Veteran outfielder sidelined by knee injury but plays a crucial role in helping Lewis adapt to DH role
MINNEAPOLIS — Throughout his career, Byron Buxton has always sought one answer above all else: “Yes.”
No matter how banged up or fatigued he may be, Buxton’s determination to play, to be on the field with his teammates, and to support his brothers has remained unwavering.
After the Twins’ victory in Game 1 of the AL Wild Card Series, Buxton stated, “I won’t say I couldn’t play. I probably could have played. But it’s all about contributing. I could go out there and perform, but it might not be at the speed I desire. I don’t want to risk hurting the team.”
Despite his best efforts to overcome the persistent knee injury that has plagued him for two seasons, Buxton’s name was notably absent from the 26-man roster the Twins released for their two-game Wild Card Series sweep of the Blue Jays.
Yet, Buxton remained a vital presence in the dugout, offering a front-row view of the Twins’ relentless efforts. His commitment to the team was evident, as he would typically go to great lengths to be on the field himself. Manager Rocco Baldelli noted that even the best players sometimes need to prioritize their readiness to perform their roles.
Baldelli remarked, “It’s challenging for a player of his caliber, who has worked tirelessly and achieved greatness, to openly admit what he just did. It’s not an easy decision to make. But his love for the team and his desire for the team’s success, coupled with his understanding of his current capabilities, made it a courageous choice. It takes tremendous strength.”
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