After their thrilling walk-off win against the White Sox, the Twins have pulled ahead in the AL Central by 4 games. The Twins have 43 games left in the season and a lot left to accomplish.
Here is the list of goals for Ron Gardenhire to post in the clubhouse until the conclusion of the 2010 season. The goals are listed in order of importance and in order of the sequence in which they need to occur.
Goal #1: Qualify for the playoffs. The Twins need to find some way to make make the playoffs as either the AL Central Champion or as the AL Wild Card winner. Either spot would be sufficient. There needs to be playoff baseball during the first season of Target Field. Hopefully some of the magic from the Metrodome years has made the trip across downtown.
Goal #2: Win the AL Central. With a four game lead, the Twins are heading in the right direction. The White Sox are not going to go away lightly. They are a very good team with the pieces in place to catch the Twins down the stretch. The Twins are in a new position over the last couple of seasons. They are the team being chased instead of the one doing the chasing. Hopefully they don't get complacent and allow the Sox to sneak up on them. Another Game 163 would be too much drama for the Twins fan base to take.
Goal #3: Make it through the 1st Round of the Playoffs. No matter how well the Twins have been playing entering the playoffs, they seem to have a hang-up getting through the ALDS. The Yankees have been the rival that has stood in the Twins' playoff path. It will be interesting to see if the Twins and Yankees meet-up again at some point in this years post-season tournament.
Goal #4: Win the ALCS. The Twins have not been to the ALCS since 2002. They have not won the ALCS since 1991. Almost a decade later, it is time for the Twins to conquer this obstacle.
Goal #5: World Series Champs. No explanation needed.
Bonus Goal: There is another goal that I think is within the Twins grasp as they make their push towards the Fall Classic. The Twins should push to catch both the Yankees and the Rays for the best record in the American League. Going into play today the Twins are four games behind the both of the leaders in the AL East. With 41 games left to play and the Twins playing well, there is a chance that they could catch and pass both of these teams. It would be great to know that the road to the 2010 World Series had to come through Target Field.
The goals are in place. Their sights are set. Let's party like its 1991....or 1987.