When I reflect upon the things I sometimes say, I often have regrets. I recognize the error of my ways, even if it may be too soon after last night to use the word “error.” I, like most of you, I presume, hold to some pretty hard and fast principles, like not becoming a degenerate gambler (at least not with stakes large enough to alter my or my family’s lifestyle).
If I were a degenerate gambler willing to bet everything, the house, the car, and even my neighbor’s stuff, I’d now have doubled my net worth based on last night’s performance. The Yankees came into the game having lost 10 of their last 13. The Twins came in on a two-game win streak (which, granted is less a streak, than a fully clothed jog, but nevertheless, it was improvement.) The betting lines when I looked before the game were -110 for each team.
Generally, I marvel at the wisdom of Las Vegas odds makers. The over/unders, for example, even in basketball games with more than 200 points scored are so often so incredibly close to the mark, it makes gambling…well….a genuine gamble. Obviously, these guys are good. So, it was with some degree of wonder that I considered those odds last night. In a word, I thought they were crazy. Have they not been made aware of Yankees/Twins games? Were they living in a cave? Were they friends of Jake Cave?
I realize that, as Justin Morneau took pains to mention several times during the broadcast, we shouldn’t hold this team responsible for years of tragedy against the Yankees. It wouldn’t be fair, so I won’t do it. Still, there is something seemingly very real about the Twins level of historic 21st century futility against the Yankees, that to ignore it, would require a level of denial that most of us (apparently outside of Las Vegas) aren’t able to achieve.
Perhaps we can deny our own flaws, but to deny the flaws of this year’s Twins team and then to pair that with historic futility against the Yankees seemed to require a betting line of -200 for the Yankees no matter who was pitching, who was injured, what day of the week it was, and who was President. Perhaps if a meteor strike was expected, or if Target Field would be overrun with Cicadas or Squirrels or other vermin, a line of -110 would seem on the mark. But short of any of that, if the world continued to spin on its axis, why would anyone, EVER, think a Yankees/Twins game could “go either way.”
Maybe if we had Jacob DeGrom pitching and the Yankees had...say....any of our pitchers....then, maybe, it “could go either way.” But even with Pineda pitching, who has arguably at least, been our best starting option, and even with the Yankees struggling, seriously....who would, if they had one bet to save their life, take the Twins in a bet against the Yankees?
In other words, it was as if I knew the lottery numbers last night, but I was too afraid to play them. It seems wrong to bet against my favorite team, but I could’ve been rich. I could’ve sacrificed my principles, after all, the Twins sacrificed basic defense last night, it didn’t seem that hard for them.
So, regrets, I have a few. It’s only money, it would’ve corrupted me anyway.