For a Twins fan living outside of Minnesota it’s important to consider all the variables when choosing which game to attend at Target Field. For example no day games after night games; no batting practice, which is vital for young fans in quest of the Holy Grail, a stray ball. No Yankees or Red Sox; too many bad memories of A-Rod grand slams and Dice-K human rain delays. No Brewer’s games; Carlos Gomez, interloping Wisconsinites, and heavy beer drinking. This year there are even more reasons to pay attention to the schedule. Unfortunetly the current Twin’s feature a large portion of the starting line up of the AAA Rochester Red Wings and, as much as seeing a Trevor Plouffe error or a Rene Rivera strikeout might be compelling, watching a complete Joe Mauer, a healthy Justin Morneau, and at least the forgotten Tsuyoshi Nishioka is much preferred considering the escalating after-market ticket prices. Jim Thome’s quest for home run number 600 has made this season uniquely compelling but an element which has had no impact from the very outset of this season in choosing a game this year is the possibilty of an important mid-summer game with the lead in the division at stake. This year the Twin’s are bad. This year the Twin’s are trully the worst team in baseball. This year, like every other year, very little of that matters because going to a baseball game can provide memories for fans of any age and may be simply unforgettable.
On a warm day in August of 1986 the struggling Twin’s were playing the California Angels in the Metrodome. The team was 20 games under .500, manager Ray Miller was about to get fired, and no one in the stadium could anticipate what would happen the following year when the Twin’s won their first World Series. That day Bert Blyleven pitched a 3 hit shutout and the Twin’s won 2-0,like many games a “free seat upgrade” was available in the Metrodome by sneaking past the disinterested ushers along the left field line, and in the 5th inning a foul ball found the glove of a fan who was years in the waiting. While that game had very little impact on very few people, for one Twin’s fan it is etched forever in their memory.
Yes, the 2011 Twin’s aren’t very good. So what. You can still get a beer and a dog, even a pork chop-on-a-stick. Scott Baker might throw a no-hitter, Jim Thome might hit his 600th home run, Denard Span could get an inside-the-park home run, and you might be lucky enough to get a ball. For the true baseball fan your team’s position in the standings isn’t the most important thing, it’s going to the game and knowing that there is the possibility that something extraordinary could happen and the assurance that a day at the yard is better than just about anything.