Keep your faith in the Twins

A good sports fan is tenaciously faithful, a person that stands next to his or her team with unwavering loyalty, through thick and thin, through championships and last-place finishes.

Actually, that sounds a lot like a Twins fan to me.

Unfortunately, these last few seasons appear to be one of those last-place-finish kind of times.

Minnesota dropped its 12th game from their last 13 yesterday afternoon, their 16th loss from their last 20, and that isn't even to mention the 10-game skid we endured earlier in the season.

I'm no fair-weather fan, but I can't remember a time when my appreciation of and respect for the Minnesota Twins was under this much fire. It's arrived at the point I not only expect them to lose, but I'm even more shocked when they're able to pull one out (especially considering the state of our pitching staff).

Now, this isn't to say I've lost faith or that I'm jumping ship. The Twins will always and forever be my team. Nothing can change that.

But they sure have been making it hard on Twins fans the past three seasons, haven't they?
Still, in the midst of these trying times, I have hope, and you should too, because this isn't the first time the Twins have been terrible. Not by a long shot.

Let's take a little trip down memory lane, back to the glory that was the 1987 season.

You there yet? OK, now look back a year before that.

The 1986 season saw the Twins finish about where they will this year: with over 90 losses and with over 20 games between them and the division leader.

And then, boom. Minnesota defied the odds the following year to become perhaps the most improbable World Series champion in baseball history.

Cool story, huh?

Well, after winning yet another world championship just four years later, the Twins made a unfortunately swift return to their losing ways, a move that saw them shift back into the basement of the AL West Division.

Minnesota won no more than 78 games in a full season between 1993-2000, which is an admittedly more painful stretch of seasons than the one in which we currently find ourselves. I guess I'm just hoping that we won't see another five years of losing baseball from the Twins.

But even if we do, so what. Let's suck it up, put on our rally caps and cheer on our team to victory (even if they are few and far between), because success will come in due time. Just take a look at the 2000s if you don't believe me.

After nearly a decade of losing seasons, the Twins found their feet in 2001 by registering their first winning record in nine years. Just one season after that, Minnesota won its first of three consecutive AL Central championships, including a 2002 season that saw them advance to the ALCS, just a few games away from what would have been the franchise's fourth World Series appearance.

It seemed as though the Twins were challenging for the division title just about every year in the 2000s.

Now, just like it was in the 90s, we find ourselves back among the cellar-dwellers of the American League.

Every team has a few down years, but our past suggests that it won't be long before the Twins return to the upper echelon of MLB teams.

Looks like we'll just have to wait until then. But keep the faith, Twins fans. We'll be back on top soon enough.