Friday, January 29, 2010

Twins Treatment of Perkins Showed Lack of Class

Perkins finally told his side of the story about his demotion this fall in an interview with Joe Christiansen at the STRIB. There is nothing really new there, but it caused me to put together all we know and it does not make the Twins management look good.

Perkins was put on the DL after complaining about arm problems. He went down to Fort Myers for rehab and then pitched in a couple minor league games there. From all appearances he was trying to get himself ready to help the Twins in the stretch run. (Whether he would have actually helped can be debated - the Twins didn't thinks so.) The Twins doctors told him his arm was healthy and Perkins prepared to go to Rochester for a tuneup. Suddenly Perkins discovered that instead of getting him healthy to help his team, the Twins were trying to get him healthy so they could take him off the DL and then off the major league active roster. By doing that they avoided paying him a major league salary in September and they prevented him from qualifying for arbitration.

Not surprisingly, Perkins was upset and he didn't trust the judgments he had been given by the Twins medical staff.  Was his arm really healthy, or just healthy enough to get him off the DL long enough to send him to Rochester? So Perkins demanded and got another medical opinion. The Twins management portrayed this as more problems with Perkins. As they did his filing a grievance over the affair.

Bill Smith says every thing they did was within the rules. And I believe him. But one reason I am a Twins fan is that it is not only a good baseball organization, but has been a classy baseball organization that treated people fairly. I am not sure that is true any more. They didn't show much class here.


Anonymous said...

I really don't think Perkins is an innocent victim in all of this.

That said, I saw Terry Ryan as a GM with particularly high integrity. I don't have that impression of Bill Smith (yet).

Doofus said...

Perkins didn't do himself any favors by hiding his injury twice this year.

TT said...

This wasn't a defense of Perkins. But players play through injuries all the time. The problem was Perkins used his injury as an excuse for his poor performance after he was hammered.

I am sure his excuses were one reason Gardy didn't want to bring him back in September, regardless of how well he was throwing. But instead of telling him that up front, they played him along and got him healthy just in time to get him off the DL and take him off the active roster.

Whatever Perkins did, it doesn't excuse the way the Twins handled the situation.

Jim H said...

I don't understand all the rules about how long you can rehab and how you are eligible for the post season. I think it is possible that the only way the Twins could get Perkins more starts in the minors was option him to Rochester. I don't know if that is true. It is a problem though bringing him back to MPLS if you are not sure if he either ready to pitch healthwise or just not ready to pitch because he hadn't pitched much.

TT said...

Perkins was already scheduled to go to Rochester for a start on minor league rehab. This was not a forced move, it was a choice the Twins made to save money.

And it worked. Perkins would be making several hundred thousand more dollars next year had he been allowed to become arbitration eligible.

Jim H said...

TT-you are probably right here, I certainly don't know the rules and it is clear that the Twins saved some money by optioning Perkins. What isn't clear is whether Perkins was trying to avoid being optioned to the minors by claiming injury after poor performances. I do remember the Twins(Gardy) being disappointed when Perkins didn't make his scheduled Rochester start. I think the Twins would of liked having an experienced lefthander available in September during a pennant race.

One of the problems in pro sports is the culture of toughness that prevails. If you can't or won't play when your team wants you to, well we all know what can happen. Even Mauer was called a whimp by Hunter.

I would be a little careful about calling the Twins classless here, unless you know more than what has been in the papers. Still, it is a bit unusual for the Twins to get into this kind of situation with one of its players.

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