So the Twins send Nick Blackburn to the bullpen and put Brian Duensing in the rotation.
They got it half-right.
They needed to send Blackburn to the minors so he could spend full starts - and days between starts - working on his sinker and an improved offspeed pitch. The guy can be salvaged, but I don't know how he gets better while waiting in the bullpen to be put into a game.
Sounds like the Twins will send down Jeff Manship after the game to make room for Alexi Casilla - Oh, Joy! - on Wednesday night. They needed to send Blackburn down, and I'd rather see Glen Perkins in the majors than Manship. Jose Mijares and Ron Mahay are not likely to get it done as your two lefties in the bullpen. Perkins can help in the bullpen, in short or long relief, and he could be an option for the rotation. I know he's been a pain in the butt, but the guy has talent, and this is a desperate situation.
-I wrote about Joe Mauer's bunt last night on this blog. Since then I've talked to a lot of people I respect at the balpark, and, when speaking privately, they're all unanimous - it was an embarrassment for our guy.
And his explanation wasn't acceptable. He said we'd be picking on him if he had rolled into a doubleplay. There are two problems with that thought: Obviously Joe is paranoid about hitting into doubleplays, which is a terrible mentality to have when you should be the best hitter on the team.
And, no, we wouldn't have questioned his thought process if he had hit into a doubleplay. At least he would have gone down swinging, trying to win the game, instead of deferring to Jason Kubel.
When Kubel starts making $23 million a year, then Mauer can defer to him.
It was a terrible moment for a player who has not handled his new circumstances - new ballpark, new contract, new pressure - very well.
And this is a media insider thing, but it does speak to the way Joe has handled his new status as franchise player. When Kirby Puckett and Torii Hunter were the most visible position players, they made sure to make themselves available every day after the game. Even if they had nothing to say. Even if they weren't involved in the outcome.
Mauer usually takes 45 minutes to an hour to show his face in the clubhouse after games. You might not care, but that speaks to his unwillingness to accept the mantle of ``franchise player.''
-Programming notes: I'll be running the Joe Anderson show tonight on 1500espn from 6 to 8. I'm on the station at 2:40 Thursday and Friday in my normal slot with Pat and Joe, and, as always, we'll run The Gardenhire Show and Sunday Sports Talk from 9:30-noon on Sunday morning.
My twitter name is Souhanstrib.