Ron Wehking, 68, the last known optimistic Twins fan, finally gave up on the 2013 Twins on Thursday afternoon, after the team's 4-3 loss to Tampa.
"Swept by the Devil Rays (sic)? To hell with it. Screw it. Fire 'em all. When do the Vikings start playing anyway, summer's halfway over," exclaimed Wehking to no one in particular at the Hutchinson (MN) VFW, as he sipped on a small glass of Miller Lite.
Wehking, a retired father of four, is known by friends and relatives for always looking at the best-case scenario for the local baseball team. After losing five in a row and 11 of 12, though, he was not in a generous mood.
"They are fucked. I'm sorry, but they are flat. Out. Fucked. Can't pitch, can't hit and all the young guys who are gonna help are 2, 3 years away," grumbled Wehking as he slammed his empty pilsner glass on the bar and motioned to the bartender for another. "And what if it turns out those guys can't play in the bigs? Chrissakes, I'll be in the grave before they're any goddamn good if they don't pan out. Goddammit. Shit."
His wife says this is a sea change for her husband of 44 years.
"Used to be he'd take a game like today's and say, 'Hey, that (Michael) Tonkin kid has some nice stuff, could be a closer in the making,'" said Dorothy Wehking, slowly stirring a rum and diet at her husband's side. "He'd always find a sliver of something to feel good about and carry into the next day. But this last month, it's like someone flipped a switch. Whatever hope was there, it's just...it's gone now."
Meanwhile, Ron continued grousing about the club as he tore through some pull tabs.
"Trade Mauer, trade Perkins, hell, trade Buxton and Sano for all I care. I can't do it anymore. I told my buddies not to give up on Nishioka in 2011. I clearly remember saying to my oldest son during spring training last year that Luke Hughes was gonna be in the Twins outfield for the next 8-10 years. I even thought Nick Blackburn could turn it around. Nick fucking Blackburn! Jesus! I'm a damned fool."
When asked if he was going to watch this weekend's series against the Yankees, Wehking started laughing uproariously before settling down. He stared into his new beer, and then said, "Yeah, I suppose. I'm gonna be dinking around in the garage a lot, probably put the game on the radio. Maybe they'll get lucky." He took a drink, got up from his stool, brushed off his worn 1991 WORLD CHAMPIONS sweatshirt, and went to get a basket of popcorn.