Saturday, May 28, 2011

Division of labor

The Star Tribune's Joe Christensen had an interesting post-game post about what irritated Ron Gardenhire in Saturday's loss. As the headline says, it wasn't what you'd expect.

Fans are irked by the implosion of Alex Burnett, Dusty Hughes and Jim Hoey. Gardy was riled by base running blunders and mental errors.

When Gardenhire apparently shrugs off the Burnett-Hughes-Hoey incineration with "That's who we are. That's who has to pitch," he's vaguely referencing this reality: He has limited control over the roster. He's overworked Matt Capps; Joe Nathan may bound for the disabled list; Anthony Swarzak is apparently being reserved to start in place for Francisco Liriano, whose shoulder is bothering him.

Burnett, Hughes, Hoey and Phil Dumatrait were who Gardy had for the eighth. And he'll save his public criticism for the failure to get over to first base in time on the leadoff infield single, maybe for the walk to the next batter, certainly for the first-pitch cookie to the guy after that.

Those are issues of focus, not of talent. If Dusty Hughes can't get major leaguers out consistently enough to deserve a major league bullpen job, that's the front office's problem. If Danny Valencia doesn't know how many outs there are, that's something for the manager to get on.

No comments:

Post a Comment