This is the year of the coin flip. Just as Two-Face decided if you'd live or die by the flip of his lucky dollar in The Dark Knight, so did Major League Baseball in deciding where the AL Central play-in game would be held. U.S. Celluar, where the Twins were 2-7 this season? Or the Metrodome, where the White Sox were 1-8? As fate would have it, Minnesota lost; both the flip and the game, 1-0. A sellout crowd of 40,354 all dressed as Johnny Cash ushered the Black Sox into the ALDS, where they will venture into the friendly confines of Tropicana Field for the opener against the Rays on Thursday at 2:30 ET [TBS]. And while we're on the subject of coin flips, what the hell was this? Not even one freakin rotation? They may as well have used a manhole cover. Sorry, Minnesota. You got great pitching from Nick Blackburn, but you behaved at the plate like Lewis Black. Jim Thome's homer was the difference, and thanks for playing. Chicago, it should be said, overcame all manner of handicaps to get here. From the Chicago Sun-Times:
The Sox won an American League Central Division title without power-hitting Carlos Quentin in September. They lost veteran pitcher Jose Contreras, setting up 23-year-old John Danks to pitch the game of his life on three days' rest for the first time. They did it mostly without Crede, in his first All-Star season. They don't reach this point without a strong August and September from Konerko, without the bulldog performances by Buehrle down the stretch, without the moments when Jim Thome still flexed his muscle or without the endless string of starts behind the plate by Pierzynski. ''Everything we've gone through this year,'' closer Bobby Jenks said, ''the ups and downs and injuries, to stay together, that's how championships are won.''
Oh, and the White Sox join the Cubs in the postseason for the first time since 1906, when the South Siders were called the Hitless Wonders. The first all-Chicago World Series in 102 years is just around the corner, I can feel it.* * = Not really. Vet And Wild Celebration [Chicago Sun-Times]