Sports fans like to make idle threats that go something like this: If my favorite team does (fill in the blank), I'm done with them forever.
Seldom does this really happen. Fans have a hard time quitting and they have short memories. Somehow, some way, ballparks, arenas and stadiums remain full and TV audiences remain robust.
With that as a backdrop: All of the comments that have popped up this week on social media and on stories from Twins fans should be taken with the appropriate amount of salt.
No, people aren't going to stop going to games if the Twins end up trading Byron Buxton — a notion that has been discussed for months and is being discussed again.
But as I talked about on Thursday's Daily Delivery podcast, any Buxton trade would be a mistake. He's more valuable to the Twins than any haul from a trade, and he's worth the gamble on a $100+ million contract even with his injury history.
Perhaps a more interesting question regards the credibility of the Twins brain trust at this moment in time.
The Twins are coming off a 73-89 season in which their pitching plan failed spectacularly and during which Derek Falvey and Thad Levine traded away their best, most durable homegrown pitcher.
They were in a position where they needed to trade Jose Berrios in part because of the way 2021 was going and in part because their previous negotiations with Berrios had created enough hard feelings to be thought of as botched.
Berrios just signed a seven-year, $131 million deal with the Blue Jays. I personally think trading Berrios was a good move, and I wouldn't have paid him that much to be a No. 2.5 starter, but the steps it took to get to that move do not reflect well on the front office.
The same hard feelings might still be part of the Buxton story. If you'll recall, the Twins did not bring Buxton back to the MLB roster in September 2018 during an ineffective and injury-riddled season.
Had they called him up, he would be a free agent this offseason instead of next. "Yes. I ain't sugarcoating nothing," Buxton told reporters that winter. "It kind of didn't go over well."
Both sides still say they want to be together long term, but one has to wonder how strained the relationship really is.
And if that's the case, this is less a question merely about what to do about Buxton and more a broader question of faith in the front office.