Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has decided that nice guys finish last - or nice guys lose 291 games over a three-year period.
Gardenhire on Sunday watched Oswaldo Arica get buzzed twice by Rays pitcher Adam Liberatore then blast a solo homer to left during the Twins' 6-3 loss to Tampa Bay. There are no indications that Arcia and Liberatore have a history, but it did bring up memories of a couple moments last year that Arcia was pitched tough.
If Arcia is giving off bad body language and is getting pitched up and in because of it, Gardenhire is not going to blame Arcia. Especially if he responds the way he did on Sunday.
``If you don't like people buzzing your tower then, there you have it,'' Gardenhire said. ``You have to hit it in the seats. That's what I told him on the bench. Two bow ties, and (Liberatore) had to go get a new baseball.''
Gardenhire doesn't sound concerned if he has players who walk that fine line - or even cross it.
``You need a little bit of that,'' Gardenhire said. ``How are you Mr, Gardenhire. How are you, sir? You know what? Kiss my (rear) let's go kick somebody's (rear).''
The Twins should have a lot of that attitude in storage after the last three seasons. Someone needs to pay,
As expected, Miguel Sano on Sunday left for the Dominican Republic to visit friends and family before he returns to the USA to have Tommy John surgery in a couple of weeks.
The exact date is not known yet, as the Twins are checking to see when Sano can be scheduled to be operated on by well-respected surgeon Dr. David Altchek in New York. Twins assistant General Manager Rob Antony on Sunday confirmed that Altchek is the doctor they are trying to schedule the surgery with.
While it's likely that Sano's season is over, Antony isn't ruling anything out, including playing as a designated hitter late in the season. A stint in the Arizona Fall League in addition to winter ball are possibilites too.
``We're not going to rule anything out,'' Antony said. ``We won't rule out DH-ing at the end of the season if he was up for it. At the time, if there is any rsk of that irritating or slowing the process then we wont do that.
We'll have to see how he progesses, that is kind of the goal.
``The biggest thing is haing him ready for spring training next year.''
New Twin Ricky Nolasco threw two shutout innings while giving up two doubles.
Six of his seven pitches in the first inning were strikes, but a few of them were struck well. Nolasco got out of the second when Jose Molina lined into an inning ending-double play.
It's hard to judge early spring outings. Pitchers usually work on spotting their fastballs early. Hitters look for that and try to attack.
Nolasco said he already has a good feel for his pitches, and he's just in the process of building arm strength.
``It was good to get a little adrenaline going and and get into a game atmosphere,'' he said.