View from the other side

Jeff · April 5, 2005 at 9:56 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Patrick Reusse of the Star-Tribune reviews the season opener from the Twin Cities’ perspective. His take:

For one cool Monday afternoon in Seattle, the dollars spent on hitting were more beneficial to the M’s than were those used by the Twins to maintain their pitching.

One afternoon doesn’t mean a lot, of course. Also worth mentioning is that the Mariners’ budget affords them more flexibility to add players than Minnesota’s does. Regardless, Reusse is bearish on the Twins’ lineup.

[T]he Twins — rich in pitching, marginal in hitting — were feeble against Jamie Moyer, the 42-year-old, slop-throwing lefty.

The decision to give full priority to pitching has this downside: It has left the Twins with hitters of limited experience batting second (Jason Bartlett), third (Joe Mauer) and fourth (Justin Morneau), as well as eighth (Michael Cuddyer).

There is another way to look at that, of course: with so many young hitters, there seems to be significant room for the Twins to improve. Whether this is the year that any one of them takes an offensive leap forward is uncertain, of course, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this team got better offensively as the season went on.

Recall, too, that Justin Morneau is still getting his strength back after having virtually every illness known to humans this offseason. Unless he gets the hydrophobia, and they have to shoot him like Old Yeller, he’ll hit.

Perhaps the most entertaining part of the article is this quote from Jacque Jones:

“After Moyer, even Eddie looked like he was throwing gas,” right fielder Jacque Jones said.

I bet Jones gets a hot foot or a pie in the face from Eddie before he leaves town.


34 Responses to “View from the other side”

  1. Ralph Malph on April 5th, 2005 10:20 am

    I liked the reference to “Occasional Eddie”. I like that better than “Every Fifth Day Eddie”.

  2. Matt Williams on April 5th, 2005 10:23 am

    It has left the Twins with hitters of limited experience batting second (Jason Bartlett), third (Joe Mauer) and fourth (Justin Morneau), as well as eighth (Michael Cuddyer).

    Think they would be willing to trade Joe Mauer for a more experienced catcher to help solve that problem? I have a feeling Bavasi would be willing to give up either of our more experienced catchers for him.

    At least, I hope so.

  3. Jeff on April 5th, 2005 10:24 am

    Right after I started calling him “Every Fifth Day Eddie,” I thought, “you know, that makes him sound like a reliable starter instead of an injured reliever.”

    Not wanting to steal from someone else, maybe I’ll switch to “Every So Often Eddie” or “Every Once in a While Eddie.” Of course, ideally he’ll stay healthy all year and shut me up. Here’s hoping.

  4. eponymous coward on April 5th, 2005 10:43 am

    And hey, Dan Wilson’s a U of M grad! It’s a win-win for everyone!

  5. Jim Thomsen on April 5th, 2005 10:46 am

    Not much has been said about this yet, but it sure looked like Jamie Moyer lived on the ragged edge for the most part Monday. He pitched down in the zone, but ran up a fair amount of three-ball counts and didn’t appear to always be able to nail the inside edges of the strike zone when he most wanted to.

    The main reason I think Jamie will be better in ’05 than in ’04 is Mike Hargrove. Hargrove went out and yanked Moyer with two outs in the fifth when Moyer wasn’t particularly in danger of losing the game — but was getting a little bit worse with his pitch placement. Hargrove saw this and acted decisively. Bob Melvin probably would have let Moyer go on and try to find a way out of his trouble, in a misplaced desire to keep from quashing Moyer’s “competitive spirit” or some such nonsense. One of the biggest ways a manager impacts wins and losses is the ability — or inability — to recognize when his pitchers are losing it. Hargrove sees it. Bob Melvin had no clue.

  6. Russ on April 5th, 2005 10:47 am

    Anyone catch Gardenshire’s comments on Eddy? He was asked about the Seattle bullpen to which he said it has a “nice view of the field” and when asked about Eddy, something like…”we don’t like Eddy anyway”.

    Too funny. It would seem that busting Eddy’s chops is good fun for them.

  7. Basebliman on April 5th, 2005 10:50 am

    Re: #5, not only that, he also had Mateo ready to come into the game in the 5th inning when Moyer had two runners on. You weren’t the only one who noticed that even though he only gave up 1 run on 5 hits, he wasn’t at his best. It’s nice to know Hargrove noticed too.

  8. Jim Thomsen on April 5th, 2005 10:52 am

    The sixth inning, by the way.

  9. Russ on April 5th, 2005 10:56 am

    #5. Good observation on Grover. I think he is smart enough to see when the pitches are crap and man enough to make the right call to end it.

    If you get 5-6 good innings out of Moyer, call it a great day and move on. He gets away with that stuff for awhile because the rest of the league is tossing 20-35 miles an hour faster. By the time they’ve gone through the line-up 2 times, batters start to dial in and hit him. Melvin thought he’d work his way out when in fact the batters where just warming up to him.

    Someone else also noted that it seemed Grover actually liked his bench coach because he was seen talking to his coaches throughout the game, i.e. he was listening when others spoke. The Anti-Melvin.

  10. Brian Rust on April 5th, 2005 10:56 am

    Whatever you call him, I’ll be happy if his save opportunies are closer to “Everyday” than “Occasional.”

  11. Ralph Malph on April 5th, 2005 10:56 am

    Melvin also wouldn’t have let Mateo throw an inning and two-thirds (even though he only threw 17 pitches — 14 of them strikes).

  12. ChrisK on April 5th, 2005 11:01 am

    It’s refreshing to see a local paper actually willing to say something negative about their home team when it’s deserved. I doubt Seattle writers have the capability to use words like “feeble” to describe the Mariners in any situation.

  13. Elliott on April 5th, 2005 11:05 am

    NO way do the twins give up a 22 year old future all-star. joe mauer could just be one of thier best players.he is the futre of that team. the only way i see us getting him is if we give up felix herendez, ichiro, beltre, and sexson. they don’t need ibanez or winn. they could use wilson but we would have to give up alot more than just him.

  14. Elliott on April 5th, 2005 11:06 am

    i ment felix, ichiro, beltre, and sexson separtley

  15. ivan on April 5th, 2005 11:09 am

    Jim @ 5:

    Right on about Moyer’s falling behind in the counts, but I don’t think his pitch placement was appreciably worse in the 6th inning than it had been in the first. Hargrove had him on a pitch count and pulled him when it ran out.

  16. jeff on April 5th, 2005 11:14 am

    I am pretty sure they were kidding about getting Maur from the Twins

  17. Matt Williams on April 5th, 2005 11:16 am

    Elliott I know they’re not going to give him up, but complaining about your team having to bat him second is pretty silly. I would much rather have him second in the lineup than Reed.

    Although I’m still a bit pissed at Mauer. I snagged him in the 17th round of my fantasy draft last year, and he managed to get just enough at-bats to look like he was going to more than live up to his hype, but not enough to do anything to help my team.

  18. Jim Thomsen on April 5th, 2005 11:16 am

    #15: I would need to review a tape of the game to be sure, but it seemed as Moyer was getting up in his pitch count, his arm slots and release points were changing more and more. As a result, he let more pitches into the fat part of the strike zone … or so it seemed to me.

    That being said, Moyer did a fine job, and I wouldn’t want to take away from that. Let’s remember that the run he gave up was unearned, thanks to Valdez’s error (frightening reminiscent of Rich Aurilia’s two boots in Opening Day ’04). As long as Hargrove sees the telltale signs of fatigue, Moyer should be fine. (Prediction: Moyer won’t pitch more than 175 innings this season.)

  19. IgnatiusReilly on April 5th, 2005 11:18 am

    I usually like to have a point or question when I post here, but:

    “Unless he gets the hydrophobia, and they have to shoot him like Old Yeller, he’ll hit.”

    LOL, that is hilarious. Why is everything ten times funnier when you add an unnecessary “the”?

  20. Jim Thomsen on April 5th, 2005 11:22 am

    Because it sounds like a Southerner speaking, so you imagine the exaggerated accented Coen-brothers-moviesque drawl. I once had an intern roommate years ago at a former newspaper who came up for a few months from Tenneessee, and he referred to stricken people from his hometown who “got the AIDS.”

  21. Joshua Buergel on April 5th, 2005 12:46 pm

    Let’s remember that the run he gave up was unearned, thanks to Valdez’s error (frightening reminiscent of Rich Aurilia’s two boots in Opening Day ‘04).

    That was Boone’s error that allowed the run to score, not Valdez.

  22. John D. on April 5th, 2005 12:55 pm

    Re: (# 12) Objectivity in Reporting a Baseball Game – I lived in Minneapolis in 1961, during their first year of MLB, when they went 70-90, and had such non-memorable players as JUILIO BECQUER and JOSE VALDIVIELSO.
    The writers were having a field day, reporting the foibles oif the Twins. Glad to see that the tradition still exists.

    BTW, Eponymous, are you sure that DAN WILSON is a U of MINN graduate? I think he left school early, and has not gone back for his degree

    Re: (# 19) “like Old Yeller” – Shouldn’t that be “like that of Old Yeller”?

  23. firova on April 5th, 2005 1:02 pm

    Hargrove is certainly not one to wait for convenient moments such as the ends of innings to pull people. He’s one reason why AL games seem to last so long. The mid-inning pitching replacements add down time. Remember those one-batter outings that made Paul Assenmacher infamous? Grover plays the AL game the way it needs to be played, but get ready for a few more commercial breaks on TV. Of course, we will recall Lou Piniella pulling pitchers in the middle of counts in the late nineties. (He was just fishing for a strike.)

    It reminds me a little of Phil Jackson’s irritating habit of calling timeouts between free throws to give his guys more rest. Perfectly defensible as strategy, but it meant more time between segments of action on the court.

  24. Jeff on April 5th, 2005 1:07 pm

    John D., no, it shouldn’t. They shot Old Yeller, not the hydrophobia.

    Another way of writing the sentence could be ” … like they shot Old Yeller,” but I think the meaning is pretty apparent as it is.

  25. Elliott on April 5th, 2005 2:30 pm

    i don’t know what your talking about complaining about him batting seconed. i’am a mariners fan i don’t even like the twins, i’am just saying that mauer would be pretty hard to get.

  26. clarence credence on April 5th, 2005 2:53 pm

    Has anyone mentioned that the Ms released Ryan Anderson today? Does he officially replace Todd Van Poppel as Most Unfulfilled Potential?

  27. Aaron on April 5th, 2005 2:59 pm

    For another “View from the other side,” Aaron Gleeman is a joy to read when he’s just writing about baseball in general, but when you add a generous helping of Mariner talk (the Twins are his team), it’s that much better.

  28. Arford on April 5th, 2005 3:02 pm

    re: 23 – what do you expect from a guy that, in his playing days, was known as “The Human Rain Delay”?

  29. Matt Williams on April 5th, 2005 3:32 pm

    Elliott oops, had meant third. But if you read the quotes he said the “downside” of their “priority to pitching” is that it has “left the Twins with hitters of limited experience batting second (Jason Bartlett), third (Joe Mauer)…”

    My initial comment was a joke pointing out that experience isn’t a substitute for talent, and having to put Joe Mauer early in the order is a problem the Mariners would love to have. Even if it meant giving up a veteran like Dan Wilson.

  30. Ralph Malph on April 5th, 2005 3:59 pm

    re 26: Brien Taylor?

  31. Jim Thomsen on April 5th, 2005 5:08 pm

    Josh Hamilton.

  32. Jim on April 5th, 2005 6:06 pm

    Melvin would have had Richie Sexson “hit behind the runner” and make a productive out.

  33. tyler on April 5th, 2005 6:30 pm

    Gotta agree with Jim. Though hopefully Josh does eventually make it back. Read the ESPN article from last year… sad, fascinating stuff.

  34. John D. on April 5th, 2005 7:15 pm

    Re: (# 24) OLD YELLER – I was alluding to a RON FAIRLY comparison: E.g. Instead of saying, “He has a swing like JOE D.’s,” Ron says, “He has a swing like that of Joe D.” [I don’t mean to be critical; I have my own regionalisms (assuming that’s what it is). I just find it funny.]