Posted by: Peter | October 6, 2009

Speechless

I excel, I think, at reducing large amounts of quantitative information into digestable and understandable forms. I’m not so good at conveying the emotional intensity of baseball at its best. So what can I say about Twins game 163, which is one of the very best baseball games I’ve ever witnessed?

Well, the last few days have clearly established that two of the greatest trades in Twins history were the ones that brought Delmon Young and Orlando Cabrera to Minnesota.

Of course, I don’t actually believe that. I still think those trades were bad for all the reasons that have been said before. And the actual best trade ever is obviously the AJ trade. But it’s certainly strange to come to the point where the Twins are in the post-season in no small part because of a late hot streak by Young and a timely home run by Cabrera. Of course, even those heroics don’t make up for the fact that Young and Cabrera were awful for most of their at-bats with the Twins this year. And even their awesome late outbursts didn’t contribute nearly as much to the team as Joe Mauer did by just being the best hitter in the game, month after month. But there’s objective metrics, and then there is, in Bill James’s wonderful phrase, “the politics of glory.” So I stick by a text I sent to my long-distance Twins buddy CK, after Delmon came up with another huge hit:

Dear Delmon Young: all is forgiven

Literally (like, literally literally) during tonight’s game, I was jumping in the air, shouting and pumping my fist multiple times during that game, and just as often I was on the verge of collapsing on the floor. My emotional state, recorded in a series of text messages with CK, ranged from

O-Cab: best trade in Twins history, after Delmon Young

To:

Dear god no not Bobby Keppel

And back to total elation in the end. My sunny mood is probably short-lived, because unless you believe in “momentum” (which I don’t), you have to think that the Twins are now utterly exhausted and ready to be torn apart by the Yankees tomorrow. But I can honestly say that this was a great Twins season even if it goes no farther than this.

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