Quit Playing Games With My Heart

I’m Zach, and I’m a Minnesota Twins fan.

During the past couple years, a phrase like that might garner some fairly justified heckling. Not that the Twins are a bad franchise or one someone should be ashamed of liking (I mean, we’re not talking about the Yankees here), but the truth is, they just haven’t been very good. (OK, lets be honest. They’ve stunk.)

During the 2000s, when the Twins were regularly competitive and won six division titles, I had high expectations for them coming into each season. If they would have been 22-21 entering play on May 21 during one of those seasons, I probably would have been writing a blog or column asking what is wrong with them. But things have changed and three years of hanging around the cellar has brought my cynicism out. As such, I can’t help but thinking this is just too good to be true.

Admittedly, as I type this right now, I still don’t have very high expectations for the Twins this season. That doesn’t mean I don’t like them or won’t cheer for them with all I have for the remainder of the season, but I just don’t want to get my hopes up only to be let down. (As a Minnesota sports fan you’d think I would have grown used to that by now. I have not.) Still, I almost like the position I’m in as a fan right now less than when the team was just undeniably bad.

Like I said, cynicism has set in.

It’s that cynic in me that is expecting the Twins to do nothing less than toy with my emotions at some point this summer. If they are able to stay within a stone’s throw of the division and/or wild card race for much longer, (and the way things look right now, .500 seems to be the pace that is being set) I fear the hopeless romantic side of my fandom will come out and I’ll begin to have dangerous thoughts like, “Could they really do this?”

The second I begin to have thoughts like that is when they’ll tank. A pitching staff that has been strong for the past few weeks will start getting lit up like Christmas trees and hitters like Brian Dozier and Kurt Suzuki will start to come back to Earth after what have been surprisingly excellent starts to the season. In a nutshell, the team will start looking like I expected it to this year and I’ll be left feeling like I have a face covered in egg.

As I said, I hope I’m wrong. I hope the Twins continue to play well throughout the season and at least provide some baseball that’s worth watching in September. But, if that’s not going to happen, I just hope the fall comes sooner rather than later. After all, I’ve got my sanity at stake here.

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