Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sad? Why should I be sad?

The Yankees finished their ALDS sweep of the Twins last night, meaning the Twins’ 2010 season is over. So what am I doing this afternoon? You guessed it—I’m taking the afternoon off to celebrate the Twins amazing 2010 season!! WOOHOO!!

Okay—so I know a lot of Twins fans out there are very sad/depressed/angry, because their dreams of a World Series Championship have been dashed. You know what I think about that view? How depressing! Why should I let 3 lousy games make me forget about the joy and excitement I got from watching the Twins play over the last 6 months?

There are different ways one can go about their fandom. One way is to expect your team to win the World Series every year. This, obviously, is the ultimate task to be accomplished every season. Why else does your team play? So, then, if your team is clearly having a losing season, there is no point in watching (except, maybe, to complain about what the team needs to change to win a World Series the next year). If your team is clearly having a winning season, you don’t really need to pay much attention until October, because a few extra wins or losses during the regular season are meaningless. All you really want is for your team to win the World Series, and if they don’t, the entire point of the season has been frustrated. The year will be a failure, and you’re understandably peeved about the whole thing. You complain about what you think needs to be changed to make sure next year isn’t such a god damn awful failure as well. But if your team happens to win the World Series, your expectations are met and you can gloat to all other fans about how your team is so much better than theirs. What a joy! Because the whole point is just to win it all—right? So your team wins! This might be called “being a Yankee fan.”

But that is not the only way to be a fan. You can also be a fan just because you like to watch your team play baseball. You want your team to win, of course—but that’s not the ultimate point. The point is actually watching baseball. That’s what makes it a pass-time. That’s what makes you look forward to game time everyday, because every game is unpredictable: maybe today someone will hit for the cycle. Maybe tomorrow everyone on the field will hilariously be attacked by bugs. Maybe the next day someone will break a record. And maybe the day after that, your team will play horribly and lose. But because you continue watching everyday, you become invested in your team. You notice how different players interact, how they react to wins and losses, how they grow and change over time. You might even start to notice similar interactions, reactions, and growth among the fans and society around you. You might notice your team becoming more popular, or how a new stadium has transformed the city you were born and have lived in the majority of your life, or maybe even how fans are starting to become disenfranchised by recent events. Most importantly, however, is that over time, you really start to care about noticing these things—because this isn’t just a movie, this is real life passing before your eyes. This is it. As a great Twin once said, “Don't take life for granted, because tomorrow isn't promised to any one of us.”

I cherish every Twins game I get to attend, watch, or listen to. The Twins have certainly given me a lot to be happy about throughout this season. Why should I be sad? Sure, I would love a World Series championship, or just to be able to watch the Twins play more baseball games. But thus is life. All I can do, being the fan that I am, is try my best to cherish every moment I have. That's what makes me a fan. And that's what makes me happy.

And that's why I love baseball.

P.S. Perhaps my explanation of fandom will help explain why I still think this was my favorite moment of the entire "season". How far this team has come since 2001, how much they have been through, and how loyal true Twins fans are... This made me so proud to be a Twins fan.


  1. Thank you for this post. It's wonderful.

  2. Ten years ago, I wondered if we would even still have a baseball team in Minnesota. We've enjoyed six division titles since then. Can't say I blame people for wanting more, especially considering how good this team was, but I can't view this season as a total failure. I just can't.

  3. Nicely done. There's always a tear in my whiskey after the final out is made, but that comes after much dancing and singing and general revelry for 6 months a year. The only problem is, there isn't any baseball to jubilate about the other six months of the year

  4. Yes. The only reason I am sad is that the Twins will not be playing again for some time. The really bad seasonal depression doesn't tend to set in until after the World Series, however.