Today is the day when Twins fans can look back, reflect and be glad for their team. It is a day to tell the curmudgeonly scab pickers and the antagonistically skeptical to take their joylessness someplace else because you're not really interested.
You can tell those folks to park it because, as exciting as it is to have the Twins smash through their rivals to win the AL Central, you know there's more work to be done.
Not a single person in the Twins organization will look at the season as a success if Tuesday's party and champagne spray are the last ones of 2010.
And there is no reason for the Twins not to continue their sparkling play.
Is sparkling an overstatement?
Not when a team goes 42-15 in a two-month stretch -- a .737 winning percentage -- and leaves division rivals for road kill.
(Aside to Ozzie Guillen: Enjoy these next 10 days with Manny. And I hope you're following my friend Batgirl on Twitter, who tweeted about Manny as follows: "Signing Manny: like being so psyched with yourself for getting hot chick at bar to go home with you, only to find she's actually a dude.")
Bad things always happen in baseball. But the best teams overcompensate with good.
Randy Flores is brought in to retire left-handed batters, at which he has been almost a complete failure, and you don't dwell on it because of the relievers who have stepped up -- Matt Capps taking over as closer, Jon Rauch sliding into a set-up role, Brian Fuentes getting back his health to torture lefty batters, Jesse Crain being magnificent. (We will save for another day a dissection of Jose Mijares' painful Flores-like outing on Tuesday -- in which he failed to get out any of the three lefties he faced and may have opened the door a crack for Glen Perkins as a postseason roster candidate.)
Justin Morneau is forced to the sidelines after a near-MVP half-season and yet the Twins find a way to be near the top of the league in an assortment of important offensive categories, even without the compensating magic that Michael Cuddyer provided in 2009. Joe Mauer's power sags and Jim Thome steps in to hit home runs. Delmon Young has a six-week stretch when he makes up for the shortcomings of others by getting clutch hit after clutch hit. Danny Valencia solves the third base dilemma and J.J. Hardy puts together a second half that gets people to stop checking on how Carlos Gomez is doing in Milwaukee. (Not very well, thank you.)
The front office can't make the big deal to get Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt or Dan Haren. Instead, it concentrates on improving the bullpen and Brian Duensing steps in to go 7-1, 2.43 in 11 starts.
Baseball teams just don't hit on all cylinders. That's why we can always find something to pick at. If you're smart about it -- and the overwhelming majority of those who start and contribute to these discussions are smart about it -- you freely discuss the bad while weighing it against the good. Flores being terrible, for example, had little impact on the Twins' success because other relievers cushioned his failings.
This is not the place where you'll read about what the Twins accomplished in spite of their troubles -- Joe Nathan's arm, Morneau's concussion, the serial injuries to infielders. The Twins were built and rebuilt to withstand those pains, which is a credit to the decisions made by Bill Smith's crew and Ron Gardenhire, even when they puzzled. I'm guessing that even the fans who felt cheated by their D-minus lineup they paid to see against Atlanta back in June have forgiveness in their hearts.
There will be lots to pull apart and put together as the playoffs near.
For today, let's just enjoy what's been accomplished.