Changes or additions to the site

  • Apparently some of you have not been able to access the Twins Trivia quizzes on the “Twins Trivia Questions” page when using mobile devices. That problem should now be resolved. 02/05/2019
  • Added new quiz to “Twins Trivia Questions” page about Twins in the 90’s. 1/29/2019
  • Twins Ticket Price History Page has been updated with 2019 data. 1/24/2019
  • Changed name of “Salaries” page to “Payroll” and did numerous updates to page including new source for past and present payroll. 1/19/2019
  • 1964 Twins media guide has been added to the “Twins Media Guides” page. 1/05/2019
  • I finally broke down and joined Twitter, you can follow me at @Stoke63538501
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Top Twins DH

Paul Molitor (Credit Getty Images)

Between 1973-2018 there have been 275 players that have been the Twins DH in at least one game. However, to qualify for this list which ranks them in Baseball-Reference WAR order the player must have been the DH in at least 51% of their games while wearing a Twins uniform. Tony Oliva is the Twins all-time leader in games played as the Twins DH with 406 and his is also the very first Twins DH but he was the Twins DH in only 24% of his games so he does not qualify for this list

 

Results
Rk Player WAR/pos From To G PA R H HR RBI BB BA OPS Pos
1 Paul Molitor 5.2 1996 1998 422 1885 237 530 23 271 146 .312 .794 *D/3H
2 Chili Davis 5.2 1991 1992 291 1163 147 276 41 159 168 .282 .862 *D/H793
3 Jim Thome 4.5 2010 2011 179 582 69 128 37 99 95 .266 .949 *D/H
4 David Ortiz 2.6 1997 2002 455 1693 215 393 58 238 186 .266 .809 *D3/H
5 Jim Dwyer 0.9 1988 1990 145 385 47 95 6 43 53 .289 .767 *D/H97
6 Tyler Austin 0.3 2018 2018 35 136 18 29 9 24 11 .236 .782 /*D3H
7 Dave Winfield 0.3 1993 1994 220 922 107 222 31 119 76 .264 .760 *D/9H3
8 Randy Ruiz 0.2 2008 2008 22 68 13 17 1 7 6 .274 .693 /*DH
9 ByungHo Park 0.1 2016 2016 62 244 28 41 12 24 21 .191 .684 /*D3H
10 Jose Morales 0.1 1978 1980 290 756 79 200 12 101 56 .297 .764 *DH/327
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 1/16/2019.

 

Twins Top 10 Catchers

Twins Top 10 First Baseman

Twins Top 10 Second Basemen

Twins Top 10 Third Baseman

Twins Top 10 Shortstops

Twins Top 10 Right Fielders

Twins Top 10 Center Fielders

Twins Top 10 Left Fielders

 

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Best starters against the Minnesota Twins over the years

Mark Buehrle started more games against the MN Twins than any other pitcher.

The Minnesota Twins have faced a lot of good pitchers since they started play as the Minnesota Twins in 1961. There are eight pitchers that have beaten the Twins 20 or more times during their careers and one of them is still pitching. One opposing pitcher has beaten the Twins 30 times. The Twins have beaten one pitcher 20 times but they have also lost to him on 19 occasions. Who are these guys? Follow the link below to see how the best opposing starting pitchers have fared against the Minnesota Twins over the last 58 seasons. Data courtesy of B-R Play Index.

Most starts against Minnesota Twins

 

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Former Twins catcher Rob Bowen still wears a uniform

 

Rob Bowen and Boedha, a Belgian Malinois-German Shepherd mix. The two serve together on the K-9 unit for the Dooly County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia. (Courtesy of Rob Bowen) Click on image to make it larger

There is a great article in “The Athletic” ($ site) today by Dan Hayes about former Minnesota Twins catcher Rob Bowen and his post-baseball career in law enforcement. It is a great story that I know you will enjoy if you can get to it. 

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Punxsutawney Phil predicts the Twins to be winners

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and that means that the Minnesota Twins will win more games than they lose in 2019.

On Friday morning, Phil was yanked from his burrow by men in suits and top hats to make his forecast via his shadow. After seeing it, Phil’s handlers announced amid much hoopla that there will be a winning team playing at Target Field in 2019.

Spring Training is just around the corner and your favorite team is ready to start playing some baseball. Thank God I have not heard the Twins slogan from 2018 “This is how we baseball” for months now and if I never hear it again it will be too soon.

This is the year that Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton bust out and show Twins fans it was worth the wait because if they don’t it could be six more years of waiting. Phil has been doing this for 131 years and he has been right………… twice. All right, those aren’t the best odds but they are better than winning the Powerball or the Minnesota Vikings winning the Super Bowl.

PLAY BALL!

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The very first Minnesota Twins manager

Harry Arthur “Cookie” Lavagetto

Cookie Lavagetto was the Washington Senators manager when they became the Minnesota Twins but he lasted just 66 games and finished with a 25-41 record in 1961.

 

Harry Arthur “Cookie” Lavagetto was born December 1, 1912 in Oakland, California and died in his sleep on August 10, 1990 in Orinda, California at the age of 77. He acquired his nickname from his Oakland Oaks teammates, who called him “Cookie’s boy,” because he had been hired by Oaks’ president Victor “Cookie” Devincenzi. Lavagetto played third base and second base in the major leagues for 10 seasons and played for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1934-1936 and was a four-time All-Star while with the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1937 -1947. Cookie did not play ball in the majors from 1942-1945 due to serving his country in the military during World War II. Cookie enlisted in the US Navy in February 1942 even though he was classified 3-A and was sworn in as Aviation Machinist Mate 1st class. He is most widely known as the pinch hitter whose double with two on and two out in the bottom of the ninth inning ruined Bill Bevens‘ bid for the first World Series no-hitter in Game 4 of the 1947 World Series and gave his Brooklyn Dodgers a breathtaking victory over the New York Yankees, a game known as “The Cookie Game”. You can listen to a broadcast clip of that play here and see a video clip here. The Dodgers went on to lose the 1947 World Series to the New York Yankees 4 games to 3. Continue reading

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Error (E)

The Official WasWatching.com Scorecard of the Longest 9 Inning Game In Major League History.

The Major League Baseball definition of an error is: A fielder is given an error if, in the judgment of the official scorer, he fails to convert an out on a play that an average fielder should have made. Fielders can also be given errors if they make a poor play that allows one or more runners to advance on the bases. A batter does not necessarily need to reach base for a fielder to be given an error. If he drops a foul ball that extends an at-bat, that fielder can also be assessed an error.

Defensive errors are a vital tool in many statistical equations. For instance, batters do not receive RBIs for any runs that would not have scored without the help of an error and pitchers are not assessed any earned runs for runs that would not have scored without the error.

According to several sources the official scoring for MLB games was primarily done by home town newspaper writers that covered the games prior to 1979 when most major newspapers banned their writers from doing official scoring. 

Since there are no official records kept of who official scorers have been for Minnesota Twins home games in the past I have put together a list as best I can by using the Sporting News and Star and Tribune archives. The best information I garnered though was by talking with Laurel Prieb from MLB and Stew Thornley and Howard Sinker who either have been official scorers or currently are performing that function.

  • Prior to 1979 – BBWAA home town newspaper writers
  • 1979 thru 1987 – Bob Beebe
  • 1988 – Bob Beebe and Howard Sinker (Glenn Gostick did a game in 1988)
  • 1989 – June 1991 – Howard Sinker and Tom Briere
  • June 1991 to May 2007 – Tom Mee with Barry Fritz filling in when Mee was unavailable.
  • Remainder of 2007 – Barry Fritz, Stew Thornley, Gregg Wong and Howard Sinker
  • 2008 – Stew Thornley and Gregg Wong
  • 2009 thru 2012 – Gregg Wong, Stew Thornley and Kevin Hennessy did a few games each year
  • 2013 – Stew Thornley and Gregg Wong
  • 2014 thru 2018 – Stew Thornley, Gregg Wong and Dr. Kyle Traynor

According to MLB the official scorer is permitted to change a judgment call for up to 24 hours after a game concludes or is suspended. A player or team can request that the executive vice president of baseball operations review a call in which said player or team participated. This request must come within 72 hours after the conclusion or suspension of that game, or 72 hours after the official scorer’s call in the event a post game change is made.

 A Glimpse Into The Life Of An Official Scorer

Hit or Error? : A Question of Judgment : Fans and Players Don’t Really Notice Official Scorers — Until Controversy Arises Over One of Their Decisions

 

It is time for us to take a look back in Minnesota Twins history with the help of Baseball-Reference.com and see how the Twins have fared in this important baseball statistic. Or are errors just another thing that happen during a game playing a minor role in terms of wins and losses? How often have you heard “that you have to be strong up the middle” to be a good team? Probably more often than you have heard that “liars figure and figures lie”. Take the 1965 Minnesota Twins for example, we all know that they played in the World Series that year and lost in seven games to the Los Angeles Dodgers but did you know that they led the American League with 172 errors that season? 

Twins play-off teams and where they ranked in errors

  • 1965 – ranked 10th out of 10 teams with 172 errors
  • 1969 – ranked 9th out of 12 teams with 150 errors
  • 1970 – ranked 3rd out of 12 teams with 123 errors
  • 1987 – ranked 1st out of 14 teams with 98 errors
  • 1991 – ranked 2nd out of 14 teams with 95 errors
  • 2002 – ranked 1st out of 14 teams with 74 errors
  • 2003 – ranked 2nd out of 14 teams with 87 errors
  • 2004 – ranked 6th out of 14 teams with 101 errors
  • 2006 – ranked 2nd out of 14 teams with 84 errors
  • 2009 – ranked 1st out of 14 teams with 76 errors
  • 2010 – ranked 2nd out of 14 teams with 78 errors
  • 2017 – ranked 2nd out of 15 teams with 78 errors

So it appears that it helps to have a strong defense to be a play-off team but it there are no guarantees as five Twins teams over the years had the fewest or second fewest errors (82, 84, 88, 94 and 99 and still spent October at home. The most errors the Twins team committed was in their first season (1961) when they had 174 errors.

So what Minnesota Twins players had the most errors in a single season? That would be shortstop Zoilo Versalles with 39 errors in 1965, the year he won the American League Most Valuable Player award. Last Twins player to have 30 or more errors in a season? That would be Roy Smalley in 1977 with 33 boots. The Twin have committed 6,699 errors since they started play in 1961, that averages out to 114 per season. The first Twins error was made by outfielder Jim Lemon in the Twins first ever game.

 

Twins errors thru 2018.PDF

 

 

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1969 MLB Spring Training Dates and Sites

Just a short 50 years ago…

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Twins minor league pitcher Alex Schick suspended 50 games

Alex Schick

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced yesterday that three Minor League players have been suspended following their violations of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

One of the three was Minnesota Twins Minor League pitcher Alex Schick, who is currently on the roster of the Single-A Cedar Rapids Kernels of the Midwest League, has received a 50-game suspension without pay after testing positive for Amphetamine, a stimulant in violation of the Program.

Schick is a 24-year-old RHP drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 6th round of the 2016 June amateur free agent draft and signed for a reported $400,000. Schick last pitched in 2017 for Cedar Rapids and spent 2018 recovering from Tommy John surgery.

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Joe Nathan and Jerry Bell to be inducted in Twins Hall of Fame

Joe Nathan and Jerry Bell

The Minnesota Twins announced today that closer Joe Nathan and former Twins Executive Jerry Bell will be inducted in the Twins Hall of Fame on August 3-4. 

I would like to see the Minnesota Twins be more transparent about the voting process and the voting results. It would be nice to see who received how many votes and where they ended up when the voting was completed. 

It is no secret that I think Cesar Tovar belongs in the Twins Hall of Fame and I did my best this year to try to get him in and so did a number of others. But I have no idea where he ended up in the voting or what the total voting process entails. Seems to me that the fans should be more in the know here. Just saying……

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2019 Twins single game tickets on sale

The Minnesota Twins took a few steps backward in 2018 and won seven fewer games (78) than they did in 2017 and their attendance reflected their play. Attendance dropped to the lowest it has been since 2004.  The Twins have put a winning team on the field just twice in the last eight years. So let’s take a look at Minnesota Twins single game ticket prices for 2019.

For a number of years the Twins have had five tiers of tickets called extra value, value, select, premium and elite but in 2019 they have dropped the extra value (the lowest priced games) and elite (highest priced games) tiers and will go with just three ticket tiers (value, select, and premium).  This year there will again be 81 home games in Target Field, 49 of the 81 games have been designated as “select” or middle of the road games while the “value” and “premium” tiers will each have 16 games. 

The Twins continue to use demand-based ticket pricing that they implemented in 2012 and that means that ticket prices constantly go up or down to a floor price based on demand for tickets for that game. Some people call this variable or dynamic ticket pricing and is used by a number of teams but whatever you call it, it means digging deeper in your pocket for a ticket. Some folks look at it as scalping your own tickets. The floor price is based on the price of a season ticket for the same seat. Continue reading

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