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Game 150: Twins at White Sox

A rivalry unlike any other

Minnesota Twins v Chicago White Sox Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

First Pitch: 1:10 PM CT

TV: Bally Sports North

Radio: TIBN

Know Thine Enemy: South Side Sox

Almost unquestionably, the Chicago White Sox are the biggest rivals of the Minnesota Twins. Ask Twin Cities pedestrians about the topic and you’ll get a few Cleveland Guardians or New York Yankees answers, but for the most part the South Siders would rise to the top.

What’s amazing about that is how little the Twins and White Sox have actively been competitive with each other in any given season.

In 1965 & 1987, the Tighty-Whities finished second to our Twins in divisional play—but a distant 2nd. Never in the 1961-2002 period were the two clubs duking it out for playoff positioning.

Minnesota Twins v Chicago White Sox
Black Jack doing some sort of interpretive dance at Comiskey Park in 1991
Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

The same can basically be said for 2011-2022. Sure, the Twins & White Sox battled tooth-and-nail for the 2020 crown—but that was in the bizarre, pandemic-affected 60-game sprint. I tend to not put a ton of stock in analyzing that campaign. Again, as with the teams’ early history, it was “never the twain shall meet”.

So where does this #1 rivalry stuff come from? Well, during an 8-season period in the 2000s the Twins & White Sox battled each other like Yankees vs. Red Sox or Dodgers vs. Giants…

-2003: Both clubs went deep into September for the AL Central crown, with the Twins ultimately victorious.

-2004: Torii Hunter annihilated CHW catcher Jamie Burke.

-2006: Ron Gardenhire’s “Piranhas” utterly stupefied Sox skipper Ozzie Guillen.

-2008: Another down-to-the-wire AL Central finish—actually, more like “after the wire”, as it took an epic Game 163 to close it out (sadly, this one went the way of the Pale Hose).

Minnesota Twins v Chicago White Sox
Thome giveth, and Thome taketh away

-2010: Though the Twins clearly looked like the superior team for most of the season, Jim Thome’s Flagpole Revenge was the knockout blow.

Once again in 2023 the competition portion of the Twins/Sox rivalry is a non-factor, what with the Twins chasing down a single-digits magic number and Chicago sporting a winning percentage under .400.

Perhaps someday Cleveland will try every season, Detroit will get a wave of prospects to actually hit, or Kansas City will have more than two consecutively good seasons in the span of three decades. But unless/until those things happen, we’ll “always have the 2000s” to fall back on when it comes to savoring victories over the White Sox that much more.

Minnesota Twins v Chicago White Sox
The prison pajamas the Sox wore on Friday night were pretty wild
Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Let’s watch together and hope we get one more of those to close out the MN/CHW portion of 2023!

Today's Lineups

Edouard Julien - 1B Elvis Andrus - SS
Jorge Polanco - 2B Andrew Benintendi - LF
Willi Castro - LF Andrew Vaughn - 1B
Royce Lewis - DH Eloy Jimenez - DH
Carlos Correa - SS Gavin Sheets - RF
Matt Wallner - RF Trayce Thompson - CF
Andrew Stevenson - CF Lenyn Sosa - 3B
Ryan Jeffers - C Zach Remillard - 2B
Kyle Farmer - 3B Korey Lee - C
Sonny Gray - RHP Dylan Cease - RHP