This is in all likelihood Gardy's last year on the bench, with his possible replacement sitting next to him, his relevance is ebbing daily
Ryan made a curious public statement regarding Mauer's status, to say the least.
The statement contradicts the contract extension to Doumit.
The statement contradicts the very successful plan that he and Gardy hatched in 2012.
The statement jeopardizes the investment still committed to Mauer for the next 6 years.
The statement contradicts common sense for what Ryan has already admitted is a lost season, a season that- according to Ryan- the best that fans can hope for, is to "treasure" a professional approach over wins and losses.
Ryan has been saying this all offseason, though. He plans to have Mauer behind the plate more often where his value is highest. It makes sense to me, even in a "lost" season. If the team is out of it late in the season and Joe is banged up, I'm sure we'll see him at DH more often.
I don't think it negates Doumit's signing at all. He will still catch 30+ games (probably more like 45, IMO). The rest of the time, he'll DH where he isn't a defensive liability. The guy is only paid $3.5m a year. For the kind of production he offers and the ability to play catcher, that's very reasonable.
It doesn't contradict the 2012 plan because the 2012 plan was created in the wake of 2011 when Joe had his worst season as a professional. Now that he's two years removed from the injury, I don't think there's anything wrong with pushing him behind the plate again.
I don't like much of what happened in this offseason but on this issue, I don't see a reason to be too upset about it. The best player on the team is healthy and wants to play his natural position more often. The team is allowing him to do that. Big deal.