Editorial: Rebuilding year, again?

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Are we excited that today is the opening day for the Minnesota Twins? Yes!

Are we excited that 2006 is being billed as a rebuilding year for the Twins? Well, um, uh, well, um, no.

How many rebuilding years in a row can a team have? It sure is a bad sign for the season when AAA farm team Rochester blows out the big-league Twins 15-3. Not just wins, which could be written off as a fluke, but whips them.

Nevertheless, we love the Twinkies. We love outfielder Torii Hunter. We love manager Ron Gardenhire. We love radio announcer Herb Carneal. We love baseball.

Sure, scandals with drugs from steroids to amphetamines have rocked baseball. Owners have made the tables uneven for small-market teams like ours in Minnesota. The World Series had comparatively low TV ratings. Football has captured the American audience.

But we still love baseball. We like being taken out to the ballpark. We like the strategy of baseball. We like how the game weaves individualism and teamwork. We like the suspense. We like the David and Goliath aspect, too.

It’s the same reason we enjoyed watching &8220;Bull Durham.&8221; We root that despite all the odds, all the turmoil, all the greed and bad calls and even fan interference, our hapless team will come through miraculously and show the world what they are made of. We like the underdogs.

And you know, even though the Twins lost to Rochester, they’ve been looking good this spring. They were probably thinking about winning the game today against Toronto.

Every now and then, a rebuilding year turns into a successful season. That’s what we’re rooting for. Go Twins!