About three weeks ago, Ron Gardenhire and Danny Valencia had a bit of a tiff. A quarrel. A misunderstanding. And the they should do something about it before things blow up.
Gardy says that Danny stands up too straight when going for balls on his to his left and that he needs to get better jumps.
Danny says that he know that he needs to work on his defense, but also adds that you can't win any games when the team doesn't score any runs.
Danny was benched the next day.
Ok, so this little spat doesn't seem like much of anything. However, over the course of this whole season, the relationship between the two seems weird -- and unlike Gardy's relationships with the other players.
It's true that Danny hasn't lived up to everything he showed us last year. But, really, who on the team has? It's odd however, with as deep as this team is in fault, Gardy seems to single Danny out more than the rest of them (except for maybe Kevin Slowey, but he wasn't with the team enough to have to endure too much). And what's odder is that it's not really Gardy's style to call out guys to the media.
Guys like Nishioka, Young, and even Cuddyer have laid out some defensive miscues (don't even get me started on the pitching miscues) without a peep, but Gardy seems to keep his magnifying glass on Danny.
Now, Gardy's expectations of Danny might be a little higher than they are for others, and rightly so. Last year, we all saw the quality of player Danny can be, and Gardy wants him to build on that. So Gardy's probably trying to handle Danny with a little tough love to encourage some more drive. But it doesn't seem like Danny's getting that message.
It's no secret that Danny's a confident guy. But his willingness to refute Gardy's observations, also to the media, makes it seem like he's not listening.
I have no doubt that Danny has the desire to improve, and I also have no doubt that Danny knows what he needs to work on. So, he just needs to figure it out and get better, and Gardy will be happy.
And Gardy needs to give Danny some slack and remember to air out his beefs privately, and Danny will be happy.
And while a happy third-baseman probably won't fix all the Twins problems, it is one that's pretty easy.
Speaking of Danny, here's his paper doll.
He sat out Sunday's game with a sore shoulder. After an off-day on Monday, he was able to return to action on Tuesday.