Bud Selig is on the record saying that MLB has the best competitive balance of any professional sport. There's so much randomness in the game that Bud is almost right. If the Yankees played the Pirates 100 times, the Pirates might win 20 or 25 times. If the Chargers played the Lions 100 times, the Lions might win once or twice. That's just the way baseball is. Otherwise the Yankees would never get away with what they get away with, namely, making and spending so much more money than everyone else. If economics were as horribly broken in the NFL or the NBA as they are in MLB, the one financial behemoth would win just about every single game every single year.
Bud Selig is classified as an invertebrate, which means only randomness saves us from the iron boot of oppression. The division series is our best hope because it's easier to luck out three times instead of four. Unfortunately, the Twins drew the short straw three times in a row. Ron Darling's jockspeak about "heart" and "tenacity" fills the airwaves, but it's not nearly so complicated. The Yankees are good. The Twins are good. The Twins just lost. Now who will deliver us from Evil?
Will it be the Rays? It's possible, though unlikely. They're still better than the Rangers, but they have two more opportunities to come up short. Game 3 was still great to watch, especially to hear Buck Martinez, who has been bagging on the Rays' "lack of intensity" all series, finally reverse himself. The Rays were "fired up," their hitters got "comfortable at the plate," and their dugout became "loose and relaxed." Why the sudden change in temperament? Who knows! It just sounds more satisfying than saying "the Rays are pretty good at putting runners on base, and if you put runners on base often enough, sooner or later you are going to score some runs." I think Buck may be coming around to my point of view, though. He did say that Joaquin Benoit is hard to score on because he gives up so few base runners. That's absolutely true. It's very hard to score without a base runner.
Yankees 6, Twins 1 (New Yorks wins series 3-0)
My real reason for jumping on the Bill James soapbox here is to offer some consolation to the Twins. We're going to hear a lot in the next few days about the Yankees having "hearts of champions," while the Twins are presumably spineless cowards. Angels fans know the agony of listening to a partisan broadcast crew dumping on their team's "losing attitude" in the postseason. It's garbage. Pretty much the same bunch of guys who "choked" in the 2008 ALDS against the Red Sox came back in 2009 and swept them. Then they lost their "drive" at some point in the next few days and rolled over for the Yankees. Somehow this is supposed to make us inferior fans, or something. Whatever. Ron Darling and Jon Smoltz may believe in the Yankees' "power of positive thinking, " but the converse of that statement is pretty demeaning of the Twins and their fans. The Twins are professional baseball players, they just wear different jerseys than the Yankees.