February 22, 2021

Brian Dozier, we hardly knew ye

Second baseman Brian Dozier, who spent seven of his nine seasons with the Twins, called it a career last week and retired. He leaves the game at 33.

Dozier was traded by the Twins to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2018. He was never the same player after he left Minnesota, although he would eventually win a World Series with the Washington Nationals. But his homer-hitting prowess tailed off after he left the Twins. He hit 192 home runs over those nine seasons, including 42 in 2016, the most for a Twins second baseman and the second highest single-season total for that position in major league history. Dozier also was an All-Star in 2015 and won a Gold Glove in 2017.

Dozier, unfortunately, hit a lot of home runs for some weak Twins teams. But he did have his moments, including on July 10, 2015. In that game, the Twins were losing 6-1 at home to the Detroit Tigers going into the bottom of the ninth inning.

And then the rally started.

Joe Mauer singled, Miguel Sano doubled, Trevor Plouffe struck out and Eddie Rosario singled and stole a base to make it 6-2.

Aaron Hicks, now with the New York Yankees, earned a walk and catcher Kurt Suzuki was hit by a pitch to make it 6-3.

Danny Santana hit another single and two more scored to cut it to 6-5. And then Dozier came to the plate. With two men on, he hit the first pitch into the left field seats to cap a seven-run rally with an 8-6 walkoff win.

The Twins reportedly tried to trade Dozier in 2017, then finally moved him in 2018 for three players, including Devin Smeltzer, who continues to pitch for the Twins today.

Extra innings…

-The Twins have added former Angels pitcher, Matt Shoemaker, to their roster on a one-year deal worth $2 million. Shoemaker has battled injuries since he went 16-4 with a 3.08 ERA in 2014, so he, like Jake Odorizzi, Michael Pineda and others, becomes a reclamation project for the Twins and pitching coach Wes Johnson. They have had success finding value in under-the-radar pitching talent. If they can come close to recapturing his 2014 form, it will be a heckuva steal for the Twins.

-Shoemaker also has a career strikeout ratio per nine innings of 8.1.

-The current contract trend in baseball is the team-friendly one-year deal. The San Diego Padres blew that up with a 14-year, $340 million deal for young slugger Fernando Tatis Jr. If he wasn’t the face of the franchise before, he is now.

-Interesting observation by Pioneer Press columnist Charley Walters on Sunday.

He writes: “Hardly anyone’s noticed, but the Senators played 60 seasons (1901-1960) in Washington, D.C. This season will be the Twins’ 61st in Minnesota, meaning they will have been in Minnesota longer than they were the Senators in Washington.”

February 16, 2021

The day rookie Cesar Tovar singled home the winning run

After a weekend of snow, this seems fitting: writing about a Twins’ opening day that nearly didn’t happen because of terrible spring weather. In the end, the Twins won in extra-innings over their arch-rival and would embark on a history-making season. MLB.com selected this game as one of the top five opening day games in... Continue Reading »

February 7, 2021

How do you like the Twins now? (Part 2)

A month ago it appeared Twins Territory, the fan base that supports the Twins, was collectively losing its mind over the lack of deal-making this offseason. The Twins locked up former Angels reliever, Hansel Robles, toward the end of December, and then it was followed by silence (but angst on Twitter) as other top free... Continue Reading »

February 2, 2021

The day 100 children were reunited with their parents at a Twins game

Once again I fell down the rabbit hole that is the internet and came across a wild Twins game played in June 1977. I found my way to this tilt after reading about the history of Metropolitan Stadium, otherwise known as the Met, that the Twins called home from 1961 to 1981. It was a... Continue Reading »

January 24, 2021

How do you like the Twins now?

A recent check of social media showed that all was not well in Twins Territory. Twins fans, at least on Twitter, appeared to be coming unglued due to the lack of deal-making so far this offseason. As top free agents continued to come off the board and go elsewhere, such as reliever Kirby Yates and... Continue Reading »

January 18, 2021

Remember 1973? That was a wacky season for the Twins, Part 2

As I have written before here, the 1973 Twins encountered a little bit of everything it seems. They swept the eventual World Series-winning Oakland A’s to start the season — and went 14-4 against the club the rest of the way — yet they had a losing record against the 91-loss Cleveland Indians, struggled as... Continue Reading »

January 11, 2021

Phil Hughes, we hardly knew ye

Pitcher Phil Hughes, who won a World Series with the New York Yankees and pitched with distinction for the Twins, has stepped away from the game after announcing his retirement this month. And if you had your doubts about his retirement, just check his twitter feed, including photo that appears to show him shirtless, wearing... Continue Reading »

January 4, 2021

The day the Twins beat Phil Niekro and the Indians. It meant much more than that, of course

Hall of Fame pitcher and knuckleballer, Phil Niekro, is no longer with us, joining a long and sad list of Hall of Fame baseball players who died in 2020. I guess you could say his death, to quote a Bloomberg news headline, “capped a hellish 2020.” Niekro, who spent most of his career in the... Continue Reading »

December 29, 2020

81-75 with 6 games to go and it all fell apart for the Twins in ’84

After I became a Twins fan (yes, there was a beginning), I suffered through a 102-loss season in 1982, another down year in ’83 and then, incredibly it seemed, the Twins began to show signs of life in 1984. They were helped by a young nucleus of rising stars, including Kirby Puckett, Kent Hrbek, Frank... Continue Reading »

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Hi, I’m Rolf Boone, Twins fan.

I became a fan of the Minnesota Twins after a friendly wager in the early 1980s. I survived Ron Davis, the meltdown in Cleveland, Phil Bradley at the Kingdome and then marveled at a rising generation of stars and two World Series wins in 1987 and 1991. Brad Radke made the 1990s bearable, while Kirby Puckett’s eye injury, exit from the game and eventual death made it almost too much to bear. The new century ushered in more talent — Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau — and consecutive seasons of playoff baseball, followed by consecutive seasons of losing baseball. A winning season returned in 2015. So here we are. Go Twins.