Over the past decade, the battle for AL Central supremacy has often come down to two teams: the Twins and the White Sox. Since 2001, the Twins have won the division six times, and that success has often come at the expense of the Pale Hosers, who finished second behind them in four of those seasons.
Of course, Chicago has also had its notable victories in this classic rivalry, edging the Twins in a tiebreaker for the division title in 2008 and reaching that ultimate achievement -- one that has eluded the hometown nine -- when they captured a World Series Championship in 2005.
This year, the Twins have been so outrageously bad over the first month of the season that some fans have failed to take notice of Chicago's own struggles. While the Twins (9-18) have scuffled in basically every aspect of the game, leading to a league-worst negative-64 run differential, the White Sox (11-19) have had their own share of issues and currently sport the second-worst run-differential in baseball -- albeit a much less appalling negative-32. (They're tied at that mark with -- you guessed it -- the Cubs. Tough times for the Windy City.)
Tonight, the two teams face off for the first time this season at U.S. Cellular Field. The pitching tilt will feature Francisco Liriano, who has been a major contributor to his club's woes with a 1-4 record and 9.13 ERA in five starts, and Edwin Jackson, who himself has regressed significantly after an impressive South Side debut last year.
Something's gotta give, right? There's no way two teams with as much talent as these can continue to play at such an abysmal and embarrassing level.
Which group is ready to step up?