Does anyone else feel their life spinning out of control during a pennant race? I stood looking in the mirror this morning and wondered how much longer I could hang on.
I'm up late writing or unwinding. I have a dining room table with two weeks of unopened mail and a planner full of procrastination. I'm eating like Prince Fielder and spending money like George Steinbrenner. All while I wear the same lucky shirt day after day. Things may not be falling apart yet, but some bolts sure need tightening.
It's affecting my relationships. I don't have anything else to talk about with friends. My own kids are amused by me. My marriage would likely be tested if my wife wasn't a huge Phillies fan. Being from Philly, she gets it. Most of that city is like this a half dozen times a year.
Thinking of Philly - that's when I recognized the taste. Youth. This week tastes like youth. Balancing on a wave that is close to out of control. Not sleeping, combined with too much emotion. Periods of waiting punctuated by hours of excess. Connecting with strangers, hanging with friends, accepting opportunities, stretching oneself thin - this bittersweet taste is youth.
We middle-aged guys tend to romanticize youth. We remember the highlights, the bonding, the freedom, the sense of purpose. We forget how many of our actions were driven by boredom or ignorance or insecurity.
But mostly we forget just how uncomfortable youth really is. Too often it feels like nothing fits. Things are too tight or too loose or they chafe. We find a way to handle it because it doesn't last long. We fight through it and forget it because of the highs.
Which is what Seth wanted to talk about on Saturday night's podcast. He wanted to hear about the highs of attending The Greinke Game, wanted a sense of the exhilaration. What did Mauer's single feel like? Delmon's double? The last out?
They felt like they're supposed to feel. They were loud, communal and chaotic. They were a layer of joy fueled by a mound of rage. They were a tomorrow and sea of yesterdays joined by a moment. They felt like youth.
And I hope it continues, because the highs are great. But thank gawd it doesn't last long.
But you don't come here to hear about my life falling apart, or at least I hope not. That would be a little morbid. You come here to read about the Twins, so let's review a handful of my Tweets from the weekend and expand on them a bit.
Keppel?!? What kind of Rasputin-type hold does he have on Gardy. And where are the Nobles when you need them?
You know who would be nice to have available right now? Perkins. #Twins are really showing him who is boss.
Right now, no lead feels safe. It feels a lot like the 2002 playoffs, when the bullpen got to the point where they were wilting en masse. That's forgivable most of the season - but not between September 1st and the postseason. The Twins could have another 15 relievers on the roster right now, but Bill Smith promoted just one - Armando Gabino. Who is a pitcher that Gardenhire trusted to throw all of 3.2 innings since being recalled at the end of August. Meanwhile, Glen Perkins is sitting at home, either as a punitive act, a fiscal act, or both.
It feels like there is some dysfunction going on that I can't entirely put my finger on. It doesn't feel like it's just Gardenhire or just Smith. Gardenhire stumbled upon a possible solution late in the game yesterday, when he turned to Brian Duensing and Francisco Liriano to pitch late innings. Let's hope that depth and some extra rest gets the bullpen back to a respectable level before they really need them.
OK, that's it for now. I got a date with The Voice of Reason. We'll talk tomorrow before The Big Game.