How to enjoy the Minnesota Twins’ 2016 regardless of the outcome
Lie down on the couch, your psychiatrist, Puckett’s Pond, is in. Today, in our first and only self-help article, we’ll share the secret to everlasting sports contentment:
I try not to spend too much time focused on the future—especially trying to anticipate events over which I have zero control. With infinite possibilities and unforeseen circumstances, any attempt at augury is an exercise in futility. I prefer to roll with the punches and focus on the present. Que sera sera. Especially when it comes to baseball fandom.
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If I were the Minnesota Twins’ GM, it would make sense to have a plan and be prepared for the future—the GM does have a measure of control over the future. But I’m not in the front office; I’m just a fan.
The “now,” I would argue, should be the focus of the fan and, to a lesser degree, the player and the coach. In general, those three groups, especially the fan, should leave the future-focus to the front office. I’m not saying blindly agree with everything they do but why worry about what you can’t control? Sure, it’s amusing (sometimes helpful) to consider and analyze what’s coming but an undue focus on the future often leads to misery on the part of the fan and more importantly, missing out on the moment. For instance, I know Blue Jays fans who are quite literally despairing at the direction of the team and the thought of what the situation will be in 2017. Yes, the same Jays that just won the AL East title. How about: enjoy contending in 2016?
I know Royals fans who, mere days after watching their team win baseball’s highest honor, began obsessing over issues the team would face in 2016 and beyond. The point is, it doesn’t seem to matter how good the team is or how recent their successes, some fans will find a way to be miserable. Some fans seem to just be in it for the masochism—isn’t that weird and a bit sad?
I suggest that the constantly miserable fans, even on the worst of teams, will remain miserable no matter how successful their team becomes. They’d probably say, “Well, if my team were as good as team X,” or “it’s management were as competent as (having covered several teams, I can assure you that griping about management is pretty much a universal constant)…I’d have less to complain about.” I find curmudgeons remain curmudgeons. Circumstances, good or bad, don’t change a grouser—learning to enjoy the moment can.
Sure, the Twins face an uphill battle to contend in 2016, but don’t rob yourself of joy by focusing on it more than it’s worth. Everything could go horribly wrong but it could go very right. Enjoy the plays of your favorite veteran, marvel at the Twins’ abundant young talent, take in the atmosphere at Target Field, enjoy the game itself if nothing else. Training to appreciate the smaller joys, I believe, will help the greater joys last when they come.
The future is fun to speculate on but the now is better. Enjoyment only exists in the past and present, not in the future.
I’m not promoting a slack-jawed, glassy-eyed optimism or suggesting you don rose-colored glasses; I’m just suggesting that, if you need to, take off the dusty, dirty and heavily tinted ones.
Alright, our time’s up. I think we made real progress here today.
(This post, I think, only applies to a small segment of fans. Unfortunately, they’re a very vocal minority. On behalf of the majority (and really for your own benefit as well), don’t be a Debbie Downer this season.)