Wednesday, April 23, 2014

5 Players the Minnesota Twins Gave Up On Too Soon

Pining for the past is something we're all guilty of.  It's hard to see guys like Torii Hunter, David Ortiz and Carlos Gomez enjoying success with other franchises and not wonder what could have been.  When those former players are breaking out or enjoying pseudo-Hall of Fame careers, it's hard to just look the other way.  Heck, this one guy keeps writing about guys like Clete Thomas and continuously linking to it.  Like this link, which you can click. 

Since Twins fans seem to be in this mode right now, I thought this would be a great time to catch up with some guys the Twins may have given up on too soon.  I'll fill you in on what they're doing right now and how they could have helped in 2014 if the Twins' organization had just an ounce of foresight. 

Player - Brian Bass
Year with Twins - 2008
Current Age - 32

What is he up to?  Restaurateur

Bass owns and operates Brian Bass' Bombastic and Bodacious Walleye Bistro.  Since leaving baseball, Bass has used his trademark wildness to his favor, infusing delicious and bold spices into disgusting creatures that have been marinating in lake water and their own filth for their entire lives.  It may surprise you, but this fish restaurant has a great meatball stew!  Bass may have just one career MLB save, but he always saves the best for last at BBBBWB's with a delicious carrot cake that just dangles in front of the customer's taste buds, basically begging to be hit, I mean, eaten.      

Did the Twins give up too soon?

It seems like it.  Owning a restaurant requires a lot of time, perhaps indicating that the Twins and other teams had miscast Bass as a reliever.  Had he been given a starter job, he may have used his skills to post an ERA lower than 5.18.  In addition, his proclivity toward lean fish dishes could really help some of the more corpulent players on the roster (the fatties).  

Player - Jim Hoey
Year with Twins - 2011
Current Age - 31

What is he up to?  Math Teacher

Now teaching math to 9th graders in New Jersey, Hoey uses his spare time to try to prove that 7.02 isn't a very high number at all.  He's very generous with his students, handing out free passes to anyone who wants one.  His height gives him great leverage and allows him to use every inch of the chalkboard.  Lauded for his unpredictable style, his students report that they often have no idea where his math is going to go.    

Did the Twins give up too soon?

Yes, and I can prove it using the Pythagorean theorem.  With Hoey and his math skills in the fold, the Twins would be at the forefront of the now 10+-year-old sabermetric revolution.  Plus, you don't know real pressure until you try to get a group of 14 and 15-year-olds to stop texting long enough to do just one freaking practice problem. 

Player - Luis Rivas
Years with Twins - 2000-2005
Current Age - 34 (I know, it seems impossible, but he's just 34!)

What is he up to?  Real Estate Agent

Ironically, Rivas is really great at making contact with potential buyers.  His clients describe him as a having a "careful approach," an "attention to detail," and an "obscene unwillingness to make any mistakes."  In addition, he's really fast so you could imagine him adding more sales as he matures.  He just opened his own agency but some are worried that he may be too young for that responsibility.  Time will tell. 

Did the Twins give up too soon?

Obviously, yes.  It took a long time, but Rivas owns his own business now!  Who on the Twins owns their own business?  Joe Mauer's brother?  That doesn't count.  His new real estate experience will help him actually find home plate from time to time too.  If nothing else, he could help Aaron Hicks find a place in Rochester.

Player - Rob Delaney
Year with Twins - 2009
Current Age - 29

What is he up to?  Abstract Artist

Well, he's drawing and painting stuff.  Honestly, it looks like a lot of colors but I can't really make heads or tails of it.  I'm told it's really good, so I totally agree with that sentiment.  If I had known that Delaney was so creative, I might have appreciated his one game with the Twins a bit more.  He pitched that one game, popped up with Tampa Bay the following year for a gutsy and brave seven-walk in five innings performance and then disappeared into the art shadows.  It was brilliant artistry.  I think.     

Did the Twins give up too soon?

You know, I'm not sure.  I don't really understand art.  One time, I thought some art was good and I later found out that the art was actually bad.  It was really hard for me.  If Delaney was on the active roster, he could always explain his performance as "artistic" and I'd pretty much have to take his word for it.  I bet some of his teammates would be in the same boat.  OH!  Maybe we could get him to paint a picture of the whole team in a boat.  An image like that could really tie the room together/unify the team. 

Player - Jeff Gray
Year with Twins - 2012
Current Age - 32

What is he up to?  Law Student

Gray is currently studying law at Missouri State University.  While he's early in his coursework and it really isn't going all that well, his advisors are confident that he will become a better law student as he gets older for "no particular reason whatsoever and based entirely on zero facts."  The thick skin he grew while drawing the ire of every single Twins fan will help him as a law student as every single friend and family member will get immediately sick of the constant talk of law and law-related matters that all law students are legally required to engage all times.       

Did the Twins give up too soon?

It seems like it.  His new knowledge will make it a lot easier to settle debates within the Clubhouse, keeping things loose.  Who gets the corner locker?  What type of non-walleye food to provide?  Should everyone wear pants or should no one wear pants?  Why not have Gray litigate?  Plus, as an added bonus, Gray will create a unified sense of scorn as he explains the difference between libel and slander for the 500th time. 

Do you miss these former Twins?  Do you wish just a couple were still around?  Can you tell that I have a thing against law students?  If you are a law student, I deeply apologize for this slander.  As we can clearly see, these players could be providing value for the Twins right now.  Instead, they are all off engaging in other pursuits.  It's disappointing, but perhaps these five former Twins found their true callings.  I'm happy for each of them.  Except Jeff Gray.

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