But I don't really want to. I'm not a baseball fan because I want to criticize others or because I want my team win every game. I'm a baseball fan because I like the connection to something bigger than myself, I like the feeling of community that develops out of cheering the same group of guys from February through October, until you feel like neighbors, friends or family. And even though he's only been on the team for two short months, and he has only played 6 real major league games, I want the best for Tsuyoshi Nishioka, our new second baseman.
So when Tsuyoshi broke his fibula today in Yankee Stadium, I wilted a little bit. I know that it was a fair slide, I know that it's nobody's fault; but I couldn't help but think: "that poor guy came all the way to the US to pursue his dream job, and after 1 week he has to stop. That's not fair!" I've worked overseas, far away from family and friends. It can be fun and exciting but it's also absolutely terrifying. If you fall ill or get hurt and you suddenly can't do the one thing you know how to do in a strange land, AND you don't have the people you love by your side to help you heal--well that just flat out stinks.
I know that he'll get better, and that his wife and parents can come out to help him, and that another player (Luke Hughes) will come up to help the team, but Nishioka's a Twin, he's one of our own now, and I know that--in our little Twins Territory family--we all want to help our guys feel better. Not just because he's a talented athlete, but because in a baseball crazed community you work together, you win together, you lose together. After the injury was announced Denard sympathized with his new teammate, Nishi and GM Bill Smith apologized to one another, and the twitterverse/blogosphere erupted in frowny faces at the injury. Because, that's the Twins way--health & happiness first, victory...maybe later.
Some people might analyze what a new second baseman means to the line up and defense, some might harangue the pin-stripers for playing dirty, but I keep thinking: "would he like some cookies...a bowl of chicken noodle soup...or Miso...a bento box...some kind of comfort food?" I empathize with Tsuyoshi and just want to use this post to say: "Hayaku yoku natte kure".
Get well soon and let us know about the cookies. Love,