All eyes in Windy City
Update 3:18 pm (central) It's still raining in Chicago, but club officials have now announced that the storm will likely be gone in 10 minutes, so the official gametime for the White Sox-Tigers makeup game is at 4 p.m. (central).
Update 12:58 pm (central) The White Sox-Tigers makeup game is under a rain delay right now. There was no indication of time, but with the train slowing down, it shouldn't be a huge problem.
The Rays opponent for their first ever playoff appearance could be decided today on a drizzly afternoon here in Chicago.
The White Sox, which trail the Twins by 1/2 game in the AL Central, must win a make-up game today against the Tigers (at 2 pm Eastern) in order to stay alive. That would force a one-game playoff Tuesday in Chicago (at 7:30 Eastern on TBS) with the Twins; the winner would play the Rays on Thursday in the ALDS opener at Tropicana Field.
The Twins, like the Rays, will just have to watch and wait today. Minnesota players are planning on watching the Sox-Tigers game on television from their clubhouse (with champagne likely on ice).
But, from what it looks like, getting through today won't be an easy task for the White Sox. First, there's the slow but steady rain that has been pouring for the past couple hours at U.S. Cellular Field (the tarp is on, and there's not expected to be a delay, but we'll keep you posted).
The second thing is the Tigers, a group which doesn't appear to be ready to give their division rivals a break in the makeup game. Tigers manager Jim Leyland said this makeup game has created some of the most excitement his club - which has gone from preseason World Series contenders to cellar dwellars in the Central - has experienced all season.
The Tigers have put most of their regulars in the lineup (Miguel Cabrera, Curtis Granderson, Magglio Ordonez) and Tampa native Gary Sheffield, who will bat second (and is one homer shy of the 500 mark).
-- JOE SMITH