The Twins' long-awaited day off has finally arrived. After playing 23 games in 23 days (19 of those on the road), the Twins have a day off. And no one—not even Ferris Bueller himself—needed this day off more than the Twins!
They suffered through a long, grueling roadtrip that ended in a brutal sweep by the Toronto Blue Jays. Then they came home to the 'Dome and played a lackadaisical, uninterested series against Detroit, in which the Tigers took two of three. Amazingly, the Twins sit just 2.5 games back in the AL Central.
Now, 2.5 isn't as nice on Sept. 8 as it is on July 8, but the Twins are certainly in the race with three weeks remaining in the season; however, the time is now.
Each and every Twin must use this day however he needs to, to prepare himself for the final three weeks of the season. Perhaps Joe Nathan will relax and hang out with his family. Maybe Justin Morneau will spend time analyzing his swing and reviewing video. Possibly Kevin Slowey will buy a sandwich at Jimmy John's and get his laundry done.
I don't care, and I'm guessing Ron Gardenhire doesn't care, either. But when the Twins come back to the 'Dome on Tuesday to open a series against the Kansas City Royals, they better be ready for a playoff race.
A playoff race that will include 19 games in 20 days. 10 of those 19 games are on the road, but only seven of those 19 games are against teams with a winning record.
The White Sox play 20 games in 21 remaining days, with 10 of those games at home at US Cellular. The Sox have 11 games against teams with a winning record, compared to the Twins' seven, but the Twins' games are no guarantee. Look no further than their struggles on the road against the likes of Seattle and Oakland.
Most importantly, the Twins still control their own destiny. They do not want to get into a situation where they are waiting for the White Sox to lose.
Let's hope they enjoy the day off and this young team prepares for an intense playoff race. It's September baseball!