My Team Is Out of Contention And Now I Have To Cope

My Team Is Out of Contention And Now I Have To Cope

We’re just over a quarter of the way through baseball season and aren’t things going great? It’s already been a memorable season to say the least. Bryce Harper is hitting tanks and trying to “Make Baseball Fun Again.” Arrieta, Sale, and Kershaw are throwing like gods, while Big Fat Bartolo Colon hit the shot heard round the world. Best of all, Rougned Odor landed the most solid baseball punch in a decade.

The season is still young, and that means that most everyone is in the hunt. Lord knows the obnoxious creatures known as Cubs fans are letting everyone know how good they are, but really at this point it’s almost anyone’s game. But not everyone.

I’m a Twins fan and my season is done. Just like the Braves and Reds, my beloved Twinkies have shit down their leg faster than Fat Bastard after a Taco Bell run. The prospects have mostly struggled, the vets have been subpar at best, and the team is now going through what is being known as #TotalSystemFailure. Long story short, it’s the worst start in team history and now I don’t have a contender in my life, all before June.

I’ve been getting by; it hasn’t been easy, but I am. Today though, today I learn to cope. No more throwing the remote after yet another blown lead. No more hanging my head. No more crying desperately in the shower like I just figured out that Finkle is Einhorn. I didn’t get to watch a contender into September and then the playoffs, but not everyone does. I’ve just got to learn to deal with it earlier than usual.

If acceptance is the first stage, I’m way beyond that. By late-April I was already declaring this team cooked. Last year’s potent offense has had the impact of a pebble against concrete, and the bullpen looked about as good as Trump’s hair. It hurts, it hurts real bad, but you have to move on.

I don’t have to leave the team completely behind just yet. Joe Mauer has reached 75% peak Joe Mauer, as opposed to the ghost of his last couple years. He’s not hitting .320 anymore, but don’t be surprised if my Twitter gets lit every time he gets on base twice in a game. Joe chasing a .400 OBP is like my Ted Williams hitting .406. I’m also going to pull for the prospects to come up, get their feet wet, and get ready for next year. Otherwise, I’ve gotta hope for good deadline deals to ship off dead weight and just embrace sadness.

I’ll go all-in on my fantasy teams. At least with that I have some control over things (FYI, hey Twins, I actually spend money on pitching). I’ve got a friend in The Show and a few trying to get there, so I’ll focus on rooting for them a bit more, maybe hone in on some minor league action a bit earlier than usual. Seeing as the calendar is just turning to June, there’s plenty of time to do quality research on which bandwagon I’m going to hop on (Step up Astros, I really want to hitch a ride). While enjoying exciting call-ups and playoff races, I’ll still feel involved, just not fully whole.

Hell, I can look at this as an opportunity. No longer will I force myself to endure three hours of mediocre baseball. Instead I can use MLB TV to its full capacity, hopping around on games to take a look in at guys who are actually exciting. Twins getting dicksanded 7-0? No problem, Machado is batting in Baltimore so I think I’ll watch that instead. Braves and Reds fans, you know what I’m talking about. We can’t be sad over what we don’t have; instead just look at it as a chance to get out and meet new people. Have you ever watched a Mariners game post-Griffey? It’s actually kinda cool.

Eventually I won’t be alone. By the trade deadline many will join in watching their teams wither away like my short game on the back nine. Major League Baseball has a long season, and it feels twice as long when your team spends the majority of it in the cellar. But I’ll persevere. I’ll use this new freedom of being unshackled from the hope of a championship to explore other baseball endeavors. I’ll cope and I’ll survive until next year, and I’ll be happy. And I’ll only cringe and quietly swear when I get my score notification letting me know the Twins lost.

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Kyle Bandujo

The artist formerly known as Crash Davis. My kid doesn't think I'm funny.

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