Never give up on the Twins

Chris Mangan

Chris Mangan

On July 20, the Minnesota Twins let a 10-run lead slip away against the Oakland A’s and fell further out of first place and failed to move two games above .500. I did something I had never done before: I gave up on the Minnesota Twins.

The team could not pitch, they could not hold leads and they could not get timely hits. It was a frustrating season. A season that was supposed to have so much promise and excitement was quickly turning into a lost season. I turned my attention to next season, when everything would hopefully fall into place and I could cheer for them without the fear of the bullpen imploding or the failure of getting a clutch hit looming in my mind.

I used to watch pretty much every game I could, but the way the team was performing, I vowed not to watch them until they were out of the race completely and I could focus entirely on football.

Then something strange happened – the Twins started winning. They won 9-of-11 at the end of August and were all of a sudden back in the chase, yet I refused to watch. The Twins were barely a .500 ball club, and half of the wins came against Kansas City and Baltimore. I wasn’t going to be sucked in again this year.

I refused to watch. I got excited about college football. I did everything except watch the Twins. My friend Jason kept me updated on the Twins, even though I didn’t care that much. They were a lost cause.

Then, somehow, in the middle of September, the Twins decided it was time to actually compete for the American League Central title. On Sept. 13, the Twins won the last of a three-game set with Oakland. The Twins then swept Cleveland and moved within four games of the Detroit Tigers. The next series on the schedule for the Twins was the Tigers. This was a make-or-break series. If the Twins could win the series, they would sit, at worst, three games behind the Tigers with four games against the Tigers that start on Sept. 28.

I didn’t want to watch the first series against the Tigers. I tried to stay away. I felt the Twins were setting me up for another crushing letdown. I tried to find other things to do when the series started. The Twins had been streaky this year, and it seemed like the team was going to be headed in the other direction soon. I still watched. I had to because the Twins have too much of a hold on me.

So I sat there in my living room on Sept. 18 with two of my roommates and watched the Twins beat the Tigers. I had officially been sucked back in.

Somehow, the Twins are just 2.5 games behind the Tigers with the crucial four-game set coming up on Sept. 28.

The Twins are still a very flawed team. Their offense goes quiet at times and their pitching depth is not that deep.

However, I learned my lesson from this season: never give up on the Minnesota Twins.