1) I love baseball.
2) It has been a dismal, terrible summer for my favorite team, the Minnesota Twins.
Now that you know those truths, I will tell you about three more things: my life as a baseball fan, this season and last night. As I've alluded to in previous posts, I am a lifelong Twins fan thanks to my dad. We saw the Twins through some very trying years in the 1990s, but I also got to watch the 1991 World Series as a second grader. My parents didn't let me skip school to go to the championship parade downtown, which remains a bone of contention between us.
|The quirks of Minnesota baseball: snow on Opening Day|
falling gently on the Metrodome roof (pre-Target Field).
I'll leave serious analysis to the better informed, but this year, everything just plain old went wrong and the win-loss record imploded in spectacular fashion. It has been a tough season for the players and the front office and the fans. I've been to games this season that have involved more groaning than cheering. Instead of watching the team fight for a division title, fans watched the team slide toward 100 losses. (For non-fans wading through this post: it's not good.) Instead of seeing players on the stats leaderboards, the team is in the cellar for many of them.
|Target Field Opening Day tickets, April 2010|
And it was Pavanotime last night at Target Field, complete with his legendary mustache. He pitched a complete game shutout last night on 90 pitches or so. But until the ninth inning, the Twins hadn't contributed any runs to their line on the scoreboard either. Denard Span, another one of my favorites, stepped in to pinch hit and smacked a double up the first base line, and one of the many new faces on this year's roster, Trevor Plouffe, knocked him in with another hit for a Twins win!
|Goosebumps: literal and figurative last year. Brr!|
No, the Twins won't be playing this weekend in the first round of the playoffs. Yes, the season was unbelievably disappointing for all parties involved. But last night was a reminder of the intangible thrill that a win-loss record and run differential statistics don't capture. You can still get goosebumps in the ninth inning of the last game of a 99-loss season.
See you April 9 for the home opener.