After a 1-1 split with the much hated Chicago White Sox at Target field, the house that Mauer built, the Twins now travel to New York to the new Yankee Stadium, to the house that Jeter built. This is a team that has single handedly kept the Twins from their World Series dreams many times over the past 10 years. The Twins just cannot seem to win in the playoffs against the evil empire.
These two teams couldn’t be more polar opposite. The Twins have traditionally had one of the lowest payrolls in baseball but one of the best teams, choosing to build from within their farm system and letting top players ala Johan Santana leave without a big contract. The Yankees have built their teams by throwing 10-30 million dollar 1-year deals to free agents and trading away their top prospects to non playoff teams for their big time players.
The Yankees have the highest payroll in baseball year in and year out but have only won the World Series once in the last 8 years. They won last year for the first time since their dynasty from 1996-2000 (not winning it in 1997.) Before that they hadn’t won since 1981.
The Twins won it in 1987 and 1991 with a team that had grown up together in the Twins farm system. In this the first season at the new ballpark, the Twins are finally paying the big bucks for players like Joe Mauer, and Justin Morneau. They still have yet to go out and “buy” a big time pitcher but they haven’t had to. The two teams records are almost identical but the Twins are in first place in the AL Central at 22-12 and the Yankees at 22-11, 1 1/2 games back of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Friday nights match-up looks like a great one between Franciso Liriano, 4-1, 2.36 and A.J. Burnett, 4-1, 3.40. This should be a pitchers duel but with these two teams it could end up 10-9 more than likely going the Bronx Bombers way. Maybe this will be the year the Twins can finally figure out how to get past the Yankee mystique that has kept them from the World Series so many times.
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Written by Chad McIntyre