Corey Hart’s kind offer

Sure, it’s cliche to think of Major League teammates as family. But Corey Hart proved today that it can also be true.

Hart has already extended an offer for Mat Gamel to move in with Hart and his family for the remainder of Spring Training. Hart, recovering from his own knee surgery, has a guest house available, and figures Gamel could use some company while he begins another long year of rehab after knee surgery.

“I’ll try to help him out as much as I can,” Hart said. “It stinks, because I was pumping him up. Hopefully I’ll be here a long time, but I was trying to be realistic [about Hart’s impending free agency] and telling him, look, I might not be here and this might be your one month to showcase it. [Now] I can just hug him and hope it works out.”

The two have been providing support for almost a year now. It was Hart who stepped in to cover first base after the Brewers lost Gamel last season, and it was Gamel who was supposed to be stepping in for Hart to start this year. Since reporting to Arizona, Gamel had been driving 20 minutes out of his way each morning and afternoon to drive Hart, who is still on crutches, to and from Maryvale Baseball Park.

Now that Gamel is incapacitated, what will they do? Hart can’t drive until March 8, when he has another MRI on his own knee.

“My wife might be chauffeuring two guys around for a couple of days,” Hart said. “It’s tough luck. I hope his spirits are high — I know they’re not now — but if everyone supports him, at least he’ll have more confidence going forward.”

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