Sad Maplewood father Jim Krueger, 38, remembered exactly where he was last Sunday when he got the news.
“I had just gotten done mowing the lawn and was puttering around the garage when I put on the radio,” said Krueger. “The guy said, ‘To make room for Trevor Plouffe, the Twins are sending Byron Buxton back to Rochester again.’
“I just sat down on a bench and said, ‘Well, shit. Guess I have to have The Talk with the kids about prospects.’”
Krueger’s children, 12-year-old Aaron and 10-year-old Allie, are diehard Twins fans, with both playing in youth baseball/softball leagues and both owners of Byron Buxton shirseys.
Dad was the one who told me they traded Bruno (Tom Brunansky) for that whistledick Tommy Herr. He knew I’d take it hard, and took me out for Dairy Queen after. —Jim Krueger, sad Maplewood dad
“I swear, Aaron sleeps in that shirt every night. It can probably walk on its own at this point. And now I have to tell him that Buxton may not develop into a perennial All-Star. How do you tell your kid that? How?”
Krueger said he has relied on his father, J.D., for advice.
“Dad was the one who told me they traded Bruno (Tom Brunansky) for that whistledick Tommy Herr. He knew I’d take it hard, and took me out for Dairy Queen after. Thing is, even he doesn’t know what to tell the grandkids about this. We’re talking about a franchise cornerstone who might end up just being…OK. Maybe not even that. Christ.”
The sad dad, who is a property manager for a handful of east Metro strip malls, said he’s thinking of different angles from which to approach the conversation.
“Aaron is just barely old enough to remember Delmon Young, and Allie might have heard the name. Maybe I can just say, ‘Hey, remember the funny, bad outfield man who used to play for the Twins? He was a top prospect, too! These things happen.’ I just hope they don’t think all busts are anti-Semites, too.
“Man, this is gonna be rough.”