Posted at 11:48 PM on September 30, 2006
by Josh Lee
Not to downplay the value of home field advantage, but I don't think it will be the end of the world if the Twins end up as the wild card team in the playoffs -- just ask the Angels, Marlins, and Red Sox. Minnesota might even be better off having Johan Santana anchor the team on the road, and letting The Unsinkable Brad Radke and The Mystery Fourth Starter get the benefit of the homer-hankie-waving crowds at the Dome.
At any rate, we can assume that the Twins aren't too stressed about where they end up finishing, based on their mailed-in performance against the White Sox in what was supposed to be (and technically still is) a season-defining final series. I'm totally in favor of saving yourself (and your knees, Messrs. Castillo and Mauer) for the playoffs, but there has to be someone other than Michael Cuddyer who feels like showing the fans a good time and doing something wacky, like getting on base.
Despite their best non-efforts, though, the Twins are still in contention for the division title. I never thought I'd be keeping one eye on a Royals-Tigers game in September, but here I am, sighing with relief at the sight of Zach Miner getting knocked clean off the mound in the first inning by Kansas City, who have chosen an interesting time to suddenly learn how to score runs. Here's hoping for entertaining end to the regular season!
I don't know about how sudden the Royals' offense is. They're tied with the Angels, the Cubs, and the Mets in runs scored in the second half, and ahead of such powerhouse slugging teams as the White Sox, the Red Sox, Cincinatti, and Toronto. (The Twins are 7th by the way).