Minnesota Twins

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Posted by kaori 02/25/2009 @ 16:34

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News headlines
Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins named Sharp presents the American ... - MLB.com
Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer, the leader behind the plate in American League All-Star balloting, has been named the Sharp Presents the American League Player of the Month for May. This marks Joe's second career monthly award honor (previous: June...
Jason Kubel powers Twins past Indians 11-3 - The Associated Press
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Jason Kubel hit a pair of three-run homers to back Scott Baker, who pitched seven effective innings for the Minnesota Twins in an 11-3 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Thursday. Kubel's first homer capped a four-run first inning...
Minnesota Twins (27-28) at Seattle Mariners (26-28), 10:10 pm - MiamiHerald.com
By Sports Network Seattle hit machine Ichiro Suzuki will try to extend his franchise-record hitting streak to 28 games when the Mariners open a three- game series tonight versus the Minnesota Twins at Safeco Field. Ichiro has hit safely in his last 27...
Minnesota Twins Prospects Named As Florida State League All-Stars - Bleacher Report
The Twins' first round pick in 2007 is now hitting .342/.408/.400 with eight extra-base hits and 22 stolen bases. His batting average is now first in the league after the promotion of Yankees catcher Jesus Montero. His 22 swipes are third in the league...
Last Steel Beam Put In Place On Twins Ballpark - WCCO
Read more in our Privacy Policy The new home of the Minnesota Twins is more than 75 percent complete now that the final piece of structural steel is put in place. Crews building the new Twins Stadium, Target Field, celebrated a milestone Friday -- they...
Shooter Now: Minnesota Twins GM Bill Smith wants to see more ... - Pioneer Press
By Charley Walters Billy Smith, general manager of the Minnesota Twins, addresses the media in the Halsey Hall room at the Metrodome in Minneapolis on Thursday September 13, 2007. (Richard Marshall, Pioneer Press) It's time for the Minnesota Twins to...
Minnesota Twins: Empty in the East - Minneapolis City Pages
By Judd Spicer in Sports The Twins, with an American League-worst 6-16 away record, engender a 10-game road swing today, beginning with three against the Mariners before four versus the A's. Yet while the schedule denotes that we look West,...
Cuddyer may return for Twins on Saturday - USA Today
SEATTLE (AP) — Minnesota outfielder Michael Cuddyer took his first swings in almost a week and could return to the Twins' lineup as early as Saturday. A sprained index finger on the outfielder's right hand has kept him out since Sunday....
Dome could lose $2M a year when Twins, U leave - Fort Mills Times
MINNEAPOLIS — Officials are looking for ways to keep the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome solvent after the Minnesota Twins and the University of Minnesota football team leave. The Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission is reviewing preliminary...
May a month for the tape measure for Minnesota Twins - Pioneer Press
Only two teams in the American League hit fewer home runs than Minnesota in April (16), but in May only two teams (New York and Texas) muscled more balls over outfield fences than the Twins. In the first two months of the season, the Twins circled the...

Minnesota Twins

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The Minnesota Twins are a professional baseball team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. The Twins are a member of the Central Division of Major League Baseball's American League. The Twins have played in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome since 1982. In 2010, the Twins will move into a new ballpark, Target Field.

One of the American League's eight charter franchises, the club was founded in Washington, D.C. in 1901 as the Washington Senators. That was a carryover nickname from a previous, unrelated club in the National League. In 1905 the team changed its official name to the Washington Nationals. The name "Nationals" would appear on the uniforms for only 2 seasons, and would then be replaced with the "W" logo for the next 52 years. The media often shortened the nickname to "Nats". Many fans and newspapers (especially out-of-town papers) persisted in using the "Senators" nickname. Over time, "Nationals" faded as a nickname, and "Senators" became dominant. Baseball guides would list the club's nickname as "Nationals or Senators", acknowledging the unique dual-nickname situation.

The team name was officially changed to Washington Senators around the time that long-time team president Clark Griffith died and his son Calvin took over the team. It was not until 1959 that the word "Senators" first appeared on team shirts. "Nats" continued to be used by space-saving headline writers, even for the 1961 expansion team, which was never officially known as "Nationals".

In 1960, Major League Baseball granted the city of Minneapolis an expansion team. Calvin Griffith requested that he be allowed to move his team to Minneapolis and instead grant Washington the expansion team. MLB granted his request, and the team moved to Bloomington, Minnesota after the 1960 season, setting up shop in Metropolitan Stadium, while Washington fielded a brand new "Washington Senators" that would also end up moving - to Arlington, Texas to become the Texas Rangers prior to the 1972 season.

Through the 2008 season, the Senators/Twins have won 3 World Series Championships (1924, 1987 and 1991) and have fielded 16 American League Batting Champions.

For a time, from 1911 to 1933, the Washington Senators were one of the more successful franchises in major-league baseball. The team's rosters included Hall of Famers Goose Goslin, Sam Rice, Joe Cronin, Bucky Harris, Heinie Manush and one of the greatest pitchers of all time, Walter Johnson. But the Senators are remembered more for their many years of mediocrity and futility, including six last-place finishes in the 1940s and 1950s.

When the American League declared itself a major league in 1901, the new league placed a team in Washington, a city that had been abandoned by the National League a year earlier. The Washington club, like the old one, would be called the Senators.

The Senators began their history as a consistently losing team, at times so inept that San Francisco Chronicle columnist Charley Dryden joked: "Washington: First in war, first in peace, and last in the American League." The 1904 Senators lost 113 games, and the next season the team’s owners, trying for a fresh start, changed the team’s name to the Nationals. But the Senators name remained widely used by fans and journalists, and the team later restored it as the official name.

Whatever the name, the club continued to lose, despite the addition in 1907 of a talented 19-year-old pitcher named Walter Johnson. Raised in rural Kansas, Johnson was a tall, lanky man with long arms who, using a leisurely windup and unusual sidearm delivery, threw the ball faster than anyone had ever seen. Johnson’s breakout year was 1910, when he struck out 313 batters, posted an earned-run average of 1.36 and won 25 games for a losing ball club. Over his 21-year Hall of Fame career, Johnson, called the “Big Train,” would win 417 games and strike out 3,509 batters, a major-league record that would stand for more than 50 years.

In 1911, the Senators’ wooden ballpark burned to the ground, and they replaced it with a modern concrete-and-steel structure on the same location. First called National Park, it later would be renamed after the man who was named Washington manager in 1912 and whose name would become almost synonymous with the ball club: Clark Griffith. A star pitcher with the National League’s Chicago Colts in the 1890s, Griffith jumped to the AL in 1901 and became a successful manager with the Chicago White Sox and New York Highlanders. In 1912, with Griffith taking the Senators’ helm and Johnson winning 33 games, the Senators posted their first winning record: 91-61, good for second place behind the Boston Red Sox. The next year, 1913, was Johnson’s best yet, 36 victories and a minuscule 1.14 ERA, and the Senators again finished second, this time behind the Philadelphia Athletics.

Starting in 1916, the Senators settled back into mediocrity. Griffith, frustrated with the owners’ penny-pinching, bought a controlling interest in the team in 1920 and stepped down as field manager a year later to focus on his duties as team president.

In 1924, Griffith named 27-year-old second baseman Bucky Harris player-manager. Led by the hitting of Goose Goslin and Sam Rice and a solid pitching staff headlined by the 36-year-old Johnson, the Senators captured their first American League pennant, two games ahead of Babe Ruth and the New York Yankees.

In the World Series, the underdog Senators faced John McGraw's New York Giants. Despite Johnson losing both his two starts, the Senators kept pace to tie the Series at three games apiece and force Game 7. In the ninth inning with the game tied 3-3, Harris brought in Johnson to pitch on just one day of rest – he had been the losing pitcher in Game 5. Johnson shut out the Giants for four innings, and in the bottom of the 12th, a ground ball bounced over Giant third baseman Fred Lindstrom’s head, scoring Muddy Ruel with the winning run. The Washington Senators were world champions. Some called it the greatest World Series Game 7 ever … until 1991.

The Senators repeated as AL champs in 1925 but lost the Series to Pittsburgh. After Johnson’s retirement in 1927, the Senators endured a few losing seasons until returning to contention in 1930, this time with Johnson as manager. But after the Senators finished third in 1931 and 1932, behind powerful New York and Philadelphia, Griffith fired Johnson, a victim of high expectations.

For his new manager in 1933, Griffith returned to the formula that worked for him in 1924, and 26-year-old shortstop Joe Cronin became player-manager. It worked. Washington posted a 99-53 record and swept to the pennant seven games ahead of the Yankees. But the Senators lost the World Series to the Giants in five games.

The Senators sank all the way to seventh in 1934. Attendance plunged as well, and after the season Griffith traded Cronin to the Red Sox for journeyman shortstop Lyn Lary and $225,000 in cash (even though Cronin was married to Griffith’s niece, Mildred). Despite the return of Harris as manager in 1935-42 and 1950-54, Washington remained mostly a losing ball club for the next 25 years, contending for the pennant only in the talent-thin war years of 1943 and 1945. Washington came to be known as "first in war, first in peace, and last in the American League".

In 1954, Senators scout Ossie Bluege signed a 17-year-old ballplayer from Payette, Idaho, named Harmon Killebrew. Because of his $30,000 signing bonus, league rules required Killebrew to spend the rest of 1954 with the Senators as a “bonus baby.” Killebrew bounced between the Senators and the minor leagues for next few years. He became the Senators’ regular third baseman in 1959, leading the league with 42 home runs and earning a starting spot on the American League All-Star team.

The longtime competitive struggles of the team were fictionalized in the book The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant, which became the legendary Broadway musical and movie Damn Yankees. The plot centers around Joe Boyd, a middle-aged real estate salesman and long-suffering fan of the Washington Senators baseball club. In this musical comedy-drama of the Faust legend, Boyd sells his soul to the Devil and becomes slugger Joe Hardy, the "long ball hitter the Senators need that he'd sell his soul for" (as spoken by him in a throwaway line near the beginning of the drama). His hitting prowess enables the Senators to win the American League pennant over the then-dominant Yankees. One of the songs from the musical, "You Gotta Have Heart", is frequently played at baseball games.

The name "Twins" derives from the popular name of the region, the Twin Cities. The NBA's Minneapolis Lakers had re-located to Los Angeles in 1960 due to poor attendance which was perceived to have been caused in part by the reluctance of fans in St. Paul to support the team. Griffith was determined not to alienate fans in either city by naming the team after one city or the other, and so instead proposed to name his team the Twin Cities Twins. When the league rejected that choice as being too generic, a decision then unprecedented in American professional sports was made. The team would be named after its home state and became known as the Minnesota Twins. Later, the Texas Rangers (coincidentally the relocated expansion Senators), Florida Marlins, Colorado Rockies, Arizona Diamondbacks, and the California Angels—now the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim—would follow their lead.

However, the original "Twin Cities Twins" TC logo was kept. The cap logo was abandoned in 1987 when the Twins adopted their current uniforms. By this time, the Twins had become established enough that it could place an "M" on their caps without offending St. Paul. The "TC" logo returned to one version of the home uniforms in 2002, as did the team's original cartoon logo: two players representing the area's two minor league teams displaced by the Twins--the Minneapolis Millers and St. Paul Saints--shaking hands over the Mississippi River, which runs between the two cities.

The Twins were eagerly greeted in Minnesota when they arrived in 1961. They brought a nucleus of talented players: Harmon Killebrew, Bob Allison, Camilo Pascual, Zoilo Versalles, Jim Kaat, Earl Battey, and Lenny Green. The Twins won 91 games in 1962, the most by the franchise since 1933.

The Twins won 102 games and the American League Pennant in 1965, driven by the exciting play of superstar sluggers Harmon Killebrew and Tony Oliva and flashy play of league MVP Zoilo Versalles. However, they were defeated in the 1965 World Series by the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games; each home team had won until Game 7, when Sandy Koufax shut out the Twins 2–0 in Minnesota. The Twins scored a total of two runs in their four losses, and were shut out three times, twice by Koufax. Although disappointed with the near-miss, the championship drive cemented the team's relationship with the people of Minnesota. The Twins would wait 22 years to return to the World Series; they defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games in the 1987 Series.

In 1967, the Twins were involved in one of the closest pennant races in baseball history. Heading into the final weekend of the season, the Twins, Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, and Detroit Tigers all had a shot at clinching the American League championship. With two games left to play, the Twins and Red Sox were knotted atop the standings; moreover, the two remaining games each team had to play happened to be against each other. Unfortunately for Minnesota baseball fans, the Red Sox won both games and clinched their first pennant since 1946, finishing with a 92–70 record. The Twins and Tigers both finished a game behind, at 91–71, while the White Sox were three games out, at 89–73.

In 1969, Billy Martin was named manager. Martin pushed aggressive base running, with Rod Carew stealing home seven times. The Twins won the American League West, led by Rod Carew (.332, his first batting title), Tony Oliva (.309, 24 HR, 101 RBI) and league MVP Harmon Killebrew (49 HR, 140 RBI). Unfortunately, the Twins were swept by the Baltimore Orioles, who had set a franchise record of 109–53, in the first American League Championship Series. The Orioles would lose to the "Miracle Mets" in the 1969 World Series.

The team continued to post winning records through 1971, winning the first two American League West division titles. However, they then entered a decade-long slump, finishing around .500 for the next eight years. Tony Oliva and Rod Carew continued to provide offensive power, but Killebrew's home run production decreased, as injuries impacted his effectiveness, and the pitching staff languished. Killebrew's final season with the Twins was the 1974 season.

Owner Calvin Griffith faced financial difficulty with the start of free agency. While other owners had fortunes made in other businesses, Griffith's only income came from baseball. He ran the Twins as a family-owned business, employing many family members, and had to turn a profit each season. Stars Lyman Bostock and Larry Hisle left as free agents after the 1977 season and prompted the trade of Rod Carew after the 1978 season.

In the early 1980s, The Twins fell further, winning only 37% of its games from 1981 to 1982. They had their worst season in Minnesota in 1982, with a 60–102 record, the worst the franchise had since the 1904 season (that team went 38–113). From their arrival in 1961 through 1981, the team played its games at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, a suburb south of the Twin Cities. The Mall of America now occupies the spot where the "Old Met" stood, complete with home plate and the seat where Harmon Killebrew hit a 520 foot home run, both of those landmarks are located inside of Nickelodeon Universe. The 1982 season brought the team indoors, into the Metrodome, which is in downtown Minneapolis near the Mississippi River.

In 1984, Calvin Griffith sold the Twins to Minneapolis banker Carl Pohlad. In 1985, Minnesota hosted the All-Star Game at the Metrodome.

After several losing seasons in the Dome, a nucleus of players acquired during the waning years of the Griffith regime (Kent Hrbek, Tom Brunansky, Gary Gaetti, Frank Viola) combined with a few good trades (Bert Blyleven), intelligent free agent acquisitions (Al Newman, Roy Smalley), and a rising star in Kirby Puckett, combined to return the team to the World Series for the first time since 1965, defeating the Detroit Tigers (who won the World Series three years earlier) in the ALCS along the way. The dynamic play of the new superstars electrified the team and propelled the Twins to a seven-game victory over the St. Louis Cardinals to win the 1987 World Series.

The 1987 Twins set a record for fewest regular season victories by a World Series champion with 85 and a .525 winning percentage. This record was broken by the 2006 Cardinals, who won the World Series after going 83–79 during the regular season and a .513 percentage. While their 56–21 record at the Metrodome was the best overall home record for 1987, the Twins had an appalling 33–52 mark away from the Metrodome and they only won nine road games after the All-Star break.

The Twins won more games in 1988, but could not overcome the powerhouse division rival Oakland Athletics, even though pitcher Frank Viola won the Cy Young Award in that year. 1989 saw a decline in the win column though Puckett would win the batting title that season.

The Twins surprisingly did quite poorly in 1990, finishing last in the AL West division with a record of 74–88. 1991 brought breakout years from newcomers Shane Mack, Scott Leius, Chili Davis, and rookie of the year Chuck Knoblauch, along with consistently excellent performances from stars Hrbek and Puckett. The pitching staff excelled as well, with Scott Erickson, Rick Aguilera, and St. Paul native Jack Morris having all-star years. The Twins defeated the Atlanta Braves 4 games to 3 to win the nail-biting 1991 World Series, which is considered by many to be the greatest of all time. Game 6 is widely considered to be one of the greatest World Series games ever played. Facing elimination, and with the score tied 3-3 in the bottom of the 11th inning, Kirby Puckett stepped up to the plate and drove the game winning home run into the left field seats to force a decisive Game 7. The home run was Puckett's only walk-off home run of his career. In the final and deciding game, Jack Morris pitched a 10 inning shutout, viewed by many baseball historians as one of the greatest pitching performances in a 7th game of the World Series, to beat the Braves 1–0 and bring home the championship to Minnesota. 1991 was considered to be the first season that any team that ended in last place the previous year advanced to the World Series; Both the Twins and Braves accomplished the unprecedented feat. ESPN rated the 1991 World Series as the best ever played in a 2003 centennial retrospective of the World Series.

The Twins were the first World Series champion to lose three away games and still win the series by winning all four home games; doing it in 1987 and again in 1991. The Arizona Diamondbacks duplicated this feat in 2001, when they became the first National League team to do so.

1992 saw another superb Oakland team that the Twins could not overcome, despite a 90–72 season and solid pitching from John Smiley. After that season, the Twins again fell into an extended slump, posting a losing record each year for the next eight years: 71–91 in 1993, 50–63 in 1994, 56–88 in 1995, 78–84 in 1996, 68–94 in 1997, 70–92 in 1998, 63–97 in 1999 and 69–93 in 2000. From 1994 to 1997 a long sequence of retirements and injuries hurt the team badly, and Tom Kelly spent the remainder of his managerial career attempting to rebuild the Twins. In 1998, management cleared out the team of all of its players earning over 1 million dollars (except for pitcher Brad Radke) and rebuilt from the ground up; the team barely avoided finishing in last place that year, finishing just five games ahead of the Detroit Tigers and avoiding the mark of 100 losses by eight games.

In 1997, owner Carl Pohlad almost sold the Twins to North Carolina businessman Don Beaver, who would have moved the team to the Piedmont Triad (Greensboro–Winston-Salem–High Point) area of the state. The defeat of a referendum for a stadium in that area and a lack of interest in building a stadium for the Twins in Charlotte killed the deal.

Things turned around, and from 2001 to 2006, the Twins compiled the longest streak of consecutive winning seasons since moving to Minnesota, going 85–77 in 2001, 94–67 in 2002, 90–72 in 2003, 92–70 in 2004, 83-79 in 2005, and 96–66 in 2006. From 2002 to 2004, the Twins compiled their longest streak of consecutive league/division championships ever (previous were the 1924 World Champion-1925 AL Champion Senators and the 1969–70 Twins). Threatened with closure by league contraction (along with the Montreal Expos) in 2002, the team battled back to reach the American League Championship Series before being eliminated 4-1 by that year's eventual World Series champion Anaheim Angels. Their streak of three straight division titles, along with some bitterly fought games, have helped to create an intense rivalry with the Chicago White Sox in recent years, starting with 2000 when the Sox clinched the division at the Metrodome, and heating up especially in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2008.

In 2006, the Twins came from 12 games back in the division at the All-Star break to tie the Detroit Tigers for the lead in the 159th game of the season. With the Tigers having won the season head-to-head by 11 games to 8, the Twins needed a Tiger loss and a Twins win in order to take sole possession of first place and win the division outright, and got both on the last day of the season, when the Tigers lost their third straight game at home to the last place Kansas City Royals in a 10–8 game in 14 innings. After their win against the Chicago White Sox, the Minnesota Twins and somewhere between 30,000 to 40,000 fans watched the Tigers-Royals game on the Metrodome's jumbotrons. This was the first time in major league history that a team has won a division or league outright on the last day of the regular season without ever having had sole possession of first place earlier. The magical season came to a sudden end, however, as the Twins were swept 3–0 in the divisional championship series, while Detroit went on as a wild card entry, beat the Yankees 3–1 in their divisional series, and went on to play the A's in the league championship series. The Tigers would go on to sweep the A's 4–0 in the ALCS and lose the 2006 World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals, who coincidentally broke the record held by the Twins for the worst regular season record by a World Series champion (having gone 83–79).

The Twins are the first team in Major League history to sweep the Player of the Month, Pitcher of the Month, and Rookie of the Month awards, accomplishing this feat in June 2006 with catcher Joe Mauer, pitcher Johan Santana, and rookie pitcher Francisco Liriano respectively. Also in 2006, the club became one of the most decorated in recent baseball history, with Justin Morneau's MVP following the AL Cy Young Award won by Johan Santana and the AL batting title by Joe Mauer. The last team to accomplish this was the 1962 Los Angeles Dodgers. In addition, center fielder Torii Hunter was awarded the Rawlings Gold Glove Award for his defense in the 2006 season, and Mauer and Morneau each received a Silver Slugger Award for the offense as catcher and first baseman respectively.

A new nickname was unintentionally introduced by White Sox manager Ozzie Guillén, who called the Twins "Little F***ing Piranhas" as they gobbled up wins in July through August in the 2006 season. In 2007, the Twins sometimes play an animated sequence of piranhas munching under that caption, in situations where the Twins are scoring runs via "small ball".

In 2008, the Twins finished the 162 game season tied with the Chicago White Sox, who won a rained out game against the Detroit Tigers to face the Twins in Chicago in a 1 game playoff to reach the ALDS. Nick Blackburn pitched for the Twins, giving up 1 run in 6 and 1/3 innings of baseball, allowing a solo home run to Jim Thome. The Twins lost the game and missed the playoffs while the White Sox went on to lose to the eventual American League champion Tampa Bay Rays. Incidentally, this was the last Major League Baseball tiebreaker playoff game whose site was determined by a coin flip. Beginning with the 2009 season, sites for tiebreaker games will be determined by the regular season head-to-head record between the teams involved. Had this rule been in place for the 2008 season, the Twins-White Sox tiebreaker would have been played at the Metrodome.

Over the past 10 years, the Twins have argued that the lack of a modern baseball-dedicated ballpark has stood in the way of producing a top-notch, competitive team, despite the fact that their current stadium, the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, played a crucial role in their championship seasons of 1987 and 1991. The quirks of the facility, such as the turf floor and the white roof, gave the Twins a huge homefield advantage (often referred to as the "Dome"-field advantage). The Twins won every one of their home games in their two World Series victories. Regardless, the Metrodome has often been considered inadequate mainly because of its relatively low income producing power and in the 1990s and early 2000s the Twins were often rumored to be moving to such places as New Jersey, Las Vegas, Portland, Oregon, the Raleigh–Durham area, and others in search of a more financially competitive market. The team was nearly contracted (disbanded) in 2002, a move which would have eliminated the Twins and the Montreal Expos, now the Washington Nationals, franchises. The Twins survived largely due to a court decision which forced them to play out their lease on the Metrodome.

In October 2005 the Twins went back to state court asking for a ruling that they have no long-term lease with the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, the owner of the Metrodome where the Twins currently play. In February 2006 the court did rule favorably on the Twins motion. Thus, the Twins were not obligated to play in the Metrodome after the 2006 season. This removed one of the roadblocks that prevented contraction prior to the 2002 season and cleared the way for the Twins to either be relocated or disbanded prior to the 2007 season if a new deal was not reached.

For a long time, the Twins wished to move from the Metrodome to the site behind Target Center within the next half decade, claiming that the Metrodome generates too little revenue for the Twins to be competitive. In particular, the Twins receive very little revenue from luxury suite leasing (as the majority are owned by co-tenant Minnesota Vikings) and only a small percentage of concessions sales; also, the percentage of season-ticket-quality seats in the Metrodome is said to be very low compared to other stadiums, and the capacity of the stadium is far too high for baseball. However, attempts to spur interest and push legislative efforts towards a new stadium repeatedly failed prior to 2006. The Dome is thought to be an increasingly poor fit for all three of its major tenants (the Twins, the Vikings and the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers football team). In fact, the Vikings also have a stadium proposal in various stages of development, and the Twins and Gophers are in the process of constructing their new stadiums.

On May 21, 2006, the Twins' new stadium received the approval of the Minnesota House of Representatives, with a vote of 71–61, and then received approval from the Senate, with a nailbiting vote of 34–32, after 4 a.m. on the second-to-last day of the 2006 legislative session. The bill moved on to Governor Tim Pawlenty, who signed it during a special pre-game ceremony at the HHH Metrodome on May 26, 2006 (the Twins played the Seattle Mariners that night) on what will be the first home plate installed in the new stadium.

On January 5, 2009 owner Carl Pohlad passed away at the age of 93. Pohlad's three sons have inherited the team, with Jim Pohlad assuming control of day-to-day operations and acting as principal owner. The Pohlad family has invested significant sums of their own money into construction of Target Field, and is expected to retain ownership of the team.

Target Field, the future stadium of the Twins is being built in what was a parking lot at the north end of downtown Minneapolis within walking distance of the Target Center. On September 15, 2008 the Twins announced that they had sold naming rights to the Target Corporation and that the stadium would be known as Target Field. The Hiawatha Light Rail line will be extended to the ballpark area with a connection to the Northstar Commuter Rail, which will have its final station at the ballpark. Preliminary plans call for a seating capacity of 40,000 seats and 72 suites. There will be approximately 34 rest rooms compared to only 16 in the Metrodome. The concourses will be open to the playing field with a view of the downtown Minneapolis skyline from every seat in the park. There will not be a retractable roof on the stadium which would add about $200 million on to the cost which is currently set at $522 million. This has received some objection due to the potentially harsh game conditions in early April (similar to other northern pro baseball teams such as the White Sox, Cubs, Tigers, Indians, Red Sox, etc.) and the potential risk of resulting lost revenue. The official groundbreaking for the stadium, originally scheduled for 2 August 2007, was postponed to August 30 due to the collapse of the I-35W Mississippi River bridge. However, officials still expect the work to be completed in time for the 2010 home opener.

With the new ballpark bill, a provision was signed into law that allows the state of Minnesota the right of first refusal to buy the team if it is ever sold, and requires that the name, colors, World Series' trophies and history of the team remain in Minnesota if the Twins are ever moved out of state (a reaction to the loss of the Minnesota North Stars to Dallas in 1993). This is similar to what the City of Cleveland did with the NFL's Cleveland Browns in 1995 when Art Modell moved them to Baltimore and renamed them the Ravens, as well as the 2008 relocation of the NBA's Seattle SuperSonics to Oklahoma City and renamed them the Oklahoma City Thunder. (Though in the latter case, the Thunder retained the Sonics' history and will "share" it with any future Seattle NBA franchise.) The stadium, according to current renderings, will be clad in Kasota limestone, featuring a canopy cover for the seating area, as well as potentially trees in the outfield area. The concourses of the stadium will be wider than those in the Metrodome and will be heated.

A complete list of players who played in at least one game for the Twins franchise.

Molitor and Winfield, St. Paul natives and University of Minnesota graduates, came to the team late in their careers and were warmly received as "hometown heroes," but were elected to the Hall on the basis of their tenures with other teams. Both swatted their 3,000th hit with the Twins.

Cronin, Goslin, Griffith, Harris, Johnson, Killebrew and Wynn are listed on the Washington Hall of Stars display at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium. So are Ossie Bluege, George Case, Joe Judge, George Selkirk, Roy Sievers, Cecil Travis, Mickey Vernon and Eddie Yost.

The Metrodome's upper deck in center and right fields is partly covered by a curtain containing banners of various titles won, and retired numbers.

As of 2007, the Twins' new flagship radio station is KSTP, 1500 kHz AM. It replaces WCCO, which held broadcast rights for the Twins since the team moved to Minneapolis in 1961. The original radio voices of the Twins in 1961 were Halsey Hall and, after the first year, Herb Carneal, sponsored by the Hamm's Brewing Company. In 2006, John Gordon, Herb Carneal, Dan "The Dazzle Man" Gladden, and Jack Morris provided radio commentary.

The television rights are held by Fox Sports North with Dick Bremer as the play-by-play announcer and former Twin Bert Blyleven as color analyst. They are sometimes joined by Ron Coomer and Roy Smalley. Blyleven was suspended by the team briefly in 2006 for inadvertently saying obscene words on a live telecast; he did not realize the broadcast was live and assumed a second take of the segment could be taped.

Fox Sports North also produces Sunday game telecasts on WFTC, "My 29" in the Twin Cities.

On April 1st, 2007, Herb Carneal, the radio voice of the Twins for all but one year of their existence, died in his home in Minnetonka, Minnesota after a long battle with a list of illnesses. Carneal is currently in the Hall of Fame.

Bob Casey was the Twins first public-address announcer starting in 1961 and going until his death in 2005. He was well known for his unique delivery and his signature announcements of "NOOO Smoking in the Metrodome, either go outside or quit!", "Centerfielder, #34, KIRRBYYYYYYY PUCKETTTTTT!!!" and asking fans not to 'throw anything or anybody' onto the field.

Ballpark gimmick: Homer Hanky (1987, 1988, 1991, 1992, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006). The party atmosphere of the Twins clubhouse after a win is well-known, the team's players unwinding with loud rock music (usually the choice of the winning pitcher) and video games. The club has several well-known, harmless hazing rituals, such as requiring the most junior relief pitcher on the team to carry water and snacks to the bullpen in a brightly-colored small child's backpack (Barbie in 2005, SpongeBob Squarepants in 2006, Hello Kitty in 2007), and many of its players, both past and present, are notorious pranksters - the infamous Bert Blyleven even earning the nickname "The Frying Dutchman" for his ability to pull the "hotfoot" - which entails crawling under the bench in the dugout and lighting a teammate's shoelaces on fire.

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2008 Minnesota Twins season

The 2008 Minnesota Twins season was the 48th season for the franchise in Minnesota, and the 108th overall in the American League. After tying the Chicago White Sox for first in the AL Central Division with an 88–74 record, the team lost a one game playoff to finish second and miss the league playoffs.

General Manager for the previous 13 years, Terry Ryan stepped down into the role of Senior Advisor in September 2007 and was replaced by Bill Smith, formerly the assistant general manager. Scouting director Mike Radcliff was named vice president of player personnel and director of baseball operations Rob Antony was named assistant GM.

The offseason between the 2007 and 2008 seasons saw many rumors surrounding pitcher Johan Santana, but little action until shortly before the start of spring training. Typically standing still in the off-season, the Twins made some waves late November when they traded Matt Garza, Jason Bartlett, and Eduardo Morlan to the Tampa Bay Rays for power-hitting outfielder Delmon Young, scrappy infielder Brendan Harris and former Twin Jason Pridie.

Prior to the Rays trade, the Twins traded for outfielder Craig Monroe of the Chicago Cubs. Monroe would later sign with the Twins and would be placed on the major league roster soon after. Monroe joined several others including Adam Everett and Mike Lamb as those new to the team who made the 2008 Opening Day roster.

On January 18, 2008, the Twins avoided arbitration with three current players: Jason Kubel, Justin Morneau and Juan Rincón. Rincón and Kubel were signed through 2008, while Morneau and Michael Cuddyer were signed to extended contracts.

The Twins also saw several players depart via free agency, roster management and trade. The Twins also released players Jason Tyner, Chris Heintz, Lew Ford, Josh Rabe and Matthew LeCroy.

Minnesota lost Carlos Silva via free agency, signing with the Seattle Mariners for a four-year contract. Silva was a starting pitcher for the Twins in recent years after coming over in the Eric Milton trade.

The Twins also lost perennial Gold Glove center fielder and fan favorite Torii Hunter in free agency, who signed with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for five years and $90 million.

The Twins traded ace Johan Santana to the New York Mets for four prospects: OF Carlos Gomez and pitchers Kevin Mulvey, Philip Humber, and Deolis Guerra.

The Twins, as per long-standing tradition were the last team to begin spring training on February 17, 2008.

On March 27, the Twins announced they had finished signing their entire 40-man roster.

Pitcher Francisco Liriano was unable to report to camp on time due to visa problems. Shortly before the start of the season, Liriano was sent down to the minor leagues to continue his development.

Gomez beat out center field prospects Denard Span and Jason Pridie for the starting job.

The team re-signed closer Joe Nathan to a four-year contract on March 24.

On May 7, 2008, Carlos Gómez hit for the cycle against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago. He became the fourth major leaguer and second in Twins history to hit for the reverse natural cycle. He also became the third-youngest player to hit for the cycle in MLB history.

During the 2008 campaign, the Twins sent three representatives to the 2008 MLB All Star game: Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, and Joe Nathan. Morneau went on to win the home run derby and score the winning run in the 15th inning of the All-Star game.

April 5, 2008: Placed outfielder Michael Cuddyer on the 15-day disabled list; recalled outfielder Denard Span from Rochester of the International League (AAA).

April 11, 2008: Placed pitcher Kevin Slowey on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to April 4.

April 12, 2008: Recalled pitcher Francisco Liriano from Rochester.

April 19, 2008: Placed shortstop Adam Everett on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to April 15; recalled third baseman Brian Buscher from Rochester.

April 24, 2008: Optioned outfielder Denard Span to Rochester of the International League (AAA).

April 25, 2008: Activated outfielder Michael Cuddyer from the 15-day disabled list.

April 26, 2008: Optioned pitcher Francisco Liriano to Rochester of the International League (AAA); recalled pitcher Bobby Korecky from Rochester.

April 30, 2008: Optioned third baseman Brian Buscher to Rochester of the International League (AAA).

May 2, 2008: Activated infielder Adam Everett from the 15-day disabled list.

May 8, 2008: Placed pitcher Scott Baker on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to May 4; activated pitcher Kevin Slowey from the 15-day disabled list.

May 9, 2008: Placed pitcher Pat Neshek on the 15-day disabled list; recalled pitcher Glen Perkins from Rochester.

May 11, 2008: Placed infielder Nick Punto on the 15-day disabled list; recalled infielder Alexi Casilla from Rochester.

May 17, 2008: Placed infielder Matt Tolbert on the 15-day disabled list; purchased the contract of infielder Howie Clark from Rochester.

May 22, 2008: Placed shortstop Adam Everett on the 15-day disabled list; recalled infielder Matt Macri from Rochester.

May 29, 2008: Claimed pitcher Craig Breslow off waivers from the Cleveland Indians; transferred pitcher Pat Neshek to the 60-day disabled list; optioned pitcher Bobby Korecky to Rochester.

May 31, 2008: Activated infielder Nick Punto from the 15-day disabled list; designated infielder Howie Clark for assignment.

June 2, 2008: Outrighted infielder Howie Clark to the minor leagues.

June 5, 2008: Optioned infielder Matt Macri to Rochester of the International League (AAA).

June 6, 2008: Activated pitcher Scott Baker from the 15-day disabled list; placed infielder Nick Punto on the 15-day disabled list; recalled infielder Matt Macri from Rochester.

June 13, 2008: Pitcher Juan Rincón designated for assignment; recalled infielder Brian Buscher from Rochester.

June 18, 2008: Released pitcher Juan Rincón.

June 24, 2008: Activated infielder Nick Punto from the 15-day disabled list: optioned infielder Howie Clark to Rochester.

June 29, 2008: Placed outfielder Michael Cuddyer on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to June 28; recalled outfielder Denard Span from Rochester of the International League (AAA).

July 31, 2008: Placed infielder Alexi Casilla on the 15-day disabled list; activated infielder Adam Everett from the 15-day disabled list.

August 1, 2008: Designated pitcher Livan Hernandez and outfielder Craig Monroe for assignment; recalled pitcher Francisco Liriano from Rochester; purchased the contract of infielder Randy Ruiz from Rochester.

August 11, 2008: Signed former Twin Bobby Kielty to a minor league contract.

August 21, 2008: Activated infielder Alexi Casilla from the 15-day disabled list; assigned pitcher Brian Bass to Rochester of the International League (AAA).

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2006 Minnesota Twins season

The Minnesota Twins 2006 season ended with Minnesota finishing the regular season as champions of the American League Central Division, but were swept in three games by the Oakland Athletics in the 2006 American League Division Series.

The Twins stumbled out of the gate after the death of Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett in late March, accumulating a dismal 25-33 record by June 7. Around that time, the team dropped underperforming veterans like Tony Batista, Juan Castro, and Kyle Lohse, replacing them with talented rookies from the Rochester Red Wings. The Twins went 9-1 in their next ten games, evening their record at 34-34. Interleague play was particularly generous to the team; the Twins had Major League Baseball's best Interleague record at 16 wins and 2 losses. By July 26 the team had won 44 of 52 games, leaving them tied with the White Sox at 59-41, but still 8.5 games behind the division-leading Tigers.

As the season neared its conclusion, the Twins continued to put distance between them and the White Sox, while gaining on the Tigers. A key series starting on September 7 saw the Twins take three out of four from the Tigers. And after a commanding win in Boston on September 19, the Twins found themselves within a half game of the Central-leading Tigers. On September 25, the Twins beat Kansas City 8-1 to secure an American League playoff berth.

The Tigers led the season series, so a tie at the end of the season between the Tigers and Twins would have meant the Twins get the wild card. Instead, the Tigers were swept by 100-game-losers Kansas City to end the season, and the Twins took one of three from the White Sox, giving the Twins their fourth AL Central title in five years. It was the first time in major league history that a team clinched on the last day of the season after never having held sole possession of first place.

For the first time since 1987, the Twins had legitimate power hitters in Justin Morneau, Torii Hunter, and Michael Cuddyer. On August 9, Morneau became the first Twin to hit 30 or more home runs since 1987, when Tom Brunansky, Gary Gaetti, and Kent Hrbek did it.

Morneau finished the season with 34 home runs, 130 runs batted in, and a .321 average and was named American League MVP.

Hunter enjoyed a late season surge to also reach the 30 home run mark. On September 25, he homered off Kansas City Royals pitcher Zack Greinke in the bottom of the 7th inning and became the second Twin to hit 30 home runs in 2006. He finished the season with 31 home runs and 98 runs batted in.

Michael Cuddyer also had a breakout season as the Twins' cleanup hitter. He did not start the season as a regular player, but eventually replaced the ineffective opening day right fielder, Jason Kubel. By June, he was hitting fourth in the lineup, and he finished the season with 24 home runs, 109 runs batted in, scored 102 runs, and hit for a .284 average.

Morneau and catcher Joe Mauer may have finally earned the nickname "The M&M Boys", that had been prematurely applied to them early in the 2005 season. (This was the nickname applied to Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris in the early 1960s.) Not only did Mauer win the American League batting title, but he led the major leagues with a .347 average, finishing ahead of National League champion Freddy Sanchez. Mauer was the first catcher to lead either the American League or the majors in hitting. Two catchers did win the National League batting title. Bubbles Hargrave of the Cincinnati Reds did it in 1926. Ernie Lombardi led the National League twice: once for the Reds in 1938 and once for the Boston Braves in 1942. However, neither catcher won the major league title.

These strong hitters were complemented by the top and bottom of the Twins' order, where the players gave the hitters plenty of opportunities to drive in runs. Midway through the season, the Twins opted for a lineup that included Jason Tyner batting eighth, Jason Bartlett ninth, Luis Castillo first, and Nick Punto second. Manager Ron Gardenhire said that these players are like four leadoff hitters: all are fast and hit for average but not power. All four hit between .290 (Punto) and .312 (Tyner), but hit a combined six home runs.

The Twins led the Major Leagues in batting average with a team average of .287.

For much of the season, the Twins' starting rotation was its most apparent weakness. This is surprising, because the 2005 Minnesota Twins had one of the strongest rotations in baseball. The team started the season with a rotation of Johan Santana, Brad Radke, Carlos Silva, Kyle Lohse, and Scott Baker. By September, only Santana could be counted on for a full, effective start.

Baker was not effective and was quickly demoted to the minors, though he came back a couple times and had a couple competent starts. Lohse was ineffective, surly, and traded to the Cincinnati Reds midway through the season. Radke started slowly but seemed to find his form, providing some consistency to the number two spot before being sidelined with a torn labrum and a stress fracture in his right shoulder. Silva was unable to find his 2005 form, finishing the season with an ERA of 5.94. He did make a few strong starts in September before regressing.

On May 19, talented rookie Francisco Liriano entered the starting rotation. He pitched well enough to earn an All-Star berth, finishing with a 12-3 record and a minuscule ERA of 2.16. Unfortunately, he was sidelined after the All-Star break with elbow problems. He did not pitch at all in 2007, as he was recovering from Tommy John Surgery. Boof Bonser had an up-and-down season, but finished strong with a 7-6 record and 4.22 ERA. This earned him a spot in the postseason rotation. Matt Garza was the team's top pitching prospect, but was inconsistent during his first partial year in the majors.

The Twins had one of baseball's best bullpens. Dennys Reyes, signed to a minor-league deal during the offseason, provided a pleasant surprise with an excellent season as the Twins' sole left-handed reliever. Right-handers Jesse Crain and Juan Rincón set the stage throughout the season for closer Joe Nathan, with homegrown rookie Pat Neshek contributing some solid innings after being recalled from the minor leagues in July. Pitchers like Willie Eyre and Matt Guerrier ate up innings when the starters faltered.

The Twins finished tied for second place in the American League with a .986 fielding percentage.. The team's defense was noticeably stronger when the left side of the infield was revamped in June, when the team traded shortstop Juan Castro to Cincinnati and released third baseman Tony Batista. Jason Bartlett and Nick Punto stepped into those roles, providing an immediate upgrade.

After the Twins won the division, the American League playoff matchups were decided as follows: number two seed Minnesota hosting number three seed Oakland, and number one seed New York hosting the wild card Detroit.

The Twins were defeated by Oakland in a three-game sweep, ending their playoff run for 2006. The Twins got great starts from both Johan Santana and Boof Bonser (who made his first post season appearance) at the Metrodome. After losing game 1 by the score of 3-2, the Twins came back to even the score at 2 in game 2. With two outs and a runner on first in the top of the 7th inning, Mark Kotsay hit a line drive to center field that Torii Hunter made a valiant dive for. Unfortunately, the ball sailed past him all the way to the wall, resulting in an inside-the-park home run for Kotsay. This play seemed to take all the momentum away from the Twins. The Twins never led in any game in this series.

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1987 Minnesota Twins season

The 1987 Minnesota Twins won the World Series for the first time since moving from Washington in 1961, marking the second time that the franchise had won the World Series. (The Washington Senators had won it in 1924.) Manager Tom Kelly managed the rare feat of winning the World Series in his first full season as manager.

The Twins were 85-77, first in the American League West. The team had one of the lowest winning percentages ever for a World Series champion, at .525. It also had the remarkably bad road record of 29-52 (.358 percentage). Fortunately for the team, the Twins played in the weak American League West Division, where first and last place were separated by only ten games.

2,081,976 fans attended Twins games, the sixth highest total in the American League.

Only one Twin made the All-Star Game, outfielder Kirby Puckett. The highest paid player was Kent Hrbek at $1,310,000; followed by Bert Blyleven at $1,150,000.

1987 was the first year the Twins started using their modernized logos and uniforms, which are still in use today.

Joe Niekro, a pitcher for the Twins, was suspended for 10 games when umpire Steve Palermo discovered a nail file in his pocket. Niekro said he was filing his nails in the dugout, but American League president Dr. Bobby Brown didn't believe him, and ordered the suspension.

This was the last year for a long time that the Twins were stocked with power hitters. In particular, Kirby Puckett, Kent Hrbek, Gary Gaetti, and Tom Brunansky combined to hit 125 home runs. (The team as a whole hit 196.) Hrbek, Gaetti, and Brunansky each surpassed 30 home runs, a number that no Twin would reach until Justin Morneau and Torii Hunter in 2006.

Kirby Puckett led the AL with 207 hits.

The top three starting pitchers, Frank Viola, Bert Blyleven, and Les Straker provided stability throughout the year. Mike Smithson, Joe Niekro, and Jeff Bittiger were less reliable. Newly acquired closer Jeff Reardon was a reliable option at the end of games. Juan Berenguer was the most reliable set-up man, posting a 3.94 ERA.

Bert Blyleven led the AL with 46 home runs allowed.

The defense was not as strong as would be typical for Twins teams under manager Tom Kelly. Hrbek was the most reliable fielder at first base, and the outfield of Dan Gladden, Puckett, and Brunansky was reliable. Third baseman Gary Gaetti and center fielder Kirby Puckett each won their second Gold Glove Award.

See 1987 American League Championship Series and 1987 World Series.

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Source : Wikipedia