Nothing Good Can Happen the Next Six Months
Image courtesy of © Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY SportsThe Twins are the New York Yankees.
Now, this is a bold statement. And out of context, there are countless reasons to dispute this. To name just one example, the Twins are good and I like them. The Yankees, on the other hand, are monsters and their fans are goblins* and they should level Yankee Stadium and make it into a skate park for the wayward youths.
However, both teams share a very particular challenge: the regular season does not matter.
For New York, it’s all about expectations. The limitless payroll and franchise reputation mean anything less than a ring is a failure.
For Minnesota, it’s about just winning a frigging playoff game.
As a fan, you may be aware that the Twins have had no trouble reaching the postseason in the last two decades. What happens when they get there is like a baseball version of NBC’s This Is Us, in which Jess from Gilmore Girls dies in every episode (I haven’t seen the show, but I am told it’s very sad, and I would personally be gutted if Jess, Rory’s only good boyfriend, died all the time). After a long summer of winning baseball and genuine excitement, the playoffs snuff out every trace of joy with a devastating efficiency. The best thing about winter is that it gives us the time necessary to confront this grief, or at least compartmentalize it.
With the season upon us, we must reckon as a fanbase with the undeniable truth that nothing good can happen for six months. They can underperform and/or get waylaid by injuries, which would be awful. (Yes, I'm aware of what happened in Game 1. Repeat the phrase "small sample size" to yourself until the trembling subsides.) They can win 103 games, which would be meaningless. All that matters is October.
Take some time. Breathe deep. Center yourself like Willie Norwood under a lazy pop fly. There.
You’ve made peace with it now.
There’s so much to look forward to this year, and you should enjoy every minute of it. Most importantly, you’re going to be able to see them play in person at one of America’s great ballparks (or their minor leaguers in another fantastic venue). The lineup is stacked. Last year’s Cy Young runner-up still might not be the best starting pitcher, which is a frankly astonishing development for a team that has had generational problems building a rotation. The rest of the division is a couple travesties, doing whatever Cleveland is doing, and Chicago.
Barring catastrophe or the infinite mysteries of baseball, the Twins are well positioned to hurt us all over again.
But it would be cool if they didn’t.
*My friend Greg is a Yankees fan but he's alright. I stand by the statement otherwise.
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