Posted by: exileindixie | February 14, 2011

Beginning Again with an Insincere Farewell

Greetings from Dixie.  Since last posing 9 months ago, I have been exiled.  To Dixie.  Like I’m running outside in February.  Like I’m now a mini-season ticket holder with the Durham Bulls.  [Using best Snaggle-puss voice] Like the title of this website, even.

And now comfortable in my uncomfortable surroundings, I truly have a Twins-shaped hole to fill.  While the long brutal winter no longer forces the Pitchers and Catchers countdown to serve as Ground Hog Day Redux (like a harbinger of spring, not like doing the same thing over and over again… again… that metaphor didn’t work at all), the distance and the lack of any major league baseball for a few hundred miles has me checking the Twins website every few days to see if they’ve given Tsuyoshi Nishioka a number yet so I can buy his shirsey already (and shouting “INFICHIRO!!!” at my wife and pets in anticipation of the glory he will bring to the top of the order).

But the coming of Infichiro means that a certain utility infielder with sub-replacement level offensive skills and a penchant for diving into first base has been forced out of town.  Yes, I’m sorry to report that…

Nick Punto and the Twins have broken up.

I’m not here to take sides.  I loved them together, and I wish them both well.  But I wish the Twins more well.   And I’m sad that my Punto Shirsey now goes from “seriously, I’m trying to get behind this guy because he’s getting every day at bats and I can’t afford the anguish of hating him” to “ironic support for crappy guy that just about everyone wanted gone three years ago.”

Sigh.  It’s the end of an era.  I will never forget the September sweep of the Sox in 2008 (aka the year the Twins LOST game 163).  Span tripled to tie the game, Punto came up to bat, and the whole Dome chanted his name.  We the chanters were probably as shocked as Punto to find ourselves bouncing his name off of the Teflon, but we did, and he came through by taking enough pitches to walk, and it was glorious.  It literally brought glory to everyone everywhere.

So.  From one former to Minnesotan to another, Godspeed, Nick Punto, in your quest to dive face first into someone else’s first base.

Now bring on the Infichiro era!

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