News of the Twins, riding by shadow and twilight

The Minnesota Twins open their 2013 season on Monday. This season’s opener is decidedly less optimistic than last year’s, which was the first season in quite a long time that there was no perceptible optimism whatsoever from anyone except people earning paychecks from the Minnesota Twins. And last year went terribly. So we’ve got this to look forward to.

There is always hope, though, and where hope takes root optimism follows in its own time.

This is also the first season in a long time where I won’t be watching on television. We made the change, at my suggestion, to a reduced satellite TV package at the house and the channel that shows Twins games didn’t make the cut. So I’ll be listening on the radio once in a while, catching them on national games of the week (Ha!), and finding scores where I can.

In truth, this is how I experienced the Twins when I was a child, when my support for them was yet unmarred by adult cynicism. The Twins were something followed in the pages of the local newspaper. News of their successes and failures passed through messengers, uncles and old men who knew my family. Days would go by and these dispatches would contain not one, but several scores.

I went camping with a friend one time and asked a strange old man playing horseshoes if he knew how the Twins had done Friday and Saturday. “Lost two,” he told me. “Detroit.” Why do I remember this? But I do.

The Twins are folklore now. Their existence to me is faith incarnate. I know they are there. I know they will probably lose, but maybe not? Perhaps if the light shines on me I will go to the cathedral in St. Paul to see the proof.

But only if I get a good deal on tickets. Because Detroit looks tough this year.

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