Many of you, no doubt, are people of faith. True believers. I find myself somewhat more cynical. I’m not proud of it, and I reserve the right for a deathbed conversion, but as of now, my faith in humanity, my faith in something greater than ourselves, and more generally, my faith is running low.
I’m talking about baseball, of course, what else would I be talking about on this site? Rocco’s bullpen decisions have been confusing to many of us. In his defense, his options are limited, and sometimes, downright dreadful. Still, often they remain confounding. Couldn’t a guy who has thrown 9 pitches in a shutdown inning come back for one more? I mean, after all, if he had thrown 25 pitches in that one inning, he probably would have been allowed to finish it. I just don’t understand it. Thus, I must accept that rather than science, I must turn to faith.
I’ve had these conversations in other aspects of my life. “Have faith,” I’ve been told. Just have faith, and the true believers will be rewarded. We cynical types are told that despite the horrors that unfold all around us (I’m still just talking about baseball, of course), we nevertheless, should simply believe. It’s all part of the plan. It’s a long-term thing.
We must live through famine, pestilence, floods (not to mention daily mass shootings), and our faith should not be shaken. Similarly, we must live through decades of playoff losses, trade deadline player dumps, inattention to pitching, and we are told by the faithful to just have faith.
Just believe. Even Ted Lasso tells us to just believe (slightly different context, but nevertheless, just believe).
And I’m trying! My faith is being tested. In Rocco I still believe, in Derek and Thad I still believe. But I’m being tested.
I’ve been told that we only get the burdens we can bear. I’ve been told that that which doesn’t kill me only makes me stronger. Watching this bullpen may not be killing me (literally), but I’m not so sure it’s making me stronger, and the burden is becoming too much.
Twins fans are a strong lot. We’ve been tested, and tested, and we keep the faith. As the All-Star break fast approaches, I can’t trust the bullpen in midseason games against mediocre competition. This conundrum would suggest that my only hope when the playoffs arrive and we face a close late inning situation, would be to turn to thoughts and prayers. I’m not sure it’s in my nature.
I get that in real life, many turn to “thoughts and prayers” in the face of terrible happenings. That’s all well and good, and if you feel it helps, then I fully support your approach. But in this case, I’d really like something more. Talking about baseball, of course. Perhaps some serious trade deadline action with regard to acquiring bullpen help.