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Giving Thanks: The American League Central

Nov 25, 2010, 10:00 AM EDT

Rockwell Thanksgiving

We continue our look at what each team — or their fans — have to be thankful for this winter.

Minnesota Twins: Their division foes. While they broke even against the Tigers, they were 38-16 against the White Sox, Indians, and Royals. They can also be thankful for a serious of silly occurrences which took place in the late 90s and early 2000s which laid the groundwork for Target Field eventually being built. Here’s to you Don Beaver, who couldn’t make a stadium happen in North Carolina! Here’s to you Minnesota Supreme Court who ruled that the Twins had to play in the Metrodome in 2002, thereby rendering any threats of contraction toothless!  Here’s to you all you wacko politicians who managed to wrangle land and tax dollars to pay for a ballpark when there really wasn’t a will out there to have it done!  And no, saying that these folks are worthy of thanks in no way constitutes an endorsement of their actions.  Think of the “thanks” as being in ironic quotation marks. But it really is a nice park, and it’s helping the Twins, so whatever.

Chicago White Sox: June and July. Ultimately it was a disappointing season, but from June 9th to June 26th they won 15 of 16, including an eleven game winning streak. Another nine game winning streak soon followed. By July 20th they were 52-41 with a 3.5 game lead.  Yes, that was the season’s zenith, and their inability to do anything against division rivals killed it, but it was a nice early summer. For a certain brand of baseball fan who truly views baseball as a pastime — as pleasant background noise on pre-dog-day summer nights, a great run in June and July is about as nice a thing as you can have. If you read this blog a lot you’re probably a big enough fan that you don’t fit that description, but there’s a joy to that kind of thing.

Detroit Tigers: The Curtis Granderson trade. Giving up a fan favorite like Granderson is hard, but Dave Dombrowksi did Detroit proud by bringing in Austin Jackson, Max Scherzer, Phil Coke and Daniel Schlereth.  In that crowd there’s a promising center fielder, a potential ace, a C.J. Wilson experiment for 2011 that I’m rather optimistic about and a serviceable reliever.  Nice haul.

Cleveland Indians: Lebron James. James made his “Decision” on July 8th. The Indians ended that night at 33-52.  They finished the season 36-41.  The second half was way easier to handle what with no one in Cleveland paying any attention to them thanks to the sturm und drang, and they were actually a touch better! I attribute this modest improvement to Lebron!

Kansas City Royals: Years and years of losing. If not for that, they wouldn’t have nearly the minor league system they currently have (and the system they currently have is loaded). It’s not unreasonable to think that, come 2012 or 2013 that the Royals will catapult to the top, Tampa Bay Rays-style. As in, “they were pretty terrible until the moment they became good, at which point they became awesome.”

  1. kander013 - Nov 25, 2010 at 10:13 AM

    Craig,

    I know your against public money for pro ballparks, but there is no way we’d be talking about a future for the Twins in Minnesota without Target Field. It’s $0.03 on every $20 spent in Hennepin County, and it is not applied to medicine, and a couple of other key items. As someone who had the their hopes and dreams crushed seemingly every year about a ballpark bill-being there for opening day and over 20 games this year is nothing to knowing that Minnesota will have another good 30 years of Twins baseball to look forward to each summer. That is what all Twins fans should be truly thankful for.

    • Glenn - Nov 25, 2010 at 11:40 AM

      For just pennies a day, you can support your local billionaire! For that I am grateful! I’m writing my check to Haliburton today. Sure, they’re going to do what they’re going to do anyway, but it’s nice to know that they’ll make a bigger profit doing it.

      • wintwins - Nov 25, 2010 at 5:02 PM

        “What they’re going to do anyway” in this case was try and move the team to a more profitable location. I’m glad they found a way to keep the Twins in Minneapolis, and I’m also glad that they used a county tax instead of state tax money to do so. The 50% increase in payroll is a nice perk too.

      • Glenn - Nov 25, 2010 at 8:32 PM

        Just seems a bit misplaced to fund the very wealthy with taxpayer dollars when we are cutting funding for schools, police, libraries, etc. I am very happy for Twins fans – I always root for them if my team is out of it. Luckily my billionaires paid for their stadium themselves.

      • scottolstad - Nov 26, 2010 at 8:49 AM

        Haha, keep your checkbook in your pocket, I’m pretty sure our tax dollars DID go to Halliburton. Make no mistake, much of our tax money helps billionaires.

        But hey, if I was a fan of any other AL Central team, I’d hate on Target Field too. Winning a divison title against the Twinkies was hard enough before the new ballpark revenue raised the payroll!

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