News broke earlier tonight that the Twins are planning to put a bronze statue of Tom Kelly outside Target Field, which, yay! That sounds great and overdue.
Buried in the story, however, was this tidbit:
Having overcome a mild stroke in the fall of 2014, Kelly will see his streak of 47 consecutive trips to spring training end next month. Physical woes with his knees and Achilles made it difficult for him to climb stairs until the past couple of months.
“My mind says you can’t do it anymore, but my heart wants to go,” he said. “It was just a little rough last year, so maybe it’s a good time.”
I mean, no disrespect to Tom Kelly. None. He is the Minnesota Twins. I love him. We all love him. However, Tom Kelly not going to spring training is, like, the least Tom Kelly thing to do of all time.
I think TK has been conducting the first workout at spring training or the Twins for my entire life: “Good Morning America”. That’s what it’s called.
I relish the tweets of him whooping everyone’s butt that random mid-February morning every year—and apparently, according to this quote from 2015, I’m not alone:
Molitor is foremost among those in the Twins organization hoping that Kelly and his familiar foghorn will be right there at their usual post on Feb. 28, the first day of full-squad drills.
“The Voice,” Molitor said, smiling. “No microphone required.”
And if Kelly is up to running “Good Morning America?”
“Many have tried but none have succeeded in trying to match what he can bring to that drill,” Molitor said. “If he can do that, I’ll flip him the balls.”
Now you’re telling me TK just decided he isn’t coming to spring training anymore?!
This is like in high school when your rich friend’s parents leave him alone for the weekend to take care of himself. He should totally be capable of surviving by himself, but you have this sinking feeling in your stomach. It’s just not right.