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The AL Central Showdown


By Fred Wallace


The baseball season didn't lack for melodrama; see the season ending weekend for the Toronto Blue Jays for one such example.

In terms of drama from a pennant chase, seven of the 8 playoff positions were highly anticlimactic, even the Wild Card positions failed to create over-the-top excitement.

The lone exception is the story in the American League Central Division, a story that continues this afternoon and concludes tonight as the Detroit Tigers go against the Minnesota Twins at the MetroDome.

The Tigers and Twins finished in a deadheat for first place after 162 regular season games and today they have a one game showdown to see who advances.

In reality, even this division never should have reached this climatic stage.

The Tigers had a 7 game lead on the Twins when September rolled around, but Detroit stumbled big time down the stretch losing regularly to Kansas City and then failing to put the Twins away when the opportunity was there Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Which brings us to the game this afternoon at Minnesota.

Rick Porcello, a 14 game winner for the Tigers, goes against Minnesota's Scott Baker who interestingly enough was the pitcher of record last Thursday when the Twins thumped the Tigers 8-3 in a testy affair that allowed Minnesota to barely stay alive.

Today, the Twins are 50-50 and probably better in the eyes of the bookies to advance to face the Yankees in the post season.

This one game showdown should never have happened, ask any Detroit fan.

But for the 2009 Major League Baseball season, it's the best they could do.

I'm Fred Wallace

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