Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A "spring training lineup"

Ron Gardenhire was visibly irritated after Wednesday's win against Cleveland when a reporter used the phrase "spring training lineup."

Gardy bristled as he defended the players he started — in a day game after a late-night clinching party — as "major league players."

T.C., at least, hit the field Wednesday,
Managers playing September lineups laden with calls-ups and bench guys seldom appreciate the spring training reference, because it implies a lack of seriousness, suggests that the paying customers are getting fleeced. Certainly Twins fans could have no complaints about what they saw Wednesday, even if what they saw didn't include regulars Michael Cuddyer, Jim Thome, Delmon Young, J.J. Hardy or Orlando Hudson, not to mention ailing superstars Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. The Twins played well, and they won.

But in point of fact, it was the kind of lineup one might see in March — and not at their home grounds in Fort Myers, either.

The spring training rule (not always followed by bus-tripping visitors) is that each team is supposed to start at least three regulars.

The Twins on Wednesday started three regulars (Denard Span, Jason Kubel and Danny Valencia) plus Nick Blackburn. They started four players who opened the season in Triple A Rochester (Valencia, Jose Morales, Matt Tolbert and Jason Repko) and a fifth who spent the minor league season in Double A (Ben Revere). They had not one but two back-up catchers in the lineup, not one but two utility infielders in the lineup.

Gardenhire hardly started his A Team. He doesn't need to apologize for that, either.

1 comment:

  1. I just thought it said a lot about the quality of the Twins organization that even in playing that lineup they were still able to defeat the Indians decisively. What a deep bench! Good show!