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6/18/10

GIDP: It "happens" or is it part of the "Twins way"?

Phil Mackey last night had a great article at ESPN1500.com, discussing the Twins' tendencies to hit into double plays this season, which has been a rally-killer. There was a very interesting quote by Ron Gardenhire:


"It's just what it is. When you get the big boys up there, you're looking for doubles and homers. And it's not a situation where you run. You've got to have guys that can run before you run. When Kubel's on, he's not a guy you're going to run with. When Kubel's at the plate, you want to leave the hole (open) and make them leave (the first baseman) on, hoping he'll hook a ball through the hole... Double plays are going to happen."


So do double plays just "happen" or is it in the Twins' DNA?

To try to answer this question, I looked at the ranking of various Twins' teams in the MLB (and the AL) for GIDP (in descending order, so #1 is the team that hit into most double plays this season) for the past 15 seasons. There has been enough player turnover within this time period. Here are the rankings:

2010: 1st
2009: 2nd (1st in AL)
2008: 8th (5th in AL)
2007: 4th (2nd in AL)
2006: 3rd (3rd in AL)
2005: 1st
2004: 10th (6th in AL)
2003: 7th (2nd in AL)
2002: 23th
------ Tom Kelly---
2001: 14th
2000: 6th (4th in AL)
1999: 3rd (2nd in AL)
1998: 1st

So, other than a couple of seasons, the Twins have been pretty high in GIDP and leading the league several times. That happened both in the Gardenhire and Tom Kelly era, so it not on the manager. I believe that it is part of the "Twins' way" of doing things, which is ingrained in the managerial philosophy of the club.