Fire Gardy

Mismanaging games since 2002

Spring Training Notes

A few thoughts on things I’ve read now that camp has opened.

  • Livan Hernandez was told not to wear “bling-blings” in the words of Gardy.  I did not know this but team rules state no excessive jewelry can be worn by players.  I have no problem with this, but it might also explain why we have lots of dorky white guys on the team.  Livan was also told he could not wear a windbreaker during practice.  I thought this was strange.  At least he isn’t like Wild Thing Rick Vaugh and not wearing a cap or sleeves.
  • The team seems to be plagued by visa problems.  First Liriano and his DUI related issue.  Now we have Reyes who just plain forgot to renew his passport, so he is stuck in Mexico until later this week.  Casilla also missed his visa renewal appointment due to a family emergency.  I guess that is ok, but he is one guy who really can’t afford to miss workouts. 
  • Carlos Gomez appears to be “head and shoulders” above the competition for the starting CF job.  This does not surprise me, as Span is just plain bad and should not be considered, but I think Pridie should be given a fair shake.  Either way it should be fun to watch, or read about.
  • Back to Livan, apparently he had some trouble keeping up with the other pitchers during wind sprints yesterday.  Granted it is the first day, he is fat, and Reyes wasn’t there to make him look good, but for a guy who was desperate to get a job he should have showed up to camp in a little better shape.  Maybe his presence is why people think Boof looks so slim.

21 comments

21 Comments so far

  1. sirsean February 19th, 2008 9:28 am

    Wow. I didn’t know about any of these bogus rules. No jewelry? Whatever. No windbreakers? That doesn’t make any sense.

    And why sign a veteran (I’m sure we knew about these elements of his “personality” beforehand) if you’re going to let the manager jerk him around?

    I mean, I’d rather Gardy mess with Livan than the young players, but he’s still being a bit strange.

    Oh, and this visa problem is unacceptable. Maybe the team has to get involved and help the players out. Gardy can crap on Casilla and these other young guys all he wants, saying they’re “adults” who need to “be responsible,” but that doesn’t change the fact that they’re all young, there are no veterans to teach them what to do (and the manager won’t do it), and they’re baseball players. There are plenty of guys in the front office who can push paper all day long for these guys. Get it done and get them on the field.

  2. FunBobby February 19th, 2008 9:39 am

    They are working on it for Casilla, and reyes has it under control.

    I guess Livan has been understanding of team rules. He showed up wearing giant diamond earings and Gardy said no. So he took them off. The windbreaker is weird because Livan wears it so he can break a sweat at practice. They should let him because he could stand to lose a few pounds. Why even give out team windbreakers? not that this is really an issue, but there just isn’t much to talk about now.

  3. sirsean February 19th, 2008 10:22 am

    How worried are you about Gomez being “head and shoulders” above everyone else? Considering that he almost certainly needs seasoning at AAA, could the team be making a mistake by going with what’s “best” in the short term at the possible expense of hindering (or stunting) his long-term development?

    Should we even care about that any more? If we do our best to improve players gradually, over the long term, they will only get good enough to be too expensive for us exactly when they’ve reached their potential.

    Maybe a “get good fast” philosophy of racing people through the system is a better way to go. At least in our current situation.

  4. FunBobby February 19th, 2008 10:26 am

    I think Gomez for sure needs AT LEAST half a season at AAA. Pridie might be the best bet considering he was solid at AAA last season. I just am afraid they will basically hand the job to gomez by giving him most of the ABs in center. I guess Pridie can get ABs elsewhere in spring games and prove in practice he is good enough defensively in center.

  5. sirsean February 19th, 2008 10:55 am

    I continue to be skeptical about Pridie. Gleeman’s article today points out that Pridie’s 2007 is basically the outlier in his career. I don’t think we can count on him to improve upon that.

    But he may be a better option than Gomez until the All Star break. Hopefully I’ll get a better idea of this starting in two weeks, when MLB.TV starts broadcasting the spring training games.

  6. FunBobby February 19th, 2008 11:01 am

    I would rather throw Pridie out there than possibly ruin Gomez’s bright future by throwing him to the wolves too early. It doesn’t sound like they are going to go outside the organization to fill the CF hole, so we are stuck with one of these two to start on opening day. If neither hits well in ST, who do we bat leadoff? Harris?

  7. sirsean February 19th, 2008 11:22 am

    Mauer.

    But yes, considering that Gardy doesn’t realize that the single most important consideration for a leadoff hitter is OBP … it’ll probably be the smallest player in the lineup.

  8. FunBobby February 19th, 2008 11:26 am

    I read on the pioneer press Twins blog that Gomez looked very impressive in BP today. He sprayed the ball to all fields, and showed impressive bat speed. Granted its only BP on the second day of ST, but its something.

    Mauer would be a good leadoff hitter because he would see a ton of pitches, where as having a free swinger in that spot won’t help the rest of the lineup figure out the pitcher.

  9. sirsean February 19th, 2008 11:35 am

    That’s another excellent reason that Mauer should be in the leadoff spot. He sees the most pitches on the team (allowing the hitters behind him to see what the pitcher’s got) and he gets on base the most (allowing the hitters behind him to get more RsBI). And we’d have one of the best hitters on the team getting the most plate appearances.

    The only problem with it is Gardy’s “position = spot in the lineup” theory, and Redmond wouldn’t be the greatest leadoff hitter in the world on Mauer’s off days.

    Well anyhow, that’s good to hear about Gomez. If he really impresses and looks ready and wins the spot, then good for him. (And, hopefully, for us too.)

  10. FunBobby February 19th, 2008 12:21 pm

    I don’t think even Gardy could justify batting Mike Redmond leadoff. But you never know…

    I don’t want to get too excited about Gomez, because I fear he will be an OBP nightmare. This will totally negate his excellent baserunning skills. Giving him half a season in AAA will help leaps and bounds, but I still expect him to compete for the job, and if he starts in Rochester, he needs to play everyday like we made the wrong choice.

  11. sirsean February 19th, 2008 12:56 pm

    We’ve done a good job in the past with “making a mistake” in sending a young player down to Rochester and insodoing lighting a fire under them to become better players.

    Of course, the two most recent success stories in that regard are no longer with the team — Garza and Bartlett. So maybe it’s time to start over again with Gomez.

  12. Texas February 19th, 2008 1:27 pm

    Why does Gardy insist on “changing guys”? Has he seen how successful he has been with that recently, especially on the mound? Hasn’t anybody in that organization read Moneyball

  13. sirsean February 19th, 2008 1:38 pm

    I don’t get the impression that Gardenhire knows how to read.

    By the way, just saw these words from the mouth of Pat Neshek: “We have always been one of the later reporting teams … saves money!”

    Classy.

  14. Texas February 19th, 2008 1:48 pm

    Take that Hennepin County tax payers. If that’s not a continuation of the Ultimate F-U to Twins fans I don’t know what is.

  15. FunBobby February 19th, 2008 1:52 pm

    I agree with Gardy not being able to read. I also don’t like how Adam Everett says he is excited to play for Gardy because “he is a former shortstop”. Gardy is a shortstop like Nick Punto is a shortstop. He has played it. Poorly.

  16. sirsean February 19th, 2008 1:53 pm

    My ultimate hope is that Pohlad “takes the money and runs,” in that he waits for the stadium to be built (thus raising the value of the Twins by hundreds of millions of dollars, and sells to the highest bidder.

    While this seems like it would be right in line with Pohlad’s history … I fear he’ll just continue to suck money out of the fans in the Twin Cities long after he’s dead.

  17. sirsean February 19th, 2008 1:54 pm

    I hadn’t heard that Everett said that.

    I had, however, heard that Everett was excited to play for the Twins because we’re basically the main franchise that people around the league talk about as being able to put a competitive team on the field no matter what the circumstances regarding money or players leaving, or whatever. He said he found it intriguing, and he wants to be a part of it.

    I found that pretty promising.

  18. FunBobby February 19th, 2008 2:00 pm

    From the Pioneer Press Twins blog:

    “Anyway, another new arrival today: Adam Everett, ticketed to be the Twins’ starting shortstop after five years with the Astros, walked into the clubhouse shortly before the workouts started. He likes the idea of playing for a fellow shortstop in Ron Gardenhire, someone who values defense.”

  19. Texas February 19th, 2008 2:15 pm

    If by values defense the Pioneer Press means someone who keeps better bats on the bench to the detriment of costing his team anywhere from 5-10 games a year because Nickie Punto makes routine plays looks difficult and can’t get to balls that he should get to!

  20. FunBobby February 19th, 2008 2:16 pm

    Yes. That seems accurate.

  21. Grizz February 20th, 2008 12:00 pm

    I wonder if Gardy’s no “bling-bling” (almost as painful to type as it is to say) rule stems from Luis Rivas’ gigantic, industrial chain that he used to wear. I suppose he figured that was the biggest piece of jewelry ever, and it was on the one of the worst players ever, so there has to be a correlation.

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