so long I shouldn’t complain but I would like to see them advance to the next level and they haven’t been able to do that.