August 2, 2004
Thanks for the memories
I don't think it was any secret that I wanted the Twins to trade Doug Mientkiewicz. He was batting .240 with 5 home runs and 25 RBI. That sucks, plain and simple. However he has always been one of my favorite players, ever since he tore up AL pitching in the first half of 2001. Do you remember? He flirted with .400 before the All-Star break and Twins fans were just giddy. He has been consistently inconsistent ever since. The biggest reason to trade him, though, was the emergence of Justin Morneau. ESPN is predicting that he'll win the MVP award in five years. That would be amazing and make us forget about Dougie real quick.
Having said that, it was still sad to see Dougie go. I really appreciated his work ethic, and I was happy to see Twins fans reward his time in the organization with a couple of standing ovations. That was nice to see. I wish I could have been there to clap along with them. And I was not at all happy with Gardenhire's bumbling method of handling Mientkiewicz as the trade deadline approached. Seriously, it was stupid even to tell him he was going to be traded regardless of the other stuff he supposedly said to Mint. First of all, it spooked Mint big time and created a less than ideal club house atmosphere. Secondly, and more importantly, it tipped Terry Ryan's hand and forced him into a corner. Gardy told Mint that he was going to be traded because Gardy thought the Benson deal was in the bag. When that fell through, Ryan was forced to find anything to get Mint out of Minnesota. If Gardy hadn't said anything, Mint would have just heard the rumors and if nothing happened, well that would have been OK. Hopefully next time Gardy just keeps his mouth shut. Of course, Mint was probably going to be traded no matter what, but why ruin his last days as a Twin by shoving it in his face a week before hand?
Speaking of Terry Ryan, ESPN is again reporting that the Twins were one of the big losers at the trade deadline. That is just silly. I think Terry should be commended for not giving away "the farm" for a shaky pitcher like Benson. Apparently the Pirates wanted Cuddyer, Kubel, or even Morneau and that wasn't going to happen. So instead Ryan gets another left handed pitching prospect, the Cubs 2002 1st round draft choice Justin Jones. For one thing, this guy went to high school about 10 minutes away from my high school in Virginia Beach, VA, but more importantly he was ranked as the #2 prospect in the Cubs system. So, overall Terry did a pretty good job, I should think. Also consider that Benson got absolutely shelled in his Mets debut and the Twins are coming out of this smelling pretty good. We've got a power hitter at first now who already has as many home runs as Mientkiewicz, and we've got another left handed pitching prospect. Plus the Twins are 5 games above the White Sox, and they just beat the hated Red Sox 2 out of 3 games to take the season series. They are not the anti-Yankees people. I enjoy beating the Red Sox just as much as the Yankees.
Anyway, it is still sad to see Dougie go. I heard he teared up a little in the batter's box on Saturday night. He will always have a special place in the heart of Twins' fans, and it sounds like he will miss us too. However, as Patrick Reusse writes today, bring on the Morneau era. Truthfully, the best part of the trade in my mind is that this will be the last time I ever type "Mientkiewicz." So long Dougie!
Posted by snackeru at August 2, 2004 8:03 AM | Twins
I don't think Gardy's method was exactly bumbling. He just forgot who he was dealing with. Another player might have actually appreciated being alerted to what was likely to happen. (I doubt that Gardy flat out said, "Doug, we're going to trade you." More likely, he pointed out what the logical and likely solution to the Twins' roster congestion was going to be.) But hyperkinetic, hypercommunicative, hyperlovable Dougie had to get his undies all bunched up and then share his angst with the entire world. That's what painted Terry Ryan into a corner. I guess you could argue that Gardenhire should have seen it coming.
Trivia question: what major league team has had two Garden-folk as managers in the past two decades? None other than the Twins: the loveable bumbler, Ron Gardenhire, and Billy "Slick" Gardner. This public service announcement has been brought to you by the Andersen Horticultural Library.
Posted by: Oldstuffer at August 6, 2004 4:09 PM
Thanks for a Sweet Greet
Posted by: vinda at June 21, 2005 7:39 AM