You'll have to excuse us being a little more giddy than usual today. Late last night, the Minnesota Twins wrapped up the 2010 AL Central Division title (sooner than expected) and we're still savoring the moment. Atomizer is furiously working on his long awaited "Ode to Gardy," in which he finally lays bare his soul and expresses his long-restrained love and admiration for the man who now appears to be a shoe-in for Manager of the Year.
We also need to thank the others who made this division title possible for the Twins. Beginning with the taxpayers of Hennepin County who--while having had no say in the matter--are footing the bill for Target Field. All you other free-loading Minnesota counties owe us big time and believe me, we will not let you forget it.
Then there's the Chicago White Sox. For a while it looked like this could be yet another Central Division race that went down to the wire. We truly appreciate the way the Sox laid down the last couple of weeks and removed all doubt about who would win the division. It's important to know when to quit and we thank the White Sox for their prudence in this matter.
Finally, we should not overlook another team that's been pivotal to the Twin's prosperity, not just this season but over the course of the last ten years. For the Twins would not have enjoyed the success they have over the previous decade--six AL Central titles--were it not for the Kansas City Royals.
Consider that during that time--and through last night's game--the Twins have amassed an overall record of 885 wins and 725 losses for a winning percentage of .550. Not bad at all. But that pales by comparison when you consider the Twins record against the Royals during that same time: 117 wins and 66 loses for a .639 winning percentage. In fact, over the last ten seasons the Twins winning percentage against the Royals was higher than their overall winning percentage in every year except one (2003 was the outlier).
While this year's race will not end up being that close, in previous years the Twins mastery of the Royals has helped make the difference in them winning the Central Division. Much as the Vikings have long-feasted on the Detroit Lions to pad their divisional record, the Twins have found the Royals to be easy plucking. This year the Twins are already 12-3 against the Royals with three games left next week in Kansas City. Hard to imagine a more friendly city to visit from the Twins perspective. Thanks Kansas City.