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Almost Cheating

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A Twins fan comes close to defecting to the Astros.

Dear Twins,

We have been together for almost thirty years. I made a vow all those seasons ago to love, honor, and cherish you for better and for worse. Mostly, it has been for the better, but lately it's worse. Through it all, I've been faithful to you. Even when you've given me every reason not to be.

As you know, I spent last weekend in Houston. I didn't go there looking to hurt you. I only wanted to attend the Society for American Baseball Research annual conference. While I was there, I saw somebody new. You don't really know them. They're called the Astros and they play baseball with a hustle and a wild abandon that I haven't seen out of you in years. I went out with them twice, and both nights it was fantastic.

I felt like a new man, especially after the second game. A Jonathan Singleton inside-the-park home run, a Chris Carter stolen base, Jose Altuve baserunning adventures, daring defense, and a rookie making his MLB debut pumping 100 mph fastballs past Jose Bautista will do that to you. We had fun, Twins. More fun than I've had with you in ages. I experienced pure joy in ways I didn't know I still could. I was so tempted to give myself to them. I was ready to throw away everything we had built for two beautiful nights and some cheap thrills.

But I didn't.

I'm still not quite sure why. Maybe it was the way you sensibly re-upped Kurt Suzuki to a reasonable and not prohibitively expensive contract when the market for him didn't develop as it was expected to. Maybe it was the brilliant deal where you laundered Sam Fuld and got a decent back-end starter (Tommy Milone) for your trouble. Maybe it was a perfectly decent 3-3 week capped by a 16-run rout of the White Sox. Maybe it's the hot start of Kennys Vargas or the continued unsustainable goodness of Danny Santana, or that Jose Berrios's shoulder tightness has turned out not to be a major concern.

Whatever the reason is, I'm not ready to give up on us yet. But I wanted you to know this, not to hurt you, but so that you know how dire things have become. I almost threw over my first and best love (family excluded) for a cheap and tawdry fling with a team that lost 324 games over the previous three seasons, and is poised to lose 95 again in this one. A team who hasn't had a winning season since 2008 and who hasn't made the playoffs since 2005. And it wasn't because they were any good. It's because, even if they're bad, they are interesting.

Instead of Kevin Correia, Brian Dozier, Trevor Plouffe, and Josh Willingham, they have Colin McHugh, Jose Altuve, Jon Singleton, and Chris Carter. Chris Parmelee and Eduardo Nunez can't hold a candle to the hilarity of watching Marc Krauss or Gregorio Petit, although maybe watching other teams' failed prospects is more fun than watching your own's. I don't know. Maybe it's just that I need to see some kind of a change, and this was the easiest way I could see to do it. Losing for so long wears you down and makes you vulnerable to the sweet overtures of a team that promises to eventually share George Springer with you and who seem to actually be making progress toward a brighter future.

So this is where we are, Twins. I need to see some kind of change from you going forward. I need to know you're serious about keeping me interested. Because right now, all I see is a team going through the motions again, making me wait for 2015 or, God forbid, 2016. I'm really afraid, if it comes down to it, that I won't be there if you do.

Love,

Mike