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.
Carlos Gomez has the tools to play baseball very, very well. But if you have those cool tools neatly arranged in your workshop and then don't have a clue how to use them, well, they become pretty useless.
That's what the Twins took in when they made Gomez the central figure in the Johan Santana trade and that's what the Twins dumped on Milwaukee when they sent him to the Brewers for J.J. (Get Well) Hardy.
Simply put, Gomez has no clue how to use his tools.
Not only did he show that in the eighth inning when he acted like his three-run homer meant something -- hitting Joe Mauer with his tossed bat, admiring his upper-decker and then doing a notice-me trot around the bases as the score went from 15-0 to 15-3.
(Here's the video, complete with some chastising from the Milwaukee announcers.)
If A.J. Pierzynski had been behind the plate, he would have decked Gomez right then and there.
And you would have cheered.
More substantial -- even though it's hard for one moment to be substantial in a blowout -- was the throw he made from center field during the seven-run first inning. Gomez showed off his javelin-throwing extra step-and-a-half and then launched the ball about 30 feet toward first base when he was trying to go home.
And there was that swing-from-the-butt thing midway through the game when he lost his balance and tumbled across home plate.
Nobody taught Carlos Gomez how to play baseball when he was working his way through the Mets minor-league system. Of course, watching the Mets is often an exercise in watching a team play below its capabilities because of their tendencies to do the little things wrong. Have you noticed that, Johan?
It's one more of those things that can make you, on a good day, appreciate the Twins organization a little bit more.
Fun to see you again, Carlos.
And don't forget to duck and cover. Hope they at least taught you that one back in the day.
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