"Let us go forth a while, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our closed rooms...
The game of ball is glorious."

--Walt Whitman

Thursday, March 31, 2005

So Long, and Thanks For All the Hits

Today, the Twins placed outfielder Michael Restovich on waivers, where he was promptly claimed by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, who need good players like fish need H20. Lefty reliever CJ Nitkowski, who until very recently appeared to be a lock for the Twins bullpen, was released. (He may have jinxed himself by taking Corey Koskie's #47. Those were some big Canadian shoes to fill.)

But why, oh why, must we bid these fine young men farewell?

Resto, simply put, failed to make himself indispensable to a contending team overflowing with talented outfielders. It doesn't reflect badly on him, really--he'll be an excellent addition to Tampa's lineup, and Tampa fans will no doubt spend the next few years chortling about snatching this prize from under Minnesota's nose. Fair enough.

Nitkowski's case is murkier. He had a couple of awkward outings lately, sure, but overall his spring has been excellent. The Twins' radio broadcast team mentioned that he appeared extremely and obviously frustrated on the mound during at least one of those bad outings, and hinted that such behavior may have carried into the dugout and even the clubhouse. Is threatening to disrupt the "chemistry" of a team that relies so heavily on that ephemeral trait a cardinal sin for a non-roster invitee, even if he is lefthanded, breathing and fairly productive? Perhaps it is. This is one of those situations I doubt the fans will ever be privy to the full story on. But being, as mentioned, lefthanded and breathing while coming off of a mostly good spring, he'll no doubt catch on with another club in short order.

Me, I'm just glad Resto didn't end up with New Yord or Chicago.

0 rejoinders: