The Twins won't make the playoffs this year. I (and hopefully every other Minnesotan) have come to terms with that.
The Twins have been the most consistently successful team we have had the privilege of following over the last decade, and anyone criticizing the organization or the players for missing the playoffs in this or any other year is at best short-sighted.
However, when the players fail to show up for "meaningless" games, give less than 100 percent when running to first on a grounder or just go through the motions, it is a personal affront to every man, woman and child in the state of Minnesota.
Watching a team that gives everything it has and still loses does not bother me. Personally, I'd rather watch my team give everything they've got in a losing effort than watch them win a game in which fundamental errors are made.
Being solely results-oriented in measuring the success or failure of a team often causes one to overlook the most important component of a winning franchise: pride.
Collectively, we Twins fans pay over $1.2 million just for the privilege of witnessing a single game at Target Field. We do this because of the pride we have as a state and the pride we take in watching our team represent us.
When we, in an economic climate that is perilously close to paralleling the 1929-1933 period, spend $1.2 million to see a team go through the motions, it is a dagger to the heart of every kid who dreams of being a Twin. It is a dagger to the heart of every father who is trying to teach his son to be a man, even in the face of insurmountable adversity. It is a dagger to the heart of every Minnesotan.
There are 28 Twins games left this year—28 opportunities for the Twins to be the hardest-working team in baseball, 28 opportunities for the Twins to represent the state of Minnesota and 28 opportunities to find the character to be future World Series champions.
Opportunities slip away every day. I hope the men privileged enough to don a Minnesota uniform take advantage of these rare opportunities; if not for themselves, for every Minnesotan who would trade everything for one chance to take their place for even one second.