We’re gonna win, Twins…

Baseball fever. It’s here. It’s playoff time. Every game means something, and every game is fantastic. And it all starts in about an hour.

Even as a casual hardly-fan, I always wanted to watch the MLB playoffs. There really is nothing better. It’s pure adrenaline, where every pitch is important and every hit is meaningful. And this year, after a one year hiatus, the Twins are back in the playoffs. It’s their fourth division win in five years. And this, I believe, is their year.

The best record in baseball over the last 100 games? Not the Yankees. Not the Mets. Neither New York team could match the blistering pace that one small market team, a team eagerly awaiting a new stadium, a team missing its Rookie of the Year candidate yet still winning games with a dink and dunk, piranha-esque lineup, could.

The Minnesota Twins.

And not only did they have the best record over the last 100 games, but they ended the season just one game away from having the best record in the league. Do you want to know the last time something like this happened – a team left for dead coming back from behind to win the division? 2003. The Florida Marlins did it. And they won the World Series.

The Minnesota Twins have rekindled my love for baseball. And after a decade of disappointing, underachieving Pacers and Dolphins teams, I finally have a team that I can call a sure fire winner.

When I finally gave in – when I finally became a fan – the Twins were in third place, frantically trying to get into the Wild Card hunt, pounding out wins with a newfound small-ball Murderer’s Row and the two best pitchers in the league. A few months later, I had to chance to see them live for the first time since I was five. They played the Detroit Tigers. They lost, 8-6. They were 59-43, and Brad Radke got his 8th lost. He would have just one more for the season.

Let’s go further back. On June 10th, they were 25-33, eight games below .500. No problem. It took them the rest of the season to lose another 33 games. By then, they were in first place, erasing an 11 ½ game deficit while becoming the most feared team in the league. No Torii Hunter? No Fransico Liriano? No Brad Radke, Shannon Stewart, or Joe Mauer (at least for a good chunk of games as he sat out due to the rigor of playing catcher)?

No problem.

The Twins are in the playoffs. They won the division rather easily, near the end, as if they weren’t even trying. And now, they’re poised to be the biggest championship favorite in my fanhood since I was a Bulls fan in the early 90’s.

This championship is the Twins’ to lose. There’s a lot of emotion penned up in this. It was 15 years ago that they last won the World Series. Brad Radke is retiring after this year. This could be his last chance.

Do it for Radke. Do it for Liriano, who played a hell of a season and is unfairly relegated to the bench after a season ending injury.

Do it for the memory of Kirby Puckett.

Go Twins.

This was lovingly handwritten on October 3rd, 2006