As a long-time resident of the state of Minnesota, I’ve always admired the Twins Baseball organization. For a small market team, they’ve done quite well, winning the World Series in 1987 and 1991. The hallmark of the Twins’ organization is a fantastic farm system, which has the uncanny ability to develop quality players such as Johan Santana and Joe Mauer. The Twins are the essence of baseball efficiency. They produce better results with less money than practically any major league baseball organization. If you go back to when they were the Washington Senators and remember that the Senators won the World Series in 1924, the Twins/Senators are 3 for 3 in World Series appearances. The Twins don’t get to the World Series very often, but when they do, they’re deadly!
Even in this 2006 campaign, in which the team may not make the playoffs, the Twins contend in virtually all of their games. Furthermore, they’ve got heart and there’s not much cockiness in the clubhouse. When you’re a Twin, you’ve got to be humble and just play baseball. After all, Minnesota isn’t exactly the center of the national media circus!
Last August our family bought a second home in Chicago, only four blocks from Wrigley Field. As a result, I’m a Cubs fan “by investment”, but I refuse to abandon my Twins! I reconcile my split allegiance by affirming that the Twins are my American League team and the Cubs are my National League club. Because “The Friendly Confines” of Wrigley Field are so close to the house, it is easy to attend a game when I’m in Chicago. On weekday home games I’ll often wait until the start of the third inning and walk up the street looking for a ticket from the scalpers. By then, they’re desperate! I can usually get in for five bucks! They say, “Hey, man, this ticket is right behind home plate…it’s worth a lot more than five bucks.” I respond, “Buddy, the third inning has started, in 5 minutes this ticket might as well be notebook paper!” It’s always fun dealing with the scalpers in the third inning!
All of my life I’ve heard about how frustrating it is to be a Cubs fan. You hear about events like the “billy goat curse” when Chicago tavern owner William Sianis brought his pet goat to Wrigley Field for a 1945 World Series game with the Detroit Tigers. Even though Sianis had a ticket for the goat, the animal was refused admittance because of his bad smell. Sianis put a curse on the Cubs, who lost the series to the Tigers and haven’t won one since. You might think that something as ridiculous as a billy goat curse would long have been forgotten by Cubs fans. Think again; a Bank advertisement currently running at Wrigley Field mentions “The Curse.”
Where the Twins are 3 for 3 in World Series appearances, the Cubs are 2 for 8. They last won a World Series in 1907 and 1908! To put this in perspective, Harry Caray, the legendary Cubs announcer, was born and died without seeing the Cubs win a World Series! Come to think of it, probably millions of Cubs fans were born, lived, and died without seeing the Cubs win the Series.