I feel like tihs weird "the season is over but really it isn't" sort of limbo is much less obnoxious/stressful the second time around. Last year I was super-frustrated... I think mainly because I felt like we could have actually done something in the playoffs. This year, the playoffs would be a nice morale-boost, but a) my baseball-related hope has been built up and crushed at least twelve billion times this year already, and really, a girl's nerves can only take so much, and b) we will be destroyed by the Yankees. Squashed like sad little bugs. I am fully convinced of this.
That being said, today's game was everything I could have hoped for. Kubel was awesome. Cuddy and Delmon were awesome. There was just enough of a scare from the bullpen to make the game interesting (seriousy? Did the bullpen just make it their goal to help the Royals raise their batting averages?? Thank god for Duensing...). There were homer hankies. There were lots, and lots of cheering, yelling, excited Twins fans. And, to top it all off, an actual fight broke out behind me - honest to goodness fisticuffs that resulted in a bloody nose and a shower of beer (of course my dad gets indignant and is all WHO DO THESE PEOPLE THINK THEY ARE THINKING THEY CAN COME INTO A PUBLIC PLACE AND BLAH BLAH BLAH...." I thought he was about ready to give them the Mark G. Staredown).
The metrodome wasn't perfect. Much like the team that played there for more than twenty years, it wasn't shiny or impressive. It was a little scrappy. But, also like the players sheltered within its (kind of gross-looking) cement walls, it kept us warm on cold nights. It filled us with hope when the opposing defense lost a ball or two in its white ceiling or oddly placed speakers. It gave us a home, and a place to cheer our boys on. It gave us dome dogs, two world championships, and scoreboard animation in only yellow and black.
I'm looking forward to Target Field, but I also know I'll miss the dome. I'll miss pretending what the announcers are saying even though all I can hear is "Garblegarble echo garblegarble echo!" (Fans: "YAAAAYYYY!!!"). I'll miss hearing stories about players' buttons melting when they slide across the astroturf (Torii). I'll miss being warm in April and October. I'll miss buying roasted almonds outside with my dad on chilly days. I'll miss being "whoooshed" out the door after the game, laughing as I half-run, half-walk into the crisp night air. The sound of the impromptou plastic-barrel drums as I walk back to my car.
Change is always hard - not because we don't look forward to what is coming, but because we know we are shutting the door on something else forever. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said: "For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else."
We'll focus on the gain. Because outdoor baseball is awesome.
And besides, we have a game to play on Tuesday. Let's kick some ass.