04-23-2012, 11:30 AM #21
However, with someone with an attitude like Valencia's that is continually making the same mental mistakes, you have to consider that a significant event is likely necessary to shock him out of his complacency. I think for his sake, I'd send him down to Rochester until at least July. I'd tell him he's not coming back until his defense is solid, and he starts to take major-league at-bats.
With a guy like Valencia, I don't think the patient approach works. He's certainly not lacking in confidence and just needs "to figure it out." I think he thinks he's awesome and will just "get there" by magic--not a good philosophy.
04-23-2012, 12:45 PM #22
I don't want to judge him on the Twitter thing, though it can be frustrating for the fans when WE perceive the guy as holding on by a thread and his actions/demeanor off the field don't seem to reflect any of that urgency whatsoever. Ultimately, if he were playing better, nobody would care if he were a total ass, and that's the plain truth.
The lack of alternatives is very obviously the reason that Valencia "appears" to have a longer leash. Gardy's attitude to him seems similar to how he treats Casilla. The difference there is that the Twins have had a variety of guys that could play SS or 2B in the past 2 years, and that includes Nishi, Carroll, Hughes, Plouffe, etc. I think Casilla's play has been vastly undervalued by the Twins, who have constantly moved him around in favor of supposedly "better" options.
By contrast, we really haven't had a lot of guys that could really "play" 3rd base. The fact that Burroughs even made this team tells you all you need to know about the level of confidence they have in Valencia. Burroughs was a washed up journeyman, and I don't believe he's great in the field either, yet he was retained ostensibly for the purpose of "pushing" Valencia, even though Burroughs has done nothing with his very limited playing time either.
04-25-2012, 01:28 PM #23
I may get burned for this and maybe should, but i guess i'm on Valencia's side here. I've seen his twitter feed and was quite turned off by it but so what, this guy is a baseball player, not my friend. I think that's part of the problem with the Twins as well they get rid of or run off all these guys that aren't "good guys" or don't gel in the clubhouse ie Bartlet, Garza, Ortiz. etc.
Now i'm not going to pretend to know the correct route to take to get Valencia on the right track but maybe instead of constant ridicule from his manager he needs some support. Some players respond better to encouragement than to yelling and its up to Gardy to figure out which players are which and to make sure he has a healthy clubhouse. I've been telling people since last year that i predict Valencia will be the next one shipped out that Twins fans say "why didn't he do that here?" It's up to Gardy. We don't need a team full of "nice guys" we need a team full of good ball players.
04-25-2012, 03:27 PM #24
Couldn't agree more with the whole "we need baseball players, not good guys" angle. I think with the Boston Red Sox, both last September and now, you're seeing an example of how a broken team culture can cause even a very talented (and highly paid) group of players to badly underperform. The Twins have a culture that's become all too comfortable over the years, and their talent level has become increasingly mediocre, even within their own division.
I think that players with any type of personality or expressiveness really struggle to fit in on this team, and that's particularly the case with non-white players. And I don't like that about this team. You see the language they use about "gritty" players like Lew Ford, Little Nicky Punto, and even Butera when portions of their game absolutely suck. And you hear stories like the one from Leyland how Gardy had a man-crush on Clete Thomas for years, and gives him an unconscionable amount of playing time after we get him off the scrap heap. But if Casilla boots a grounder (heaven forbid), the guy's a lazy, erratic bum.
Yes, the organization has run off white players too (Garza, Bartlett, Slowey, etc.), so it isn't strictly a race thing. But there's a stubbornness about the way the Twins do business and the lack of flexibility they show in player acquisitions and management that feels a little unwarranted from a team that's won all of 1 playoff series since 1992.
04-25-2012, 04:43 PM #25
Burroughs is in the lineup at 3B tonight. Might be a pitching matchup thing, but I can't imagine it's not a message.