"If we can get to the World Series, I think a lot of the perceptual problems will be cured," says Dombrowski. "Hopefully, that'll help keep Langston and the six other potential free agents here. People complain about the recognition, but this is like Minnesota was in '87. Who knew those guys except Kirby Puckett until the World Series? If we make it to the Series, Raines and Galarraga and Brooks will all become household names like Gaetti, Viola and Hrbek."
A World Series ring might make a lot of things easier. "We can live without ketchup on our french fries and Coke without ice to play on a team like this," says Smith.