Why are we listening to this?

That was my wife's question to me on Friday night as we drove to Culver's to use a buy one get one free coupon. We got the coupon at a ballgame this summer...a Saints game. Driving to Culver's to redeem it, listening to the Twins (a team that didn't even win me a scoop of ice cream this year) struggling against the Indians, it took me a second to think of an answer to that question.

Then I did.

1. It's the Twins.
2. It's baseball.
3. I love it.
4. I love hearing Josmil Pinto walk up to Mumford & Sons.
5. I love hearing the crack of Oswaldo Arcia's bat.
6. I love picturing Brian Dozier's mullet billowing in the breeze when he dives to make a play.
7. I love the thrill of the crowd when Pedro Forimon does his job.
8. I love the mystery of which Trevor Plouffe is going to turn up on any given day.
9. I love the dream of Josh Willingham getting his stuff together.
10. I love Ryan Doumit hobbling in the field, the basepaths, and up to the plate.
11. I love remembering that in a world of image-obsessed, ego-maniacal, stat-crazed athletes, there is a guy like Joe Mauer who will keep the same hair cut, the same "help the team" approach to hitting, and the same god awful interview skills day in and day out.
12. I love Dick Bremer's childlike enthusiasm.
13. I love making fun of Cory Provus for forgetting the count, the inning, the score and the names of half the players
14. I love the daydreams and rambling memories of Dan Gladden and Bert Blyleven.
15. I love imagining goofy photoshops for Terry Ryan.
16. I love Glen Perkins pitching well whether it matters or not.
17. I love envisioning Bobby Cuellar playing frankenstein with relief pitchers until we have what we need to keep a lead (just in case we ever get one)
18. I love the "surprise in every bite" style of pitching you get from Samuel Deduno.
19. I love the awshucks luck of Andrew Albers
20. I love the stubborn persistence of hardluck Liam Hendricks
21. I love Gardy tantrums.
22. I love having ready made arguments with my mom.
23. And with my dad.
24. And with my father-in-law.
25. And with all the wonderful blog-dwelling fans in the internet.

And most of all, I listen to it, because I miss all of those things for the three-four months of the year when the Twins aren't around.

Oh, Twins, you shouldn't have!
Really...you shouldn't have.
As it happens, I didn't actually have to list all those reasons, the first three were enough to remind my wife why she listens to it too. (As was looking at the St. Paul Grill's Scotch Menu to see a Talisker 25 as her victory drink for correctly predicting the Twins record this year.)

I realize that there's more and more of a push from fans to demand answers, a better product, and greater accountability from a franchise that values loyalty and community over production and success. But as long as there are games to be played and players to be cheered, I'll be a helpless, silver-lining loving fan first, and a critic a very distant second.

The season's over now, and in the absence of the Twins we'll have to make do with other amusements. We'll be riding the Pirates bandwagon for as long as that ride lasts. We'll be watching the Minnesota Opera try to fend off the Kansas City Lyric Opera for the Central division opera crown (it helps that we started our season with Kelly Kaduce!--who sounds like her name should be chanted like "LEWWWWW" Ford's once was). We'll think about the World Cup a little (okay, I'll think about it a lot and my wife won't think about it at all.) We'll obsess over Sherlock and Downtown Abbey with the same intensity that we put into obsessing about the winter meetings and MLBTradeRumors.com.

But rest assured, that wherever there is love to share for the Twins, wherever there is irrational hope to be promoted, and wherever there a dumb jokes to make...we'll be there.