Yes. I'm a pirate. So what, wanna fighdaboutdit?
In spite of the overwhelming underachievements of Joe Mauer so far in 2006, credit must be given where credit is due. As has been shown time and time again by the Minnesota organization through transactions such as giving Joe Mays a long term contract and drafting surefire hitters like B.J. Garbe, the Twins are making the right personnel decisions for the product on the field.
Not only are these personnel decisions the right decisions, they're are also very consistent decisions. Minnesota committed to Rondell White in the offseason, and who's to argue? Piazza's bionic knees are about to give out, Frank Thomas owns us so why would we want to sign him, and Minnesotans can't pronounce "No-mah" correctly. Rondell White was not only the best economical player available, he was the RIGHT player, full stop.
We've committed to Rondell White. In spite of his low batting average and laughable on-base percentage, the Twins aren't giving up on him. After all, what message would this send to younger players coming up through the organization whom are intended to be cornerstones of teams to come? Just because Jason Kubel has a few bad games we don't want him to think he'll be sent back to Rochester. Just because Scott Baker was our most consistant pitcher in the month of April, but has scattered starts throughout May, we don't want to send him the wrong message. We wouldn't want to jerk around Jason Bartlett by sending him to AAA, he just needs to understand the Twins are making a committment to the future by starting players like Juan Castro and the aformentioned White.
Indeed, at 34, Rondell White has anywhere between 8 and 10 good seasons left in him. These at-bats are not wasted, dear friends they are an investment in the future of the Twins. In 2010, we should all be hoping Rondell White is opening the season in Twins uniform as our everyday designated hitter if not pitcher. You may be laughing now, but the Twins know who will be laughing last; their philosophy is tried and true!
Consistency is the key. Every Minnesota pitcher should know nothing is guaranteed. Johan Santana needs to know that he can't just go out there and give us 3 or 4 quality starts a month; he needs to know that 1 or 2 bad starts could get him removed for, y'know, a player who could perform at a higher level. Kyle Lohse was removed. Carlos Silva was removed. Scott Baker was removed.
Brad Radke was removed.
If there is one solid point of criticism, it's that the Twins aren't hard enough on the player who should be doing more for the team. Joe Mauer collected only two hits against the Athletics tonight, and he needs to know that won't cut the mustard. If Joe Mauer is too selfish to only bat in the three-hole, he should also be given a strict reprimand in the form of fewer modeling contracts. Perhaps fewer modeling contracts will give Joe Mauer incentive to not only bat third in the lineup, but fourth, fifth, seventh and perhaps ninth as well. Selfish play should not be tolerated.
In the end, if you want to see the future of the Twins, look no further than Rondell White. He is the personification of the Twins' philosophy. No failure is too complete, no failure is too detrimental to deter our Twins from what they know to be not just good business decisions but good BASEBALL decisions as well.
Good night, and good luck. D'yar.