Twins in the 2000s: Looking Back at Two Decades
Image courtesy of Brock BeauchampFirst, here's a list of all the installments (and their authors). I highly recommend reading them all in order, even if you have to break it up into multiple sessions. It's a fun trip down memory lane.
- The 2000 Season (Nick Nelson)
- The 2001 Season (Nick Nelson)
- The 2002 Season (John Bonnes)
- The 2003 Season (Nick Nelson)
- The 2004 Season (Matthew Lenz)
- The 2005 Season (Nick Nelson)
- The 2006 Season (Matthew Taylor)
- The 2007 Season (Nick Nelson)
- The 2008 Season (Nick Nelson)
- The 2009 Season (Nick Nelson)
- The 2010 Season (Matthew Taylor)
- The 2011 Season (Cooper Carlson)
- The 2012 Season (Nick Nelson)
- The 2013 Season (Phil Miller)
- The 2014 Season (Nick Nelson)
- The 2015 Season (Patrick Wozniak)
- The 2016 Season (Tom Froemming)
- The 2017 Season (AJ Condon)
- The 2018 Season (Nick Nelson)
- The 2019 Season (Matthew Lenz)
A WILD AND UNFINISHED STORY
I came up with the idea for this series in early April, when it became apparent that we weren't going to have live baseball for a while. Without a new season to watch, I thought it might be fun to relive the not-so-distant past. The turn of the century is a tidy endpoint on its own, but also holds added significance in both the franchise's history and my personal fandom.
The time period around 2000 represented a real turning point for the Twins, as they pulled out of a cellar-dwelling lull in the '90s and re-emerged as contenders under new manager Ron Gardenhire. Over the next decade they ruled over the AL Central, and became a model of small-market success in the eyes of many.
By the midpoint of our series, 2010, the Twins seemed to be at their absolute pinnacle, opening a beautiful new ballpark with a reigning (hometown) MVP and an undisputed claim as one of the league's best teams. Then – of course – the bottom fell out, with a disastrous 2011 season giving way to many years of misery and leading to a complete dismantling of the organizations' deeply ingrained infrastructure. After all that, the series circled back to a happy ending in 2019.
The past 20 years really have provided quite the story arc, haven't they?
For me, it's been a defining experience to follow along as I've grown up. When the 2000 season started, I was finishing eighth grade and preparing for high school. With the internet still finding its traction, I began discovering and following fan-created content thanks to Twins Geek and Aaron Gleeman, who started their blogs around 2002. Three years later I started my own, and seven years after that, Twins Daily came to be.
Coverage of the team has become so greatly enriched over these past two decades, and I'm happy to have played my own small part in it.
That's why I was thrilled that when I put out the call to a bunch of writers I enjoy, so many volunteered to participate in this series. John Bonnes penned the entry for 2002, the very year he launched his Twins Geek blog and started building the momentum toward TD. The 2013 installment came from Phil Miller, whose reporting on the Twins beat for both the Pioneer Press and Star Tribune has represented the very best of legacy media. These two men are such genuine inspirations to me, I can't say enough how giddy it made me to include their bylines and read their retrospectives as part of this series.
I'm very thankful to them, as well as Cooper, Patrick, Tom, Matthew (x2), and AJ for taking part. These articles were (at least for me) very fun to write, providing an opportunity to disconnect from the harshness of reality and frolic in fuzzy nostalgia. But, they did entail a ton of research and work. I hope you'll join me in expressing gratitude to all the guest authors, who happily took on the task merely for the sake of providing Twins fans with some amusement and entertainment during a strange, baseball-less time.
Anyway, the story is unfinished. Reading through the entire Twins in the 2000s series – which we hope to make available as a downloadable PDF soon – will lead you perfectly into the coming 2020 season.
It's going to be a unique one. And thanks to the developments of the past 20 years, you'll never have a shortage of content covering it.
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