Little things

It's not always easy to keep things in perspective. For example, right now, we peanuts are getting pushed and pulled in umpteen different directions as we balance school work, moving cross-country, job applications and event planning. It's easy to take little things and make them seem much bigger than they are (as when I became convinced that a decision about which cookbooks to keep before moving back to Minnesota would profoundly affect my ability to obtain employment as a teacher).

Baseball can be the same way. A small set of examples from a particular player or from a particular series can seem like a horrifying, disastrous trend toward oblivion (i.e. Joe Mauer struggling for 9 games becoming a sign that his career is almost over). The same little things can give you premature delusions of grandeur too (i.e. I came up with the irrational belief, based on one inning in Baltimore, that Jim Hoey would repair the bullpen, destroy opposing batters and fix the national deficit). Whatever way you slice it, the little things can seem like your own personal Everest: terrifying or exhilarating depending on your mood.

One of the things I like best about baseball is how valuable it is to "do the little things right". For so long that's what the Twins have done: run the bases well, pitch with pin-point control, advance the runners when you need to, make smart plays in the outfield. That's something the team has been missing the last month or so, but in Chicago it seemed like we'd started to work on the little things again. I didn't see any bone-headed gaffes in the field (though Matt Tolbert nearly running into Rene Tosoni came close); I did see a little more savvy for players at the plate (except for poor Drew Butera).

There are other little things that make me almost want to declare the Twins to be back like Backstreet (i.e. Kubel continuing to hit for power, Cassilla not making soul-crushing errors, winning two games against our division rivals and that whole Liriano thing). But I think it's better for me not to make any one game or single performance into too big of a deal. The Twins will lose games in future, there will be good times and bad, but as long as you enjoy the little things you'll be a serenely happy fan.
So relish the little things that make up the baseball season and that make the Twins the Twins: Kubel's smirk when he hits one hard, Denard chasing one down in the gap, Justin scooping throws from the dirt and Francisco eating his own shirt from nerves. The individual plays and moments might not make or break the season--but they do mark the season and they do make it fun to watch the games.

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