January 23, 2017

Happy 95th, Sam Mele!

Sam Mele, who won more than 500 games as manager of the Twins in the 1960s and guided them to the World Series in 1965, turned 95 on Saturday. Mele was born Jan. 21, 1922 in Astoria, New York.

Before managing the Twins, Mele spent 10 seasons in the majors as a player, playing both right field and first base for the Red Sox, White Sox, Senators, Orioles and Indians. In his rookie year of 1947, he hit .302 for the Red Sox, his best season in terms of batting average. He also hit better than .300 for the Red Sox in 1954, but played in only 42 games.

It was after his days as a player that Mele made a bigger splash as a manager. He became Twins manager in 1961 and quickly produced a winner. The Twins won 90-plus games in ’62 and ’63, 102 games in ’65 and 89 games in ’66, but he was let go in 1967 with a record of 25-25. Despite winning 524 games in seven seasons, the Twins went to the postseason only once, appearing opposite the Los Angeles Dodgers in the ’65 World Series.

The Twins pushed the Dodgers to seven games and beat Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax in the first two games of the series. But then they lost three straight before winning at home to force Game 7. Although they beat Koufax the first time around, Koufax came back to pitch a complete game, three-hit shutout to win the World Series. The Twins wouldn’t win their first until 1987.

Mele never managed again. Instead, he spent 25 years with the Red Sox.

 

January 14, 2017

Meet the new boss, not the same as the old boss

Falvey & Co. made a small but significant move this week when they signed pitcher, Ryan Vogelsong, best known for his years with the San Francisco Giants, to a new contract with the Twins. Here’s what stood out to me: Vogelsong was signed to a minor league contract, not a multiyear, major league deal. And... Continue Reading »

January 7, 2017

While we all wait for Brian Dozier to be traded (or not), a few thoughts about the weather

Well, I knew the offseason would be slow, but this slow? Wow. There’s no mistaking it: Baseball really is a summer sport. I think all of us Twins bloggers are waiting to pounce on the much talked about potential trade that would send second baseman Brian Dozier to some team (possibly the Los Angeles Dodgers)... Continue Reading »

December 22, 2016

Molitor’s staff complete after Twins hire first-base coach and ‘conduit coach’

Twins manager Paul Molitor’s coaching staff is set after the Twins added Jeff Smith and Jeff Pickler on Wednesday. Smith is the team’s new first-base coach, while Pickler, previously with the Los Angeles Dodgers, comes aboard as a coach who “will serve as a conduit between the front office and the coaches to convey analytics... Continue Reading »

December 18, 2016

Rod Carew, who hit .388 for Twins in ’77, has successful heart and kidney surgery

Hall of Famer, Rod Carew, who spent the bulk of his baseball career with the Twins, had successful heart and kidney transplant surgery after suffering a heart attack in September 2015. The 13-hour procedure was completed on Friday at Cedar-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, according to MLB.com. The outlook for his recovery is good... Continue Reading »

December 17, 2016

Is Twins’ Dozier to Dodgers a done deal?

It appears Falvey & Co. may be on the verge of making their first big transaction of the off-season, sending Twins’ second baseman Brian Dozier to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for highly rated pitching prospect Jose De Leon. There may be more players attached to this potential deal, but it seems to hinge... Continue Reading »

December 5, 2016

So what if the Twins new hitting coach couldn’t hit?

Professional sports are filled with examples of the marginal athlete who later finds his or her true calling by becoming a successful coach. Here’s just one example: Calvin Coolidge Ermer, who played in one major league baseball game, later went on to win more than 1,900 games as a minor league manager. It appears that... Continue Reading »

December 2, 2016

An open letter to Derek Falvey, Twins chief baseball officer

December 1, 2016

There is life after the Twins — just ask Terry Ryan

Terry Ryan, who spent 31 years with the Twins, including 19 as the club’s general manager, has found work again after he was fired during the team’s disastrous 2016 season. His new employer is the Philadelphia Phillies, who have hired Ryan as a special assignment scout. The hire is also interesting because Ryan is once... Continue Reading »

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Hi, I’m Rolf Boone and I love the Twins.

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.