MINNEAPOLIS -- For many around baseball, Memorial Day marks the first time people start putting much stock into the standings. Rocco Baldelli doesn’t so much buy into that.
Asked if there was a specific time he starts putting more stock into standings, the Twins manager said no. But while Baldelli and the Twins are focusing on the process, it’s impossible to ignore the strong results the Twins have produced to begin the year.
“Honestly it doesn’t affect us in any way. It doesn’t change anything that we’re going to do,” Baldelli said before Sunday’s contest. “It probably could only distract you in some ways if you spend too much time thinking about it or worrying about it. You worry about what we have to do today against the White Sox to go out there and win the game and if we’re worrying about anything besides that, we’re probably worrying about the wrong thing.”
At 35-16, they boast the best record in baseball. They entered Sunday 9-1 in their past 10 games with the largest run differential in all of baseball thanks in large part to their potent offense.
With a nine-game lead heading into Sunday, the Twins own the largest division lead in all of baseball. Three of the teams in the division will most likely spend their entire season under .500. The Indians are hovering just above that mark.
So, there’s plenty to feel good about in the Twin Cities.
For what it’s worth, the Red Sox, Indians, Astros, Brewers and Rockies held division leads last Memorial Day while the Braves and Nationals were tied in the NL East. Five of those teams wound up winning their division with Atlanta capturing their division. The sixth, Colorado, made the playoffs as a Wild Card team while the Nationals fell off.
The largest division lead any of those teams held was 4.5 games, half of the Twins’ current lead.
“It’s all the work that you put in starting in November for this group. When you kind of look at all of that and you know everything that every person here has gone through … since this winter and you see how it’s showing up on the field, it’s a great feeling,” Baldelli said. “It’s a feeling of some validation in some ways that things are working and going in a good direction. … It means something but … this hasn’t gotten us where we want to be yet. We still have a ways to go.”