yes, it clearly was a hit-and-run. I get the above numbers, but when the team is struggling to score runs, I'm just fine with taking some chances with a hit and run there.
I actually think it was a hit and run, and even if it wasn't, I disagree with the logic here. It evened up the count on Dozier, when it would have been 2-0 to a pitcher throwing poorly (horrible pitch). I also don't think you're looking at it quite the right way.
Base stealing typically considered risky for little gain in general with a drastic cost if caught. This was even more risky. Look at the numbers. If he is safe, he doesn't gain much. However, being caught means he essentially loses the chance for a run. A basestealer needing to be successful 71% of the time for the steal to be worthwhile is a poor play.
As a non-Minnesotan, I never really grasped the Joe Mauer "deification" thing. To me he was always a very talented player with great potential and accomplishments and a pretty milquetoast personality.
From the outside looking in, it seems to me that there are a lot of factors that may figure in for those who boo Joe Mauer -- and John has mentioned many of them.
I believe that the team's current misfortunes are the biggest factor. If the Twins were winning "forgiveness" for last season would come a lot faster.
But when the team is as bad as this one is, people tend to lash out at the most visible factor (in some ways its payback for the way they idolized him when the team was winning). And things like his salary and his Florida residency start to nag at people and put a bullseye on his back.
I don't think Joe Mauer will ever be the "golden boy" that he once was. I do think that he would regain a lot of his "goldeness" if the team would start winning and if he stays healthy over several seasons. Obviously he has to have some decent level of performance as a result of that health. It also wouldn't hurt if he was a little more publicly involved in charitable endeavors in Minnesota (again a case where more is expected from an "idol").
And remember, when you are lost in the dark forest of losing, it is hard to see any shining lights.
In Sunday's game versus the Royals, in the bottom of the 2nd, Mauer uncharacteristically jumped on Bruce Chen's first pitch to him in the 2nd inning, sending a deep shot to straight-away CF that was caught at the track. In Mauer's remaining at-bats, the KC pitchers went to 2-0 counts in all three, not coming in with any first-pitch strikes. To me, it seemed similar to showing bunt to get the third baseman to play in farther. You're not going to bunt all the time, but you still show it sometimes to keep them guessing. I don't know if that was actually Joe's intent or if the first pitch from Chen was just unavoidably fat. Either way, it worked well for Joe in his subsequent at-bats. Of course on Friday, Mauer hit a double and a triple after first TAKING two strikes in each at-bat so it really didn't matter how the Royals started him off, I guess. His first pitch swinging percent this year is 10% which is higher than it's been since 2008. To put that in some context, however, Justin Morneau has sung at 33% of the first pitches he's seen over his career and was swinging at 43% this year.
Joe has typically driven in around 18% of the batters on base when he bats. The league average is around 15%. This year Joe is driving in 20% (12 of 59) so the impression than he is leaving more men on base is false. Maybe his fails are in more dramatic situations causing the fans to perceive them more dramatically, I don't know.
I think its far more due to perception thanks to the way the team handled his press last year with his injuries. WPA is one single reference point and it's early in the season. There are players getting paid more and doing a lot less (Twins are playing one of those guys right now) who aren't getting the ire of their fans. It's ridiculous that he's getting this much ridicule when the Twins have to score more than four runs every night just to be in the ballgame.
Very real eyes on the game, I will say the Ross homerun was a pretty good pitch from capps. If you saw any of the other valencia at bats u wouldn't put him as a hero, once again fast ball after fastball outside and valencia tries to pull the ball, including an inning ending double play vintage valencia, a horrible mistake by the pitcher on 1-2 count allowed valencia to hit the hr. One more reason gardy needs to consider closer by committee, he can't have capps as a " closer"
Target field to me makes a lot more sense than what the Vikings are asking for. I think Target Field was ~450 million and that brings 81 games a year. It's outdoors and we all know the dome stunk for baseball.
The Vikings are asking for $1billion for 8 regular season games a year. The the worst part of all: It's indoors!
For the pure love of the sport, a person could spend their evenings at the charming ballparks in Jordan or Chaska watching townball. The professional ballparks we build are pure hubris, however. You can say whatever you want to try and rationalize it, but these places are more about making us feel signficant than anything else. I love Target Field - but I can also acknowledge the absurdity of spending hundreds of millions of tax dollars on it.
Gardy is not going to take Doumit out of the game for a pinch runner or defensive purposes as long as the Twins are carrying two catchers. He could have pulled Willingham after he batted in the eighth however. I thought he should have removed Willingham.
Doumit allowed a runner to go from 2nd to 3rd by nearly throwing the ball into the visitors' dugout. And then Gardy left Revere on the bench in the top of the 9th...
LOL, love the headline!
$7.50 for a pickle? Yikes. The sad thing is though is that I would probably end buying one...or two.
Where's the Diet stuff for Me and Gleeman.
I was a little behind in my G and the G listening. I generally often agree with Aaron, but his obsession with "five innings" (for Doyle) and "nine innings" (last year for Hughes), etc. etc. ignores the fact that spring training is not merely about the actual games played (you made this point to him, but it was ignored immediately) but about practice, practice, practice. Maybe Doyle also didn't do well in bullpen sessions and whatnot. Who knows.
I am really loving this site. I'm checking it more and more often every day.
Honestly guys, this site is great. Almost as good as the MLB Twins site, maybe better. The site is packed with the latest information from both the regular bloggers and the comments. Thank you for the time and efforts put in by all who have contributed. And GO TWINS ... and GO RED WINGS too (grin).
Is it wrong to wonder about bringing up a younger player from AA or AAA (Dozier, someone else?) and doing a trial by fire? (I realize there are 40man roster implications)
Or is the thinking we want them playing every day in the minors rather than 2 games a week up in the show?
I just see one as a future investment and the other a purely stopgap measure.
I envy your optimism. Relief pitching is so hard to evaluate in one-inning increments especially if you get used to start those innings.
Even if you were to eat others brownies we would love to have you.
Am I still invited if I can't bring brownies?