A wise-ruling emperor will step down from his throne if it is better for his royal subjects to be governed by a more respected successor. On the contrary, a stubborn emperor will be forced out.
The Yankees, to me, fall into the stubborn emperor category: they are the long-time personification of the Evil Empire in the Empire State.
In their American League Division Series match, the Minnesota Twins are the more respected rulers this season, and it is time for the Evils to stand down.
The Twins will challenge the Yankees' attempt at back-to-back World Series titles with the tried and trusty weapons of home-field advantage and a lineup braced with boppers.
I’ve heard that Minnesota’s former governor, Jesse “the Body” Ventura, will make a special plate appearance dressed as Conan the Conqueror, just to scare the living fastball out of opposing behemoth CC Sabathia.
The Yankees team batting average (.267) was good enough for eighth-place in MLB. In just about the same number of plate appearances, the Twins had thirty-six more hits than the Yankees, although the Yankees hit more home runs (201-142) and drove in more runs (823-749).
By stealing a lot more bases (103-68) and slugging at a higher percentage (.436-422), New York has a better overall offense, but Minnesota’s pitching staff is better than New York’s, by the numbers.
The numbered days for the Yankees begins with this Twins invasion at home. Their offense will strike the first blow, but Minnesota’s pitching staff will be the end of the conquest.
The Yankees struck out over 1,100 times, while the Twins fanned less than 1,000 times.
The Yankees collapsed from their stranglehold on home-field advantage by choking in September. When they were supposed to be crisp in their play on the baseball diamond, instead they went soggy. This year ain’t last year, people.
It’s a newly open restaurant, and the younger Minnesota Twins want to eat, too. And they would love nothing more than to eat the Yankees' breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late night snack.
Snack on this, my friends:
Minnesota has far better team pitching. While they pitched nine complete games, the Yankees only pitched three for the season.
The Twins have the advantage in shutouts, saves, innings pitched, batters hit, home runs allowed, earned runs allowed, and walks allowed.
The Twins finished fifth in the AL in team ERA (3.95), while the Yankees finished seventh (4.06).
New York swept Minnesota last year in the American League Division Series (ALDS) at the old Metrodome, but the Twins have a new home this season, where they racked a 53-28 record—the best home record in the AL.
While Yankee home fans hope their squad will “win it for the Gipper,” former team owner George Steinbrenner, who died this past July, I can’t see it happening.
All the intangibles considered, the Twins' determination to dethrone the Evil Empire will make this series a conquest for Minnesota.