Minnesota Twins: Rocco Baldelli’s Mistake Burns Joe Ryan

Joe Ryan of the Minnesota Twins reacts during the first inning against the Seattle Mariners. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Joe Ryan of the Minnesota Twins reacts during the first inning against the Seattle Mariners. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /

In a tough game yesterday, the Minnesota Twins got hit and got hit hard. the Padres got the kid good. With his slider not sliding and breakers that didn’t break, the homerun hungry Padres feasted on Joe Ryan. When Rocco Baldelli remembered he was the Minnesota Twins manager and pulled Joe Ryan, it was too late.

Had the Padres jumped Ryan outside the ballpark, dragged him into an alley, savagely beat him with their bats and left him for dead, it might have been preferable and at least private. Instead, it happened on TV while the Padres wore the ugliest uniform in existence.

Thus, we move to Rocco Baldelli, “Mr. Do-Nothing” himself.  A man complicit in the drubbing Ryan received. Leaving him on the mound long, LONG after it was clear he was done. Charge him with managerial neglect. Put him in handcuffs and take him away.

Rocco left Joe Ryan out to dry, and the Minnesota Twins were all the worse for it.

There is a German concept fingerspitzengefuhl, I read about. Roughly translated, it means ‘fingertip feel.” It is the innate ability of a leader to understand all facets of complicated and rapidly changing situations. Using that understanding to make good tactical decisions. Baldelli has a conspicuous lack of this feel. I’m unsure he even has instincts.

Against the Padres, his inaction could do irreversible damage to Joe Ryan. Baseball, as much as any sport is a game in which success and failure are self-propagating. He should have got young blood out of the game, and into the showers. The Twins don’t have good pitching. Protect the Merchandise. Protect Joe.

After Machado’s homer, Ryan was done. It was the fourth homer he’s surrendered; nothing was going right for Ryan. Without any secondary offerings, the Padres began to sit on the fastball. Even Ryan’s, as good as it is, won’t work if it’s the only pitch.

Major league hitters are too good, too smart, and too talented. Even Mariano Rivera had two mixed in a fastball or two. While Cronenworth singled, Voit doubled, Hosmer walked, and Alfaro homered. Ole’ bump on the log Baldelli, sat there, just watching. I was screaming at my computer screen the entire time for “Bumpy” to FREAKING DO SOMETHING.

I was just so steamed. Joe Ryan is my favorite player on the Twins. Someone I really believe can be great, so watching him wither and die on the vine was maddening. Despite seven strikeouts, Ryan never had his best stuff.

Baldelli’s job is to understand that. To realize that one game and one series, isn’t worth damaging the confidence of such a promising player.  I hope, man do I hope, Joe Ryan doesn’t lose faith in himself. Or his voodoo fastball.

Rocco knows more about Baseball, then I ever will. Between playing in the Majors and securing one of the most coveted jobs in America.  He is clearly a smart man and by all accounts, a very nice one.

He seems nice in interviews, and players seem to like him well enough. This doesn’t make you a good leader or a good tactician. Because what he did to Ryan was bad. He hung that young man out to dry.

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