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Michael Rand started RandBall with hopes that he could convince the world to love jumpsuits as much as he does. So far, he's only succeeded in using the word "redacted" a lot. He welcomes suggestions, news tips, links of pure genius, and pictures of pets in Halloween costumes here, though he already knows he will regret that last part.

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Monday (Watching the Twins) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated August 4th at 12:45pm 269834431

vargasA lot of you know that we rooted hard-core for the Braves starting in the early-to-mid-1980s. Ted Turner and the “Superstation” grabbed us big-time up in North Dakota, seeing as it was about one of 12 channels we got on cable, and being a baseball fan the notion of 100-plus games being on TV every year was too good to be true.

When we latched onto the Braves, they were decent — they won the division in 1982, probably would have again in 1983 if not for an injury to Bob Horner, and hovered around .500 in 1984. We didn’t really get into our major love, though, until 1985. We were 8 years old that summer, and it was prime baseball time.

It also, unfortunately, marked the beginning of a long, sharp decline for Atlanta. Dale Murphy, our favorite player, still had a couple good years left in him, but the rest of the team — particularly the pitching staff — went way south. From 1985 to 1990, the high-water mark was an 89-loss season. There were many, many terrible seasons and non-prospects … and through it all, we didn’t stop watching. If anything, the worse they got, the more we watched the Braves — going so far as to record games on VCR to watch later, even in the midst of a 106-loss season in 1988.

We bring this up as an introduction to our sickness, which now apparently grips us again in our 30s. We started watching the Twins more and more around 1999 or 2000 — they weren’t good, but we had been living in Minneapolis long enough that the hometown team became easy to follow. Eventually, paying attention to the Twins became partly self-interest and partly job-motivated, but the reward was some pretty good baseball from 2001-2010.

Now, of course, things have gone the other way. These 2011-14 Twins remind us very much of those Braves teams — devoid of starting pitching, struggling through various stages of rebuilding … and somehow capturing our attention more than ever.

We can’t turn away. We tried on Saturday night, declaring we were “done” with the game after the bullpen handed over the lead. We went to run some errands. But sure enough, we put the game on the radio. And sure enough, we popped the game back on at home after the Twins rallied.

Again, it’s still at least part of our job to keep abreast of all the local teams. But it is not in our job description to spend great gobs of weekend time watching a team that could lose 90 games for a fourth consecutive season.

So why do we do it? Is it that we have a 4-month-old now, her birth timed perfectly (March 30) for the start of the baseball season, and therefore have a lot more built-in couch time this summer? Is it our insatiable love of an underdog and desperate belief that being there on the ground floor makes the comeback that much more rewarding (the Braves of 1991 and beyond, you’ll recall, were quite good)? Is it just that any baseball is better than no baseball? Is it prospects like Danny Santana, Oswaldo Arcia and Kennys Vargas that keep us engaged?

Whatever the case, the grip is still there. We can’t shake it. We’d ask you for help, but we assume from Twitter that many of you are still watching, too. Why are you watching? That’s a serious question. Tell us in the comments. Together, we will figure this out.

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San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 8 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: E. Volquez 0
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington
Washington 1 FINAL
Buffalo 6
Carolina 3 FINAL
Columbus 6
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL
Detroit 0
Montreal 3 FINAL
Chicago 1
Arizona 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Hamilton 10/10/14 6:00 PM
Toronto
Ottawa 10/11/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia

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