Friday, March 1, 2013

Taking spring training optimism too far

Protect those vulnerable places,
Joe Mauer.
It's easy to be optimistic during spring training. But some people carry it a bit too far.

I had figured that the silliest manifestation of over-the-top optimism Twins fans would encounter this year was the notion that the organization should hold back Kyle Gibson to make sure the Tommy John rehab project has innings available to use in the playoffs.

I'm all in favor of the Twins making the playoffs, but basing Gibson's workload on that notion is irrational. This is a team that lost 195 games over the previous two seasons and will have Kevin Correia in the rotation. Use Gibson in the manner that's best for him and the team in the long run, and the won-loss record will take care of itself.

If the Gibson fallacy weren't enough, now comes the predictable misplaced reaction to the news that Joe Mauer's wife is expecting Twins in late August.

Oh no! What if the Twins are in the hunt and Mauer leaves the team for a few days to see his kids born? 

Give me a break. Give all of us a break.

I have no sympathy with, or patience for, the notion that an athlete (no matter how highly paid) must subjugate family concerns to the imperatives of the next game. Building a stable, loving, supportive home environment is hardly a sign of misplaced priorities for anybody, athlete or civilian. The Twins will survive a brief paternity absence from their best player.

Joe and Maddie Mauer are expecting twins this summer? I wish them well. And I wish the rest of us will let them be. 

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