Try as they might, worry as they may, Twins fans over the weekend had little choice but to be pretty satisfied with the weekend series victory over Cleveland.
The most hardened or determined to be unhappy could cling to a missed opportunity to finish a soul-crushing sweep Sunday, but even in their steadfastness they would have proved mostly this: This business of having the best team in the division is scary stuff to some.
That’s what the Twins are — not by a massive margin, but by a comfortable one over Cleveland. The weekend series was more important to the Indians than the Twins, and Minnesota still prevailed.
Baseball Reference has the Twins pegged for about 100 wins and Cleveland for about 87. The percent chance the Twins win the division, per the site, is in the high 90s.
It’s safer as a fan to root for an underdog because victory is sweeter and defeat is more easily written off. The more unfamiliar (around here) front-runner role can feel stressful.
Get used to it. Try to get comfortable with it. Embrace it if possible. This team is for real, the playoffs are almost certainly going to happen and October is going to be intense.
• • •
Kudos to Cleveland pitcher Trevor Bauer, by the way, for a self-deprecating tweet about Max Kepler’s dominance over him. Bauer posted a video of the five consecutive home runs Kepler hit against him — two of them Saturday — followed by the strikeout that stopped the streak.
He wrote: “It’s not about how you start, it’s about how you finish. I think. Maybe.”
• • •
A survey posted by YouGov.com notes that when respondents were asked if they think they could win one point in a game of tennis against Serena Williams if they were playing their very best, a full 12% of men answered yes.
Unless the sample size was exactly eight men, and one of them was Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic, this math does not check out.
A game in tennis is a race to four points. Maybe one in eight men surveyed thought a game of tennis is comprised of an infinite number of points. Perhaps by the law of averages, or the theorem involving the sun’s glorious shine and a dog’s rear end, after a thousand or a million tries Williams might double-fault or some such thing?
The lunacy of believing you would get one before Serena got four, whether a question of overconfidence or sexism (just 3% of women answered yes to the same query) or some combination thereof, is astounding.
At least it generated the perfect tweet, from @longwall26: “Confident in my ability to properly tennis, I take the court. I smile at my opponent. Serena does not return the gesture. She’d be prettier if she did, I think. She serves. The ball passes cleanly through my skull, killing me instantly.”
• • •
Minnesota United fans have been singing “Wonderwall” so often lately that it might threaten to re-enter the charts and challenge “Old Town Road.”
The old Oasis song, which of course Loons supporters sing after victories, took another spin Saturday after Mason Toye’s late goal provided a 1-0 victory over FC Dallas at Allianz Field.
That’s seven consecutive victories for United since June 12 — three in the Open Cup, four in MLS play — and a surge that gives the Loons real hope not just of making the postseason but of hosting a first-round match.