Looking at the standings on an off-day:
The Twins lost Wednesday's game. That's 81 losses on the season, half the scheduled games.
For much of June and July, and at least occasionally since then, the broadcasters have talked about the Twins "getting back to .500" (as if they'd been there since the season started) and then into contention. Well, if they do get "back to .500," the season's over.
The tragic number is eight. Eight Twins losses/White Sox wins, and Minnesota is mathematically eliminated.
The Twins have the worst record in the American League, but it's close. Minnesota is 56-81; Cleveland, which was in first place as late as June 23, is 58-79; Kansas City is 61-76. The Twins' next two series are at home against the Indians and the Royals; they could be as high as third place by this time next week, but that's unlikely.
But that's their ceiling for 2012 -- third place in the weakest division in baseball.
As matters stand, the Twins have the third worst record in baseball. Houston has 95 losses already; the Twins aren't going to beat them to the first pick next June. The Cubs have 86 losses. I may be overly optimistic, but I think the Twins have a better chance of catching the Royals in these final 25 games than of being overtaken by the Cubs.