On Second Thought, Go Ahead and Call Them Twinkies
The Twins have now lost twelve straight postseason games, which is, if I’m not mistaken, a new major league record. Since 2002, the Twins are 6-21 in the playoffs, having advanced to the ALCS just once, when they lost to the Angels in five games. That is a lot of postseason futility. That works out to something like a 37-125 record when extrapolated over 162 games. Putting that in perspective, that would be the worst record of any team since World War II. The 1962 New York Mets finished the season with a 40-120 record; the 2003 Detroit Tigers went 43-119. The 1982 Twins, the worst Twins team since they moved to Minnesota, went 60-102. The worst team in franchise history, the 1909 Senators, went 38-113.
I’m not really upset about this loss. Don’t get me wrong, I am very disappointed that a season that began with so much promise ended so abruptly. And I hate losing to the Yankees all the goddam time. I hate being considered their bitch. And most of all, I hate the New York mainstream media. I hate how players like Lance Berkman (who has struggled all season long, not just in New York) get written off as not having the intestinal fortitude to handle the pressures of playing in New York, then are suddenly elevated to True Yankee status by one bad pitch. As a fan, I want to feel as though my team has a legitimate chance at winning a World Series, but I knew, once the Rays clinched the AL East, that wasn’t going to happen. The Twins have never been able to beat the Yankees, and I fully expected them to get swept out of the ALDS, despite fielding what is, in most respects, a better team. I don’t know what the answer is, I don’t know if there is a good answer. I just know that it’s frustrating, and it sucks, and I hate it.
But I’m not going to dwell on it. Baseball, to me, is entertainment. If my team wins, hey, great. If not, well, that sucks, but I have much bigger problems in my life than to stress out over a stupid ballgame. Maybe it makes me a bad fan to not live and die with my team, but I really have no interest in being a true fan if that’s the case. This Twins team has had a pretty good run despite its postseason futility; six division titles in nine years, and on balance this season was a lot of fun to watch. Jim Thome’s walkoff home run against the White Sox, the comeback against the Phillies after trailing by nine runs in the ninth inning, and the emergence of Francisco Liriano and Danny Valencia made for one fantastic season of baseball. This Twins team won 94 games. It wasn’t like they just won the Central because it’s a weak division, they were a good team and really deserved to make the postseason. It might not seem like it right now, but this really is a great time to be a Twins fan. They have a gorgeous new ballpark, more money to spend than they ever have at any point in franchise history, some of the best young players in the American League, and some exciting up-and-coming talent. This is a far cry from where they were just ten years ago, coming off of four consecutive 90+ loss seasons and threatened with the prospect of contraction. The Twins haven’t lost more than 85 games in ten years. Pirates, Orioles, Mariners, and Royals fans would all love to be able to say that.