For the first time since 2010, the Minnesota Twins clinched the AL Central in front of fans at Target Field. Unlike that year, Minnesota controlled its own destiny and was able to outright win a division title with a 8-6 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night.
It was certainly more stressful and dramatic than it probably needed to be, but the job is done. The Twins, after rough patches and doubts throughout the season, have won their ninth AL Central crown in franchise history.
While the celebration is well deserved, you don't have to remind Twins fans twice that the work is only just beginning. This isn't the first time Minnesota has punched a ticket to the postseason, but it has been since 2004 that the team has won a single game in the playoff.
Not a series, a single game.
That's a curse everyone in Twins territory hopes will end this year, a sentiment that starts with the players on the field.
Kyle Farmer promises Twins will end dreaded postseason curse this year
In the immediate aftermath of the Twins clinching the AL Central title, Kyle Farmer spoke with Audra Martin on Bally Sports North and made a proclamation.
"We're gonna get that first win since 2004, I promise you that," Farmer said to Bally Sports North during the on-field celebration.
It's easy to chalk this up to emotions running high, but it's notable that in the team's moment of triumph they're already looking toward the future.
Minnesota won the AL Central back in 2020 and have claimed the crown five times since 2004 but all of those seasons ended without a single win in the postseason. It's to the point where we'll believe it once we see it, but it does feel like this year's team is built different.
For the first time in what feels like forever the Twins have reliable starting pitching. Two starters went to the All-Star Game this year and one of them might end up a Cy Young finalist. Pablo Lopez was on the mound for the clinching game, which was fitting given why the team traded for him.
Twins fans aren't used to seeing prophecies fulfiled, but Lopez delivered on Friday. Young players like Royce Lewis, Matt Wallner, and Edouard Julien are core pieces of a youth movement that shows how bright the future is. All of this combines to give fans a Twins team unlike what we've seen before, and here's to hoping it truly is something that is different.