Jump to content
Twins Daily
  • Create Account

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'chuck knoblauch'.

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Categories

  • Twins
  • Minors
  • Saints
  • Just For Fun
  • Twins Daily

Categories

  • Unregistered Help Files
  • All Users Help Files

Categories

  • Twins & Minors
  • Vintage
  • Retrospective
  • Twins Daily

Forums

  • Baseball Forums
    • Minnesota Twins Talk
    • Twins Minor League Talk
    • Head 2 Head Debate Forum
    • Twins Daily Front Page News
    • Other Baseball
    • Archived Game Threads
  • Other Sports Forums
    • The Sports Bar
    • Minnesota Vikings Talk
    • Minnesota Wild Talk
    • Minnesota Timberwolves Talk
  • Twins Daily's Questions About The Site

Blogs

  • Blog awstafki
  • The Lurker's Annual
  • Mike Sixel's Blog
  • Twins fan in Texas
  • highlander's Blog
  • Patrick Wozniak's Blog
  • Blog dennyhocking4HOF
  • From the Plaza
  • The Special Season
  • Twins Daily's Blog
  • Blog Twins best friend
  • Kyle Eliason's Blog
  • Extra Innings
  • SkinCell Pro: How Does Remove Mole & Skin Tag Work?
  • Blog Badsmerf
  • mikelink45's Blog
  • MT Feelings
  • Keto Burn Max Benefits
  • Blog crapforks
  • Off The Baggy
  • VikingTwinTwolf's Blog
  • A Blog to Be Named Later
  • Cormac's Corner
  • Blog MaureenHill
  • Halsey Hall Chapter of SABR
  • Road Tripping with the Twins
  • Greg Allen
  • Classic Minnesota Twins
  • The Line of Mendoza
  • BombazoMLB
  • Blog Twins Daily Admin
  • joshykid1's Blog
  • What if the Twins had drafted Prior or Teixeira instead of Mauer?
  • the_brute_squad's Blog
  • Better Baseball Is Ahead
  • Nick's Twins Blog
  • Blog jianfu
  • joshykid1's Blog
  • The PTBNL
  • Levi Hansen
  • SethSpeaks.net
  • Blog leshaadawson
  • Underwriting the Twins
  • Small Sample Size
  • parkerb's Blog
  • Tim
  • TwinsGeek.com
  • Blog Roaddog
  • Mauerpower's Blog
  • SotaPop's Blog
  • Face facts!!!
  • Over the Baggy
  • curt1965's Blog
  • Heezy1323's Blog
  • LA Vikes Fan
  • North Dakota Twins Fan
  • Blog Reginald Maudling's Shin
  • curt1965's Blog
  • Miller1234's Blog
  • Twins Curmudgeon
  • Blog Kirsten Brown
  • if we aint spendin 140 million
  • Boone's Blog
  • Rounding Third
  • Kirilloff & Co.
  • Shallow Thoughts - bean5302
  • The Hanging SL
  • Red Wing Squawk
  • Distraction via Baseball
  • Nine of twelve's Blog
  • Notes From The Neds
  • Blog Lindsay Guentzel
  • Blog Karl
  • Vance_Christianson's Blog
  • Curveball Blog
  • waltomeal's Blog
  • bronald3030
  • Knuckleballs - JC
  • Blog jrzf713
  • The Minor League Lifestyle
  • Jason Kubel is America
  • weneedjackmorris' Blog
  • Mahlk
  • Off The Mark
  • Blog freightmaster
  • Playin' Catch
  • Sethmoko's Blog
  • Dome Dogg's Blog
  • Lev's Musings
  • Blog Scott Povolny
  • Blog COtwin
  • Hrbowski's Blog
  • Minnesota Twins Whine Line
  • Bomba Blog
  • cjm0926's Blogs
  • Blog Chad Jacobsen
  • Blog ScottyBroco
  • tobi0040's Blog
  • Back Office Twins Baseball Blog
  • DannySD's Blog
  • nobitadora's Blog
  • blogs_blog_1812
  • Greg Fransen
  • Blog Adam Krueger
  • Hammered (adj.) Heavily inebriated, though to a lesser extent than ****faced.
  • Thegrin's Blog
  • 3rd Inning Stretch's Blog
  • Mark Ferretti
  • Jeremy Nygaard
  • The W.A.R. room
  • Christopher Fee's Blog
  • Postma Posts
  • Rolondo's Blog
  • blogs_blog_1814
  • Fantasy GM
  • Blog Fanatic Jack
  • Dominican Adventure
  • Cory Engelhardt's Blog
  • markthomas' Blog
  • blogs_blog_1815
  • Un/Necessary Sports Drivel
  • Blog AJPettersen
  • Blog AllhopeisgoneMNTWINS
  • BW on the Beat
  • jfeyereisn17's Blog
  • 2020 Offseason Blueprint
  • The Hot Corner
  • Blog TimShibuya
  • Fumi Saito's Blog
  • This Twins Fans Thoughts
  • Long Live La Tortuga
  • Baseball Therapy
  • Blog TonyDavis
  • Blog Danchat
  • sdtwins37's Blog
  • Thinking Outside the Box
  • dbminn
  • Proclamations from the Mad King
  • Blog travistwinstalk
  • jokin's Blog
  • Thoughts from The Catch
  • BlakeAsk's Blog
  • Bad Loser Blog
  • Tom Schreier's Blog
  • less cowBlog
  • Hansen101's Blog
  • Musings of a Madman
  • The Gopher Hole
  • 2020 Twins BluePrint - HotDish Surprise
  • Travis Kriens
  • Blog bkucko
  • The Circleback Blog
  • All Things Twins
  • batting 9th and playing right field
  • Blog iTwins
  • Drinking at the 573
  • The Thirsty Crow and the google boy from peepeganj
  • Catching Some Zs
  • Blog TCAnelle
  • Singles off the Wall
  • tarheeltwinsfan's Blog
  • A View From The Roof
  • The Blog Days of Summer
  • Jordan1212's Blog
  • You Shouldn't Have Lost
  • TwinsTakes.com Blog on TwinsDaily.com - Our Takes, Your Takes, TwinsTakes.com!
  • Blog SgtSchmidt11
  • Dantes929's Blog
  • Critical Thinking
  • Blog Matt VS
  • Blog RickPrescott
  • The Dollar Dome Dog
  • Travis M's Blog
  • Diamond Dollars
  • Blog jorgenswest
  • Twinsfan4life
  • Travis M's Interviews
  • whatyouknowtwinsfan's Blog
  • Blog righty8383
  • Blog TwinsWolvesLynxBlog
  • Supfin99's Blog
  • tarheeltwinsfan's Blog
  • Blog glunn
  • Blog yumen0808
  • Unkind Bounces
  • Doctor Gast's Blog
  • One Man's View From Section 231
  • Don't Feed the Greed? What does that mean...
  • Diesel's Blog
  • Blog denarded
  • Blog zymy0813
  • Twins Peak
  • Minnesota Twins Health and Performance: A Blog by Lucas Seehafer PT
  • Blog kirbyelway
  • Blog JP3700
  • twinssouth's Blog
  • Ports on Sports Blog
  • Blog Twins Fan From Afar
  • Blog E. Andrew
  • The 10th Inning Stretch
  • Hans Birkleberry's Blog
  • Blog twinsarmchairgm
  • Pitz Hits
  • samthetwinsfan's Blog
  • Blog JB (the Original)
  • soofootinsfan37's Blog
  • You Can Read This For Free
  • One Post Blog
  • Blog Dez Tobin
  • South Dakota Tom's Blog
  • hrenlazar2019's Blog
  • MNSotaSportsGal Twins Takes
  • Blog kemics
  • Blog AM.
  • DerektheDOM's Blog
  • Twins Tunes
  • Blog jtrinaldi
  • Blog Bill
  • Not Another Baseball Blog
  • Down on the Farm
  • Most likely pitchers making their MLB debut in 2021 for Twins.
  • Blog Wookiee of the Year
  • mike8791's Blog
  • Pensacola Blue Wahoos: Photo-A-Day
  • Puckets Pond
  • Blog Jim H
  • A trade for the off season
  • curt1965's Blog
  • Kasota Gold
  • The POSTseason
  • Blog guski
  • Blog rickyriolo
  • SgtSchmidt11's Blog
  • Twinternationals
  • Blog birdwatcher
  • Blog acrozelle
  • Axel Kohagen's Catastrophic Overreactions
  • Bashwood12's Blog
  • Spicer's Baseball Movie Reviews
  • Beyond the Metrodome
  • Blog yangxq0827
  • The Pat-Man Saga
  • TheTeufelShuffle's Blog
  • ebergdib's blog
  • Blog Thegrin
  • Zachary's Blog
  • scottyc35
  • Danchat's Aggregated Prospect Rankings
  • Thrylos' Blog - select Tenth Inning Stretch posts
  • Blog taune
  • scottyc35's Blog
  • World's Greatest Online Magazine
  • Blog tweety2012
  • DRizzo's Blog
  • mrtwinsfan's Blog
  • Blog asmus_ndsu
  • Otto Gets Blotto
  • Betsy Twins Report
  • Blog shawntheroad
  • Blog David-14
  • Blog Buddy14
  • Blog keithanderson
  • Blog Topperanton
  • Blog lightfoot789
  • Blog Axel Kohagen
  • Blog Lesser Dali
  • Blog Neinstein
  • Blog Bob Sacamento
  • Blog J-Dog Dungan
  • Thoughts of a Bullpen Catcher
  • Blog Dilligaf69
  • blogs_blog_1599
  • Twin Minds
  • My Opening Day Poem
  • Blog Teflon
  • Blog yanking it out...
  • Blog Anare
  • Blog Charlie Beattie
  • Blog Coach J
  • What to do with Morneau?
  • Peanuts from Heaven
  • Blog Physics Guy
  • Twins Adjacent
  • Field of Twins
  • Martin Schlegel's Blog
  • The Long View
  • Blog grumpyrob
  • Off The Mark
  • Blog Jeff A
  • Blog jwestbrock
  • by Matt Sisk
  • Blog Sarah
  • Blog RodneyKline
  • Blog JeffB
  • Anorthagen's Twins Daily Blogs
  • Low Profile MI Trade
  • Blog CC7
  • Blog dwintheiser
  • Blog Docsilly
  • Blog cmathewson
  • Blog mnfireman
  • Blog twinsfanstl
  • Blog dave_dw
  • Blog MN_Twins_Live
  • Standing Room Only
  • Blog gkasper
  • Blog puck34
  • Blog Old Twins Cap
  • Blog diehardtwinsfan
  • Blog Twinfan & Dad
  • Blog LimestoneBaggy
  • Blog Brian Mozey
  • vqt94648's Blog
  • Blog Loosey
  • Blog fairweather
  • World Series Champions 2088
  • Blog Drtwins
  • Blog peterb18
  • Blog LindaU
  • Kevin Slowey was Framed!
  • Blog Christopher Fee
  • Very Well Then
  • Pitch2Contact.com
  • A View from the Slot
  • Blog severson09
  • Blog husker brian
  • Blog Ray Tapajna
  • Sell high?
  • Blog bogeypepsi
  • Blog tshide
  • Blog Gene Larkin Fan Club
  • Blog jimbo92107
  • Blog DefinitelyNotVodkaDave
  • Blog Cap'n Piranha
  • The Blog Formerly Known as Undomed
  • Frank Vantur's Blog
  • Blog Ricola
  • Blog AScheib50
  • SamGoody's Blog
  • Blog clutterheart
  • Blog Trent Condon
  • Blog bwille
  • blogs_blog_1635
  • Blog strumdatjag
  • Blog huhguy
  • blogs_blog_1636
  • Blog 3rd Inning Stretch
  • Blog 10PagesOfClearBlueSky
  • blogs_blog_1637
  • Blog Tyomoth
  • SD Buhr/Jim Crikket
  • blogs_blog_1638
  • Blog bear333
  • Blog sln477
  • Blog abbylucy
  • Blog Gernzy
  • Troy's Twins Thoughts
  • Blog OtherHoward219
  • blogs_blog_1642
  • Blog ScrapTheNickname
  • Blog TicketKing
  • Blog sotasports9
  • Twins Rubes
  • Blog goulik
  • Hosken's Blog
  • Blog one_eyed_jack
  • Blog joelindell
  • Blog rikker49
  • Blog nickschubert
  • Blog DreInWA
  • You're Not Reading This
  • Blog Hugh Morris
  • The Blog Formerly Known as Undomed
  • Kottke's Cuts
  • Blog Dakota Watts
  • Blog markroehl
  • Blog jjswol
  • Blog Tibs
  • blogs_blog_1654
  • Blog jlovren
  • Blog Boone
  • Puckmen's Blog
  • Minnesota native to attend Twins predraft workout
  • Blog obryaneu
  • Blog JohnFoley
  • Blog TwinsArmChairGM_Jon
  • Bloop Singles
  • Blog Ryan Atkins
  • Blog the blade
  • Blog Lonestar
  • Blog jdotmcmahon
  • Blog WayneJimenezubc
  • Blog Sconnie
  • Blog PogueBear
  • Blog pierre75275
  • cHawk Talks Baseball
  • Blog Paul Bebus
  • flyballs in orbit
  • Blog A33bates
  • Blog lunchboxhero_4
  • lidefom746's Blog
  • Blog coddlenomore
  • Blog Trevor0333
  • Blog lee_the_twins_fan
  • Blog StreetOfFire
  • Blog clark47dorsey
  • Texastwinsfan blog
  • Blog KCasey
  • Blog Joey Lindseth
  • Blog jakelovesgolf
  • Blog mchokozie
  • Thoughts from the Stands
  • cHawk’s Blog
  • Blog best game in the world
  • Heather's thoughts
  • Blog sammy0eaton
  • HitInAPinch's Blog
  • Blog Mauerpower
  • Blog Jdosen
  • Blog twinsfanohio
  • Beyond the Limestone
  • Blog dougkoebernick
  • Get to know 'em
  • 5 Tool Blog
  • Cole Trace
  • Blog Sunglasses
  • Blog CTB_NickC
  • Blog Colin.O'Donnell
  • "And we'll see ya' ... tomorrow night."
  • Blog richardkr34
  • Gopher Baseball with Luke Pettersen
  • Blog KelvinBoyerxrg
  • Blog twinsfan34
  • Blog CaryMuellerlib
  • Blog jtkoupal
  • FunnyPenguin's Blog
  • Blog Sierra Szeto
  • Blog ExiledInSeattle
  • A Realistic Fix to the 2014 Twins
  • Blog naksh
  • Blog bellajelcooper
  • rickymartin's Blog
  • Blog twinsajsf
  • Blog keeth
  • Blog Murphy Vasterling Cannon
  • Twins Winter Caravan
  • Blog tracygame
  • Blog rjohnso4
  • Half a Platoon
  • Blog jangofelixak
  • Blog SirClive
  • tooslowandoldnow's Blog
  • Blog Troy Larson
  • Blog thetank
  • nicksaviking blog
  • Blog iekfWjnrxb
  • Blog SouthDakotaFarmer
  • Bill Parker
  • Left Coast Bias
  • Blog tobi0040
  • Lee-The-Twins-Fan's Blog
  • Blog foe-of-nin
  • Blog cocosoup
  • Minnesota Groan
  • Blog wRenita5
  • rgvtwinstalk
  • Major Minnesotans
  • Blog Aaron 12
  • Blog janewong
  • The Twins Almanac
  • Blog boys
  • Blog bennep
  • Hambino the Great's Blog
  • Blog JadaKingg25
  • Jesse Lund's Blog
  • Blog Brabes1987
  • RealStoriesMN
  • Blog sanal101
  • Blog Spikecurveball
  • Blog Devereaux
  • D-mac's Blog
  • Blog tarheeltwinsfan
  • kakakhan's Blog
  • Blog Oliver
  • Blog travis_aune
  • Twins and Losses
  • In My Opinion
  • Blog ieveretgte4f
  • Blog Sam Morley
  • Pinto's Perspective
  • Blog curt1965
  • VeryWellThen's Blog
  • Extcs
  • The Foul Play-by-Play Twins Blog
  • Dave The Dastardly's Blog
  • Blog winunaarec
  • Negativity Police's Blog
  • Blog Robb Jeffries
  • Adam Houck's Blog
  • SaintsTrain
  • Loosey's Blog
  • Blog EE in Big D
  • Talkin' Twins with Jonathon
  • Steve Penz's Blog
  • Blog jtequilabermeah
  • The Tenth Inning Stretch
  • Apathy for the Game
  • Dave The Dastardly's Blog
  • Blog hmariloustarkk
  • Car detailing
  • Blog Brendan Kennealy
  • Twins Fan From Afar's Blog
  • Visit500
  • Blog totocc
  • SD Buhr's Blog
  • KirbyHawk75's Blog
  • Blog Bark's Lounge
  • huhguy's Blog
  • Blog TwinsFanLV
  • NumberThree's Blog
  • Blog pandorajewelry
  • The Go Gonzo Journal Twins Blog
  • Twinsnerd123's Blog
  • Blog cClevelandSmialekp
  • Talk to Contact
  • Boo-urns
  • Blog silverslugger
  • jtkoupal's Blog
  • Broker's Blog
  • Blog Twinsoholic
  • diehardtwinsfan's Blog
  • Brad's Blog
  • Javier Maschrano - the rising star of Argentina
  • Be Always in Fashion &in Trendy Look
  • Blog Salazar
  • curt1965's Blog
  • Be Always in Fashion &in Trendy Look
  • ThejacKmp's Blog
  • Blog vMaymeHansone
  • stringer bell's Blog
  • Blog brvama
  • AJPettersen's Blog
  • WiscoTwin
  • Rants (not Rantz)
  • iec23966's Blog
  • Blog loisebottorf83
  • CodyB's Blog
  • Staying Positive
  • Target Field of Dreams' Blog
  • Intentional Balk
  • Blog rodmccray11282
  • ReturnOfShaneMack's Blog
  • Blog SksippSvefdklyn
  • A blog about the Twins & more
  • Thome the Moneyball
  • tobi0040's Blog
  • Lefty74's Blog
  • USAFChief's Blog
  • tobi0040's Blog
  • Tony Nato's Blog
  • Clear's Blog
  • Blog LeeStevensonuuf
  • Waking up the Twins
  • Blog GrahamCharleshqr
  • First Base and the legacy of Kent Hrbek
  • carly148
  • Blog MWLFan
  • Minnie Paul and Mary
  • twinstarheelsfan's Blog
  • This game's fun, OK?
  • Blog TimeAgreell
  • Tsuyoshi's Island
  • NASCAR Steve's Blog
  • Kevin Horner's Blog
  • blogs_blog_1742
  • Blog CDog
  • Hold for the Batter
  • John the Analytics Guy
  • mrmpls' Blog
  • Zlog
  • samberry's Blog
  • nmtwinsfan's Blog
  • Under Teflon Skies
  • Views from the road
  • St. Paul Saints
  • Blog tkyokoperkinsn
  • Alskn's Northern Lights
  • Talkin' Turnstiles
  • Find Stats Elsewhere
  • Blog LaBombo
  • hugelycat's Blog
  • Deduno Abides' Blog
  • Milldaddy35's Blog Area
  • Blog Fire Dan Gladden
  • Baseball Intelligence
  • framedoctor's Blog
  • Blog Riverbrian
  • Blog Brandon
  • Organizational Depth Chart
  • Left Field Gap
  • gtkilla
  • Hicks' Left-Handed Helmets
  • MauerState7's Blog
  • 80MPH Changeup
  • Twins Pitch Breakdown
  • What you know about that blog
  • Blog DaTwins
  • positive1's Blog
  • rikker49's Blog
  • baxterpope15's Blog
  • Blog ThejacKmp
  • Random Thoughts About Baseball
  • Don't Feed the Greed Guy's Blog
  • Run Prevention
  • Blog ericchri
  • pierre75275's Blog
  • Don't Feed the Greed Guy's Blog
  • Cargo Cult Sabermetrics
  • Blog 81Exposruledbaseball
  • Deduno Abides' Blog
  • David Howell's Blog
  • Blog daanderson20
  • Twin Billing
  • sorney's Blog
  • TCAnelle's Blog
  • Blog shs_59
  • rikker49's Blog
  • Crackin' Wax's Cardboard Corner
  • Blog jm3319
  • jsteve96's Blog
  • The Always Fashionable; Uncle Charlie
  • Blog stringer bell
  • twinssouth's Blog
  • Baseball Good
  • Blog everettegalr
  • twinsfan34's Blog
  • menthmike's Blog
  • Blog Obie
  • B Richard's Blog
  • Brazilian Twins Territory
  • The Hidden Baseball
  • Blog SpinnesotaGirl
  • Marthaler
  • InfieldFlyRuled
  • Coopcarlson3's Blog
  • Blog SoDakTwinsFan5
  • Blog LastOnePicked
  • Bob Sacamento's Blog
  • MnTwinsTalk's Blog
  • Blog Top Gun
  • Twinfan & Dad's Blog
  • Nebtwinsfan's Blog
  • Blog TKGuy
  • GLO Blog
  • Ben Fadden's Blog
  • ajcondon's Blog
  • Blog TheMind07
  • Daily Twins Daily
  • TwinkiePower's Blog
  • Blog Michael Blomquist
  • VeryWellThen
  • MN_ExPat's Blog
  • Channing1964's Blog
  • Blog Darin Bratsch
  • Twin's Organizational News
  • Around The Horn
  • Blog beckmt
  • jjswol's Twins Trivia Blog
  • BeantownTwinsFan's Blog
  • Blog YourHouseIsMyHouse
  • jjswol's Twins Trivia Blog
  • Blog jay
  • SF Twins Fan's Blog
  • Morneau
  • TNTwinsFan's Blog
  • Musings from Twins Territory
  • Original Twin
  • Blog El Guapo
  • Doubles' Blog
  • Kirbek's Leaps and Pulls
  • Blog jokin
  • Brandon's Blog
  • A Look Back
  • Science of Baseball
  • Blog IdahoPilgrim
  • Sam Morley's Blog
  • oregontwin's Blog
  • Rounding Second
  • Blog Lyric53
  • The Curse of the Trees
  • gagu's Blog
  • Twins in CA
  • Blog Oldgoat_MN
  • Giant Baseball Cards
  • Blog twinfan49
  • docsillyseth's Blog
  • Kirby O'Connor's Blog
  • dfklgkoc
  • Blog ContinuumGuy
  • Wille's Way
  • Minnesota Sports Statistics Analysis
  • Ryan Stephan's Twinpinions
  • blogs_blog_2805
  • Blog tradingadvantage
  • brvama's Blog
  • Minnesota SSA's Blog
  • Danchat's Strat-O-Matic Blog
  • Blog Chance
  • NoCryingInBaseball's Blog
  • It Takes All Kinds
  • TFRazor's Blog
  • Blog twinslover
  • Sarah's Blog
  • theJemmer's Blog
  • Spikecurveball's Blog
  • Four Six Three
  • blogs_blog_2809
  • 2012 Draft.
  • travistwinstalk's Blog
  • Seth Stohs' Blog
  • Through a Child's Eyes
  • Colexalean Supplement Reviews
  • Blog jiamay
  • Dome Dogg's Blog
  • Fanspeak's Twins and AL Central Blog
  • In Pursuit of Pennants
  • minnesotasportsunlimited's Blog
  • Jacob Booth Blogs
  • Blog stewthornley
  • mickeymental's Blog
  • Baseball Bat's Offseason Blueprint
  • AJswarley's Blog
  • Twins Outsider's Blog
  • Blog h2oface
  • Iowa Twins Fan
  • Twinkie Talk
  • Battle Your Tail Off
  • JackWhite's Blog
  • bikram's Blog
  • Twins Nation Podcast

Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

Joined

  • Start

    End


Group


Website URL


Personal Blog Name


Personal Blog URL


Location:


Biography


Occupation


Interests


Twitter

Found 22 results

  1. There have been plenty of great players in the history of the Minnesota Twins. From Killebrew to Buxton and many in-between, it is tough to narrow it down to the top twelve players in the history of the Twins. One of the players that I will never forget is Chuck Knoblauch. When I was a kid Chuck Knoblauch had the most significant impact on me as a player and is a core memory I will have forever. He was powerful, charismatic, and dynamic at second base. Chuck Knoblauch is the 11th most outstanding player in Twins history. Young Legacy Chuck Knoblauch was born with a baseball silver spoon in his mouth. Both his father and uncle played and coached in the minor leagues from the 1930s to-1950s. Knoblauch attended Bellaire High School in Houston, Texas, where RHP Chris Young (GM for Texas Rangers) and outfielder Jose Cruz, Jr attended. His father was the head coach while he was there, and Knoblauch attributes a lot of his discipline and success to his father. Knoblauch was a very talented young man. He was drafted in 1986 by the Phillies, but forewent signing to attend Texas A&M and play baseball. He played at Texas A&M for three seasons He became a second-team All-American shortstop He was part of the team that had 58 wins in 1989, the most in Texas A&M baseball history. Knoblauch had a knack for being on teams that made history happen from high school through his astounding career in which he collected four World Series rings. The Climb Knoblauch was drafted 25th overall in the 1st round in 1989 by the Twins. His talent was noticed by many. Minnesota Twins scout Marty Esposito wrote about Knoblauch that he was “an exceptional competitor, aggressive baserunner, intelligent fielder, and line-drive hitter, who would be an ideal leadoff hitter.” Knoblauch spent a short amount of time in the minors, starting in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in 1989, and quickly moving to the Double-A Orlando Sun Rays in 1990. Knoblauch was an all-star in the minor leagues. He was the hardest-hitting player and most difficult batter to strike out. In 118 games for the Sun Rays, Knoblauch hit .289, had an on-base percentage of .389, and led the team in doubles (23). Knoblauch knew early on that he was "being primed" for the majors, and it didn't take long for him to see his hard work pay off. Knoblauch was a non-roster invitee to Twins spring training in 1991 and batted .388. He was so impressive that he became Minnesota's Opening Day starter at second base, batting second in manager Tom Kelly's lineup against the Athletics on April 9th at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. The Rookie Knoblauch's first season with the Twins is quite literally one for the books. Knoblauch was part of the team that won the World Series with fellow greats; Jack Morris, Gene Larkin, Dan Gladden, and Kirby Puckett. The 1991 Twins team was the most robust team Twins fans have seen play, and Knoblauch made his mark to help carry the Twins to the pennant. In 151 games, he only had one home run, but he pushed other players home with 50 RBI's and also stole 25 bases. He won the American League Rookie of the Year to accompany his World Series ring. During the 1991 World Series, one of the most fun memories is the "Invisible Ball Trick," or the Greatest Double Play Never Made. On this play, Braves outfielder Lonnie Smith, in the 8th inning, didn’t see where the ball was hit. Standing just inches past second base, he flips his head back and forth between Knoblauch and Greg Gagne, wondering where in the world the ball went as they turned a “double play,: a double play that, well, wasn't. Instead, Terry Pendleton crushed the ball into the left-center gap with no Twins defensive player in sight. The ball bounced off the wall just as Smith realized the rouse, but it was too late. The fake was just enough of a distraction for Smith to lose the ball and have to stop at third or risk getting out at home. It mattered though. The genius of Knoblauch and Gagne kept the game scoreless and allowed the Twins to win in 10 innings. That play helped the Twins win the 1991 World Series; whether you want to believe it or not. I do. The Cold Hard Truth Chuck Knoblauch was the fans' second favorite player, behind Kirby Puckett. Knoblauch was good, and he knew it. The fans knew it, and the staff was fully aware. The front office either was not in agreement of Knoblauch's worth in talent, or they didn't feel that the all-star second baseman was worth the money he was requesting. When the team continued to slip further and further in the standings in 1997, Knoblauch requested a trade. The media caught wind, and so did the fans, leading to a frustrated player and fan base. After Knoblauch was traded in 1998 to the Yankees in exchange for four players (including two future All-Stars, Eric Milton and Cristian Guzmán) and $3 million, he was no longer the Minnesota hero. His career ended with an alarming series of "Yips," In 2001, fans threw objects at him when the Yankees visited the Metrodome in 2001. Conclusion Chuck Knoblauch was the best second-baseman for the Minnesota Twins, no argument. He carried the second-highest WAR (33.6) behind Rod Carew (37.5). His drive for greatness packed into a 5'8” frame and natural tenacity gave the Twins some great seasons. His galvanizing style of play made it easy for fans to get behind him and hard to let him go. His stats make no argument for his Hall of Fame status. His years with the Twins, he was an on-base machine, posting OBP well above league average. While he slumped in 1993, Knoblauch fought back and had his best season with the Twins in 1996. He led the league with 14 triples in 153 games. Chuck Knoblauch was one of my favorite players to watch during his years with the Twins, and I hope that I brought you some recollective joy for Twinsmas! Stay tuned for the third day of Twinsmas! Thank you for reading, and Go, Twins! View full article
  2. Young Legacy Chuck Knoblauch was born with a baseball silver spoon in his mouth. Both his father and uncle played and coached in the minor leagues from the 1930s to-1950s. Knoblauch attended Bellaire High School in Houston, Texas, where RHP Chris Young (GM for Texas Rangers) and outfielder Jose Cruz, Jr attended. His father was the head coach while he was there, and Knoblauch attributes a lot of his discipline and success to his father. Knoblauch was a very talented young man. He was drafted in 1986 by the Phillies, but forewent signing to attend Texas A&M and play baseball. He played at Texas A&M for three seasons He became a second-team All-American shortstop He was part of the team that had 58 wins in 1989, the most in Texas A&M baseball history. Knoblauch had a knack for being on teams that made history happen from high school through his astounding career in which he collected four World Series rings. The Climb Knoblauch was drafted 25th overall in the 1st round in 1989 by the Twins. His talent was noticed by many. Minnesota Twins scout Marty Esposito wrote about Knoblauch that he was “an exceptional competitor, aggressive baserunner, intelligent fielder, and line-drive hitter, who would be an ideal leadoff hitter.” Knoblauch spent a short amount of time in the minors, starting in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in 1989, and quickly moving to the Double-A Orlando Sun Rays in 1990. Knoblauch was an all-star in the minor leagues. He was the hardest-hitting player and most difficult batter to strike out. In 118 games for the Sun Rays, Knoblauch hit .289, had an on-base percentage of .389, and led the team in doubles (23). Knoblauch knew early on that he was "being primed" for the majors, and it didn't take long for him to see his hard work pay off. Knoblauch was a non-roster invitee to Twins spring training in 1991 and batted .388. He was so impressive that he became Minnesota's Opening Day starter at second base, batting second in manager Tom Kelly's lineup against the Athletics on April 9th at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. The Rookie Knoblauch's first season with the Twins is quite literally one for the books. Knoblauch was part of the team that won the World Series with fellow greats; Jack Morris, Gene Larkin, Dan Gladden, and Kirby Puckett. The 1991 Twins team was the most robust team Twins fans have seen play, and Knoblauch made his mark to help carry the Twins to the pennant. In 151 games, he only had one home run, but he pushed other players home with 50 RBI's and also stole 25 bases. He won the American League Rookie of the Year to accompany his World Series ring. During the 1991 World Series, one of the most fun memories is the "Invisible Ball Trick," or the Greatest Double Play Never Made. On this play, Braves outfielder Lonnie Smith, in the 8th inning, didn’t see where the ball was hit. Standing just inches past second base, he flips his head back and forth between Knoblauch and Greg Gagne, wondering where in the world the ball went as they turned a “double play,: a double play that, well, wasn't. Instead, Terry Pendleton crushed the ball into the left-center gap with no Twins defensive player in sight. The ball bounced off the wall just as Smith realized the rouse, but it was too late. The fake was just enough of a distraction for Smith to lose the ball and have to stop at third or risk getting out at home. It mattered though. The genius of Knoblauch and Gagne kept the game scoreless and allowed the Twins to win in 10 innings. That play helped the Twins win the 1991 World Series; whether you want to believe it or not. I do. The Cold Hard Truth Chuck Knoblauch was the fans' second favorite player, behind Kirby Puckett. Knoblauch was good, and he knew it. The fans knew it, and the staff was fully aware. The front office either was not in agreement of Knoblauch's worth in talent, or they didn't feel that the all-star second baseman was worth the money he was requesting. When the team continued to slip further and further in the standings in 1997, Knoblauch requested a trade. The media caught wind, and so did the fans, leading to a frustrated player and fan base. After Knoblauch was traded in 1998 to the Yankees in exchange for four players (including two future All-Stars, Eric Milton and Cristian Guzmán) and $3 million, he was no longer the Minnesota hero. His career ended with an alarming series of "Yips," In 2001, fans threw objects at him when the Yankees visited the Metrodome in 2001. Conclusion Chuck Knoblauch was the best second-baseman for the Minnesota Twins, no argument. He carried the second-highest WAR (33.6) behind Rod Carew (37.5). His drive for greatness packed into a 5'8” frame and natural tenacity gave the Twins some great seasons. His galvanizing style of play made it easy for fans to get behind him and hard to let him go. His stats make no argument for his Hall of Fame status. His years with the Twins, he was an on-base machine, posting OBP well above league average. While he slumped in 1993, Knoblauch fought back and had his best season with the Twins in 1996. He led the league with 14 triples in 153 games. Chuck Knoblauch was one of my favorite players to watch during his years with the Twins, and I hope that I brought you some recollective joy for Twinsmas! Stay tuned for the third day of Twinsmas! Thank you for reading, and Go, Twins!
  3. As we saw in part 1, having your pick of whoever you want in Twins history can be quite fun. We built a pitching rotation of 40.6 WAR while only spending about 20 percent of our $130 million budget. This is what the lineup would look like. I explained my process of how I chose these players in the first part of this trilogy, so if you didn’t read that, I recommend reading this so this article will make more sense. Taking all of the position player seasons over 4 WAR, I found salary data for 86 players. Using these 86 players, I compared their equivalent 2021 salaries with their season WAR’s and constructed the graph below. The names highlighted in yellow are the players who made the starting lineup As was the case in part 1, the bottom right of the graph is where you want to have your players be, signifying a lot of WAR for not a lot of 2021 money. There were some very tough decisions in constructing this lineup, but these are the position players I decided would make the best team in Twins history. Catcher: 2009 Joe Mauer - $15.69M translated salary, 7.8 WAR Because of his lackluster production despite a large contract in the latter part of his career, some Twins fans see Joe Mauer as a bust and not as one of the best players in Twins history. In reality, over the course of his career, Mauer vastly outproduced his contracts. Adding in 2018 to these totals, Mauer made just over $218M in his career but according to FanGraphs, he was worth over $307M. Mauer was so phenomenal early in his career that he completely outperformed his rookie contract and arbitration deals. It makes you wonder what he would’ve done if not for his concussion problems later in his career. Mauer’s best year was 2009. He slashed .365/.444/.587 for the second highest single-season OPS in Twins history of 1.031. Mauer also hit a career high 28 home runs, had a wRC+ of 170, walked more than he struck out, and was an above average defensive catcher in his MVP campaign. In 2009, Mauer had a salary of $10.5 million. This translates to over $15 million in 2021, meaning his contract efficiency number was 0.497. Mauer outperformed his contract not just in 2009, but over the duration of his entire career and he should be inducted in the hall of fame. First Base: 1977 Rod Carew - $10.93M translated salary, 9.7 WAR In 2021, Rod Carew would not be your stereotypical first baseman. Today, first basemen are power-hitters who strike out quite a bit, hit home runs, and don’t steal a lot of bases (see Sano, Miguel). Carew was the greatest player in Twins history and in 1977, he had the greatest season in Twins history. In Carew’s historic 1977 season, he stole 23 bases, slashed .388/.449/.570 for an OPS of 1.019, and had a 135 wRC+. He had a Twins franchise record 239 hits, his .388 average was a franchise record, and he won the MVP award. In 1977, Carew had a salary of $180,000. This translates to just shy of $11 million in 2021 for a contract efficiency number of 0.888. Carew was an outstanding player, will bring some defensive quickness to first base, and would be an outstanding leadoff hitter for this dream-team. Second Base: 1995 Chuck Knoblauch - $13.44M translated salary, 6.7 WAR Even though Chuck Knoblauch isn’t Keith Olbermann's favorite player, he still had an outstanding tenure as a Twin. Knoblauch was a four-time all-star with the Twins before contract disputes led to him becoming a Yankee. In 1995, Knoblauch batted .333, had a .911 OPS, stole 46 bases, and won the American League Silver Slugger at second base. Although Knoblauch’s best season may have been a year later in 1996, he still accumulated nearly 7 WAR in 1995 on a cheaper contract. In 1995, Knoblauch had a salary of nearly $3 million. This translates to $13.4 million in 2021 for a contract efficiency number of 0.499. Knoblauch was a great all-around player for the Twins and is the greatest second baseman in Twins history, so it is only right to put him here. Third Base: 2001 Corey Koskie - $606K translated salary, 6.3 WAR One player who was always undervalued for the Twins was Corey Koskie. In the early 2000’s, you could tell Koskie was a very solid player for the Twins but if you look at him in a more advanced scope, you can see that Koskie was a great player for the Twins and they did not have to pay much for him. In 2001, Koskie slashed .276/.362/.488 for an OPS of .850 and a wRC+ of 119. He led the team in slugging percentage, walks (68), RBI (103), and WAR (6.3). He was an outstanding defender at third base, racking up 1.9 defensive WAR which ranked 4th among third basemen in MLB. Combining above average offense with a stellar glove at third base makes Koskie an easy choice to be our third baseman. In 2001, Koskie had a salary of only $300K. This translates to only $606K in 2021 for a contract efficiency number of 10.39, which was the highest contract efficiency number out of all of the top 100 WAR seasons in Twins history. Getting a 6 WAR player for nearly league minimum does not happen very often so we can save a lot of money while getting a lot of value out of Koskie at 3B. Plus, the man is a townball star Shortstop: 1965 Zoilo Versalles - $7.63M translated salary, 7.2 WAR When building this team of superstars, Zoilo Versalles was the most confusing player I researched. He only had 12 career WAR, and over half of it came in this MVP 1965 campaign. Versalles was the Baha Men of 1965, a one-hit wonder. Digging deeper into his MVP season, he only had a wRC+ of 116 and led the American League in strikeouts. The reason Versalles was so good in 1965 was that he was the best defensive shortstop in the league. He led all MLB shortstops with 3 defensive WAR, also the best mark for any shortstop in Twins history. Versalles’ defensive prowess coupled with his above average offensive abilities (led AL in runs, doubles, and triples) made him the best player in the AL in 1965 and the best shortstop in Twins history. In 1965, Versalles had a salary of $28K, which translates to $7.63 million in 2021. His contract efficiency number (0.944) was very good. Cristian Guzman was also in contention for this spot with an extremely cheap contract, but Versalles accumulated 2.4 more WAR than Guzman so I thought it was a worthwhile trade-off. Left Field: 1992 Shane Mack - $5.44M translated salary, 6.5 WAR One of the most overlooked Twins of all-time is World Series Champion outfielder Shane Mack. After being the Twins Rule 5 draft pick in 1989, he had a great five-year stretch with the Twins. In those five years, he slashed .309/.375/.479 (.854) while hitting 119 doubles, 67 home runs, and stealing 71 bases. His best year of that stretch was 1992, having a wRC+ of 142, hitting 31 doubles, 16 home runs, and stealing 26 bases. He also led the American League with 15 hit by pitches. In 1992, Mack had a salary of $1.075 million, which translates to $5.44 million in 2021. He posted a WAR of 6.5, so his contract efficiency number was very good at 1.195. Mack is one of the most underrated players in Twins history and was frankly one of the best outfielders in Twins history. Center Field: 1992 Kirby Puckett - $6M translated salary, 7.2 WAR Undoubtedly the most beloved figure in Twins history, Kirby Puckett is also the best outfielder in team history and delivered some unforgettable moments, like his walk-off home run in Game 6 of the 1991 World Series. Kirby joins fellow ‘92 outfielder Shane Mack on the team. One of Kirby’s best seasons was 1992. He hit .329/.374/.490 (.864) while leading MLB in hits (210). He had 110 RBI, a wRC+ of 136, hit 38 doubles, 19 home runs, and had a defensive WAR of 1 while manning center field for the reigning World Champs and being a clubhouse leader. In 1992, Puck had a salary of $2.97 million, which is about $6 million today. He had a 7.1 WAR so his contract efficiency was about 1.184. Puck would be the heart and soul of this team and bring some much needed energy and leadership to the team. Right Field: 1964 Tony Oliva - $2.12M translated salary, 6.8 WAR Recent Hall of Fame inductee Tony Oliva joins the squad with his phenomenal rookie season of 1964. Oliva is one of the greatest hitters in Twins history and a Twins great, hitting .304/.353/.476 (.830) over his 15-year career with the Twins. Oliva was phenomenal in his rookie season, winning rookie of the year and finishing fourth in AL MVP voting. He had a wRC+ of 148, led the AL with a .323 batting average, 109 runs, 43 doubles, and 217 hits while posting a .916 OPS and clubbing 32 home runs. In 1964, Oliva had a salary of $7,500, which translates to $2.12 million in 2021. He accumulated 6.8 WAR, so his contract efficiency was 0.73. Oliva has always been an excellent representative of the Twins organization both on and off the field, so he is a great addition to the team. Designated Hitter: 1963 Bob Allison - $8.75M translated salary, 7.4 WAR The last hitter we have in the lineup is Bob Allison. Allison was ahead of his time. He was more of a three true outcomes hitter than most people in his time. Allison was one of the original Twins, coming from the Washington Senators. He is one of the more underrated players in Twins history and he was one of the leaders on the 1965 World Series team. Allison was a star in 1963, hitting .271/.378/.533 (.911). He led the American League in WAR (7.4), OPS, and wRC+ (150). He hit 35 home runs and was solid defensively, posting a defensive WAR of 1.1 as a right fielder. Somehow, he finished 15th in MVP voting despite leading the league in all of these categories. If they could revote today knowing what actually makes a player valuable, he would most definitely finish in the top 3. In 1963, Allison had a salary of $29,250, translating to a $8.75 million salary today. His contract efficiency was 0.846 so he would be a great bopper in a lineup full of them. Harmon Killebrew was also considered for this position but Allison edged him out in WAR and was slightly cheaper. Summary Overall, the Twins lineup would bolster some heavy hitters and some very high on-base guys, creating a high-powered offense that would wreck the league. These hitters accumulated 65.6 WAR and would be worth $70.6 million translated to 2021 salaries. Part 3 will cover the bullpen and bench, so stay tuned for that. Thanks for reading, and Go Twins! View full article
  4. I explained my process of how I chose these players in the first part of this trilogy, so if you didn’t read that, I recommend reading this so this article will make more sense. Taking all of the position player seasons over 4 WAR, I found salary data for 86 players. Using these 86 players, I compared their equivalent 2021 salaries with their season WAR’s and constructed the graph below. The names highlighted in yellow are the players who made the starting lineup As was the case in part 1, the bottom right of the graph is where you want to have your players be, signifying a lot of WAR for not a lot of 2021 money. There were some very tough decisions in constructing this lineup, but these are the position players I decided would make the best team in Twins history. Catcher: 2009 Joe Mauer - $15.69M translated salary, 7.8 WAR Because of his lackluster production despite a large contract in the latter part of his career, some Twins fans see Joe Mauer as a bust and not as one of the best players in Twins history. In reality, over the course of his career, Mauer vastly outproduced his contracts. Adding in 2018 to these totals, Mauer made just over $218M in his career but according to FanGraphs, he was worth over $307M. Mauer was so phenomenal early in his career that he completely outperformed his rookie contract and arbitration deals. It makes you wonder what he would’ve done if not for his concussion problems later in his career. Mauer’s best year was 2009. He slashed .365/.444/.587 for the second highest single-season OPS in Twins history of 1.031. Mauer also hit a career high 28 home runs, had a wRC+ of 170, walked more than he struck out, and was an above average defensive catcher in his MVP campaign. In 2009, Mauer had a salary of $10.5 million. This translates to over $15 million in 2021, meaning his contract efficiency number was 0.497. Mauer outperformed his contract not just in 2009, but over the duration of his entire career and he should be inducted in the hall of fame. First Base: 1977 Rod Carew - $10.93M translated salary, 9.7 WAR In 2021, Rod Carew would not be your stereotypical first baseman. Today, first basemen are power-hitters who strike out quite a bit, hit home runs, and don’t steal a lot of bases (see Sano, Miguel). Carew was the greatest player in Twins history and in 1977, he had the greatest season in Twins history. In Carew’s historic 1977 season, he stole 23 bases, slashed .388/.449/.570 for an OPS of 1.019, and had a 135 wRC+. He had a Twins franchise record 239 hits, his .388 average was a franchise record, and he won the MVP award. In 1977, Carew had a salary of $180,000. This translates to just shy of $11 million in 2021 for a contract efficiency number of 0.888. Carew was an outstanding player, will bring some defensive quickness to first base, and would be an outstanding leadoff hitter for this dream-team. Second Base: 1995 Chuck Knoblauch - $13.44M translated salary, 6.7 WAR Even though Chuck Knoblauch isn’t Keith Olbermann's favorite player, he still had an outstanding tenure as a Twin. Knoblauch was a four-time all-star with the Twins before contract disputes led to him becoming a Yankee. In 1995, Knoblauch batted .333, had a .911 OPS, stole 46 bases, and won the American League Silver Slugger at second base. Although Knoblauch’s best season may have been a year later in 1996, he still accumulated nearly 7 WAR in 1995 on a cheaper contract. In 1995, Knoblauch had a salary of nearly $3 million. This translates to $13.4 million in 2021 for a contract efficiency number of 0.499. Knoblauch was a great all-around player for the Twins and is the greatest second baseman in Twins history, so it is only right to put him here. Third Base: 2001 Corey Koskie - $606K translated salary, 6.3 WAR One player who was always undervalued for the Twins was Corey Koskie. In the early 2000’s, you could tell Koskie was a very solid player for the Twins but if you look at him in a more advanced scope, you can see that Koskie was a great player for the Twins and they did not have to pay much for him. In 2001, Koskie slashed .276/.362/.488 for an OPS of .850 and a wRC+ of 119. He led the team in slugging percentage, walks (68), RBI (103), and WAR (6.3). He was an outstanding defender at third base, racking up 1.9 defensive WAR which ranked 4th among third basemen in MLB. Combining above average offense with a stellar glove at third base makes Koskie an easy choice to be our third baseman. In 2001, Koskie had a salary of only $300K. This translates to only $606K in 2021 for a contract efficiency number of 10.39, which was the highest contract efficiency number out of all of the top 100 WAR seasons in Twins history. Getting a 6 WAR player for nearly league minimum does not happen very often so we can save a lot of money while getting a lot of value out of Koskie at 3B. Plus, the man is a townball star Shortstop: 1965 Zoilo Versalles - $7.63M translated salary, 7.2 WAR When building this team of superstars, Zoilo Versalles was the most confusing player I researched. He only had 12 career WAR, and over half of it came in this MVP 1965 campaign. Versalles was the Baha Men of 1965, a one-hit wonder. Digging deeper into his MVP season, he only had a wRC+ of 116 and led the American League in strikeouts. The reason Versalles was so good in 1965 was that he was the best defensive shortstop in the league. He led all MLB shortstops with 3 defensive WAR, also the best mark for any shortstop in Twins history. Versalles’ defensive prowess coupled with his above average offensive abilities (led AL in runs, doubles, and triples) made him the best player in the AL in 1965 and the best shortstop in Twins history. In 1965, Versalles had a salary of $28K, which translates to $7.63 million in 2021. His contract efficiency number (0.944) was very good. Cristian Guzman was also in contention for this spot with an extremely cheap contract, but Versalles accumulated 2.4 more WAR than Guzman so I thought it was a worthwhile trade-off. Left Field: 1992 Shane Mack - $5.44M translated salary, 6.5 WAR One of the most overlooked Twins of all-time is World Series Champion outfielder Shane Mack. After being the Twins Rule 5 draft pick in 1989, he had a great five-year stretch with the Twins. In those five years, he slashed .309/.375/.479 (.854) while hitting 119 doubles, 67 home runs, and stealing 71 bases. His best year of that stretch was 1992, having a wRC+ of 142, hitting 31 doubles, 16 home runs, and stealing 26 bases. He also led the American League with 15 hit by pitches. In 1992, Mack had a salary of $1.075 million, which translates to $5.44 million in 2021. He posted a WAR of 6.5, so his contract efficiency number was very good at 1.195. Mack is one of the most underrated players in Twins history and was frankly one of the best outfielders in Twins history. Center Field: 1992 Kirby Puckett - $6M translated salary, 7.2 WAR Undoubtedly the most beloved figure in Twins history, Kirby Puckett is also the best outfielder in team history and delivered some unforgettable moments, like his walk-off home run in Game 6 of the 1991 World Series. Kirby joins fellow ‘92 outfielder Shane Mack on the team. One of Kirby’s best seasons was 1992. He hit .329/.374/.490 (.864) while leading MLB in hits (210). He had 110 RBI, a wRC+ of 136, hit 38 doubles, 19 home runs, and had a defensive WAR of 1 while manning center field for the reigning World Champs and being a clubhouse leader. In 1992, Puck had a salary of $2.97 million, which is about $6 million today. He had a 7.1 WAR so his contract efficiency was about 1.184. Puck would be the heart and soul of this team and bring some much needed energy and leadership to the team. Right Field: 1964 Tony Oliva - $2.12M translated salary, 6.8 WAR Recent Hall of Fame inductee Tony Oliva joins the squad with his phenomenal rookie season of 1964. Oliva is one of the greatest hitters in Twins history and a Twins great, hitting .304/.353/.476 (.830) over his 15-year career with the Twins. Oliva was phenomenal in his rookie season, winning rookie of the year and finishing fourth in AL MVP voting. He had a wRC+ of 148, led the AL with a .323 batting average, 109 runs, 43 doubles, and 217 hits while posting a .916 OPS and clubbing 32 home runs. In 1964, Oliva had a salary of $7,500, which translates to $2.12 million in 2021. He accumulated 6.8 WAR, so his contract efficiency was 0.73. Oliva has always been an excellent representative of the Twins organization both on and off the field, so he is a great addition to the team. Designated Hitter: 1963 Bob Allison - $8.75M translated salary, 7.4 WAR The last hitter we have in the lineup is Bob Allison. Allison was ahead of his time. He was more of a three true outcomes hitter than most people in his time. Allison was one of the original Twins, coming from the Washington Senators. He is one of the more underrated players in Twins history and he was one of the leaders on the 1965 World Series team. Allison was a star in 1963, hitting .271/.378/.533 (.911). He led the American League in WAR (7.4), OPS, and wRC+ (150). He hit 35 home runs and was solid defensively, posting a defensive WAR of 1.1 as a right fielder. Somehow, he finished 15th in MVP voting despite leading the league in all of these categories. If they could revote today knowing what actually makes a player valuable, he would most definitely finish in the top 3. In 1963, Allison had a salary of $29,250, translating to a $8.75 million salary today. His contract efficiency was 0.846 so he would be a great bopper in a lineup full of them. Harmon Killebrew was also considered for this position but Allison edged him out in WAR and was slightly cheaper. Summary Overall, the Twins lineup would bolster some heavy hitters and some very high on-base guys, creating a high-powered offense that would wreck the league. These hitters accumulated 65.6 WAR and would be worth $70.6 million translated to 2021 salaries. Part 3 will cover the bullpen and bench, so stay tuned for that. Thanks for reading, and Go Twins!
  5. Initial Trade: February 6, 1998 Knoblauch wanted a new home, and the Yankees were looking for a lead-off hitter for teams that won three straight championships. The Twins were able to acquire Brian Buchanan, Cristian Guzman, Eric Milton, and Danny Mota. Mota never panned out as he only appeared in four games with the Twins, but the rest of the players impacted the Twins roster for multiple years. Milton was the first of the three players to join the Twins. He was a member of the Twins rotation for five straight seasons including the club’s 2002 and 2003 AL Central Championships. He was an All-Star in 2001 and he compiled a 4.76 ERA with a 1.29 WHIP throughout his Twins tenure. However, Milton wouldn’t be the first player to be dealt away. That honor goes to Buchanan who didn’t debut until he was 26-years old. He played parts of three seasons in Minnesota by hitting .258/.319/.428. Guzman was a vital contributor to the organization’s resurgence in the early 2000s. He was an All-Star in 2001 and led all of baseball in triples three different times. Buchanan Trade: July 12, 2002 The Buchanan branch of this trade tree is the longest as its impacts were felt into the Target Field era. His initial trade was to the San Diego Padres for High-A shortstop prospect named Jason Bartlett. In his first tenure with the Twins, Bartlett hit .272/.341/.362 while averaging 16 extra-base hits per season. He’d become part of a much more memorable trade in the years to come. Milton Trade: December 3, 2003 Milton’s trade to Philadelphia brought back a trio of players including two impactful players. Minnesota acquired Nick Punto, Carlos Silva, and Bobby Korecky. Korecky spent five years in the Twins organization, but he only made 16 big-league appearances as a 28-year old reliever. Punto and Silva had both already made their debuts with Philadelphia at the time of the trade. Silva had pitched in 130 games as a reliever, but the Twins brought him in to be a starter. In four seasons, he pitched over 770 innings with a 4.42 ERA with a 1.36 WHIP. Punto became a fan favorite for his headfirst slides and his ability to play multiple defensive positions. He’d play seven seasons as a Twin while hitting .248/.323/.324. Guzman Signing: November 16, 2004 Guzman was the last piece of the initial Knoblauch trade to leave Minnesota and when he signed with Washington, the Twins received a compensation draft pick. It ended up being a third-round pick and the Minnesota used the pick to select Brian Duensing. He’d go on to pitch nearly 650 innings as a starter and a reliver. Over seven seasons, he posted a 4.13 ERA with a 99 ERA+ and a 1.38 WHIP. He’d actually become the last leaf on this transaction tree when he departed after the 2015 season. Bartlett Trade: November 28, 2007 Granted this was much more than a Bartlett trade, but he was the connection back to Knoblauch. Minnesota wanted a powerful right-handed bat to break up the lefties in the line-up, so a six-player deal was negotiated with Tampa Bay. The Rays received Matt Garza, Eddie Morlan, and Bartlett while the Twins received Delmon Young, Brendan Harris, and Jason Pridie. Pridie only appeared in a handful of games for the Twins but Young and Harris continued the transaction tree. Young was the number one overall pick in the 2003 MLB Draft, and he was coming off a season where he finished runner-up to Dustin Pedroia for the AL Rookie of the Year. He never really lived up to the billing as one of the game’s best prospects as he posted a .753 OPS over four seasons in Minnesota. Harris started over 120 games in two different seasons for the Twins and hit .251/.309/.360 with some defensive versatility. Harris Trade: December 9, 2010 Minnesota was riding high after the first season at Target Field and the team was looking for a change in the infield. Shortly after this trade, the Twins signed shortstop Tsuyoshi Nishioka to a three-year deal. This meant some of their other infielders were expendable, so the Twins packaged JJ Hardy and Harris in a deal that brought back Brett Jacobson and Jim Hoey from the Orioles. Jacobson never made it out of Double-A and Hoey allowed 15 earned runs in 24 2/3 innings with the Twins. Young Trade: August 15, 2011 The last trade tied to Knoblauch occurred after the trade deadline back in 2011. Young was sent to Detroit where he’d win the ALCS MVP a season later. Minnesota received Cole Nelson, who never made it past High-A, and Lester Oliveros. Oliveros was an intriguing arm, but he never put it all together as a relief option. In parts of three seasons, he’d pitch less than 30 innings with an ERA north of 5.00. From 1989, when the Twins drafted Knoblauch, through the 2015 season, the Twins had some connection to Knoblauch and his transaction tree. What are your thoughts or memories of some of these deals? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  6. I am always curious about trades – do they work in the short run, long run or not at all? How do we judge the Twins trades? I am not interested in the end of the career moves of Killebrew and Thome, but rather the movement of players who will have a career that goes on for a few years after the trade. Most likely the balance between good and bad will even out after a number of years, although David Ortiz will always be a thorn in the Minnesota Twins field. But then Ortiz was not traded - we cut him (and you still think Kelly was a good manager?) and so we got nothing for him. Lucky Boston. So I will ignore that stupid move and look at real trades. And the Twins can always counter with - Liriano, Nathan and Bonser for Pierzynski. Joe Nathan is our greatest closer and he was with us for seven years accumulating 260 saves and 18.4 WAR. Liriano was also with us for seven years and was 50 – 52 with 4.33 ERA. For one year he was the best, but then injuries took him from HOF to great potential. He had 9 War for the seven years. Boof gave us our best name and played for us for three years. 18 – 25 with 5.12 era and -0.1 WAR. The three of them gave us 27.3 WAR. Pierzynski was with us 6 years and played 13 more after leaving us. He had 9.5 WAR with us and 14.3 after he left. I know we consider this a big Twins victory and it is, but maybe not as large as we like to claim. In 1989 we acquired Tapani and Aguilera for Viola. Tapani played seven terrific years for the Twins and was terrific. 75 – 63 with 4.06 ERA and 19.1 WAR. Aguilera was with us 11 years 40 – 47 and 254 saves with 3.50 ERA and 15.5 WAR – that is 34.6 total WAR. Frank Viola was a stud for us for 8 years, but his career was not long after leaving. A total of 15 years with 64 – 57 record in his years with the Mets, Red Sox, Reds, and Blue Jays. His WAR was 11.4 with us, 11.8 with the Red Sox and Mets and -1.1 his last two years. We won that trade for sure. Milton and Guzman and Buchanan for Knoblauch in 1998. Knoblauch was with us seven great years and is second to Carew in our 2B rankings. He accumulated 38 WAR in those year and then in 4 years with the Yankees he had 7.5 WAR until the yips ended his career. With the Yankees he also posted great post season numbers. Brian Buchanan was with us three years and had 0.3 WAR. Christian Guzman was with us 6 years and was one of the fastest and most exciting players we have had. He had 7.6 WAR before being traded. Eric Milton was with us six years and posted a record of 57 – 51 with 4.76 ERA. His WAR for us was -0.6. Put it all together and it is a wash, but NY was happy to have Knoblauch on their championship teams. 1976 Smalley, Singer, Gideon, and Cubbage for Blyleven Of course Bert would come back to the Twins and Smalley would go away and come back too. In all Smalley would play 10 years for us – seven after this trade and three more to end his career. He had 18.7 WAR in his seven years after this trade and 2.1 for his last stint with the team. Bill Singer was 9 – 9 in his one year with the team and had 0.4 WAR. Gideon did nothing for us or anyone else – he had one year in Texas. Mike Cubbage had five years with the Twins and 6.6 WAR. Blyleven had 11 years with the Twins out of 22 and seven came before the trade and 4 more in his last stint with us. He had 49.1 WAR with the Twins – 10.5 in his return so 38.6 before the trade. He had 47.1 WAR with other teams which would mean that we lost that trade! In 1979 thanks to Calvin Griffiths big mouth we had to trade Rod Carew for OF Ken Landreaux, C/OF Dave Engle, RHP Paul Hartzell, LHP Brad Havens. Rod had 63.8 WAR with the Twins when we traded him and 17.4 with the Angels afterward. Ken Landreaux was with the Twins for two years and had 1.8 WAR. Dave Engle played five years for us and had 3.9 WAR. Paul Hartzell was with us one year for 0.4 WAR. Brad Havens was with us three years for 0.3 WAR. We lost that one. In 1963 we pulled off one of our best trades – Jack Kralick for Jim Perry. Kralick pitched five years for Cleveland and had a 6.6. WAR. Jim Perry pitched for us for 10 years and won 128 games. He had a 26.3 WAR. That was a steal! In 2008 we got OF Carlos Gómez, RHP Deolis Guerra, RHP Philip Humber, RHP Kevin Mulvey for Johann Santana. Yes we lost this one. In the four years before his injuries ended a HOF career he had 15.3 WAR with the Mets. Gomez in his two years was exciting and posted 2.6 WAR. Guerra did not pitch for us. Philip Humber had no wins or losses in two years and a WAR of -0.1. Kevin Mulvey had -0.2 in his one year. Yes we lost that one. And if you are thinking – we traded Gomez for J J Hardy so we won, think again, we kept him one year and traded for Jim Hoey and Brett Jacobson. If you are keeping track, we are 3 – 3 – 1 in the trades so far. 1969 we got RHP Luis Tiant, RHP Stan Williams for 3B Graig Nettles, RHP Dean Chance, RHP Bob Miller, CF Ted Uhlaender! Tiant had a 2.84 ERA in six seasons with Cleveland before the trade, and Williams was thought of as an ace reliever. Tiant, only threw 92 2/3 innings with the Twins because of a shoulder issue and was released after the season. Williams had a 1.99 ERA in 68 relief appearances in 1970 but was traded to the Cardinals the next year. Tiant then caught on with the Red Sox as one of their star starters and Nettles went on to play 19 years. Tiant had 1.2 WAR with the Twins out of 66.1 for his career and was 7 -3 before his injury and went on to win 229 games. We lost because we could not wait for his injury to heal. Stan Williams was 14 – 6 with 19 saves. He was a terrific relief pitcher but we only kept him 2 years and he had 2.3 WAR for us.Craig Nettles would play 22 years. He had 1.1 WAR in three years with the Twins, but as an excellent glove man and power hitter he would amass 68 WAR in his career. Chance was terrific for us with 13 WAR in three years but had a total of zero war his last three years. Ted Uhlander played only three more years for 1.1 WAR. Bob Miller pitched 17 years – nine after we traded him. He gained 5.7 WAR in that time, but served as a valuable relief pitcher. With Nettles alone we lost this one. And with our impatience for Tiant we doubly lost. 2007 OF Delmon Young, INF Brendan Harris, OF Jason Pridie for Matt Garza, Jason Barlett, and Eddie Morlan. Young was such a disappointment it would have been a good trade if we had given up only Eddie Morlan (who?). Delmon was here 4 years and teased us with his potential each year. His WAR for those years totaled – 1. He played 10 years total. Jason Barlett totaled 10.4 WAR for Tampa. Do I need to go on? Well we did get Brendan Harris and for three years he played for us and accumulated -0.6 WAR. For his career he ended with -0.3. Jason Pridie was with us 2 years and had -0.2 WAR. And then there was Matt Garza who won 93 games in 12 years and had 13.5 WAR after leaving us. WE DEFINITLY LOST THIS ONE. In 2010 there was the trade of Wilson Ramos to the Washington Nationals for Matt Capps and we also through in Joe Testa. I believe this was an unpopular trade! So far Ramos has 15.4 WAR. Matt was with us three years – I forgot that – and somehow got 1.9 WAR. So we lost that one too. THAT BRINGS THE RECORD TO 3 – 6 – 1 Now we come to the Centerfielder trades. Aaron Hicks for John Ryan Murphy – do I have to go into the details? We lost. Denard Span for Alex Meyer – okay, let’s move on – we lost that one too. Ben Revere for Vance Worley (not good) and Trevor May – great! We won. It just took a while. Recently Eduardo Escobar was traded for Jhoan Duran and outfielders Gabriel Maciel and Ernie De La Trinidad. Escobar has been a stud for AZ and the minor leaguers are not here yet. Duran looks like he could be special and is listed as our number 5 prospect by MLB.com. Maciel is listed at number 27 and Tinidad is not on the list. Too early to judge, but AZ is happy! What about relief pitchers. Ryan Pressly traded for Acala (25) and Celestino (15). Both great prospects, but I think we would have liked to have Pressly in the pen. He was a star for Houston. Still too early for a final judgment. Nick Anderson for Brian Schales – Tampa Bay would do this trade any day. Anderson had 1.4 WAR last year and 3.32 era for Tampa as a rookie. Liam Hendriks was not really a trade but we DFA’d him so we could sign Phil Hughes. I suspect we would like him back too since he is now one of the best of all RPs. So I treat that as a default loss. The tally as I have it is 4 – 10 – 3. Maybe the desire to make trades is something we might want to think about.
  7. It's hard to believe that the Twins won their second World Series championship 29 years ago! That was near the beginning of the 1990s. It was a very interesting decade for the organization in many ways, on and off the field. Today, we discuss an All-Decade Twins team, starting with the hitters. Tomorrow, we'll be back with the pitchers of the decade.First year of the decade (1990) - Worst team in the American League. Second year of the decade (1991) - Second World Series championship in five years. Third year of the decade (1992) - Won more games than that championship team. After that, well, it wasn't always pretty. However, there were still some great performances. Some of the top players of the 1980s were still playing well into the 1990s. A new star emerged in 1991 and was probably the best player of the decade. Dave Winfield, Paul Molitor and Terry Steinbach all came home. Today, we talk about the All-Decade team of hitters. Admittedly, some of the positions were harder to find greatness at than others, but the list is certainly enjoyable. Read through it and share your thoughts below. 1990s Twins All-Decade Hitters C - Brian Harper (1990-1993) 544 games, .304/.339/.428 (.767) with 121 doubles, 37 homers, 269 RBI. An argument could have been made that Harper should have been the Twins catcher of the ‘80s for the two years he played, but he continued to hit well for the Twins into the ‘90s and was a key piece of the 1991 Twins World Series championships. Harper went to the plate to hit. In 2097 plate appearances, he had just 67 non-intentional walks. He also struck out just 100 times over these four seasons. He hit at least .294 in each of these seasons (as well as 1988-89). 1B - Kent Hrbek (1990-1994) 591 games, .267/.365/.449 (.814) with 88 doubles, 92 homers, 362 RBI. Hrbek’s best years came in the 1980s but he was still a very productive player in the first half of the ‘90s as well. Even in the two seasons in which he hit under .250, he still had an on-base percentage over .350. He hit for power and doubles. His best season of the ‘90s was the championship 1991 team. He missed more time as he got older. He quietly retired during the 1994 strike. 2B - Chuck Knoblauch (1991-1997) 1,013 games, .304/.391/.416 (.807) with 88 doubles, 59 homers, 221 RBI. Knoblauch was easily the Twins top hitter of the 1990s. He was the team’s first-round pick in 1989 out of Texas A&M. He rose quickly and was the team’s opening day second baseman in 1991. He was the easy choice for American League Rookie of the Year and an instigator of the Twins World Series lineup, hitting second most nights. He was an All-Star four times in his seven seasons with the Twins. Despite playing in the same league at the same time as Roberto Alomar, “Knobby” won two Silver Slugger Awards and one Gold Glove Award.He posted OPS over .900 in 1995 and 1996. He was a doubles machine and led the league with 45 doubles in 1995. He led the league in triples in 1996. Knoblauch could hit, hit for extra base power, run, steal bases, play strong defense and other intangibles. He was traded to the Yankees after the 1997 season. 3B - Scott Leius (1990-1995) 476 games, .252/.327/.366 (.694) with 58 doubles, 26 homers, 155 RBI. Leius was the Twins 13th-round pick in 1986 out of Concordia College in Bronxville, NY. He debuted late in the 1990 season. In 1991, he platooned with Mike Pagliarulo and hit .286/.378/.417 (.795) with 14 extra base hits. He was also on the 1991 championship team. That was easily his best season. He played a career-high 129 games in 1992. He missed most of 1993, and he played a combined 214 games between 1995 and 1996. He later played for Cleveland (1996) and Kansas City (1998-99). This wasn’t a very strong position for the Twins in the 1990s. Other possible candidates include Ron Coomer, Jeff Reboulet, Pagliarulo and one-season stretches for Gary Gaetti and Corey Koskie. SS - Pat Meares (1993-1998) 742 games, .265/.301/.381 (.682) with 120 doubles, 41 homers, 303 RBI. Meares took over the Twins shortstop position in 1993 after Greg Gagne left via free agency. While Gagne was clearly the better fielder, Meares was a solid fielder who could hit a little bit more. He was the Twins 12th-round pick in 1990 from Wichita State and debuted less than two years later. In his six seasons with the Twins, he hit double-digit homers twice and had 19 or more homers in four of the seasons. He then played three seasons with the Pirates. LF - Shane Mack (1990-1994) 633 games, .309/.375/.479 (.854) with 119 doubles, 67 homers, 315 RBI. Mack remains one of the most underrated players in Twins history. He had been the top pick of the Padres in 1984 from UCLA but he just never got going in San Diego. In December 1989, he was the Twins Rule 5 draft. He spent the next five seasons hitting like crazy for the Twins. He hit between .310 and .333 in four of the five seasons. He got on base. He hit for power, lots of doubles and double-digit homers too. He had really good speed on the base paths and was really good out in the outfield. He was a key contributor to the 1991 championship. In 1994, he was hitting .333/.402/.564 (.966) with 21 doubles and 15 homers in 81 games when the strike hit. After the season, he signed a two-year deal to play in Japan before coming back to the States in 1997. CF - Kirby Puckett (1990-1995) 859 games, .312/.363/.485 (.848) with 217 doubles, 111 homers, 579 RBI. While Puckett was one of the top players of the 1980s, he continued to be a top player in the ‘90s. He was an All-Star all six seasons. He led the league in hits once. RBIs in 1994. Three more times he finished in the top 10 in AL MVP voting. He won two more Gold Glove Awards and two more Silver Sluggers. His career came to an abrupt end in spring training 1996. While he was 36 years old, he likely had three to five more seasons remaining. He played mostly center field through the 1993 seasons and then moved to right field the final two seasons. RF - Matt Lawton (1995-1999) 512 games, .264/.367/.416 (.783) with 94 doubles, 49 homers, 245 RBI. Lawton was the Twins 13th-round pick in 1991 out of Mississippi Gulf Coast CC. He debuted with 21 games in 1995 and was up for good midway through the 1996 season. He was an All-Star for the Twins, though that was in 2000 so not included here. However, he was a very solid all-around player. He was a quality right fielder with a strong arm. While he didn’t hit for average, except in 2000, he always found his way on base, getting on base via walk about 10% of the time. In 1998, he hit .278, got on base 39% of the time, and he hit 36 doubles, six triples and 21 homers. He also could steal bases. He remained in the Twins organization until the July deadline in 2001. DH - Paul Molitor (1996-1998) 422 games, .312/.362/.432 (.794) with 102 doubles, 23 homers, 271 RBI. Coin-flip… Paul Molitor (‘96-98) or Chili Davis (‘91-92)? I went with Molitor. The St. Paul native finished his Hall of Fame career with three seasons in a Twins uniform. In 1996, he hit .341 and drove in a career-high 113 runs despite just nine homers. He did have 41 doubles. At 39, he still stole 18 bases too. He hit .305 with 32 doubles and ten homers. He recorded his 3000th hit in 1997 with a triple. What do you think? Previous Installments Twins All-Decade Team, the '60s (The Hitters) Twins All-Decade Team, the '60s (The Pitchers) Episode 15: Get t o Know the 1960s Twins (with Dave Mona) Twins All-Decade Team, the '70s (The Hitters) Twins All-Decade Team, the '70s (The Pitchers) Episode 16: Get to Know the 1970s Twins (with Patrick Reusse) Twins All-Decade Team: the '80s (The Hitters) Twins All-Decade Team: the '80s (The Pitchers) Episode 17: Get to know the 1980s Twins (with Howard Sinker) Click here to view the article
  8. First year of the decade (1990) - Worst team in the American League. Second year of the decade (1991) - Second World Series championship in five years. Third year of the decade (1992) - Won more games than that championship team. After that, well, it wasn't always pretty. However, there were still some great performances. Some of the top players of the 1980s were still playing well into the 1990s. A new star emerged in 1991 and was probably the best player of the decade. Dave Winfield, Paul Molitor and Terry Steinbach all came home. Today, we talk about the All-Decade team of hitters. Admittedly, some of the positions were harder to find greatness at than others, but the list is certainly enjoyable. Read through it and share your thoughts below. 1990s Twins All-Decade Hitters C - Brian Harper (1990-1993) 544 games, .304/.339/.428 (.767) with 121 doubles, 37 homers, 269 RBI. An argument could have been made that Harper should have been the Twins catcher of the ‘80s for the two years he played, but he continued to hit well for the Twins into the ‘90s and was a key piece of the 1991 Twins World Series championships. Harper went to the plate to hit. In 2097 plate appearances, he had just 67 non-intentional walks. He also struck out just 100 times over these four seasons. He hit at least .294 in each of these seasons (as well as 1988-89). 1B - Kent Hrbek (1990-1994) 591 games, .267/.365/.449 (.814) with 88 doubles, 92 homers, 362 RBI. Hrbek’s best years came in the 1980s but he was still a very productive player in the first half of the ‘90s as well. Even in the two seasons in which he hit under .250, he still had an on-base percentage over .350. He hit for power and doubles. His best season of the ‘90s was the championship 1991 team. He missed more time as he got older. He quietly retired during the 1994 strike. 2B - Chuck Knoblauch (1991-1997) 1,013 games, .304/.391/.416 (.807) with 88 doubles, 59 homers, 221 RBI. Knoblauch was easily the Twins top hitter of the 1990s. He was the team’s first-round pick in 1989 out of Texas A&M. He rose quickly and was the team’s opening day second baseman in 1991. He was the easy choice for American League Rookie of the Year and an instigator of the Twins World Series lineup, hitting second most nights. He was an All-Star four times in his seven seasons with the Twins. Despite playing in the same league at the same time as Roberto Alomar, “Knobby” won two Silver Slugger Awards and one Gold Glove Award.He posted OPS over .900 in 1995 and 1996. He was a doubles machine and led the league with 45 doubles in 1995. He led the league in triples in 1996. Knoblauch could hit, hit for extra base power, run, steal bases, play strong defense and other intangibles. He was traded to the Yankees after the 1997 season. 3B - Scott Leius (1990-1995) 476 games, .252/.327/.366 (.694) with 58 doubles, 26 homers, 155 RBI. Leius was the Twins 13th-round pick in 1986 out of Concordia College in Bronxville, NY. He debuted late in the 1990 season. In 1991, he platooned with Mike Pagliarulo and hit .286/.378/.417 (.795) with 14 extra base hits. He was also on the 1991 championship team. That was easily his best season. He played a career-high 129 games in 1992. He missed most of 1993, and he played a combined 214 games between 1995 and 1996. He later played for Cleveland (1996) and Kansas City (1998-99). This wasn’t a very strong position for the Twins in the 1990s. Other possible candidates include Ron Coomer, Jeff Reboulet, Pagliarulo and one-season stretches for Gary Gaetti and Corey Koskie. SS - Pat Meares (1993-1998) 742 games, .265/.301/.381 (.682) with 120 doubles, 41 homers, 303 RBI. Meares took over the Twins shortstop position in 1993 after Greg Gagne left via free agency. While Gagne was clearly the better fielder, Meares was a solid fielder who could hit a little bit more. He was the Twins 12th-round pick in 1990 from Wichita State and debuted less than two years later. In his six seasons with the Twins, he hit double-digit homers twice and had 19 or more homers in four of the seasons. He then played three seasons with the Pirates. LF - Shane Mack (1990-1994) 633 games, .309/.375/.479 (.854) with 119 doubles, 67 homers, 315 RBI. Mack remains one of the most underrated players in Twins history. He had been the top pick of the Padres in 1984 from UCLA but he just never got going in San Diego. In December 1989, he was the Twins Rule 5 draft. He spent the next five seasons hitting like crazy for the Twins. He hit between .310 and .333 in four of the five seasons. He got on base. He hit for power, lots of doubles and double-digit homers too. He had really good speed on the base paths and was really good out in the outfield. He was a key contributor to the 1991 championship. In 1994, he was hitting .333/.402/.564 (.966) with 21 doubles and 15 homers in 81 games when the strike hit. After the season, he signed a two-year deal to play in Japan before coming back to the States in 1997. CF - Kirby Puckett (1990-1995) 859 games, .312/.363/.485 (.848) with 217 doubles, 111 homers, 579 RBI. While Puckett was one of the top players of the 1980s, he continued to be a top player in the ‘90s. He was an All-Star all six seasons. He led the league in hits once. RBIs in 1994. Three more times he finished in the top 10 in AL MVP voting. He won two more Gold Glove Awards and two more Silver Sluggers. His career came to an abrupt end in spring training 1996. While he was 36 years old, he likely had three to five more seasons remaining. He played mostly center field through the 1993 seasons and then moved to right field the final two seasons. RF - Matt Lawton (1995-1999) 512 games, .264/.367/.416 (.783) with 94 doubles, 49 homers, 245 RBI. Lawton was the Twins 13th-round pick in 1991 out of Mississippi Gulf Coast CC. He debuted with 21 games in 1995 and was up for good midway through the 1996 season. He was an All-Star for the Twins, though that was in 2000 so not included here. However, he was a very solid all-around player. He was a quality right fielder with a strong arm. While he didn’t hit for average, except in 2000, he always found his way on base, getting on base via walk about 10% of the time. In 1998, he hit .278, got on base 39% of the time, and he hit 36 doubles, six triples and 21 homers. He also could steal bases. He remained in the Twins organization until the July deadline in 2001. DH - Paul Molitor (1996-1998) 422 games, .312/.362/.432 (.794) with 102 doubles, 23 homers, 271 RBI. Coin-flip… Paul Molitor (‘96-98) or Chili Davis (‘91-92)? I went with Molitor. The St. Paul native finished his Hall of Fame career with three seasons in a Twins uniform. In 1996, he hit .341 and drove in a career-high 113 runs despite just nine homers. He did have 41 doubles. At 39, he still stole 18 bases too. He hit .305 with 32 doubles and ten homers. He recorded his 3000th hit in 1997 with a triple. What do you think? Previous Installments Twins All-Decade Team, the '60s (The Hitters) Twins All-Decade Team, the '60s (The Pitchers) Episode 15: Get t o Know the 1960s Twins (with Dave Mona) Twins All-Decade Team, the '70s (The Hitters) Twins All-Decade Team, the '70s (The Pitchers) Episode 16: Get to Know the 1970s Twins (with Patrick Reusse) Twins All-Decade Team: the '80s (The Hitters) Twins All-Decade Team: the '80s (The Pitchers) Episode 17: Get to know the 1980s Twins (with Howard Sinker)
  9. Polanco is setting a record pace to start the season. Since the team moved to Minnesota, Rod Carew is the only middle infielder to post an OPS+ of 144 or more. Polanco entered play on Monday with a 165 OPS+. Polanco is on a record pace, so let’s see how the other top seasons stack up. Honorable Mention Brian Dozier (2016): 134 OPS+ Dozier’s 2016 campaign finished just outside the top-5 on this list but it seems fitting to include him as an honorable mention. He clubbed 42 home runs that season. He’s the only player not named Harmon Killebrew to pop more than 40 long-balls in one season. Unlike the other players on this list, Dozier didn’t hit for a high average. His 134 OPS+ was the highest total of his career. He finished 13th in the AL MVP voting, but five players in front of him had a lower WAR. 5. Chuck Knoblauch (1995): 136 OPS+ The Twins teams of the mid- and late-90’s were tough to watch but these are some of my first concrete baseball memories. During the strike-shortened 1995 season, Minnesota only won 56 games. Knoblauch finished with the second highest batting average of his career. His .911 OPS was aided by 34 doubles and eight triples. He had led the league with 45 doubles in 1994 but some of those balls went out of the park in 1995. He cracked double-digit home runs for the first time in his career. He finished 17th in the MVP voting but his 6.7 WAR ranked him fourth among position players. 4. Chuck Knoblauch (1996): 143 OPS+ Knoblauch’s 1996 campaign was clearly the best season of his career. He finished third in WAR trailing only Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez. He hit .341, a career high. In fact, he would never hit above .300 for the rest of his career. He led the AL with 14 triples, but he also had 13 home runs and 35 doubles. Minnesota was closer to .500 as the club finished 78-84. Clearly, the MVP voters paid little attention to the happenings in Minnesota. Knoblauch finished 16th in the MVP race. His 8.7 WAR was more than double that year’s MVP, Juan Gonzalez. 3. Rod Carew (1973): 144 OPS+ There were lots of firsts for Carew during the 1973 season. His first time leading the league in hits. His first time leading the league in triples. He would also finish in the top-5 for the AL MVP for the first time. All 24 first place votes went to Oakland’s Reggie Jackson, but a theme starts to emerge with Carew’s seasons. His WAR total was higher than the players between him and Jackson. Carew’s batting average was over 50 points higher than Jackson. Carew stole 41 bases during the season and the Twins finished 82-80. 2. Rod Carew (1974): 150 OPS+ For the first time in his career, Carew led all of baseball in hits. He would do this one other time during his MVP season. His .364 batting average was the second highest of his career and his .433 OBP was only 16 points behind the 1977 campaign. His 7.5 WAR was the third highest total of his career. He finished seventh in the MVP voting. However, only Fergie Jenkins had a higher WAR total out of the players ahead of him in the voting. 1. Rod Carew (1975): 157 OPS+ Carew’s best season for OPS+ wasn’t even the year he was named AL MVP (1977). For that season, he started all but five games at first base, so that season doesn’t qualify for this list. He posted a 178 OPS+ that year, a career high, and led the league in runs, hits, triples, batting average, OBP, OPS, and OPS+. The 1975 campaign was his last season playing in the middle infield. He won his fourth consecutive batting title and his fifth batting title overall. That season marked on the second time he had led the league on OBP, which was assisted by a league high 18 intentional walks. He was hitting above .400 into the middle of June and flirted with getting back there in late July. He finished ninth in the MVP voting but his 7.9 WAR that season was higher than all but one player ahead of him in the voting. Will Polanco be able to break the record? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  10. This weekend, baseball returns to the Twin Cities: in OPERA FORM! "The Fix" is the latest in the Minnesota Opera's long running endeavor to bring new and distinct modern voices to an art form often seen as antiquated. It tells the story of the 1919 Chicago "Black" Sox, who conspired to lose the World Series in exchange for payoffs from a gambling syndicate. It's a dark chapter in the national past time's history, one that claimed the careers of both rookies and veterans, wise souls and dumb kids. It's a great story and boasts a tremendous score, cast, and design. But! We Peanuts are discouraged. Sure we love baseball. And yes, we love opera. But why let the White Sox (even the historical type) cruise to victory on Minnesota Opera stages? Why not mount a second baseball opera, one that captures the essence of the Twins themselves with just as much drama and even better connections to the local fan base. We Peanuts have found just the tragic story to tell (albeit with a little dramatic license). With that we propose: KNOBLAUCH! A tragedy in 4 acts Cast List: Chuck Knoblauch (Tenor): Twins Second Baseman Kent Hrbek (Bass): Twins First Baseman Kirby Puckett (Tenor): Twins Center Fielder Jack Morris (Baritone): Twins Pitcher Tom Kelly (Baritone): Twins Manager Nike (Soprano): Goddess of Victory/Advertising Agent George Steinbrenner (Bass): The owner of the New York Yankees Derek Jeter (Tenor): Yankees Shortstop Act 1: It is Game 7 of the 1991 World Series at the Metrodome. Members of the Twins (Knoblauch, Hrbek, Puckett, Morris, Kelly, and chorus), sing of the tension, the drama and the hope of the game as it enters the bottom of the 10th and Dan Gladden doubles to lead off the inning. Chuck Knoblauch returns to the dugout after bunting Gladden along and laments that his best contribution in this pivotal game would be just a bunt. At this moment, Nike enters to offer Knoblauch a vision of the future. As she sings, she paints him a picture of the future where he is a great player, an all-star, a local legend, (and the recipient of a lucrative endorsement with a sports apparel brand that shall remain nameless). However, he can only have this if he is willing to suffer with the team and the fans. As the winning run scores, Knoblauch agrees to the deal. Act 2: July 1997, Knoblauch enters the clubhouse alone and rages at the emptiness. The team has lost again and his patience is running thin. In the show's central aria he sings of his despair as fleeting images appear before him and the audience. He mourns his ailing father, remembering and mimicking a game of catch long past. His memories take him through the farewell songs and cheers for teammates past (Puckett, Morris, Hrbek). He cannot understand the love and support they receive despite their failings (on the field and off) while he carries on alone. Desperate, he cries out to Nike to release him from his pledge, to let him feel joy on the field again, and to bless him with the chance to play for a winning team. Nike appears to take mercy on him, but warns him of the consequences: his play will decline, his status will fade, and he will lose his legendary status if he leaves now before the vision comes to pass. Unable to take it anymore, Knoblauch pleads to be released from his bonds, and is granted them in the form of a Yankees jersey. Act 3: September 2000. Knoblauch is surrounded by indifferent fans at Yankee Stadium. They pass by him without a glance, singing praises for Derek Jeter, and occasional laments that there is no one better to play with him in the infield. Stung by this dismissal, Knoblauch addresses George Steinbrenner, requesting reassurance, but Steinbrenner insults him and moves on. Adrift and unsure, Knoblauch calls out again for Nike, but she is seen at a distance singing a love duet about Derek Jeter (with Derek Jeter), both of them ignore Knoblauch's increasing frenzy and fear until he cannot sing any more due to a case of hiccoughs. Silenced, Knoblauch picks up a ball to play catch, but that too betrays him, his throw going wildly afield http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YVPRsJqJqNQ/TuZI744iVkI/AAAAAAAABkg/ixRcqAq5CWU/s320/kelly+befriends+chuck.jpg Act 4: May 2 2001: Returning to the Metrodome field 10 years after we last saw it, Knoblauch hears the echoes of his old rage, but directed at him from the chorus in the bleachers. He stands alone in Left Field singing a quiet song of isolation and annoyance as garbage, batteries, and hot dogs surround him. Tom Kelly briefly appears to offer him condolences, but Knoblauch only wishes fans would get over it as the garbage builds to his knees. Nike appears, on her way to sing to Jeter, and reminds Knoblauch of the promise he broke to her. Knoblauch scoffs, certain that he'd never have had support as the garbage reaches his waist. Nike provides him with a final vision: another title, the jeers turned to cheers, a statute of him by a new stadium as the young players drafted during bad years come of age, with Knoblauch as their mentor. Nike leaves him as the garbage continues to pile up and Knoblauch defiantly declares his strength until he is tragically buried in dollar dogs. CURTAIN
  11. February 4 Happy 37th Birthday, Ben Hendrickson It's the birthday of 1999 Bloomington Jefferson grad and former Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Ben Hendrickson, born in St. Cloud in 1981. Milwaukee chose Hendrickson in the 10th round of the ’99 draft. He was the second of three Jefferson Jaguars drafted out of high school, and the first of those high school draftees to make it to the majors… so far. 2015 graduate Jake Irvin was drafted by the Twins in the 37th round, but opted to attend the University of Oklahoma. The 6’6” pitcher is currently a junior. The Twins drafted Kent Mariska out of Jefferson in the 40th round of the 1974 draft. The speedster didn't advance past Appalachian League rookie ball, though. Though not drafted out of high school, another Jefferson alumnus has made it to the majors. Steven Edlefsen was taken by the San Francisco Giants in the 16th round of the 2007 draft out of the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Edlefsen made it to the majors with the Giants in 2011 and 2012, appearing in 27 games overall. I always find people’s paths to the majors interesting. Despite being drafted out of high school, Hendrickson doesn’t exactly dominate the Bloomington Jefferson record books. He tied the school record with 17 strikeouts in a game vs. Eagan in 1998. His 71 strikeouts in 1998 and 65 in ’99 are third and fifth-best in school history. His 1998 ERA of 2.01 is eleventh-best in school history. There have been four no-hitters and 13 one-hitters in school history; none by Hendrickson. He did, however, pitch a two-hitter vs. Bloomington Kennedy in 1998. He also had two career shutouts: one vs. Eagan in 1997, and another vs. Wayzata in 1998. Ben Hendrickson made his major league debut in Los Angeles on June 2, 2004 at age 23. He gave up four runs on seven hits over five innings, picking up the loss. He made nine starts and one relief appearance that season, finishing with a 1-8 record. His only major league win came in Milwaukee on September 4, 2004, when he held the Cincinnati Reds to two runs on seven hits over six innings. Hendrickson spent the entire 2005 season at triple-A where he went 6-12. He made it back to the majors in 2006, making three starts and one relief appearance. He made his final major league appearance on May 20, 2006 in Milwaukee vs. his hometown Minnesota Twins. After giving up a leadoff single to Lew Ford and walking Luis Castillo, he gave up consecutive RBI hits to Joe Mauer, Torii Hunter, Michael Cuddyer, and Justin Morneau before he was pulled, having given up five runs without recording an out. A sixth run was charged to him before the inning was over. Hendrickson hung around pro ball for three more seasons, spending time in the Royals and Rays organizations before being signed by the Twins on February 17, 2009. He made nine relief appearances for triple-A Rochester, giving up nine runs on 18 hits and nine walks over 10.1 innings before being released on June 19. A few noteworthy things jumped out at me while perusing Hendrickson’s Baseball Reference page: • With former Twin Todd Walker on base, Hendrickson gave up one of Sammy Sosa’s 609 career home runs on July 29, 2004. • He held slugger Adam Dunn 0-for- 5 with a walk and three strikeouts. Dunn was elected to the Reds Hall of Fame this past November. • Larry Walker was 1-for- 6 with a walk and a strikeout vs. Hendrickson. Walker appeared on 34.1% of Hall of Fame ballots in 2018, his eighth year of eligibility. • Hendrickson got two major league hits, the first coming off the Cubs’ Carlos Zambrano on July 29, 2004. February 5 Happy 89th Birthday, Al Worthington It's the birthday of former Twins stopper Al Worthington, born in Birmingham, AL in 1929. The Twins purchased the 35-year-old pitcher's contract from the Reds on June 26, 1964, the same day that Twins pitcher Gerry Arrigo took a no-hitter vs. Chicago into the ninth at Met Stadium. Arrigo would complete a one-hit shutout of the Sox. Worthington, meanwhile, would appear in 41 of the Twins’ 81 remaining games, posting a 1.37 ERA. Worthington was the first Twin to save 20+ games, going 10-5 with 21 saves and a 2.13 ERA during the team's 1965 American League championship season. Worthington was the first Twin to lead the league in saves with 18 in 1968 at age 39. The others to do so were Ron Perranoski in 1969 and 1970, Mike Marshall in 1979, and Eddie Guardado in 2002. (Note: saves weren't an official stat until 1969) With the Twins hosting the Senators on August 9, 1967, Worthington was involved in what must be one of the greatest relief pitcher duels in major league history. The Twins pieced together a 7-0 lead through six innings, but Washington tied it in the seventh with a two-out, seven-run rally. Worthington and Senators reliever Darold Knowles both entered in the eighth. Worthington went 8.2 scoreless innings, allowing just two singles and two walks, at one point retiring 17 consecutive Senators. For the sabermetrically inclined, Worthington’s performance scored a WPA (Win Probability Added) of 1.176, the most valuable relief performance in Twins history (per Chris Jaffe's August 27, 2012 Hardball Times article). Knowles, meanwhile, pitched 10 scoreless innings, allowing three singles and two walks while striking out 10. The walks came back-to-back with one out in the 11th to the pitcher Worthington and Zoilo Versalles, putting the winning run on second with César Tovar and Tony Oliva coming up. Knowles, however, got Tovar to fly out to center, and Oliva to pop out to the catcher. Knowles performance scored a WPA of 1.231, the most valuable relief performance in Senators/Rangers history. Despite a combined 18.2 innings of relief work, neither pitcher factored in the decision. After the Senators scored two in the top of the 20th, Sandy Valdespino led off the bottom of the inning with a single. As remarkable of a game as this was, here’s my favorite part: with two out in the bottom of the 20th, pitcher Jim Kaat pinch-hit for shortstop Jackie Hernandez, representing the tying run! Kaat flew out to deep right to end the game, but still, when’s the last time you heard of a pitcher pinch-hitting in a situation like that? February 5 Happy 31st Birthday, Mark Hamburger It’s the birthday of 2005 Mounds View High School graduate and Mesabi Range Community and Technical College alumnus Mark Hamburger, born in St. Paul in 1987. Hamburger was signed by the Twins as an amateur free agent on June 19, 2007, and was traded to Texas for “Everyday” Eddie Guardado on August 25, 2008. Guardado had previously pitched for the Twins from 1993 to 2003. Including the nine games in 2008, Guardado pitched in 648 games for the Twins, the most in team history by a mile. Rick Aguilera is next on the list, 158 games back. Guardado loves to say that he was “traded for Hamburger.” Hamburger made his major league debut on August 31, 2011 at age 24, pitching a perfect ninth inning in a 4-1 loss vs. Tampa Bay. Overall, Hamburger pitched eight innings over five appearances with the Rangers, giving up four runs on five hits and three walks while striking out six. He earned his only major league win in his final game, on September 26, 2011. Leading the Angels 1-0 in Los Angeles, Hamburger replaced C.J. Wilson to start the bottom of the third. After three scoreless innings, he gave up a one-out double to Torii Hunter in the sixth. After getting Vernon Wells to pop out for the second out, Hamburger was replaced by Darren Oliver. Mike Trout singled home Hunter, and Oliver walked Bobby Abreu with the bases loaded before getting out of the inning, with the Rangers still clinging to a 3-2 lead and Hamburger in line for the win. The Rangers went on to win 4-3 with Neftali Feliz earning the save. After struggling at triple-A Round Rock in 2012, the Rangers put Hamburger on waivers. He was claimed by the Padres on June 25, 2012, but didn’t fare much better at triple-A Tucson, so was put on waivers again and claimed by the Astros on July 21. He was released by Houston the following winter. Hamburger pitched for the St. Paul Saints in 2013, starting 21 games, going 6-8 with a 3.26 ERA and 1.403 WHIP. He averaged seven innings per start. The Twins signed him on September 4, 2013. The Twins had previously signed Saints pitcher Caleb Thielbar following the 2011 season. The Twins probably felt particularly good about signing a Saints pitcher in September 2013, as Thielbar had been sensational for them that season, not allowing a run in his first 17 major league appearances, ultimately going 3-2 over 48 appearances (46 innings pitched), with a 1.76 ERA and 0.826 WHIP. After two seasons at triple-A Rochester, however, the Twins granted Hamburger free agency on November 6, 2015. Hamburger returned to the Saints, where he went 12-6 in 2016, and 13-6 in 2017. He is expected to pitch for the Saints again in 2018. He also pitched for the Melbourne Aces in the Australian Baseball League during the winter of 2016-’17, and 2017-’18. He has previously pitched in the Puerto Rican, Venezuelan, and Mexican Pacific Winter Leagues. February 5, 1991 Twins Sign Morris The Twins sign free agent pitcher Jack Morris to a one-year, $3.7 million contract, making the 1973 Highland Park grad the second-highest paid player, and highest paid pitcher in the American League. Morris had previously been the highest paid pitcher in the league in 1987 and ‘88, and would be again in 1993. The uncharacteristic opening of the purse strings paid dividends for the Pohlads, as Morris won 18 regular season games, and four more in the postseason, including the legendary 10-inning shutout of Atlanta in Game 7 of the World Series. 1991 was his only season as a Twin. He signed with the Blue Jays on December 18. Morris was elected to the Hall of Fame alongside former Tigers teammate Alan Trammell by the Veterans Committee on December 10, 2017. The Tigers drafted Trammell in ‘75, and Morris in ‘76. They both made their major league debuts in 1977. Morris was the fourth Minnesotan elected to the Hall of Fame, and the third from St. Paul. The three St. Paul Hall of Famers all graduated from local high schools within six years of each other: Dave Winfield (St. Paul Central, 1969), Morris (Highland Park, 1973), and Paul Molitor (Cretin, 1974). February 6, 1998 Twins Trade Chuck Knoblauch The Twins trade All-Star second baseman Chuck Knoblauch to the New York Yankees for minor leaguers Eric Milton, Cristian Guzman, Brian Buchanan, Danny Mota and three million dollars of George Steinbrenner’s cold hard cash. There had been speculation for several years that the struggling Twins would deal hot commodity Knoblauch, and eventually he himself demanded to be traded to a contender. Knoblauch was coming off a stretch of four sensational seasons in which he made three All-Star teams, hitting .318 and stealing 188 bases. His 127 OPS+ over that stretch was three points better than Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar. The trade would ultimately go down as a win-win. Knoblauch was uneven as a Yankee. We all know about his struggles throwing the ball to first base. He continued to swing a solid stick, though, and the Yankees won the World Series in each of his first three seasons in New York. Cristian Guzman, meanwhile, was the Twins’ starting shortstop for six seasons, leading the league in triples three times. He never realized his full potential, but Twins fans sure saw some sparks from the speedster. Milton jumped straight into the starting rotation, giving the Twins five solid seasons, highlighted by a no-hitter on September 11, 1999. Another highlight came on April 15, 2001 when Milton struck out eight of the first 10 White Sox he faced. Buchanan played 143 games with the Twins between 2000 and 2002. He hit one of the Twins' five home runs on Opening Day, April 1, 2002. The Twins are the most recent of five American League teams to hit five home runs on Opening Day. The previous four were the Yankees in 1932, Red Sox in 1965, Brewers in 1980, and Cleveland in 1995. The Mets set the major league record with six Opening Day home runs in 1988. Mota made four relief appearances for the Twins late in the 2000 season, his only stint in the majors. February 8, 1925 Birthdate of Milt Nielsen It’s the birthdate of Milt Nielsen born 93 years ago in Tyler, MN (in Lincoln County, between Marhsall, MN and Brookings, SD). He started three games in center for Cleveland in 1949, going 1-for-11 with one run scored. He played in 16 games for Cleveland in 1951, pinch-running ten times, and pinch-hitting six times, going 0-for-6. He didn’t play in the field at all. Nielsen played a total of nine professional seasons from 1946 to 1954, all in the Cleveland organization. He passed away in Mankato on August 1, 2005 at age 80, and was laid to rest at Resurrection Cemetery in St. Peter. February 9, 1902 Birthdate of Julie Wera It's the birthdate of 1927 Yankees bench player Julie Wera, born 116 years ago in Winona, MN. Wera joined Winona’s top amateur baseball team, the Peerless Chains, sponsored by the Peerless Tire Chain Company, in July 1921, when he was just 16 years old. The 5-foot-7, 155-pound speedster was recruited to play semi-pro ball in Wausau, WI in 1924, where he caught the attention of the St. Paul Saints. On December 21, 1926, the Saints traded Wera to the New York Yankees for $40,000 and two players to be named later (per Baseball Reference). Wera was the only rookie to make the Yankees out of camp in 1927. The 25-year-old made his major league debut on April 14, 1927, pinch-hitting for Hall of Famer Waite Hoyt versus Hall of Famer Lefty Grove. He grounded out. Perhaps the most memorable moment of Wera’s career came on the Fourth of July in an auspicious doubleheader at Yankee Stadium. A crowd of 74,000—the largest crowd ever to attend a baseball game to that point—saw the Yanks demolish the second-place Senators, winning the first game 12-1 and the second 21-1. Wera replaced Joe Dugan at third base in the seventh inning of Game 2, and in the bottom of the inning he clouted a two-run homer off Nats lefty Bobby Burke, a rookie like Wera. It would be the only homer of Wera’s major league career. The ‘27 Yankees are regarded by many as the greatest baseball team ever assembled. 32-year-old Babe Ruth swatted 60 home runs, while the team went 110-44 (.714), winning the American League pennant by a margin of 19 games. Wera, for his part, got into 38 games (19 starts), going 10-for-42 (.238) with a walk, eight RBI, and seven runs scored. He suffered a gnarly knee injury in a late-season play at home, and was not a part of the World Series, in which the Yankees swept the Pirates. He did, however, receive the same $5,782 portion of the winners’ purse as Ruth, Gehrig, and the rest of the gang. Nice bonus, considering that Wera’s 1927 salary was $2,400. Hampered by the knee injury, Wera was back in the minors with St. Paul in 1928. He did make it back to the Yankees for five games in 1929, going 5-for-12 (.417). In total, Wera played 13 seasons of professional baseball, wrapping up his career in 1937 with the Crookston (MN) Pirates, a St. Louis Cardinals affiliate in the class-D Northern League. Julie Wera died of a heart attack at his home in Rochester, MN on December 12, 1975. He was 73 years old. Jerome Christenson wrote a great, succinct profile of Wera for the Winona Daily News on October 13, 2016 (click here). For a more thorough picture, including a great anecdote about Lou Gehrig making a surprise visit to the Rochester Piggly Wiggly to see his old friend Wera, read J.G. Preston’s SABR BioProject essay (click here). February 10 Happy 25th Birthday, Max Kepler It's the birthday of Twins outfielder Max Kepler, born in Berlin, Germany in 1993. Playing Cleveland at Target Field on August 1, 2016, Kepler became the fifth player in Twins history to hit three home runs in a game. The previous four were Bob Allison (1963), Harmon Killebrew (1963), Tony Oliva (1973), and Justin Morneau (2007). Kepler’s three-home run game opened the floodgates. Brian Dozier joined the club on September 5, 2016, Eddie Rosario on June 13, 2017, and Byron Buxton on August 27, 2017. So while the first four three-home run games in Twins history came over a span of 8,875 games, the next four came over a span of just 188. Kepler's three-home run game was the beginning of a historic three-game stretch for the team as a whole. Mired in the worst season in franchise history, the Twins hit a team record 19 extra-base hits over a two-game span. They set a milestone in the third game of the series by putting up 10 runs in three straight games against the same team for the first time. The Twins had scored 10 runs in three straight games before, but never against the same team. They would lose the fourth game of the series 9-2. Keep in touch with @TwinsAlmanac on Twitter and Facebook.
  12. Here is the Twins Almanac for the week of February 5-11. Former Twins closer Al Worthington, Mounds View grad Mark Hamburger, and current Twins outfielder Max Kepler are all celebrating birthdays this week. '27 Yankees third baseman Julie Wera was born in Winona this week in 1902. Also this week in Twins history was a big payday for Bloomington's Kent Hrbek (1985), the Chuck Knoblauch trade ('08), and Terry Ryan's cancer diagnosis ('14). http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/Worthington.68T_zpshtvoxhjr.jpg February 5 Happy 88th Birthday to Al Worthington It’s the birthday of former Twins stopper Al Worthington, born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1929. The Twins purchased the 35-year-old pitcher from the Reds on June 26, 1964, the same day on which Twins pitcher Gerry Arrigo took a no-hitter against the White Sox into the ninth at Met Stadium. Arrigo would complete a 1-hit shutout of the Sox. Worthington, meanwhile, would appear in 41 of the Twins’ 81 remaining games, posting a 1.37 ERA. Worthington was the first Twin to save 20+ games, going 10-5 with 21 saves and a 2.13 ERA during the Twins’ 1965 American League Championship season. Worthington was the first Twin to lead the league in saves with 18 in 1968 at age 39. Ron Perranoski (‘69 and ‘70), Mike Marshall (‘79), and Eddie Guardado (‘02) are the only other Twins to do so. Worthington lives in Sterrett, AL these days, and, incidentally, would be happy to answer your letter. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/hamburger%201_zps8lukeqze.jpg February 5 Mark Hamburger Turns the Big 3-0 Happy 30th birthday to Mounds View High School and Mesabi Range Community and Technical College alumnus Mark Hamburger, born in St. Paul in 1987. Hamburger was signed by the Twins in 2007, and traded to Texas for Eddie Guardado in August, 2008. He pitched eight innings over five games for the Rangers late in the 2011 season, posting a 1-0 record during his only big league call-up. Hamburger subsequently spent time in the Padres’ and Astros’ organizations before being signed again by the Twins in September 2013. He never made it back to the majors, though. Hamburger pitched for the St. Paul Saints in 2016, going 12-6 in 21 appearances (20 starts), with a 3.29 ERA. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/knoblauch.Milton.Guzman_zpsrjiautqk.jpg February 6, 1998 Twins Trade Chuck Knoblauch The Twins trade All-Star second baseman Chuck Knoblauch to the New York Yankees for minor leaguers Eric Milton, Cristian Guzman, Brian Buchanan, Danny Mota and three millions dollars of George Steinbrenner’s cold hard cash. There had been speculation for several years that the struggling Twins would deal hot commodity Knoblauch, and eventually he himself demanded to be traded to a contender. Knoblauch was coming off a stretch of four sensational seasons in which he made three all-star teams, hitting .318 and stealing 188 bases. His 127 OPS+ over that stretch was three points better than that of Roberto Alomar. The trade would ultimately go down as a win-win. Knoblauch was uneven as a Yankee. We all know about his struggles throwing the ball to first base. He continued to swing a solid stick, though, and the Yankees won the World Series in each of his first three seasons in New York. Cristian Guzman, meanwhile, was the Twins’ starting shortstop for six seasons, leading the league in triples three times. He never realized his full potential, but Twins fans sure saw some sparks from the exciting speedster. Milton jumped straight into the starting rotation, giving the Twins five solid seasons, highlighted by a no-hitter on September 11, 1999. Another highlight came on April 15, 2001 when Milton struck out eight of the first 10 White Sox he faced. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/wera_zpsgffok02p.jpg February 9, 1902 It’s the Birthday of Julie Wera Julie Wera, who played 38 games at third base for the vaunted ‘27 Yankees, was born in Winona, MN on this date in 1902. The 25-year-old Wera made his major league debut at Yankee Stadium on April 14, 1927, pinch-hitting for Hall of Famer Waite Hoyt against Hall of Famer Lefty Grove. He grounded out. Wera hit his one and only big league homer during a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium on July 4, 1927 in front of a then-record crowd of 74,000. Wera did not play in the 1927 World Series in which the Yankees swept the Pirates. He did, however, receive the same $5,782 portion of the winners’ purse as the rest of his teammates, which included Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth. Nice bonus, considering that Wera’s ‘27 salary was reported to be $2,400. Julie Wera died of a heart attack at his home in Rochester, MN on December 12, 1975. He was 73 years old. Read J.G. Preston’s SABR BioProject biography of Julie Wera: http://sabr.org/bioproj/person/2dc33add http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/Kepler.Mauer.8-1-16_zpskprrgr69.jpg February 10 Happy 24th Birthday to Max Kepler It's the birthday of Twins outfielder Max Kepler, born in Berlin, Germany in 1993. Playing Cleveland at Target Field on August 1, 2016, Kepler became the fifth player in Twins history to hit three home runs in a game. The previous four were Bob Allison ('63), Harmon Killebrew ('63), Tony Oliva ('73), and Justin Morneau ('07). Brian Dozier joined the club on September 5, 2016. Kepler's 3-HR game was the beginning of a historic offensive outburst for the team as a whole. Mired in one of the worst seasons in franchise history, the Twins hit a team record 19 extra-base hits over a two-game span. They set a milestone in the third game of the series, too, putting up 10 runs in three straight games against the same team for the first time. They had scored 10 runs in three straight games before, but not against the same team. They would lose the fourth game of the series 2-9. February 10, 2014 Terry Ryan Reveals Cancer Diagnosis The Twins release a statement on behalf of 60-year-old General Manager Terry Ryan revealing that he has been diagnosed with skin cancer in his neck. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/hrbek.85t_zpspasivh1t.jpg February 11, 1985 Kent Hrbek Cashes In 1978 Bloomington Kennedy High School grad Kent Hrbek signs a 5-year, 6 million dollar contract, meaning he would be the first player in Twins history to earn a million dollars for a single season’s work. Hrbek celebrated by going ice fishing outside his Lake Minnetonka home. Keep in touch with @TwinsAlmanac on Twitter and on Facebook.
  13. Unfortunately, baseball hasn’t been immune to the same issues. Cubs reliever Aroldis Chapman closed out the NLCS by tossing nothing but 100-103 mph fastballs. Last offseason, unfortunately, it wasn’t Chapman’s fastball that people were talking about. In early December, a dozen police officers were called to Chapman’s home. He shot a gun eight times into his garage. That was after an incident in his home in which he allegedly choked his girlfriend and pushed her against a wall in his home theater. No charges were filed because stories changed and conflicted, but there was enough there in MLB's eyes and Chapman was given a 30-game suspension by MLB. The Reds traded Chapman to the Yankees. Almost a week before the July 31st trade deadline, Theo Epstein OKd a trade to the Cubs. Chapman has continued to be what he is, which is the best, most dominant closer in the game. For Chicago sports fans, the moral dilemma is a familiar one. It is a situation that played itself out a year earlier when Blackhawks’ star Patrick Kane was arrested for rape (though he was never charged). In a New York Times story, Chapman said, “People are thinking it’s something serious; I have not put my hands on anyone, didn’t put anyone in danger.” Sure. That’s why his girlfriend called 911 while hiding in some bushes outside the house. He added, “It was just an argument with your partner that everyone has.” (emphasis mine) My assumption, hopefully not naive, is that Chapman’s thinking is in the minority, that most ballplayer and most people in general do not think like that. Last offseason, Jose Reyes was with his wife at a resort in Hawaii. Police reports stated the Reyes grabbed his wife by the throat and threw her against a sliding door. He was suspended 51 games by the league, through May 31st. At that time, the Rockies released him. He later signed with the New York Mets. It’s also interesting and maybe a little scary to see teammates quickly support their friend. Giants players were put in an awkward position when they were asked about the Josh Brown situation. Several, including their coach, chose to say that they wanted to support their teammate. A nice gesture, but not really something that many would want to defend. Following the Chapman and Reyes suspension announcements, David Ortiz was asked about it. He said, “These are good guys. I feel so bad for them. I know Jose well. He is not a troublemaker. He’s a good guy.” It’s hard to blame Ortiz for that comment. He was asked and gave an answer. The reality is that we don’t necessarily know everything that happens in the homes of our friends and neighbors. We may not know if there is physical abuse occurring. Even more difficult to know in many cases is the psychological abuse that can happen. Those scars may not be visible, but they can last for a long time. In 2006, Phillies pitcher Brett Myers was arrested for punching his wife in the face in Boston. “Police showed up after a 911 call and saw severe swelling on the left side of her face — he used his pitching hand — and she said he had punched her. He was arrested on the spot, and he was released on $200 bail ... paid by his wife.” Also in 2006, Tigers infielder Dmitri Young was arrested. He was 32, and his 21-year-old former girlfriend reported the incident three days later. “They said she had bruises on her hip and leg, the newspaper reported, and photographs showed scratches on her neck, upper body and leg.” In 1995, Atlanta manager Bobby Cox was arrested for punching his wife and pulling her hair. In 1997, Wil Cordero was arrested for threatening to kills his wife in the presence of police officers. Originally the Red Sox did nothing, but when they learned of a previous domestic abuse charged they chose to suspend him for eight games. The league did nothing. In 2003, the Astros released Julio Lugo after he was arrested for hitting his wife and slamming her face into a car hood. The Rays signed him soon after and he played in the big leagues through 2011. The Minnesota Twins have also been hurt by a couple of cases, though in both cases, the events occurred following their playing careers. You will remember, just a couple of years ago, the Twins announced the 2B Chuck Knoblauch was going to become a Twins Hall of Famer. After reports came out of his arrest for grabbing, hitting and even throwing a humidifier at his wife, the Twins chose to cancel Knoblauch’s induction. Knoblauch had been arrested five years earlier on similar charges. And, soon after Kirby Puckett was inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY, in 2001, reports came out of his infidelity and other transgressions. In October of 2002, he was arrested for “sexual assault and false imprisonment for allegedly groping a woman after pulling her into the bathroom of a Minnesota restaurant.” The 2003 Sports Illustrated article by Frank Deford opened up all of our eyes. Puckett was a hero to many, yours truly included. In it, it talks about Puckett’s then-wife (December 2001) calling police and telling them that he had threatened to kill her. She said that he previously had strangled her with electrical cord. He had used a power tool to break through a door she had locked to get to her. He even once had a gun to her head and threatened to pull the trigger. Kirby Puckett was my last hero. I find it now important to separate what happens on the field of play and the person, even if that person is someone who does so much good in the community or owns a Roberto Clemente Award for community service. Even after the reports, arrests and allegations, Puckett still had his front office job with an office at the Metrodome. To this day, those that knew him speak only glowingly about their teammate and friend. MLB and their players association have set up some domestic abuse policies. These include annual training and support and emergency hotlines, as well as framework for punishment. It’s a good start, and hopefully they will continue to improve upon it. It is a difficult subject to read about. It’s difficult to write about as well. With Aroldis Chapman pitching the Cubs to the World Series and getting a ton of credit, maybe it’s the perfect time to broach the subject. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy watching Aroldis Chapman pitch and watching for the radar gun readings after each and every pitch. Likewise I’ll never forget the joy that watching Kirby Puckett play gave me from the time I was eight until I was 19. Domestic abuse happens, far too often, in professional sports, and baseball has had far too many cases over the years. It happens to people in every profession, in every walk of life. It happens to the rich, and it happens to the middle and lower classes. Maybe it can create a discussion about hero-worship among athletes, about putting them on a pedestal. It can create discussion between fathers and sons, between husbands and wives. If nothing else, maybe this article can be read by someone who will choose not to verbally or psychologically abuse their spouse or significant other. Maybe it can give courage to one person who suddenly realizes that she or he is a victim.
  14. There are often events outside of the game remind us to put the game into perspective. The most morbid example of this came in late September when Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez passed away in a boating accident. Another situation involves arrests of athletes. In the NFL, there is the case of Josh Brown. The New York Giants kicker was suspended one game by the NFL for a domestic abuse case. When reports came out of his detailed journals of his abuse against his wife, the Giants didn’t have him fly to Europe with the team. He has since been added to the Commissioner's’ Exempt list and likely will never play in the NFL again. Same thing happened with Ray Rice. The Vikings Adrian Peterson missed a year due to domestic abuse.Unfortunately, baseball hasn’t been immune to the same issues. Cubs reliever Aroldis Chapman closed out the NLCS by tossing nothing but 100-103 mph fastballs. Last offseason, unfortunately, it wasn’t Chapman’s fastball that people were talking about. In early December, a dozen police officers were called to Chapman’s home. He shot a gun eight times into his garage. That was after an incident in his home in which he allegedly choked his girlfriend and pushed her against a wall in his home theater. No charges were filed because stories changed and conflicted, but there was enough there in MLB's eyes and Chapman was given a 30-game suspension by MLB. The Reds traded Chapman to the Yankees. Almost a week before the July 31st trade deadline, Theo Epstein OKd a trade to the Cubs. Chapman has continued to be what he is, which is the best, most dominant closer in the game. For Chicago sports fans, the moral dilemma is a familiar one. It is a situation that played itself out a year earlier when Blackhawks’ star Patrick Kane was arrested for rape (though he was never charged). In a New York Times story, Chapman said, “People are thinking it’s something serious; I have not put my hands on anyone, didn’t put anyone in danger.” Sure. That’s why his girlfriend called 911 while hiding in some bushes outside the house. He added, “It was just an argument with your partner that everyone has.” (emphasis mine) My assumption, hopefully not naive, is that Chapman’s thinking is in the minority, that most ballplayer and most people in general do not think like that. Last offseason, Jose Reyes was with his wife at a resort in Hawaii. Police reports stated the Reyes grabbed his wife by the throat and threw her against a sliding door. He was suspended 51 games by the league, through May 31st. At that time, the Rockies released him. He later signed with the New York Mets. It’s also interesting and maybe a little scary to see teammates quickly support their friend. Giants players were put in an awkward position when they were asked about the Josh Brown situation. Several, including their coach, chose to say that they wanted to support their teammate. A nice gesture, but not really something that many would want to defend. Following the Chapman and Reyes suspension announcements, David Ortiz was asked about it. He said, “These are good guys. I feel so bad for them. I know Jose well. He is not a troublemaker. He’s a good guy.” It’s hard to blame Ortiz for that comment. He was asked and gave an answer. The reality is that we don’t necessarily know everything that happens in the homes of our friends and neighbors. We may not know if there is physical abuse occurring. Even more difficult to know in many cases is the psychological abuse that can happen. Those scars may not be visible, but they can last for a long time. In 2006, Phillies pitcher Brett Myers was arrestedfor punching his wife in the face in Boston. “Police showed up after a 911 call and saw severe swelling on the left side of her face — he used his pitching hand — and she said he had punched her. He was arrested on the spot, and he was released on $200 bail ... paid by his wife.” Also in 2006, Tigers infielder Dmitri Young was arrested. He was 32, and his 21-year-old former girlfriend reported the incident three days later. “They said she had bruises on her hip and leg, the newspaper reported, and photographs showed scratches on her neck, upper body and leg.” In 1995, Atlanta manager Bobby Cox was arrested for punching his wife and pulling her hair. In 1997, Wil Cordero was arrested for threatening to kills his wife in the presence of police officers. Originally the Red Sox did nothing, but when they learned of a previous domestic abuse charged they chose to suspend him for eight games. The league did nothing. In 2003, the Astros released Julio Lugo after he was arrested for hitting his wife and slamming her face into a car hood. The Rays signed him soon after and he played in the big leagues through 2011. The Minnesota Twins have also been hurt by a couple of cases, though in both cases, the events occurred following their playing careers. You will remember, just a couple of years ago, the Twins announced the 2B Chuck Knoblauch was going to become a Twins Hall of Famer. After reports came out of his arrest for grabbing, hitting and even throwing a humidifier at his wife, the Twins chose to cancel Knoblauch’s induction. Knoblauch had been arrested five years earlier on similar charges. And, soon after Kirby Puckett was inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY, in 2001, reports came out of his infidelity and other transgressions. In October of 2002, he was arrested for “sexual assault and false imprisonment for allegedly groping a woman after pulling her into the bathroom of a Minnesota restaurant.” The 2003 Sports Illustrated article by Frank Deford opened up all of our eyes. Puckett was a hero to many, yours truly included. In it, it talks about Puckett’s then-wife (December 2001) calling police and telling them that he had threatened to kill her. She said that he previously had strangled her with electrical cord. He had used a power tool to break through a door she had locked to get to her. He even once had a gun to her head and threatened to pull the trigger. Kirby Puckett was my last hero. I find it now important to separate what happens on the field of play and the person, even if that person is someone who does so much good in the community or owns a Roberto Clemente Award for community service. Even after the reports, arrests and allegations, Puckett still had his front office job with an office at the Metrodome. To this day, those that knew him speak only glowingly about their teammate and friend. MLB and their players association have set up some domestic abuse policies. These include annual training and support and emergency hotlines, as well as framework for punishment. It’s a good start, and hopefully they will continue to improve upon it. It is a difficult subject to read about. It’s difficult to write about as well. With Aroldis Chapman pitching the Cubs to the World Series and getting a ton of credit, maybe it’s the perfect time to broach the subject. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy watching Aroldis Chapman pitch and watching for the radar gun readings after each and every pitch. Likewise I’ll never forget the joy that watching Kirby Puckett play gave me from the time I was eight until I was 19. Domestic abuse happens, far too often, in professional sports, and baseball has had far too many cases over the years. It happens to people in every profession, in every walk of life. It happens to the rich, and it happens to the middle and lower classes. Maybe it can create a discussion about hero-worship among athletes, about putting them on a pedestal. It can create discussion between fathers and sons, between husbands and wives. If nothing else, maybe this article can be read by someone who will choose not to verbally or psychologically abuse their spouse or significant other. Maybe it can give courage to one person who suddenly realizes that she or he is a victim. Click here to view the article
  15. The signing of Brian Duensing with the Kansas City Royals closes the book on a story that was started in 1989. In the first round of that year's draft, the Twins selected Texas A&M shortstop Chuck Knoblauch who would go on to spawn the trade that would put Twins GM Terry Ryan on the map and the fruits of that trade would be felt until 2015. After seven seasons of what looked to be the beginning of a HOF career, Chuck Knoblauch and his 37.9 WAR wanted out of Minnesota and to a contender. Well that's how the fans knew it anyway, back before internet media was a thing. While largely unpopular at the time, the Twins received Brian Buchanan (0.3 WAR), Christian Guzman (7.5), Eric Milton (14.7) and Danny Mota (-0.1) in what would be the branches of our Knoblauch trade tree.THE BRIAN BUCHANAN BRANCH Brian Buchanan had some nice power potential and looked the part of a middle-of- the-order bat. Unfortunately for him, he found himself in a roster crunch as he was competing for the RF/DH spot with Michael Cuddyer, Dustin Mohr, Bobby Keilty, David Ortiz and Matthew Lecroy. Buchanan found himself shipped off to San Diego and in return the Twins received shortstop prospect Jason Bartlett (8.9). Bartlett would go on to play four seasons (initially) with the Twins before getting traded to Tampa Bay with Matt Garza and Eddie Morlan for Delmon Young (1.0), Brendon Harris (-0.6) and Jason Pridie (-0.2). Pridie teased Twins fans with his potential but never put it all together and was soon DFA'd. Brendon Harris found himself a mostly every day super-utility role for the Twins before being traded for Jim Hoey (-0.6) and Brett Jacobson. Jacobson never made it to the majors, Jim Hoey and his disastrous 24.1 innings unfortunately did. Delmon Young played three and a half mercurial seasons with the Twins, seemingly breaking out in 2010 and being a large reason for the team's division title. Alas, it was not to last and the following year he was traded to Detroit for Cole Nelson who never appeared in a MLB game and Lester Oliveros (0.0). Oliveros would tease with his potential, but he never got much of an opportunity to make it at the MLB level and was recently picked up the Royals. THE ERIC MILTON BRANCH That wraps up the Buchanan wing of the Knoblauch trade tree, so let's head back to the top and check in on Eric Milton. Milton pitched six seasons for the Twins, six seasons that saw an All Star appearance, a no-hitter, and a questionable contract extension. Despite that contract extension, the Twins were able to move him to Philadelphia for a package that included Carlos Silva (9.0), Nick Punto (10.3) and Bobby Korecky (0.2). Silva pitched four solid seasons for the Twins before signing a nice free agent contract with Seattle, but most interesting for Silva was his 2005 season when he set a modern day record of 0.4 BB/9. Seriously, that is bizarre. Check out the single-season leader board and the next closest modern day player was Brett Saberhagen with a 0.65 BB/9 which is almost a 40% increase: http://www.baseball-...ne_season.shtml Nick Punto just announced his retirement but played seven super-utility seasons with the Twins before leaving and winning a World Series with St. Louis in 2011. Bobby Korecky, we hardly knew you, except for that time in 2008 when the Twins lost their DH and you had to come to bat in the 11th inning. Of course in that 11th inning you not only got a hit in your only career AB but also the win. That has to be worth more than 0.2 WAR, which surely proves WAR is worthless. THE DANNY MOTA BRANCH Back to the top and we get to Danny Mota, who would do next to nothing for the Twins, appearing in all of 5.1 innings at the MLB level. THE CRISTIAN GUZMAN BRANCH The last branch on the Knoblauch trade tree begins with Cristian Guzman. The speedy shortstop made one All-Star Game and led the league in triples three times. He left as a free agent to Washington, but in doing so, the Twins were rewarded with a compensation draft pick. Not a first-round pick because that was protected. Not a second-round pick because that was already lost, but a third-round pick in the 2005 draft which the Twins used to select Brian Duensing (6. 2WAR). Duensing was an unheralded prospect who made an immediate impact in 2009 and found himself pitching Game 1 of the ALDS against the Yankees. It did not go well. Duensing had another nice season in 2010 as a swing man before settling in as regular out of the pen. His seven years with the Twins matches Punto and Knoblauch himself in terms of number of seasons played for the Twins. SUMMARY In total, 19 players were acquired due to the first-round selection in the 1989 draft and a total of 94.6 WAR was gained. These trees can be found throughout baseball, and surely there are others as fruitful, but this one has interested me for a long time. All of the comical propositions of tossing Duensing into trade proposals the last couple of years were serious by me because I wanted this tree to keep growing. It, however, will not. EPILOGUE The Twins 1989 draft was fantastic. They drafted three players with career WARs over 20 in Knoblauch, Denny Neagle and Scott Erickson. They also drafted Marty Cordova, Mike Trombley and Denny Hocking. Some of these players produced unexpected fruit. The trade of Erickson for Scott Klingenbeck and Kimera Bartee is one of Ryan's best known failures. In 1992, Andy McPhail made a trade of Denny Neagle that would live on for years. In trading a top prospect in Neagle (something unbelievable for the Twins today), the Twins received John Smiley, a very good, but not great pitcher whom the Twins wanted/needed to replace the departed Jack Morris. Smiley pitched one fine year for the Twins before leaving, and in his place the Twins got a compensation pick in 1993 which they used to select Torii Hunter. When Hunter left, the Twins used his comp picks to select busts Carlos Gutierrez and Shooter Hunt. Also, while the Twins didn't get a comp pick for losing Marty Cordova (even though he had an .828 OPS the prior year), they did get one for losing Mike Trombley in 2000. They used that pick to select Aaron Heilman, who had a really nice MLB career, just not with the Twins because he refused to sign with them. Click here to view the article
  16. nicksaviking

    The Last Leaf

    THE BRIAN BUCHANAN BRANCH Brian Buchanan had some nice power potential and looked the part of a middle-of- the-order bat. Unfortunately for him, he found himself in a roster crunch as he was competing for the RF/DH spot with Michael Cuddyer, Dustin Mohr, Bobby Keilty, David Ortiz and Matthew Lecroy. Buchanan found himself shipped off to San Diego and in return the Twins received shortstop prospect Jason Bartlett (8.9). Bartlett would go on to play four seasons (initially) with the Twins before getting traded to Tampa Bay with Matt Garza and Eddie Morlan for Delmon Young (1.0), Brendon Harris (-0.6) and Jason Pridie (-0.2). Pridie teased Twins fans with his potential but never put it all together and was soon DFA'd. Brendon Harris found himself a mostly every day super-utility role for the Twins before being traded for Jim Hoey (-0.6) and Brett Jacobson. Jacobson never made it to the majors, Jim Hoey and his disastrous 24.1 innings unfortunately did. Delmon Young played three and a half mercurial seasons with the Twins, seemingly breaking out in 2010 and being a large reason for the team's division title. Alas, it was not to last and the following year he was traded to Detroit for Cole Nelson who never appeared in a MLB game and Lester Oliveros (0.0). Oliveros would tease with his potential, but he never got much of an opportunity to make it at the MLB level and was recently picked up the Royals. THE ERIC MILTON BRANCH That wraps up the Buchanan wing of the Knoblauch trade tree, so let's head back to the top and check in on Eric Milton. Milton pitched six seasons for the Twins, six seasons that saw an All Star appearance, a no-hitter, and a questionable contract extension. Despite that contract extension, the Twins were able to move him to Philadelphia for a package that included Carlos Silva (9.0), Nick Punto (10.3) and Bobby Korecky (0.2). Silva pitched four solid seasons for the Twins before signing a nice free agent contract with Seattle, but most interesting for Silva was his 2005 season when he set a modern day record of 0.4 BB/9. Seriously, that is bizarre. Check out the single-season leader board and the next closest modern day player was Brett Saberhagen with a 0.65 BB/9 which is almost a 40% increase: http://www.baseball-...ne_season.shtml Nick Punto just announced his retirement but played seven super-utility seasons with the Twins before leaving and winning a World Series with St. Louis in 2011. Bobby Korecky, we hardly knew you, except for that time in 2008 when the Twins lost their DH and you had to come to bat in the 11th inning. Of course in that 11th inning you not only got a hit in your only career AB but also the win. That has to be worth more than 0.2 WAR, which surely proves WAR is worthless. THE DANNY MOTA BRANCH Back to the top and we get to Danny Mota, who would do next to nothing for the Twins, appearing in all of 5.1 innings at the MLB level. THE CRISTIAN GUZMAN BRANCH The last branch on the Knoblauch trade tree begins with Cristian Guzman. The speedy shortstop made one All-Star Game and led the league in triples three times. He left as a free agent to Washington, but in doing so, the Twins were rewarded with a compensation draft pick. Not a first-round pick because that was protected. Not a second-round pick because that was already lost, but a third-round pick in the 2005 draft which the Twins used to select Brian Duensing (6. 2WAR). Duensing was an unheralded prospect who made an immediate impact in 2009 and found himself pitching Game 1 of the ALDS against the Yankees. It did not go well. Duensing had another nice season in 2010 as a swing man before settling in as regular out of the pen. His seven years with the Twins matches Punto and Knoblauch himself in terms of number of seasons played for the Twins. SUMMARY In total, 19 players were acquired due to the first-round selection in the 1989 draft and a total of 94.6 WAR was gained. These trees can be found throughout baseball, and surely there are others as fruitful, but this one has interested me for a long time. All of the comical propositions of tossing Duensing into trade proposals the last couple of years were serious by me because I wanted this tree to keep growing. It, however, will not. EPILOGUE The Twins 1989 draft was fantastic. They drafted three players with career WARs over 20 in Knoblauch, Denny Neagle and Scott Erickson. They also drafted Marty Cordova, Mike Trombley and Denny Hocking. Some of these players produced unexpected fruit. The trade of Erickson for Scott Klingenbeck and Kimera Bartee is one of Ryan's best known failures. In 1992, Andy McPhail made a trade of Denny Neagle that would live on for years. In trading a top prospect in Neagle (something unbelievable for the Twins today), the Twins received John Smiley, a very good, but not great pitcher whom the Twins wanted/needed to replace the departed Jack Morris. Smiley pitched one fine year for the Twins before leaving, and in his place the Twins got a compensation pick in 1993 which they used to select Torii Hunter. When Hunter left, the Twins used his comp picks to select busts Carlos Gutierrez and Shooter Hunt. Also, while the Twins didn't get a comp pick for losing Marty Cordova (even though he had an .828 OPS the prior year), they did get one for losing Mike Trombley in 2000. They used that pick to select Aaron Heilman, who had a really nice MLB career, just not with the Twins because he refused to sign with them.
  17. Following Harmon Killebrew's historic home run versus the Yankees in 1965, the Twins competed for postseason spots annually for the next half dozen years. But they didn't return to the postseason until 1969 when they won the AL West under new and controversial manager Billy Martin, a former Yankee. Martin only managed the Twins that one year, as he was fired after several internal disagreements with the team and organization that included once incident in which he punched out his own starting pitcher.The Yankees, meanwhile struggled for a decade. They returned to relevance in the late 1970s thanks to a new economic development in Major League Baseball: free agency. Fueled by free agents like Catfish Hunter and Reggie Jackson, they returned to the postseason under argumentative manager, Billy Martin, winning two World Series. However, their window was shutting in the early 80s, just as the core of the next competitive Twins team was coming together. The Twins also won two World Series over the next decade - just in time to fade for another Yankees dynasty. That dynasty began May 29, 1995 when a rookie shortstop named Derek Jeter was called up to play with the Yankees. He joined a bumper crop of other homegrown talent such as Jorge Posada, Bernie Williams and Mariano Rivera to form the core of championship teams for almost two decades. The Yankees made the playoffs for thirteen straight years and seventeen of the next eighteen seasons. From 1996 through 2000, they won the World Series four times in five years and one more time the next decade. The Twins, meanwhile, had lost their mojo when Kirby Pucket lost the vision in his right eye. The losing became too much for star second baseman Chuck Knoblauch. Despite having recently signed a five-year, $30 million deal with the Twins, Knoblauch demanded a trade to a more competitive team. Terry Ryan accommodated him, sending him to the Yankees for a package of four prospects. Knoblauch led off for the Yankees and helped them win three of those championships from 1998-2000. Soon after, the Twins started their own return to relevance, helped in part by the package of prospects that they had received from the Yankees, which included shortstop Cristian Guzman and pitcher Eric Milton. Along with a their own homegrown talent such as Doug Mientiewicz, Corey Koskie, Jacque Jones, AJ Pierzynski and Torii Hunter, they stormed to the top of the AL Central in 2001. Fans started returning to the Metrodome, especially on nights where they Twins had deep discounts for students or sold hot dogs for $1. Ever since he had left the Twins, Knoblauch had endured boos in the Metrodome. However, late in his Yankees career, he was also enduring a case of "the yips" - he suddenly couldn't throw accurately to first base from his position at second base. Still valuable as a leadoff presence for the Yankees, Knoblauch was moved to left field in 2001. All those ingredients came together on May 2nd of 2001 to put Knoblauch in the proximity of the young, raucous Metrodome party crowd, loaded with beer and dollar dogs. In the fifth inning, Knoblauch was greeted with a handful hot dogs thrown from the bleachers but all hell broke loose in the sixth. Dogs, plastic beer bottles and coins rained down on left field towards the Damn Yankee. Yankees coach Joe Torre responded by pulling his team from the field. The Twins responded by having legendary public announcer Bob Casey scold the fans. "If this trouble does not stop in left field, this game will be forfeited and the Yankees will win," chided Casey. "NOW QUIT THAT." The possibility of forfeiting a game to the Damn Yankees helped to restore sanity. So did Twins manager Tom Kelley walking Knoblauch out to left field. During the game, 40 fans were evicted, and although there was a small recurrence in the 8th inning, order was restored. The "Knoblauch Hot Dog Game" coincided with the end of the Yankees series of World Championships, although they would continue to challenge for that title annually. It also coincided with the rise of the Twins after a decade's worth of dismal results, and ushered in a decade of division championships. But it also may have jinxed that next decade, as the Damn Yankees became the bane of the Twins - and especially new manager Ron Gardenhire's - existence. Next: A New Manager And The Damn Yankees Previously: Twins vs Yankees (Part 1): The Rise Of The Damn Yankees Twins vs Yankees (Part 2): How Killebrew Killed The Damn Yankees Click here to view the article
  18. The Yankees, meanwhile struggled for a decade. They returned to relevance in the late 1970s thanks to a new economic development in Major League Baseball: free agency. Fueled by free agents like Catfish Hunter and Reggie Jackson, they returned to the postseason under argumentative manager, Billy Martin, winning two World Series. However, their window was shutting in the early 80s, just as the core of the next competitive Twins team was coming together. The Twins also won two World Series over the next decade - just in time to fade for another Yankees dynasty. That dynasty began May 29, 1995 when a rookie shortstop named Derek Jeter was called up to play with the Yankees. He joined a bumper crop of other homegrown talent such as Jorge Posada, Bernie Williams and Mariano Rivera to form the core of championship teams for almost two decades. The Yankees made the playoffs for thirteen straight years and seventeen of the next eighteen seasons. From 1996 through 2000, they won the World Series four times in five years and one more time the next decade. The Twins, meanwhile, had lost their mojo when Kirby Pucket lost the vision in his right eye. The losing became too much for star second baseman Chuck Knoblauch. Despite having recently signed a five-year, $30 million deal with the Twins, Knoblauch demanded a trade to a more competitive team. Terry Ryan accommodated him, sending him to the Yankees for a package of four prospects. Knoblauch led off for the Yankees and helped them win three of those championships from 1998-2000. Soon after, the Twins started their own return to relevance, helped in part by the package of prospects that they had received from the Yankees, which included shortstop Cristian Guzman and pitcher Eric Milton. Along with a their own homegrown talent such as Doug Mientiewicz, Corey Koskie, Jacque Jones, AJ Pierzynski and Torii Hunter, they stormed to the top of the AL Central in 2001. Fans started returning to the Metrodome, especially on nights where they Twins had deep discounts for students or sold hot dogs for $1. Ever since he had left the Twins, Knoblauch had endured boos in the Metrodome. However, late in his Yankees career, he was also enduring a case of "the yips" - he suddenly couldn't throw accurately to first base from his position at second base. Still valuable as a leadoff presence for the Yankees, Knoblauch was moved to left field in 2001. All those ingredients came together on May 2nd of 2001 to put Knoblauch in the proximity of the young, raucous Metrodome party crowd, loaded with beer and dollar dogs. In the fifth inning, Knoblauch was greeted with a handful hot dogs thrown from the bleachers but all hell broke loose in the sixth. Dogs, plastic beer bottles and coins rained down on left field towards the Damn Yankee. Yankees coach Joe Torre responded by pulling his team from the field. The Twins responded by having legendary public announcer Bob Casey scold the fans. "If this trouble does not stop in left field, this game will be forfeited and the Yankees will win," chided Casey. "NOW QUIT THAT." The possibility of forfeiting a game to the Damn Yankees helped to restore sanity. So did Twins manager Tom Kelley walking Knoblauch out to left field. During the game, 40 fans were evicted, and although there was a small recurrence in the 8th inning, order was restored. The "Knoblauch Hot Dog Game" coincided with the end of the Yankees series of World Championships, although they would continue to challenge for that title annually. It also coincided with the rise of the Twins after a decade's worth of dismal results, and ushered in a decade of division championships. But it also may have jinxed that next decade, as the Damn Yankees became the bane of the Twins - and especially new manager Ron Gardenhire's - existence. Next: A New Manager And The Damn Yankees Previously: Twins vs Yankees (Part 1): The Rise Of The Damn Yankees Twins vs Yankees (Part 2): How Killebrew Killed The Damn Yankees
  19. Former Minnesota Twins' player Chuck Knoblauch has been using his Twitter account again on a regular basis and took the opportunity to throw shade at the recent announcement that the New York Yankees will retire Andy Pettite's number 46: https://twitter.com/chuckknoblauch/status/567154579192565760 Like Knoblauch, Pettitte was also implicated on the Mitchell Report for using HGH, which the pitcher confessed to in 2007. Knoblauch, on the other hand, never fully confessed to his usage of the banned substances. In the aftermath, Knoblauch would wind up engaging people who questioned why the second baseman would attack a former team member who, you know, aided in getting the infielder multiple World Series rings. Since his retirement, Knoblauch has been relatively reclusive from the game and was arrested for domestic assault. The Star Tribune's Amelia Rayno was able to procure an interview with him after he left the game and discussed her encounter with Knoblauch during a recent No Juice Podcast.
  20. NO JUICE PODCAST, EPISODE #33: BASEBALL TALK WITH AMELIA RAYNO Rayno, the Gophers Men's Basketball beat writer for the Star Tribune, shares her impressions on the press conference from the perspective of a reporter. In 2011, she wrote a fantastic profile on former Minnesota Twin Chuck Knoblauch, one of the first interactions he had with the media since his retirement. Knoblauch had retreated to his home and family in Houston, eschewing the baseball world since leaving the field. "He's very in his own head," Rayno said about Knoblauch, "I think that's his personality. He kind of relives a lot of things, even now. I think the reason he decided to do it, and now he's even talking about writing a book because he really just wants to get it out, get it off his chest. He feels like he's been misunderstood." "I think he was angry and legitimately confused about how he was treated in Minnesota. He was really young obviously when he asked to be traded," Rayno said regarding the fan reaction. "He's an extremely competitive person and he explained it years later 'I just wanted to win.'" For more on Hunter, Knoblauch and the Minnesota Gophers basketball team, listen below, on iTunes or on Stitcher: NO JUICE PODCAST, EPISODE #33: BASEBALL TALK WITH AMELIA RAYNO
  21. On this week's No Juice Podcast, Dan Anderson and Parker Hageman are joined by the Star Tribune's Amelia Rayno. They discuss the Torii Hunter signing, the subsequent press conference, interviewing Chuck Knoblauch and more. Click to listen below. NO JUICE PODCAST, EPISODE #33: BASEBALL TALK WITH AMELIA RAYNO Rayno, the Gophers Men's Basketball beat writer for the Star Tribune, shares her impressions on the press conference from the perspective of a reporter. In 2011, she wrote a fantastic profile on former Minnesota Twin Chuck Knoblauch, one of the first interactions he had with the media since his retirement. Knoblauch had retreated to his home and family in Houston, eschewing the baseball world since leaving the field. "He's very in his own head," Rayno said about Knoblauch, "I think that's his personality. He kind of relives a lot of things, even now. I think the reason he decided to do it, and now he's even talking about writing a book because he really just wants to get it out, get it off his chest. He feels like he's been misunderstood." "I think he was angry and legitimately confused about how he was treated in Minnesota. He was really young obviously when he asked to be traded," Rayno said regarding the fan reaction. "He's an extremely competitive person and he explained it years later 'I just wanted to win.'" For more on Hunter, Knoblauch and the Minnesota Gophers basketball team, listen below, on iTunes or on Stitcher: NO JUICE PODCAST, EPISODE #33: BASEBALL TALK WITH AMELIA RAYNO Click here to view the article
  22. Brett Jacobsen was released the other day, and it got me to thinking about the Chuck Knoblauch trade and how it still lives on in Minnesota. Knoblauch was traded to the Yankees for Eric Milton, Brian Buchanan, Cristian Guzman, and Danny Mota.Buchanan was traded to the Padres for Jason Bartlett. Milton was traded to the Phillies for Carlos Silva and Nick Punto. Guzman signed with Washington.Bartlett was traded with Delmon Young and Eduardo Morlan to the Rays for Delmon Young, Brendan Harris, and Jason Pridie. Silva and Punto left as free agents.Young was traded to the Tigers for Lestor Oliveros, who remains in the Twins system. Harris and JJ Hardy were traded to the Orioles for Jim Hoey and Brett Jacobsen.That leaves Oliveros as the last product of the Knoblauch trade, unless I am missing something... perhaps a draft pick for losing Silva? I don't know.
×
×
  • Create New...