I've got a soft spot for the Twins, and have for years; they're probably my favorite non-NY team. For one thing, the immortal Bat-Girl made them seem incredibly endearing. Besides that, as I've mentioned many times, I like Ron Gardenhire (a wise and twinkly-eyed baseball gnome), I loved watching Torii Hunter and Johan Santana, and Pat Neshak, and now I like Boof Bonser -- yes, just for the name, but what a name -- and Joe Mauer and, even though he is currently one of the worst-hitting starting outfielders in Major League Baseball, speedy bat-sniffing Carlos Gomez*. But right now I'm especially loving them, because they've got:
1. Longtime Eephus Pitch favorite Denard "No Relation" Span, who with every fleet-footed triple increases the odds that significant numbers of people will one day be walking around in "Span" t-shirts and Jerseys, and improves the reputation of a surname I've spent much of my life sullying. He's kicking ass right now if I do say so myself, albeit in a very non-power-y kind of way.
2. Craig Breslow, who was one year ahead of me at college, and by all accounts as well as my own very brief experience with him, is one very nice biochem major. His appearance against the Yankees tonight was... ah... well, hey, he did set a record. Let's just leave it at that. But he's having a really good year overall and hopefully I'll get to see him pitch again this series.
Anyway, the Yankees are back in the playoff race with a vengeance, but I'm still skeptical. Don't get me wrong -- this is a bit of a rebuilding year and if they can just keep things interesting into September, I won't complain. (Much). But it's hard to imagine that after playing mediocre baseball for nearly half the season, the Yankees will play significantly better after losing Chien-Ming Wang and Jorge Posada for the season. I mean, it's not as if they have top-notch studs on the bench, like Fernando Tatis and Argenis Reyes, ready to step into the void.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present your first place New York Mets (and their Reyeses, or Reyesi). If I were Willie Randolph I would probably just unplug the TV, cancel my newspaper subscription, and take up either Zen meditation or heavy drinking.
Last but not least, congratulations to my friend Dan, one of the best Mets fans I know -- not because of first place, but because he got married yesterday, in an incredibly beautiful ceremony in Connecticut. (And I say that as someone who doesn't generally go sappy during weddings... seriously, it was beautiful).
And? He didn't check the score even once.