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Royce Lewis and the Abyss - A Twins Blog


Axel Kohagen

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               Being a hero means spending time in the abyss, mired down and challenged in every way. Royce Lewis has the potential for being a hero, but for now he’s spending a season in the abyss - in this case, staying patient in AAA. He’ll have to grow and add skills during this time, which is how heroes make their way back into the light. To stay a hero, he’ll need to transform into an even greater version of himself. If his brief time in the majors was any indication, he should have no problem doing that.

                Right now, Byron Buxton has emerged as a hero. The fate of a hero often depends on the whims of the universe, and so far Byron must not have angered them this year. Buxton is on the field more regularly, even with his limit of 100 games. He’s staying healthy. He’s adapted from his time in the abyss and matured as a player.

                In mythology, heroes often have supernatural help along the way. An elf or wizard adds their magic to the mix. A Greek god puts the wind into their ship’s sails. Baseball players seem to change through attrition, smoothed to perfection by water and time. The only player I can think of on the Twins’ team that had supernatural help was Chris Paddack. Richie the Rally Goat wasn’t enough, in the end, as he’s already had his second Tommy John’s surgery. The goat let us all down.

                As an aside, the goat let me down on a personal level. I bought my own rally goat to join in the fun. I made the mistake of showing it to my five-year-old daughter. She pushed the button for herself, listened to the thing bleat, and giggled. Then, you couldn’t get her to stop pushing it. She wanted to take it to bed with her. I imagined waking up in the middle of the night to that goat screeching at me. Anthony Hopkins asking me if the goats have stopped screaming yet. Too much. We put the goat on top of her dresser and we’re hoping she forgets about it.

                So, abandoned by his fate and fortune, Paddack heads back into the abyss. He is joined there by Alex Kirilloff and Miguel Sano. Fans seem less hopeful these three will rise and become heroes. Of course, before the season began, fans were less than hopeful about Royce Lewis. He had missed two crucial seasons (one due to COVID, one due to a torn ACL). Lewis grabbed hold of his opportunity. Now fans are almost disappointed All-Star caliber short stop Carlos Correa is coming back to replace him.

                Heroes take what they’re given and build themselves up. Unfortunately, if time in the abyss has crushed them from smooth stones into gritty sand, there may not be enough left to rebuild. Like the man says, there’s a last time for everything. Heroes either leave on top or fall down one more time than they get up. The fact that some achieve this kind of greatness, even for a brief while, is enough.

                The abyss waits. It is misunderstood; without its pressure and challenge heroes wouldn’t find the resistance to build strength. It takes away from many, but it gives to those gifted, resilient, and lucky. Buxton is here. Royce Lewis will return. Paddack, Sano, and Kirilloff must do the best they can with what they have.

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Your goat bleats and giggles? Mine screams. Literally. Yes. Screams. (Google ‘screaming goats’ and watch a couple videos … mine does that.)

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