A while back, when the Twins were struggling mightily and the White Sox were in control of the AL Central, commenter Clarence Swamptown advocated a good ol' fashioned brawl as a way to shake things up. Hit a few guys. Let them know you're there!
The visceral part of us didn't think he was entirely wrong.
But as the past few games -- with the roles dramatically reversed -- have shown us, there is a consequence to blatant machismo. Namely, that it tends to put a man on base. And, in the case of the White Sox, it can come back to haunt in a big way.
Chicago came into the series with the Twins desperate. They also came in with very few hit batsmen as a staff (they have 31 now, the lowest total in the AL and the second-lowest total in all of baseball).
As pointed out by Twins Radio Network maven Kris "Kraig Applecherry" Atteberry -- he's awesome with stats and general knowledge, and we don't just say that because our taste for high-calorie, low-population density breakfast establishments happens to coincide -- three of those HBPs from the Whities came in the recently series against the Twins. There was one in each game. Each time, it led off an inning. And each time, it led to a multi-run inning.
Tuesday: Delmon Young, after homering earlier in the game, is plunked to start the seventh with the Twins trailing 3-2. The Twins score twice to take the lead and end up winning the pivotal first game 9-3.
Wednesday: Michael Cuddyer, leading off the sixth, is hit by Gavin Floyd. The Twins, leading 3-0 at the time, boost their lead that inning to 6-0 and win handily again, 9-3.
Thursday: Cuddyer, after Paul Konerko is scarily hit in the face, is plunked leading off the second. The Twins turn a 0-0 game into a 3-0 lead, never trail again, and essentially finish off the Sox.
We're not saying the Sox pitchers hit all three on purpose, but two of them at least -- it could be argued -- were likely statements. The ultimate statement, however, was that they were giving the Twins a free base runner who scored a run in every case and led to eight total runs over three crucial innings.
Bravado is nice. Winning is nicer.