Letter: There’s no place for youthful joy when Twins clinch playoff spot

Have I mentioned lately how much I love baseball?

On Wednesday night, having already lost to the Indians earlier, the Twins were watching the Los Angeles Angels game. If the Angels lose, the Twins go to the playoff “play-in” game against the Yankees.

The game is tied, it goes to extra innings. And then, in the bottom of the tenth inning, the White Sox win on a homerun.

Who would object to such a joyous moment?

Someone whose letter appears today in the Star Tribune’s Letter to the Editor section, of course.

  • Gary Leatherman

    OMG, this. I was drinking with my soccer buddies Weds night and watching the Twins celebration. Half of them had the same reaction as the letter writer. What the hell? Why NOT celebrate? It’s a hella long season and they have fought hard with little to no one believing they could win anything, much less make the playoffs. Why would you not celebrate?! Yes, it is for only one more game. Yes, again, the odds of winning that one game are daunting. But they have exceeded all expectations, all season long. WHY NOT CELEBRATE?! Moments of joy are few and far between the hard work of living. Enjoy it, savor it, and even (clutch-the pearls) celebrate it when you can fellow Minnesotans, and GO TWINS!

    • QuietBlue

      Because this is Minnesota, and making a big deal about things (to say nothing of big displays of emotion) is un-Minnesotan.

  • KariBemidji

    How long has Barry lived in Minnesota? Obviously he has not built the appropriate layer of scar tissue over his heart from so many missed field goals, crappy seasons, torn knee ligaments… We need to celebrate the big and small sports moments when we have them.

  • Ben Chorn
    • Dang kids! Ruining a perfectly good World’s Fair!

      Back in MY day…[story trails off]

    • John O.

      He did not say if the mini-donuts were edible.

  • Jay T. Berken

    Cause its when people of all creed, sex, political, racial and sexual orientation strips forget their different persuasions for a moment and come together in celebration.

  • BReynolds33

    I wonder if our good friend Barry has ever celebrated anything in his life. A birthday, a graduation… anything. I mean, all that money spent on cake could have gone to a good charity.

    I wonder if he ever buys anything he doesn’t actually need. New shoes when the old ones are still wearable? Does he own more than one shirt? I mean, he could just wash the one every night and give the rest of the money to a good charity…

  • Gary F
  • Gary F

    Barry, if you watched the video, the booze cart even had a recycle bin. Go celebrate that.

    • Also, I’ll bet the champagne WAS pretty cheap…

      • Gary F

        I know its a million dollar game so they could buy good booze. But if its just going to be used for “Body on Tap” shampoo, I’m glad they used Bud and asti.

  • A-man

    Barry must work for a Coke distributor.

  • Jeff C.

    What if, instead of professional baseball players, the people we are talking about were amateur singers living in a small town in Minnesota. A group of people who had a dream to make it big in show business. So they formed a band and performed. For a year they played for anyone who would listen, and almost everyone said they same thing after they performed — “you suck.” But they didn’t give up. Instead, over the winter, they worked individually to become better singers. In the spring they got together and worked together to be a better band. They worked for hours every day. In April they started performing again — people said they were better, but not great, and they certainly weren’t going to make it big. The band practiced more, for hours and hours every day. They played more shows. They got better and better, but they didn’t stop working hard. In June they learned about a talent show that would happen in the fall — “World Stars”. In order to be on the show, they had to be the best band in the area. If they were, they’d compete against other bands from other areas of the country. The winner of the contest would be the World Stars champion and would be known all around the world! So they kept working hard, practicing day after day for hours and hours. They kept getting better. They entered small talent shows — and they kept winning them! Not all of them, but lots. Still, a lot of the people who heard them play last year remembered how bad they were and said that they’d never make it. Stage fright. Laryngitis. Personality conflicts. People had various reasons why they band would fail. But they didn’t. They kept working, playing more and more great shows, and winning more and more regional talent shows. By late September they were one of the best bands in the area. There were just a few more regional talent shows left, and who ever won the most of them would get to the first round of World Stars. One night, they played one of their talent shows…and won! Elsewhere, two other top bands were playing against each other. But not just any two bands – one band was the best band from L.A. The other band was the best band from Chicago. If the Chicago band won, then, because of the way the point system of the regional talent show works, the Minnesota band would get to compete in the first round of World Stars. This band, that for years, heard people yell, “You suck!”; this band who worked for hours and hours every day for months and months; this band, who had always dreamed of making it big in show business, finally, FINALLY, had a chance to make it. A chance to prove all those nay-Sayers wrong. So guess what happened when the Chicago band won????

    Ending #1:
    One band member slapped another one on the back and said, “We’re going to the World Stars. You excited, buddy?” And his friend replied, “You bet.”

    Ending #2:
    The band members jumped up and down together, laughing and screaming with joy, celebrating their years of hard work and not listening to the haters.

    Which ending would Barry pick?

    Which ending do you think is more real?

  • RBHolb

    “And stay off my lawn!”

  • Jack Ungerleider

    It was one thing when the Twins were in contention for the division (might have been the wild ride of 2006) and they celebrated clinching a “playoff spot” and then clinching the division. Here this is the only possibility they had to get to the playoffs. When they clinched it was a big deal.

    Especially when they were given no chance to make the playoffs at the beginning of the season. Bleacher Report had them coming in 4 in the division just ahead of Chicago. The ESPN prognosticators didn’t have them on any list of possible playoff teams. The vaunted FiveThirtyEight.com gave them a 14% chance of making the playoffs at the start of the season. At the trade deadline they were at 10% just before (July 28) and 5% just after (Aug 4). [No wonder they were “sellers” at the deadline.] It was only in the last couple of weeks that they reached a better than 50% chance to make the playoffs. So yeah, they had something to celebrate.

  • Rob

    I am manifestly brimming with youthful joy and exuberance alongside the Twins, and will be in this heightened state until the play-in game – which is bound to be a yuuuuge joy-crusher.

  • Jeff

    Barry clearly has his standards. However he leaves us begging for answers: “What is the threshold for celebration”? “What is an expensive Champagne*?” I hope he can answer this before the next round of the playoffs.

    *Champagne can only be called Champagne if it originates in the Champagne region in France otherwise Barry is running afoul of the EU. Judging from the fuzzy video I think it was a sparkling beverage other than Champagne.

  • Brendan K.

    Jeez, Barry! The MN Twins donate hundreds of thousands of dollars every year, if not more, to dozens of community organizations through the Minnesota Twins Community Fund. And they’re transparent about all of it. Forget the playoffs, they’ve earned the right to celebrate this kind of consistent charitable activity.

  • Bob Sinclair

    Not that I agree with Barry, but come on – give the guy a break. He’s just as entitled to his opinion about this as you all are. Why is this even an issue?

    • wjc

      He can have his opinion. We’re just telling him how wrong it is. :^)

    • Laurie K.

      Barry CAN have his opinion, and we can have an opinion about his opinion! 🙂

    • Bob Sinclair

      I guess what bothers me about this particular “discussion” is that, yes we can have a spirited debate about celebrations, but Barry is not here to defend himself. Could it be there is something in his background that precludes him from seeing this as joyful? It would be interesting to hear his story.

  • wjc

    I loved baseball (White Sox fan) when I was a kid, but I have fallen out of love since the steroid debacle.

    That said, if you can’t celebrate after going from 103 losses in 2016 to a playoff berth this year, you will rarely if ever have a chance to celebrate.

  • Santana is completely capable of beating an overrated Yankees team. After that it gets a little murky.

  • Nato Coles

    I have said it here before, and I will say it here again – I was once shushed at a Twins game at Target Field. You will have to take my word for it, here in the comments section, but my friends and I weren’t drunk and rowdy – just enthusiastically discussing the game and baseball esoteria in general.

    I’ve been to 16 of the ballparks that currently exist, and a few that no longer do. I’ve seen a LOT of games. Only one fanbase has ever shushed me.

    I wonder if it was Barry?

  • Mike Worcester

    I read the Twins Daily blog on a pretty regular basis and the discussion they had on this subject revolved not around celebrating per se, but whether or not it was appropriate to celebrate a wild card spot rather than a division championship. The prevailing attitude was generally no party for a w.c., but hey, it’s been a while and we had a bad run of seasons so….sure, why not, pop the corks!

    • That’s silly, I think . What these Twins did was remarkable. They were given up for dead by their own bosses. Sure, maybe they looked like the Cubs celebrating a series, but I can’t deny them the joy of celebrating what they did.

      I remember our high school hockey team was 0-19 going into the last game. We tied 2-2 (I had an assist, thank you very much) to finish 0-19-1 and we celebrated that last non-loss like we won the Stanley Cup.

      Who did we hurt by celebrating? Nobody. Same as the Twins.

      This is the “participation trophy” crowd hard at work again sure that this means the ruin of all of us.

      • Mike Worcester

        I do not consider myself a baseball purist by any stretch so if they want to celebrate, by all means, celebrate. (And I think of the one scene in the great movie, Eight Men Out when the Chi Sox clinched the pennant and the players opened the champagne given by owner Charles Comiskey and then they noticed it was flat. Random thought, I know 🙂 ).

      • theoacme

        My Little League team in southern Illinois, where the manager said “everyone will get to play”, but I had 10 official at-bats in a 21 game season…

        …we were 0-20 going to the last game (so, OK, I wasn’t that good, but on an 0-20 team, the starters weren’t that good either), then I had an 0-2 game (walked, g 4-3, and reached on an e3), scored a run, and then, in the sixth inning…

        …two outs, leading 4-2, two runners on for the opponents, fly ball hit deep to right field (and no “don’t hit to right field” rule), I stumbled back to the fence, and somehow caught the ball reaching over the fence…and we won…

        …there was no celebration, I don’t think anyone thought of it, but we should have…and Barry didn’t thank us for not celebrating, either…

        …when the Twins come back from Cleveland tied 1-1, maybe we can have a celebration at Target Field, you, me, and 240,000+ of our closest friends, and really cheese Barry off? 😉

  • frightwig

    Barry wins the “Get Off My Lawn!” award for today, but it is kind of funny to watch celebrations after championship games from the ’60s and ’70s on ESPN Classic. The players look really happy, hopping around and shaking hands, maybe hugging and clapping each other on the back, some whoops and hollers, maybe some beer and champagne comes out–but it’s often nothing like the dogpiles and ecstatic screaming and champagne showers everywhere like we’re used to seeing now, even after teams clinch a spot in a one-game Wild Card play-in. It makes me think that a lot of it is just performative ritual. At some point, players learned that this is what you do when you win something with any sort of title attached–this is how you celebrate.

    Come to think of it, I wonder when it became practically expected for fans to light their city on fire when the local team wins a championship, too.

  • tyrole

    They should act like they’ve been there before….oh wait they haven’t!! Win Twins!!