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Twins play small ball right?....

Rating: 3 votes, 5.00 average.
I have always been perplexed through recent years with the Twins so called approach of doing the "little" things to win baseball games. We were even called the piranhas by Ozzie (man....I already miss him) and had those Punto type guys who had no pop what so ever, but played the game right. I wont focus on the defensive side because I believe the Twins deserve credit through the years for being a top notch defensive teams with last year being the exception. Now with target field and two years of no power, you would assume we do those little ball things right? I do not want to go to inside ball here (I welcome anyone who will!), but lets focus on a few of those "little thing" stats. How about stole bases? We are loaded with speed right? We have Casilla, Span, Revere, and even Nishi. Last year we stole 92 bases and ranked 22nd in baseball. 2010, we stole a whopping 68 bases and finished 26th in baseball. How about sacrifice bunts? You know, run around out there and "get guys moving" as Gardy would say. Last year we finished 27th in baseball and in 2010 we were 24th. For those stat heads out there, how often do the Twins hit and run? The last 19 games I have attended last year, not once. So target field plays big....REAL BIG! We have a team with not much pop at all. Hmm...yet we do the little things? All I see is Gardy glaring at anyone who dares get caught stealing or picked off, a team that damn near never bunts, and a team that is not patient at the plate (26th in baseball last year in walks per at bat). Sorry folks, we do not play big ball, that is evident. Do we play little ball?....im not seeing it at all.
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  1. jwestbrock's Avatar
    I would argue that looking at the last two years (2010 for sure and 2011 opening day), neither of those lineups were built to play small ball, they were built to play gorilla ball and mash. Those lineups would have been amazing in the Dome. The issue arises that Target Field is among the worst in the majors to hit in for left handed hitters and the Twins had a ton of lefties.

    I agree that they haven't been playiing small ball and haven't been doing the little things for probably close to 4 years now, but to use the last two years as examples is flawed because those lineups, and Gardy and others have openly stated it to certain degrees, were not built to play small ball, they were built to outscore their opponents, the complete opposite of the early 2000's teams who were more adept at run prevention and scoring just enough to win.
  2. Jim Crikket's Avatar
    I think the composition of the team the last two years was a reaction (maybe an over-reaction, but I'm not sure) to how offensively challenged the Twins were the couple of years before that. The timing was just bad. I don't think the organization really knew just how "big" Target Field was going to play. They'd seen the new Yankee Stadium become a HR paradise and weren't really sure whether wind patterns would result in a breeze out toward the plaza every game.

    Last year, they talked about needing to get faster (thus the trade of Hardy), but didn't really address the problem well at all (corner OFs that were still too slow to cover the gaps, for example). If Span can stay healthy and if/when the team finds room for guys like Revere and Benson (assuming they can find a way to get on base), the speed on the bases should become evident.
  3. Seth Stohs's Avatar
    I completely agree jwestbrook that (if healthy) this lineup would have mashed in the Metrodome... see Mauer, 28 HR in 2009... Morneau, Thome, Kubel, Valencia, they would have scored a ton of runs in the metrodome.
  4. coddlenomore's Avatar
    Hard to argue with the point that we were geared to mash......just wonder if that theory will change not that we clearly are no longer that team. Gardy always plays it safe and risking a hit and run or a stolen base I fear may not be his strong suite....but I hope im wrong here!
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