Saturday, February 19, 2011

Talking Liriano again

Who's to blame for trade rumros?
Francisco Liriano didn't throw on Friday, the first official day of workouts in Twins camp. The word is he has a bit of tendinitis from overthrowing before camp.

Nobody seems concerned about this, so I won't be either. What did get my attention is Ron Gardenhire's commentary on the trade speculation that arose recently about Liriano:

It came up by (the media); that's a shocker. It didn't come up by us. That's the thing about it: Everybody's names come up in trades.  ... I'm sure there are a lot of people that would like Liriano. Trades come about, but we didn't talk about it; you guys did. 

The old blame the media strategy. Three things:

  • Gardy's quotes were printed in the Pioneer Press but not in the Star Tribune, which was the paper that first wrote that the Twins are open to trading Liriano.
  • The Joe Christensen piece specifically cited unnamed Twins officials. So did other followup reports. Joe C. probably asked somebody, so the whole thing began with him, but it wouldn't have gone anywhere if the unnamed folks had given a different answer.
  • I don't blame Gardenhire for taking this approach. Liriano is still on his team. Gardenhire needs him focused, and keeping Liriano focused, I daresay, is a bit more work for a manager than keeping Brad Radke or Johan Santana focused.

For what little it's worth, I don't believe the Twins are actively shopping Liriano around. I think they let it be known that they're open so that, as the spring progress and certain organizations get closer to panic about their pitching, the idea of Liriano is already in their heads.

Assuming, of course, that in mid-March the Twins still have a surplus of starters.

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