COLUMN: A Malat Musing: Pitching Not Top Priority

Created: 11/07/2012 9:09 AM By: Phil Malat

Pitching, pitching, pitching, that we are told is the Twins number one priority in this winter – secure pitching. We are also told we could use a second baseman, that the jury is still out on a shortstop and God only knows what else.  It is highly doubtful that even Santa Claus could deliver on this wish list.

But wait – dare we suggest those priorities may be askew?

For the last few years, and especially this year, we have been treated to Little League failings that require some serious instruction. The laundry list is lengthy. 

  1. Teach the proper method of how to tag out  a runner caught in a run-down
  2. How to hit the cut-off man
  3. The proper base to throw to
  4. How to avoid getting picked-off on base
  5. When to charge for home plate and when to stay PUT at third base
  6. How to slide into a base (not this head first lunacy)
  7. How to avoid constantly sliding past the base and getting tagged out
  8. How to avoid serving up fat pitches to hitters with 0-2 and 1-2 counts on them
  9. How to hit and run
  10. And for God sakes, HOW TO BUNT!  INCULDING JOE MAUER!!!

With the news that the Twins have replaced much of their coaching staff brings renewed optimism, from at least one senior citizen, that the team may agree that it is finally time to address the woeful display and absence of the games basic fundamentals. 

To be sure, pitching would be helpful. However, a more realistic expectation would be the return of baseball as it should be played. Should the Twins new revitalized coaching staff fail to inspire our lads to play sound fundamental baseball, then, pitching or no pitching, it would only be fitting that we turn Target Field into a ghost town.

Phil Malat is a columnist for