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Ron Gardenhire's Five Stages of Losing Nick Punto

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From Patrick Reusse:

Told few wks ago that Gardy was asking for Punto's return on regular basis & front office wouldn't budge because of Nick's frequent DLs.

From Joe Christensen:

Nick Punto's first choice was to re-sign with the Twins, and beyond that, he wanted to make sure he ended up with a contender. When it became clear this week that the Twins were moving on, Punto struck quickly, signing a one-year, $750,000 deal with the St. Louis Cardinals.


DENIAL.

"What? Punto's not coming back? This isn't happening! No! Nooooooooooo! We talked yesterday! And the day before that! He sent me a pie! Everything was fine! Bill Smith said he'd think about it! This can't be true!"

ANGER.

"People are going to pay for this. I'm going to get some of my Oklahoma buddies to put dead catfish in Bill Smith's trunk. I'm gonna bench Alexi Casilla every other day, just to show Smith who runs this team. I'm going to call Tsuyoshi Nishioka "Kaz Matsui" until he cries or goes home. I'm going to make Matt Tolbert dive headfirst into first base forty times a day."

"And Hunter Wendelstedt had better watch out, because I'm going to sneak up behind him in the umpire's room and punch his lights out."

BARGAINING.

"Why couldn't you have dumped Tolbert instead? Or Cuddyer! Take Cuddyer instead! HE'S SHOCKINGLY OVERPAID!"

"I promise if you bring Punto back, I'll learn about fielding-independent pitching! I'll stop pretending that Jason Kubel can hit lefties! I'll quit benching Pat Neshek because he's weird! PLEASE! ANYTHING!"

DEPRESSION.

"Why even manage this team anymore? It's like all of the grit is gone. I see now that baseball is only a foolish construct, perpetuated only by the powerful to glorify the powerful. The weak, the slow, the small - there's no place for us in baseball. It's a sham, and you people in the stands, you can see it now, can't you? You can see how baseball uses you up and casts you aside, tosses you out like yesterday's garbage if you can't hit or run the bases or get a bunt down, or if you swing the bat like you're trying to hit a cow with a banjo."

"There is no fun in baseball any more. Hard work means nothing, only luck. DON'T LOOK AT ME, MAUER, YOU'RE EVERYTHING WRONG WITH THIS GAME."

ACCEPTANCE.

"Well, at least I've still got you two. Butera, you can't hit, and Cuddyer, you make way too much money, and if I put you two together, it's kind of like Nick's still here. And we've still got Tolbert. He battles his tail off, you know. It won't be the same, but I guess I'd better... (sniff)... get after it. It's what Nicky would have wanted."