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Axel Kohagen

People Forget Casey Struck Out (Twins versus Indians - Games 159-162)

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Headaches, Old and New (Twins 5 Indians 6 - Game 159)

A busy day ended with a headache and an early trip to bed, like I was a starting pitcher getting the hook.

It occurred to me, annoyed by pain as I was, that I might be lucking out. After all, I had a reason not to pay attention to baseball.

Grinding out the last few months of recaps has reminded me baseball really only has a few stories. The dominating conquerors. The wily Cinderellas. The damned losers.

I feel like the Twins haven't lost enough to be interesting failures this year. There may not be a tale to tell this time.

Monstrosities (Twins 6 Indians 12 - Game 160)

I only had one day at Crypticon, the yearly horror convention where I get autographs from fiendish monsters and the heroes who outlast their onslaughts. This year meant autographs from regally evil Sybil Danning, most fearless chainsaw-fighting hero Caroline Williams, and monster man Derek Mears. Got an autograph from local scream queen Sarah French, who once talked to me about visiting "Moonlight" Graham's grave in Rochester after I told her I co-wrote a baseball horror novel.

It's like Twins Fest, but with shorter lines and more blood. You can get bobbleheads there.

I checked the score of the Twins game, and clearly no one minds kicking this team when they're down. These games are forgotten as soon as they're entered into scoresheets.

Three Years in Mudville (Twins 1 Indians 5 - Game 161)

MLB moved this game up for the Indians, who set up and knocked 'em down. Rainy day, too.

I'd hate for this nihilist attitude to come across as hateful to the players. The boys with the bats are clearly still playing. Time, though, it's moved on. Future books about the team will include this season in a short chapter with tiny paragraphs.

Winning isn't everything, and it may be the only thing . . . that weaves you into history.

No Joy (Twins 1 Indians 5 - Game 162)

Twins lost. It's over for this year.

When Stewart O'Nan and Stephen King wrote about the Red Sox, the Boston team won the World Series. Logically, I knew the Twins weren't really going to do that, no matter how much of a fan boy I can be.

I wanted to see if you could write a story about a team doing nothing, and becoming nothing, for the third year in a row. I wanted to do it without being bratty or accusatory. I wanted to find nobility in a broken-down season.

I tried. I failed, too.

Instead, I wrote about my life in Mudville, after Casey whiffed on the last pitch of the ninth. There was no joy in it for me, of course.

In truth, I am a kneejerk fan who waits for the victories and mutters his way through the losses. And I don't blame myself. Sports provide me with the dramatic joy living real life doesn't always provide.

I love the Minnesota Twins, and I wish them a great off-season of putting the pieces together. But the fat lady sings in operas, Twins fans, and I won't be screaming in delirious happiness until this baseball team makes a big, bold splash into the post season.

Because I am an unapologetic fan. And this is what fans are for.


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