Oh hi there, friends!
It’s that time of winter where it’s a big ol’ dead zone. The holidays are becoming a distant memory. Most of our football teams are dunzo for the season. It’s cold and miserable outside (at least here in Minnesota). Spring - which includes baseball season - seems like forever away. And let’s not forget, we are still amid a raging pandemic, thus limiting our options to entertain ourselves outside of our houses because things keep getting postponed and canceled. Good times.
Remember a few months ago when I said we’d miss baseball season come January, despite how abysmally wretched the 2021 Twins season went? And then remember when I said the lockout wouldn’t be anything to worry about until it got closer to Spring Training? Well... I was right about missing baseball right about now, and as it turns out, a little bit wrong about the lockout being no big deal. I don’t admit to being wrong often... God I hope my husband isn’t seeing this.. or maybe I hope he does so I can say “see I can admit when I’m wrong sometimes”.. not sure which is worse. But I digress.
This is where our story begins, friends. I got this email from the Twins last week:
Then it hit me... wait a second. Why the hell are the Twins hosting a gaming tournament? What is this? Usually around this time of year, the Twins are gearing up for the Twins Caravan and TwinsFest. I should be getting emails about the Twins Caravan and TwinsFest right about now but this is what they’re sending instead. OMFG is this GD lockout is actually affecting something before Spring Training? Are we even getting a Covid-friendly virtual TwinsFest? Ruh-roh. Sure, my kid would be elated to be in some sort of gaming tournament but TwinsFest this is not. So I investigated further, in case I missed the Twins Caravan or TwinsFest news while I’ve been doing other things.
The Twins Caravan, a fun little series of appearances by Twins players and coaches all over Twins Territory, was postponed in 2021 due to Covid. It was supposedly going to happen later this week according to this article from MLB.com in December (remember that fun time just before Omicron decided to really descend upon us?). Buuuut if you look on the Twins website now, the page for the Caravan hasn’t been updated since the end of the 2020 Caravan.
And THEN if you look up TwinsFest - that magical gathering of players old and new making appearances, taking photos, signing autographs, plus fun activities for you and yours - you get this lineup from January 2020.
It happened my friends. The lockout became a bigger thing to worry about before Spring Training after all. Not to mention, there’s still some seriously raging Covid out there, blah blah Omicron blah blah CDC guidelines blah blah blah. I’m not downplaying the seriousness of a pandemic, I’m just so over it ruining things. The Twins have been really good about putting together virtual hangouts with players during the pandemic, so they could have easily figured something out that would be Covid-safe.
I used to LOVE going to TwinsFest with my dad. It broke up the winter while we anxiously awaited baseball season (plus his wheelchair got us to the front of lines). On my 28th (and golden) birthday in 2007, Joe Mauer was the hottest thing in all of MLB, and the line to see him was literally winding around the Metrodome. But my dad’s crippling Multiple Sclerosis finally was good for something, because we got right to skip the front of the line to see Joe. I got a hug from Joe Mauer on my golden birthday, which at the time was the greatest moment of my life.
Aside from this missing TwinsFest nonsense, as the weather has been sub-zero lately, I started daydreaming of warmer weather. I started to look into a spring break road trip to Fort Myers to see a Twins game or two, and began to look up tickets and possible games we could catch should we make the completely asinine drive to Florida (I don’t want to fly right now.. thanks a lot, Omicron). It was at this time, I realized that pitchers and catchers are supposed to report to Spring Training in like three weeks. THREE! WEEKS! Mother effing eff, this lockout could still be a thing in three weeks.
How has time been going by so quickly, and how is it that the two sides haven’t really talked much since this dumb thing started? The last I heard, the MLBPA and MLB are meeting again today, and if we learned anything in 2020, these two parties are not the best at coming to an agreement. Even if the two sides do reach an agreement before Spring Training is supposed to start, who are they even sending to camp? The Twins did as much as they could before the lockout started (remember the early Christmas gift of many years of Byron Buxton), but there are some serious gaps to fill still, especially in the pitching department - both starting and bullpen guys.
I’m starting to get nervous, you guys. When I realized that Spring Training is less than a month from now, I became much less confident that this lockout would be resolved before then. Rob Manfred and Tony Clark are about as friendly with each other as Jamie Lynn and Britney Spears are these days. This is not looking good for a trip to Florida or Arizona for those of us that want to escape to warmer climates to watch some ballgames this spring. Or even those of us that want to listen to some games on the ol’ radio. However you were going to take in a Spring Training game, one thing is certain: We. Are. Ready. For. Baseball.
For everyone’s sake, let’s hope that I can come to you in a couple of weeks and say I was wrong again about the lockout. I’ll take out a freaking billboard and gladly admit that this entire post was a waste of time - waste of my time writing and your time reading. What do you think, friends? Are you sad that the Caravan and TwinsFest aren’t happening this year? Do you think that Spring Training will start on time? Do you think the lockout might actually delay the season? I’d love to hear your thoughts, even if you’re going to make me more anxious. Or? Lie to me and make me feel better. Whatevs.