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Thread: The Target Field Library

  1. #21
    Senior Member Triple-A D. Hocking's Avatar
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    Semi-related comment. I meant to post this last week on the Torii Hunter thread, but think it is applicable here as well. It is nice to see a thread/message board that attracts some opposing views not devolve into a personal attack blood bath of ugliness. For the most part, people have expressed some strong opinions without bashing the prior comments that they are in disagreement.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by D. Hocking View Post
    Semi-related comment. I meant to post this last week on the Torii Hunter thread, but think it is applicable here as well. It is nice to see a thread/message board that attracts some opposing views not devolve into a personal attack blood bath of ugliness. For the most part, people have expressed some strong opinions without bashing the prior comments that they are in disagreement.
    Shut up jerk!!!

  3. #23
    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
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    I agree that the Mauer situation is a bit of a mess -- and the leadership question is part of it. I can remember a number of posts on the Strib about this potential problem when his contract was inked -- if you are going to devote more than 20% of your payroll to a single player, that player needs to be the team leader. There were MANY concerns even at that time about whether Joe could fill that role.

    Everyone admires his professionalism and preparedness -- he can certainly provide leadership by example in those areas. But I believe that teams also need a vocal leader -- one that can cajole them out of slumps; step down on young players as need be; speak out on behalf of the team members (see, e.g., Michael Cuddyer and the batters' eye); NEVER shies away from answering the media's questions -- no matter how tough; and most importantly, does what is expected of ALL players even if he is a veteran and highly paid. (Note, some of this also comes from the manager but a player still needs to take on this role).

    We'll never know exactly what happened with Mauer in 2011. I doubt that he actually refused to do a rehab stint in Rochester but it was pretty clear that Gardenhire thought he should. I suspect that Mauer made it clear enough that he didn't want to that Bill Smith never actually asked him. I saw this as a huge failure in leadership. There were numerous injuries that year and virtually every other player was doing a short stint in Rochester. In addition, the Red Wings were mired in the midst of a miserable season AND their contract with the Twins was due for discussion. When Gardy made it clear that he thought Joe should do a rehab stint in Rochester, Mauer should have demonstrated that he understood the responsibilities of his new contract -- he should have stepped up and said, "when do I leave".

    That isn't what happened and I think it is part of what has contributed to the "country club" atmosphere that has been noted elsewhere.

    Joe Mauer, the size of his contract and his personality are givens. I actually have a lot of doubt about whether he could be traded even if he waived his no trade clause (at least until we know how his concussion situation will play out) but he would fit in well on a team with a larger payroll where he was not expected to be a vocal leader.

    In the case of the Twins, I think they have to try to find a way to work around it. The only way I see that happening is by inking a veteran player who has respect around the game and who is willing to take on the vocal leadership role and who commands a high enough salary ($10-$15 m) to show that he is considered to be a vital cog. Now the problem is figuring out how to find that player who can "walk on water".

  4. #24
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    'speak out on behalf of the team members (see, e.g., Michael Cuddyer and the batters' eye)'

    Pretty sure that was Morneau.
    Just remember: You put the lime IN the coconut. Only THEN, can you drink it all up.

  5. #25
    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
    'speak out on behalf of the team members (see, e.g., Michael Cuddyer and the batters' eye)'

    Pretty sure that was Morneau.
    Part of it was Morneau but the quotes I most remember are Cuddyer (see, e.g. this story: Target Field ?Scary, Literally Scary? Spruce Trees Evicted! | No Pepper Playing)

    The trees are "scary".

    Mind you, I still hate the removal of the trees (perhaps I should have said trees not batters' eye) but Cuddyer was very vocal. I also believe that before his long group of injuries, Morneau was a team leader (much more so than Mauer) but he has never been the same since his concussion and other injuries.

  6. #26
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    Cuddyer always struck me as more of Gardy's parrot than anything else. Good ballplayer, never met a microphone he didn't like, political-correct speaking player for the most part, great community guy...and Gardy's parrot.
    Just remember: You put the lime IN the coconut. Only THEN, can you drink it all up.

  7. #27
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Oldgoat_MN's Avatar
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    Leadership is a funny thing.
    In 1987 Hrbek and Gaetti were the most vocal (boisterous?), Puckett was the one who would probably wind up in the Hall of Fame, and Blyleven was never shy about how good he thought he was.

    They had a guy come in to play left field and bat lead-off.
    His stats weren't that good.

    And yet, he was an important spark. I've heard many who believe he is the one who caused the team to play better and better as time went on.
    Dan Gladden's OPS+ in 1987 was 76, and yet he was a catalyst.

    It takes all kinds.
    I'm on a whiskey diet. I've lost 3 days already.

  8. #28
    Senior Member All-Star Hosken Bombo Disco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
    Cuddyer always struck me as more of Gardy's parrot than anything else. Good ballplayer, never met a microphone he didn't like, political-correct speaking player for the most part, great community guy...and Gardy's parrot.
    Curious, but what is the basis for thinking that ? I agree with everything except the "parrot" thing which in my opinion is pretty far off base, and wondering what has led people to believe that about him.

    Just to tie the question back to the original thread, I believe that Cuddyer might have been the last guy to play here with any sort of charisma and a Cuddyer-Mauer-Morneau clubhouse would have been a perfect environment for bringing up these new guys and turning them into ballplayers.

  9. #29
    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldgoat_MN View Post
    It takes all kinds.
    Actually that kind of takes it back to RB's original post.

    Many of those guys came up together and had the opportunity to develop their leadership skills. And that may happen with this next group of Twins.

    But during those years of struggle in the early 80's, did the Twins have any one player whose presence sort of "set the tone" as suggested by the LEN3 comment?

    Does Mauer's mere presence (given his role as a likely future H-of-Famer) set a tone that somehow precludes the development of a variety of leaders?

    I have to think that over time, as some of the younger players develop their skills, some of them will also emerge. But we've also seen stories about the Twins "squelching" some personalities.

    RB really posed an interesting set of questions.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hosken Bombo Disco View Post
    Curious, but what is the basis for thinking that ? I agree with everything except the "parrot" thing which in my opinion is pretty far off base, and wondering what has led people to believe that about him.

    Just to tie the question back to the original thread, I believe that Cuddyer might have been the last guy to play here with any sort of charisma and a Cuddyer-Mauer-Morneau clubhouse would have been a perfect environment for bringing up these new guys and turning them into ballplayers.
    Because he very often said practically the same thing Gardy said on many occasion. For example, mid 2011, when we had lost yet another series, he shrugged it off, said it was early, we just have to focus on the next series, blah blah...Gardy had said almost the same thing like 15 minutes earlier. And this happened often. Maybe it's just a matter of getting the same PR guy talking into their ear, but he most often spoke manager lingo. He never seemed ticked off about losing, frustrated, whatever...just, meh, golly gee we'll get em next time. His charisma stemmed from the fact he was the team spokesman. I'm not sure being the team spokesman makes one a leader, but if so...that's the kind of leader he was...at least on the surface. Thing is, we actually don't know what kind of leader any of these guys are. We only see dugout stuff and soundbites. People like Torii, they don't strike me as leaders...at least not in the actions people often point to when they say, 'that's a leader'
    Just remember: You put the lime IN the coconut. Only THEN, can you drink it all up.

  11. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by JB_Iowa View Post
    But during those years of struggle in the early 80's, did the Twins have any one player whose presence sort of "set the tone" as suggested by the LEN3 comment?
    I seem to remember that being Ron Washington's role in '82. Sometimes you just need to bring in that veteran.

  12. #32
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer righty8383's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by notoriousgod71 View Post
    As long as Gardy doesn't try to neuter him.
    yeah, ok

  13. #33

    They need to hate to lose!

    When I think of Gladden, Gaetti, Hrbek, Puckett, Hunter I think of guys who hated to lose. I just don't get that impression with the current team and think some of those types have to be added. Obviously talent is an issue, but even when the talent arrives we need some passion/energy, hate to lose guys!

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highabove View Post
    "Leadership is taken, it's not given"

    Joe Maddon
    He got this from Jock Ewing:

    Jock Ewing's Power - YouTube

  15. #35
    Senior Member All-Star Hosken Bombo Disco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
    Because he very often said practically the same thing Gardy said on many occasion. For example, mid 2011, when we had lost yet another series, he shrugged it off, said it was early, we just have to focus on the next series, blah blah...Gardy had said almost the same thing like 15 minutes earlier. And this happened often. Maybe it's just a matter of getting the same PR guy talking into their ear, but he most often spoke manager lingo. He never seemed ticked off about losing, frustrated, whatever...just, meh, golly gee we'll get em next time. His charisma stemmed from the fact he was the team spokesman. I'm not sure being the team spokesman makes one a leader, but if so...that's the kind of leader he was...at least on the surface. Thing is, we actually don't know what kind of leader any of these guys are. We only see dugout stuff and soundbites. People like Torii, they don't strike me as leaders...at least not in the actions people often point to when they say, 'that's a leader'
    Fair enough. Cuddyer was certainly a chipper guy and the guy who would look you in the eye as he walked by, and make sure you were having a good day, and yeah maybe spout the company line like Gardenhire would. But I wouldn't say Cuddyer and Gardenhire were two peas in a pod- just the opposite probably.

  16. #36
    Senior Member All-Star SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
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    The twins haven't sniffed the playoffs since Punto left town, and what has he done? Won a World Series and made the playoffs....

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
    The twins haven't sniffed the playoffs since Punto left town, and what has he done? Won a World Series and made the playoffs....
    and so you're saying those teams won the W Series and made the playoffs because of Punto? Punto is what put them over the edge?

    P.S. Punto pulled a classic Punto last night...HILARIOUS!
    Just remember: You put the lime IN the coconut. Only THEN, can you drink it all up.

  18. #38
    Senior Member Triple-A
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    [QUOTE=P.S. Punto pulled a classic Punto last night...HILARIOUS![/QUOTE]

    All due respect to Jon Marthaler, "Get Money......Get Paid".

  19. #39
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    On a more serious note, I think the clubhouse leader is overblown in either direction. "The Twins are too quiet", the "Red Sox are too loud and drunk". They are just short on talent (cough pitching, impact middle bats, cough, cough). Mauer is not the problem, and neither is his contract.

  20. #40
    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LimestoneBaggy View Post
    On a more serious note, I think the clubhouse leader is overblown in either direction. "The Twins are too quiet", the "Red Sox are too loud and drunk". They are just short on talent (cough pitching, impact middle bats, cough, cough). Mauer is not the problem, and neither is his contract.

    I'm not sure the Red Sox would agree with you. According to a Verducci article before the ALCS, one of the 4 key points of the Red Sox' offseason plan was to: seek out extroverted baseball rats who would watch the game from the top step of the dugout and not behind a bucket of fried chicken in the clubhouse

    Read More: Relentless Red Sox grind their way into ALCS - MLB - Tom Verducci - SI.com


    No one is saying that personality trumps ability but winning teams also have that "something extra".

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