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View Full Version : Gardy's fixation on backup catchers



whydidnt
04-16-2012, 01:30 PM
Had a chuckle reading Christina Kahrl's Roster Roundup on ESPN this morning: "Please think these things through: The Twins might be bad on offense, but Ron Gardenhire’s being a worrywart over having Joe Mauer (http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/_/id/5378/joe-mauer) and Ryan Doumit (http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/_/id/6304/ryan-doumit) in the same lineup is a way to make a bad lineup worse." I couldn't agree more. I grow so tired of hearing about his worry about his catcher getting injured and not having a replacement. It's not like that's something that happens every day, and even if it does, having to use a pitcher to bat once or twice isn't any worse than having Drew Butera bat 3 or 4 times a game, and Gardy seemed to have no problem with that over the last few years. "Butera is one of the only guys with a realistic chance of getting serious playing time in 2012 who will contribute more than an typical bench player by simply being absent from the lineup". Michael Bates at Baseball Prospectus posted last week, giving me another reason to chuckle (it was that or simply groan over how correct it was).

It's frustrating for the Twins to continue making poor decisions that could cost them a run every few games, simply over an irrational fear that might occur once every season, if that. Isn't it time for Terry Ryan or someone else on the Twins staff to tell Gardenhire to get over it and just put the best lineup out there? I'm pretty sure TR did not keep a 3rd catcher this year purposely to take that security blanket away from Gardenhire, much like Smith did last year by not re-signing Punto. The team shouldn't have to make roster decisions simply to keep the manager from hurting the team.

Riverbrian
04-16-2012, 01:49 PM
AAA quality catchers can be Fed Exed overnight via airplane. They will come with a tracking number and everything.

Drew Butera... He had a very unique skill. Very few players could turn an AL Team into a NL Team by hitting worse then Jamie Moyer. Drew was able to marginalize the DH position by hitting less then pitcher like from the Catcher position. Very impressive!!! I still marvel at that today.

SweetOne69
04-16-2012, 01:51 PM
I don't mind Mauer and Doumit in the same game as Doumit has a history of being a good hitter with some power. What really irks me was Gardy's refusal to swap Revere as a defensive replacement late in the game. He didn't want to risk loosing the backup catcher option with 2 innings left in the game.

mike wants wins
04-16-2012, 02:39 PM
Agreed, this is just stupid. They need to figure out how to change his thought process.

Thrylos
04-16-2012, 02:48 PM
Agreed, this is just stupid. They need to figure out how to change his thought process.

Or get rid of him..

Astro1980
04-16-2012, 03:49 PM
While we all lement about Gardy's love of the backup catcher, please keep two things in mind. Luck favors the prepared - undoubtably, if Gardy plays Doumit & Mauer in the same games eventually one of these injury prone players will roll an ankle or break a nail or something. No one cares if the pitcher has to hit for themselves and strikes out on three pitches. The real concern for me is that one of them will be injured (see AJ Burnett) and then we are down 3 starters instead of just 2. Or maybe we loose one of our capable relief pitchers? Then everyone will really be on fire.

Also, you can't fault Gardy (or the pitching staff) for wanting a defensive catcher on the roster. Doumit & Mauer can hit, but I don't think either of them is going to win any golden gloves anytime soon. NOT saying Butera is the answer, but the Twins need to find a defensive catcher that the staff likes that does the little things - lays down a bunt, hits over .200, can throw a runner out ...

Just say'in ...

SweetOne69
04-16-2012, 04:13 PM
Also, you can't fault Gardy (or the pitching staff) for wanting a defensive catcher on the roster. Doumit & Mauer can hit, but I don't think either of them is going to win any golden gloves anytime soon.

Mauer's won 3 Gold Glove's from 2008-2010 and will most likely be in the running again this year.

mike wants wins
04-16-2012, 04:48 PM
Anyone doubt one of them gets hurt tonight.

one_eyed_jack
04-16-2012, 05:06 PM
Umm, they're both in the lineup tonight for the 7th time in 10 games. The 3 games they weren't were:

-The 8-2 loss in game 2 (hard to see how Doumit's presence turns that into a W)
-The 10-9 win over the Angels (man, how did we manage to score 10 runs without Ryan "Triple Crown" Doumit in the lineup?!)
-Yesterday's 4-3 loss (in which Clete, who played instead of him, accounted for most of our offense)

I'm not seeing any evidence here to support the claims that 1) Gardy's "worry-warting" is keeping Doumit out of the lineup too often, or 2) when it does, it's hurting the team.

But hey, why let facts get in the way of yet another round of irrational Gardy-bashing, right?

woolhouse
04-16-2012, 06:01 PM
Well, it has happened to the Twins at least once since 2005. July 6th, 2007: Mike Redmond was catching, Joe Mauer was the DH, and Matt Garza was pitching. Jim Thome swung so hard, he ended up hitting and cutting Redmond's hand on the backswing. Mauer had to suit-up, and Garza had to bat in the eighth spot.

On July 7th, 2007, the sun rised, the birds whistled, the Twins and White Sox played another game, and life on Earth continued unabated.

So you can see why the possibility of pulling a catcher due to injury- with your other catcher as the team's DH- would worry Gardenhire so.

Riverbrian
04-16-2012, 07:38 PM
Anyone doubt one of them gets hurt tonight.

lol... It's Gardy's primary fear and here he is manning up to that fear and looking it straight in the eye. Tempting the wrath of whatever from high a top the thing.

If Gardy has been a decent human being and has lived his life caring about his fellow man. Everything will be fine. However... If Gardy has kicked one puppy in the last year. His worst fears will be realized and this may be it. Just one puppy kicked or a fudge on his tax return and Doumit is doomed to a heater to his eyeball.

Riverbrian
04-16-2012, 07:44 PM
Well, it has happened to the Twins at least once since 2005. July 6th, 2007: Mike Redmond was catching, Joe Mauer was the DH, and Matt Garza was pitching. Jim Thome swung so hard, he ended up hitting and cutting Redmond's hand on the backswing. Mauer had to suit-up, and Garza had to bat in the eighth spot.

On July 7th, 2007, the sun rised, the birds whistled, the Twins and White Sox played another game, and life on Earth continued unabated.

So you can see why the possibility of pulling a catcher due to injury- with your other catcher as the team's DH- would worry Gardenhire so.

That one time must have been traumatic. Kinda like peeing on an electric fence. Something you only do once and remember for the rest of your life.

Actually I did it twice. The first time by accident... The second time... The fence was on fire and I didn't have any water nearby. Don't tell me... I'm not a gamer.

whydidnt
04-16-2012, 09:19 PM
Umm, they're both in the lineup tonight for the 7th time in 10 games. The 3 games they weren't were:

-The 8-2 loss in game 2 (hard to see how Doumit's presence turns that into a W)
-The 10-9 win over the Angels (man, how did we manage to score 10 runs without Ryan "Triple Crown" Doumit in the lineup?!)
-Yesterday's 4-3 loss (in which Clete, who played instead of him, accounted for most of our offense)

I'm not seeing any evidence here to support the claims that 1) Gardy's "worry-warting" is keeping Doumit out of the lineup too often, or 2) when it does, it's hurting the team.

But hey, why let facts get in the way of yet another round of irrational Gardy-bashing, right?

Gardenhire is the one who brings it up regularly, as reported in the local papers. If you want to call me out, at least make it for something he hasn't been quoted as saying over and over. Let's not forget, Thomas has been on the roster for a total of 2 days. But, hey don't let me get in the way of a good old fashioned irrational, the Twins are never wrong argument....

I'm expecting an announcement that Parmalee has been sent down and a 3rd C called up sometime within the next few days if Mourneau proves he can handle the field. Just hoping it's not Butera.

John Bonnes
04-16-2012, 09:40 PM
I gotta agree with one_eyed_jack - this has absolutely not been an issue this year. If your wish is that Gardy play both Doumit and Mauer in the same lineup, you're getting your wish. There have only been three times they haven't, and at least two of those times Doumit was kept out of the lineup because Gardy wanted to get a bench player a start (the 2nd game of the season and Clete's first game with the Twins.)

If anything, this thread should be praising Gardenhire for his decisions this year, not criticizing him. Maybe he's turned a new leaf. There certainly isn't much evidence that he's obsessed with keeping them out of the same lineup.

Riverbrian
04-16-2012, 09:59 PM
I gotta agree with one_eyed_jack - this has absolutely not been an issue this year. If your wish is that Gardy play both Doumit and Mauer in the same lineup, you're getting your wish. There have only been three times they haven't, and at least two of those times Doumit was kept out of the lineup because Gardy wanted to get a bench player a start (the 2nd game of the season and Clete's first game with the Twins.)

If anything, this thread should be praising Gardenhire for his decisions this year, not criticizing him. Maybe he's turned a new leaf. There certainly isn't much evidence that he's obsessed with keeping them out of the same lineup.

This exact discussion has centered on Doumit playing RF instead of DH and Gardy's much publicized fear of catchers in the DH position which forced Doumit into the OF. Doumit and Willingham both in the outfield is similar speed to Shelly Winters and Ernest Borgnine and some of us think that kind of speed in the OF could be a Poseidon Adventure.

John Bonnes
04-16-2012, 10:31 PM
This exact discussion has centered on Doumit playing RF instead of DH and Gardy's much publicized fear of catchers in the DH position which forced Doumit into the OF. Doumit and Willingham both in the outfield is similar speed to Shelly Winters and Ernest Borgnine and some of us think that kind of speed in the OF could be a Poseidon Adventure.

So what's the option that everyone is pining for? Doumit at DH? I think everyone is OK with that, but

a) that's only a recent option, now that Morneau seems to feel like he can play first base and
b) what other good option is going to take over right field? Parmelee? Is he going to be any better defensively? Clete? Sure, defense is better, but he was waived for a reason. Plouffe? Fine versus righties, but Gardy was already doing that even with Doumit in the lineup. Revere? In right field? How does that make sense?

What am I missing? I honestly can't figure out what people are criticizing.

CDog
04-16-2012, 10:39 PM
Gardy's much publicized fear of catchers in the DH position which forced Doumit into the OF.

And not because Morneau was DH'ing every day?

Riverbrian
04-16-2012, 11:09 PM
Some Gardy criticizism stems from people that just don't like him and they will have a problem with most anything he does.

Others are frozen in fear over the return of Drew Butera as the 3rd catcher.(jaws theme music here).

Others like me can't sleep at night thinking of Doumit and Willingham plodding over two thirds of the outfield knowing that Doumit can't DH as long as Gardy feels this way.

Whats the the good option. In my opinion. Anyone in RF that can cover a little ground so only one OF gap is gaping. Someone that can run faster then 3 college students pushing a car with no gas down the street. Lots of things at play from different angles.

Riverbrian
04-16-2012, 11:15 PM
And not because Morneau was DH'ing every day?

That wasnt my thinking. Eventually Morneau was going to return to 1B. It was the catching thing in my mind. Doumit needed a position for his bat. He needed DH for his defense. Gardy would not let DH happen because of "the fear"... Can we just call it "the fear". Until tonight that is. He did it... We won... I feel much better now.

one_eyed_jack
04-17-2012, 07:04 AM
I'm with John, I don't get it.

As I understand it, Morneau wasn't available to play the field until tonight, thus Gardy couldn't DH Doumit without taking Morneau's bat out of the lineup.

SO Gardy was so paralyzed by fear of DHing one of his catchers while the other one caught that he did it at the first opportunity he had?

And maybe I missed it, but I don't recall any complaning about this previously. Only after the ESPN piece, which didn't even talk about the DH thing, only the bogus issue that Doumit has been kept out of the lineup too much. Most of the stuff I read in national sources about teams in flyover country is garbage. That's why I come here.

Riverbrian
04-17-2012, 07:43 AM
I'm with John, I don't get it.

As I understand it, Morneau wasn't available to play the field until tonight, thus Gardy couldn't DH Doumit without taking Morneau's bat out of the lineup.

SO Gardy was so paralyzed by fear of DHing one of his catchers while the other one caught that he did it at the first opportunity he had?

And maybe I missed it, but I don't recall any complaning about this previously. Only after the ESPN piece, which didn't even talk about the DH thing, only the bogus issue that Doumit has been kept out of the lineup too much. Most of the stuff I read in national sources about teams in flyover country is garbage. That's why I come here.

Morneau was always available to play in the field. They were easing him in... But he could always play in the field. Morneau publicly was starting to blame his slow start on not being able to stay sharp because of this DH role. Morneau was going to play 1B. It was just a matter of time.

As for "the fear". It isn't a new thing. Gardy has talked about "the fear" since 1914. Just this year... He said he would not take Doumit out the game for late inning defensive replacement because of "the fear".

Riverbrian
04-17-2012, 08:07 AM
I'm expecting an announcement that Parmalee has been sent down and a 3rd C called up sometime within the next few days if Mourneau proves he can handle the field. Just hoping it's not Butera.

If the team is injury free. Yeah... This will happen. you can't stop it. Parmelee will be sent down.

Doumit will get more DH time. Parmelee will move into a RF rotation with Thomas and Plouffe. Parmelee needs to play like Revere needs to play and with Doumit DH and the fear. Towles is on his way. Also don't forget that they have 3 catchers in Rochester right now. Barring injury... This is a sure thing.

roger
04-17-2012, 08:38 AM
Gardenhire is the one who brings it up regularly, as reported in the local papers. If you want to call me out, at least make it for something he hasn't been quoted as saying over and over. Let's not forget, Thomas has been on the roster for a total of 2 days. But, hey don't let me get in the way of a good old fashioned irrational, the Twins are never wrong argument....

I'm expecting an announcement that Parmalee has been sent down and a 3rd C called up sometime within the next few days if Mourneau proves he can handle the field. Just hoping it's not Butera.

That would leave Rochester with only two catchers. Would they be able to continue playing? Or would they have to forfeit their games?

CDog
04-17-2012, 08:39 AM
Morneau publicly was starting to blame his slow start on not being able to stay sharp because of this DH role.

When/where?

gunnarthor
04-17-2012, 09:21 AM
When/where?

He didn't. Gardy said he thought Morneau pressed more when he sat on the bench and thought about his previous ABs.

Gernzy
04-17-2012, 09:30 AM
I don't see us calling up another catcher if Mauer continues to catch the way he is.

SweetOne69
04-17-2012, 09:44 AM
John, from what I hear Detroit would've like to keep Thomas but didn't have room for him and tried to sneak him through waivers. He wasn't waived because he was bad, they were hoping that he would clear waivers so they could send him to AAA to get regular playing time. Kind of like what the Twins tried to do with Neshek last year.

I believe that Thomas is going to be the primary Right Fielder from here on out.

whydidnt
04-17-2012, 10:06 AM
I wasn't trying to imply that in the 10 games this year Gardy had under utilized-Doumit. Come on guys, talk about a small sample size! Amazing how people that complain regularly about small sample size use it to rush to Gardy's defense after 10 games. The jury is out this year, and perhaps Gardenhire has gotten over his fixation, but you can't deny he has publicly stated many times his concerns about putting his backup C in the lineup. How many times over the last few years did many of us ask why Mauer wasn't the DH on days he had off from Catching? Why wasn't he in the lineup? Gardy has a long history, that includes direct statements of fear of losing his C in a game. If some of you want to deny that, then we'll just have to agree to disagree. We will see what happens going forward, but I still think that either a 3rd C is called up to replace Parmalee or Doumit starts losing playing time to Thomas. I hope not, and I hope Gardenhire really has moved on from this, but history indicates one thing.

Finally, it's possible to criticize certain aspects or decisions a manager makes without thinking he's an awful manager and that he should be fired. It doesn't have to be an either or thing. I would argue that questioning manger's decisions is a huge part of baseball, the slow pace leads to lots of time between at bats, pitcher changes etc. to debate these items. I think it's great we have divergent views on this, even though I don't agree with all of them, it's what makes forums such as this relevant.

twinsnorth49
04-17-2012, 10:50 AM
If this lineup manages to go around .500 for the rest of the trip I'd expect to see something happen by the time they get back to Minny. Plouffe can play in right against left-handers, possible to see Doumit and Mauer rotate between 1st, catcher and DH and Morneau to get in a couple more games at 1st and DH the rest. This was the situation the team was realistically looking at at the beginning of spring training.

The Thomas pickup has just made the RF situation a little more flexible and better in my opinion, it makes it much more plausible to send Parmelee to Rochester and bring up Towles.

Riverbrian
04-17-2012, 11:23 AM
http://twinsdaily.com/images/misc/quote_icon.png Originally Posted by Riverbrianhttp://twinsdaily.com/images/buttons/viewpost-right.png (http://twinsdaily.com/showthread.php?p=10492#post10492)Morneau publicly was starting to blame his slow start on not being able to stay sharp because of this DH role.


When/where?

From the Pioneer Press April 14

Morneau, 30, has been candid about his
desire to return to the field since he started regularly DHing midway through
spring training.

"It's not something I exactly want to do,"
he said, "but if I don't at least accept it for a little while, I'll be going
into it with a negative mind-set, and I have to go in trying to figure out what
works for me. It's not easy."

Morneau went 1 for 4 with a walk on
Saturday and is batting .233 with a homer and two runs batted in.

"Everyone says, 'Well, all you have to do
is hit; you don't have to play,' " Morneau said. "It seems simple enough, but
trying to stay loose, and trying to stay into the game and not feel like you're
pinch hitting four times, feeling like you're part of the game and part of the
team and not just going up there to hit, it's hard to do.
"I have to try to figure out what works,
but hopefully it won't be too long before I get back out there at first."

ashburyjohn
04-17-2012, 12:01 PM
If the team is injury free. Yeah... This will happen. you can't stop it. Parmelee will be sent down.

Doumit will get more DH time. Parmelee will move into a RF rotation with Thomas and Plouffe. Parmelee needs to play like Revere needs to play and with Doumit DH and the fear. Towles is on his way.

Small sample size and all that... but Towles is off to the slowest start of the three. Butera is the one, ironically, who has promising looking AAA stats, due in large part to a home run. It will be interesting which one they bring up. Towles looked good in Ft Myers.

Riverbrian
04-17-2012, 12:06 PM
Small sample size and all that... but Towles is off to the slowest start of the three. Butera is the one, ironically, who has promising looking AAA stats, due in large part to a home run. It will be interesting which one they bring up. Towles looked good in Ft Myers.

Yeah... It could be any of the three. Butera would not surprise me. I'm just hoping for Towles. Maybe TR or Gardy will want to see what he can do because they have seen what Butera can do. Whoever it is will have little effect on the team because they won't play. Maybe a game every two weeks when Gardy thinks to himslef. Yeah, let's get you in a game.

Riverbrian
04-17-2012, 12:11 PM
That would leave Rochester with only two catchers. Would they be able to continue playing? Or would they have to forfeit their games?

lol... Love it...

I think it won't be long and the Twins will issue a policy that catchers at all levels are not allowed to travel together in case the plane goes down. No night clubbing together in case of fire or gunplay. No sitting in the dug out side by side in case a foul ball clips both of them.

jmlease1
04-17-2012, 01:02 PM
So what's the option that everyone is pining for? Doumit at DH? I think everyone is OK with that, but

a) that's only a recent option, now that Morneau seems to feel like he can play first base and
b) what other good option is going to take over right field? Parmelee? Is he going to be any better defensively? Clete? Sure, defense is better, but he was waived for a reason. Plouffe? Fine versus righties, but Gardy was already doing that even with Doumit in the lineup. Revere? In right field? How does that make sense?

What am I missing? I honestly can't figure out what people are criticizing.

I think the concern is that Clete is going to start getting more PT than Doumit when Mauer is in the lineup so as to ensure gardy has a catcher on the bench. or that with Morneau playing in the field again, Parmelee is going to be sent down in favor of having a (useless) 3rd catcher in order to cater to Gardy's fear of losing his DH. Based on prior history, that's a legit concern.

I'm willing to wait and see how this plays out afore trashing the manager, especially since he's made the move to break up Mauer & Morneau with Willingham in the batting order. I hope this means he will continue to make the right moves to get the right guys in the right positions and give them and the team their best chance to succeed.

whydidnt
04-19-2012, 07:59 AM
Here's your small sample size stat of the day. Since we acquired Thomas, 4 games ago, Thomas has played in all 4 games, starting 3, Doumit has played and started in 2. Notice a trend? Doumit has not set the world on fire with his bat, but neither has Thomas. Doumit has a track record of being a good offensive player at the major league level, Thomas does not. It's too bad Thomas is a LH hitter, he would make decent platoon partner with Doumit if he could mash lefties. The good in a small sample: Twins over the last 4 games: 2-2, before that 2-6, so that's a positive trend.

one_eyed_jack
04-19-2012, 06:43 PM
Had a chuckle reading Christina Kahrl's Roster Roundup on ESPN this morning: "Please think these things through: The Twins might be bad on offense, but Ron Gardenhire’s being a worrywart over having Joe Mauer (http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/_/id/5378/joe-mauer) and Ryan Doumit (http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/_/id/6304/ryan-doumit) in the same lineup is a way to make a bad lineup worse." I couldn't agree more..



I wasn't trying to imply that in the 10 games this year Gardy had under utilized-Doumit. Come on guys, talk about a small sample size!


Sooooo........what precisely were you trying to imply when you said that you "couldn't agree more" with Kahrl's piece, the central point of which was that Doumit was being underutilized because of Gardenhire's alleged fear of having him and Mauer in the lineup at the same time?

whydidnt
04-19-2012, 07:10 PM
Sooooo........what precisely were you trying to imply when you said that you "couldn't agree more" with Kahrl's piece, the central point of which was that Doumit was being underutilized because of Gardenhire's alleged fear of having him and Mauer in the lineup at the same time?

Actually the point wasn't that he WAS being underutilized. The point was that it's a bad move to bench him in favor Thomas. Keep in mind this was Monday morning, at that point we had 1 whole game on record with Thomas on the roster, you are among those that have tried to twist this into a discussion on Gardy's utilization of Doumit to this point. My point was that he has a known concern about putting his backup C's in the lineup and that it would be a bad move to take Doumit's bat out of this lineup in favor of Thomas. We can argue all day about whether my presumption that Doumit is better than Thomas for the lineup is right or wrong. However, since the only arguments any have posted disagreeing with this premise have limited it to a 10 game stretch of this season tells me the premise itself has merit: Gardy is a worrywart about his Catcher. It's a fact, he's admitted it to be the case, and I think it's a mistake on his part to be so concerned about it, and apparently so do some in the national media.