You can make a better and better argument that the Twins gave up on Carlos Gomez a bit early -- or maybe that whatever he's taken in from the Milwaukee Brewers coaching staff has been better than the direction he got during his Twins years.
And Gomez' success with Milwaukee -- he's batting .308 with 13 home runs, 20 stolen bases and a National League-leading nine triples -- wouldn't be so galling if the end result of his time with the Twins turned out to be the failed reliever Jim Hoey.
It was Hoey who came to the Twins when former manager Bill Smith signed off on the idea that Tsuyoshi Nishioka had more of a future at shortstop than J.J. Hardy.
Meanwhile, Hardy is an All-Star with the Baltimore Orioles -- and local fans get to debate whether Pedro Florimon, who may have looked better in May than he does in July, is the anchor of the Twins' infield of the future. (You know, the one with Miguel Sano at third, someone at short, somebody at second and another guy at first.)
Hardy and Gomez are two of the seven former Twins who will play in Tuesday's All-Star Game. You can read more about that here in a story by Michael Rand.
And Gomez, in addition to his offensive numbers, added this to his portfolio Monday night in Milwaukee. (Keep watching through all of the announcers' calls -- including Bob Uecker's -- and keep enjoying the reaction of Reds slugger Joey Vatto to having his two-run homer taken away with two out in the top of the ninth and his team trailing by one.
The former Twins general manager Andy MacPhail, the builder of the Twins' World Series teams back before some of you were born, used to talk about judging trades as looking at "snapshots in time."
There were a lot of snapshots where the Johan Santana to New York-for-Gomez and the others was a dingy mess for the Twins.
Today, if you had Gomez in center field for the Twins, with Aaron Hicks and Oswaldo Arcia on either side of him, you'd have a pretty sweet photo.
There's a bigger question at play here for the Twins as they ponder their future -- and the success of Carlos Gomez in Milwaukee is part of it. I'll blog about that soon.