As the Twins blogosphere has diligently reported, the Twins have spent the last week playing like a large pile of dog poo. Or, actually, dog poo would probably do a better job of confusing opposing batters than our starters have this week (they are stinking much more than dog poo, more like...roadkill wrapped in a month-worth of college freshmen's laundry).
But as easy at is to mock the team when they are down, and believe me I have many more similes and metaphors in mind, it really isn't really productive. What's more it just doesn't feel like the fan I want to be. I'm much more inline with bat-girl, who recently tweeted: "The voices in Batgirl's head are telling her this is all her fault."
The voices in my head say that too. Some people might think I'm crazy to car that much, but I honestly feel like I should be able to do something, say something, write something which will somehow stop the slide, change the momentum and save the day for all Twins Territory. I might be a little crazy, but let's be honest, who doesn't have their own personal little traditions? Why on earth do we think that turning a cap inside out and angling it 48 degrees to the right will somehow inspire our hitters to stage a comeback? Why do we yell/plead/pray/scold the bullpen to throw just one good pitch, just one good pitch, come on, you can get out of this inning with just one good pitch? Do we really imagine that Orlando Hudson will look up in the stands, see our rally caps and think: "thank god that guy changed his hat, NOW I'll be able to hit!!!!"? Do we hope that in his post game interview Jesse Crain will say: "yeah, it was a struggle, but once I heard Mrs. Swanson in section 18, row 20, seat 7 tell me to try my slider again, I knew I'd be okay. Part of this win's for you Martha!!!!"? WHAT WE DO DOESN'T EFFECT THE GAME!!!
But we do it anyway. Sure, it's ridiculous, it defies logic, it turns sane, intelligent, normal people into a crazed pack of cursing maniacs; it also lets us feel like we can do something to help the people we care about. My mother used to squirm like mad while my brothers and I played sports, not because she was possessed, but just because she felt so connected to us that squirming in the stands was the next best thing to standing beside her boys as they faced the oncoming hordes. We have spent 159 days and nights with this team, and while we've never shared a meal or had a one-on-one conversation, we feel deeply connected to them, and a would, if they asked, stand arm in arm one the diamond with them. We would gladly tackle Derek Jeter before he could cross home plate, or reach down and pick up Delmon so he could catch a fly ball from on top of the wall. We see them trying, and struggling and ultimately failing and we want to do something, ANYTHING to help them.
So, even though my arm feels like it's about to fall out of its shoulder socket, I'll keep waving my little square of white-cloth whenever we have a man in scoring position. I'll wave it in the middle of my small apartment, surrounded by my research, fully aware that my neighbors must think that I'm nuts. I'll wave it while hollering for JJ to break his bad luck and get something through the infield. I'll wave it, even though the only people who can see me are college kids stumbling home after a night at the bars. I'll wave it because I can't be there, because I can't swing for them, because I want to feel like I'm doing something and because I hope that somehow, Joe Mauer's psychic powers will read my concern and redouble his efforts on my behalf. I'll do it because I'm a little crazy, but if you've spent 159 games watching this team and you don't really care about the players and their successes and failures, then you're much crazier than I am.