Michael Cuddyer is now the Twins’ starting second baseman

12 Comments

In the wake of Tsuyoshi Nishioka’s fractured fibula the Twins have occasionally moved Michael Cuddyer from right field to second base, where he hadn’t played regularly since 2005.

Cuddyer hasn’t exactly thrived there, looking passable at best defensively while hitting just .160 in six games, but yesterday manager Ron Gardenhire announced that Cuddyer will be his primary second baseman until Nishioka returns next month.

It’s an odd move for a Twins team that’s constantly talking about (and being credited with) “doing the little things” and playing strong defense, because not only is Cuddyer a mediocre right fielder playing second base after five years away from the position he isn’t even providing a big offensive boost in the process.

Once upon a time Cuddyer was a good enough hitter to make trading offense for defense a worthwhile proposition, but he’s hit just .268 with a .333 on-base percentage and .411 slugging percentage in 177 games since the beginning of last season. That’s barely above average for a second baseman and Cuddyer has been particularly punchless versus right-handed pitching, slugging .379 off them during that time.

Gardenhire has talked about how playing Cuddyer at second base allows the Twins to also get both Jason Kubel and Jim Thome into the lineup at right field and designated hitter, but when Cuddyer isn’t a threat versus righties and neither Kubel nor Thome are threats versus lefties the benefit is mostly in name and reputation rather than actual production.

Ugly brawl breaks out among parents at a youth baseball game

Lakewood Co. Police
16 Comments

People like to decry “participation trophies” as a harbinger of the end of civilization as we know it, but they beat the heck out of people who think youth sports is the most important thing going. Because it’s those sorts of misguided souls who start ugly stuff like that which went down at a baseball game for seven and eight-year-olds in Lakewood, Colorado over the weekend.

As usual it was the parents — not the kids — who caused the ugliness. What sparked it? A call by the umpire. The umpire who is 13-years-old by the way. Because, obviously, the stakes were that high.

It’s unclear how a disputed call escalated into the full-blown brawl you see below, but I’m guessing the call was merely pretext for some pretty horrible people to do some pretty awful things in front of their small children. Predispositions to be jackwagons are hard to shake.

Particularly awful is the sucker punch the guy in the teal shorts and white t-shirt unleashed, which led to what appears to be a serious injury to the guy he punched. Lakewood police are circulating the video in an effort to get more information about the fight and, particularly, to track down the guy who threw that sucker punch.

(h/t Yahoo Sports)