Here we go again, right?
First it was the Vikings starting 5-0 and getting everyone’s hopes up in the fall. Then it was the Wild going on a 12-game winning streak and making fans giddy this winter. Now we’re almost two months into this Twins season and here’s another first-place team making things interesting in the spring but also teetering lately.
When the undefeated Lynx continue to dominate in the summer, it will complete the season cycle. But that’s to be expected.
The Vikings, Wild and Twins? Their early surges were less expected for a variety of reasons, with the Twins being the most surprising after last year’s 59-103 debacle.
But I get the sense that because of the way those Vikings and Wild seasons turned out, combined with the natural tendency to wonder if the Twins are for real, there are some fans who are hesitant to get too excited. Those same folks might be ready to say “here we go again” after crushing back-to-back losses on Sunday and Monday.
To that notion, here are three ideas:
• It’s OK to be optimistic. In fact, it feels good. It was fun to feel that way about the Vikings, even though that 5-0 start devolved into an 8-8 finish. It was enjoyable to get excited about the Wild and believe a Stanley Cup run was possible, even though it ended after just five disappointing playoff games.
So try not to let the negatives of those other seasons impact how you feel about the Twins. This is fun. The warm months in Minnesota are better when the MLB team is interesting and competitive. Stop worrying about whether it will last and enjoy it for as long as it does.
• That said, optimism doesn’t mean you have to abandon reality. Please still think critically about rosters and strategies. The Vikings’ season was undone in large part because of a subpar offensive line — a legitimate worry that came true. The Wild couldn’t finish in the playoffs, an affliction that has plagued the franchise in past seasons.
If the Twins’ season comes apart, it will likely be on account of a thin pitching staff — a rotation and bullpen that will be tested by playing nearly every day between now and the All-Star break. We’ve seen the cracks at various points, including on this homestand. I spent part of Monday looking up available relief pitchers in Class AAA and AA for the Twins.
Debating what will happen and what moves the Twins should consider making is fun.
• Each of these seasons stands on its own. There might feel like there’s a connection between the seasons of the Vikings, Wild and Twins because of the timing and circumstances of the three, but I promise you the outcomes of the Wild and Vikings seasons have no bearing on how things will work out for the Twins.
And as always, none of this will have any bearing on the Lynx.