Which Team Would I Rather Play?

Well, I won’t be playing, obviously, but you know what I mean. I’ve been thinking about the Twins-versus-Tigers question and it’s a really tough call.
First, I start thinking I’d rather play the Twins because the Yankees have such a winning record against them. But then I start thinking maybe they’re due to beat us. And then I start picturing us having to show up at the Metrodome with the noise and the white dish towels and the hideous green shag carpeting.
Verdict? I’d rather play the Tigers. They’ve been slumping and it’s doubtful Verlander would be available to pitch Game 1. Their roster doesn’t include Joe Mauer or Joe Nathan, which is a plus. And they play in Comerica Park, which is a nice normal stadium. Oh, and Miguel Cabrera might not have his head in the series.
On the other hand, the Tigers eliminated us in ’06. They do have Verlander, as well as Jackson and Porcello. They also have Curtis Granderson, Magglio Ordonez, Carlos Guillen, Aubrey Huff and Placido Domingo.
And to manage the team, they have that crafty, craggy, curmudgeonly Jim Leyland.
Maybe I’d rather play the Twins after all. Their nickname makes them sound so benign and sweet and easy to digest, doesn’t it?
I don’t even think the Tigers have a cute little nickname. It’s not the Baby Tigers. And it certainly isn’t this.
So maybe I do want to play the Twinkies. Except that there might be a lot of confusion in the broadcast booth, since we have a Gardy….
…and they have a Gardy.
Also, the Twins have Cuddyer, Span and that Yankees killer Orlando Cabrera. Scary. And they have the powerful Jason Kugel too.
But facing Carl Pavano would be a treat. Yes, he’s pitched well for the Twins but how cool would it be to have him back at Yankee Stadium with all the fans to greet him?
So I guess my choice is the Twins. But they’ve been on such a roll lately.
No, it’s the Tigers. But they could get a huge confidence boost if they win Tuesday’s playoff.
Twins. Tigers. Twins. Tigers.
OK, I don’t care! Either team is fine! This whole exercise is exhausting!


  1. gregdevoe@comcast.net

    It really doesn’t matter who we play. Being a baseball fan, I am superstitious and it is bad luck to wish for one team over the other. Let’s play the best and beat the best. It will be sweet!!

  2. TribeTed

    It is always fun to get a look at the AL Central and which team you would “rather” face. IF Verlander is pitching – you might wanna face the Twins. But if not, go with the Tigers, the Twins can really play some baseball, don’t let the youngsters fool ya. : ) Good luck Jane.


  3. arthur.kathleen@gmail.com

    I say the Tigers! Come on – that ceiling?? Also, the Twins are on a hot streak. Lets take on the Tigers -Verlander, Miguel-I am drunk-Cabrera and all! CC and gang can do it in their sleep!

  4. mbay@alm.com

    i will be happy going to either city (i have tix for both) but i’d rather it be the tigers, because i think they are on fumes; and los pirhannas are sizzzzzzzlingly hot.

    i get nauseous just remembering sitting in a Carmel calif hyatt watching KENNY ROGERS have the game of his life.

    otoh, i don’t think the beisbol gods would LET carl pavano beat the yankees. $39.5 Million for what, 17 starts?

  5. ibrenne@yahoo.com

    Ha ha. You are seriously disturbed. It is a good thing you don’t have to wait too long or else you’d be in a straightjacket (did you know I can order that as an MD…).

    * Here’s my logic (in my scientific fashion.I’m an MD after all…). The twins are hot like tamales. The twins are due. And mauer in particular is due since we shut him down all year.

    * Detroit is very tired from nearly doing a Mets-like choke. Verlander is out for game 1. They have more distractions w/cabrera’s wife beating the “fertilizer” out of him LOL. Wonder what he did to deserve that? And it isn’t like they’ve won many games off us this year either. One

    * So there you have it. I’m rooting for detroit. Don’t worry about ’06. Be like Mo and ignore the past. Live in the present. And it will all turn out fine. Trust me. Have I failed you yet?


    PS Are you getting me playoff tickets as you promised ;)…………………………………………..
    PPS Carl will kick our “donkey’s behind” if we play him. Another reason why we shouldn’t play the twins…………………………………………………………………………………………………
    PPPS Relax. We’ll be great as long as we don’t face any new rookies from the minors. Not likely to happen. Gardy & Guzman will run. Jeter will hit. Tex and A-rod will HIT. Even Cano will hit with RISP. Huuuuuughes will rock. And Mariano will be good ole Mo. It will be so.

  6. luckylori

    Decisions, decisions! At least you don’t have to actually choose yourself. I’m with you…it’s a real toss up. Either way I don’t think you have a thing to worry about. Congrats on a fantastic season. I am optimistically looking forward to another great Yankees/Angels matchup for the ALCS although I’m sure plenty of Red Sox fan would like the chance to knock you guys out. Or would they? 😉

  7. diane.anziano@gmail.com

    You make some very good points, Jane. The added comments, particularly the good doctor’s, are also strong. I’ve been rooting for The Twins all this way because I felt there was no way they could beat us, but after reading the blog I’m thinking now I want Detroit.

    I guess we should really just hope for a very long, exhausting game tonight and that which every team we have to face will be spent. Certainly the Tigers’ firstbaseman should be tired.

    Local newspaper had a funny comment from a reader. The comment was that Pavano was able to pitch on three days rest when he couldn’t pitch on two years rest while he was with the Yankees.

    Looking forward to a very good and almost effortless first series.

  8. mel.tmottbg@gmail.com

    Great post! Your thoughts reflect mine, so we’ll let the baseball gods decide.
    Diane, loved the comment about Pavano!

  9. theheirloom

    Love this post, Jane!

    However, I see it this way: As a Twin Cities resident, I’d rather see the Twins win today and not face the Yankees in the ALDS. There are too many factors that would disadvantage the Twins coming into the New Cathedral as early as tomorrow into rush hour out of Manhattan.

    Also, the Yankees had no problem the last time they faced the Twins in postseason. In 2004, the Twins took game 1 of the ALDS in the Bronx, while the Yankees came back in game 2 before heading back into the Dome. The Yanks won the rest of the way. I was there – saw Hideki and Bernie homered. The Twins sent the wrong guy to the mound that night.

    I wish you the best, Jane. Your blog is indeed one of the finest amongst the Blogosphere on MLB Advanced Media’s server!


  10. redstatebluestate

    I don’t think you have much to worry about in the Division Series… it’s when you play the Angels in the ALCS that you should be anticipating a letdown. Boy, Jane, Al really p’d off your Yankee fan brethren. We’re getting some vicious hate email now. Why are your fellow Yankee fans so violent? Boo to that. Why can’t they all be nice like you!? Get ready, ‘cuz here we go!!!!!!!!

  11. dschaub@gpo.gov

    You know, I agree with Greg’s comment, the first posting today…Bad JuJu to “wish” for one team over another…just watch what happens today & let it ride…no matter who wins, they’ll just be happy/relieved to be there for Game 1, which is as far as our edge really goes…no pressure whatsoever on Detroit/Minny, NOBODY expects them to win Game 1, and all the visiting team has to do is get a split in the first two games…unreal how ridiculous this is with these stinkin’ 5-game series…just like the ALCS’s of the ’70s, all the pressure is really on our guys. Can’t forget the misery of ’06. I had NEVER, in 45+ years of watching baseball, seen any TWO teams go into the postseason with LESS momentum than the Tigers and the Cards…it was almost comical…then, the Friday of our series, Game 3 in Detroit, I was in Ohio with my wife for her sorority’s alumnae weekend — the FIRST person we saw was the only one of her “sisters” who cared AT ALL about baseball…lives in Toledo…and she’s a LIFELONG Tigers fan?! From that moment on, it was bad mojo, bad juju, and look who’s in the World Series…

  12. Jane Heller

    I was gone yesterday/last night and couldn’t respond to these great comments. So frustrating! I’m here now though, so let’s get to it.

    One thing is for sure, Buz. We get to watch and we WILL watch. Well, I will – once I’m back from buying my new TV, which leads to another choice: LCD or Plasma? Will probably go with LCD.

    You’re as superstitious as I am, Greg. No matter which team we play, I’ll be wearing my lucky clothes and eating my lucky food and doing the whole routine.

    Pitching is everything, Ted. Facing Verlander won’t be easy. But maybe he’ll be a little tired?

    So you’d pick the Tigers, arthur.kathleen. I like your reasoning. I also like your confidence! CC and gang will do it!

    Sorry, Ginny. No can do. The Yankees are in this for the long haul. And I doubt that even Twins fans are sorry to see the Metrodome go. No sentimentality for that place from me!

    Sometimes I don’t understand the beisbol gods, Monica. They really confuse me. But I agree that they wouldn’t let Pavano beat us after we were so generous with his allowance. LOL! Lucky you, going to either Detroit or Minny. Give us a full report!

    We do have big names, YHH, but you know as well as I do that anybody can get hot in these short series and steal games. I do like our chances either way though.

    Thanks, ibrenne, for that bracing wakeup call! (No, I haven’t bought your playoff tix. I haven’t bought mine either.) So you’d pick the Tigers. I like your reasons. I especially like the logic about being like Mo and forgetting the past. I’ve been having flashbacks from ’07 during the Cleveland series in the ALDS. I was there with those midges. They haunt my sleep. But I will try to be like Mo and say, “That was yesterday. We’ll be fine today.”

    I would LOVE a Yankees-Angels match-up, Lori, even though your guys have kicked our butts (but not so much lately). For one thing, it would mean the Yankees got through the ALDS against either the Tigers or Twins. For another, it would mean I could drive down and actually go to a game. For a third, it would be a chance to try and destroy the rally monkey! HAHAHA.

    Funny comment about Pavano, Diane. So the blog has swayed you over to the Tigers? Me too. Either way, it would be great to see the Tigers and Twins go 20 innings and knock each other out. Or would that create more of an adrenaline rush for the team that outlasted the other? Hmmm.

    Ah, the baseball gods again, Melissa. As I said above, I’m not sure I trust them. Or understand them. But I guess we’re not supposed to. We’re supposed to just “let it go” and know that we’ll beat whichever foe we face. Or something like that.

    Thanks for the kind words about the blog, Randy. So as a Twins resident, which team would YOU rather face in the ALDS? I’ll turn the tables and ask you: if not us, then who? Red Sox? Angels? Pick your poison!

    Well, at least you’re getting a lot of traffic on your blog, Jeff! LOL. You guys do like to stir up trouble, and saying the Yankees always find a way to lose was bound to rattle some cages.

    I’ll be prepared either way, Paul. You know I will. New TV. Lucky clothes, food, sitting and standing positions. The whole insanity.

  13. Jane Heller

    I’ve never heard that wishing for one team over another is bad juju, Dave. Otherwise I wouldn’t do it! I’m way too superstitious. Although I do subscribe to the “be careful what you wish for” theory. To me, that just means that things are never what they seem. Like when we’re supposed to beat a certain pitcher and it turns out we can’t hit the guy at all. So no matter which team we face, there are bound to be surprises. I do feel confident that this team can grind through problems much better than recent teams.

    OK, arizonacacti. I’m following your lead. I will look forward to this series with BOLDNESS. I like it. We will create fear in all our opponents and conquer. We have the offense, the pitching, the defense and the speed to get it done with ease. And yes, the way we handled the Red Sox and Angels at the end of the season was very positive. Joe WILL be wearing #28 next year!

  14. arizonacacti

    Jane, I began to fall into that trap but now I have sprung that trap, released myself by putting myself in the shoes of the fans of all the others teams in the post season as they don those adult diapers thinking of facing our Yankees. My confidence is soaring with the leadership of the team, the youthful passion I see in the dugout and bullpen from the entire team.

    Do you really believe that any team, or their fans, out there are looking foward to a series with the yankees, I feel their fear so I hope you will look at the series with boldness. I see people all over the sports websites trying to sow seeds of doubt and worry but I am very confident and excited and feel the need to spread that word of encouragement.
    The last series with the red sox and angels even give me more reason to dispel any negative thoughts and I believe the Yankees will win, and Joe will be wearing #28 next year.

  15. dschaub@gpo.gov

    You know, I must be tired or too thick-headed, and all that…I actually was puzzled by the pic of Placido Domingo…what did she mean? Do they play HIS version of the Star-Spangled Something at Comerica? Is he a Tiger fan? “To all the teams I’ve luffed beforr…”?!? So when it hit me, I felt…pretty stoopid (hey, nuthin’ new). Ay yi yi, that Polanco guy…I like to call him “Placebo Polanco”…but the sucker can hit…hopefully, just not for the next few games…! Tell us, oh tell us, She-Fan, what shall we wear to please the beisbol gods (or at least not p*** them off)? Sacrifice a live chicken? KFC? Unfried??

  16. rrrt

    Wow, Jane, your head must be spinning with the possibilities. Just a few more hours and your questions will be answered – Kugel/Kubel or “Melonhead” Polanco. Hmm, I’m getting hungry. PS – I’m still rooting for that Yankees/Phillies WS 🙂
    Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts

  17. alexcoast2coastbball

    haha i know it’s such a tough decision, i’m at the point where i don’t care who we play either… part of me wants the Tigers though, not gonna lie.

  18. irishsoxkid19

    I really hope the Yankees play the Twins. Just for the heck of it. Personally, I wish the Red Sox were playing any team BUT the Angels. Seriously, why does the person who make the schedule have to do this to me? Highly annoying. Oh well, just gotta wait and see!! Good luck and may the best team win. (I mean the Twins-Tigers game that’s in about 45 min)

  19. Jane Heller

    LOL, Sue. Kugel/Melonhead makes me hungry too! The game starts in a few minutes and I’ll be watching – and scouting the competition. I can’t even think about the WS yet, although I do fantasize. Sigh.

    Part me me wants the Tigers too, Alex. The other part wants the Twins. That’s the problem! But it’s not up to any of us. It’s in the hands of those two teams and may they wear each other out!

    Holly, your guys do very well when they face the Angels so I wouldn’t worry. Anaheim is a great team, but don’t you have a winning record against them?

    They could be tired, Emma. Or they could be really fired up. I hope it’s the former though!

  20. gregdevoe@comcast.net

    For some reason, this game (Twins-Tigers) is making me nervous. I hope that the Yankee bats don’t go silent tomorrow night like the Twins are tonight.

  21. southernbelle

    Jane: Aaahh! This is a tough decision. I like the Twins better, but that doesn’t mean I want them to face my Yanks! It’s weird. I would like to face the Tigers, because they have been slumping, but then I think that they are bound to start winning again. And I want to face the Twins because they have been winning so much that they are bound to start losing, but then they might just keep winning. It’s confusing me. I was watching the Twins-Tigers game. It’s a good one.

  22. irishsoxkid19

    Jane, the Sox do have a winning record over the Angels, which will help us with games one and two, but after that, well, it’s tough to say. Buchholz has been struggling. Example: Sunday’s game. Though we won, Buchholz only lasted 3 innings. Hope he’s up for it. Well, good luck against the Twins!! Guess I was right from the start!!

  23. Jane Heller

    The Twins’ bats came alive, Greg. What a game that turned out to be. Wow, 12 innings. I was so nervous and it wasn’t even the Yankees playing!

    No more wondering, Virginia. It’ll be Yankees-Twins. They must be feeling so charged up, so I hope the Yankees will up to the challenge. Never mind. Of course they will be!

    You were right, Holly. It’s the Twins. Amazing game, wasn’t it?

  24. Jane Heller

    It all sounds good on paper, YHH, and I love our team’s chances. The Twins are on a roll. Now it’s our job – our mission – to take them down!

  25. theheirloom

    Jane, my preference would be the Angels. Yet, between the Yanks, Halos and The Nation – there is no path of least resistance.

    The Twins should be on a plane landing in the wee hours of the night. The consequence to the 12-inning, four-plus hour tiebreaker was throwing the Twins into this in less than 24 hours. Game 1 looks pretty opportune for the Yankees.

    The strange thing about the schedule the Yankees selected is the extra off day on Thursday, which will surely help both teams. I know the Twins need to recuperate from that amazing tiebreaker…

    Good luck, Jane! Let’s make this ALDS for the fans!


  26. Jane Heller

    I’m looking forward to PAV VS THE YANKEES, irvin, because I want the fans in the Bronx to greet him in the manner he deserves for doing nothing for us.

    There is no path of least resistance, Randy. So true. Every team has a shot at winning this. The Yankees picked the series with the extra day off on Thursday so we could use three starters. Good luck to you too!

  27. Jane Heller

    I’m glad you got a laugh, Jenny. I try not to take things too seriously here, although there are times when I can’t help myself! Judging by the way the Twins have been playing, it should be a very competitive series between our teams.

  28. jenny5880

    As a Twins fan, I’m hoping our charged up team wins. But I gotta say, I laughed out loud (and my coworkers looked at me funny) reading your blog – especially the pic you put in with the guy surrounded by beer cans. Not a Yankee fan at all, but I might read your blog anyway just for the laughs. You’re a good writer. 🙂

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