Rivalry Exchange Part I

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Paul M. Banks & Batboy vs. Peter Christian & Andy Weise

This week Soxman’s alter ego, Bruce Wayne-Parker has gone to Gotham City (New York) on assignment to follow our boys at Yankee Stadium during their final series ever at the House that Ruth built. Unfortunately, the Death of Star of MLB, has fascist rules prohibiting costumes at the ball game, so BWP, not SM will be taking in the ballgames. Not to fear Sox Nation, the caped crusader will return next week for another 2 on 2 showdown against our site’s Twins fan writers Peter Christian and Andy Weise.
 
On Sunday night, Soxman and Batboy attended the ESPN game and had quite an amazing experience, getting into friendly conversations with Toby Hall and John Danks and also drew attention and approval from the big guy himself Bobby Jenks.

Batboy’s opening statement and commentary 
As the signal shined in the rainy sky we knew it was time for us to
 fly.

So in the Sox car to the ball park we went in hopes of watching a great
 Sox event.

What a sight in the sky we did see as there was no rain but a nice
 gentle breeze.

So with a triumphant call the announcer did say let’s play ball and
 the game was on its way.

While the crowd was scarce in that first game we have to win I did
 exclaim.

YES, Soxman we have a four run lead but I would like a few more runs I
 did plead.

Bobby came in to save the day but will it be enough I did pray.

Oh no Bobby just gave up 2 runs come on Bobby fire your guns.

I did not fear for I have faith in him and like a great bed time story
 he got us the WIN!

 

Peter Christian’s opening statement


(PC) 150 games into the 2008 season and two teams who were supposed to be looking up at the Detroit Tigers in the standings are now battling for the AL Central title and the chance to play the AL East winner in the ALDS in October. The Twins and the White Sox were both expected to do some rebuilding/reloading this season but one is on the verge of capping off an unexpected run to the play-offs while the other will likely come up just short. Since both teams have been within 3 games of each other since June 21st it is likely going to come down to “Twins v. White Sox 2008 version 6.1-3”.

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(PMB) So what makes this Sox-Twins rivalry, so heated and so special? For me its the opposites attract principle, two teams so different in style, setting and franchise history are once again the last two standing. It reminds me of Sam and Diane on Cheers. Their animosity for each other comes from mutual admiration, and although they may seem very different, you just know that in the end, these two will be the last ones left standing.
 

 (PC) The rivalry between these two teams has grown exponentially over the last few seasons. Even with much of the Twins roster changing, the animosity between the two teams has remained elevated. The volatility at the Metrodome when the Sox are in town is at an extremely high level and as we saw at the end of July it doesn’t take much for that to spill onto the field. With 12 games left for the Twins (13 for the Sox) solid play down the stretch is going to be vital, but the three game match-up prior to the final weekend of the regular season is likely going to catapult one team to the play-offs and prepare the other for a month of watching baseball on TV.

(AW) I think the biggest thing is the teams are built two different ways… the Twins like to use the small ball, small market scheme whereas Chicago is always built for power. AJ was a guy that gave the Twins some edge back in the day, same with Torii. I don’t think either were too well liked in Chicago but now AJ is with the White Sox and I know he isn’t liked by Twins fans.
 

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(PMB) Well, we can all agree on our hatred of the New York Yankees?
 
(AW) I’ve never been one to cheer against the Yankees really. I definitely cheer for Boston over them but New York has fallen the last several years and I think we all sit back and enjoy it. I’m more against teams that freely spend money. I’m completely in favor of a salary cap for baseball although it will probably never happen.
 
(PMB) And what is up with the Toronto Blue Jays owning both of us? Wow does that team have some tremendous pitching, if they had any hitting outside of Alex Rios and Vernon Wells they would have a much better record and be a squad no one would want to face in October. I love what A-Rod said this week about them (and Mr. answers-sounded-like-they’ve-been-tested-on-focus-groups got caught with his foot in his mouth) But this all prompts the question: how come both the Sox and Twins can’t handle the AL East? Is the division THAT much better than the Central?

(AW) The AL central is a good division but it goes in spurts. Cleveland and Detroit were supposed to be the big dogs this year but Minnesota’s youth and Chicago’s power have provided the boost that both teams needed. Who would have predicted the fall of the Tigers and Indians (well maybe many did), Tampa Bay finally mattering, etc.

It’s been an interesting year but pitching wins championships and both the Twins and White Sox have had some good pitching from the starters this year and that’s why both teams can still make noise in the playoffs even though they’re playing bad right now.

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(PC) What really worries me is that whoever does come out of the AL Central is going to be a HUGE underdog against either the Red Sox or Rays. Especially because it looks like whichever team wins the East is going to have quite a bit of momentum from beating out the other for the division title. As both Twins and White Sox fans have seen over recent weeks, the AL East has feasted on the AL Central. In particular the Toronto Blue Jays have played their way past the Yankees mainly because of their dominance of the Twinkies and Sox (playing the type of baseball I thought would parlay them into the Wild Card in my MLB preview). The question remains is the AL Central just a better version of the NL West? Or is it more of a case of peaking teams catching good teams at the right time. Personally I think it is the latter. The Twins were swept by the Jays at the end of the team’s longest road trip in something ridiculous like 25 years while they were more concerned with shoring up their recent bullpen woes than beating an inferior team and the White Sox are allowing teams to hang around because they are worried about another devastating injury. Either way, we are in for an exciting couple weeks.

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Comments

  1. Magic # 10! My Gavin Floyd auto ball that was included in those Sox tix I won at that charity auction, just went up!

  2. I wore my Sox gear to the Cubs game tonight! You can feel a playoff buzz in the city now. And it also makes me think “Hey Brewers, thanks for coming!”

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