I apologize for my absence on this blog for awhile ... it's been a little hectic learning my new position at work on the fly and trying to catch up on a backlog of paperwork there. But I haven't forgotten about what's going on with our hometeam! This amazing stretch of baseball is one of the few things that's been keeping me sane.
I think that having my hopes and expectations about the postseason shattered back in August has given me a new appreciation for these final weeks. I'm trying to just enjoy this improbable run instead of getting too worked up about it, and I think that's been very helpful for my blood pressure. When we left Detroit having not made up any of the ground that we should have, I wasn't as amazingly crushed as I otherwise would have been thanks to having already dealt with my pessimism a month ago.
That being said, I was a little nonplussed to be seeing Pavano start tonight. I've appreciated what he's done for this team, but after his last outing and the fact that he's already greatly surpassed his innings pitched in a season since 2004 with the Marlins, bringing him back on short rest seemed like one of those "always trust your veteran too much" moves that Gardy so frequently loves.
I eat my words.
While Pavano's performance wasn't particularly dominant, he looked in control almost the whole time he was on the mound. Of course, having a huge cushion of runs to back him up probably doesn't hurt too much.
Thanks, you rock. I'll buy your jersey next.
I promised myself that if Ozzie and the White Sox would sweep the Tigers that I'd cut A.J. and the rest of my most hated enemies a little bit of slack in the future. Well, they came close to a sweep, but without their two wins we wouldn't have another Twins game to watch this year, so, I'll give a hat tip to the White Sox and not bash them too much this offseason (although a win today would have been spectacular; I'm not complaining though...).
This brings Porcello and the Tigers to Minnesota on Tuesday. Thankfully my boss is actually enjoying the Twins bringing this down to the wire ... as a Yankees fan he appreciates that regardless of who wins, our pitching staff won't have that much rest and we won't really be able to line up our starters how we otherwise might. I've been getting gleeful texts from him all weekend. But I love it too, and his appreciation of our streak means we'll have the game on at the office during the day so I'll at least be able to catch pieces of it if not the whole thing (we'll see how busy Tuesday is).
I was watching Saturday's game with Boston Dan, and he gave me some reassurance from an unbiased outsider's perspective. He said that in 2004, even when the Red Sox were 3 games up on the Cardinals, he and all his Boston fans were so nervous going into game 4 that something was going to mess up. But a San Francisco friend of theirs who was with them essentially just told them to relax because they were playing so well as opposed to the Cardinals that they were all but assured their World Series. He said that's how he sees the Twins and the Tigers this year in the Central ... the Tigers implosion just screams too much of wanting to lose, while the Twins are playing the best baseball of their season at exactly the right time.
I'm still not going to relax.
Neither will you, Mr. Leyland. Neither will you.
I would like to take this moment to take back every negative thing I've ever said about Orlando Cabrera, Matt Tolbert, Nick Punto, and especially Delmon Young.
You might be greatly increasing your trade value, but now I kind of want to keep you...
If it weren't for these guys, who I think most of us pick on all the time, we wouldn't be here. Their inspired play is making me ashamed of being so hard on them. At the same time, I think numbers don't lie, but there's something to be said for people performing when everything's on the line, and this handful of my usual whipping boys is doing it above and beyond what I could have imagined. If they can beat Detroit on Tuesday, maybe I'll have to cut them some more slack along with my offer I made to the White Sox.
FYI, I've been pulling together a series of posts to get us through the long offseason. It's going to be called "Twins Bloggers: Get to Know 'Em", in conjunction with the old series of Twins ads before the "This Is Twins Territory" campaign:
By the way, I love Koskie's ZZ Top beard in this commercial...
This series was going to start last Friday and run every Friday of the offseason focusing on a different member of the Twins blogosphere every week. But since the Twins have improbably given people something to care about on the field recently, I'm going to delay these posts until at least this Friday.
Definitely check back for them once they start going up as it will give you a new perspective on some of the best Twins voices on the web. I've had the pleasure of already reading over the answers from my questionnaire from the first 5 bloggers I approached about this and it's been great getting to know their own unique reasons why they love the Twins, baseball in general, and other aspects of their fandom too.
Also, if you run a Twins blog and I haven't e-mailed you my questionnaire yet, I'm going to do so soon, be warned. It's going to be a long offseason so I'm sure I'm going to approach every Twins blogger out there. But a big thanks to Seth, Katie, Jack, Betsy and Josh for being my first experiments into this series.
Check back Friday probably for the first installment. But in the meantime, we're not through enjoying this for a little longer:
Let's go Twins!
*If you haven't been listening to the podcasts from Seth Stohs, you're missing out on a huge heap of Twins related talk from one of the most knowledgeable bloggers out there. It's great to have so much material from him so definitely go back and start listening to some if you haven't already.
Also, an interesting statistical observation from Twinkie Town. Just another reason to love what Delmon's been doing recently.