Total Frustration! 04 May 12

Stories and Photos by Gordy Jones

Total Frustration!

Gardy often tries to relax and blow off some steam by taking infield practice with the boys.

It’s a lot more fun being around a team that is winning than one on a losing streak, and when they are losing, you need to watch what you say. In the Twins’ recent skid, I could notice the frustration in several usually very friendly voices. One night as Gardy greeted me before a game, I casually asked him, “How are you doing?” I meant this generically as a greeting. He looked at me sadly, and said slowly, “Doing the best that we can.”

Shortly after seeing Gardy, I saw GM Terry Ryan, and out of habit used the same greeting. He looked at me and said quickly: “Not good! We’re losing.”

I moved along, trying to not to offend anyone else. I saw hitting coach Joe Vavra and he said hello to me. I thought I’d offer something positive this time. I said, “Have a good game, put plenty of hits into the guy’s bats.” He stopped and pointed to a bat he was carrying. “Gordy, there’s been plenty of hits in our bats. If we didn’t give up so many runs we’d have a better chance.” This was a few days before the Angel no-hitter against the Twins. Joe walked away obviously frustrated.

Joe was right at that point, but bad pitching on a team leads to frustration by the offense, which can foster hitting slumps – especially when you’re facing good pitching. That seems to have been the Twin’s next crossroad.

From now on, if the Twins keep losing, I’ll keep my mouth shut at the park, and only nod.


Nice Threads!

Tom Kelly and Dick Bremer make an interesting baseball announcing duo.

I recently heard on a sports talk show that Danny Valencia was coming out with a line of clothing, so I thought I’d ask Danny if it’s true. He replied, “No, but someone has talked to me about the possibility of starting one, and I do like nice clothes.” He is very stylish in his dress, and I remember last year hearing him and Joe Pohlad, who is a Twins executive and the Grandson of late owner Carl Pohlad — and a fine dresser in his own right — discussing what brands they were wearing and talking clothing stores.

I reminded him of how he was dressed during Twins Fest. I saw him bundled up for warmth, but not style. He laughed and said, “I’m a warm-climate Florida guy. If I do this, maybe I’ll only have summer clothes in my line.”


TK Live

We are more accustomed to seeing Tom Kelly in his baseball attire than in a sport coat. He is shown here with his successor and protege, Ron Gardenhire, who has had many reasons to be upset and stressed this season.

Tom Kelly has been occasionally filling in for Bert Blyleven in the FSN coverage of the Twins games. I asked partner Dick Bremer what it was like to work with Tom. “I enjoy it. He has an interesting perspective of the game and unique way of explaining it.”

One of the unusual aspects of Tom Kelly doing the TV broadcast is seeing him on the field pre-game in a sport coat. I asked him if he enjoys filling in for Bert. “It’s all right once in a while. I sneak in there and do a game or two and try to help out — give a little back to the Upper Midwest. The people here mean a lot to me. But that’s about my limit. A couple days every month or so – I’ll do a game or two and give a little back.”

I asked him if he ever misses managing. “No!” he said adamantly. But he softly added, “We miss the competition of the game and the camaraderie of the game, but that’s about it.”

Trevor Plouffe, with his long hair hidden under his helmet.

More Hair Talk

Trevor Plouffe was talking with me about my recent column where I suggested because of his long, thick hair, he endorse a shampoo and do commercials with his mom like Joe Mauer does. Trevor laughed and said, “I always pull off my hat in front of Joe and say, ‘Hey Joe, where’s my Head and Shoulders?’ But now I’m going to say: ‘Hey Joe! Where’s my Head and Shoulders commercial deal?’ That would be great…and yes. I could get my mom involved.”

He then walked away with an ear-to-ear smile and his big hair bouncing.