I want to follow-up on Jonathan Gamble’s recent article concerning “overreacting” to the first few days of the season. I will boldly agree with what Jonathan said in that article, so I’m not here to argue or debate his thoughts. I am here to expand upon the notion that, as baseball fans, and as Twins fans, many of us have the tendency to overreact to the first few days of the season. Especially a disappointing 2-4 home stand beginning.
I write this in the context of the Timberwolves massive celebration after their “play-in” victory. There was some controversy concerning the over the top nature of that celebration, given that, after all, it was “merely” a game to get into the playoffs. In the grand scheme of things, that’s quite a distance from a championship or even a playoff series win. Nevertheless, I found myself on the side of those who had no problem whatsoever with a joyous celebration, given the tortured history of the Timberwolves. Let’s face it, they’ve arguably been the very worst franchise in all of sports over the past twenty years, and over their entire league history, so any celebration is the right celebration.
But back to baseball and our Twins. My expectations are minimal. I hope that doesn’t make me a bad person, but as I suggested in the comments suggestion to Jonathan’s article, I really don’t expect much beyond mediocrity. Even though it’s early, is there really any indication that the Twins are on the same level as the Dodgers, a team truly competing for a world championship? In truth, the Twins will likely be a study in mediocrity. They will beat poor teams, lose to good teams and fight their way either to the top or the bottom based on their performance against the other “mediocre” teams. Will they make the playoffs? Perhaps. Will they win a playoff game? Perhaps. Will they win a playoff series? Who knows, but it’s difficult to really believe in that given the history of the 21st century.
So, in my view, if the Twins manage to win a playoff game, I’ll have no problem with an over-the-top celebration. While storming the field or having a parade might be a bit too much…unbridled joy will certainly be understandable. I’ll be back here supporting whatever level of celebration the Twins manage. I’ll watch as Miguel Sano throws his hat into the stratosphere, though given his hitting thus far, the stratosphere may be the only thing he could hit (cheap shot, I know, he’s a slow starter, I get it…it was just there, and having limited creative capacity, I took it). No reason I can’t be forgiven in the same way I intend to forgive the Twins if they celebrate a playoff game win like it was 1987 or 1991, or at least if they party like it’s 1999.
Hope for the best, expect stunning mediocrity, and then celebrate small but somewhat unexpected victories. It’s what being a Minnesota sports fan is all about.
The only question I have is whether winning our first playoff game in two decades should warrant a parade and/or a tenth year anniversary celebration, but we can cross that bridge if/when we come to it.