Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Congratulations, White Sox

If you ask me, a 1-0 game with the only run being scored on a homer and a future hall of famer saving the game with a bang-bang play at the plate is everything a one game playoff should be.

Fooey on ESPN radio's Mike Golic, incidentally, who suggested that head to head record "like in the NFL" should be the determining factor in ties, and that these playoff - or play-in - games are unnecessary. There was also some grumbling about how one game isn't a fair test for something this momentous... which I say, well, yes, they've had a 162 game test. This stuff doesn't happen in a vaccum, folks. The game was necessary because neither the Twins nor the White Sox could get it done when it counted, the Sox when they had a lead on the Twins heading into the final series, and the Twins when they had a tasty meal of KC Royals in front of them for the season's final 3 games but still failed to seal the deal.

And so it gets settled where it should, on the field, with unlikely heroes (Nick Blackburn) and fading stars (Thome & Griffey, together for one more show!) playing their guts out for the chance to play some more.

And now the White Sox are off to the dome in Tampa Bay that they nearly inhabited, while the Twins are left to ponder "what if?" What if they'd brought up Francisco Lirano sooner? What if they'd dumped the nightmare that was Livan Hernandez before his disastrous last stretch of starts? What if they hadn't traded Johann Santana? What if they'd won just one more game against the Royals? What if, what if, what if. This is the stuff that Red Sox fans know well, and are happy to send Minny-wards with a nice big red ribbon on the box. But any way you slice it, there's going to be a lot of second-guessing over obvious moves and the timing thereof, and what they might have cost.

Flags, after all, fly forever.
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