Siberian Baseball

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Don't bother heckling Cuddyer... he can't hear you

As part of a fairly snarky "Know your Twins" type of bit on KFAN this week, I found out that right fielder Michael Cuddyer is deaf in his left ear.

According to Stan McNeal's Sporting News write up on Yahoo! Sports:

You have to pay close attention to know he's deaf in his left ear, the result of a childhood virus. When filling out paperwork after being drafted, he checked "no" by the line asking if he had any hearing problems. "It wasn't a problem," he told reporters. "It isn't a problem."

As a partial season ticket owner on the right field line this year, that got me thinking - if he really, really stunk up the joint one night, to the point where the natives got restless, would he even care?

Or notice?

I'm thinking this is more of a strength than a liability for a major league right fielder.

Obviously, it has to be easier for him to play right field, where his "good" ear in facing his center and right fielders. Whether this is a concern of the manager is up for interpretation, but in his career, Cuddyer has three starts in left and 262 in right.

In addition, he's started 24, 46 and 137 games at first, second and third base, respectively. With reaction-based positions - like third - it's probably not as important, but in terms of avoiding collisions with a roaming center fielder, it's not the worst idea for the Twins to put him in right.

At the very least, it keeps an army of bloggers and callers to talk radio from speculating about why a catch was or wasn't made. Seeing as he's leading all outfielders this year with 14 assists, I think most fans are OK with Cuddyer.

You don't need stereo sound to rifle down to first to double up a runner.

(Image from



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