Twins’ President Calvin Griffith feels more and more every day he has won his bet. Griffith wagered his reputation as a judge of baseball talent that Rod Carew could jump from the Class A Carolina League all the way to the American League this spring. “Ever since I saw Carew last fall in the Florida Instructional League, I felt he could play as high as he would make himself play,” Griffith said. “He has all the ability. He can be the All-Star second baseman of the American League.” Actually, if Griffith proves to be right, the Twins have two of the best second basemen in the league. The other is Cesar Tovar, now playing center field because of Carew’s performance so far. Carew is currently second on the club in batting behind Killebrew with a .278 average. Tovar is third at .275.
Rod has the same job as any rookie making a big jump from the low minors – he has to learn quickly right in the big leagues many of the fundamental things about baseball. And he has to do it in Minnesota for a club that is expected to be a pennant contender. Therefore he is under pressure to win. But his inexperienced has popped out in the base-running department. “I’ll say this for him,” said third base coach Billy Martin. “He never makes the same mistake twice. But he’s come up with a few I didn’t know about or I had forgotten about.”