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Gardy's fixation on backup catchers

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#1 whydidnt

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 12:30 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 and 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.

#2 Riverbrian

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 12:49 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.

#3 SweetOne69

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 12:51 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.

#4 Mike Sixel

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 01:39 PM

Agreed, this is just stupid. They need to figure out how to change his thought process.

I don't know, it is a site to discuss sports, not airline safety.....maybe we should take it less seriously?


#5 Thrylos

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 01:48 PM

Agreed, this is just stupid. They need to figure out how to change his thought process.


Or get rid of him..
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#6 Astro1980

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 02:49 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 ...

#7 SweetOne69

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 03:13 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.

#8 Mike Sixel

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 03:48 PM

Anyone doubt one of them gets hurt tonight.

I don't know, it is a site to discuss sports, not airline safety.....maybe we should take it less seriously?


#9 one_eyed_jack

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 04:06 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?

#10 woolhouse

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 05:01 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.

Edited by woolhouse, 16 April 2012 - 05:07 PM.
poor grammar


#11 Riverbrian

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 06:38 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.

#12 Riverbrian

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 06:44 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.

#13 whydidnt

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 08:19 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.

#14 John Bonnes

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 08:40 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.

#15 Riverbrian

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 08:59 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.

#16 John Bonnes

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 09:31 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.

#17 CDog

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 09:39 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?

#18 Riverbrian

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 10:09 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.

#19 Riverbrian

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 10:15 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.

#20 one_eyed_jack

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 06:04 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.