Twins new to the winning game

There we were – fans of Major League Baseball’s Minnesota Twins in what could be considered the national spotlight.

The World Champion New York Yankees brought baseball’s biggest payroll and most acclimated pitching staff to the crown jewel of baseball parks we call the Metrodome.

For those of you who don’t know the rest of the story, former Twin and current Yankee left fielder Chuck Knoblauch was targeted by – among other things – coins, beer, hot dogs and golf balls thrown by Twins “fans” in left field during a game on May 2.

I put the word “fans” in quotation marks because I wasn’t aware that Minnesota had anything close to the more than 35,000 that filled the Dome that night.

During the past two seasons, which happened to be the seventh and eighth consecutive losing campaigns for the Twins, the cheapest season ticket in baseball couldn’t buck the trend of a nearly empty ballpark. The only exceptions came on those nights spent honoring past heroes such as Minnesota’s Superman Kirby Puckett.

In fact, it was reported that a total of about 1,000 fans were still in their seats during the final inning of one of several games the Twins played throughout the summer (this one happened to be against Tampa Bay Devil Rays).

Two years ago a handful of Minnesota sports enthusiasts paraded around the Dome during another thrilling Twins game blaring purple trumpets, wearing Helga Hats and carrying a sign that counted down the days until the Vikings’ season opener.

Apparently some Minnesota sports fans would rather have their title hopes dashed in early January rather than having none to speak of in the first place.

With all of this evidence that the Twins were going nowhere and the minor detail that nobody seemed to be following them anyway, maybe we can shed some light on why those “fans” opted to turn the rubber match of a three-game series into Chuck It At Chuck Night.

An amazing start that surpassed everyone’s predictions of this team – and I do mean everyone’s predictions – has sparked a fever in Minneapolis.

We have to realize that the Twins fan was not ready for anything of this nature.

It’s been a good seven years since even a true Twins fan legitimately could hope for postseason baseball.

I know what you’re saying: it’s only May 10.

But even so, there is hope in Minneapolis. If the Twinkies play a few games above .500 the rest of the season, there’s a decent chance they’ll be playing October baseball.

The final three regular season games at the Dome this season are against the Cleveland Indians and might have playoff implications.

Hopefully something more exciting than flying hot dogs will still be at stake.