"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

Friday, April 29, 2005


Minnesota Twins News:
Gardenhire has no qualms about continuing to go with Michael Cuddyer at third base, who is hitting .200 through 65 at-bats. 'He just needs to get a little more confident swinging the bat,' Gardenhire said. 'He can drive it to the gaps, he can drive the ball out of the ballpark. Defensively, he's playing the heck out of third base. Offensively, he hasn't gotten there yet. But hopefully, he can work through that and everything will be fine.'

Um...Gardy? You know you can get arrested for smoking that stuff, right?

I'd like to call out part of his quote: "Defensively, he's playing the heck out of third base."

I'd say five errors in 19 games would be more like pounding the heck out of third base. Or perhaps playing nowhere the heck near third base. Or even annoying the heck out of everyone who thought he was supposed to field third base.

The only starting third baseman in the major leagues with an error rate that high thus far this season is Jose "Boot" Valentin. Jose Friggin' Valentin, for chrissakes, who was the league's worst-fielding shortstop up until this season and who never met routine grounder he couldn't bobble. Fielding at the same level as Jose Valentin is not a good start.

Now, before Cudderror's fans jump all over me, allow me to point out that I'm not saying he'll never improve. He probably will. Because when you're Valentin v2.0, there's nowhere to go but up.

3 rejoinders:

frightwig sounded off...

Cuddyer isn't having a problem with booting the ball; actually, I think his glove and range at 3B have been impressive. Four of his errors were throwing errors. IMO, three of those errant throws weren't even THAT bad (and maybe all four, but I can't remember the 4th one). It even might have been fair to assign one to LeCroy and one to Punto for failing to catch balls that went through their gloves.

Keep in mind that he's been moved around the field a lot. Last year he played just 43 games at 3B, and in the last few months of the season he was being trained to play 2B. He just needs to settle in and work on his throws. Koskie's arm could be scattershot, too--but then he was fortunate to have Doug over there to make him look good in the scorebook, whether the throw was high & wide, in the dirt, or right on the money!

Fourth pew, center sounded off...

OK, I know I took about a decade off from baseball a few years back, and I certainly may have missed something, but ...
.200??? This is OK now??

((love your new pic, frightwig!)

Third Base Line sounded off...

Yep, I know those were throwing errors. Valentin is the Boot King, I was just referencing the error rates, not the error types. Sorry that wasn't clear, I was blogging in a rush. :)

Nope, not okay at all. He actually got booed at home last night when he GIDP. NOT that I approve of booing someone on your own team! Or throwing HRs back onto the field, but that's another conversation.
Anyway, he's always been a streaky hitter. Suck for a month, hit like the Splendid Splinter for a week, rinse, and repeat. His week may have begun in his second AB last night, actually--he got 2 hits and 3 RBI after that unfortunate first appearance. We can hope!