Tuesday, July 24, 2012

On Chris Parmelee's defense

Chris Parmelee pursues a ball after misplaying it Saturday.
The Twins optioned Chris Parmelee back to Triple A after Monday's game to make room for Justin Morneau's return from the paternity list.

Parmelee was up for three games, and he played in only one. Even with Morneau gone, it was difficult to fit him into the lineup.

Anyway, I couldn't let him leave again without bringing this up from Saturday's game:

My wife and I were listening to the game as we navigated the various detours connecting northern Wisconsin with southern Minnesota, and at one point Dan Gladden compared Parmelee as a defensive first baseman to Wally Joyner and Mark Grace.

I immediately started snarling at the radio. Grace and Joyner were superb glovemen, with hands and range and, for the position, throwing arms. Grace won four Gold Glove awards; Joyner didn't win any of the ugly trophies but could have without disgrace.

Parmelee is not in their class. Neither is Justin Morneau, and Morneau is probably a better defensive first baseman than Parmelee.

Sure enough, a couple innings later Parmelee booted a ball — a play that cost the Twins a run — and I told the radio: Tell me again how he's as good as Grace or Joyner.

Parmelee may someday be a regular first baseman, and he may turn into a Grace or Joyner type of player. But he isn't there yet, and Gladden shouldn't pretend that he is.

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