This season, the Twins could be the first team to step foot into the postseason, rather than the last.
But just because they're well on their way doesn't mean it's time to relax. During the final week or so of the regular season, the team will be finalizing the playoff rotation and nursing some injuries, not to mention possibly attempting to capture the best record in the game.
The Twins are in position to clinch after their 9-3 win over the Cleveland Indians combined with the Oakland Athletics 3-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox Monday night left Minnesota's magic number at two. I know it's a big deal to wrap things up this early on, but seeing as how if they do win tonight, they have to wait for the results of a game that starts two hours later, and get up early for a 12:10 game tomorrow, celebrating the division title might just need to be postponed a bit.
What are your thoughts on a champagne-soaked celebration? Can it wait? Should it wait? Of course they deserve to whoop it up, and of course the fans at Target Field would enjoy a party atmosphere since the guys won't be back in town for a week, but maybe now is just not the time. Am I being too practical here? Don't get me wrong, I love a good division-winner dog pile just as much as the next gal.
Besides, the Twins clearly have their eyes on a bigger prize or two: home field advantage throughout the playoffs, getting past the ALDS for once, and then, of course, the whole enchilada, as they say. That would be a World Series ring. All they control is their own fate, so they'll attempt to pad their record over the remaining two games against the Indians before heading to Detroit and Kansas City, then back home to face the Toronto Blue Jays for four games to end the regular season. Man, is it that time already?
It would be swell if everyone was healthy for the imminent postseason. Denard Span seems alright after returning from his shoulder injury last night with an RBI single and triple. Jason Kubel is on his way back from a wrist injury, but he can take his sweet time since Jason Repko has been pretty amazing out there. Meanwhile, Joe Mauer's jammed knee apparently hasn't swollen up or anything, but he's having an MRI today just to make sure it's okay.
Then there's the playoff rotation, which at this point looks like Francisco Liriano, Carl Pavano and Brian Duensing, with Nick Blackburn edging out Kevin Slowey and Scott Baker for the fourth spot. Who would've called that this Spring? Check out TwinsCentric for a detailed breakdown of postseason roster possibilities.