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Brad Radke has pitched for the Twins for twelve seasons. It is rare, in the age of free agency, for a player to spend that many years with one team, but Radke has remained. He’s been the constant—none of his teammates from that 1995 squad remain with the team (and, based on their 56 wins (http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/MIN/1995.shtml), that’s probably a good thing). Now, today, he takes the hill for what could be the final time.
This series has not gone as planned. Frustration has mounted (http://www.startribune.com/509/story/722385.html). But today is not the day to dwell on plays that were not made. Today is the day to put that aside and give Brad Radke his due.
His arm could remove itself from his body at any moment, but he takes the hill in Oakland today, looking to get the ball to Santana in a Game 4. Regardless of today’s outcome, we need to credit Radke for the pain he has pitched through, and we also should credit the rest of this team for making its improbable playoff run. They’ve given Radke one last shot, to go out the way he should.
Here’s an “oh Canada” take on Radke (http://www.globesports.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20061005.w-twinsas5/GSStory/GlobeSportsBaseball/?page=rss&id=RTGAM.20061005.w-twinsas5), found thanks to the incomparable Athletics Nation (http://www.athleticsnation.com/).
Jim Caple gives Brad some props as well (http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/playoffs2006/columns/story?columnist=caple_jim&id=2614808).
We’re all about small victories here, and this (http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/playoffs/2006-10-05-ellis-out_x.htm) will help the cause a little.
The AL Central isn’t dead yet. The Tigers won Game Two of their series yesterday, knotting it at one-all (http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061005/NEWS99/61005012/1048/SPORTS).
Homefield advantage is tough to hold. The Padres dropped Game Two yesterday (http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/padres/20061005-1819-bbn-cardinals-padres.html), sending them to St. Louis in a 2-0 hole. Sound familiar?
Enjoy the game today, even if it doesn’t go well. It’s been a hell of a ride.