It’s Opening Day!
Alas, we still haven’t elected a President with the balls to do the right thing and make Opening Day a legal Federal Holiday and mandate that everyone who doesn’t work in a sports bar must be given the day off (and those who do work in sports bars must be paid double-time just for putting up with the rest of us who would spend our entire day drinking beer and watching baseball at said sports bars).
Yes, I’m aware that the season officially opened Sunday night in Houston, but I ignored that game completely (and, from what I hear, so did the Rangers, apparently).
Opening Day is supposed to be all about promise and hope. But if you read the stuff being written about our Minnesota Twins (and you must, or you wouldn’t be reading this), there isn’t much promise or hope for the Twins in 2013. Everyone… and I mean that in a very literal sense… is picking the Twins to finish dead last in the American League Central Division again this season. I haven’t seen a prognostication that foresees anything else.
It’s understandable. Almost everyone… fans and so-called “experts” in the industry, alike… has been underwhelmed by the moves made by the Twins’ front office this offseason, except as those moves pertain to the Twins’ fortunes two or three years down the road. But for 2013, the consensus is that the team did not do enough to rebuild last season’s attrocious pitching staff to make any significant move toward contention this summer.
It’s hard to disagree. I won’t recite all the criticisms that have been lobbed at General Manager Terry Ryan, but suffice to say that, while he certainly has different pitchers in his team’s rotation and bullpen this year, there is little belief outside of the Twins organization itself that the Twins pitching is significantly improved.
And maybe that’s a good thing.
You get a sense, listening to those inside the organization… players, their manager, certainly their GM and others inside the front office… that they DO believe they are a much better team this season. They believe they can contend with the rest of the Division, including the Tigers.
The players aren’t buying that Ryan’s offseason marching orders were to slash payroll and re-load for 2015 and beyond, leaving manager Ron Gardenhire to twist in the wind and take the fall when the inevitable 2013 collapse occurs.
Nor should the players buy in to that.
I hope they greet the season with an Us vs. Them attitude. Like the Indians team that Lou Brown managed in the film, Major League, they should be set on giving all of us naysayers a “big ol’ shitburger to eat.”
As fans, we have every right to be disappointed in the team’s performance on the field the past two years and their front office’s performance this offseaston. As players, they have every right to be disappointed in their fans for not believing in them. It’s how it should be.
We’ve all talked at times about how the Twins lack leadership… even lack character. Well, this season, we’ll see just what kind of character this team has. This season will challenge their character and even their manhood. They’re going to get knocked down a few times, but will they get back up and punch back?
After two gawdawful seasons, Twins fans are dying for something to root for. I know I am.
I don’t need a World Series Championship to get me cheering this team on. I don’t even need one of those Division Pennants that everyone was saying a couple of years ago wasn’t enough anymore.
I just need to see some fight in this team. Show me you don’t give a damn whether I or anyone else thinks you can win. Show me you believe in yourselves and your team mates and your manager. Show me you’re a professional who won’t stop swinging until the final bell rings.
If this year’s Twins can do that, I’ll be right there with them cheering them on, all season long. And I don’t think I’ll be alone.