On the evening of Friday, June 16, 1994, my friend Scott Hyland stopped by the house. I don't remember if it was an unannounced drop in or just a quickly planned visit. I just remember it turned into a fantastic evening filled with good conversation, laughter, music and a couple of beers. And at the end of the evening, I was very glad he'd come.
The next day I was even more glad.
Because, for those of you who don't remember, June 16, 1994, was the evening when Al Cowlings drove his friend Orenthal James Simpson very slowly around the greater Los Angeles area for about two hours, followed by about 20 police cars and the eyeballs of every sad loser in the world who didn't have anything better to do on a Friday night than watch "breaking news" on TV.
If Scott hadn't come by, I'm pretty sure I would have been one of those losers. So thank you, God, for presenting better offers.
Last night was a similar deal. Some friends had a get together. Corinne (my completely insane wife…but that's a different story) and I attended and enjoyed a wonderful evening of talking, laughing, eating, drinking and enjoying weather that can't accurately be described as fall.
And one of the key advantages of this particular gathering on this particular evening was that it included no baseball fans. So it saved me the weeping anguish (or, even worse, resigned apathy) of watching this.
I just need to let go. I need to revise my expectations and clarify what baseball should mean to me. I should define the value that I find in baseball and eliminate the excesses that can evidently only lead to heartache.
Moving forward, baseball to me will be:
- An optimistic and eagerly anticipated sign that; when spring training starts, spring is on its way.
- An enjoyable radio soundtrack to a summer Friday evening barbecue or a Sunday afternoon garage project.
- A beautiful way to blow a bunch of money at least once a year on tickets, parking and overpriced concessions.
- Something to fill the sports scene until the NFL season has a chance to get into full swing.
I won't have any October expectations from Minnesota baseball in the future. I won't. I can't.
So thank you, Gina and Eric, for offering me a distraction last night. And thank you, Twins, for helping to make my summer great…but my fall miserable. (Don't you know that last part is supposed to be the Vikings' job?)