Notes from a day in baseball:
• 1. Gentlemen, Start Your Homer Hankies. It's kind of amazing, like a sign from God, or a good Ben Affleck movie (ba-dum-bum). The Twins are your AL Central champions, following a rather spectacular meltdown by the Tigers which left them wan, thirsty and in possession of the wild card berth. It came down to the final day of course; Minnesota beat the White Sox 5-1 while Detroit was losing 10-8 in 12 innings to Kansas City. It should be noted that the Royals were down 7-0 in that one, so, Twins fans, you owe them. Not only is it Minnesota's fourth division title in five years, but Joe Mauer went 2-for-4 to finish the season at .347, beating the Yankees' Derek Jeter (.343), for the AL batting title. He's the first AL catcher ever to do it. Let it be known, and let it be written, that Minnesota trailed Detroit by 10 1/2 on August 7.
• 2. Take Me To Pleasure Town. Meanwhile, the Padres weren't a very safe bet for a while there either. And it took them until two outs in the ninth of their final game to finally shake the Dodgers, but look at them now. Soaked in bubbly. San Diego beat Arizona 7-6 on Sunday to wrap up the NL West; as the Dodgers also won — beating the Giants 4-3 — with both teams finishing 88-74. But San Diego won the season series 13-5, so LA settles for the wild card. San Diego opens the playoffs against the Cardinals, who swept the Padres 3-0 in the first round last year. Think that'll hapen again?
• 3. We Are Family. Let's take a moment to say so long to the Pirates, who won when they weren't supposed to, lost at the worst possible times and gave us Freddy Sanchez, the first NL batting champion from Pittsburgh in 23 years. They ended with a 1-0 win over the Reds. By the way, Frank Robinson's last game as manager of the Nationals ended in a 6-2 win for the Mets. We'll miss that weepy Hall of Famer.
• 4. ZZzzzzzz. Nobody, with the possible exception of Derek Jeter (1-for-5 to lose the batting crown to Joe Mauer) cares that the Yankees lost to the Blue Jays 7-5, right? And we were actually at that game. (Don't ask.)
• 5. Makeup Date To Be Announced. In a fitting end to both their seasons, Red Sox rookie Devern Hansack had a no-hitter going through five innings against the Orioles when rain ended the whole thing.