Posted at 5:57 PM on July 9, 2006
by Josh Lee
I'll admit it: I watched the World Cup final instead of the Twins' last game before the All-Star break. It doesn't look like I missed anything really great, though, unless you consider Johan Santana giving up two two-run homers to the Rangers to be "great." (I don't.) The only thing more disappointing than seeing Zinedine Zidane end his career with a red card is seeing Minnesota follow up a sky-high June with a week that could best be described as "meh."
Losing four out of five to follow an 11-game winning streak is what people who are good at math call "regressing towards the mean," and what the rest of us call "a hangover." Luckily, most of the club gets to take a few days off, rest up, and get back to figuring out where the Twins' mean actually lies. Are they a dark horse contender, waiting for the White Sox or Tigers to make one tiny mistake before charging into the thick of the AL Central race? Or are they just a young gaggle of streaky hitters, backed up by inconsistent starting pitching?
The rationalist in me (and why does "rationalist" always translate to "pessimist?") thinks it's the latter, but the rationalist is actually a very small part of me, so I'm still holding out for a second-half Minnesota surge as they avenge Lirano's All-Star snub by clobbering Chicago and Detroit in the eight hundred or so games they have left to play against each other in the unbalanced schedule. Allez les Twins!
One more random thought: Would it be fun if, instead of extra innings, ties in baseball were broken by home run derbies?