Aside from fans in KC, Oakland and Pittsburgh, there's one phrase that is more bitter than sweet, and it's been uttered too often by Dick Bremer after a Twins' win this season: "And the Twins are back at .500."
Thanks to the parity that almost no one predicted at any time since free agency, baseball teams are more even than ever. That means the Twins would be fighting for first place with this record if they got their mail in any division in baseball - other than the National League West.
There have been only two teams to win 100 games since 2005 in the NL and AL combined, and last season 19 teams won at least 75 games and three others missed that mark by one. Basically, all that spending by the Mets and the Yankees hasn't mattered much. It's like the Minnesota State High School League - everyone has a chance.
Thanks to baseball achieving what Pete Rozelle envisioned for the NFL decades ago,parity the Twinks have been able to overcome an outfield that has been potholed bi-monthly (Cuddyer's finger, Span's inner ear problem, the death of Delmon Young's mother, plus his inability to understand he's supposed to be a big-league hitter).
Despite that and
- Alex Casilla's two dozen mental errors in about three dozen games,
- an infield that now has a spring-training spare part at starting shortstop,
- an infield that has the starting shortstop at second base,
- Joe Crede's nicks and twitches,
- a bullpen that struggled so badly the Twins were forced to dumb it down by sending baseball's smartest player to Oakland,
- a delivery from Francisco Liriano that finishes in the technically challenging pirouette,
- Scott Baker's BertBlylevenitis,
- and playing without its all-World catcher for a month,
the Twinkers are still in it.
Now it's time for this horse to quit drafting the leaders of this derby, sprint to the outside, take the lead and get Bremer to shut up about the Twins reaching sea level once again.