Minnesota Twins Make History

Minnesota Twins Make History

The Minnesota Twins punch their ticket to the playoffs,
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After a 103 game loss season last year, the Twins are back in the playoffs with the clinch of the second wild card spot, which makes them the first team in baseball history to make it to the playoffs the following year after a 100+ game loss season. This is the first time since 2010, inaugural season at Target Field, that the Twins have made it into the playoffs.

Tuesday night, September 26th, the Twins had a rough start in the opening game of the series against the Cleveland Indians, but they came back with a win with a score of 8-6. Highlights from the game include a phenomenal catch from the Twins center fielder, Byron Buxton, and a three-run home run from Brian Dozier, which gave the Twins a two-run lead. Coming out with a win during Tuesday's night game made the Twins magic number to get into the playoffs, one.

The Indians are currently the number one team in the AL Central League and have already claimed their spot in the playoffs.

The Twins suffered a tough loss on Wednesday night against the Indians with the only two runs of the night coming in during the top of the ninth inning. There were only two ways the Twins could claim that last wild card spot Wednesday night: they would need to win against the Indians or the Los Angeles Angels would need to lose against the Chicago White Sox. The LAA and CWS game gave all Twins fans and players the ride of their lives. Going into extra innings, with a tied score of 4-4, the White Sox pulled ahead with a two-run home run in the bottom of the tenth inning from Nicky Delmonico. The Angels were eliminated from the post-season contention giving the Twins the last wild card spot.

The Twins spent their night in the club house at Progressive Field, patiently waiting for the White Sox to come out with the win.

"We had everything set up and with it going into extra innings, we thought this might be the biggest letdown ever but, Nicky Delmonico is my favorite player." said Twins second baseman, Brian Dozier, in an interview.

Joe Mauer, first baseman and a thirteen-year native to the Minnesota Twins, is the only player still on the team from the last time the Twins made the playoffs in 2010. Mauer had a few rough seasons not being able to find his bat, but Mauer is back and healthy and doing Mauer things again hitting a .305/.381/.417.

Let's not forget about stand-out centerfielder Byron Buxton, who should be given the Golden Glove already for his insane plays made out in the outfield. He holds a new record for most consecutive stolen bases in a season, breaking the old record of 22 bases stolen from 1994. Buxton is also hitting a .255/.317/.418.

Minnesota is likely headed for a wild card match up with the New York Yankees in New York, Tuesday October 3rd. This match up is going to be another obstacle for the Twins to overcome after their four out of six game loss against the Yankees this year.

It's time to beat those Yankees.




Cover Image Credit: Minnesota Twins

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20 Things LESS Exciting Than Hearing 'Dixieland Delight' Again At Bryant-Denny

Yes, "Dixie" is free but have you ever thought about what would students dread to face on campus too?

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Freeing "Dixieland Delight" was probably more exciting to Alabama fans than winning a national championship. OK, maybe I'm being a little dramatic, but nothing will ever beat the feeling of the fourth quarter of the Missouri game and hearing the first beat of that song.

If you don't believe me, here are 20 things that were LESS exciting than hearing "Dixieland Delight" playing at Bryant Denny Stadium.

1. Finding a good parking spot on campus

2. Waking up and seeing that your class is cancelled 

3. Seeing free T-shirts being passed out

4. Getting an A on a midterm

5. Receiving free food

6. Going to bed before 12 midnight

7. Doing all your homework BEFORE class

8. When your parents deposit money in your bank account

9. Thanksgiving/Christmas/Spring and summer break

10. A gameday in the South

11. Seeing a dog on campus

12. Going to Starbucks and seeing no line

13. Finding the exact quizlet you need

14. Walking in to a class prepared for a test

15. Working out... in college...

16. Talking to your parents on the phone

SEE ALSO: 23 Things You Call Your Mom For In College

17. Facetiming an old friend from back home

18. Getting a care package from your parents

19. Being well rested 

20. Winning a national championship

In case you forgot, these were things that don't even compare to hearing "Dixieland Delight" and actually singing it to the top of your lungs with thousands of people. Now that "Dixie" is free, maybe Alabama fans will now stay for all four quarters.

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The Cardinals Miss The Postseason... Again

Heading into the last week of the regular season, the St. Louis Cardinals had an 80 percent chance of making the postseason.

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This entire season has been a rollercoaster of emotions to say the least. I've said it before, but I remain optimistic at the beginning of every season regardless of circumstances. There are so many "what ifs" that I find it nearly impossible to be anything but optimistic. However, in classic Missouri sports fashion, the St. Louis Cardinals continually gave me slivers of hope only to shortly crush them afterwards. Regardless of the battles within the NL Central, the rise of young stars within the Cardinals farm system and an entire cultural shift thanks to Mike Shildt, the Cardinals have missed the postseason again and that's all that matters.

I think it's important to analyze the aspects where the team had fallen short. Throughout the entire year, one of the largest complaints coming out of the fanbase has been the inconsistent hitting and the steep run variations on a game-by-game basis. What may come as a surprise to some, but the Cardinals ranked 11th in the entire MLB in total runs during the 2018 regular season (759) but ranked 17th in team batting average (.249). For context, however, Boston lead the league with a .268. In fact, the Cardinals did not rank in the top ten for any hitting category except RBIs, ranking ninth with 725.

Furthermore, the Cardinals rank dead last in fielding statistics, in fielding statistics, committing a league-leading 133 fielding errors. When looking at the number of errors committed on an individual player basis, there were a lot of errors committed by people who I thought were a lot more defensively solid.

The top 5 error-committers on the Cardinals were Yairo Munoz (18), Matt Carpenter (16), Jedd Gyorko (16), Paul DeJong (12) and Kolten Wong (9). A good majority of those players have been playing in the MLB for at least 6 years which I think discredits a particular theory people had about ex-Manager Mike Matheny's management style.

Many people thought that Matheny was not holding his players accountable for committing errors. That makes sense when considering inexperienced, young players. However, as I mentioned earlier, many of the players committing these errors were veterans. Furthermore, let's look at the Cardinals' fielding ranking each of the years Mike Matheny was the manager. From 2013 to 2017, the Cardinals ranked 15th, on average, in fielding statistics.

So what do the Cardinals need to make it into the postseason? Anyone familiar with the Cardinals would tell you the team thrives off of young talent, which was definitely the case this year. The resurgence of players like Miles Mikolas, Tyler O'Neill, Jack Flaherty and Harrison Bader are prime examples of that. However, a team that relies on young talent alone cannot expect to make a deep run into the playoffs.

But there are a lot of aging veterans on the team who might not have the same explosive athletic ability yet they have an incredible wealth of baseball knowledge that is invaluable to rookies. But a team of aging players won't get anywhere either. What the team needs in a player or two who can bridge the gap between young talent and veterans. The current free agency pool could be pretty slim depending on where players with expiring contracts have their eyes set.

However, I can't say I'm entirely disappointed with how the season ended. When looking at the end of the regular season, the NL Central was by and large one of the most competitive divisions in all of baseball, and that's pretty much what I expected. With a week left on the season, the Cardinals and Brewers both had spots in the Wild Card while the Cubs had a ticket to the playoffs as the leaders of the NL Central. If that remained the case, 50 percent of the playoff teams in the National League would have been from the NL Central.

All in all, I was disappointed with how the season ended, especially with how amazing the team looked after the All-Star break. All we can hope for now is an acquisition or two and for the continued development of our young talent. Hopefully, we can see the Cardinals play in some October baseball next year, but knowing the Cubs lost in the NL Wild Card game eases my pain a little bit.

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