Why the hell is Justin Morneau in the minors?
Morneau, the 22-year-old hitting machine from British Columbia, nearly made
the Twins in spring training, losing out because Ron Gardenhire and Terry Ryan
didn’t think they could give him enough playing time in the majors. Since
then, three of the Twins’ Opening Day starters have made their way to the
disabled list, including Matt LeCroy, who nominally beat out
Morneau for the DH job.
When Joe Mauer injured his knee in the second game of the
season, I figured that would create the opening for the Twins to recall and
play Morneau. LeCroy could take over behind the plate, and Morneau could get
the majority of the DH at-bats until Mauer returned. When LeCroy himself was
hurt the next day, the move seemed even more logical. Now the Twins needed a
bat in a big way, and Morneau would have no competition in the DH role for at
least two weeks. The Twins instead went to 12 pitchers and no Morneau.
Torii Hunter’s strained right hamstring didn’t help him,
either; the Twins instead recalled Lew Ford, a decision that
actually made sense under the circumstances.
This story on Mark Prior just shows me how much more work I have to do. In jumbling quotes around to make the most alarmist case possible, the unnamed author of the article shows a complete disregard for medical facts. Prior may have a minor elbow ailment (noted by Jayson Stark and well-known around these parts), but the author also neglects to note that the Cubs are dealing with two similar injuries that would shed light on what Prior is going through. Mike Remlinger is coming back from shoulder surgery, taking more time than the Cubs expected to return, even causing some to say that Remlinger may miss the season (expect him back in June.) Mark Grudzielanek is out for now with an Achilles injury, as is Nomar Garciaparra. The injury is slow-healing, doesn’t respond well to much beyond rest, and is notoriously unpredictable. Add this up and it’s easy to see why the Cubs are being extremely cautious with their most valuable player. What’s not easy to see is why no one else seems to understand this.
Tyler Houston has more to say about Larry Bowa. Chuck LaMar believes Lou Piniella is one of the best strategists in the game. It’s about the money and not about the money at the same time for Frank Thomas. And Jimy Williams would like to see Adam Everett bunt more often. All this and many more quips in this edition of The Week In Quotes.
There isn’t much about in the way of statistical reports on managers here at Baseball Prospectus. The official BP POV is that you need proof to prognosticate or pontificate, and there is little about managers that can be explained without resorting to subjective, anecdotal evidence. The most we can do is point out aspects of a manager’s personality or performance that are well-documented and likely played some role in influencing the performances of those around him. Fortunately, the most successful and longest lived managers–not always the same thing–have left a fossil record of accumulated incidents that goes a long way towards defining them. Though it is impossible to prove a manager’s precise effect on his team’s record of wins and losses, the historical record contains ample evidence of managers’ ability to both hinder and, in more select circumstances, help their teams. Here, in order, are the 20 managers who have compiled the most victories in the history of the game, with an emphasis on their human side–from which much about their teams can be inferred, but conclusions cannot be drawn.