A season like this one makes me appreciate what happened in 2006 that much more. Was it really a year ago that we were watching the Twins beat the White Sox on that season’s final Sunday and then watching the amazing ending of the Kansas City-Detroit series? I guess so. Sunday, I’ll admit to watching the Vikings-Packers game and sneaking peeks every now and again at the season-ender from Fenway.
Lots of people will be weighing in with what went wrong and what needs to be done to fix the Twins. I’ll offer up some thoughts as the off-season gets going.
For now, though, I want to step back and tell you that it’s been an honor to talk baseball with you all. When we first started the Strib’s baseball blogs, I imagined a tight-knit community of commenters that would weigh in now and again in response to the wisdom of Joe, LaVelle and myself.
I looked up the numbers last night, did the math and saw that the three of us have combined for 1.97 million page views going back to the beginning of Spring Training. (Like the Twins, I came in third behind the beat writers.) Someone today is likely to make the 6,000th comment posted on this blog, not counting the spammers. I never would have guessed we’d engage so many of you. I’ve met a few of you, and traded e-mails with a few more.
When I stopped covering the Twins, I went for a couple of years without watching much baseball. I’d seen more than 750 games over those five seasons and I was kind of burned out. The joy started to return when my son was old enough to go to games and to understand what was going on. (Jose Lima threw him a baseball once and he’s stil The Youngster’s favorite player.) The love increased when I met a woman who hasn’t said “No” to a baseball game in three years (save for a couple of family conflicts) and will be crushed if Johan goes elsewhere. Because the thrill is in the chase of a six-month season, the four division titles have been almost as much fun for me as the World Series triumphs, although I totally understand if your view differs.
Now it’s on to other things. The wonderful writing students I’m teaching this semester at that well-known athletic powerhouse, Macalester College. The Youngster’s senior year in high school and his college quest. The theater exploits of Ms. Baseball’s wonderful girls, who own a Venezuelan flag autographed by Johan and Silva. The day job at the newspaper, which has nothing to do with sports.
But I promise there will be time to talk baseball.
The game’s that good, even when the outcome isn’t what you want.