The Wide Angle: Just roll with me on this
Published 7:01 am Sunday, March 12, 2017
This past Monday, I sat in the living room contemplating the reality of a thunderstorm warning/tornado watch in March and finding the silence and sudden disappearance of both cats suspicious.
I wasn’t contemplating much else aside from those things, though the idea of folding laundry snuck into my mind despite the attempt to hold off such a foolish idea. Instead, I turned to TV where I stumbled from channel to channel finding virtually nothing. Monday’s are an abyss of TV programming where you have either reruns or shows I’ve had no interest in watching.
So, I guess it’s my abyss.
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Eventually, I landed on the Major League Baseball channel not because of anything in particular but because as I was shuffling past the channel and wondered why there was a show with John Smoltz and Jack Morris.
Smoltz was an ace for the Atlanta Braves and Morris pitched for the Twins. The two of them faced each other in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series, a game that on the MLB Networked ranked No. 2 in their 20 Greatest Games countdown.
So naturally, as somewhat of a fair-weather Twins fan, I started watching.
The game goes down in history for a number of reasons. First off, it was a world class pitching duel between Smoltz and Morris. Morris would eventually get the win, being only the first starting pitcher since the Met’s Tom Seaver in 1969 to win an extra-inning game in the World Series and he did it after pitching the first game of the series.
And never mind the game winning hit coming from Gene Larkin in the bottom of the ninth, a deep-field blooper on a drawn-in outfield to score Dan Gladden from third.
The series as a whole has gone down as one of the greatest World Series of all time. It provided so many great moments as to cement the game as a battle between two teams that just one year earlier finished at the bottom of their divisions.
I don’t remember much of the series as a whole, but I do remember Kirby Puckett’s home run that forced a game seven.
This is where things get serious because this isn’t about that one game, or even that series, viewed by many as one of the best World Series’ ever. Rather, it’s how we segue into my conspiracy theory and bold prediction for 2017. The Minnesota Twins are your impending 2017 World Series champions.
Go ahead. I’ll wait as you reserve your series tickets.
Got them? Behind home plate, six rows up? Awesome. Save me an over-priced beer and hot dog.
I have a lot of reasons to throw World Series predictions out there — none of them good or based on facts, a lot like people who see contrails as the government spraying us chemicals.
First, it’s important to establish that to be a fan of any Minnesota team, you have to be an eternal optimist which means a good many of you might believe in unicorns and that’s okay. Minnesota teams, especially the Twins may need a little magic by the time things are well and done.
But you almost have to will it into existence that any team will win a championship — some more than others. Those of you wishing and praying for a Timberwolves title … Carl Anthony Towns is good, take what you get.
So off that, I feel pretty good saying it feels right that the Twins would make a run.
Listen, if you keep laughing you’re not going to be able to read what I write. Grow up.
Here is why it feels right. In both 1987 and 1991 the Twins were coming off dreadful seasons where they occupied their elderly mother’s basements. They were terrible.
In 1986 they were 71-91, sixth in the AL West at that time, occupying previously mentioned basement with the Seattle Mariners. They had the second lowest total of fans that season at 1,255,453. But they had some players starting to make some noise: Kirby Puckett and Kent Hrbeck with established pitchers Frank Viola and Bert Blyleven and it marked the first year for Tom Kelly as manager.
Suddenly in 1987 the Twins vaulted to a 85-77 record and went on to beat the St. Louis Cardinals with the one of the lowest winning percentages for a World Series champion.
Then in 1990, after a string of bad luck called being a Minnesota professional sports team, they moved back into the basement with again many of the players from 1987 with of course some new entries. They finished 74-88 and finished a mind-numbing 29 games back from the Oakland Athletics.
Jump to 1991 and they reversed things again finishing with a 95-67 record, beat the Atlanta Braves and was the first team to go from worst to first and win a World Series.
One more jump forward to last year and they finished 59-103 and because the Twins always strive for excellence, finished a depressing 35 and a half games back.
You see, with all that proof, it’s irrefutable — World Series champs and they will do it with Brian Dozer, Joe Mauer, that one pitcher and then that other pitcher and … oh … that guy who catches!
So, for the future, all you people who think the Vikings will be the first in recent memory to win a championship, or the Wild, just keep this mind — Minnesota Twins, World Series, feel free to call me and congratulate me when I’m right.
If I’m wrong, just remind yourself that I should probably be wearing a tinfoil hat. It will be better for all of us.