Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won't miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.
CLEVELAND -- Twins infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka had a flight to catch after Wednesday’s 6-2 loss. He was heading to Rochester, N.Y., to get his stuff to bring to Minnesota. He had time to talk to the Japanese media, and then he had to leave. Here’s the translation of what he said:
On the pop fly he missed: “I lost the ball in the sun. I couldn’t do anything about that.”
On the play on which he was charged an error: “If I make the play, I could get a double play, so there is a very fine line between a good and bad play. I did my best to make a play, so I’m not worried too much. I will try to focus on the next game now, and I will do my best if I have a chance to play next time.”
Nishioka made two defensive plays that cost the Twins four runs. He finished the series 0-for-12 with three erorrs.
Said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire: “He’s part of the ballclub. He was out there and had a rough day out there. He lost a ball in the sun and made a diving play, but you’ve got to get an out. He’s part of our baseball team, and we brought him up here to see what he can do. Today wasn’t a good day.”
Gardenhire cut off any more questions related to Nishioka’s future with the team.
Twins closer Glen Perkins said, “[Nishioka’s] obviously struggling, and you want to see a guy succeed, and I know they want him to succeed. It doesn’t really matter who it is, anytime a guy has a bad game, you feel for him, and he had three. But lost in that is the fact he did have the game-winning RBI last night in a spot where a lot of things hadn’t gone his way. He put together a good at-bat against a good pitcher.
“He’s in a tough spot. He struggled last year and hasn’t been here all year, so I’m sure he wants to come up and show what he can do, and so far it hasn’t gone too well, but I don’t think that’s a reason to write him off. Give him some time. I think anyone can have three bad games.”
During the broadcast, Twins TV analyst Bert Blyleven said, “Hey, I know the Twins paid some money for him, but in my opinion, he’s had a tough time at the major-league level and I think the last three games have shown that.”
“I’m not afraid to say my feelings,” Blyleven continued in a quote transcribed by SBNation.com. “I just feel that Nishioka is overmatched up here. ... Maybe I’m speaking for the pitching staff. You want this guy to succeed, but it just has not happened. And I think this three-game series is a good indication of what the Twins maybe have to do.”
Later, Blyleven tweeted (@BertBlyleven28): “Sometimes the truth hurts, but I have always been honest about my feelings with my broadcasting. Don’t like it, sorry!”
I'll have more in tonight's first editions.
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