The Plouffe Paradox

Last Friday, I attended what will likely be my last game of the year. As you would expect, I ate more than was good for me, and watched the Twins go down in ignominious defeat.

I also heard a noise I had never heard before at the ballpark.

There were men at first and second with one out when a ground ball rolled harmlessly to Trevor Plouffe. One out, easy as pie...but did he throw the ball to second base for the double play? No. No he did not.

I've heard fans boo; I've heard fans jeer; I've heard fans scream and cry and gnash their teeth in frustration, but until that play I had never heard fans make this noise in unison:


It took me a while before I realized what that was. It was the sound of resigned disappointment. It was the sound of hundreds of Twins fans having a reaction that was not only instantaneous, it was bred from months and now years of watching Trevor Plouffe play baseball.

YAA--it starts with excitement, potential, possibility, familiar thrills.

Waaahhhhh--then comes disbelief, sharp, incredulous, dumbfounded.

Ohhhhh--then there's recognition, a sense that this has all happened before, particularly when there's that number 24 on the jersey.

Uuuggghh--finally there's dismay, dissatisfaction, and acceptance that this is our lot in life. As if to say: "Of, course you did that, Trevor, of course you did."

Best of all, the sound can be reversed for a pleasant appreciation of underrated talent (only this time, when Trevor Plouffe is at the plate). A single, a double, the rare high arching home run. They're all moments of pure Plouffey pleasure starting with rumbling fear (uuuggghh), recognition (ohhhh), disbelief (waaahhhhhh) and excitement (YAA!)

That's what Trevor Plouffe adds to the Twins: a familiar face and even more familiar reaction. Whatever else we think of the Twins, whatever we think they ought to do in the offseason, who they ought to fire, hire or blow up in a quest to reverse the bad juju, we can all agree on Trevor Plouffe.

Maybe Plouffe's doing it intentionally. Maybe, like Haley Mills (or more accurately, like Lindsey Lohan), he's offering us a Parent Trap like chance to rekindle our love for each other.

Good Plouffe!
If we're torn between whether to rebuild the pitching staff internally or cast our lot amongst the free agents--Trevor Plouffe reminds us that we can all agree on his crappy fielding.

If we're arguing fiercely over whether Joe Mauer ought to move to first base or keep his catching gear--Trevor Plouffe reminds us that he too can hit from time to time.

If we're arguing over whether Trevor Plouffe totally stinks or only mostly stinks...well...you get the idea.

In a season of lost causes and hopeless false starts, it's important to appreciate the little things: Trevor Plouffe uniting us all in agreement is one of them. Bravo Trevor, Bravo.