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Joe Nathan is a total pro

Mar 9, 2010, 12:15 PM EDT

Nathan with fans.jpgIf I just found out that my season is likely over and my career was in jeopardy I’d probably kick the wall and not really want to talk to anyone.  Which is just one of approximately 1,325 reasons I’m not Joe Nathan. 

This morning he was the only one in Gardenhire’s office — media included — who had a stiff upper lip about the UCL news.  Then, as you can see above, he stood at the clubhouse entrance and signed autographs and stuff for a long, long time, never dropping the smile and returning every “hang in there, Joe” with a “thank you.”

I suppose some of you would say that for $11.5 million or whatever it is he’s making this year he should be expected to act this way, but I don’t buy the money-makes-all-the-difference line. Ballplayers are human and they want to compete. When they can’t, the have every right to be bummed about it, and usually are. 

Whatever the case, I’m really impressed with Joe Nathan today, and though I’m not a Twins fan, I really want to see him bounce back from this setback.

  1. Jonny5 - Mar 9, 2010 at 12:23 PM

    Hey Craig, who’s shoulders were you riding on to get that picture?? Please tell me it was Joe Mauers shoulders…..

  2. Craig Calcaterra - Mar 9, 2010 at 12:26 PM

    That pic was taken using a complex photography technique. I don’t want to bore you with the technical details, so I’ll try to use simple, layman’s terms: I help the camera up really high above my head with my right arm and hoped for the best.

  3. Bill@TDS - Mar 9, 2010 at 12:26 PM

    Nathan is an incredibly fan-friendly guy. At Twins Spring Training last year he was the only one of the regulars you’d see out there signing autographs for more than a few minutes, and he stayed there longer than most of the kids you’ve never heard of did, going all the way down the line and getting everybody (both times I was there).

  4. The Common Man - Mar 9, 2010 at 12:28 PM

    Joe Nathan is terrific with fans, nicest guy ever. He’ll even sign autographs and take pictures before regular season games. I cannot emphasize how classy Nathan has been every time I’ve seen him. I wish him the best and a speedy recovery.

  5. Jason @ IIATMS - Mar 9, 2010 at 12:40 PM

    Ditto. Full stop.
    [unrelated note: Your spam protector just had me type "suckling assistant". What gives?]

  6. RobRob - Mar 9, 2010 at 12:42 PM

    Sounds like a pretty crappy teammate if he’s off glad-handing with fans like some Guy Smiley rip-off artist.

  7. Jonny5 - Mar 9, 2010 at 12:42 PM

    Damn, I was hoping for more drama. To ride on the shoulders of the recipient of your man crush would’ve been awesome! Well for you anyway. For me it would have been great to bust on the gayness of it all while shuffling through my nightmare of Naval paperwork and material certifications… Oh well… You’re doing great work out there btw. If you really want to call it work ,that is. To me it’s an all expenes paid vacation!!!!

  8. Jason @ IIATMS - Mar 9, 2010 at 12:44 PM

    Completely agree, Craig. Not a Twins fan but really hoping he’s back soon.
    [Unrelated note: Your spamprotector just made me type: "suckling assistant". What gives?]

  9. CG Hudson - Mar 9, 2010 at 12:44 PM

    So which one is Nathan? The guy in the headband or the t-shirt?

  10. Jonny5 - Mar 9, 2010 at 12:48 PM

    Dude! “cun nilingus” I had earlier. I freaking love this spam blocker!!!!

  11. Ryan - Mar 9, 2010 at 1:09 PM

    This should be the first “not in the best shape of his life”-tagged article.

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