Startribune.com digital sports editor Howard Sinker used to cover the Twins and now shares season tickets with friends in Section 219 of Target Field. He blogs about baseball from the perspective of a long-time fan who loves the game, doesn’t always believe the hype and likes hearing what others think. Howard sometimes talks about sports with Cathy Wurzer on MPR's Morning Edition.

Section 219: Twins win without winning defense

Posted by: Howard Sinker under Ron Gardenhire, Twins fans, Twins offense Updated: April 12, 2012 - 9:35 AM

I was as grumpy as the next person watching the Twins at Target Field on Opening Day. The Twins went down that late afternoon in such humble fashion that I concluded there was a good reason why the Twins were distracting us with so many tales of their new food offerings -- and other thoughts that were less civil.

I played around with words, but held back on sharing any of them because everything -- from hooting at Joe Mauer's early performance to the lack of defense to my frustration over the Twins bullpen seemed either a bit premature or well-written about elsewhere. I try to live by a "when you don't have anything to add, add nothing" blog stance. (I try, but don't always succeed.)

There are still a bundle of concerns even though the Twins finally won on Tuesday.

You have been warned that the Twins have traded defense for offense this season, and that was manifest Wednesday.

Poor defense contributed to four of the Angels' runs, whether it was Josh Willingham slamming into the wall while trying to catch the fly ball that turned into an inside-the-park home run, or Jamey Carroll being unable to handle the skipping throw from Denard Span on Torii Hunter's seventh-inning double, not to be confused with the slow start Span got on Hunter's ninth-inning ground ball double.

Also, Carl Pavano made a poor throw on a grounder that could have started a fourth-inning double play, when the Angels scored their first run. That would have been close either way, but it was still a play that wasn't made nearly as well as it should have been.

There was also concern in the ninth inning when Gardy didn't pull either Willingham in left or Ryan Doumit in right for Ben Revere as a defensive replacement. Gardy told La Velle that he didn't want to take Willingham out and he was concerned about pulling Doumit in case something happened to Mauer.

It seemed like a pick-your-poison situation: Go with the guys who might not get to the ball or the guy who will have trouble making a good throw if he does get to it.

And good on Gardy for going with Parmelee during the winning rally. If Parmelee isn't good enough to bat against a pretty good -- but not great -- lefty reliever, then he's not good enough to be in the majors.

Day baseball today. Find an excuse to pay attention.

 

 

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