Most of the readers f this site also are regular readers or contributors to the Dickie Thon Fan Community (DTFC) for the Twins. Anyone who has followed the debate about Casrto vs. Bartlett knows that it has been heated and, at times, personal. What follows is my response to one of the more egregious posts by a moderator of the site. I bring it here in the hopes that someone will read what I have to say and understand that, despite all ther biases, having them as a devils advocates has refined my thinking relative to this debate.
It's not conjecture, inuendo, or speculation. It's an argument based on the following:
- In late September, Gardy said that Bartlett was one of five core players on the team who would be starters on the team in 2006.
- In October, Gardy said he was disappointed Bartlett didn't go to winter ball.
- During the Winter Caravan, Gardy said that Bartlett had to beat out at least two players to win the starting shortstop job in spring training.
Since the Winter Caravan, Gardy has not said one good thing about Bartlett, in fact, he has nothing but negative things to say, despite the following:
- Bartlett had a .500 OBP in spring training
- Bartlett made a total of two errors in two dozen spring games
- Bartlett made several sparkling plays in spring training
- Bartlett continues to play at a very high level in AAA.
- Castro had a total of four starts in spring training, with two errors.
- After the first week of the season, Castro is has hit .130
- Castro has six errors already this season
- Castro has failed to make a lot of plays he needs to make that were not scored errors.
Based on this evidence, it's not that big of a reach to say that Gardy is still upset with Bartlett about the winter ball thing. There is no better reason that I can think of.
I would be happy to hear a more compelling reason. I have yet to hear it. Instead, what has transpired is a lot of people arguing with me about my rhetoric, rather than providing a better reason than I have provided. It's relatively easy to poke holes in others' rhetoric and say that their arguments are full of speculation and inuendo, especially in the absence of adequate evidence to draw a hard and fast conclusion. The hard part is to provide a reasonable alternative. Many of you say you're tired of this debate. It would all be over in a heartbeat if you gave me better argument than the one above.
Not one of the critics on this board has done that. What they have done is parrot Gardy and Ryan on "leadership" and "sense of urgency". I think these are bogus reasons made up to cover up the real reason: Gardy has a grudge against Bartlett because Bartlett deliberately disobeyed him. They provide the perfect cover because there can be no tangible evidence to change opinions about such intangibles. So they can continue to salt him away in AAA and never need to address the real reason for his exile.
The only question that needs answering is, why don't TR and Gardy just tell the truth here and admit that Bartlett is being taught a lesson about doing whatever the skipper says you should do in the offseason? Well, I think there's a provision of the current agreement with the Players Association that says that a major league club cannot make playing in winter ball a condition of playing in the major leagues. So if they admitted their bias against Bartlett, they would be subject to a grievance.