Monday, August 07, 2006

MONDAY MORNING MANAGER: Week 18

All Aboard!! Twins, White Sox Have One More
Chance To Catch The Train

(my weekly take on the Tigers)

Last Week: 5-2
This Week: (8/7-9: MIN; 8/11-13: at ChiW)

This baseball season has turned thusly: it's no longer accurate to say it's only August 7. It's much more appropriate to say it's already August 7.

As in, it's already August 7, Ozzie Guillen and Ron Gardenhire.

Guillen and Gardenhire, managers of the White Sox and Twins, respectively, surely must have one thought and one thought only if they are to be anything more than wild card contenders: their teams have to sweep the Tigers this week to have a shot at this Central Division thing.

The conductor is standing by the train, calling "All aboard!" Can those teams get their tickets punched in time?

Only a sweep will give either the Twins or the White Sox a modicum of a chance at getting into the playoffs the old-fashioned way -- as a divisional champ. Anything short of that, and they're back to Wild Card Mania.

In 1983, the Tigers were about 7-8 games behind the Orioles for the divisional lead in September. The teams had seven games remaining with each other. It was generally accepted that the Tigers had to win all seven to have a chance to catch the O's. After blowing the Orioles out at Tiger Stadium in the first of those seven contests, Baltimore recovered and beat the Tigers enough to keep them at arm's reach.

"At least we had our chance," manager Sparky Anderson said. "It came down to us and them, which is all you can hope for."

The '83 Tigers had no wild card to fall back on, of course. So maybe these games aren't quite as important to the White Sox and Twins -- as far as the division goes -- as you'd might expect.

Wild Card Mania!

1 Comments:

Blogger Ozz said...

The Tigers have a nice lead right now, but they still have to have a good week! It'll be fun listening to the games online!

12:02 PM  

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