Friday, August 20, 2010

White Sox at Twins: Fortune Telling

Tuesday: White Sox 6 - Twins 7 (Thank you Jim Thome for showing the White Sox that you love the Twins more than them.)
Wednesday: White Sox 6 - Twins 7 (Joe Mauer finally hits his first Target Field homer, then apologizes for it taking so long. What a nice boy.)
Thursday: White Sox 11 - Twins 0 (Ouch)

Record: 70 - 51, 4 games ahead

I gotta admit, after Tuesday's and Wednesday's dramatic, come-from-behind wins, I may have been a little caught up in the excitement of it all. And maybe, just maybe, I allowed myself to think things like "if we can sweep them, then we're a shoo-in for the playoffs." Actually, I was feeling pretty cocky. But, in my defense, I wasn't the only one. Even ESPN folks were saying that Thursday's game was a "must win" for the Sox and that they might be done if they didn't win.

But then Thursday's game brought Twins fans right back to earth -- and not so gently I might add.

You know the tired old adage hopeful baseball fans like to use, especially at the beginning of the season: "it's a marathon, not a sprint." And, while at this time of the season no longer qualifies as a marathon, it isn't sprint-worthy yet either. I guess it's more of a 5k. There isn't a whole lot of time, but a lot can still happen.

With that much season left, trying to predict the playoff picture in the AL Central is a lot like using one of those paper fortune tellers girls make in middle school.

As of today, the future is still unpredictable. The Twins and the White Sox both know what they need to do to get what they want. Heck, even the Indians aren't mathematically eliminated yet.

Every game in the season is important. A win in April counts the same as a win in September. But now, there's a lot less time to try to recover from any extended slump -- there is no waiting a few weeks for a hot streak to begin. There's time for the proverbial pendulum to swing, but not necessarily enough time for it to come back. It's all a matter of execution.

Yeah. The Twins' chances for making the playoff look pretty good today. And it doesn't seem like they'll have to fight off a colossal collapse. But we just don't know.

So the whole "oooh, the Sox's season is over, the Twins are gonna run away with it" attitude I was sporting was premature. I'd better watch out, or else fortunes might change.

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