Beginning Baseball: It’s Not Football–It’s BASEBALL!

Editor’s note: Amanda Lawson is a lifelong Green Bay Packers fan who is getting into baseball for the first time this year. After much deliberation and counsel, Amanda settled on the Minnesota Twins as her team. With “Beginning Baseball” Amanda is documenting her first season of baseball fandom.

Rough start. You could say that again.

After the excitement of choosing to follow the greatest team in baseball, I can’t help but feel a little down about the Twins start to the season.

It could be worse; the Twins could have a start like the Red Sox. But it could also be much better.

And it’s tearing me up. Why? One reason: my head is still stuck in football mode.

Football has been my “thing” since the beginning of my memory. However, it’s a completely different sport from baseball. Differentiating between the two is easily the biggest challenge I am having with baseball for two reasons.

1. The value of a loss.

Baseball has a million more games than football. A loss in baseball is going to happen. In fact, many losses in baseball are going to happen. And you’re going to lose series. With 162 games, you can’t expect to win them all.

Although, I would really appreciate it if the Twins would hurry up and win a series already.

This year is the first time since 1995 that the Twins have lost each of their first four series to begin a season. I’m starting to think I am bad luck.

And that’s my problem. In football, a loss can be detrimental to a team. And multiple losses can hurt your chances to make the playoffs. My friends are constantly reminding me, “Amanda, this is baseball. Not football. Don’t start worrying yet.”

joe-mauer-dlI will get the hang of it…eventually.

2. The Disabled List (DL)

When I first started getting my ESPN updates, most of them were about players being put on the DL. Here are some examples of why they were put on the DL:

  • dead arm
  • nerve irritation
  • bilateral leg weakness
  • cuticle injury

My initial thought was “Wow, what a bunch of girls.” I mean honestly, who goes on the DL for a cuticle injury?! Then I started to think about it. These players are playing games every day, multiple days in a row. They don’t have a week or two to recover between each game.

In baseball, it’s important to have depth at each position. And most of the time, teams have the depth to cover someone for at least a short period of time. So I am trying not to freak out when the Twins put someone on the DL. (Except when they put Joe Mauer on the DL because, frankly, we don’t have the depth at catcher and no one can replace Mauer.) Pulling someone else into the position for a few days or weeks isn’t difficult if you have the depth to cover your starter.

Since football is a direct contact sport, the injuries are bound to be more severe. And when injuries occur, it can have a huge, usually negative, impact on the team. Most of the time, it causes the team to change their style of play to fit the replacement’s capabilities.

These are the two challenges I am facing. Recognizing a loss’s value and an injury’s impact to the team. But I am getting better at understanding how each loss or injury will affect the Twins. However, that doesn’t make me feel much better about our situation.

Despite the fact that it’s only the start of the season, I am ready for the Twins to win. And I think the rest of their fans are too.

About Amanda Lawson

A Wisconsinite stuck in Iowa, Amanda began her journey as a new baseball and Twins fan by sharing her experience on Midwest Sports Fans with the Beginning Baseball column. You can follow her on Twitter @AmandaRLawson to stay up-to-date on the Green Bay Packers, Wisconsin Badgers, and other sports information. Besides her work on MSF, Amanda also contributes her Packer knowledge at PocketDoppler and co-hosts every Thursday night on CheeseheadRadio.


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