My first thought was to call this “Baseball Blues”, but that title didn’t fit, because I’m not particularly blue about it — whether that means depressed, naughty, or playing the. Nor did I intend any reference to an old, often pejoratively used, slang term for baseball umpires. As in, “Hey, Blue! Ya blind?! That pitch was way outside!”
What I am feeling about baseball, though, is decidedly blah, which is weird because after years of being very awful, my Minnesota Twins have had some good seasons and at long last become contenders. After some of the worst seasons in franchise history, that’s rewarding to see.
So why is it that I just don’t care?
Ralph Emerson famously said, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds,” but I also like what Wilde Oscar said: “Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.” The last two words in both sentences signify something important. Consistency is the enemy of creativity, art, and philosophy, although it’s generally welcomed in other places (one’s airline pilot, surgeon, or government, for instance).
Which is all by way of excusing the dreadful consistency of this so-called Monday Miscellany series. Episodes in 2012, 2014, and then not again until 2020, is barely a series. Another one so soon is definitely suspect.
Chalk it up to “creativity, art, and philosophy.”
Because of the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin (the most recent in a horrifying long list of names), the Minnesota Twins postponed yesterday’s game until today, which is designated baseball’s official Jackie Robinson day — the day all the players wear #42 in honor of the great Jackie Robinson (it’s normally April 15th, but baseball didn’t start this year until the end of July).
Today would have involved a double-header, yesterday’s game plus the scheduled one against Detroit today, but the Twins voted to postpone both those games.
Baseball teams across the country are standing down in solidarity and support for Black Lives Matter.
The text reads:
“The Minnesota Twins remain committed to using our platforms to push for racial justice and equality. Therefore, we fully respect our players for their decision to not play tonight’s game versus the Detroit Tigers. The recent shooting of Jacob Blake, a mere three months after the killing of George Floyd, shows again that real change is necessary and far overdue in our country, and it is our responsibility to continue playing a role in efforts to affect meaningful reform. We stand in solidarity with the Black community and, as full partners with others in the Twins Cities and beyond, we are committed to creating the change we want to see in the world — where everyone is protected, safe and welcome. There is no place for racism, inequality or injustice in our society.“
Yes, yes, and yes!
Bravo and kudos to the Minnesota Twins and all those other teams standing up by standing down. I support them 100% in this (apparently not everyone does, which is pathetic).
The Twins also posted this in their Twins Diversity twitter account:
Which I thought was pretty cool.
Stay committed to racial justice, my friends! Black Lives Matter!
Baseball is back (but kinda weird), and my Minnesota Twins are off to a very good start. After eleven games, they have a 9-2 record (.818), and they’re the number two team in the American League. (The bad news is that our long-time nemesis, the damn Yankees, are number one.)
It’s going to be a very short season (60 games rather than 162) with an extended postseason — just over half the 30 teams (16, rather than the usual 10) will get at least one postseason game. And, of course, none of it is being played in front of fans.
Just one more aspect of our COVID-19 world.
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!
Well, it’s been quite a week! As mentioned in the last post, the coming of fall (which is always bittersweet for me), a bout of miserably muggy weather, and then electrical problems in my home, have all conspired to batter the shores of my equilibrium. But there have been some raisins in the poo pile. This week, stressful though it was, has turned out a good one.
For one, my Minnesota Twins won the AL Central Division last Wednesday! They are going to postseason for the first time since 2010. (The bad news is that it looks like they’ll face the Yankees — who ended the Twins’ postseason in 2003, 2004, 2009, 2010 and 2017.)
And my electrical power problems are fixed. (I think.)
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.
I’ve always meant to try it, and it was on sale at the grocery store the other day, so I grabbed a couple cans (and one of the cream soda). Before even tasting it, I was amused by the prominent label declaring the brew both gluten- and caffeine-free. (I’m expecting a similar warning on my bottled spring water any day now.)
I suppose root beer could have caffeine, but its whole gestalt is mellow childhood. No one puts caffeine in! (Do they?) As for gluten, real beer has it, and I suppose it’s possible someone might link beer with root beer. (As I’ve said before, I find myself bemused by the necessity of treating consumers like stupid children.)
It’s got a cool name, though. Ya gotta give it that!
Talk about mixed feelings! It was both very exhilarating — and slightly painful — to watch my Minnesota Twins rout the Seattle Mariners over the last three nights. The Mariners get a chance to get back some of their own this afternoon, and I almost hope they win. Being swept this badly is awful.
How awful? Well, so far: 25 more runs (36 total), 22 more hits (45 total), and 7 more home runs (11 total). The Twins pounded the Mariners’ starters, who only averaged three innings of work each (giving up 20 ER and 9 HR in 10.1 innings), while our own starters averaged six innings (and gave up only 8 ER and 3 HR in 18.1 innings).
Suffice to say the Twins are off to an awesome start this year!
I haven’t written about my Minnesota Twins in a while. Blame it on 2016, the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year. On top of a stunning turn in politics, the Twins had their worst year ever as a Minnesota team. (They were the Washington Senators until 1960.)
They did okay in 2017 with a winning season (.525 win record) and the second American League Wildcard. Of course, they lost to, guess who, the damn Yankees. The year also capped a weird three-year over-under-over pattern in terms of their expected performance.
In 2018, the stats look closer to expectations, which is to say sad, but it’s possible 2019 will be much happier.