A major pitfall of human beings is eulogizing people once they are gone. The nicest comments you’ll ever hear about another person is when they are, sadly, no longer with us. Isn’t that depressing? We can’t appreciate people while they are here or to quote The Office “I wish there was a way to know you were in the good old days before you actually left them”. As Twins fans we bring this unfortunate reflex to our fanhood aggressively and without question. Some examples Joe Mauer, our current Front Office, Byron Buxton, Carlos Correa… we’ve done it to them all.
The fanbase’s criticism of the front office is natural. We were supposed to be good last year, blew it, and now we’ve done little to rectify the depth issues. However, I’d like to open the hood on the front offices moves a bit more. Remember where we’ve come from Twins fans, and we will love this front office when they are gone…
Rather than acquiring contracts like Ricky Nolasco or Nathan Eovaldi, this front office has turned towards the trade market rather than bending the knee to an overpriced pitching market. They have acquired Kenta Maeda who when we last saw in a full season, granted it was 2020, was receiving Cy Young votes in a Twins uniform. We traded away Nelson Cruz for Joe Ryan and rather than pay Berrios we shipped him off for (at the time) a fantastic haul. Berrios is on the verge of losing a spot in that Blue Jays rotation don’t forget. All these arms, Chris Paddock included, would have cost 15-20 Million annually on the open market. That’s just the fact of the free agent pitching climate.
I understand that the dollar signs point to a lack of effort but don’t lose sight of where we have come from. The arms we have brought in are good and have saved the organization hundreds of millions of dollars rather than getting equivalent arms in free agency. This year is no different. We are clearly close to being legit contenders and we want to lose sight of the process and chase the finish line by blowing money on pitchers that make no sense. Stay the course, something is coming, we’ve made creative moves every off-season and I don’t see why this year will be any different.
Don’t forget where we have come from, appreciate what we have, be hopeful for the future. If you don’t like it, we can go back to getting guys like Adam Everette at shortstop, trading Wilson Ramos for Matt Capps and getting guys like Mike Pelfrey to hold down the rotation. None of them are bad players but we saw how moves like that didn’t move the needle or were way too short-sighted. We will miss them when they are gone.
The pinnacle of we will love you when you’re gone is Joe Mauer. Besides with Kirk Cousins this year, I’ve never seen the average fan swing so wildly with their opinion on a player. I get it was an emotional deal seeing Mauer regress, he was and is still OUR guy. Minnesota born and raised, three batting titles, MVP, Gold Glove catcher, he was OUR guy. Battered with injury he came out from behind the dish and Joe Mauer was the target of everyone’s frustration because his body couldn’t do what it used to. He was still a productive player, and the contract was not bad enough to keep the old regime from trying to acquire and lock up talent. We as a fan base hated him for it anyways.
Almost as if we lifted a curse, as Mauer strapped on the gear one last time in his last game it was like the angst of the Minnesota Twins fan evaporated into thin air. An outpouring of love and pounding the table for first ballot hall of fame induction. It is some of the strangest behavior I have ever seen. Even when he was wining batting titles, it was- “he should hit more home runs". “he doesn’t catch enough”, “he never swings at the first pitch”. Now that we’ll never see him play again, we all have taken a running leap back onto the band wagon and for no reason other than we will love you when you’re gone...
I do not think the front office or any of the players are perfect as players, executives, or people. I just firmly believe they can do better and will do better. We can also do better as fans and people. Take a step back and appreciate what you have in front of you as much as you can. Whether it’s Buxton patrolling centerfield, the front office making a trade for a controllable starting pitcher, or if it’s someone or something in your everyday life. Love people while they are here, not when they are gone. What makes us great as a community is we get to choose.
Go Twins, love you all.