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Gardenhire Unloads On Youngsters

All quotes courtesy of Jim Souhan's power VS speed article at the Strib online.

I don't like continually ripping on our guys, let's get that out of the way.  But after reading Souhan's piece about fifteen minutes ago, I found myself intrigued.  Not by what Souhan wrote, but by the quotes he gave from Ron Gardenhire.

Gardy's opening salvo is for 23-year old Carlos Gomez:

"Go-Go just flails away," Gardenhire said of Gomez. "I don't know if he's a power guy or a speed guy, and I think he's caught right in between. He really believes he can hit it 10 miles, and he's not going to be satisfied with shooting it the other way. That's in his mind and until he decides that he has to use a little of both, he's going to do what he's doing."

This just sounds like immaturity on behalf of Gomez, and the attitude of a guy who doesn't know the difference between what he's capable of and what he thinks he's capable of.  Gomez and his .604 OPS; 64 OPS+; 23.1% strikeout rate; 27.4% swings out of the zone.  It's a quote that we've all known to be painfully true for awhile, but it's interesting (and oddly refreshing) to hear the thoughts from Gardy as well.  But he's not done.

Onto Delmon Young, however briefly:

"Delmon's a different story. He's supposed to drive the ball. He's working on it, supposedly, and we'll see."

Supposedly?  What does that mean?  Is Delmon actually working on driving the ball?  Or is he telling Gardenhire that he's working on it, but Gardenhire either doensn't believe him or think Young is working hard enough?  Whatever the case may be, Gardenhire is NOT happy with Delmon.

Finally, Alexi Casilla:

"He's an enigma to me," Gardenhire said. "I don't know where he's at mentally. When I sent him down, the stuff he was saying to me ... I was like, 'Listen to you!' He's just not understanding the game."

Wow.  What on earth could Casilla have said to elicit this?  I'm not sure where Alexi thinks he's at or what he thinks is happening, but his .467 OPS basically means whatever he thinks is wrong.  While I won't say that I think Gardy necessarily understands the game 100% of the time, given the choice between him and a 24-year old middle infielder with no major league success...I'm going with Gardy every time.  But like both Gomez and Young before him, these are things we've already known.

Gomez doesn't understand what kind of a player he is yet.  Young is having a difficult time working on things.  Casilla is lost.  Gardenhire's come out with these revelations in public, meaning his frustration and patience reached their limits.  Maybe it's not the most adviseable thing to do, lambasting your young players in public, but I'm still happy to read it.