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.
Why do people follow sports? Is it the love for a team? Maybe they appreciate the physical talent of the players. What about the passion for the game?
Those are all great reasons to follow a sport. However, there is nothing like the adrenaline rush from competition. The tension and drive during a game against a rival team brings the most exciting action and competition you will see and experience. And competition brings out the best trash talk.
And I am a champion trash talker.
Well…at least when I trash talk football; then I am the champ. Baseball is a little different, another learning curve for me. Since I am a devoted trash talker, I HAD to discover “the art” of being a baseball trash talker.
The Foundation: Minnesota Twins (or your choice of team—as poor as it may be)
If you want to become a successful trash talker, it is a MUST that you know how your team is structured. You should educate yourself on the character of your organization: how it’s run, the history behind the team, and who they are today.
- The Twins are known for growing their own talent. They don’t buy players just to make their team good (or look good). This is a very respectable point that can be used when trash talking a team who thinks they’ve got it all because they spend bazillions of dollars on their players. *Cough, cough, Yankees! Cough, cough.*
- The Twins have dominated the Central division of the American League for the past decade. Overall, the Twins have won 3 World Series titles, 6 AL pennants, 6 Central Division titles and 4 West Division titles. Not to mention, they have had many memorable players throughout their history, such as Harmon Killebrew, Kirby Puckett and Walter Johnson.
- The organization prides itself on involving the players and staff to support the community and its fans. Most recently, the Twins held a fundraiser where players would sign autographs to raise money to go toward fixing the tornado damage in the local area.
These are all great trash talking points to use when discussing the overall greatness of the Twins, and you can find them for your team. (This comes especially in handy when you’re team is off to a bad start of in kind of a slump, a la the Twins this year.)
Most trash talk during the season will be a discussion of teams’ current states. Right now, that’s not a strong point for the Minnesota Twins. Therefore, I’ve attempted to avoid using current numbers and game recaps when trash talking this season.
Here are the most important things to remember about a team’s current state as it relates to trash talk.
- Stats, stats, stats. I can’t stress enough the importance of knowing what the numbers mean. Your ability to understand the stats of players will give you a never ending stash of trash points to be ready when needed. Stats enable comparisons divisions and leagues, and the ones that make your team look good give you an upper hand when fighting for your team. This is the most challenging part of trash talk in baseball. There are TONS of stats to know, and I’m doing my best to learn them.
- You need to know your lineup. To have a good trash talk session, you need to know who is playing and who’s on the DL. It’s pointless for me to talk up Joe Mauer right now because he hasn’t been in the game. Not saying that he won’t knock everyone’s socks off when he does return, but I’m just going to wait for that to happen first.
- Most importantly, don’t forget that baseball is not won by a single game. I have made such a rookie mistake. After Francisco Liriano had his no-hitter against the White Sox in May, I made sure all my White Sox friends knew. Big mistake, as the Twins have faltered badly since. Now, the Twins have a 3-game series against the White Sox on June 14-16 and a 4-game series against them July 7-10. Thus, there is plenty of time and many games left for the White Sox to show the Twins up. You need to remember that one win doesn’t take the cake in baseball. (Of course, that’s not going to stop me from trash talking my friends. Nobody said I was perfect!)
Baseball is a long season with many games. You have to know when to give credit to your team and when to use other points of interest in your trash talking debate. It’s not easy to be a world class trash talker. But with time, successful studying, and a killer team, you will be unstoppable!