Dear Mr. Wilf:
Welcome to Minnesota! I think you'll like it here. We have great Vikings fans base and we look forward to supporting your new ownership as the team strives to return to the Super Bowl and win that first elusive title.
Over the course of this week, I hope to give you pointers on how to run the team, endear yourself to fans, and how to work with the knuckleheads over in St. Paul to get that new stadium built.
Today's primer is how to handle communications. First order of business is to make sure your coach and players air their issues behind closed doors and not through the media. The Twins have been doing this all season and I think it may eventually lead to some clubhouse problems.
After the Twins lost to the S.F. Giants on July 15, skipper Ron Gardenhire had this to say: "I thought we really chased a lot of pitches out of the zone today and really didn't have a good night offensively," he said. "It looked like if we were a little more patient tonight, we probably could have drawn a few more walks."
To which Torii Hunter responded with: "Don't say we weren't patient. I hate to hear that. It's easy to say that when you're sitting down, trust me. Very easy."
When catcher Joe Mauer had to take some time off in early June due to a groin injury, bullpen coach Rick Stelmaszek spoke not so glowingly of Mauer by uttering: "The kid has been pretty well pampered the majority of his career. At that position, if you're going to play 125, 135, 140 games, if you think you're going to be 100 percent every single day, you're crazy. I think we'll have to see how he responds to these nagging injuries, and if they keep up, then he doesn't help us out as a catcher."
Added Gardy: "If his knee were blowing up, then I would say, yeah, we need to move him. But a groin muscle, it has nothing to do with catching. So if his knee is fine, then he should be our catcher. The thing here, you're going to have to start deciding what your body can and can't do. It's a pretty hard game at this level. You're going to be beat up. You're going to have to play through something. And he's going to have to learn that."
To which Mauer responded, again through the press: "I want to be out there, any chance I get. If the trainers and doctors say I can go, I'm going to go. If you're telling me that I can't, then I might want to listen. But I want to be out there."
Justin Morneau missed four starts because of a sore left elbow that required a cortisone shot in early June. One would have thought he would have gotten a little moral support from teammates and coaches. In fact, Morneau was ready to return to the lineup for a June 7 game but didn't see his name in the starting lineup.
Instead, he got this from Gardy: "We've had guys here before who were actually happy to be on the bench -- I won't name names. Guys have to understand that. I want most of my players to play every day. I don't want them to be content sitting on the bench."
Morneau also got a indirect verbal assault from Hunter who a day earlier had suggested that younger players need to step up and play through injuries. Morneau didn't care for how it was delivered.
"I don't think the paper is the place to do it," he said.
Hunter, responded: "I never mentioned any players' name."
Uh-huh. Team unity in the Twins clubhouse has to be a question mark as they charge to try and overtake the front running White Sox. And they better start looking in the rear view mirror as the Tribe is surging as well.
Me thinks this airing of issue through the local press is bad for the team. These internal issues should be handled behind closed doors like men.
So Zygi, make sure Tice and team understands this. Tice already has built the family atmosphere at Winter Park. Make sure problems stay in the family!
Father's Day In Pictures
Hope you had a great Father's Day. I sure did. Isn't a smile what life is all about?
Posted by maasx003 at June 20, 2005 10:26 AM