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  1. Welcome to the 2021 edition of Twins' Baseball. Twins Daily plans to have a game thread during the regular season for every game (one thread only for a doubleheader). The focus of the game thread should be on that day's contest and it is expected that the content of the thread will be provided by regular TD Twins fans. Each thread will require an introduction and I have accepted the task of organizing the introductions. I will post a Google Doc for each month usually 1-2 weeks before the month is started, meaning that I'm already late for the April edition. I'm looking for volunteers to post all game introductions. I'll also be the person to contact if you're unable to provide an intro that you've signed up for. Introductions should be posted at least an hour before first pitch but it is preferred that they be posted after lineups have been announced. The content of an introduction should be related to the day's game, but doesn't have to be hard news or analysis of that tilt. One could discuss uniforms, favorite players, reminiscences, strategy and really anything in the wide range of topics that relate to baseball. We will apparently have a full season of games and at least some fans will be in the stands this year. That should provide opportunities for anyone interested in doing an introduction to try their luck. I hope for a mixture of experienced intro writers and newbies to provide this content. If interested, send me a message and I'll do my best to hook you up with preferred game dates. If you have any questions about game threads, the signup procedure or any other specifics, get in touch with me. This thread will be pinned in the Minnesota Twins Talk forum and I'll post the Google Doc downthread as well as any adjustments, omissions or changes. It should be a fun season. I hope we can make Twins Daily Game Threads the place to be (on the web) for Twins games this season.
  2. Doesn’t it seem like the MLB missed on a slam dunk by not scheduling more day games (see any weekday games)? When we have more people working from home, staying indoors in the evenings, and playoff basketball and hockey (as unreal as that is) doesn’t it seem ludicrous that there aren’t more (if not MOST) day games being played during the week? Why did baseball get this so backwards? Listening to baseball on the radio is a national pastime, as is watching a day game, and yet with more and more people either stuck at home during the day due to COVID or the changing work environment (more jobs being done from home) the MLB decided to fight playoff basketball and playoff hockey during prime time television hours EVERY DAY of he week! sorry, I’m just curious if I’m the only person that feels this way. Enjoy your dinner and tiny tablet screen-viewing. Brent (Twins fan living in nyc).
  3. A little over a week ago, Joel Sherman introduced a potential playoff expansion idea that commissioner Manfred may allegedly be considering. Our Matthew Lenz covered it here. That led me to do some thinking: What if the whole schedule and playoff system was completely destroyed and we started over from scratch?What could it look like? How could MLB promote more exciting baseball? Is 162 the right amount of games? Is the inclusion of reality TV a real thing? Is it logistically even possible? So I came up with an idea. It's a little crazy, (I think) more exciting, fewer games, includes weekly reality TV and (most likely) would be a logistical mess (in every aspect imaginable). But would be all sorts of entertaining. Oh, and it includes two new expansion teams. We need 32 teams for this to work. Phase 1 runs for 13.5 weeks and each team plays 27 three-games series. The phase runs from March 25 until June 27. Each team would play each division opponent for five series (15 games x 3 teams = 45 total games) and each league opponent in one three-game series (12 teams x 3 games = 36 games.) The first phase would be 81 total games. You would alternate home-field advantage (and the 41st home game) every other year. At the conclusion of Phase 1, each team would get a full week off, which includes all the All-Star Game festivities, and, potentially, the trade deadline. Phase 2 is where things start to get different. It will be exclusively five-game series for nine weeks, with those games all being played between Tuesday and Sunday. It's also the beginning of the "playoffs." Crazy, huh? Stay with me. Only the teams that finished Phase 1 in fourth place would play a best-of-five series in the first week, though. The other 12 teams in each league would match up with an opposing division and play a five-game series, with the games counting towards their overall record. In the second week of Phase 2, the two third-place teams with the worst record would play the fourth-place winners, with the fourth-place losers also facing off (all ties would be broken with head-to-head games, as everyone plays league opponents, initially, an odd amount of times). Non-playoff teams would play an interleague opponent. This is where Manfred can get his reality TV. The third-place team with the best record gets to choose which fourth-place winner they want to play. Depending on how far in advance MLB wants to do things, they could also announce all other weekly matchups. Teams all travel on Monday and all tickets go on sale Monday morning (which would help limit after-market sales, maybe). I have the whole bracket made up here, if you're interested. Essentially, over the nine-week phase you slowly introduce all the teams into a bracket-style tournament. Each week culminating with a primetime, Sunday Night two-hour show that reveals and previews the next week. Yes, Sunday Night baseball would probably have to go. Yes, Monday is probably now baseball-less. And, yes, you also don't know where or when your favorite team will be playing for the upcoming week until days in advance. (Though I imagine someone smarter than me could work out these kinks.) Over those nine weeks, no team will play more than 45 games. Some teams (if swept or sweep in best-of-five sets) could play as little as 27 games. (Though you could make those best-of-five series a regular five-game series if you really wanted to. Again, that's for someone smarter to decide.) Phase 3 would begin in early September - right in time to compete with the NFL - and the first two weeks would include all teams, all would have a chance to make what would eventually become a more traditional playoff look. All best-of-seven series over a ten-game stretch. (The four teams in each league that lose in both Weeks 1 and 2 would be eliminated and could enter an 8-team tournament to determine draft order.) If you look at the bracket, you'll notice a lot of "battle back" games starting at week 8; teams looking to re-enter for the chance to win the World Series. That would end after Week 11, when the four winners in each league enter the Division Series (week 12). The winners then play the Championship Series (week 13). The season would be capped off by the World Series (week 14) which would take place between October 17 and October 26. It would be a seismic shift. Fewer games. More intrigue. And fascinating to think about. Little changes are silly. Big, out-of-the-box changes, though, might just attract new fans, all while keeping the old ones. Click here to view the article
  4. What could it look like? How could MLB promote more exciting baseball? Is 162 the right amount of games? Is the inclusion of reality TV a real thing? Is it logistically even possible? So I came up with an idea. It's a little crazy, (I think) more exciting, fewer games, includes weekly reality TV and (most likely) would be a logistical mess (in every aspect imaginable). But would be all sorts of entertaining. Oh, and it includes two new expansion teams. We need 32 teams for this to work. Phase 1 runs for 13.5 weeks and each team plays 27 three-games series. The phase runs from March 25 until June 27. Each team would play each division opponent for five series (15 games x 3 teams = 45 total games) and each league opponent in one three-game series (12 teams x 3 games = 36 games.) The first phase would be 81 total games. You would alternate home-field advantage (and the 41st home game) every other year. At the conclusion of Phase 1, each team would get a full week off, which includes all the All-Star Game festivities, and, potentially, the trade deadline. Phase 2 is where things start to get different. It will be exclusively five-game series for nine weeks, with those games all being played between Tuesday and Sunday. It's also the beginning of the "playoffs." Crazy, huh? Stay with me. Only the teams that finished Phase 1 in fourth place would play a best-of-five series in the first week, though. The other 12 teams in each league would match up with an opposing division and play a five-game series, with the games counting towards their overall record. In the second week of Phase 2, the two third-place teams with the worst record would play the fourth-place winners, with the fourth-place losers also facing off (all ties would be broken with head-to-head games, as everyone plays league opponents, initially, an odd amount of times). Non-playoff teams would play an interleague opponent. This is where Manfred can get his reality TV. The third-place team with the best record gets to choose which fourth-place winner they want to play. Depending on how far in advance MLB wants to do things, they could also announce all other weekly matchups. Teams all travel on Monday and all tickets go on sale Monday morning (which would help limit after-market sales, maybe). I have the whole bracket made up here, if you're interested. Essentially, over the nine-week phase you slowly introduce all the teams into a bracket-style tournament. Each week culminating with a primetime, Sunday Night two-hour show that reveals and previews the next week. Yes, Sunday Night baseball would probably have to go. Yes, Monday is probably now baseball-less. And, yes, you also don't know where or when your favorite team will be playing for the upcoming week until days in advance. (Though I imagine someone smarter than me could work out these kinks.) Over those nine weeks, no team will play more than 45 games. Some teams (if swept or sweep in best-of-five sets) could play as little as 27 games. (Though you could make those best-of-five series a regular five-game series if you really wanted to. Again, that's for someone smarter to decide.) Phase 3 would begin in early September - right in time to compete with the NFL - and the first two weeks would include all teams, all would have a chance to make what would eventually become a more traditional playoff look. All best-of-seven series over a ten-game stretch. (The four teams in each league that lose in both Weeks 1 and 2 would be eliminated and could enter an 8-team tournament to determine draft order.) If you look at the bracket, you'll notice a lot of "battle back" games starting at week 8; teams looking to re-enter for the chance to win the World Series. That would end after Week 11, when the four winners in each league enter the Division Series (week 12). The winners then play the Championship Series (week 13). The season would be capped off by the World Series (week 14) which would take place between October 17 and October 26. It would be a seismic shift. Fewer games. More intrigue. And fascinating to think about. Little changes are silly. Big, out-of-the-box changes, though, might just attract new fans, all while keeping the old ones.
  5. We are inching closer to Opening Day 2019 and, don’t look now but, current forecasts make it seem plausible that the Twins will be hosting the defending American League (AL) Central Division Champions Cleveland Indians on March 28th at 3:10pm. The Thursday, Saturday, Sunday series will be the only three games of the homestand before they start their first road trip traveling to Kansas City, the new look Phillies, and the Mets of New York. April (12 home, 13 away, 5 off) Outside of three games versus the Phillies and five games versus the Houston Astros, the Twins have the opportunity to take advantage of an easy schedule in the first full month of the season. This includes a seven-game homestand versus the Tigers and Blue Jays in mid-April and six total games versus the Baltimore Orioles. May (13 home, 15 away, 3 off) Things get a little tougher in May as their first five games are versus Houston at home (2) and New York Yankees at Yankees Stadium (3). They will face a solid, but not great Angels (6) and Rays (2) team eight times throughout the month and will host the Brewers for two games towards the end of the month. The Blue Jays, Tigers, Mariners, and White Sox are also on the docket and will all be series the Twins really need to win. June (12 home, 15 away, 3 off) The third month of the year could be a pivotal month for the Twins as 16 of their 27 games come against division foes, and only three of those games are versus the Indians in Cleveland. That said, five games against the Rays and three games against the Red Sox at Target Field will be a challenge and, specifically with the Rays, could have Wild Card tiebreaker implications down the road. July (12 home, 12 away, 7 off) July will be another important month for the Twins as 13 of their games will be against teams who will likely be in the thick of the developing playoff race. Ten of those aforementioned games will be immediately following the All-Star Break in Cleveland for three games and hosting the A’s and Yankees for seven games. If they struggle during that stretch, then they have the opportunity of playing the White Sox and Marlins to end the month. August (16 home, 12 away, 3 off) The “dog days of summer” will be something the Twins look forward to this season...kind of (see below). They have a tough 10 game homestand where they will face the Braves (3) and Indians (4) followed by two games in Milwaukee. Outside of those nine games, the other 19 will be against teams who are currently projected for 74 wins or less according to Vegas. September (13 home, 14 away, 3 off) Uf-dah (why does my Grammarly recognize this as a word?). In the months final season, the Twins will have twelve consecutive games against teams who will likely be battling for a playoff spot, including six critical games against the Indians. The other six will be at Fenway and versus the Nationals at home. Unfortunately, these games occur earlier in the month which makes it less likely these teams have clinched anything at that point. This is by far the toughest stretch of the season and it comes during the most important time of the season. I should mention that they end the season with 13 games versus the bottom three teams in the division. Notes of Interest The longest homestand of the season is ten games versus August 2nd through August 11th versus the Royals, Braves, and Indians. The longest road trip of the season is 10 games and 12 days, including a day of travel, starting May 29th and going through June 9th versus the Rays, Indians, and Tigers. There must be some labor law I’m unaware of that teams will have at least one off day in a two-week period as the Twins play on 13 consecutive games at a few different points throughout the season. That said, the Twins do have three different stretches of 26 games in 27 days including two such stretches that occur at the beginning and very end of August. The most difficult stretch of the season was mentioned above, but what should be the easiest stretch of the seasons occurs in the 17 games leading up to the trip to Fenway. Those 17 games will be against the Rangers, White Sox, and Tigers. Notable Promotions - follow the link for full list March 28th (Opening Day) v. Cleveland - Twins Puffer Vest April 27th v. Orioles - Twins Plaid Flap Cap May 24th v. White Sox - Joe Mauer Bobblehead #1 June 15th v. Royals - Joe Mauer Day & No. 7 Baseball Cap July 19th v. Athletics - Joe Mauer Bobblehead #2 August 3rd v. Royals - Joe Nathan Hall of Fame Bobblehead August 4th v. Royals - Joe Nathan and Jerry Bell Hall of Fame Pins August 24th v. Tigers - Joe Mauer Bobblehead #3 September 7th v. Indians - Joe Mauer Bobblehead #4 Breaking down a schedule is an interesting exercise. Not that you’re ever going to feel bad for someone making millions of dollars, but you can definitely appreciate how grueling the Major League Baseball season is. What are you looking forward to this upcoming Twins season? Any games or series you have your eye on right away? Let me know if the comments!
  6. Texas has closed to one game behind the Astros and the two teams are tied in the loss column. It looks to me like the Rangers have a real good chance to overtake Houston and claim the AL West crown. It means that the Twins would have to catch the Astros for the final playoff position (second Wild Card). Houston and Texas play each seven times the rest of the way and the good news is that someone will lose each one of those games. I have a playoff related question as well: if Houston, Texas and Minnesota all finish the regular season with the same record, do the Twins automatically get the second Wild Card? My thought is that is the case because Texas and Houston would play a Game 163 to determine the winner of their division and the loser would be a half game worse than the team they were tied with after 162 games. Still not sure on that, though.
  7. The updated Postseason Probability is now all the way to 7.6%! The Twins even passed the Tigers in this category, with the Tigers losing and the Twins winning at Baltimore. I'm guessing that with less than a quarter of the season remaining, each day's wins and losses change the percentage pretty dramatically (relatively speaking). Other percentages of note: KC-100%, New York and Toronto-95%, Houston-93%, Angels 27%, Texas 30%, Tampa 25%, Baltimore 17%. This info is available at mlb.com provided by Baseball Prospectus.
  8. The Twins have 40 games remaining and currently sit two behind the Angels, who hold the second wild card at this point. The Twins have games remaining with the Rays, the Orioles and the Angels so they could gain ground by winning head to head against teams that are in competition for the wild card. Here's the math: 25-15. .625 baseball, which I think would net the team a wild card. 24-16. .600 baseball, I think they make postseason with 85 wins, or at least have a play-in to the play-in game. 21-19. Would give the Twins a winning record, but they would be watching the playoffs. 20-20. .500 on the nose, still a success given the expectations. 15-19 wins. Improvement, no 90 loss season, but still a losing record. The team has 21 road games and 19 home games. They play 25 of their remaining games against the Central, with other games against Baltimore (2), Houston (6), Tampa (3) and the Angels (4). I'm saying they have a little spurt here and end up with 82 wins, but end up watching the playoffs. I am probably too optimistic after watching May and Jepsen close yesterday's game. If May could have been the 8th inning guy for a month, I think they might have won a couple more games.
  9. September 1 is just around the corner (less than two weeks). The Twins are out of playoff contention and no trades will be made after September 1, so the team should call up anyone who interests them for the future on that date. However, for the first time in years, Rochester has a chance to make the International League playoffs. Normally, just about everyone on the 40-man roster would be recalled if they were going good or at least okay. That would include Hicks, Mastroianni, Escobar, Colabello, Tonkin, Hendriks, Diamond, Parmelee, and Hernandez (if he is healthy). With the Red Wings knocking on the door, I suppose most of these guys will stay in Rochester until they are eliminated. I expect one or two pitchers to fill the starting rotation for the Twins, other than that all hands on deck for the Red Wings.
  10. Of the Twins' first 25 games (eight series), the will play just 6 games against teams who finished last year below .500. They start with the terrible Orioles and play the on-the-rise Royals at the end of April. Their other 19 games aren't just against good teams, they're against the best teams in the AL. Here's how it looks: vs. Angels - 3 games from April 9-12.vs. Rangers - 3 games from April 13-15.@ Yankees - 4 games from April 16-19.@ Rays - 3 games from April 20-22.vs. Red Sox - 3 games from April 23-25.@ Angels - 3 games from April 30-May 1.These five teams averaged 92 wins between them last year even with the now much improved Angels winning just 86 games. Yikes. We'll definitely get a sense of what this team can do after this gauntlet. The silver lining in all of this is that Minnesota is getting all the hard games out of the way early while their hitters are still healthy (fingers crossed). Either this will be an ugly first month or a pleasant start to a surprise season for the Twins.
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