Jim Souhan analyzes the local sports scene and advises you to never take his betting advice. He likes old guitars and old music, never eats press box hot dogs, and can be heard on 1500ESPN at 2:05 p.m. weekdays, and Sundays from 10 a.m.-noon.

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Ready for the big series

Posted by: Jim Souhan under Twins fans, Twins management, Wolves management, Vikings draft, Twins news Updated: September 14, 2010 - 7:15 PM

Got to Chicago today and saw this headline on the back of the Chicago Sun-Times: ``I Hate The Twins.''

The headline was quoting White Sox lefty Mark Buehrle, a veteran of the Twins-White Sox rivalry, who was expressing his jealousy of the Twins' winning ways.

Both Chicago papers wrote about Buehrle's distaste. This from the Chicago Tribune:

-In the decade that Mark Buehrle and Paul Konerko have been full-time White Sox teammates, they have experienced only one winning season against the Minnesota Twins. So it's not surprising that an aversion — one built on admiration — has developed.

"I hate the Twins because they're good and they win," Buehrle said.

And this is not some long-distance distaste against an East or West Coast team. These two play each other six series per season.

The last one of 2010 starts Tuesday at U.S. Cellular Field, with the Twins holding a 10-5 advantage in games and a six-game lead in the Central Division.

 
bviously, they're our division rivals," Buehrle said. "A lot of guys … I'll go have dinner or drinks with (and) you like, but when it comes to battle time, yeah, I'm sick of 'em."

In 2001, the first season Buehrle and Konerko played together, the Twins won 14 of 19 games.

And while it was not so lopsided in the middle years, the Twins have won 22 of the 31 played over the last two seasons.

The only time the Sox won the season series was in their championship year of 2005, when they were 11-7.

"It seems like when we win games, they're winning," Buehrle said. "Every year when it gets down to the end, it seems like they're that team that's in first or right there battling with you trying to win a division, so they're a great team.

"I know that's why I don't like them, (because) they're a good team and they're right there all the time."

That includes 2008, when it went down to a dramatic Game 163 before the Sox advanced to the playoffs.

And that brings us to the end of this season, with 19 games remaining and the Sox desperately needing a sweep to keep any division hopes alive.

But, here again, there's a not-so-nice history. The Twins have won eight of the last 10 at the Cell, outscoring the Sox 72-35.

"We all know what's at stake," said Buehrle, who starts the final game of the series on Thursday. "I think we all know what we need to do. Early in the season, I would say we need to win the series and go from there, but I don't know if winning the series will get it done.

"I feel like we do need to sweep to make up ground more than (the) one game we would if we take two of three from them. But if we don't, if we win two of three, I won't say our season is over and we're not going to the playoffs. But it's a slim chance."-

-The Twins now have a 39-16 record in the second half of the season. That's the best in baseball.

-I want to thank David Kahn for buying advertising space in the Star Tribune.

I'm just not sure what it accomplishes.

I have to admit that I'm interested in seeing the team play this year. But I'm less interested after reading the letter than I was before reading the letter.

I just can't imagine anyone being interested in more discussions of ``plans'' and patience from the Wolves. You can't talk your way into being interesting. Either the team will command attention or it won't. Long-winded letters to people who have generally stopped caring aren't going to sell tickets or pique interest.

Drafting DeMarcus Cousins instead of Wes Johnson might have piqued my interest. Trading Al Jefferson for value might have piqued my interest. I've got to admit, I am interested in seeing how Michael Beasley plays, because I was so high on him when he entered the draft.

A six-game winning streak or the acquisition of a star would pique my interest.

Letters? They just make me feel like you're trying to sell me something I don't want.

-The Twins' clubhouse was packed before the game. The Twins have 34 players because of the expanded roster and the extra pitchers they needed because of injuries, and there was a large media contingent, as well.

I walked around downtown Chicago today, and it was sunny and beautiful. Then I got to The Cell and realized that the shadows cover the field early even on the nicest days, which must be why I always feel like this is a gray, cold place.

-Got another gig coming up for the band I play in, The Media Jackals. My buddy Mike McCollow is helping to host a fun run at Ft. Snelling Park on Saturday, Sept. 25. My band and Beautiful Noise, a Neil Diamond tribute band, are playing in O'Gara's Garage at 8 that night, with my band starting off and playing for an hour or so.

More details to come. Media Jackals includes me, 1500ESPN newsman and guitarist extraordinaire John Heidt, Tommy MIschke on piano and vocals, G.R. Anderson on drums and Curt Warolin on bass.

 

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