Monday, February 9, 2009

Joe Christensen is a homer and other notes

Twins beat writer Joe Christensen ended a recent blog post with the following:

A key point to consider: What chance does a player coming off a back injury have of staying healthy while playing on FieldTurf?

I've racked my brain trying to come up with the motivation behind this statement/question. Clearly, he is relaying a concern of the Twins front office when considering a Joe Crede signing. But why didn't (as he's done before) simply state that this is a concern, rather than ask the fans to ponder the question? Here are some possible motivations:

1. He's lazy and doesn't want to ask the Twins physicians or any knowledgeable experts in general. He expects the fans to know the effects of an artificial surface on a recovering back.

2. He's alluding to the complicated decision facing the Twins - since this is a near impossible question to answer, it means signing Crede is a huge gamble.

3. He knows fans will react by thinking, "Oh yeah, gosh that doesn't seem like a very good fit, because the Metrodome has artificial turf! That's where the Twins play half their games! We can't possibly sign him now!"

At best, he's shoddily expressing the concerns of Billy Smith. At worst, he's playing one of Smith's bargaining chips for him. And at even worse, he's making excuses for the hometown team not to sign Crede.

Other Crede Notes:

I think a lot of folks were disgusted and shocked when the news broke about Boras's demand of a base salary of $7 million, after we'd been thinking $5 mil would get it done. But after doing the math, I've discovered the difference between $5 million and $7 million is just $2 million bucks. And there's payroll room. Without Crede, the payroll would be about $60 million, which is less than it was last year, and way less than the $74mil payroll of '07.

And let us not forget that this is a one year deal. I doubt if the $7mil we didn't spend would rollover to 2010.

Besides health and money, the only other reason not to sign Crede is .................. production.

If we didn't sign him, a platoon of Harris and Buscher would play third base. It's been argued that Crede isn't a huge upgrade, even if he stays on the field.

Joe Crede career: .257/.306/.447
Brendan Harris career v. LHP: .295/.360/.440
Brian Buscher career v. RHP: .297/.354/.411

The Twins actually had a bunch of RBI from the platoon of third basemen last year.

Here's my argument: I'd rather have a healthy Crede at third, providing good defense and hitting bombs! Call me a rube, but I like power and clubhouse presence, veteran leadership and good defense. An infield of Buscher/Harris, Punto and Casilla just doesn't do it for me. Plus, it's only one year.


David Wintheiser said...

I'm guessing he put it in the form of a question hoping to stir comments -- because as we all know, our worth as bloggers is based on the size of our comment lists.

haasertime said...

youre probably right...but it didn't work. We're not doctors or turf experts. the question is unanswerable to the common fan.

Daymonster said...

Woo! AH! is worth 3 comments!

soup said...

This whole Fieldturf causing injury business is overblown, especially for one year. The reason I might sign Crede is because he would turn sub par defense at 3b to good defense. The Offense would be about the same. This to me is not worth $7 mil.

But yes it dumb for Joe C to ask the question. I'm sure it inspired many even dumber answers in the comment section.

I don't mind the Twins being frugal if they use this money to sign long term contracts.

Anonymous said...

Isn't the idea behind the STRib blogs to informally provide extra info that doesn't make it into the newspaper? The field turf thing might just be spin, but it's been talked about a LOT, not just by Christiansen.

I think he's been pretty fair in his blog. I've noticed LaVelle straying into rube territory more and more lately. Especially on his KFAN appearances.

tfrezac2002 said...

I like Crede at 3rd, because it frees up Harris to play more short, and that leaves Punto in his best role as utility man. I'm still not sold on Alexi Casilla being the answer and 2nd so Nick will probably need to play there quite a bit this year.

tfrezac2002 said...

Oh, and BTW, it is always good to have someone with a ring in the clubhouse. (Who doesn't take BP naked)

haasertime said...

Joe christensen is pretty fair, but that one statement/question just irked me.

if anyone wants to actually try to answer that question, here are some resources.

and here's one of the twins physicians direct phone line:

bizmarkie507 said...

granted, Joe is 1000 times better at sports writing than I am, but with that said, I never really read his articles because he is a homer.

and I had a dream last night that I saw Paul Allen and Jeff Dubay working at a grocery store in some city of which I can't remember.