What do I have in common with Nick Punto this offseason? We're both looking for a new team. One of us will inevitably end up back with the Twins, and it's not going to be me. After much prayer, soul-searching, and consultation with my brother, I have come to realize that I am not a Twins fans. Relationships take work, but I'm doing more than my fair share. Unlike an interpersonal relationship, with a sports team, the fan should just have to show up. The Twins may go on to great success without me, but I have concluded that I wouldn't really enjoy being along for the ride.
Despite all the hate for Punto I know his (potential) departure will not fix the franchise. Deep down, Twins fans do not hate Punto because he is the cause of the team's mediocrity. The anger is because he symbolizes everything that is wrong with this franchise. The Twins try too hard to create the "Little Engine that Could" image. Gardy is still here, and he's more than eager to have some speed in his middle infield. He's just another symptom, though. When you combine fancy new stadium, "We're just happy their competitive" fans, a weak division, a hometown hero, and a business savvy ownership, you're going to get what the Twins have been.
What will I do without the Twins? Especially during the World Series, I realized that it's baseball I love. I have always wondered what it's like to root for another team. Most baseball fans have tunnel vision on their team. When you only watch one team, you notice every flailing strike three, every booted grounder, and every boneheaded bullpen decision. Are other teams managers just as dumb? Are their middle infielders just as pathetic? I'm looking forward to finding out. At least all the players start with a clean slate.
In the coming weeks, I will try to chronicle my search for the new team. I think already have it narrowed down to a short list, but I'll try to build some drama while I research contenders.