Possibly pseudonymed reader Cletus points us to this slightly old, but still tasty nugget from Tom Singer over at mlb.com
. DP combos thriving throughout MLB
Chemistry up the middle becoming a trend with contenders
Baseball's ever-isolating spotlight is one of the game's charming appeals. When the ball is pitched or when it is struck -- it's all on you, regardless of which glove you're wearing at the time, batting or fielding. So, on a ball field, every man is an island. Except those two in the middle, whose teamwork is crucial as two pistons of the same engine, the most critical links in a strong chain.
I have a 2002 Honda Civic. Good car, good mileage. Cleans up nice. Problem is, there's something wonky going on in the engine. Gets really noisy in the higher gears.
I brought it into a mechanic, and he explained my problem in a surprisingly long-winded fashion (it seems so obvious in hindsight!):
"You got a couple pistons in here...they don't like each other. You know -- chemistry issues. This one piston [pointing to a piston], he doesn't like this other guy over here [pointing to another piston]. One of them has been in the car for quite some time. The other is, you might say, a 'rookie.' New piston. Also -- and you may find this hard to believe, but I'm a mechanic, so trust me on this one -- they are from different religious backgrounds and like to play different kinds of piston music in the piston clubhouse. So I don't think that's helping neither...So, like I said, it's a chemistry thing. Teamwork problem. It has nothing to do with the fact that this one piston is very rusty and has the piston-equivalent of a weak and inaccurate arm, and I am 99.9% sure that your problem also has nothing to do with the fact that this other piston has trouble getting the pistonball out of his pistonglove quickly. I won't deny that those are vital components of turning a PDP, but in my expert opinion, this is clearly a teamwork / chemistry thing. Okay, so, anyway, just let me know when I can stop talking. I feel like at this point everyone should understand that (a) using inanimate engine-parts in a baseball chemistry metaphor is a bad choice by the author and (b) it's quite possible that the degree to which a DP combination excels at turning the DP depends more on their individual abilities than anything related to 'timing' or 'teamwork' or what have you. That will be 300 million dollars." Holding onto these positions is as difficult as holding your ground in the storm of a take-out slide. Second and short are among the first positions targeted by teams seeking to reach the next level.
You heard it here first, baseball fans. If your team is trying to improve, there's a good chance that they'll go after a 2B and an SS. Well -- not quite. Those will be among
the first positions they'll go after. Those two. Will be among the first. (Out of nine.)
Singer then goes on to point out which teams have the longest-running DP tandems (Phils, Yanks), and which teams may in the future (Mariners). I have no idea how this bolsters his argument. I'm actually not sure what his argument is, but, whatever.Twins manager Ron Gardenhire's choice at second -- Brendan Harris (acquired from the Rays as part of the Delmon Young package), Nick Punto or Alexi Casilla -- will be influenced by how new shortstop Adam Everett relates to them.
"A lot of it is going to be about compatibility," Gardenhire said. "We're going to have to wait and see how it all plays out with those guys together."
Seems like sound reasoning, right? Forget how they handle the bat, or how good their defense is on the 97% of plays that don't
result in double plays. (Please someone e-mail me to correct me on that number. I'm estimating.)
No. The most critical criteria on determining the starting 2B for the Minnesota Twins is, apparently: How does Adam Everett relate? Does Evy wanna hang? Can you drink brews with AE?? Or, slightly more fairly: How quickly will Adam Everett develop a nebulous unspoken understanding of where you're going to be on the diamond under different baseball circumstances?
It's a long way from Spring Training to developing the sixth sense displayed by keystone soul brothers.
Note that the length of this way is mostly dependent on the fact that humans are incapable of developing a sixth sense. As the Phillies' Utley says of his vibes with Rollins, "We definitely feed off each other. It's a lot easier playing second with Jimmy over there. I always know where he's going to be."
Forgive Chase. You see, while playing college ball at UCLA, Utley's DP partner was 2B Jack Santora, who was prone to positioning himself under a desk in the press box while the other team was batting. Chase never knew where he was going to be because he simply couldn't see him.No question, had Baryshnikov picked up baseball, he doubtlessly would have played either short or second. The positions aren't played as much as they are performed, acts of athletic choreography best seen and appreciated through an action-freezing camera lens.
I agree with you on that point, Tom Singer. One can not even question that, if Mikhail Barykhnikov had played baseball, he would have played either short or second. Doubtless. As you said. In the same sentence where you said "no question."
Come on spring training. We need you. Only a few days left until we hear that beautiful, booming voice over the stadium PA: "Now batting...number 13...performing second base...Asdrubal Cabrera."
Labels: mlb.com, ron gardenhire, tom singer