There were lots of bad baseball moments this holiday weekend. Yesterday, I would've written a whole blog entry about despair and bullpen blow-ups. Today the Twins split the Red Sox series with a decisive victory and I'm a happy boy. Couple home runs, some late inning score-padding. Dylan Bundy turning in a solid performance - we'll just worry about those hard-hit balls later, shall we?
Game-by-game, I'm like Frankenstein, Twins win. Baseball GOOD. Twins lose. Baseball BAD. The big guy's been on my mind because I rewatched The Bride of Frankenstein this weekend. That's the one where the monster learns to speak a few words in addition to his grunting. Friend GOOD. Fire BAD. I think there's a Frankenstein's monster in the heart of every baseball fan. Even with advanced statistics that map the game for us and help cool our emotions, the monster inside of us reacts.
It'll get easier to stay positive if the Twins can win more than they lose. It's obvious, but I think there's another level to it. There's this thing called Positive Sentiment Override. It means that things are so overwhelmingly positive that negative experiences don't ruin the positivity. Last year stunk. The Twins have a long way to go before the positive sentiment overrides all the awfulness we suffered through. By way of comparison, think of Yankee fans who believe their team should win the World Series every year. I guess it's easier to build up positive sentimentality with an enormous payroll.
Realistically, this could take time. They say you need 5 positives to every negative to get the full affect. For sake of argument, let's bastardize that theory a bit and say the Twins would have to be successful in almost every aspect of the game. I don't know that they're there yet. Until they are, that Frankenstein voice will keep saying, "Twins BAD" every time something doesn't go our way. Bloggers and commentators will growl, hiss, and bristle at every perceived slight and weakness.
If we cultivate a culture where winning is the norm, then we might see the "Baseball GOOD" mindset take over the site. Bandwagon fans jump aboard. Losses? We'll get 'em next time.
I think it might take a playoff series win to really set Twins fans free from their primal, monstrous negativity. Bride of Frankenstein ends with the monster destroying the castle because the bride, created for him, hates and fears him from the start. He doesn't get the one thing he most desperately wants. Twins fans tear the castles of hope down every time they lose the thing they most desperately desire - post-season victory.
But for now, the monster's happy for the night with a W and a few dingers. We've played some tough teams, so there's reason to be hopeful the Twins add more positivity and decrease the negative knee-jerk reactions to every loss, real or perceived.
By the way, if you're interested in Positive Sentiment Override and how it affects relationships, check out the work of John Gottman. I've (very) loosely interpreted in a way that benefits my argument. His stuff is great.