I guess it was never meant to be. The Twins scraped into the ALDS play-offs and were swept by the mighty Yankees. I’m sure the folks at FOX and TBS must be wetting themselves with glee now that the two smallest franchises (Twins and Rockies) are out of the running, but evidently someone didn’t get the memo about the Boston Red Sox, whose three-game sweep at the hands of the Angels was probably even more of a disappointment considering their mammoth payroll and failure to show up until the final game, which they then proceeded to blow in the ninth inning.
It’s so strange that three of the best closers in baseball, Joe Nathan, Huston Street, and Jonathan Papelbon all failed in critical save situations, and just goes to show how much pressure and emphasis the game places on these guys. Yet it was Mariano Rivera, nearing 40, who showed everyone how it should be done, as the Yankees rolled over the Twins.
In all three games, the Twins led at one point, but couldn’t hold those leads. To some extent the Twins almost beat themselves with some horrible base-running antics that made them look like amateurs out there. But the Yankees were relentless, and that’s how they should be, yet still looked frail at some points. There’s probably an enormous amount of pressure on them to succeed, but I’m thinking it might be tougher for them against an Angels team who appear to be a little more ‘loose’ and enjoying themselves.
The Minnesota Twins had a great run. Another AL Central title, their fifth in eight years is certainly an achievement, but they’re still unable to convert these to championship victories which is obviously disappointing. The last few weeks of the regular season made for exciting viewing as a fan, and that game #163 was the icing on the cake. Despite injuries to some of their major starters and best hitters, despite playing in a weak division where they barely kept themselves above .500, this team showed a lot of guts and determination to grab the title, but also demonstrated a lot of problems and issues along the way.
With the move to Target Field in April, what will the 2010 season bring?
Due to yesterday’s game being postponed, the Twins face their first double header today at Fenway versus the Red Sox. I guess they better get used to these. Next season, what with playing ball at the new open-air Target Field in Minneapolis, there’s likely to be many more of them if the weather remains inclement early in the season.
I’m hoping the Twins will win both games, purely for the selfish reason that it is my birthday. This day last year, Minnesota were visiting Oakland, and won 5-4 on a rather cold and drizzly night in front of a mere 10,000 people. Craig Monroe (remember him?) hit a home run, but by the end of that game, only die-hard Twins fans had stuck around to bear the elements.
Heather bought a “Happy Birthday Marty” message on the big screen at the Coliseum, which was a very sweet thing to do, but they wouldn’t let her put “Go Twins!” at the end of the message, the cheeky scamps.