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Minnesota Twins Clinch AL Central Title

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Can we take that the 2010 American League Central Division championship and. . .to borrow a phrase. . .put it on the board?

Why yes. . .yes, we can.

The Minnesota Twins became the first team in Major League Baseball to clinch a post-season berth this evening, thanks to the Chicago White Sox dropping a 7-2 decision to the Oakland Athletics this evening. Earlier tonight, the Twins put together a four-run eighth inning to defeat the Cleveland Indians and reduce their magic number to 1.

The 2010 division title is the Twins’ sixth since Ron Gardenhire took over the club in 2002. Despite his track record of success, Gardenhire has only been named AL Manager of the Year one time. . .he’s finished as the runner-up, however, on four separate occasions, and will no doubt be in the running for the award again this season.

The Twins also trail the New York Yankees by one game for the best overall record in the American League, which would give them home-field advantage throughout the AL playoffs. Minnesota’s likely opponent in the first round of the post-season is the Tampa Bay Rays, as the wild card from a particular league can not play a team from the same division in the first round. As a result, the likely first-round matchups are the Twins against the Devil Rays and the Yankees against the Texas Rangers.

Congratulations to the 2010 American League Central Champions, the Minnesota Twins. Our good friends over at Twinkie Town will no doubt be popping the champagne corks any time now.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.