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Hope is a Good Thing

Posted by Matthew Taylor , 10 October 2019 · 712 views

In the Academy Award-winning classic, The Shawshank Redemption, Morgan Freeman’s character famously said, “Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane”. While Morgan Freeman was talking about hope in reference to prison life, I related with this quote so much in reference to the Minnesota Twins.

As I navigated my way through the Target Field concourse and exited through Gate 34 Monday night, I was heartbroken. My favorite baseball team managed to break my heart again. Surely, you’ve heard all of the stats by now – 16 straight playoff losses, 13 straight to the Yankees, 4 straight sweeps, etc., etc., etc. For some reason, though, this playoff exit hurt more than any other for me. No, there weren’t any Joe Nathan blown saves or Phil Cuzzi missed calls, or Mark Teixeira walk-off homers, but this playoff exit hurt me for a different reason. I had hope.

In prior seasons, I had always been a classic Minnesota sports pessimist. I would prevent myself from having any sense of hopefulness so that when the Twins inevitably lost in soul-crushing fashion, I wouldn’t get hurt as badly. Sure enough, year after year my pessimistic expectations proved correct and my heart was spared.

This year, though, the team felt different. And I allowed myself to have hope. I don’t know if it was the 40-18 start, the bombas, the rally squirrel or what, but this year I allowed myself to completely buy in and be a part of something exciting. I truly could not get enough of this team all season. I couldn’t read enough articles, listen to enough podcasts, or watch enough innings of ball. I lived and died on each and every pitch and it was exhilarating. Until October came and the Yankees knocked us out of the playoffs again. It sucked, and it hurt so bad this time. More than ever before. But you know what? It was so worth it. I’ve never had so much fun watching a Twins team and these 6 months of baseball have been so memorable that I would trade the excitement from this season for the eventual playoff heartbreak and misery every time.

At the end of The Shawshank Redemption, Morgan Freeman receives a letter from Tim Robbins’ character that concludes with the line, “Hope is a good thing. Maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies”. This Twins season taught me that, indeed, hope is the best of things and that my memories from this Twins season will never die.

Here’s to a 2020 season full of hope.

  • mikelink45 and nclahammer like this



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Nick Nelson
Oct 11 2019 12:57 PM

Get busy livin or get busy dyin.

 

Thanks for this post Matthew, I greatly enjoyed. HIGHLY relevant to my interests!

    • Matthew Taylor likes this
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Matthew Taylor
Oct 11 2019 03:18 PM

 

Get busy livin or get busy dyin.

 

Thanks for this post Matthew, I greatly enjoyed. HIGHLY relevant to my interests!

Thanks, Nick! That means a lot coming from you. Looking forward to continue writing for TD.

Hope springs eternal. The Twins motto for years to their fans, only to be disappointed for another year. It is time for Hope to die and victory to become reality. Will Ownership deliver a real chance or just sell Hope once again? We have played 9 years at Target Field with the reasoning for the new Stadium to provide added revenue so the team could be competitive in the free agent market. Will they acquire the best? or settle for 2nd best? Time to put their money where their mouth is.

    • mikelink45 likes this
I had similar feelings of disappointment when the Yankee series was ended. Honestly, I haven't looked for blame or excuses, and have stayed out of such message boards. Injury and lack of experience on that big stage is my answer. Period.

But it doesn't matter. Like you, I had an absolute BLAST all season from the radio, the TV, conversations with my dad, and TD for shared experience and game threads.

Most years, none of my favorite teams win their respective championships. But it is the game itself, and hope, that keeps me coming back. And the joy and fun I am presented can never be taken from me.

Nice article!
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Matthew Taylor
Oct 13 2019 11:43 AM

 

Hope springs eternal. The Twins motto for years to their fans, only to be disappointed for another year. It is time for Hope to die and victory to become reality. Will Ownership deliver a real chance or just sell Hope once again? We have played 9 years at Target Field with the reasoning for the new Stadium to provide added revenue so the team could be competitive in the free agent market. Will they acquire the best? or settle for 2nd best? Time to put their money where their mouth is.

That is certainly the question to ask. It's been understandable that ownership hasn't invested in the team for the past decade. Now after winning 100 games, winning the division, and having money to spend we'll certainly see how ownership responds and if they do, indeed, put their money where their mouth is. They're certainly saying all the right things right now. Thanks for reading!

    • mikelink45 likes this
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Matthew Taylor
Oct 13 2019 11:46 AM

 

I had similar feelings of disappointment when the Yankee series was ended. Honestly, I haven't looked for blame or excuses, and have stayed out of such message boards. Injury and lack of experience on that big stage is my answer. Period.

But it doesn't matter. Like you, I had an absolute BLAST all season from the radio, the TV, conversations with my dad, and TD for shared experience and game threads.

Most years, none of my favorite teams win their respective championships. But it is the game itself, and hope, that keeps me coming back. And the joy and fun I am presented can never be taken from me.

Nice article!

Thanks for reading. Already counting down the days to pitchers and catchers reporting! The heartbreak is just going to make the mountaintop that much more satisfying. 

Nice article.

 

Don't you think 'hope' has been the standard here for a long time?

Don't you think 2020 is going to be more about 'expectation'? I'm not sure hope is going to have much of a shelf life in heading into 2020 coming off a 101-win season.

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Matthew Taylor
Oct 15 2019 05:05 PM

 

Nice article.

 

Don't you think 'hope' has been the standard here for a long time?

Don't you think 2020 is going to be more about 'expectation'? I'm not sure hope is going to have much of a shelf life in heading into 2020 coming off a 101-win season.

You're right. There are certainly expectations next season. Anything less than a division title and a more competitive ALDS will be a disappointment. The prospect of a WS title, though? I'm still gonna hope, baby.

What is perspective - each of us comes to the team at different times.Each for different reasons.I came because they hired me as an usher the first year and then the team I rooted for moved from Milwaukee to Atlanta.I have been excited since the first year, but I have not had expectations, if anything, in 58 years I have learned to be just a little cynical, not expecting the worst, but hesitant to become too optimistic.  

 

This year was fun, it was entertaining and I have to admit I expected something similar to what happened, not because I did not like the team, but somehow the big lights of the big city has bitten us too many times.

 

The Yankees, the Dodgers, it does not matter.I was delighted that we played the Cardinals in one of the strangest World Wrestling Association productions and then we beat the Braves that broke my heart when they went to Atlanta (and I attended all the home games).This was the year the Dome gave the team a big assist! 

 

Now we had no Dome, Hrbek could not apply a wrestling move at 1B and we were left with 2 starters and a star struck line up.Can they be better next year?Of course and I will root for them from day one of ST, I just won't place that WS bet in Vegas.

 

We are Twins fans, we always hope with fingers crossed.