New Year’s Resolutions from a Twins Fan
It’s that time once again, New Year’s Eve! Along with parties, watching the ball drop, Auld Lang Syne, and champagne hangovers, a staple of the holiday is for everyone to take a look at their lives and make resolutions making them a better person for the new year. For me, my usual resolutions include losing weight, exercising more, being nicer, and reducing my dependence on vices like alcohol and tobacco. And usually my resolutions are failed and forgotten by February. This year, I’m skipping my usual resolutions and focusing more on being a better Twins fan. Let’s go over some of my resolutions and, more importantly, the likelihood of me actually following through on them:
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Resolution #1: I will see more games this summer at Target Field. I’ll admit, I haven’t spent enough time out at the ballpark the past few years. When Target Field first opened, tickets were tough to come by and/or too expensive. Last year, demand remained high with the prospect of the All-Star game approaching. By the time Target Field emptied out at the end of the year, the team had become essentially become too unwatchable to warrant spending any money to go see them at the ballpark.
- Likelihood of succeeding: 75% As I stare outside today on New Year’s Eve, it’s -8 degrees out and my thoughts turn to warm sunny summer days with a cold beer in my hand and the smell of freshly cut grass at the ballpark. With ticket demand likely reduced, it’s time to get back out to Target Field on a more consistent basis.
Resolution #2: I will appreciate Joe Mauer more: Yes, I am the guy who constantly brings up Mauer’s salary and contract. I’m the guy who screams at his TV every time Mauer watches the first pitch go right down the middle of the plate. Joe hits into another double play? You know you’ll hear about it from me. I’m strangely proud that I coined the term, “A Joe’fer” for every game Mauer fails to get a hit. I find a way to even spoil the times he does get an extra-base hit, saying those come too infrequently. The truth is by every statistical evaluation around, Joe Mauer is on track to be in the Hall of Fame when it’s all said and done. He’s a former MVP. He’s from here. I should start to appreciate him more.
- Likelihood of succeeding: 10% Who am I kidding? The first time he hits a patented two-out opposite field single with nobody on I’m going to say something. When he hits into a double-play with runners in scoring position, I’m going to remind everyone around me he makes 23 million dollars a year for THAT. Whenever Eduardo Escobar hits a homerun, I’ll be that guy who mentions that our light-hitting shortstop has more homeruns than our first baseman. It’s not that I don’t WANT to be a better Joe Mauer fan, it’s that I fear I have the inability to be one.
Resolution #3: I will not criticize the Pohlads for being cheap, pennypinching, etc…: This one is going to be tough. Pretty much since I can remember, I’ve criticized the Pohlads for not spending money. Watching players like Torii Hunter and Michael Cuddyer not get resigned and leave for free agency jaded me. Seeing us trade Johan Santana away for a pu pu platter of prospects and low level pros incensed me. Seeing the yearly free agency dumpster dive for players like Jason Marquis and Kevin Correia made me throw my hands up. When the Twins failed, I always had the Pohlads to focus my angst….
- Likelihood of succeeding: 90% ….but not this year! To my pleasant surprise, the Pohlads opened up their wallets this offseason. The Twins spent over 107 million dollars in December with the free agent signings of Hunter and Ervin Santana and extending 2014’s team MVP Phil Hughes. How can I say they’re cheap when they spend that kind of money? Sure, the Twins aren’t spending like the Yankees or Red Sox, but that was never the expectation. Mark me down as satisfied with the money spent.
Resolution #4: I will not be overly critical of new manager Paul Molitor: I’ll be honest, I wasn’t the biggest fan of hiring hometown guy Molitor for the Twins manager opening. I thought the team needed to hire someone from outside the organization to give the team a much-needed new way of looking at things. But Molitor was the guy, and I’ve come to accept that. That being said, with this being Molitor’s first time as a manager, I’m going to try and give him the benefit of the doubt.
- Likelihood of succeeding: 50% I really will be trying, but at some point one of Molitor’s moves is going to backfire and I’m going to say, “That’s what you get for hiring a guy who’s never done this before.” The nice thing is that since I am also a Vikings fan, I have some experience with first-time managers…I think I can do this.
Resolution #5: I will cut GM Terry Ryan some slack: Let’s face it, Terry Ryan’s pinkie finger knows more about baseball than I do. He’s forgotten more about the game than I will ever know. And yet, usually by mid-May, I’m spouting off about “If I was running this team, I would…” So this year, I will not second-guess the front office when it comes to the roster. I will not outwardly criticize the holes in the lineup. And I will not wonder aloud why our star prospects ARE STILL STUCK IN THE MINOR LEAGUES???
- Likelihood of succeeding: 0% In even my most optimistic guess, I will have failed this resolution by next week.
Happy New Year, everybody!
Until next time….
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