Fire Gardy

Mismanaging games since 2002

The Big Sweat Will Be Missed?

Joe C will miss Dennis Reyes.


Reyes, who earned the nickname “The Big Sweat” partially for being perturbingly overweight and partially for managing to break a prodigious sweat while laboring to throw eight pitches 50 feet every three or four days, will probably not be with the Twins next year. Joe explains why:

Reyes, who posted a 2.33 ERA in 75 games for the Twins last year, probably would have commanded a three-year, $12 million deal in a better economy.

Now, he’ll probably get a two-year deal for about half that price. Still, it wouldn’t make sense for the Twins to sign him. If they spend money on a reliever, he should be an eighth-inning specialist.

Yes, it should be on an 8th inning specialist. As opposed to someone who, you know, sucks. And can’t throw a baseball 60 feet. But noooo … it’s the economy that’s screwing Mr Sweat out of his well-earned $12 million.

I can recall my feelings every time Reyes waddled in from the bullpen. Trepidation. Fear. The intense desire to turn off the game in the knowledge that we’d lose the game. The satisfaction in knowing that I’d correctly predicted the walk-wild pitch-home run sequence that was forthcoming. But Joe C has a different reason to “miss” Reyes.

I should mention that he’s been one of my favorites in the Twins’ clubhouse. Reyes hails from Mexico and would routinely greet me by saying, “Que pasa?” What’s up? What’s happening? He wanted to know what Twins news I was hearing behind the scenes.
Would we get more news if we asked Joe “Que pasa?” every once in a while? Because … this doesn’t seem important to me.
I know some German but almost no Spanish, so it became our running gag, the way I would grapple for a proper response in Spanish. ”Nada,” I’d usually say. Nothing. Fortunately, Reyes’ English is excellent, and he tells some great stories about pitching for Jack McKeon’s Reds.
That’s sweet. Joe had to grapple for the word “nada” every time. As if that weren’t in the traditional American lexicon anyway. And who cares about the stories someone can tell about pitching for the Reds if that person cannot, for the lack of a better word, pitch?

(Funny, we could have had that same conversation every day this offseason, and it would have been the same. Any Twins news? Nada.)

That is funny. Because you’re the guy who, um, writes the news. Why is everyone complaining that the Twins aren’t creating more blowhard-worthy news, for the sake of the blowhards? Honestly. The team is good enough to compete, and for the first time in the last several years, we’re not sitting here saying “Well, the Twins made another stupid move and will be giving at bats and/or innings to another mediocre veteran while the young guys rot in Rochester instead of contributing to the team,” and having to wait until June until the young players come up and actually perform at an adequate level. This time, all the young guys are here from the beginning. This is A Good Thing (TM).

But Joe C was explaining why Reyes will be missed so much, to the point of being virtually irreplaceable. Let’s allow him to continue.

Anyway, Breslow was a tremendous pickup for the Twins last season. He posted a 1.63 ERA in 42 appearances after getting claimed off waivers from Cleveland in late-May. The Twins began turning to him in tougher situations, and Breslow made 13 appearances in September, spanning nine innings, without allowing an earned run.
Yes, Breslow was pretty good. The only problem with Breslow was that Gardy wouldn’t let him pitch often enough, and then when he let him go in he’d leave him in for four innings while his arm fell off. But ultimately, that’s a really good point. Having an effective lefty in the bullpen really means we can’t lose Reyes. Wait … there’s more?
Meanwhile in September, Mijares became an overnight sensation, posting a 0.87 ERA and taking over the primary setup duties. In 10 1/3 innings, Mijares allowed one run and three hits. In the 1-0 tiebreaker loss to the White Sox, Mijares relieved Nick Blackburn, faced four batters and retired them all.
Oh my, you mean besides our lefty who’s better than Reyes we have an even better lefty ready to go who struck everyone out and has success against both lefties and righties and doesn’t weight 360 pounds? Well hell, we’d better scrape those twelve millions together to keep our hands clutching to Reyes’ sizable love handles!
Breslow is far from overpowering, but he’s extremely savvy. Keep in mind, he has a degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale.
That’s a good point. I have to give it to Christensen here. There’s a long, storied history of Yalies in the majors, and knowledge of molecular biochemistry surely helps in the “getting people out” category. Wait a second. Why do I care about Breslow’s (admittedly impressive) degree? I’m fairly certain Liriano never went to Yale, nor did Santana, but they are pretty good pitchers. Where did Reyes study biochemistry?
Here’s the thing: Reyes, who turns 32 in April, is a 12-year major league veteran. He usually got the call, when the Twins were about to face a tough left-handed batter in a close, late-inning game.
The number one the Twins need is an old guy to suck up some of our valuable innings from talented players. Also, in what sense was it ever a good thing that “The Big Sweat” usually got the call when the Twins were locked in a close battle late in the game? That was the most infuriating thing about Reyes even being on the team!
You get the picture. The Twins might like Breslow and Mijares, but they’ll miss Reyes’ experience. I’ll miss our conversations.
I do get the picture. We explain the reasons why Breslow and Mijares are better options than Reyes, ignore the fact that nobody needs three lefties in the bullpen, especially when the available option is to ditch the one of the three that can’t face righties. Then we say all the reasons we personally like The Fat Mexican (Big Sweat, sorry Dennis).

I will not miss Dennis Reyes. I just hope some other team agrees with Joe C, such that we actually get our compensatory draft pick. That’s how worthless Reyes is. Nobody even wants him, and we can’t get our draft pick. Therefore, he must be great!

Boy, it’s slow in Twins territory. Nobody should be talking about how much they “miss” The Scourge of the Dome Dog.


6 Comments so far

  1. FunBobby January 23rd, 2009 10:42 am

    Word on the street is we are deep in negotiations with Gagne and Crede. If we can get them both for one year, I have no problem with it.

  2. Schulte January 23rd, 2009 1:59 pm

    Who cares. :) Any news about the impending Manny Ramirez/Twins nuptials?

  3. sirsean January 23rd, 2009 2:01 pm


  4. Erica January 23rd, 2009 3:08 pm

    Crede, sure, Gagne= no. I don’t trust the guy at all. I live in Brewer land, and I watched Gagne perform an epic fail in the beginning of the season. Yeah, he improved when he got demoted from closer- but I don’t see him magically having a full good year again.

    Also, I wish Gardy would have used Breslow more- he was the only reliable member of the bullpen at times. Of course, Gardy may have wanted to avoid a Matt Guerrier-like burnout.

  5. sirsean January 23rd, 2009 3:17 pm

    I doubt Gardy was trying to avoid a Guerrier-like burnout. If he were capable of thinking like that, Guerrier probably wouldn’t have burned out and might actually be useful in 2009 … as it is, I’m not confident.

    With Gardy’s bullpen, it’s either all or nothing. You’re either throwing 30 pitches every night for a week, or you sit your ass on the bench for 10 days while Gardy rocks back and forth on the bench trying to remember the name of that reliever who used to pitch all the time. There’s no such thing as “balance” or “avoiding burnout.”

  6. Cedric December 16th, 2012 10:31 pm

    Jim, thank you for a wonderful and relinaxg afternoon! You and Jen did a great job with the kids and our little dog Mollie. Thank you for making it stress free What great shots you captured, how will we ever decide. You are very talented and patient!!!!! We really enjoyed our time.

Leave a reply