Francisco Liriano and Ron Gardenhire are reuniting in Detroit, but a lot has changed since their time together in Minnesota.
The exploding gas tank that is interleague play just toasted one team’s playoff hopes, launching a less successful team into the post-season.
So here we are, in the “underdog” series, in no small part because this series is the one featuring the two American League playoff teams that New Yorkers don’t know about. One team wasn’t supposed to be able to beat the Yankees, and the other wasn’t supposed to beat the team that was supposed to beat the Yankees. Dominant provincialism is so cute, isn’t it?
This is my favorite playoff series, if only because it’s going to finally put the lie to Bud Selig’s constant lament that no team in the lower half of payroll has ever advanced beyond the first round of the playoffs. The Twins and the A’s were respectively 27th and 28th in ESPN’s Opening Day payroll tally. I’m surprised that the right Honorable Commissioner didn’t intervene and ‘fix’ the matchups in what he might see as the best interests of baseball. One of these teams will win three games and advance, only to be immediately heralded as an aberration, no matter what happens when they face the Yankees.