Step back for a second. Forget that you're a Twins fan, that you feel connected to the team, that you are happy when they win and sad when they lose and that other people feel this way and that, really, you're connected to all of the other people who feel happy when they win and sad when they lose.
Now think about this: the Twins made a trade at the deadline, but for a hitter. While division rivals traded for pitching, the Twins went for offense, which made sense, don't get me wrong. But the Twins decided to dance with what brung them, on the mound, figuratively speaking.
And here's what happened:
Friday they gave up 11 runs in 11 innings. Saturday they gave up 11 runs in nine innings. And Sunday, they gave up 13 runs in nine innings. Progressively worse throughout the weekend.
R.A. Dickey pitched in all three games. He pitched 4.1 innings, gave up only five hits, and three runs. He was in many ways, the star of the weekend on the mound for Minnesota. On Friday, Bob Keppel and Jesse Crain combined to give up six runs without getting an out. On Sunday, Glen Perkins pitched to five batters in the fifth inning, and retired none, all of whom scored.
Now step back again. Forget that the Twins are your team, or that baseball is your favorite summer sport, or that you were frustrated or dismayed by the weekend. Think about the Twins drawing over 110,000 fans this weekend. Think about how they failed to get pitching help in the offseason or at the deadline. Think about all the people (and I was among them) who went to the Dome this weekend, many possibly for the final time to watch the Twins, and who saw what appeared to be a bunch of beer-league rainbow tossers on the mound.
Honestly. It's funny. It's verging on hilarious. It's like seeing a video clip of a father pitching a baseball to his very young son on America's Funniest Home Videos, all the while knowing that Dad's about to take an unexpected line drive to the groin. You've seen it before. You've got a pretty good idea of what to expect. And even so, as dear father doubles over in pain, you laugh, because it is funny, not because it's painful for Pops but because it's well and truly hilarious.
At least, this is what I keep telling myself...