I promised you an eighth playoff participant today but the Twins and Tigers refused to settle their differences in the regular season. One hundred and sixty-two games after they started out tied at 0 wins and 0 losses apiece, Minnesota and Detroit remain tied and will tangle in a single-game playoff on Tuesday evening.
Yesterday, Carl Pavano's pitching and Jason Kubel hitting led the Twins to a 13-4 smothering of the weepy Royals, while Detroit held off the White Sox 5-3 behind a pair of tater tots by Ryan Raburn. That Tigers win prevented a sweep by the Fightin' Ozzies and kept thousands of Detroiters from kicking out the figurative chair and finishing the job. Ha, I made a Detroit joke and used the word 'job'.
In the all-important tiebreaker, Detroit will send New Jersey youngster Rick Porcello to the mound while Minnesota counters with Scott Baker the changeup maker. Detroit hasn't won their division since 1987 while the Twins are looking for their fifth division crown of the 2000s. The winner will 'advance' to the Bronx on Wednesday for the opportunity to disappoint millions of Yankees fans, something the Tigers did just three years ago and something the Twins have never done. We'll have that liveglog for you on Tuesday evening, because we are a full-service weblog and you are an avid fan of hilarious polls.
Why Tuesday and not during the day today? Because the Twins are one of just three baseball teams to share their home field with a silly NFL team; the Vikings will host the Packers in a nationally-televised game tonight. Of course, next year the Twinkies will move across the street and play at the open-air Target Field, and the Florida Marlins will soon evacuate Dolphins Stadium, leaving the Oakland A's as the only team forced to play nice-nice with a footballs squadron. But at least the Raiders never have to worry about being asked to host a nationally-televised game and the A's don't have to worry about hosting any sort of "play-off games".