Wednesday night at The Cell
- Blog Post by: Jim Souhan
- September 15, 2010 - 6:44 PM
If the Twins wrap up the division in the next week, they'll be faced with a delicate decision. Do they rest the players who need resting, or push for the best record in the American League?
Joe Sheehan of SI.com reports that since 1998, when the current postseason format came into play, the No. 1 seed in either league has reached the World Series just 8 times in 24 chances.
And that since '98, the teams with home-field advantage are 45-39 in series overall, not an impressive rate considering the team with the home-field advantage usually had the better record over 162 games.
Also: The two times in the last 10 years the Twins have had home-field advantage in the playoffs - against the Angels in 2002 and the A's in 2006 - they got pummeled.
Perhaps the only way home-field advantage could prove crucial would be if the Twins faced the Yankees. The Twins play markedly better at home than on the road against the Yankees. And if there were a Game 1 in Yankee Stadium, the entire focus would be on how poorly the Twins have played in the Bronx. If the opener is at Target Field, the national media would be more likely to focus on the Twins' successes and new stadium.
-The injury rate and increased awareness of the debilitating effects of concussions are having quite an impact on the NFL. Already, many of the most promising teams have serious injury issues - the Jets with Jenkins, the Packers with Ryan Grant, the Eagles with Kevin Kolb, the Vikings with Sidney Rice.
The question is, what's the tipping point here? At what point do we start to feel guilty that grown men are sacrificing their brains and other body parts for our entertainment?
Probably never. We love our entertainment, no matter what the cost.
-After talking to a few people, my guess is the Twins' playoff rotation would look like this: Frankie Liriano, Carl Pavano, Brian Duensing, Nick Blackburn.
The only tough decision is who to start in Game 1, because that person would also start a potential Game 5. The Twins love Liriano's stuff and recent dominance, and Pavano's composure. I think I'd lean toward Pavano.
-Reminder: My band, the Media Jackals, plays Sept. 25 at 8 p.m. at O'Gara's Garage. We're playing a short set, probably be off the stage by 9-9:15, then Beautiful Noise, a Neil Diamond cover band, takes the stage.
-Reminder: I make daily appearances on 1500espn with Joe and Pat at 2:40 p.m.
This Sunday, we'll have the Ron Gardenhire Show from 9:30-10, then Sunday Sports Talk from 10-noon, with guests including Kevin Seifert of espn.com, Tom Linnemann with a small-college update and NFL picks, a Twins player and FS North basketball analyst Mike McCollow to talk about the world championships and David Kahn's literary career.
La Velle and I will shoot another video late tonight, after the game.
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