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Awakening from Hibernation

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Itís a ritual that happens every spring. In caves and dens around the country black and brown bears are gradually starting to claw their way to consciousness. The long winterís sleep is winding down and once again the a new year dawns, filled with times of opportunity and times of crisis, with the chance to excel in the ritual of life and the danger of losing the battle once for all.

In many ways thatís what I feel like as I head into Super Bowl Sunday. Yes, for one more weekend my attention is going to be firmly fixed on twenty-two grown men pummeling each other into oblivion. I will devoutly watch as a prolate spheroid of pigskin (artificial of course) is handed and passed back and forth and, every once in a while, touches someoneís foot (hence the name of the sport).

And then, the way is clear for the boys of summer to come front and center once again. I will admit that, after the world series last year, I kind of drifted away from following the team for a while. Oh, I read the occasional story about which free agent signed and which free agent didnít. I surfed the internet to see the reaction of the fans to this and that (ho hum!). I even put in my order for BAís 2013 prospect handbook (it came today!). But for the last three months the Twins just were not high on my radar screen. I can of course make all kinds of excuses. I was preoccupied with my search for a new position (mission accomplished!); I was too busy following the NHL lockout; we actually had some basketball teams that were worth watching for a while (it didnít last, of course). But the truth is that somehow my baseball sense just went into hibernation Ė waiting out the lean months of winter.

But I feel that ending as we get close to the date when pitchers and catchers initiate the 2013 season. I find myself heading back to the Twins Daily site on a more regular basis, leafing through the forums in a way I havenít done since November. I scour the map to find out where the nearest professional team is to the city in which I shall be living (a Rookie team 45 minutes down the road), and then looking up their 2013 schedule on the web. I read through who will be invited to the Twins camp, and I find myself looking forward in eager anticipation, even if some of the names make me cringe a little (OK, a lot).

Because regardless of how good or bad the team might look on paper, regardless of the chatter on this and other sites about how many wins (or losses) we can expect this season, right now the Twins are tied for first place, not having lost a single game. Which means thereís hope! OK, perhaps itís not much hope (although I see that Reusse, the eternal pessimist, is actually looking for an upside surprise this year), but it is still hope. Itís like every May when I brush the dust off my golf clubs and head out for that first round of golf. There is hope that this year will be different, that somehow the multiple major flaws in my swing will have magically self-corrected over the winter. It may not last much beyond the first round (first hole? first tee?) but at least for a moment I can dream.

Thatís how I feel about the Twins right now. For the moment, I can still dream. Forget about whether the dream is tied or not to reality Ė no dream is. Forget about what the landscape will look like in July. Right now we all start fresh. Spring is a time of renewal and new life. I choose to feel that in my love of baseball as well. Reality can come later. But for now I wish to rise from my baseball slumbers and look ahead to the day(season) with anticipation and optimism. For at least a time, the magic can start again.
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