Jon Marthaler bakes up a delicious batch of links for you every weekend. Other times, you can find him here. Jon?
Aaron Hicks hit three home runs on Thursday, but even before that performance, I got the sense that the discussion about Hicks had shifted. No longer was it about whether he could make the Opening Day roster, or whether he could be successful in the majors; people were already talking about whether the Twins should make an effort to delay his ascension to the major leagues, thus keeping his contract cheap for an additional season down the road.
I'm excited about Hicks too, but this discussion seems completely ludicrous to me. Hicks has never had a single at-bat in Triple-A, never mind the big leagues, and already people's excitement is so fevered that there is a genuine worry that the front office will have difficulty extracting the maximum value for his greatness. The same goes for Kyle Gibson, who has never pitched in the majors and has yet to lock up a roster spot, but has some people worried about putting him on an innings limit for this year. This discussion could even be applied to the Timberwolves - early this year, there were articles about the Wolves potentially having to "blow up the team" in a couple of years when Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio's contracts expire, a conversation that ignores the fact that if the team wins 30 games this season, it'll be the first time since 2007 they've pulled off the feat.
I can understand people's excitement, but for goodness' sake, let it just be excitement for the moment. Let Hicks wow us before we start worrying about his arbitration clock. Let Gibson strike out a batter before worrying about an innings limit. Let the Wolves get somewhere in the neighborhood of the playoffs before we start getting concerned about the 2015 free-agent market. We have enough things to be depressed about around here, sports-wise. Why are we getting pre-depressed about the only exciting things we have going?
*On with the links:
*Alex Kienholz at Twinkie Town reminds us that even if Scott Diamond weren't coming off surgery, we should still lower our expectations for the lefty in this upcoming season.
*Kevin Love talks to Zach Lowe at Grandland, and covers his expectations for the rest of the year - plus the truth about Nikola Pekovic's sense of fun.
*Also at Grantland, Sean McIndoe covers some of the great debacles in NHL history. Given that Gary Bettman is only mentioned in passing, I think it's fair to say that this list could have been expanded.
*Sports Media Watch has come not to praise SportsCenter, but to bury it, declaring "The End of SportsCenter."
*And finally: this article is a thousand words long, but should have been three words long. Here they are: Sure, why not?