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Should the Twins Tank the Division Race?
Posted by Jason Thornbury at 9/26/2006 3:08:00 PM
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This article makes a good case that the Twins should try not to win the division so they can face the Yankees in the five-game series first round of the playoffs. The thinking being, it would be easier to beat the Yankees in five games, with Johan Santana pitching two of those games, than in seven games (if they faced them in the ALCS). I'm on board with that strategy. (But the whole "be careful what you wish for" thing kind of scares me.)


You never want to face the toughest opponent until you have to as it's posible the Tigers could beat the Yanks. And the Twins were 0-2 vs. the Yanks the last two times they faced them in the playoffs.

Plus, they could get home field through the enitre playoffs if they win out. That formula worked well in 87 and 91 and the Twins have the best home record in baseball again this year.
Posted by schoenke at 9/26/2006 10:09:00 PM
With the best home record in baseball you want home field. The Twins swept the Yanks at home early this year, and they are cursed when it comes to winning in Yankee stadium. Although, the last time these 2 met the Twins won Game 1 in Yankee stadium and should have won Game 2, but the bullpen blew it late. The Twins may get Radke back for 1 of those games also, which could be big. I'd love to see Liriano vs. this vaunted Yankee lineup, it's really too bad he's not healthy.
Posted by schwang2u at 9/26/2006 10:40:00 PM
It's a dicey proposition. But the Twins are a game back of the Yankees. So, the Twins can either go all out to win the division and home-field advantage, or they could rest their guys, most notably Santana, and gear up for a best-of-five with the Yankees with Santana pitching twice. If they go with the first option and don't get home-field advantage, then they've not only not set up Santana, but they will, most likely, have to face the Yankees in a best-of-seven ALCS (unless you want to put your faith in the young Tigers knocking off the best lineup in baseball). I don't know. I think I'd rather have to only win three off the Yankees.

Posted by Jason Thornbury at 9/26/2006 11:47:00 PM
Well they are definitely going to rest Santana so he can start game 1 of the ALDS, but they should definitely try to get home field. Also, in a 7 game series, I imagine that the Twinks would probably start Santana three times, games 1, 4, and 7. Just a guess.
Posted by obe24 at 9/27/2006 8:05:00 AM
I know that this sounds cliched but you have to take it one game at a time. Once you start thinking that you are scared of playing the yankees in a seven game series then you are done, Santana or no Santana.
Posted by nayfel at 9/27/2006 10:30:00 AM
The Tigers aren't particularly young, outside of Bonderman and Verlander. I could see this team tanking in the playoffs and then struggling next season unless some big changes are made on offense. I don't see Pudge, Casey, Ordonez, Guillen and Polanco being a core to build around.
Posted by hainesbl at 9/27/2006 11:32:00 AM
The Yankees will beat either team in either series so its all elementary (my dear Watson)
Posted by bigboybundle at 9/27/2006 1:52:00 PM
I have a question for ya'll..what does Sean Casey give Detroit that Chris Shelton wasn't? I know Shelton really tailed off there after his hot start, but his #'s are still better than those of Casey's. They were really right handed laiden as far as their lineup, but if Casey isn't hitting who really cares? Instead they sent Shelton down and haven't been as good since. Maybe they would have tailed off anyways, but I just don't see what Casey gives them other than a lefty(with worse #'s) instead of a righty at the plate.

Posted by schwang2u at 9/27/2006 3:47:00 PM
Casey has a better goatee. That, and he brings all that veteran goodness...
Posted by Erickson at 9/27/2006 7:49:00 PM
I think it would be foolish to throw away home field advantage....2 games won't advance you the next round and I think there young staff will do 10x's better at home....
Posted by Zenguerrilla at 9/27/2006 10:14:00 PM

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