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On the Twins, the Yankees and Being Psyched Out

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#1 John Bonnes

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 02:52 PM

In a story titled "Hunter, Cuddyer admit Twins were psyched out by Yankees," Jon Heyman quotes Torii Hunter relates a 2004 playoff incident as well as just saying that guys were very nervous about playing the Yankees. What do we think?

#2 Cody Christie

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 03:11 PM

I think it has been in their head whenever they played the Yankees in recent years. Maybe with some new players on the field this year, it won't be an issue any more. The new crop of Twins might not realize they are suppose to be scared of the hated Yankees. It also doesn't help that the Twins are consistently asked about it in the media. There might not be much of a shot of the Twins making the playoffs this year to face the Yankees so the demons could continue to live on.

#3 danielsonbrett

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 03:14 PM

This maybe a little off the point, but I have a problem with this part of the article.
"Hunter recalled one 2004 ALDS game the Twins lost where they had a runner on third with one out, down a run against the great Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, and Twins manager called on a young righty hitters to bat against Rivera, and Hunter recalled that hitter turning down the pinch-hit assignment.

"You need a righty hitter against Rivera with his cutter,'' Hunter recalled. But according to Hunter, the player shook his head no. So Gardenhire used another kid, Jason Kubel, a lefthanded hitter, who Hunter recalled getting jammed. "Kubel wasn't afraid, but he's a lefty hitter,'' Hunter said.""

Looking back at the box scores of the game there were two one run games, and Rivera only got the save in one. In that one game(Game Four) Kubel got a double in the eighth, Rivera pitched in the tenth and eleventh. In two games(Game One and Game Three) Kubel did not even play. The other game(Game Two) Kubel started and did not get a hit, but Rivera pitched in the eighth and ninth, blowing a save. So to shorten up what I'm trying to get at, I can not find an instance by looking at the box scores where the scenario that Torri Hunter said happened could have happened. Am I missing something?



#4 VodkaDave

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 03:22 PM

I'm not sure who is full of **** more: Hunter or Heyman, both are blowhards. Hunter likes to take shots at anyone whenever he can. Lest he forgets he was a huge reason why we lost the 1. 2002 ALCS and the 2006 ALDS with that super sweet dive against the A's.

#5 Seth Stohs

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 03:27 PM

Again, a couple of weeks ago, Commnman from The Platoon Advantage has proven that Hunter is clueless and the story isn't accuract at all. (http://www.platoonad...rii-hunter.html) If you check out the fun Twitter War between Commnman and Heyman, it's entertaining.

#6 Seth Stohs

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 03:29 PM

Were they intimidated (or nervous) against the Yankees? Maybe... but they didn't play it. They played them well. Not just that series. But they've given the Yankees a lot of good games. What if Mauer's double down the LF line wouldn't have been inexplicably called foul? What if Joe Nathan wouldn't have had to go out for a third inning? They haven't played intimidated.

#7 whydidnt

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 05:19 PM

I think they have played like they are intimidated, and it all starts with the manager who I think manages extremely tight against the Yankees. The results speak from themselves. No way the Yankees are THAT much better than the Twins, yet their record is incredible. i think that among the major sports baseball is the one that is most mental, and in this case the Twins obviously don't play right against the Yankees. I think most of us that have played baseball, or even softball for any amount of time know how much more difficult it is to hit when you are thinking too much and not just playing the game.

#8 JB_Iowa

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 06:16 PM

I've said before that I think they should send Gardenhire fishing when they play the Yankees. I still believe that.

#9 Bojangles

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 07:18 PM

Instead of tattling maybe Torii should blame himself for not taking charge and punching Lew Ford (Nick Punto) in the face like a true leader.
[SIZE=1]Joe Mauer should hit more home runs. JMO.[/SIZE]

#10 one_eyed_jack

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 09:22 PM

Heyman's piece is ridiculous. He's honestly suggesting that the '03 and '04 Twins were evenly matched with the Yankee teams of those years? Please. Compare the records, rosters, and payrolls. It's not even close. And I find it hard to believe that what happened to them in the playoffs those years would somehow be the heads of an almost completely different roster of guys 5 years later. There were a lot of close games between the teams, and you can't point to a lot of reasons the Yankees won. They had more talent and more experience. The Twins caught some bad breaks (Koskie's double, Cuzzi's foul ball call, Morneau out in '09 and '10) and made some dumb base-running mistakes. But the east coast centric national media loves the storyline of a "Yankee mystique" so powerful that the mere sight of Yankee uniforms has small-market teams like the Twins quivering with fear. So they keep hyping that. But it's silly. Bear in mind Heyman is the guy who thinks Morris should be in the HOF but not Blyleven, so that should tell you a bit about his knowledge level of baseball in general and the Twins in particular.

#11 Paul Pleiss

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 01:04 AM

The Twins might not be scared of the Yankees, but I cant think of anyone I'd want to face less than those bronx bombers when the weather turns cold in October. Additionally, I think one eyed Jack makes a lot of good points, mostly that the Yankees have been better ball clubs than the Twins when they've played in the post-season, missing Morneau in the line-up in 09 and 10 is a tough lump to swallow.

#12 Teflon

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 02:02 AM

I would be ecstatic if the Twins made it to the post season and lost to the Yankees this year.

#13 ChiTownTwinsFan

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 08:42 AM

Heyman's piece is ridiculous.


Just this. While I do think there is something in the Twins' heads when it comes to the Yankees, this article was just plain ridiculous.

#14 one_eyed_jack

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 01:00 PM

...that effectively shoots down Heyman's piece as well.

http://jamessmythbro...hed-out-by.html



"Was this all because of that famous MYSTIQUE and AURA? Of course not. The Yankees were the better team in each of the four seasons, even holding a better record as a wild card team than the Central-winning Twins in 2010
...
Having said that, there was definitely a Murphy's Law factor in all of these series. The Twins held leads in seven of the 12 games they lost. There were a ton of goofy things that all went the Yankees' way, from baserunning miscues in big spots, to Joe Mauer's double-that-wasn't, to Joe Nathan turning human."

It's painful to read about the Twins having leads in 7 of the 12 playoff losses to the Yankees, but if they were as psyched out and intimidated as Heyman suggests, they would never have gotten the lead that often in the first place. Heyman has written about the Twins being "psyched out" by the Yankees before, so now he's just molding facts to fit a narrative.

#15 jlovren

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 01:37 PM

I think there is a lot of guys on the roster that seem afraid to me in the playoffs. This just confirms it.

#16 whydidnt

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 01:51 PM

It's painful to read about the Twins having leads in 7 of the 12 playoff losses to the Yankees, but if they were as psyched out and intimidated as Heyman suggests, they would never have gotten the lead that often in the first place. Heyman has written about the Twins being "psyched out" by the Yankees before, so now he's just molding facts to fit a narrative.


I disagree - when you are psyched out, it's the most critical moments you makes mistakes. Base running errors, Nathan melting down, etc are MENTAL mistakes you make when you feel too much pressure to do the right thing. Since this has spanned more than a generation of players, it's more likely tied to the manager and coaching staff feeling the pressure and as a result the players acting upon the fact the manager just told him not to screw up three times.

Sure the Yankees had better and more expensive players, but that doesn't explain the TOTAL domination they have shown over the Twins for almost a decade!

#17 one_eyed_jack

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 02:55 PM

Since this has spanned more than a generation of players, it's more likely tied to the manager and coaching staff feeling the pressure and as a result the players acting upon the fact the manager just told him not to screw up three times.


OK, so it's all about the manager saying the right thing to his players. The fact that the Yankees had a lot more talent, a lot more experience and healthier rosters has nothing to do with it. Check, got it.

#18 Zach

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 03:36 PM

Looking at the Twins' playoff record since the 2000s, they havent gone far no matter who they play. It may be that the Twins just were the lesser of the two teams in each losing year, and becoming intimidated brings that out in their play. Many others in the thread have defended our losses to New York pointing out that we were simply overmatched--but we played hard and lost in the high pressure and tight situations. In 2006 we lost to an Oakland team that seemed pretty equal to us in talent--in worse fashion than we did to the Yanks two years before with a worse team: 2006 lost in 3 with the last two games not even close 2004 lost in 4 with two games going extra innings And in the 2002 series win against Oakland we didnt exactly dominate. The deciding game was a one run win with a 9th inning shootout. I'd say that the Twins have played well in the playoffs--probably beyond their potential in some cases, and this intimidation business is a way of explaining the losses without admitting the possibility that we were simply just not as good as the other teams--the yankees, or anyone else. Had we drawn another team as often as we have the Yankees, its likely we would have had the same results. The Twins are a great team, and I love them for that alone.

#19 itstimetotakeit

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 04:42 PM

no real surprise. this team always has been and always will be mentally inept unless they get rid of the fools who run this organization

#20 Bojangles

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 05:02 PM

END Rick Stelmaszek's REIGN OF TERROR
[SIZE=1]Joe Mauer should hit more home runs. JMO.[/SIZE]

#21 whydidnt

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 08:24 PM

OK, so it's all about the manager saying the right thing to his players. The fact that the Yankees had a lot more talent, a lot more experience and healthier rosters has nothing to do with it. Check, got it.

Did I say that? Perhaps you need a reading lesson. Isn't it just possible that it could be a combination of the two? Does it ALWAYS have to be black or white? Seriously, was the difference in talent, experience and health between the teams enough to make the Twins play like the 61 Mets and the Yankees play like the 27 Yankees? Because that's about how the results have been. Those are the facts, there is nothing in the difference in talent, experience, etc. to explain the domination the Yankees have shown over the Twins.

It really ticks me off when people put words in my mouth...especially when I clearly posted something different.

#22 jlovren

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 08:42 PM

Take a look at our best players of any playoff team since 2001 and what marquee player did better?

#23 whydidnt

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 08:57 PM

I guess some of us understand that there has often been talent gap between the Yankees and Twins. However, it does NOT explain a 20-63 record (including Playoffs) against the Yankees since Gardenhire took over. Especially when you consider the Twins record vs. everyone else during this time. There is something else going on, and 83 games is more than enough to just blame it upon a small sample size. If you want to blame it on ducky's and bunny's that's your business, but those of us that have actually watched the games have seen first hand how the manager mangages tight and that can only rub off on the players. If you refuse to believe that the mind has any impact on a a player/teams performance then I'm not going to change your mind, despite "something" being at play here.

#24 Shane Wahl

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 10:14 PM

There is definitely something going on here when the record is 20-63. The Yankees have simply not been that much better.

#25 CDog

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 10:29 PM

those of us that have actually watched the games have seen first hand how the manager mangages tight


At some point will there be a definition given of "tight managing" and then some examples of this occuring? Maybe something other than the equivalent of "I knew it when I saw it" would be helpful.

#26 whydidnt

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 09:37 AM

At some point will there be a definition given of "tight managing" and then some examples of this occuring? Maybe something other than the equivalent of "I knew it when I saw it" would be helpful.

I'm not going to go back and analyze each game to point out the specifics, but we've seen things like bunting in the 1st or 2nd inning (playing for a single run early?). Getting relief pitchers up early, bring the closer in before he usually does, letting the closer pitch longer than normal, etc. If you watch most the games you see that Gardenhire manages a certain way, and often against the Yankees he makes decisions that are "strange", at least for him.

I'm still waiting for one of you nay-sayers to provide a reasonable explanation for the 20-63 record that goes beyond the talent difference, which we know isn't 43 games. What is it? Or do you just know that it's nothing because you saw it?

#27 StormJH1

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 09:48 AM

Heyman's piece is ridiculous. He's honestly suggesting that the '03 and '04 Twins were evenly matched with the Yankee teams of those years? Please. Compare the records, rosters, and payrolls. It's not even close. And I find it hard to believe that what happened to them in the playoffs those years would somehow be the heads of an almost completely different roster of guys 5 years later. There were a lot of close games between the teams, and you can't point to a lot of reasons the Yankees won. They had more talent and more experience. The Twins caught some bad breaks (Koskie's double, Cuzzi's foul ball call, Morneau out in '09 and '10) and made some dumb base-running mistakes. But the east coast centric national media loves the storyline of a "Yankee mystique" so powerful that the mere sight of Yankee uniforms has small-market teams like the Twins quivering with fear. So they keep hyping that. But it's silly. Bear in mind Heyman is the guy who thinks Morris should be in the HOF but not Blyleven, so that should tell you a bit about his knowledge level of baseball in general and the Twins in particular.

On your primary point, which was that the Twins were NEVER "equally matched" with the Yankees in terms of talent, you are absolutely right. I don't think even the most partisan Twins fans would ever actually admit that the Twins could be "expected" to beat the Yankees in any given year, be it '03, '04, '09, or '10.

That being said however, you look at how badly we performed in ALL of those series put together, along with our regular season futility against them, and there was something more going on than simply them being the better team. I think the Yankees were better than Tigers in most years since 2006, also, yet the Tigers have beaten them in critical playoff series because they didn't look or play scared. I even felt like you could see a difference in the demeanor of "rental" Twins like Orlando Cabrera, Orlando Hudson, and Jon Rauch, who looked like they were able to go about their business, and didn't freak out when they saw pinstripes.

Moreover, I think 2006 was the biggest disappointment of all because it showed that it's bigger than just a "Yankees" problem. That 2006 A's team SUCKED. I'm sorry. Marco Scutaro and Mark Kotsay kicked the crap out of us. Torii was diving 10 feet away from routine base hits in center, and I remember dumb plays in the field and on the basepaths (Bartlett) that looked nothing like the team we saw all year.

This team has been great for its fans the past decade, but it could have been so much better. With the exception of Game 163 in 2009, they simply do not get up for big games. Virtually all of their signature wins/moments involved beating other teams from the AL Central (Royals in 2003; grabbing pennant from the Tigers in '06 and '09; repeatedly smoking the White Sox at home). To think of them beating an AL East or West team in a game of real significance is almost unthinkable, and that's sad for as good as they've been.