January 30, 2006
Grouping Erubiel Durazo with Dave Hansen and Timo Perez is like grouping Albert Einstein with Paris Hilton and Jessica Simpson, in that it makes almost zero sense on any level. A healthy Durazo would be one of the Twins' best hitters, while a healthy Hansen or Perez would struggle to be Triple-A Rochester's best hitter.
That could mean they are looking at such players as Erubiel Durazo, Dave Hansen and Timo Perez. Hansen's agent has been in touch with the Twins, but it's unclear how much interest the Twins have in him. Perez has played in two World Series, in 2000 with the Mets and last season with the White Sox.
Durazo has a .381 career on-base percentage but was slowed by injuries last season. He also might be too expensive for the Twins. "I'm looking at it," Twins General Manager Terry Ryan said when asked about bench players. "If there's something there that makes some sense, we will address it. You also have to deal with chemistry and make sure he's happy on that bench."
The thing that makes little sense is Stewart leading off, rather than Castillo. Castillo has significantly less power and is far more of a base-stealing threat, which means you want him batting in front of the more powerful and less speedy Stewart. Much like Gardenhire playing Stewart over Lew Ford in left field over the past two years, this is another example of the manager not wanting to ruffle Stewart's feathers at the expense of actual performance.
The other thing that sticks out is that Justin Morneau's name is nowhere to be found, which means he's likely slated to bat sixth. The importance of a batting order is almost always overstated, so I don't think this is much of an issue aside from giving a glimpse into Gardenhire's thought process heading into the season. It's encouraging that Tony Batista's name is also absent from the first five spots. The bad news is that Batista's name will still show up in spots six through nine.
In other words, they're like brothers who are married. Hopefully the makeup sex was good, because "the only thing you're gonna have better than makeup sex is conjugal visit sex."
We both apologized. We're going to go out there and play the game. We're like brothers. We're together every day, and you're bound to disagree on something. It's about making up and we made up. It's like a marriage. Well, not like a marriage.
It seems to me that the people in favor of the Batista signing -- Ryan included -- are unable to separate one offensive skill from a player's overall offensive package. Things like drawing walks, hitting homers, and bunting for hits are just part of the total value a player can bring to the table offensively. In Batista's case, many people seem to be saying that his ability to hit home runs or put "pressure" on opposing teams makes up for the fact that he doesn't get on base and eats up a tremendous number of outs.
It's not exactly what people admire in statistical analysis. I know that. I'm not so much concerned with home runs. I'm concerned with winning games. I'm concerned for our pitching and bullpen -- we need more (offensive) pressure, more threats.
Not only isn't that true, it shows a lack of understanding about what leads to run scoring. Teams score runs not because they do certain things well -- like hit for power or draw walks or steal bases -- but because the overall makeup of their offense is good. The overall makeup of Batista's offense is horrible, and his ability to hit homers is accounted for within that.
Think of a hitter like a movie. There are a number of things that need to go right for a movie to be good, from the acting and directing to the script and cinematography. Batista is like a movie that has good actors, but they're doing scenes from a horrible script, being directed by someone who has no clue, and the whole thing is being shot with a camcorder.
That movie would have some positive aspects and people who wanted to defend it would say things like, "It wasn't a great movie, but the acting was good." Sure, but the overall product would still be sub par because it's not as simple as the good canceling out the bad. In other words, good acting and all, the movie still stunk.