No rest on the recently wicked Minnesota sports scene as the Twins open their ALDS playoff tonight at Yankee Stadium. On paper the Twins as currently constituted have no business being on the same field as the Yankees. And given their team's past playoff futility against the Bronx Bombers, Twins fans will likely once again have to witness their team's season come to end at the hands of New York. But, what the hell? No one expected the Twins to get here and at this point it's best to simply sit back and enjoy this improbable and almost unimaginable ride.
Last's night's classic contest was another reminder that when it comes to high drama and suspense, nothing in sport is quite like a baseball playoff game. Yes, a hockey playoff game that goes into overtime--especially if it's the deciding one--has you on the edge of your seat (or barstool) with nerves on end and stomach churning. And the intensity and tension during that overtime is unmatched. But in a great baseball playoff game--like last night's--you have many such moments of tension and drama that start with the first pitch. Yesterday's game lasted four hours and thirty-seven minutes yet it kept you riveted to the screen for the entirety. With all the ups and downs and emotional swings from certain doom to unbridled elation, merely watching the game was a draining experience. I can't even imagine what it must have been like to play in it.
With the Twins not-quite-ready-to-let-go-just-quite-yet Metrodome farewell fling and the Favre fanfare blotting out the local sports sky, the Wild's snappy third period comeback from a three goal deficit in the home opener against hated Anaheim last night has received scant attention. Even here in the State of Hockey it's a tough time to be playing third fiddle on the Twin Cities sports scene with the Twins and Vikings. About the only consolation that the Wild can take is that at least they're not at the bottom of the local professional sports barrel. Save your true pity for the woeful Wolves.
UPDATE: As much as I respect his political commentary at Power Line, I have to respond to Paul Mirengoff's Let the playoffs begin post thusly: Bite me. So sorry that the Twins might spoil your plans for a "decent" and "respectable" playoffs and World Series.
The beauty of the playoffs is that once you get in your regular season counts for naught (other than home field obviously). Like all sports, baseball has had its share of teams that barely made the post-season dance yet went on to achieve ultimate success. Conversely, teams with great regular season success have come up short when it counts. And it's not necessarily true that series between teams with excellent regular season numbers will necessarily be better than series that feature teams with less than stellar regular season stats. Often the "dream" matchups end up being busts while the less anticipated series produce the most drama.