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2018 MLB Postseason Discussion Thread

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How about a postseason game thread? Any MLB postseason discussion can just go here.
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Article: Offseason Primer: Who Needs a First Baseman Anyw...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:27 AM
The Twins are still waiting for the official word from Joe Mauer on whether or not he’d like to continue his playing career, but anybody...
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Article: What if This is the Max for Kepler?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:35 AM
At the end of the 2018 Major League Baseball season the Minnesota Twins had a trio of main narratives. First and foremost, this was a tea...
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Article: Minnesota’s Managerial Candidates: External Cand...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:08 AM
Earlier in the week, I looked at the top internal candidates for the Twins open managerial job. Since Tom Kelly was hired in the 1980’s,...
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2018 Vikings In Season Thread

Minnesota Vikings Talk Today, 11:07 AM
This is correct, they would lose cap room next year. He's going to stay on the team, the question is what role should he have. I'd li...
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Report From The Fort: Joe Mauer Will Give Up Hitting When You Pry The Bat From His Cold Dead Hand

FT. MYERS — Joe Mauer doesn’t sound like a guy who is ready to retire.

“There’s going to be a day where I won’t be able to come in here and put the uniform on,” Mauer reflected. “That’ll be a sad day for me. That’s kind of the mentality I have right now: just keep enjoying every day, enjoying going out there and competing, especially with this group that we have.”
Image courtesy of © Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
In the course of a five-minute conversation surrounding his future with the Twins, Mauer mentioned his love for “competing” three different times. Lest we forget, this is a guy who wanted to play point guard in basketball, quarterback in football and fought to stay at catcher in baseball. Those three positions in those three sports have something in common: they’re the position where the focus is on helping teammates, helping the team, win.

Mauer is not fiery. He is not a good quote. He says “heck” non-ironically. In a state that is football-oriented, we might prefer a little more of a bloodthirsty demeanor. But if you think that calmness means he doesn’t want to beat you, you’re not paying attention.

“Because once seven o’clock or one o’clock hits, that’s what it’s all about,” Mauer says. “Stepping in the box. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of that feeling. Stepping in against a big league pitcher. Trying to help your team win that day.”

This year will be the last year of Mauer’s mega-contract extension he signed with the Twins as they moved into their new ballpark in 2010. Mauer signed another extension before that, so this will be his first “contract year,” the year before a player becomes a free agent. It doesn’t sound like that lends itself any urgency.

“I never really get too far ahead of myself," says Mauer. "Like any other year, I look forward to enjoying the heck out of this one.”

There it is. That milquetoast demeanor is one of the reasons fans might expect Mauer to walk away from the game at the end of his contract. But it doesn’t sound like he’s in any hurry to walk despite all the changes he has been through.

“I’m a much different person than I was seventeen years ago," he says. "I’ve got a family. I’ve got my girls. There’s a lot of things going on. But one thing that hasn’t changed is I still love going out there and competing.”

Which is where the extra work comes in. It’s a pain, but you probably already know why he goes through all the “little things.”

“Take care of yourself. Try to eat right. Try to get in there and be ready for the next day," he says. "Do a lot of stretching. A lot of lifting. Spend a lot of time in the training room and in the weight room to make sure my body is ready to go not just for that day, but for the days to come.

Everybody in here has to do a little something. And our older guys seem to have to do a little bit more. It’s a process. But like I said, once seven o’clock and one o’clock hit, it’s all worth it.”

Mauer is 34 years old and has spent his entire adult life with one organization. At the end of this season, he will be a free agent. He may return to the Twins or he may choose to go somewhere else. But don’t expect him to be happily riding into a sunset.

“Coming in this spring, I drive in the first day and I was like ‘This is my seventeenth year of doing this, of coming to big league camp.’ You can think about it that way,” reflects Mauer. “But like I said, I just enjoy coming to the ballpark and competing and playing. I look forward to that every day.”

 

Don't forget you can get lots more from spring training by listening to our 15-minute audio wrapup. You can even ask your own question for tomorrow's show here.

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54 Comments

Go Mauer go!!!

 

He'll have an even better year this year than last and get a 2-3 year extension.

    • SwainZag, PseudoSABR, big dog and 6 others like this

I have been trying to think of a similar situation with Mauer, and the player who is closest has to be Todd Helton.He signed a 2 year / $10 million deal to play his last 2 seasons with the Rockies.

 

He was a bit older, but he did not have a concussion like Mauer did, so I think that the performance/aging curves are similar.

 

What is different is that those Colorado teams were 90 loss non-contenders. I just cannot see a situation where the contending Twins can have Mauer on their bench primarily for 2-3 seasons without that being a disturbance or drag the team the wrong way...

    • John Bonnes and cmoss84 like this

 

 

 

What is different is that those Colorado teams were 90 loss non-contenders. I just cannot see a situation where the contending Twins can have Mauer on their bench primarily for 2-3 seasons without that being a disturbance or drag the team the wrong way...

Having a great defensive 1st baseman who gets on base 39% of the time. I can seewhere that can fit in on any contending team. 

    • scottz, BigSkyTwinsFan, James and 22 others like this
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Cap'n Piranha
Mar 07 2018 08:45 PM
I mean, it all depends on the contract and the expectations. If it’s going to take 3 and 45, and Joe expects to start no matter what, that’s a potential issue.

If, on the other hand, it’s 2 and 20, and Joe gets that if his production slips he becomes a platoon/bench bat, then full speed ahead.
    • BigSkyTwinsFan, Twins33, ThejacKmp and 5 others like this
Despite all the young talent on this team, there could be a major hole at the top of the lineup next season if BOTH Mauer AND Dozier were gone. Not to mention a potential leadership void. Polanco would seem a perfect candidate to slide in to one of the spots, and perhaps Buxton as well. However, that potentially weakens the bottom of the order. Of course, the bottom of the order is easier to address.

If Joe is the same player this season as he was last, I could easily see an extension of some sort. His lack of real power is not only mitigated by his defense, hitting and OB, but there is power and budding power from Rosario, Buxton, Kepler, Sano and now Morrison. (Also some decent pop from the catcher spot, Polanco and Escobar if he were retained).

What about Rooker? Well, he isn't here yet. With all due respect...and hope...for Gordon, Javier and Lewis, they also aren't here yet, (In reference to a potential loss of Dozier).

There is absolute room on the roster, and payroll wise, for Mauer as well as Dozier the next couple of years. I know we still need additional pitching. But there is, and will be, financial room to add some, plus some pretty nice prospects getting close, plus future trade possibilities. As long as the finances aren't out of whack, I'd rather have too much talent to fit on my roster than trying to fill holes.
    • Carpetboy, Twins33, ThejacKmp and 3 others like this

I just want to hear him say "you will have to pry the bat from my cold dead hands" in his Mauerian accent.

 

I know people complain that he does not show enough emotion, but I thought he looked happy to be playing out there.There were a number of times I saw him on the field or interviewed before or after the game where he seemed to be enjoying himself.I think enough his peers have retired where he knows he is nearing the end, and he appreciates still being able to play.  If he has a decent year, I think he will try to work something out post 2018.

    • John Bonnes, Carole Keller, ThejacKmp and 5 others like this
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Original Whizzinator
Mar 08 2018 07:24 AM
C'mon people where the angst? The guy is still getting 23m this year. 2.3m per homer! :) JK just got a little disoriented for a sec there. I'd take the over on a 300 BA this year. I wonder if any of the anti Joe set over at the Strib would put their money where their typing fingers are....
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Tommygun921
Mar 08 2018 07:28 AM
I believe Joe is going to make it a difficult decision for the Twins during the off-season. I think he'll have a good season. Good defense OBP, AVG, and maybe even hit around 15 homers. Definitely not as good as 2009 but still good. Of he we're to then accept that he may not be a full-time player anymore then I think the Twins would sign him to 1-2 yr deal. Assuming he is productive, healthy, and wants to play again obviously.
    • ThejacKmp and howieramone2 like this
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Brock Beauchamp
Mar 08 2018 07:40 AM

I'm picturing the day Mauer has to hang up the cleats and emotionally falls apart, retreating to his lake cabin to become an eccentric recluse.

 

He's found weeks later, alone in a dark room with at least 3-4 days of stubble, 30 lbs heavier, and surrounded by dozens of empty cartons of whole (gasp!) milk. The grass at the cabin hasn't been mown in at least eight days.

    • John Bonnes, Carole Keller, glunn and 16 others like this

A lot has been made about Mauer's concussion problem.It lasted for three years.... and now??Suddenly it's all better??Healed and good to go, just like that.

 

It's as mysterious as "bi-lateral leg weakness".I saw the interview where Rosen spoke to Mauer that November after the concussion in 2013 and Joe said he was cleared to workout.Then over two years later, after some bad seasons, he says he had symptoms.Why did he not say something over all that time? How did no one notice?  

 

I am no fan of Terry Ryan, but he was dead right when he said all this:

The bigger issue is that Mauer withheld health information from the club during some of his struggles last year.
“The eyesight and the sunglasses and so forth, that caught quite a few people off guard including myself,” Twins General Manager Terry Ryan said. “I wish Joe would’ve been up front and brought it to our attention. Now I understand that with concussions you’re not going to be 100 percent every day coming off concussions.”

 

Things always seem to be wishy-washy with the communication between him and the team, in my opinion.I think it is time to move on from Joe.It would also probably be best for him to move on as well.Why is he risking potential disaster if he had those symptoms for that long?He has more money than God and he has a family to raise.It makes no sense for him to keep playing provided the information he gave us last spring about the concussion symptoms.Not with what we know about them now.Why in the world does he need to keep playing?Because he loves it so much?I question it.I really do.

    • h2oface likes this
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Brock Beauchamp
Mar 08 2018 07:54 AM

A lot has been made about Mauer's concussion problem. It lasted for three years.... and now?? Suddenly it's all better?? Healed and good to go, just like that.

It's as mysterious as "bi-lateral leg weakness". I saw the interview where Rosen spoke to Mauer that November after the concussion in 2013 and Joe said he was cleared to workout. Then over two years later, after some bad seasons, he says he had symptoms. Why did he not say something over all that time? How did no one notice?

I am no fan of Terry Ryan, but he was dead right when he said all this:
The bigger issue is that Mauer withheld health information from the club during some of his struggles last year.
“The eyesight and the sunglasses and so forth, that caught quite a few people off guard including myself,” Twins General Manager Terry Ryan said. “I wish Joe would’ve been up front and brought it to our attention. Now I understand that with concussions you’re not going to be 100 percent every day coming off concussions.”


Things always seem to be wishy-washy with the communication between him and the team, in my opinion. I think it is time to move on from Joe. It would also probably be best for him to move on as well. Why is he risking potential disaster if he had those symptoms for that long? He has more money than God and he has a family to raise. It makes no sense for him to keep playing provided the information he gave us last spring about the concussion symptoms. Not with what we know about them now. Why in the world does he need to keep playing? Because he loves it so much? I question it. I really do.

You should probably spend a little more time reading up on concussions. What has been reported on Mauer is pretty common. Symptoms come and go, they vary in both intensity and duration, sometimes deceptively (often the person doesn’t even realize they’re there because the human brain is amazing at adjusting for ailments, diminishing their impact but not removing the underlying problem). Placing a timeline and set list of symptoms on a concussion is folly, as "concussion" can mean a bunch of different things and is more of a catch-all term than an actual injury (more on that in a bit).

And depending on the severity and frequency, the effects often fade after a few years (or maybe the brain so completely adjusts to compensate for the effects that it essentially "normalizes" a continuing problem, making it invisible to the person).

Nevermind that even using the term “concussion” is so generic that it’s almost useless. Do we say “player x broke a bone”? Of course not, we specify which bone and the severity. Yet there are SO MANY forms of concussions, many with different effects and severity. Getting hit on the side of your head is not the same as the back of the head is not the same as the top of the head. Hell, even the type of impact on the same spot on the head often leads to different effects. Those injuries impact different parts of the brain and therefore have different effects, yet we lump them all together as the same. And that doesn’t bring up severity of the impact, which adds another variable to the situation.

We too often treat the discussion on concussions at the level of a third grade book report, which is ridiculous because it’s a friggin’ BRAIN INJURY.

    • ashburyjohn, PseudoSABR, bluechipper and 8 others like this

It really is not about what Mauer wants.Nice story, glad he is back from his concussion, wish him well, but - the Twins FO has to assess the team not the player. Do we have the next 1B ready to step in?If not extend Mauer for 2 years, if we do, extend one year???The FO does not have the old Twins angst about moving players. And this has to extend to Joe - the business of baseball has to prevail, just as players are learning in FA this year.I hope we see an amazing Joe this year, I will enjoy and appreciate it, and I will set that aside from watching the FO work.Based on their non-talks with Dozier who is our most productive hitter, I think we can begin to understand how the Twins approach is changing - not necessarily better, but different.

    • gocgo and ken like this

I don't think the concussion symptoms were suddenly better last season.There were signs of improvement the year before, but then he played injured (hamstring?) and his stats sunk in August and September. 2017 was a bit of a continuation on the first two thirds of 2016. Even in 2015 there were some glimpses of pre-concussion Joe, so if you look at the last three seasons, it has been more of a gradual improvement than an instant recovery. 

 

Hopefully that trend will continue or he will play close to the level of last year.I do think the fact that they no longer need to try to get him in as many games as possible and given him more rest has helped.

    • Brock Beauchamp, Twins33, DocBauer and 2 others like this

 

You should probably spend a little more time reading up on concussions. What has been reported on Mauer is pretty common. Symptoms come and go, they vary in both intensity and duration, sometimes deceptively (often the person doesn’t even realize they’re there because the human brain is amazing at adjusting for ailments, diminishing their impact but not removing the underlying problem). Placing a timeline and set list of symptoms on a concussion is folly, as "concussion" can mean a bunch of different things and is more of a catch-call term than an actual injury (more on that in a bit).

And depending on the severity and frequency, the effects often fade after a few years (or maybe the brain so completely adjusts to compensate for the effects that it essentially "normalizes" a continuing problem, making it invisible to the person).

Nevermind that even using the term “concussion” is so generic that it’s almost useless. Do we say “player x broke a bone”? Of course not, we specify which bone and the severity. Yet there are SO MANY forms of concussions, many with different effects and severity. Getting hit on the side of your head is not the same as the back of the head is not the same as the top of the head. Hell, even the type of impact on the same spot on the head often leads to different effects. Those injuries impact different parts of the brain and therefore have different effects, yet we lump them all together as the same. And that doesn’t bring up severity of the impact, which adds another variable to the situation.

We too often treat the discussion on concussions at the level of a third grade book report, which is ridiculous because it’s a friggin’ BRAIN INJURY.

 

You are correct.No two concussions are the same.The problem I have is he withheld information from the team for over two years.I question that.If he had ongoing symptoms with a level of severity that affected his performance for three years THAT drastically why did he just keep on playing with no input from anyone?How is it the people close to him don't notice it?This would include his teammates, team officials, his family, etc....I question that.The truth is no one really knows the level to which Joe suffered post concussion symptoms.What I am saying is that if he was having those problems then he should have kept the team in the loop.  

 

If I can't question it these things please let me know.I will never say another word about it.

 

    • h2oface likes this
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John Bonnes
Mar 08 2018 09:00 AM

Here's one quote I didn't include in the story, but I wish I had. I didn't include it because it didn't really talk about the theme of the story, but I think his response gives some insight into his mindset about his health, his performance and how he prepares.  

 

I asked him about his goals for the upcoming season.

 

"For me, it’s like every other year: just stay out on the field and give your team a chance to win.

I’m feeling good. I’ve never really been a guy who says 'I want to hit this for an average or hit this many home runs or this whatever' I feel if I stay healthy and on the field, those things usually take care of themselves."

 

 

    • glunn likes this

 

It really is not about what Mauer wants.Nice story, glad he is back from his concussion, wish him well, but - the Twins FO has to assess the team not the player. Do we have the next 1B ready to step in?If not extend Mauer for 2 years, if we do, extend one year???The FO does not have the old Twins angst about moving players. And this has to extend to Joe - the business of baseball has to prevail, just as players are learning in FA this year.I hope we see an amazing Joe this year, I will enjoy and appreciate it, and I will set that aside from watching the FO work.Based on their non-talks with Dozier who is our most productive hitter, I think we can begin to understand how the Twins approach is changing - not necessarily better, but different.

 

The "business of baseball" also involves putting fans in the seats and getting them to tune in so that you get more for your TV package. I think Minnesota fans (in particular) value loyalty and continuity. Not that 5000 people buy tickets to every game just to see Joe, but they buy tickets to see a product/team that earns their support. (Frankly, this is one of the reasons I'm highly disgruntled about the Sanó situation. How the Twins and the player handle it will affect how excited I am to watch them and him this summer.)

 

As long as Joe performs well, he is much more valuable to the Twins than a replacement with the same statistics. I hope that they work out a deal that makes sense for both so that Twins fans can enjoy the celebration of his final season. I also hope that the rising generation of Twins stars can help Joe get to the World Series.

    • GM64 likes this
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Brock Beauchamp
Mar 08 2018 09:19 AM

 

You are correct.No two concussions are the same.The problem I have is he withheld information from the team for over two years.I question that.If he had ongoing symptoms with a level of severity that affected his performance for three years THAT drastically why did he just keep on playing with no input from anyone?How is it the people close to him don't notice it?This would include his teammates, team officials, his family, etc....I question that.The truth is no one really knows the level to which Joe suffered post concussion symptoms.What I am saying is that if he was having those problems then he should have kept the team in the loop.  

 

If I can't question it these things please let me know.I will never say another word about it.

Obviously, you're free to question these things provided you remain respectful and on-topic. I never implied otherwise in my post.

 

But I think you're missing part of the problem here; symptoms come and go and they're often hard to pin down as being concussion symptoms in the first place.

 

Is it possible Mauer was bad at communicating things he clearly should have been communicating to the team? Absolutely, but it's probably a bit more complex than "he just didn't want to share important information with other people".

    • ashburyjohn, PseudoSABR, HitInAPinch and 3 others like this
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Carole Keller
Mar 08 2018 09:30 AM

 

 

If I can't question it these things please let me know.I will never say another word about it.

You can question these things all you want; there will be those who agree with you, and those who don't. You will get those who feel as strongly about their opinions as you do yours. That's the nature of it. It's not always easy, especially if your opinion is in the minority (although on Joe, I think it's not so lopsided as say, extending Buxton, on this site). Just becuase someone has something to say opposite you, they aren't telling you you can't question it, they are rebutting your statements because they feel differently.

    • ashburyjohn, PseudoSABR, HitInAPinch and 1 other like this

 

The "business of baseball" also involves putting fans in the seats and getting them to tune in so that you get more for your TV package. I think Minnesota fans (in particular) value loyalty and continuity. Not that 5000 people buy tickets to every game just to see Joe, but they buy tickets to see a product/team that earns their support. (Frankly, this is one of the reasons I'm highly disgruntled about the Sanó situation. How the Twins and the player handle it will affect how excited I am to watch them and him this summer.)

 

As long as Joe performs well, he is much more valuable to the Twins than a replacement with the same statistics. I hope that they work out a deal that makes sense for both so that Twins fans can enjoy the celebration of his final season. I also hope that the rising generation of Twins stars can help Joe get to the World Series.

Winning puts butts in the seats, period.Look at the attendance during the recent 5 year decline. If this FO puts out a winning team on the field consistently they will sell tickets, Mauer or no Mauer.

    • Danchat and ken like this

 

Having a great defensive 1st baseman who gets on base 39% of the time. I can seewhere that can fit in on any contending team. 

 

Maybe not. 

 

Case in point Doug Mientkiewicz.He was a great defensive first baseman with a .395 OBP the season before traded.

 

They Twins thought that it was not good enough.And he was 4 years younger than Mauer.

    • ken likes this

 

Maybe not. 

 

Case in point Doug Mientkiewicz.He was a great defensive first baseman with a .395 OBP the season before traded.

 

They Twins thought that it was not good enough.And he was 4 years younger than Mauer.

And there have been hundreds of worse players than Doug that have fit in with contending teams. Doug M would probably have fit fine on that team also if he had stayed and if the twins didn't think they had a better option. If the Twins think they have another Justin Morneau that would be blocked by Mauer after this year then you are right that he probably doesn't have a place on this what we hope is a contending team. Saying a guy like Mauer has no place on a contending team as a stand alone statement is off the mark IMO. 

    • Vanimal46, howieramone2 and SF Twins Fan like this
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HitInAPinch
Mar 08 2018 10:53 AM

I don't think last year had anything to do with Mauer's concussion.If I remember correctly, management contacted Molitor and told him to give Mauer more breaks in the season.  

 

Can't be sure about that, but 2017 was a pretty good season for Joe. 

 

But I think you're missing part of the problem here; symptoms come and go and they're often hard to pin down as being concussion symptoms in the first place.

 

Is it possible Mauer was bad at communicating things he clearly should have been communicating to the team? Absolutely, but it's probably a bit more complex than "he just didn't want to share important information with other people".

 

I have had a concussion and had to follow up on it with my doctor.At every visit I was specifically asked a number of questions:

 

1. Are you having headaches or memory issues?

2. Are you experiencing any vision issues including blurred vision, sensitivity to light, etc...

3. Are you feeling sluggish?

etc...

 

I would answer these honestly each time because a concussion is a serious injury. I have a hard time believing that Mauer was not asked these questions on a frequent basis by the Twins staff because after the Morneau concussion they truly understood how serious an injury this is.By frequently I mean no less than once a week and more likely it was once before any game.I would guess he was asked these questions hundreds of times between having the concussion and revealing his vision issues in spring training, 2016. Based on the Twins surprise when Mauer revealed these vision issues I have to assume that when he was asked these questions that he lied to the Twins. 

    • h2oface and ewen21 like this

It's a slippery slope with Mauer.Yes, his birth certificate says his age.But in "baseball years" he's a bit older, having caught for 10 years in the bigs, which in reality makes what he did last year all the more impressive.I sincerely hope he has 2-3 good years left and I sincerely hope he can play them with the Twins.I just can't imagine he would go anywhere else, but this is not the Terry Ryan/Tom Kelly/Ron Gardenhire Twins.Falvine has had a pretty good start, but the honeymoon may be over when/if they let Dozier and Mauer walk.

 

I have had a concussion and had to follow up on it with my doctor.At every visit I was specifically asked a number of questions:

 

1. Are you having headaches or memory issues?

2. Are you experiencing any vision issues including blurred vision, sensitivity to light, etc...

3. Are you feeling sluggish?

etc...

 

I would answer these honestly each time because a concussion is a serious injury. I have a hard time believing that Mauer was not asked these questions on a frequent basis by the Twins staff because after the Morneau concussion they truly understood how serious an injury this is.By frequently I mean no less than once a week and more likely it was once before any game.I would guess he was asked these questions hundreds of times between having the concussion and revealing his vision issues in spring training, 2016. Based on the Twins surprise when Mauer revealed these vision issues I have to assume that when he was asked these questions that he lied to the Twins. 

The thing I have trouble with is how could it be that all these people around him on a daily basis can't detect something was amiss (for over two years).He described some pretty clear symptoms and yet this was apparent to no one in his life?Honestly, that is just strange to me

    • h2oface likes this

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