Sunday Confessional: A series where Senior Editor Collin Kottke confesses something on Sundays. Seems simplistic enough, we’ll see.
In my relatively short lifetime I have twice broken the rule of “no crying in baseball”. I am quite the rebel for breaking a rule twice and feeling no real ramifications, apparently, because I’m still watching baseball without things falling on my head.
Let’s break down these two occurrences.
July 31, 2004, the day the Minnesota Twins traded Gold Glove winner Doug Mientkiewicz away in a four-team trade. The Twins received Justin Jones from the Chicago Cubs in the trade, a man who never made the big leagues.
It wasn’t a great trade, but really shouldn’t be a thing that anyone should cry over. I was young and Doug was my favorite player. I can’t be blamed for my emotions. My fanatic behavior towards Mientkiewicz can be drawn back to my first Twins game ever where the give-away was a youth Mientkiewicz jersey. That leaves an impression on an impressionable kid who didn’t know much about baseball.
The trade of Doug Mienkiewicz did open up the door for Justin Morneau, who I therefore had a blind hatred for because of my Mienkiewicz love, but the right move, obviously.
September 30, 2008, the day the Twins lost to the Chicago White Sox in the team’s first Game 163. It was a 1-0 game, which is always the most heartbreaking type of game. At the score of 1-0, you expect your team to make a comeback, but it never happens.
There wasn’t much emotional attachment to the game. It just sucked. A gut-punch that symbolized that the baseball season for my favorite squad was over prematurely, or at least in my mind it was premature.
This game is why my love for Jim Thome when he joined the Twins a couple years later makes it ironic and I live for a life full of irony.
Now, I can’t guarantee that I will never cry again due to baseball. Who knows what the service road of life will throw my way and how soft I get as my curmudgeon-self ages like a fine wine, hopefully.