Our Love Don't Cost a Thing

The long baseball season is finally over, and this year it felt especially long. The Twins stunk...clearly and badly...like moldy limburger, like fermented clouds of Axe Bodyspray, like Scott Boras' soul....they stank, stunk, stinked.

And yet we watched as much as we could. We cheered when they did well, and shook our heads disappointedly after loss 99 just like we did after loss number 1. We found reasons to cheer: a few solid whacks by Mauer and Thome, slick fielding by Denard and Ben Revere, amazing pitching from Liriano and Nathan and of course the innumerable contributions of Plouffe, Hughes, Perkins, Tosoni, Oliveros, Rivera and a bunch of other names we never thought we'd say when the season began.

So, no matter what else happens, we love the Twins, loved cheering them this season and will love them on and on. So when we've heard other people saying that the organization "owes" them, we can't help but cock our head to the side and ask: "Really?"

I tried to do the math, figure out how much one might really spend on being a baseball fan, and then how much of that ends up in the pockets of the biggest scapegoats for this year. If you spend $500 on being a Twins fan, you contribute about $0.10 to Joe Mauer, want him to give it back? You want the penny you contribute to Gardy and Bill Smith...really? Can't you just chalk it up to the incidental costs of loving a team, loving a game and getting 162 days of entertainment a year?

My better half (Stinky) raised a better point. If you buy a ticket to a Twins game, you have to acknowledge that you're taking a risk. Being a fan is like being a stock holder--you buy the stock and you hope it goes up...but you acknowledge it might go down. Buy a ticket to the game and you hope the Twins win, but you acknowledge that they might lose. They could win 162, they could lose 162. If you agree to go, or watch or support the team you have to accept the good and the bad as a risky (but entertaining) investment.

Sure there were times when we wondered if we should just turn the tv off and leave it off the rest of the year, there were times we didn't want to turn on the radio or open a newspaper, or surf to the team site for fear of hearing or seeing another loss in black and white. But tonight, as we drove back from church choir, and heard Cuddy get stranded at third we sighed and groaned, when we heard John Gordon call the "Parmalee flips to Dinkle-Hughes" we laughed and decided that "Dinkleface" is bound to be a nickname for our future utility man. And when Plouffe delivered the walk off hit we cheered, and we'll cheer this winter, and we'll root, root root for the home team.

No questions asked.

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