It was an inauspicious start to the Twins season Monday, a convincing 4-0 Opening Day loss at Detroit. Back at Target Field, at an event for hard-core fans to watch the game on the big screen, things didn’t get off on the right note, either.
A couple of dozen fans who arrived before the 11 a.m. event start time stood outside Gate 29, where they believed they would be let in, shivering on a wet and chilly April day as the minutes ticked past. By 11:10 a.m., with the gate still closed and no relief in sight, one woman wondered, “Maybe they forgot us?”
That slogan will not be appearing on any Twins merchandise. Eventually, an official found the masses, apologized for the mix-up and led them into Target Field — where lunch and warmth were served.
In the hour between arriving in the Champions Club and the return back to the office — where the negativity of Twitter took over unsurprisingly and not altogether undeservedly — I was reminded there are fans who have eternal optimism.
As first pitch approached, fans easily numbered triple digits. There were enough of them, and it was cold enough outside, that the Twins also opened the Metropolitan Club.
Sue Clair, a season-ticket holder who went to all 81 home games in 2014 — seeing 35 wins and 46 losses in the team’s fourth-consecutive 90-loss season — is ready for more.
“I’m very optimistic,” she said. “I love that Torii Hunter is back in the fold. I think he’s going to add a lot to the team — not just in the clubhouse, but on the field, too.”
Clair goes to games with Kris Anderson. They listen to the radio broadcast during games. They keep score. And they record games to watch later (only if the Twins win).
“I hope Ricky Nolasco does better this year. I love Brian Dozier and I can’t wait to see Danny Santana at shortstop. And I love Kurt Suzuki,” Anderson said. “We’re hoping for better this year.”
A few seats down, Chris and Trish Jette were in prime position to watch the video board. Not even Ervin Santana’s 80-game suspension could dampen their enthusiasm.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how the new coaching staff does,” Chris said. “It’s hard with the 80-game suspension, but it opens up something for somebody else.”
Twitter and the scoreboard suggested otherwise, but if you looked hard enough you could still find Twins optimism on Opening Day. With the Twins guaranteed not to lose Tuesday, let the good times roll.