Yes, one day after introducing my annual list of retired cliches, I title a post after a cliche. This is how I roll! I could rename the blog to the Ramblin’ Hypocrite, but I think one blog change per year is plenty.
It has been another year of disappointment if you enjoy sports and are a fan of Minnesota. No, the Lynx don’t count. If you want to argue with me, I welcome a comment below and I will come with a blog of fury about women’s basketball. For now, let’s focus on sports that are entertaining, that fans attend, and that casual people follow.
The fact that history is bound to repeat itself is based in, um, well…history repeating itself over and over again, especially when people don’t learn from their mistakes. Fans of the Minnesota Twins have been down on Delmon Young since his second day in Minnesota, when he apparently did not take his seat at the right-hand of Joe Mauer’s throne by hitting 8 home runs. Since then, fans have been calling for the Twins to dump him — and during the player exodus late this season, they got their wish.
“If we get rid of Delmon Young, he will be the second coming of Big Papi, David Ortiz.”
This is what I have been telling people for four years.
Preliminary results are showing that is exactly what is going to happen.
David Ortiz was a player who for six years in a Twins uniform had a multitude of injuries and never lived up to potential.
Then, we gave him to the Boston Red Sox.
Then, they won a World Series, breaking the Curse.
Then, they won another World Series.
All in all, Ortiz hit more home runs in one season for the Red Sox then he did for the Twins. He has made the All-Star team seven times, won the batting title, and the home run crown, and been a Top 5 MVP voter getter twice.
The Minnesota Twins, literally, gave him away.
Now, after giving up two extremely good prospects to land a 1-1, the Twins traded Delmon for a 10th-round pitcher. After being traded, Delmon hit as many home runs and drove in as many runs for the Tigers as he did for the Twins this year.
He played 84 games for the Twins.
40 for the Tigers.
Being a 1-1, Delmon is held to an impossible standard. So the criticisms of his game are exaggerated. Everyone harps on his fielding — and it is true that he is a “lazy” fielder, but this was already known when he was drafted 7 years ago. He was the best player that year because of his bat, nothing else. His fielding was weak, but it didn’t matter. To expect that is like expecting Albert Pujols to start playing like Ichiro. Different players bring different assets.
The second knock on his game is that he swings at everything. This is true, in his time with Tampa Bay, he apparently swung at the first pitch 51% of the time. I found his career stats when swinging at the first pitch:
179-for-516 (.347) with 35 2B and 20 HR
I don’t think it’s an official rule, but you can do whatever you want if whatever you are doing yields a .347 batting average. Case closed.
Delmon was inconsistent, but so was the entire team. He became the scapegoat, while fans ignored the “laziness” of Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau the last two years. Delmon was lazy in LF, but guess what Twins fans, he was in LF.
Meanwhile, you have all become apologists for two players who are pulling in a combined $39 million and not earning a fraction of it.