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Berardino: Antony/Gardy on Aaron Hicks

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#1 Seth Stohs

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 09:01 AM

http://blogs.twincit...-his-superiors/

Mike Berardino relayed discussions with Rob Antony and Ron Gardenhire on Aaron Hicks.

Hicks is a good guy, and he's laid back. He isn't one to show a lot of emotion.

The generally discussion is and has been that he's too laid back and unprepared. Not sure I'm a big fan of calling him out, especially when Antony said,

[COLOR=#000000][FONT=arial]“There are times when you want him to get a little more aggressive,” [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#000000][FONT=arial]Antony[/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#000000][FONT=arial] said. “I think he plays the game right. I don’t have a problem with the personality. It’s more about the production and the preparation and everything else where we think he has a ways to go. It takes time. They are not finished products when they get here.”[/FONT][/COLOR]


If it's about the production (and it is and should be, then let's not talk about the personality. Hicks isn't a finished product, and he's 24.

This kind of thing should probably stay in the clubhouse... as much as we want to know more and more.

#2 mike wants wins

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 09:07 AM

I agree with Gleeman on Harballtalk.......if he hasn't learned how to study the game, what have the minor league coaches been teaching him for the last 6 years? I also agree with you, that this shouldn't be in public. OTOH, maybe they have tried for years to teach him, and he's not listening, and this is a last ditch chance......
Lighten up Francis....

#3 gunnarthor

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 09:09 AM

Twinkietown had an article on this, too. http://www.twinkieto...cks-too-passive

Reading the article, I don't think any of Gardy's comments were that bad - although this thread is absolutely going to blow up with "Gardy being mean to young guys" stuff. Like with Morneau in 06, I'm sure there were a lot of conversations in private before it came to this. Hicks is 24 and really, really bad. He shouldn't be this bad and, as Jessie at TT noted, Hicks' passivity isn't something only the Twins have noted.

#4 big dog

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 09:16 AM

I agree with Gleeman on Harballtalk.......if he hasn't learned how to study the game, what have the minor league coaches been teaching him for the last 6 years? I also agree with you, that this shouldn't be in public. OTOH, maybe they have tried for years to teach him, and he's not listening, and this is a last ditch chance......


If the minor league coaches have been trying to do this, and he hasn't been listening, how do you ramp up the pressure? You could demote him, except of course the team doesn't have anyone, or you go public and try to get his attention. You can only try privately so long, then those become your two options.

#5 mike wants wins

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 09:18 AM

Isn't that what I said in the last sentence?
Lighten up Francis....

#6 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 09:23 AM

Thanks Seth. Hicksies performance at the plate speaks volumes enough without needing to pile on with the work ethic stuff. The same issue came up with Plouffe during his outfield experiment a few years ago, iirc.

#7 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 09:25 AM

I thought they did a pretty good job of not throwing him under the bus, and that tends to be my biggest issue in how the Twins have used the press in the past, though I tend to agree that these things need to be private.

My issue with Gardy has been his inconsistent treatment of rookies as opposed to vets... Unfortunatley with Hicks, I'd be hardpressed to find a vet that he's outplaying right now. I said at the beginning of the year that I felt Rochester was the best place for him. He needs to play in a lower pressure environment and work on a few things.

I still think that.

Doesn't really need to be in the press though. Send the kid down and let Fuld have the job for now.

#8 Kirby_waved_at_me

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 09:28 AM

If he's not ready in their opinion, why are they keeping him on the ML roster instead of have him play in AAA ?
Are they trying to soften the blow for the move they have already decided to make?
Making it public does seem like a way to send an additional underlined message, but that's assuming Hicks pays attention to the local media.

#9 clutterheart

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 10:02 AM

This kind of thing should probably stay in the clubhouse... as much as we want to know more and more.


Exactly
I don't mind Gardy's comments. But the things Antony said to media are unforgivable. Why he is talking to the media about how how Hicks doesn't know the opposing pitcher?!!?

Antony should know better.

#10 jokin

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 10:10 AM

Exactly
I don't mind Gardy's comments. But the things Antony said to media are unforgivable. Why he is talking to the media about how how Hicks doesn't know the opposing pitcher?!!?

Antony should know better
.


Should he know better? A guy hired as a marketing intern, not the first time he spoke out of turn, Antony's learning curve is lot longer than Hicks's

#11 SDFan

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 10:11 AM

In the past I've been very critical of the Twins - Gardy in particular - in how they call out young guys publicly while seeming to give under-performing veterans a pass.

In this case, however, nothing that was said in that article bothered me. I thought Gardy and Antony were pretty diplomatic, considering that Hicks apparently sometimes doesn't even bother to find out who's taking the hill that day. That was a startling bit of information.

Maybe behind the scenes the Twins have an attitude that I've heard Nick Saban express more than once. If you work on the process and get that right, the results should take care of themselves. If they don't, then you've done what you can with the talent you have. If Hick's isn't working on the process of being a professional hitter with that preparation and tape study, then he's just hoping the results work out. I can understand why that would frustrate them. It would frustrate me also.

#12 mike wants wins

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 10:17 AM

Shouldn't they have known that, in the 6 years he's been in the system, and either fixed it or not kept promoting him until he did? I mean, it would appear that they weren't concerned with any of this in the minors, and they dealt both CF while he was in AA and made him the CF. Did they not know this was an issue before? isn't that a process issue?
Lighten up Francis....

#13 Brandon

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 10:32 AM

I am ok with a Santana / Fuld platoon for a while.

If Hicks isn't studying the days pitcher, then he should be grilled before he's allowed to take batting practice and play in that days game. that is if I was in charge.

#14 TheLeviathan

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 10:39 AM

I struggle to ever think of a time that it benefits a young player to have concerns like this expressed to the media. If his peers in the lockerroom and his employers are not enough to pressure him to change, the sea of nameless faces in the crowd isn't going to suddenly get him to change.

This wasn't as bad as usual for the Twins and young players, but still completely unnecessary and fruitless.

#15 drivlikejehu

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 10:40 AM

Shouldn't they have known that, in the 6 years he's been in the system, and either fixed it or not kept promoting him until he did? I mean, it would appear that they weren't concerned with any of this in the minors, and they dealt both CF while he was in AA and made him the CF. Did they not know this was an issue before? isn't that a process issue?


What they said was too vague to really get much out of it. In the minor leagues they probably don't study the opposing pitcher nearly as much, due to the limited information that is available and the fact development takes precedence over wins and losses.

So what confuses me isn't so much what he did in the minors - how is preparation even remotely voluntary in the Majors? Particularly in the case of a young player, wouldn't he just be told to do it, and if he didn't, demoted immediately? It's the back and forth aspect that makes no sense to me.

I mean, it would be one thing if he was doing well. But he's been bad for his entire MLB career. And if there are these professionalism questions, that makes the lack of off-season attention to the OF even worse... gross incompetence is an understatement.

#16 stringer bell

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 10:51 AM

Isn't this just greasing the skids for his demotion? Maybe, there's a bit of face-saving to be had for both the Twins and Hicks. "He needs to be more dedicated" or something like that might be easier to swallow than he needs to hit a curve ball and swing at strikes.

#17 Shane Wahl

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 10:59 AM

Again Antony does this kind of nonsense. Gardenhire's comments are fine. Antony is another issue.

#18 mike wants wins

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 11:06 AM

Isn't this just greasing the skids for his demotion? Maybe, there's a bit of face-saving to be had for both the Twins and Hicks. "He needs to be more dedicated" or something like that might be easier to swallow than he needs to hit a curve ball and swing at strikes.


I don't see how this is face saving. When they finally admit he is not a switch hitter, that will be face saving.....
Lighten up Francis....

#19 Boom Boom

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 11:10 AM

None of this would be necessary if the Twins hadn't painted themselves into a corner regarding their center field situation.

Hicks should have been sent to AAA weeks ago with instructions about what he needed to work on to be called back up.

#20 gunnarthor

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 11:36 AM

Shouldn't they have known that, in the 6 years he's been in the system, and either fixed it or not kept promoting him until he did? I mean, it would appear that they weren't concerned with any of this in the minors, and they dealt both CF while he was in AA and made him the CF. Did they not know this was an issue before? isn't that a process issue?


I'm sure they talked about it with him in the minors. The links at twinkietown show that it was a known issue then. But at the same time, if a guy is getting by on less work but still putting up a .844 OPS in CF while being over 2 years younger than the avg age of a AA league, the results might have masked the preparation effort.

#21 Seth Stohs

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 11:37 AM

Thanks Seth. Hicksies performance at the plate speaks volumes enough without needing to pile on with the work ethic stuff. The same issue came up with Plouffe during his outfield experiment a few years ago, iirc.


That's my point. He's played poorly. No question. But that doesn't mean he isn't working hard. Not everyone prepares in the same way, etc. Looking at the actual quotes, it's not as bad as where the dialogue and discussions want to take it, it seems.

#22 mike wants wins

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 11:38 AM

I'm sure they talked about it with him in the minors. The links at twinkietown show that it was a known issue then. But at the same time, if a guy is getting by on less work but still putting up a .844 OPS in CF while being over 2 years younger than the avg age of a AA league, the results might have masked the preparation effort.


Certainly possible, but a good PROCESS driven team would look at the process, not the results. I think that is my point.....something is wrong with the process (not that we know what part is broken).
Lighten up Francis....

#23 Cris E

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 11:53 AM

Both Colabello and Parmalee said the same things when they returned from the wilderness as improved hitters (I know, but humor me for a moment): "I'm more aggressive now. I waited too much for great pitches that weren't showing up, but now I'm hitting the first thing that's hittable." CC said it in April and Parm said it a week ago and Hicks needs the same message today. Send him down to learn how to study pitchers, to learn to expect specific things, and to jump on hittable pitches. He's better than a lot of guys on this roster so they should pull him out (making it clear he's not going back until he's ready) and rebuild his approach and get him going in a better direction.

#24 halfchest

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 11:59 AM

I really don't think any of these comments are out of line by Antony or Gardy. They say the kid needs to fire it up a little bit and would benefit from more studying of the opposing pitcher and having a better gameplan. It's odd because a lot of times patience at the plate is a good thing but he seems to take pitches anytime he gets that count in hopes of a walk rather than working a walk. Does that make sense? Sounds like he needs a little better eye so he can stop taking those third strikes as often, make the pitcher work a bit more.

#25 MileHighTwinsFan

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 12:08 PM

To me this is all about maturity - not work ethic. We often forget that these players are still young and somewhat immature adults. They have had success on their own terms for most of their lives. Receiving and internalizing critical feedback is not always part of their DNA. I see this a bit like the Hunter/Morneau wake up call where a young talented player who the team is expecting big things from gets called out. I am sure they have tried many other strategies to get him on track - sending a very public message may be the next step in the maturity process.

I think this is all interesting in light of Parmelee's success now that he is up with the big club. Parmelee getting passed through waivers, not getting picked up and finding himself back in Rochester had to be a wake up call. If he succeeds, it will be because he finally gained the requisite maturity to act and play like a major leaguer. I expect that the goal is the same for Hicks.

#26 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 12:35 PM

That's my point. He's played poorly. No question. But that doesn't mean he isn't working hard. Not everyone prepares in the same way, etc. Looking at the actual quotes, it's not as bad as where the dialogue and discussions want to take it, it seems.


I agree with that also - the comments are much tamer than they seemed at first blush.

#27 JB_Iowa

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 12:37 PM

I think this is all interesting in light of Parmelee's success now that he is up with the big club. Parmelee getting passed through waivers, not getting picked up and finding himself back in Rochester had to be a wake up call. If he succeeds, it will be because he finally gained the requisite maturity to act and play like a major leaguer. I expect that the goal is the same for Hicks.


I hope that the "wake up call" for Chris Parmelee sticks but let's not forget that he has only played in 6 games thus far. There is a lot of adjusting and confidence boosting that may still need to be done.

I don't know what type of "wake up call" that Aaron Hicks needs. I do know that I don't ever want Rob Antony to be GM of the Twins.

#28 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 12:50 PM

If nothing else, Antony needs to realize that he's always on the record when reporters are around and be thinking about smarter ways to say things.

#29 JB_Iowa

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 03:33 PM

  • Howard Sinker ‏@afansview 29m
    If I'm Aaron Hicks, I say in postgame interview: "I think the frontoffice knows what it wants to do, but I don't think it always has a plan.

#30 Willihammer

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 03:46 PM

I think, specifically, Hicks needs to address his 2 strike approach. He has 14 strikeouts swinging in 103 PAs, but he has 15 strikeouts looking. Same issue as last year.

Keep the bat on your shoulder first pitch, sure. I'd even go so far as to make that a team rule. But with 2 strikes, be ready to swing!