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No one wants to win the AL Central

Sep 23, 2012, 10:58 PM EDT

Jose Valverde Getty Images

The White Sox lost their fifth in a row Sunday to the Angels, giving the Tigers a chance to move into a tie for first place in the AL Central even after they were routed by the Twins in the first game of a doubleheader. How did they respond? By losing the nightcap 2-1 in 10 innings.

Here are the second-half records of the AL Central teams:

Tigers: 36-30 – .545
White Sox: 34-33 – .507
Royals: 33-35 – .485
Twins: 28-40 – .412
Indians: 19-49 – .279

And the September records:

Royals: 11-11
Twins: 11-11
Tigers: 10-11
White Sox: 9-12
Indians: 8-13

The White Sox have received plenty of positive press for their surprising success under first-time manager Robin Ventura, but they’re probably the AL’s seventh or eighth best team.

As for the Tigers, well, they’ve been a disappointment pretty much all year long. They did play better ball in July and August, but they’ve stumbled again of late and they’d be on the verge of being ousted from the race if the White Sox hadn’t forgotten how to hit over the last week.

Both teams have 10 games left. The White Sox get the Indians for four and the Rays for three at home before finishing with three in Cleveland. The Tigers play four at home against the Royals and then finish on the road with three in Minnesota and three in Kansas City.

That’d seem to be advantage Chicago. Cleveland has played the worse of all of those teams, and the White Sox have the three extra home games. Still, with the way things have gone of late, it’s doubtful either team will run away with it.

  1. philliesblow - Sep 23, 2012 at 11:07 PM

    The Tigers made Scott Diamond and P.J. Walters look like the second coming of Cy Young and Walter Johnson today. Two chances today to move into a tie or outright lead and they choked. Absolutely pathetic.

    • frank433 - Sep 24, 2012 at 12:05 AM

      They do this all the time though. They might destroy your ace one day, then make your 5th starter with a 5.00+ ERA look like a CY Young candidate. It’s absolutely maddening.

  2. jlovenotjlo - Sep 24, 2012 at 12:01 AM

    Small correction, the White Sox have the Indians for 3 and the Rays for 4, as opposed to vice versa. This does make for a slightly more difficult homestand.

  3. paperlions - Sep 24, 2012 at 8:22 AM

    What in the world is Valverde laughing at….because that must have be one funny ass joke.

    • Francisco (FC) - Sep 24, 2012 at 9:57 AM

      The AL Central, that’s the joke. The only reason they’re not the worst division in baseball is probably because of the Houston Astros making the NL central look bad, but at least that division has a team that has already clinched it.

  4. vincentbojackson - Sep 24, 2012 at 8:33 AM

    The Tigers problem all year has been a poor back half of the rotation and a soft hitting bottom of the lineup.

    Defensively they’ve had several untimely errors that have cost them at least 10 games this season.

    Disappointment is the optimum word here.

  5. historiophiliac - Sep 24, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    I have no idea why Valverde closes games like that. He puts people on base and allows runs a good chunk of the time. You should never play him if you aren’t up by 3-4 runs. Benoit is much better about getting the outs and getting it done. Also, I’ve said it a million times, putting in Coke is conceding the game. Why does Leyland even put him in? Go straight to Villareal and don’t handicap him more with Coke’s mess. And for all the dumping on Miggy’s defensive play, he is not our big problem. Hello, Dirks, you can play better than that.

  6. blantoncollier - Sep 24, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    Well Paul Dolan would like to own the winning team in the Central. But that would take investing in the Indians. We know he wont do that…..

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