Minnesota Twins News & Rumors Forum
  • What Kind of Fan are You?

    It’s the same with every team in every city, be it the New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox , the Seattle Mariners, the Houston Astros, or the Minnesota Twins.

    Each team has fans that are willing to be patient, think logically and give the benefit of the doubt to players and front office personnel whose jobs are much tougher than it looks on TV. Each team has fans that are ready to jump off of a bridge with every loss, feeling the need to place blame on someone, a player, the manager, a hitting coach or the front office. And of course most fans lie somewhere on the spectrum in between those two extremes.

    There are the fans who (semi-) jokingly suggest that the Twins will go 0-162. Well, to them, some might say, “Maybe they’ll go 158-4!”

    There are those that are very impressed with the stability that Jamey Carroll has brought to the shortstop position in the first four games. The other side will say, “Sure, but he can’t hit.” Then the other side will respond with, “but he’s already got three walks and has taken many very good at bats. He isn’t a power guy, but he does get on base!”

    Josh Willingham has a ton of brute power. He’s hit both of the Twins home runs so far, and just missed a third yesterday when the ball hooked just foul down the left field line. He is a right-handed Jim Thome and we should expect commercials with him walking around with a big, blue ox soon (at least when he gets done bowling!). Others will point out that he has two errors already and does a nice job of turning doubles into triples.

    The team is hitting just .153 through four games. Only Cleveland has a lower batting average. Some will say that the offense was overrated. Others will say that Joe Mauer won’t hit .150 this year. Jamey Carroll will hit and get on base. Ryan Doumit can hit. The offense will be fine. In reality, it’s probably somewhere in between. As good as Carroll’s and Doumit’s track records are, no one can predict the future, especially when switching leagues and being over 30, etc.

    The word “fan” comes from the word “Fanatic.” We all know that. But the definition of ‘fan’ can vary for every person. Some feel an obligation as a fan to bash every decision that a player, manager, coach or front office makes. Some fans are just fine with all of the decisions that a team makes, trusting that they have experience and know what they’re doing. Again, most are somewhere in between.

    For me, there have been plenty of moves that I haven’t agree with over the past few years, and yet, I’m willing to give the player and the GM the benefit of the doubt until I’m proven right or wrong. For instance, when the Twins traded Wilson Ramos for Matt Capps in 2010, it really upset me. No Twins blogger or prospect-ranker was higher on Ramos than I was. In fact, I had a blog back in 2008 when Ramos was still playing in High-A Ft. Myers, I first laid out my plan for 2012 that included splitting catching and DH time between Ramos and Joe Mauer. I was generally bashed for my feelings at the time. Ramos may never been an All-Star, but he would have been a nice piece to still have. I didn’t like Capps at the time of the trade, and yet, he did very well for the Twins in 2010. I wasn’t surprised when he pitched poorly in 2011, and I was shocked when the Twins brought him back in 2012 and gave up a draft pick. Then again, I’m willing to see how it turns out, and I certainly hope that Wilson Ramos pitches great.

    On the other side, I was a huge proponent of the Twins signing Mike Lamb before the 2008 season. They signed him for two years and $6.6 million. He was coming off of two straight seasons with an OPS over .820. He was only 32, and although no one expected him to be great, we certainly expected more than a .598 OPS in half of a season.

    There are no absolutes in baseball, at least not when it comes to free agency or other transactions.

    So, ask yourself… what kind of fan are you? If the “everything the team does is correct” belief is a TEN, and a “nothing this team does is right” is a ONE, what is your level of fandom?

    There is no right or wrong answer to this. It is OK to question decisions that the team makes. It is OK to give the team the benefit of the doubt. Does your fandom change when the team is winning versus losing? Should it? At the end of the day, what kind of fan are you, and what kind of fan do you want to be?

    This article was originally published in blog: What Kind of Fan are You? started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 49 Comments
    1. LimestoneBaggy's Avatar
      LimestoneBaggy -
      I'm a 8.

      I was very upset (to put it mildly) about the Capps trade, but in 2010, it did what it was supposed to (in 2010). See also: Herrmann, Rams (and insert a good-defense catcher here). I can understand the thought process to "win right now" in 2010. At this point, I don't understand bringing Capps back, but we'll see what happens (his current ERA is perfect; so to follow the recent trend, the pick up is doing great.....not going to mention long fly balls). I didn't like the Diamond for Bullock trade, but Bullock didn't look that great last year, and Diamond is capable of spot starting (which has value). I really wish I had an insiders perspective on how coaching and Target Field affect our current roster.

      My point in all of this (and I think Seth's as well), is fandom is a spectrum without black and white book ends. Feel free to fall wherever you fall. Let's debate everything; if you want to throw the team, management, and everything else under the bus at this point, it's something to discuss (I'm too much of a homer/small sample means nothing/easy to judge in hindsight guy). But I beg of you, don't let TD go the route of other blogs/media/etc. Personal attacks, name calling, and animosity are better left for those who can't have intelligent discussion with individuals throughout the spectrum (ahem....our politicians).

      Oh yeah, and Chris Parmalee isn't hitting well, yet.
    1. WYTwinsFan's Avatar
      WYTwinsFan -
      I'm most definitely a 10. I always assume that if a move doesn't make sense to me, I don't have all the information. I'm not in the clubhouse or Terry Ryan's or Dave St. Peter's offices so I don't really know all the facts or inner workings. I assume that they make the best decisions with the information they have.

      Also, I'm a Twins fan because I love the Twins Way. Hustle, pitching to contact, playing the game the right way and everything else that means!
    1. twinsnorth49's Avatar
      twinsnorth49 -
      I'd say I'm an 8, a complete homer actually, sure I disagree with some things they do and at times they drive me bonkers but they're my team and I'd rather root for them than tear them down. Second guessing is too easy when you're sitting on the armchair recliner, discussion is fun but I stop short of pretending I'm qualified to run a major league baseball team. I' also not one for wishing people to lose their jobs, sure it happens but I would never hope it would happen to someone.

      The Twins have given us tons of great baseball to cheer about and plenty of bad baseball to cry about........it's the Twins way!!!
    1. savvyspy's Avatar
      savvyspy -
      I'd probably be a 7 or so if the front office would just admit they have a major rebuild ahead of them and stop signing these worthless patchwork guys that offer no future (here's to you Jason Marquis and Jamie Carroll). This team would have been better off letting all their free agents go (including the indefensable Matt Capps) and stocking up on picks. This is a 65-70 win team WITH Mauer and Morneau healthy. The problem is MN GMs don't get you need to get really bad to ever get really good. This Twins team is a teardown project. Almost anyone should be on the block. I'd rather build around the future guys (Dozier, Parmalee, Benson, Revere, etc) than watch Willingham play left field like he's trying to dodge hand grenades. I don't care if they win 72 games instead of 62. Both are total failure in my book. If the 62 loss team leads to shaving a year off rebuilding then that's was the team should do. Instead the Twins try to have it both ways. Its embarassing. As a result I'm more of a 4. And as for the "where's loyalty for the only team to win a title?" BS. It was 20 years ago turn the page. You want a dose of where this team ranks right now, they just had an opening day ceremony for a 10 YEAR OLD DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP. Good God.
    1. twinsnorth49's Avatar
      twinsnorth49 -
      Quote Originally Posted by savvyspy View Post
      Its embarassing. As a result I'm more of a 4. And as for the "where's loyalty for the only team to win a title?" BS. It was 20 years ago turn the page. You want a dose of where this team ranks right now, they just had an opening day ceremony for a 10 YEAR OLD DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP. Good God.
      I respectfully suggest you become a Chicago White Sox fan, keep on keeping on.
    1. luckylager's Avatar
      luckylager -
      I would say that I am an 8 on the Twins fan scale (as well as the attractiveness scale). I rarely miss a game, though I admit missing quite a few towards the end of last season. I've had 20 game packages the last two seasons, but gave them up this season for a variety of reasons including my wife being out of work for the last two years and scheduling conflicts with my son's baseball season. I am not always in lock-step with moves made by the Twins front office (why resign Capps?), however I do realize that there are smarter baseball minds than mine at work there. I believe that the Twins rolled the dice and blew their wad on Mauer (in hindsight a mistake, but imagine the uproar had they let him go). Unless he steps up and delivers, the Twins are going to be mediocre at best and will be handcuffed for the next few years until the farm system can provide some cheap talent. During that period I will take what we get and hope for the best. Ranting and raving and making up nasty names for management and players is stupid and childish; also a waste of time. Relax and see what happens or find something more enjoyable to occupy your time.
    1. MWLFan's Avatar
      MWLFan -
      I guess I fall into the patient logical view catagory, but I wouldn't say that I give the benefit of the doubt without some basis for that. It is like a Bank Account, the Twins deposited a lot of equity with me since 2002. That is ten years of good baseball with some great moves. Did they make some withdrawls, sure. Last year dropped that account quite a bit and it is not at the level it was 2 years ago. But I look at the account and feel that they have a lot still in there and the manager of that account was Terry Ryan for most of the period. The trust and goodwill sure is not where it was in the 1970's or early 1980's when they probably had as much relevance to me as Greece has credit. The Twins were a complete after thought during most of my life and the last 10 years has been the most consistent and successful period of Twins baseball since I turn 10 years old in 1971. Besides 1961 to 1970 it would be hard to see how this leadership group could be unfavorably compared to any other group in Twins history. That all being said the clock is ticking and we need to see some progress and a plan that is coming together or that goodwill will be depleted, for me that is probably 2 to 3 years of moderate losing. (Another year like last one will move that needle quicker.)
    1. Cody Christie's Avatar
      Cody Christie -
      I stressed out a lot more about the team last year than I have so far this year. My wife, Mrs. NoDak Twins Fan, has been wondering how I have been so calm through the first handful of games with the team playing so bad. I don't know if I got numb to losing in 2011 or if I am trying to give this team the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the start of a new season. There was plenty of turnover in the roster and I am much more willing to watch things unfold this year as the team tries to gel together.

      I still question somethings with the team but I trust that the best will still come in the end. On the scale talked about in the post, I would give myself an 8. Ask me later in the season and I might change my mind.
    1. PeanutsFromHeaven's Avatar
      PeanutsFromHeaven -
      Using the Seth Strohs Barometer of Front Office Fandom (Patent Pending, All Rights Reserved) I'd put myself about an 9 publicly, and a 5 privately. I also liked this quote:

      Quote Originally Posted by Twins Fan From Afar View Post
      ...I realized that there's nothing -- aside from complaining for a day or two on my blog -- that I can do about it, besides not going to games. And I like baseball too much to make that kind of a protest.
      To be sure I scratch my head and shudder a little bit inside when I see big Hot Stove News like "Twins mulling 2 million offer to FILL-IN-THE-BLANK-OVER-THE-HILL-INFIELDER", but ultimately, what does my feeling or saying that do? I spent one season working with a minor league club, which was plenty of time to realize that the baseball business people are going to do what the baseball business people are going to do. No amount of stomping your feet, tearing your hear or swearing about things will change that. So, why not put on a happy face and enjoy the game for what it is?

      Like TFFA I like baseball (especially Twins baseball) too much to boycott it, so I'll shudder on the inside, smile on the outside and enjoy every day until the cold reality of November comes around again.
    1. kirbyelway's Avatar
      kirbyelway -
      I was a diehard Twins fan in 1987, 91 and last year. I love it when they win and I hate it when they lose. I think the best way to describe it is a 162 game mood swing.
    1. MileHighTwinsFan's Avatar
      MileHighTwinsFan -
      At least I can see the method to the madness now, whereas under Bill Smith there seemed to be more of a knee-jerk, aggressiveness to his decisions that were focused on winning now and not so focused on the future. I think everyone would agree that we were pleased on some level with his efforts - trading for Rauch and Fuentes to strengthen the bullpen as well as getting Capps to close as a final piece of the puzzle. However, I think the Twins formula, as represented by Terry Ryan, has been largely successful. As a result, I am willing to give him time to see what happens.
    1. striker_86's Avatar
      striker_86 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Twins Fan From Afar View Post
      Good post, Seth. I'm about a 7.5 on the fan scale. Certain moves (like the Capps for Ramos example) confuse or annoy me right off the bat, but I know enough to know that, despite what we all complain about concerning Bill Smith and Terry Ryan, the people working in MLB front offices generally have good baseball minds. And I also know that it's an exercise in futility to complain about that trade 150 times on the Star Tribune, Pioneer Press amd TwinsDaily sites.

      And there's only so much negativity I can take. If the Twins stink this year, I'm sure I'll write about that on my blog to an extent, but I'll also focus more attention on the Rock Cats and the other teams that might post winning seasons.
      Im probably in the same boat. I always let things play out and try to look at the positive side of a trade or free agent signing no matter how much of a head scratcher it can be. Id rather be the guy who says we are going to make the playoffs, and then we end up making them. Rather than the guy who says we are going to miss the playoffs and we end of missing them. They probably wont make the playoffs this year, but its a lot more fun to hope they will make a run!
    1. twinkiesfan11's Avatar
      twinkiesfan11 -
      Thanks for the post Seth!

      I consider myself to be about a 7 or 8 fan this year, down from a 9+ prior to last year. I guess my wavering fanhood stems from my concern that maybe the Twins front office has failed to notice their cheese may have moved. The way they collapsed last year really got me wondering if "the Twins way" really works anymore. It's just been so long since they've put a team on the field that lives up to those standards. I really hope they prove me wrong and I do genuinely believe that they're capable of doing so. I don't expect much out of the big league team this summer, they've been pretty hard to watch so far, but I'll keep watching and hoping. I'll stay glued to the minor league box scores everyday. I'll attend as many games in person as I can - especially now that I can get Surly beer! No matter how frustrated I get I will always support this team.
    1. sln477's Avatar
      sln477 -
      I am a 10+++, but not based on the scale description of Seth. My love of baseball, with the Twins being #1, knows no bounds when it comes to my soul. I am like most fans when it comes to opinions about the state of "our" team. I become disappointed, disillusioned, & sad with disappointing results; I become giddy, euphoric, & feel blessed with positive results. The bottom line with me is the fact that any day baseball is played is a joyous one, not just for the Twins, but all of baseball in general. How can we not marvel at a no hitter, home runs, the perfectly executed bunts & double plays, & the myriad of strategy & nuances of the game. Baseball is bliss & as fans of the Twins/game, we should count our blessings of the wonderful world that is baseball. GO TWINS!!!
    1. PopRiveter's Avatar
      PopRiveter -
      I don't feel entitled to manage a team. I don't feel entitled to get the players I want. That restrains me from a lot of negativity. As a fan, I recognize I am an observer. I can be disappointed in my team, but I gotta love 'em. If they "jump the shark" (ala vikings acquiring Favre) I'll stop being a fan. So far, the worst things they've done are pretty bearable. I can cheer for just about any Twins player of the last 20 years. I can also rip on them, but my harshest tone is good-natured. I guess that makes me a ten. My intensity, however, isn't a ten. When they are playing poorly, I'll take my kids to the park or go fishing. I'll give them my attention again soon enough.
    1. SteadyDietOfCheese's Avatar
      SteadyDietOfCheese -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Horrorpants View Post
      Honestly, I can go between 1 and 10 in a single day, maybe even during a single game. Maybe even during one at bat. I guess "mercurial" would be the best word. I prefer highly emotional.

      When I watch any game, the Twins are simultaneously the greatest team to ever play baseball and lousy bums. My objectivity is shot.

      For me, their can be no greater testament of love than this chaotic insanity. Go Twins!
      My long lost brother ...
    1. bdhenders's Avatar
      bdhenders -
      Quote Originally Posted by twinswon1991 View Post
      I am the biggest twins fan there is but I also have a firm grasp on REALITY. I never expected this team to be better than bottom 3 in the whole MLB this year but that doesnt make me any less of a fan.

      I wish more of the media had a better sense of reality instead of cheerleading and giving uneducated fans false hope.
      I'll take that bet! The Twins will be much better than bottom 3...no lower than 8th from last;-) They were only 2nd worst last year and that horrible mix of injuries and the parade of minor league players playing significant roles that followed is highly unlikely to happen again. I do agree that the media tends to paint the team in a positive light, but the beginning of the year is the time for that optimism. Let us be hopeful until the true reality sets in, wether that be good or bad. At least we can feel good for a while, even if it turns out the team does poorly. We will have enough time to complain about that later on.

      On the scale, I'm an 8 and trending higher. I agree with a most of the moves they make and I am starting to realize more and more that they have more information than we do about the makeup and work ethic of their players, so we have to give them the benefit of the doubt. A prime example is them not re-signing Liriano to a long-term contract and then him showing up without having done any offseason conditioning last year. This lead to shoulder stiffness and a horrible year. If players show a lack of work ethic, then it makes sense to cut ties with them (or force them to go to winter ball...which has been my argument about Frankie all along!...know your personnel guys). I think he'll have a good year this year because he was forced to do some work. There's probably a lot more of that personality evaluation going on with the players than we will ever know, so I tend to give the front office the benefit of the doubt.
    1. Jack Torse's Avatar
      Jack Torse -
      I'm about a 6 but that's probably because I'm flabbergasted how they have absolutely ignored the bullpen for 2 consecutive off seasons. They refuse to spend money on MLB verteran relievers with decent track records. I'm not talking overspending on Papelbon or Benoit, just an MLB contract at the going rate for a decent MLB reliever. The guy from Philly who never pitched an inning is the only guy I can even rememeber them bringing in as a free agent gaurenteed contract. It was nice to see Perkins get signed and for all the world it looks very smart but that's a pile of money for a guy who has put together only 4 solid months in the majors.
    1. whydidnt's Avatar
      whydidnt -
      I have to say this is a very relevant question. It gets more and more frustrating to participate in some of the threads on this site as they seem to be increasingly populated by people who have no desire other than to; A) rip the Twins no matter what, or B) cheer-lead for the Twins and their decisions no matter what. I get that many are frustrated by recent results, I am too, but the Twins have brought a lot of fun and enjoyment to most of us, they must do something right. If everything is so awful, why do you want to waste your time on discussing it? On the other hand, if you think that every decision ever made by the Twins was correct and they are above criticism, then why waste your breath entering a discussion about them, just go enjoy the games, what's there for you to discuss? Seriously, when did we, as society, grow into such a bunch of no-thinking dunderheads that have predetermined that every issue must be black or white, with no consideration of gray? Is this something being taught in schools today?

      Admittedly, I probably tend to fall towards the negative side, though I don't consider my self pessimistic, and few people look forward to opening day more than I do. I consider my self a skeptic, though and believe it's worthwhile to ask questions that might not always have an answer.
    1. Doc Freiermuth's Avatar
      Doc Freiermuth -
      Seth you have touched on something I have been ruminating about this season given the less than auspicious showing of our lads. What kind of a fan am I or am I even a fan? As disgusted as I have been with the the moves the team has made, the "money ball" analysis I read and the state of the "business of baseball" I question what it is that brings me back each year. Then I started to think, it's not so much that I am a fan or a patron or a follower of the Twins, it's that the team and baseball is just part of my soul. I think back to how the Twins have been a part of my life.

      From my earliest memories of sitting in the boat fishing with my grandpa listening to Halsey Hall and Herb Carneal on the transistor radio to my first summer college job on the night shift listening to Lymon Bostock beating the Angels in the 9th to being at the store buying a video camera to film the arrival of our adopted daughter and stopping to watch the celebration in Texas when they won the division (and later bringing that 6 month old baby girl to a cold St. Paul street to watch the World Series Victory parade to teaching my daughter and son to emulate Bob Casey's call Kirrrrrrrrbyyyyyyy Puuuuuuckeeeetttttt to hearing some of the last words of my dad in the hospital through his oxygen mask say "Morneau's up" I have concluded the Twins are just a part of me.

      I don't know if I can rate myself a 1 or a 10, and I don't know if it matters. All I can say is that even after yesterday's home opener debacle, it just came to me to say to my son "Hey Mike, you want to go to a ball game on your birthday Friday, just you and me?" And you know what? He said "sure Dad". In thinking about this topic, the scene from Field of Dreams keeps popping into my head, that maybe it has nothing to do with being a 1 or a 10 "fan" it's that baseball and our Twins are just a part of you...

      "Ray, people will come Ray. They'll come to Iowa for reasons they can't even fathom. They'll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they're doing it. They'll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. Of course, we won't mind if you look around, you'll say. It's only $20 per person. They'll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack. And they'll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They'll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they'll watch the game and it'll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they'll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come Ray. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh... people will come Ray. People will most definitely come."
©2014 TwinsCentric, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Interested in advertising with Twins Daily? Click here.