Clinched

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It's official. 2006 is a magical season for the Twins, and here's proof: Tonight, sitting at a bar in Northeast celebrating a softball victory, I looked up at the TV screen just in time to see Torii Hunter stride to the plate with one on in the seventh inning. I turned and said to whoever was close enough to hear, "Callin' it! Number 30, right here." It's the first time I've ever called anything in public, and my timing proved impeccable. Torri did not disappoint.


Hunter's homer is a career high of course, since no Twin but Morneau has reached the mark since 1987. The fact that two Twins have done it this year is icing on a fantastic season.

An inning later, Morneau rediscovered his homerun swing, and an inning after that the Twins officially clinched a playoff berth, thus eliminating the White Sox. They celebrated, of course, with champagne.

Meanwhile, Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano garnered enough at-bats to qualify him for the batting title race, moving him and his .342 average into second place behind Joe Mauer. That means the only statistic Derek Jeter leads his team in now is stolen bases. Despite what a certain Sports Illustrated article would have you believe, he's not even the best shortstop on his team, regardless of whether he wins the AL MVP. As my softball team's pitcher said at the bar tonight just before Joe Nathan scored the final out, "He's definitely the best Yankees captain in all of baseball."

Whatever. Screw the MVP race. Screw the batting race. And screw the Wild Card race, even though it's over and won. There's still a division title out there, and that damn dome would look great with one more banner hanging from its ceiling.



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