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Time to play

Posted at 7:52 AM on August 24, 2005 by Bob Collins (7 Comments)

Alright, I'll say it: Jacque Jones should stay and play.

Jones, as you may know, won last night's game with another typical clutch shot.

It kept the Twins in the wild card race, against a guy who was pitching a no-hitter, for a team that leads the division but has suddenly been the subject of an increased use of the "c" word ("choke." What? You had to ask?)

In other words, the entire season was on the line.

And now Jones is taking two games off. His uncle died over the weekend and he's going to attend a funeral.

Jones should stay.

Sure, I'm heartless. Sure, I've lost perspective but -- if truth be told -- Jones' uncle never mattered to me the way a pennant race does anyway so it's pretty easy for me.

A few years ago a guy in football missed a game to be with his wife when she gave birth. His teammates soured on the guy and I wondered what the big deal was. So I'm not without sensitivity to family matters.

But Jones means more to the future of his employer and the people who follow it and, like it or not, this is one of the concessions you make when you cash the big check.

Is it right? Is it in perspective? Does it matter?

Torii Hunter is out. Shannon Stewart is out. And operating under the theory that in a pennant race, the most important game in the season is the next one you play, Jones needs to stay... and play.

Hey, I missed an anniversary dinner to cover Paul Wellstone's death. I missed my son's 4th birthday to move to Minnesota for this gig. This is part of working for a living. Sometimes you have to choose and sometimes -- and ideally you want it to be only a few times -- the family loses.

Let me offer this solution: The Twins have a day game on Thursday against Chicago and a night game on Friday against Texas. Schedule the funeral for early Friday morning, fly out after the game on Thursday. You're back by the game on Friday.

The funeral is in San Diego. And it doesn't take that long to fly from San Diego to Dallas. Unless you're flying Northwest, of course.

But two games? In a pennant race? Jacque, if your attendance at the funeral is important, you can get there and get back to your team without missing two games. And if it's the hand-holding thing that's important, you can do that in October.

But now's the time to play.

Oh, yeah, one other thing: sorry about your uncle.


Comments (7)

>> Northwest

bob you really know how to kick someone when their down. i love it.

p.s. i left mpr to go back to nwa. i miss knowing that i was getting a paycheck on time. sigh.

Posted by worm2 | August 24, 2005 11:19 AM


I'm not trying to kick people when their down. The death of loved ones is not fun and certainly not a laughing matter. but, you know, when people make fun of athletes who make too much money, THIS is why they make too much money; becuase they have to do things others can't do and others sometimes don't want to do.

They're entertainers and sometimes the show must go on. They're well paid not only for their talent, but for what they have to sacrifice.

This is one of those times.

Posted by Bob Collins | August 24, 2005 12:51 PM


I hear what you're saying, but he wasn't going to be in the starting lineup against Buehrle today, anyway. So he'll be missing one game against Garland. Considering the way he's been hitting this month (.127/.200/.255), it's probably not much of a blow to the team. Giving someone else a chance to play tomorrow might even be a good thing.

Posted by frightwig | August 24, 2005 4:18 PM


sorry. i meant NWA not JJ specifically. i can see how it can be taken that way but in the past you did say...First this disclaimer: I'm a jerk.

http://www.publicradio.org/columns/minnesota/baseball/archive/2005/06/confessions_of.php

are you retracting that statement? heehhehee.

Posted by worm2 | August 24, 2005 4:34 PM


Normally, I'd agree...let someone else play. But I hear it might be Bret Abernathy. Bret Abernathy??? My opinion on this would be different, perhaps, if Hunter and Stewart hadn't joined the mile-high fence crashers club

Posted by Bob Collins | August 24, 2005 6:36 PM


yeah! i agree

Posted by web designer | August 25, 2005 8:07 AM


Honestly, I feel better about seeing Abernathy at bat than I do when Jones is up lately. But it looks like either Cuddyer or Tiffee was the one who got to play today because Jacque was gone. Both were 1-for-4. Michael Ryan took Jacque's likely place in the order, batting 6th, and was 3-for-4 with the team's only RBI.

I agree with you in principle, Bob, but any negative effect of missing Jacque today probably wasn't too significant. If Jacque played in Boston, it might not even be an issue, because he could've been benched already for hitting so badly this month.

Posted by frightwig | August 25, 2005 5:32 PM


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