HIBBING — First off, congratulations to the Minnesota Twins organization for winning the American League Central Division title.
It took most of the season, but the Twins did it with a win over Detroit, and a Cleveland Indians loss to the Chicago White Sox.
Cleveland was supposed to win the title, and to the Indians’ credit, they stayed close all season, even with all of the injuries they sustained.
At least that’s the excuse the Indians can use, and that’s all I heard on Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN last week when they were playing the Philadelphia Phillies.
I’ll tell you one thing, it was getting nauseating.
I don’t care how good that three-person crew is, but please, don’t take what the Twins have done this season lightly by highlighting all of the problems Cleveland had.
Yes, the Indians had a lot of pitchers down with injuries, but that’s a part of the game.
No team stays healthy for 162 games.
What about Minnesota?
The Twins were missing CJ Cron for a good number of games; Nelson Cruz was out; Max Kepler has been out; Eddie Rosario was out; Miguel Sano was out; Byron Buxton is out for the year; and Mitch Garver has been out.
That’s a good part of the lineup that missed games due to injuries, but nobody says anything about that.
Even through that, the Twins were still able to win 100 games, and hit 303 home runs this season (as of Saturday).
The only other Twins team to win 100 games was in 1965 when they won 102.
No other Minnesota team had hit 300 home runs The Twins broke the team record of 267, and they were the first Major League team to ever hit 300 bombs, but now they trail the New York Yankees in that department.
Pitching-wise, Minnesota also lost Michael Pineda, who had been one of its better pitchers, to suspension.
All that’s great, but what’s the best part of this?
Cleveland didn’t make the playoffs.
Minnesota gets to take on the New York in the ALDS. We know about the history between these two teams.
The Yankees have the mental edge in the series, but none of these players were around for any of those playoff series.
Depending on the pitching situations, there could be a number of home runs hit in this series.
Face it, if the Twins don’t hit home runs, they won’t win the series anyway. They will have to hit with the Yankees to beat them.
It’s going to be a fun postseason.
Oh, one other thing. I know someone in Florida who has been getting on Sano a lot this year because he strikes out too much.
I’ll tell you what, I’ll take the 34 home runs he hits any day. Yes, it’s hard to overlook the strikeouts, but he’s still hitting around .250 (.246 to be exact). Sano isn’t even close to leading the league in strikeouts this season.
This person would rather see Willians Austillo or Luis Arraez to play third base. Not bad choices. Both of them are good players, but neither one of them hits for power. Third baseman are supposed to hit for power, so deal with the strikeouts.
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, and the rest of the team, get a chance to redeem themselves when they take on the Chicago Bears today.
If you remember last year, during the last game of the season, Chicago had nothing to play for, and the Vikings had a playoff berth on the line. Minnesota laid an egg and lost, finishing 8-7-1. They didn’t show up for the game, or so it seemed.
We also know that Cousins didn’t handle the Green Bay game well this season, so that’s why he has a chance to make amends by getting a win today.
Of course, we all know Cousins’ record against .500 teams or better isn’t good. The Vikings don’t play well in nationally-televised games.
We have two strikes going into it, but maybe, just maybe, Cousins and the Vikings will come through this time.