Minnesota verging on unwanted franchise historyby Chris Jaffe
August 22, 2012
Here’s an odd franchise milestone to note: The Minnesota Twins are on the verge of some history for themselves, and not the kind of history that they want to make.
With the Twins' loss yesterday in Oakland, the franchise’s all-time cumulative since moving to Minnesota now stands exactly one game over .500: 4,123-4,122. So if the Twins lose tonight, their all-time Minnesota record will no longer be over .500.
Of course, this doesn’t cover the franchise’s entire existence. They were the Washington Senators for 60 years, but from Opening Day 1961 onward have been the Twins.
They’ve typically been over .500. They had a rough first year in Minnesota but in their second season, behind young stars like Harmon Killebrew, had a good season. They reached their all-time franchise zenith with a win on Aug. 12, 1977 that put them 167 games over .500 (1,429-1,262).
Then the team became bad, and sunk under .500 in 1997. The Twins' all-time Minnesota record hit .500 a bunch of times that season, but a 12-inning loss on July 26 dropped them to 2,897-2,898, and they stayed .500 for several years. They bottomed out on the last day of the 2000 season 98 games under .500 (3,121-3,219), and then returned to prominence in 2001.
It took a while to dig out of a 98-game hole, but they did it with a win on Aug. 15, 2006 that gave them an all-time Minnesota Twins record of 3,634-3,633. They’ve been over .500 for the six years ever since.
Now, they’re on the verge of falling back under water. Maybe it won’t happen this week. Maybe the Twins will have a bit of a winning record. It could happen. But it looks wildly unlikely that they’ll avoid their all-time cumulative Minnesota record falling under .500 this year. They’re just not a very good team.
History instructor by day, statnerd by night, Chris Jaffe leads one of the most exciting double lives imaginable; with the exception of every other double life possible to imagine. Despite his lack of comic-book-hero-worthiness, Chris enjoys farting around with this stuff. His new book, Evaluating Baseball's Managers is available for order. Chris welcomes responses to his articles via e-mail. Oh, and now he's on twitter.