We here at Twinkie Town view our main job as advice-giving, first and foremost. In the past, we've offered such advice as: Hey, Francisco Liriano, maybe stop falling down every time you throw the ball; Hey, Ron Gardenhire, maybe Nick Punto isn't that good at hitting; and Hey, Mike Redmond, maybe put some pants on, or something.
Nevertheless, until now we've mostly confined our advice to baseball. (Except for that time Stu read too many Pitchfork reviews and spent a month writing reviews of 80's R&B records, reviews that relied far too heavily on the word "globule" for my taste, but that's a different story.)
Last week, though, we learned that catcher Joe Mauer and his wife Maddie are expecting twins. First and foremost, congratulations are in order - mazel tov, Mauers! - but twins are a bridge beyond. I know this because I am well acquainted with a couple who decided to have a child to see how that would go, and instead ended up with two, and had such a delightful experience that they had no more children and in fact develop somewhat haunted looks whenever the early 1980s are mentioned. And I know this couple well, very well indeed, because they are my parents.
For those who are looking for baseball content, I'm sorry because there won't be much after this point, but here's my hard-won advice about twins, for the Mauers and for anybody else who's looked at a sonogram recently, and turned to the doctor with a troubled look on his or her face, and said, "Why does my child have two heads?"
- You know how some people give their twins names that rhyme, or start with the same letter or sound, or - God help us - are the same name, but spelled differently, like Sean and Shawn? Do not do that. Under any circumstances, do not do that.
- Dress your twins alike at your own peril. Sure, it seems cute and twee, but you're going to end up looking like the kind of parent that enters their kids in child beauty pageants.
- For Joe Mauer, specifically: People are going to keep asking some version of, "You're having twins and you play for the Twins, isn't that funny?" Develop a canned response. "My wife is just glad I didn't play for the Giants" is the kind of thing we're going for here. Feel free to use that. Use it often enough that people stop asking.
- For Twins fans, specifically: cut Joe Mauer some slack, would you? Unless he's the kind of sociopath who shirks all family duties - and I think we can agree that seems unlikely - he's got a hard few months coming up.
- Twins are not psychic, do not have ESP, and do not feel pain when the other is injured. Ridicule anyone who asks.
- Your twins are in for a lifetime of being treated as half of one person. Feel free to not do that.
Anyway, good luck, Mauers, and anybody else. You're going to need it. Especially when they get old enough to move around, and you set them down, and they set off in opposite directions.