I absolutely love being a Twins fan. They aren't the flashiest of teams, and this year they've seen a lot of their fundamentally sound play dissipate. Their bullpen isn't as dominant as it used to be, and statistically speaking they've been incredibly lucky. Yeah, lucky. But the thing is, they're a team that really makes their own luck, and when they get the breaks they feel like they're deserved. Anyone who follows them understands how and why they win games: not just because they do the little things right, but because they persevere. Because they believe.
I read a chat with ESPN analyst Keith Law in which someone (update: not Keith Law) wrote briefly about the Twins and their "luck". The comment read, "I dislike the Twins because their success is largely based on unquantifiable playing style. If I can't measure success, it probably doesn't really exist." Mr. Law's response was, "And it's not "playing style," it's just luck."
Just because you can't quantify something doesn't mean it doesn't exist. The success of the Twins is a very tangible thing. You don't just see the results, but you can also experience the "why" behind those results. As a Twins fan I've been constantly in touch with their success. I see the hustle, hear the excitement, feel the energy within this team. I can't quantify it, but I can certainly experience it. You can't really quantify emotions, but they exist. Same with the success of the Twins. We can call it "playing style" or "heart" or "luck" or whatever we want. But it does exist. Mr. Law doesn't like the Twins because he isn't a believer. He doesn't have the faith.
But there is something out there - something real - called Twins' baseball. Anyone who has been a Twins fan can assure you that it does exist. We might not be able to quite put our finger on it, but we know it's there.
Twins' baseball is an unquantifiable ideal. It's a belief that the Twins can win, no matter the odds. It's a style that culls favor from the baseball gods. It's nobodies becoming somebodies. It's playing baseball the right way, no matter which way we're playing it. Twins' baseball is hustle and heart, taking advantage of the little things and not letting the big things stand in your way. It's can-do and won't-quit. It's the interconnected fans that make up Twins Territory, each one of us believing that if we don't expect success then we're more likely to see it. And it's the justification of those secret hopes.
For those of us who believe, Twins baseball is a reward for our faith.
We're gonna build something this summer