Is it better to have played and lost than not to have played at all? That is the question that popped into my mind while I was thinking about my blog for this week. The Twins had a four-game losing streak last week. Mind you, this is spring training where the games really don’t mean anything, but still after the fourth loss I was feeling a little melancholy. I know this goes against everything my mother taught me about the fact that we can’t win it all and that we love baseball just for the love of the game. It is still more fun to win! So much for my very altruistic feelings about baseball.
It was fun that the Twins stopped the losing streak by coming back from behind in their game against the Red Sox. This means they are tied in the annual spring training competition with that team, with the winner taking the Mayor’s Cup. I, of course, just went to the Internet to Google Mayor’s Cup to get the correct history of this rivalry. It turns out that it started in 1993 when the Red Sox moved to City of Palms Park. (Isn’t that a great name for a ball park?) The winner of the Mayor’s Cup is the team that has the most wins in games against each other. If there is an even number of games to play in a season and there is a tie, it stays with the team that won it the previous year. The first hit on my Google search took me to an article in the Naples News from 2010 that gives you a good story of this competition from the players’ perspective. For the record, Boston won the Cup last year but the Twins still have the edge in total wins.
In that article there’s a quote from Jim Thome, who says that even though spring training is about getting ready for the season, he still wants to win. “That’s what it’s all about,” Thome said. Which brings me back to my title question. The answer, of course, is yes. After the win over the Red Sox on Friday the team lost on Saturday, won yesterday, and split on Sunday. I feel fine about these losses because they are balanced with wins. Another great thing about baseball is that there are so many games that even after a win I know there is usually another chance tomorrow. I just don’t like those losing streaks, but I would like it even less to not have a team to cheer on.
I received some very nice comments after my blog entry last week about, well, blogging. I also talked to my son Jason about it. He agreed that it is better if I can blog more regularly. He told me that once I start doing that, I will find thoughts just popping into my head during the week. That is why it is 3:30 a.m. on a Tuesday morning and I am at my laptop writing this. I woke up and my headline came into my head, and I just had to get up and write. I have the luxury of doing this now because I no longer have to get up early in the morning with little kids and I don’t have to be at work as early as I used to.
After my noble thought that I would get up early Sunday mornings and write, this past Sunday was “family dinner.” This is a monthly gathering where our four kids all come home for dinner. It started out as a chance for us to gather and share stories from the past month. That lasted until we added our two grandchildren, Madeline and Sam. Now it is a wonderful free-for-all where there is still conversation, but there are probably four conversations going on at the same time. If someone has a birthday that month he or she gets to pick the menu. So March is my son-in-law John’s turn. He picked brats and burgers, and I knew he was dreaming about spring and warm weather and thoughts of grilling the meat. Weather did not cooperate for grilling, but the food was still good.
This is where baseball got me into an interesting “mess.” I was watching the Saturday morning talk show on KARE-11 a couple of weeks ago and Joe Mauer’s parents were on doing the cooking. They shared a recipe for Mauer Cup Brats, which I decided to make as a surprise for John. I substituted our favorite brats but made the Mauer family’s cheesy sauerkraut recipe (photo above). I believe my only comment was, “Wow.” In case you are wondering, the Mauer Cup is an annual kids’ baseball tournament that the Mauer family puts on to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. The news reporter did ask if it referenced Joe Mauer’s catcher’s equipment at all, which Joe’s mom quickly denied.
I hope you enjoyed my personal journal with reflections, comments and hyperlinks—in other words, my blog entry. Opening Day is getting closer: just a little over two weeks away. They took the cover off of Target Field this week, and the forecast is for all of our snow to be gone by the end of the week. We have indeed sprung forward—into baseball season.