For the first time since I became a dedicated fan in 2010, my Minnesota Twins are in postseason! They did win a Wildcard spot in 2017, and then lost to the Yankees in the single Wildcard game (damn Yankees). That was after having their worst season in franchise history in 2016. (They lost 103 games and finished last in the MLB.)
But now, as in 2010, they’re going to first official postseason round, the ALDS. And, also as in 2010, they’ll face their arch nemesis, those damned Yankees. Nine years ago the “Bronx Bummers” took us out 1-2-3. Those bummers also took us out of postseason in 2003, 2004, & 2009.
So I’m thinking it’s high time we turn that around!
There has been a lot of talk in the baseball world about the abundance of both home runs and strikeouts. The former seems to come from the “juiced” ball this year as well as increasing effort by players to focus on “hitting it outta the park.”
That effort also appears responsible for the increase in strikeouts — which obviously can’t be blamed on the ball. Some think the increased focus on high-tech stats, the ability to record “launch angle” and “exit velocity” (not to mention distance), is responsible. Players are chasing the “long ball.”
So I thought I’d make some charts and see for myself.
It started in the summer of 2010. June, I believe. The previous decade had been a bad one. If the first ten years were an indicator, the 21st century was really going to suck. I’d gotten married in ’98 and discovered almost immediately I’d made a mistake. In the middle of a turbulent marriage, 9/11/2001 happened. I was born in NYC; my mind rang with grief echos for about a year afterwards.
I was divorced by ’03, and I’d moved twice—once to a rental and then to the condo I bought. In ’04, double-barrels: I had 60 days to find another position after they closed my department (which I did on day 58), and then my beloved dog died. For the next five years I threw myself into my work.
Which brought me, stressed and depressed, to 2010. And baseball.