Wetmore: 5 thoughts, grand slams, Gardy supports playing with panache
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MINNEAPOLIS - Things looked mighty good for the Twins after Oswaldo Arcia gave Minnesota a 4-0 lead with a grand slam in the third inning. From there, the Twins quickly lost control of a sloppy game, lost Arcia to a sprained right ankle and lost to the Brewers, 8-5.
This column presents 5 thoughts from Thursday's game.
As always, feel free to ask any questions or make any observations in the comments. If you have a unique baseball observation during a game, feel free to share it with me on Twitter (@DerekWetmore).
1. Thursday also held the first two rounds of the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
The Twins took a high school shortstop, Nick Gordon, the son of Tom "Flash" Gordon.
The Twins also selected flamethrowing righty Nick Burdi, the closer at Lousiville. He has hit triple digits on radar guns and has the best fastball among college pitchers in the draft, according to Baseball America.
2. Arcia's grand slam put a charge into the crowd at Target Field. He crushed a 2-2 slider to the concourse beyond the right field bleachers. Arcia ran around the bases quickly.
The fans stood and demanded a curtain call as Arcia entered the dugout. He ran back up the dugout steps and appeared happy to oblige.
The slam might have put a charge into the Twins, too, except...
3. It was short-lived, because Carlos Gomez drove a three-run home run 412 feet to center field the next half inning. Gomez and Arcia each play with a certain panache that, in my opinion, should be embraced rather than subdued. I shared that opinion on Twitter during the game, and received an unfair although not unsurprising reaction.
Why anyone would want to stamp out the panache of a ballplayer like Carlos Gomez or Oswaldo Arcia is beyond me.— Derek Wetmore (@DerekWetmore) June 6, 2014
4. Many fans took the opportunity to blast Ron Gardenhire, which is unfair. The prevailing opinion seemed to be that Gardenhire is against playing the game with any enthusiasm and he requires players to tighten up and cut out celebrations. That's not true.
A reporter asked Gardenhire before the game about Arcia's flair, specifically referring to several moments from a game the day before.
"It's a kid's game, you're supposed to play it with enthusiasm, you're supposed to have fun playing it," Gardenhire said. "There's a lot of old-school stuff out there, you know, 'don't show up this guy...' but that's kind of old school. Nowadays you see a little bit more flamboyant baseball. There are still Golden Rules of baseball and what you should and shouldn't do. But still, I don't think he's trying to hurt anybody's feelings or anything, that's just the way he plays."
"I think [if] you start trying to take that away from people--that's the wrong way to go about your business. I don't think they're trying to show you up on purpose, I think they're just playing the way that makes sense for them."
That hardly sounds like the Chief of the Fun Police.
"I'm going to let him go about his business, if somebody doesn't like it, they have to take care of it...Sure, can you take it too far? Yes, you can. But the game is changed. If you don't like it, do something about it. If a guy frustrates you, you're going to face him again. Do something about it."
Gardenhire was insinuating enforcing the code--plunk a batter in the thigh his next time up. I'd offer that teams could also "do something about" excessive celebrations by getting the batter out.
More Gardenhire: "I like watching Arcia play, I like watching Gomez play. They express themselves on a baseball field. I don't mind it one bit."
I have no problem generally with fans ripping the Twins. But do so with accurate facts. It's more effective.
5. Perhaps the most costly play of the game came after Arcia doubled in the sixth inning. The next batter, Trevor Plouffe, appeared to square to bunt with nobody out.
Arcia jumped towards third for his secondary lead, and ostensibly would have taken off if Plouffe had laid down the bunt. Plouffe did not. The catcher, Jonathan Lucroy, fired down to second, and Arcia's ankle sprained as he attempted to retreat to the bag.
Gardenhire did not call for the bunt, he said, so Plouffe may have tried it on his own.
As for Arcia's injury: "You've got to be under control, he jumped a little too far," Gardenhire said. "He got anxious and ended up rolling his ankle."
Plouffe doubled deep to the right-center field gap after Arcia was picked off, 2-4-5. Chris Parmelee replaced Arcia. Gardenhire said Arcia is day-to-day. He limped out of the clubhouse after the game.
"I saw him as he walked out the training room. He's a little sore but they tell me it's not that bad. We'll see [Friday]," Gardenhire said.
More Twins notes: Kevin Correia will remain in the rotation after his latest rocky start.