This weekend I somehow managed to find myself at three Twins games. In the best of circumstances, this would be of utmost excitement. However, these days in Twins Territory, we do not find ourselves in the best of circumstances, so I was unsure what number I should truly find myself at on the excitement scale.
All this time at Target Field did allow me to think through the silver lining of being a Twins fan. I don’t think these principles necessarily need to be solely applied to the Twins. Feel free to apply them to your child’s t-ball team, your friend’s city soccer league team, or your cousin’s intramural broomball team.
Perk #1: It is a no pressure situation. You know that fun excitement/nervous/butterflies/anxiety you feel when your team is on the cusp of greatness? I remember this energy at game 163 in the Dome in 2009 – it ended in a win! I also remember this energy at the last play-off game we played at Target Field in 2010. It ended so poorly. Exiting that night was the saddest and longest walk down a ramp I’ve ever experienced. When your team is expected to play poorly and lose though, it really takes away the stress! How nice is that?
Perk #2: Giveaways have more irony, because you are also giving away players. We traded Jim Thome this week. I felt like there was no chance for closure or a goodbye. He is a great player and a great man. Ironically enough, the giveaway for our first game sans Thome was the Jim Thome Wind-Up Walker. I guess if he can’t be walking across our field, he can at least walk across our desks.
Perk #2a: We can be happy for others. Even though it makes me sad, I can see how it was the right move for Thome, and we still are cheering him on in MN, keeping track of his home runs past 600, even though he isn’t hitting them on behalf of the Twins anymore.
Perk #3: Fan greatness comes into play. When your team is doing well, fans aren’t nearly as impressive. However, when your team forgets that they care, you and all your fellow fans will cheer your heads off for anyone who catches a foul ball in the stands. You can bet that we just made his night by our applause. You are welcome, kind sir. Let’s hope Gardy saw you, and you might have a shot at playing tomorrow.
Perk #4: You can play games. There is so much to take in at Target Field. If there is no baseball to watch, you can play I Spy with your friends. You are sure to see all the important and fun sights this way! Another fun game is, “Which player from tonight’s line-up would you date?” If you were busy cheering, you wouldn’t have time to talk about these important issues.
Perk #5: Calling it an early night. Normally I am a staunch “I will stay to the bitter end” sort of fan. But when you are down by so many runs that it would take a true Mother’s Day Miracle to pull out a win, and you have had a long day at work (or the state fair) you could just walk away. You won’t need to worry about missing anything.
Perk #6: Your expectations are lower. On Friday, the Twins lost by approximately 1.2 billion. On Saturday, we only lost by 2 runs! I was thrilled to be at a game where our loss was so respectable.
Perk #7: The homerun derby comes to you. Not everyone can go to the homerun derby, but when your team is playing really poorly, the other team may hit homer after homer. It is like you aren’t even at a real game. How many more can you guys hit? Neat!
Perk #8: You can learn from other teams. “Wow! I think they call that a Double Play. Maybe we will try it sometime! That could be fun and different!”
Perk #9: PTL for an outdoor stadium. Losing at the dome wasn’t nearly as fun as losing at Target Field, where you can enjoy some fresh air, a cool night’s breeze, and bugs zooming at your face.
Perk #10: You really get to know the minor league teams. If your team is doing well and staying healthy, you just see the same old players all the time. But if players are on the “I suck list” and the DL, you get a chance to scope out the up and coming talent.
Perk #11: When you do win, it is so much sweeter. Today we beat the Tigers 11-4. (Special thanks go out to Luke Hughes for making that win possible). I hadn’t heard Beautiful Day at the end of a game in forever. It doesn’t raise my expectations higher for next time, but it sure was nice to head to Target Field and see the Twins actually play baseball!