“He would have never done that with the Twins”Published 10:24am Sunday, October 16, 2011
It has been fun to watch the baseball playoffs as it has been enjoyable to watch good baseball especially after the kind of season the Twins have had. I mentioned in my last blog how important pitching is to get to the playoffs but after watching the Rangers it helps if you can hit too.
After watching Delmon Young hit so well in the playoffs it has me thinking of a couple of things. Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune recently wrote that as Twins fans we shouldn’t think much about how well Young is doing because” he would have never done that with the Twins.” I have heard that said about a lot of departing players over the years and in fact may have used it myself.
That same thing has been said about the success of David Ortiz, J. J. Hardy, Kyle Lohse and a few others over the years. So just what does that mean this “he would never have done that with the Twins” thing mean?
Does it mean that the player just needed a change of scenery because he didn’t get along with his Twins teammates or coaches? Did the Twins coaches and upper management under estimate his abilities? Was the Twins staff not able to hone in on helping him mentally and physically to get the best out of them? Does the Twins pitching and hitting philosophy not work for everyone and does the Twins staff fail to recognize that and make adjustments for that player?
I don’t know the answer. Maybe it’s a combination of all those things, maybe there are a few more reasons, maybe the Twins should look at this and try to figure it out too so they can correct it. I know, I know, there have been players who have left who have not played well, but I am commenting on the ones who have played well and the “he would have never done that with the Twins” quote attached to them.
Delmon Young has come out and said a couple of things on why he has done so well since leaving. One was the Target Field. He said the balls didn’t carry as well to the power alleys and he had to adjust his swing. He also stated he didn’t adjust the way he wanted to because he felt he was still fighting for his spot in the lineup. Reading between the lines, is this saying the Twins hitting philosophy didn’t work for him but he didn’t dare go away from it?
Another thing Young has said is that he is hitting better because he is hitting between Miguel Cabrerra and Victor Martinez two good hitters. He is now seeing better pitches to hit. Right away after he was acquired by the Tigers he was put between these two and batted third in the lineup so what did the Tigers see in Young that the Twins didn’t? The Twins have two good hitters in Morneau and Mauer so why was he not ever put between them on a regular basis? The Twins hit Young near the bottom of the lineup most of the time right in front of Nishioka.
The other thing about Young just isn’t about him but others playing in the playoffs and that is they are playing injured. This was brought up by another Star Tribune writer Patrick Reusse. Young has a torn or bruised muscle in his side, Josh Hamilton is playing with a pulled groin and hitting doubles all over the place and Reusse mentioned a few more.
After watching the Twins limp through a season with injuries you have to wonder even more on what is going on. It was mentioned in the Tribune article that is started in Spring Training. Young had a bad toe and was going to play but he looked at the Twins star players, Morneau, Mauer, and Cuddyer and they were not playing because of some injuries so he didn’t play either. This may be ok to a point in Spring Training but this continued all season for the Twins. Now is this the fault of the players, coaching staff, upper management, agents, or medical staff? I don’t know, and I understand that is one thing the Twins are looking at as they should be.
One good thing I heard about the Twins this week is that they claim that there really is now top on their budget for players this next year. At first they said they would decrease the budget but after meetings they have now come out and said differently. I think they finally figured out that with this new stadium, and with the way this last season went, and with the fans being upset, they need to do something.