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  • How to Deal with a Meaningless Yankees Series


    RandBalls Stu

    You're in unfamiliar territory. The Bronx Bombers can't steal your joy this weekend. We asked a local expert about some best practices for coping with such a unique situation.

    Image courtesy of Flickr/Kjetil Ree

    The season’s shot. The Yankees can’t hurt you any more than the Twins already have. And yet here we are, a 4-game series against New York on the road. The Yankee Stadium house of horrors should be causing you to [drink heavily/guzzle Pepto-Bismol/both] as the first pitch approaches. Instead, you feel nothing. What in the heck?!?

    It’s not your fault. When the Twins are competitive, it’s almost always the Yankees who show up at summer’s end to bring sadness and pain. When the Twins aren’t competitive, it’s very often the Yankees turning an April or May series into a nightmare from which you cannot awake that confirms it’s just not happening this season.

    This year? The 2021 campaign was circling the drain when the Twins dropped 2 of 3 to New York in June. Honestly, the fact that they won a game at all should have been a sign that something was different. Meanwhile, New York is in the thick of the American League playoff race, although not unbeatable by any means. How are Twins fans supposed to handle such an odd circumstance?

    Twins Daily reached out to Jon Marthaler, a Falcon Heights-based expert on sports-derived frustration and boundless rage, to ask if he had any advice for struggling fans. He shared the following tips:

    • Ease into it. Find clips from the last 19 Twins playoff losses, many of which came at New York’s hands. Remember the sorrow. Soak in it for a while. Cry if you must. Crying lets the sad out.
    • Find a similar interest. He suggests looking for an activity that’s as equally frustrating/miserable as watching a standard Twins/Yankees game. For those wanting to get out of the house, Marthaler recommends golfing on a course overrun with fire ants. For the homebound, he put forward the reading of any American newspaper’s online comments section.
    • Punch drywall. “It just feels good, and the repair work gives you something to do on a weekend,” says Marthaler. “My hand hurts very badly. This has some downside risks, frankly. Ouch. Ouch.”
    • Watch the Vikings. “It looks like their season is going to be a hot mess,” speculated Marthaler. “They have a preseason game on Saturday. Even pretend Vikings games offer something to make your day just a little bit worse.”
    • Extend grace to yourself and others. "If you just decide to sit on a park bench and crush heaters, that's OK. If you see someone in a Byron Buxton shirsey wandering around the mall and barely keeping it together, give them space. No one really knows what to do until its done." 

    Marthaler said he personally will drive the entire 94/494/694 loop twice on Friday night with the radio off, contemplating eternity and drinking a tepid Sprite. 

    Image license here.

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    What's that leaf shaped flag in the picture?

     

    I didn't know they had leaves in the Bronks.

     

    And coping with complex situations, it often helps to see it from all points of view. Think how it must feel to be a Yankee or a fan of that team, mercilessly crushing the Twins at every opportunity. Must be pretty good... (I'm playing the long game here, knowing the if we succeeded at this, the Twins would win just to spite us)

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    Thanks for the picture.  I never noticed what a brutalist eyesore that new stadium is.

    When I lived in the Twin Cities, the 694 portion of the loop was mostly devoid of, well, anything.  I'm guessing things have built up since then, though I'm not sure which is more depressing -- urban sprawl or a freeway in the middle of nowhere.

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    1 hour ago, Dodecahedron said:

    Thanks for the picture.  I never noticed what a brutalist eyesore that new stadium is.

    When I lived in the Twin Cities, the 694 portion of the loop was mostly devoid of, well, anything.  I'm guessing things have built up since then, though I'm not sure which is more depressing -- urban sprawl or a freeway in the middle of nowhere.

    That's old Yankee Stadium. The new one isn't what I'd call beautiful, but definitely nicer.

     

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    Why some teams just can't beat another team, despite the years, the player changes...everything...is a mystery for the ages. But here we are. Twins v Yankees....and Yankees always win. There have been other such nightmares. Bruins-Canadiens come to mind for me. For a couple of miserable decades, all Montreal did was beat up on Boston...and that also happened during the Bruins glory years with Espo and Orr.  It has finally evened out, but living thru that as a Bruins fan was very painful.

    It has to be mental by now. The very sight of the interlocking NY simply freezes up the Twins. 'How will we lose tonite', they ask? Even if we have the lead, and we play well, how will we lose? And son of a gun, they do lose!

    Every Twins loss is painful, as a fan. Losing to the Yankees doubles the pain. I don't care about the standings.

    Last night was another classic example. It wasn't a bad game. And the final score was close.....but was it really? Could the Twins have managed to tie the game...and then win it? Not a chance. The baseball demons won't allow it.

    Hold your nose, close your eyes and pretend its next Monday.

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    25 minutes ago, insagt1 said:

    Why some teams just can't beat another team, despite the years, the player changes...everything...is a mystery for the ages. But here we are. Twins v Yankees....and Yankees always win. There have been other such nightmares. Bruins-Canadiens come to mind for me. For a couple of miserable decades, all Montreal did was beat up on Boston...and that also happened during the Bruins glory years with Espo and Orr.  It has finally evened out, but living thru that as a Bruins fan was very painful.

    It has to be mental by now. The very sight of the interlocking NY simply freezes up the Twins. 'How will we lose tonite', they ask? Even if we have the lead, and we play well, how will we lose? And son of a gun, they do lose!

    Every Twins loss is painful, as a fan. Losing to the Yankees doubles the pain. I don't care about the standings.

    Last night was another classic example. It wasn't a bad game. And the final score was close.....but was it really? Could the Twins have managed to tie the game...and then win it? Not a chance. The baseball demons won't allow it.

    Hold your nose, close your eyes and pretend its next Monday.

    In the 00s, there was a strong David v. Goliath narrative in mainstream sports media between the Twins and Yankees.  Could this scrappy, cheap team go toe-to-toe with the Yankees?  Honestly, I think the Yankees took this to heart and had a chip on their shoulders that the Twins just didn't have at the time.  The Yanks did NOT want to lose to the Twins, but the Twins seemed to be treating the Yanks as any other opponent.  Those Yankees teams were running circles around the Twins.

    Bad umpiring then came to a head later, at the tail end of the Twins dynasty.  The Statcast era has helped make that better.

    Of course, a lot has happened since then, and all of those Yankees players are gone.  It's hard to say what the problem is now.

    It's worth bringing this up as a reminder ... there was a 1954 book, 1995 Broadway musical, and 1958 film addressing this franchise's futility v. the Yankees.  This goes way back.

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    The statements by the Twins and Yankees say it all in the playoffs. 

    Yankees style statement: "We know they're a good team otherwise they wouldn't be in the playoffs, but if we just go out there and play our game, we're confident we're going to win. Honestly, anything short of a World Series victory for us is disappointing."

    Twins style statement: "You know, we're just enjoying another trip to the playoffs. That's why we play the game. These types of opportunities aren't guaranteed so we're really proud of what we've accomplished. We're going to go out there and try to give 100% and if we do that, we think we have a real good team and a good shot."

    It's the expectation of winning vs. the hope of winning. Totally different mindsets and I think the "Minnesota Nice" Twins get overwhelmed in the playoffs by a superior attitude and presence.

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    On 8/20/2021 at 7:29 AM, RandBalls Stu said:

    Watch the Vikings. “It looks like their season is going to be a hot mess,” speculated Marthaler. “They have a preseason game on Saturday. Even pretend Vikings games offer something to make your day just a little bit worse.”

    That's right!

     

    How'd they do?

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