MINNEAPOLIS -- You don't hear the term nearly as often as you do the phrase "stretch-run" or "pennant race", but baseball men for years have had a fond way of describing the pressure in these final days of the season.
And it was the White Sox's whose were on the chopping block as they looked to avoid a sweep and allowing the Twins to move past them into first place in the AL Central.
"These games mean more," Williams was saying. "You've got to play better. We controlled our destiny when we came to Minnesota. If we fool around and don't win tonight's game, we don't control our own destiny.
"There's no need to dissect it anymore."
What was on the line for the White Sox, trying to hang onto first base, was clear.
"It would be a shame, with all the things we've had to go through, the criticisms and doubts, Scott Linebrink going down, Carlos Quentin, Joe Crede, all those things ... it would be a shame to walk in here in control of our own destiny and not close it out.
"The fact of the matter is, you've got to do it on the field."
Likes: Stat of the day, computed by crack Yankees beat man Ed Price of the Newark Star-Ledger: Carl Pavano threw what surely was his last game as a "Yankee" in Toronto on Thursday night (note, very far away from the playoff race) and at the expiration of his $39.95 million deal, it essentially paid Pavano $1,536,538.46 per start (26), $4,438,888.89 per win (9), $274,256.29 per inning (145 2/3) and $17,606.88 per pitch (2,269). ... Adele's Frozen Custard in Excelsior, Minn. Wonderful little small-town place. I had the Mudd Pie and Orange Creamsicle on Thursday.
Dislikes: Rain, rain go away on the East Coast. We certainly don't need postponements stacking up. ... Cell phone batteries. Do any of them last as long as they tell you they will?
Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:
"The whole damn town was sleeping
"Dreaming the same dream
"The radio was playing
"Roger McGuinn singing
"'To each and every thing there's a time and a season'"
-- Uncle Tupelo, Train