October 4, 2022

How bad has it been? For the Twins, that bad

It’s incredible.

The Twins lost 3-2 to the Chicago White Sox on Monday and now can do no better than 79 wins this season, which is only six wins more than last season, and that’s after adding Carlos Correa, Sonny Gray, Gio Urshela, Gary Sanchez, Chris Archer, Tyler Mahle, Michael Fulmer, Jorge Lopez, Emilio Pagan and Dylan Bundy to the roster either before the season started or after it. Wow.

The Twins are 77-83. Josh Winder gets the ball Tuesday.

Extra innings…

-The Twins are now 20-28 in one-run games.

-Starting pitcher Bailey Ober just missed a quality start on Monday, allowing two runs over five innings.

-Correa had three of the Twins’ seven hits.

-A couple of ex-Twins had pretty good seasons. The Toronto Blue Jays’ Jose Berrios won his 12th game on Monday, getting a 5-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles, although he did carry an elevated ERA of 5.23. It helps when you’re backed by a high-powered offense. Even better was the play of pitcher Martin Perez of the Texas Rangers. He lost on Monday to the New York Yankees, but still made a quality start (one earned run over six innings) and lowered his ERA in the process to 2.89. The Rangers also turned six double plays in that game.

-On Oct. 3, 1976, the Twins ended the season in Kansas City, beating them 5-3. Although you wouldn’t know it to look at the score, the game featured a controversial inside-the-park home run that prompted accusations of racism from the Royals’ Hal McRae, according to the Minneapolis Tribune.

Teammate George Brett, who is white, hit the home run that was misplayed by Twins’ outfielder Steve Brye. McRae, who is Black, later accused Brye of deliberately misplaying the ball so Brett would win the AL batting title over him. McRae grounded out in his final at bat, then made an obscene gesture toward the Twins dugout. Incensed, Twins manager Gene Mauch charged onto the field and the dugouts emptied. Mauch had to be restrained by three umpires; McRae was held back by Royals manager Whitey Herzog.

“Things have been like this for a long time,” said McRae after the game to the newspaper. “It’s changing gradually. But I know how things are so I can accept them. It’s too bad things like this have to happen.”

His Black teammates agreed.

“I don’t think he lost it in the sun. You can say that,” said Dave Nelson. Amos Otis agreed with him.

Twins manager Mauch, on the other hand, was upset by the accusation.

“I would protect the integrity of the game at any cost,” he said as he angrily yanked off his uniform.

“This game has taken me out of the dust storms of western Kansas and made it possible to live in Palm Springs and play golf without working for the rest of my life if I want,” he said. “Oh, man, that hurts. That hurts.”


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.