Some random observations from the last day of baseball's regular season:
Let's blow this Popsicle stand
I attended the last game of the Indians' lost season Sunday. It was the quickest 6-3 game I've ever seen in my life, under two and a half hours. Riding in a Jacobs Field elevator midway through the game, the elevator operator told us he took his break during the third inning and saw the Devil Rays had already packed up their equipment truck for the ride to the airport.
There are getaway days, and then there are real getaway days. Such will happen when a 100-loss team faces an 80-loss team during the last series of the season.
The choke happened five months ago
Last season, with the playoffs on the line, the Indians hosted the Devil Rays and White Sox on the final homestand of the season. They went 1-6 and choked away the playoffs.
This season, with nothing on the line, the Indians hosted the same two teams and went 6-1. I'll let you draw your own conclusions.
In speaking of choking...
It's hard to say the Tigers truly choked since they're still headed for the playoffs. But man, did they do everything in their power to make sure October is not an enjoyable experience.
We thought the Indians were pathetic when they were swept by the Royals earlier this year. But the Tigers, vying for a division title, allowed arguably the worst team in baseball to come into their packed stadium and sweep them right into the wild card. Sunday, they couldn't hold a 6-0 lead and were ultimately beaten in extra innings 10-8.
The Tigers now head to Yankee Stadium for the first two games of their division series. Good luck.
On the flip side
The Twins have looked good since about June. Like Jessica-Simpson-before-she-became-a-waif good. The best home team in baseball will now host Oakland to begin their division series.
Sunday, Minnesota became the first team in baseball history to take sole possession of first place for the first time on the last day of the season. Not to rain on the parades of Detroit and Oakland fans, but Sunday likely sets up an excellent ALCS between the Yankees and Twins.
And the winner of that series is likely going to be hoisting a championship trophy, since I see no one in the National League who can take the American League's best in a seven-game series, especially since the now Pedro-less Mets appear to be in a rapid decline.