On the day that your favorite baseball team is eliminated from post-season contention, a team that has been pretty terrible for four years, how are you supposed to feel? Today I'm not sad or angry or disappointed. I'm proud. I'm still thrilled, because 2015 was one hell of a fun ride.
It's easy to feel as though the end of a season that doesn't culminate in a World Series championship is a failure. As though it's the death of a campaign. That's never really been a philosophy I've subscribed to, but this year in particular I feel differently. The Twins' elimination from post-season contention isn't a death. The only thing that's ended is this chapter.
Game of Thrones does a fun thing for characters that die in the television series. When a main character dies (read: gets killed, because Game of Thrones), the show creates a piece of art to commemorate that character's passing. They call it A Beautiful Death. It's one way of knowing that a character is definitely dead, which is important in that world since death is, well, let's say it's a tricky proposition. In the final episode of season five, we came away believing that a number of characters were dead.
Spoilers ahead, by the way. Skip to the next bold line if you want to avoid some GoT knowledge. Of all the characters who died in that last episode, a few were considered main characters...but one was what you would call one of the three or four primaries. Game of Thrones has never shied away from killing off its primary characters, but this is where it gets interesting. The "Beautiful Death" created for the show didn't depict the death of that primary, Jon Snow. It depicted the death of Stannis Baratheon.
What that tells you, in case you didn't already know, is that Jon Snow isn't actually dead. Maybe he's not coming back as the character we've known, but that's important here.
So we're left with a character not really being dead when we've all been led to believe he's dead. The Twins aren't dead, either. They're coming back. They'll look a little different, they'll feel a little different. But they're coming back. This wasn't Minnesota's Beautiful Death.
I've always said that baseball is a year-round sport. You only get to be on the field playing a game at certain times, but in between it never actually stops. Baseball can always be discussed, because it's always in a cycle. As far as the season goes, only one team comes away as the champion and if you call anything short of that achievement a failure then you're missing the whole point of this thing called sports - whether you're a player or a fan.
One champion. And it took the Twins 161 of 162 games to know that they wouldn't get a shot at being that team. That's pretty damned good.
It's been a lot of fun watching the Twins this year. It leaves me hopeful for the future, and it's going to make talking about the team a lot more fun this winter, too. I'm looking forward to discussing it all, in minutest detail, with all of you. We can get into what the Twins' next chapter might look like.
We'll get into post-mortems and season wraps and all other kinds of post-season stuff. For now, let's hear it. How do you feel now that the season is over?