The Franchise 2002 (Position Players)

July 29, 2014

C AJ Pierzynski 2.3 WAR
While Pierzynski continued to be a consistent performer for the Twins in his second full season, his reputation for talking during games started to become more and more public. A “jackass” is the term Oakland closer Billy Koch used to describe Pierzysnki. Gardenhire appreciated the edge that the team gained from Pierzynski’s antics:

“Actually, it’s entertaining for me to watch guys get mad at him,” he said. “Then I know it’s taking away from their game.”

1B Doug Mientkiewicz 1.5 WAR
After flirting with .400 at the start of the 2001 season, Mientkiewicz’ batting average hovered around the .240 mark much of the season, causing a lot of concern from fans and from the player himself. The standard line in reports was that he still was a strong defender but he was struggling at the plate. Occasionally his .365 on-base percentage was mentioned, but it was still an undervalued skill at the time. Overall, his production was down, but 2002 was not as disappointing of a season for Mientkiewicz as it seemed at the time to many.

2B Luis Rivas -0.2 WAR
Rivas’ play did not improve. Though the Twins gave a returning Jay Canizaro some time at second base, there was never a time when Rivas’ job seemed to be in jeopardy.

SS Cristian Guzman 1.4 WAR
Whether it was due to lingering injuries or just natural regression, Guzman took a giant step back from his All-Star performance in 2001. Perhaps due to the fact that he flashed some brilliance a season before, Guzman seemed to get more pressure from management and fans to improve than his double play partner.

3B Corey Koskie 4.0 WAR
Another year, another really good season from Corey Koskie. At age 29, however, he was starting to show signs of breaking down. 2002 began a steady decline of appearances and an increase in disabled list visits.

LF Jacque Jones 5.4 WAR
One of Ron Gardenhire’s first moves as manager was to make Jacque Jones the every day lead off hitter despite his struggles against left-handed pitching. Jones responded with a monster season, his best in the major leagues. Though he improved against lefties, he still had a fairly drastic split (.590 vs. .952 OPS) and would have been better utilized with a right-handed platoon partner.

CF Torii Hunter 3.5 WAR
On a July 17th game at Cleveland, Torri Hunter took a Danys Baez pitch in the ribs. In response, he picked up the baseball and fired back at the Cleveland pitcher. Hunter was tossed from the game and served a three-game suspension later in the season. This came less than two weeks after Hunter became the hero of the famous Bud Selig All-Star tie game when he leaped over the fence to  take a home run away from Barry Bonds. Hunter had his best year so far at the plate, and won his second consecutive Gold Glove, cementing himself as the standout player of the young team.

RF Bobby Kielty 2.7 WAR
RF Dustan Mohr 2.2 WAR
RF Michael Cuddyer 0.8 WAR
While Gardenhire did not want to platoon in left field, right field was a different story. When the team dealt Brian Buchanan early in the season, it left a right-field by committee situation. As it settled for the bulk of the season, Dustan Mohr played against left-handed pitching and Bobby Kielty played against right-handed pitching. That all changed late in the season when Michael Cuddyer was called up and earned the starting job for the playoffs by impressing Ron Gardenhire with his play in September.

DH David Ortiz 1.3 WAR
While David Ortiz produced with a career year and was reportedly the most popular Twin in the clubhouse, he was still considered a frustration to management. Some of it was due to injuries, but the history of the Twins and David Ortiz seemed to have been a rocky one from the start in the mid-90’s, when the team reportedly tried to teach him to shorten his stroke and punch balls up the middle or hit them the other way. Ortiz was very critical of this approach after he was gone, and the results on the field once he moved on seem to suggest he might have been right. In any case, rather than offering the DH arbitration, the Twins decided to release him in December of 2002. He went on, of course, to have a Hall of Fame career with the Boston Red Sox, but it is easy to forget that every other team passed on Ortiz when the Twins let him go.

UT Denny Hocking 0.1 WAR
Hocking’s 2002 may best be remembered as the time when he made the last out of the ALDS only to sustain an injury in the celebration that caused him to miss the ALCS.

 


Half-Baked Hall Profile: Cap Anson

July 27, 2014

Adrian Constantine Anson 1852-1922
Anson

First Base, Third Base, Catcher

Rockford Forest Citys 1871
Philadelphia Athletics 1872-1875
Chicago White Stockings/Colts 1876-1897

Career WAR: 93.9

Best Season: 1881 84 G .399/.442/.510/.952 172 OPS+ 82 RBI 5.8 WAR

Quote:

“The time may have been, and probably was, when base-ball was as rotten as horse racing, but that time has gone by. The men in control of base-ball matters are of the highest personal character, and no one will say anything against them. As to the charges against any individual player, I will believe them when they have been proved. Every thing [sic] possible has been done to protect the patrons of the National game, and efforts in that direction will never be abated. I don’t know of any crookedness in the ball field. If I did I’d undoubtedly say something about it.”

Known For: A career .334 hitter, at 6’2” 200 lbs, he was a huge man for his time. exceptional bat control, became player manager in 1877, belligerence towards opponents and umpires, perhaps the game’s first true national celebrity.

The Bad: One of the key figures in forcing black players out of professional baseball, was rated as the top bettor on baseball during the era.

3,000 Hits?: For a long time Anson was credited as baseball’s first 3,000 hit man. In fact, B=R lists him as having 3,435. That number is controversial for several reasons. First, it counts his time in the National Association from 1871-1875. MLB.com still does not count those hits. The first edition of Macmillan’s Baseball Encyclopedia published in 1969 gave him credit for just 2,995. Since then, historians have adjusted the number and it currently sits on 3,012.

Keep Your Day Job: Anson had a number of failed business attempts during and after his baseball career. Among those were a failed handball arena and bottled beer that exploded on the shelves. His most successful ventures were Bowling, in which he captained a championship team in 1904, and taking his family across the country performing a vaudeville act.

Not Even a Very Good Racist: Though his racist behavior was well documented, Anson probably gets too much credit for driving black players out of white baseball. It’s not that he wasn’t trying, but his influence over the rest of baseball has been pretty consistently overstated. He was a star on the field but by most accounts was not well respected by his peers, who would be unlikely to follow his lead if they weren’t moving that way on their own. At best, it is possible that without Anson, black players would have played a few more years before being completely eliminated from organized white baseball.

The best thing that can be said about Anson is that he was such a dominant player for such a long time that he is a Hall of Fame player and was elected by the WGOM in spite of his off-the-field failings.

Comments from Voters:

“I know it’s apples and oranges, but I think this hurt baseball more than Pete Rose did. That said, still voting for him. Anson helped make baseball popular as well in addition to the gaudy numbers.” – Beau

WGOM Election Results Page

SABR Bio

Actual Hall of Fame Page

 

 


The Franchise 2002 (Part 1)

July 24, 2014

2002 Minnesota Twins

Manager: Ron Gardenhire 1st season (1st with Minnesota 94-67)
94 W 67 L 768 RS 712 RA 1st AL Central 13.5 GA (Chicago 81-81)
4.77 RPG (AL = 4.81) 4.12 ERA (AL = 4.46)
.703 DER (4th AL)

All Stars (3) Eddie Guardado, Torii Hunter, AJ Pierzynski

Franchise (1901-2002) 7510-8227-111; 31-35 Post Season; 19-21 WS
Washington (1901-1960) 4214-4864-104; 8-11 WS
Minnesota (1961-2002) 3296-3363-7; 23-24 Post Season; 11-10 WS

Although contraction had run into some significant legal walls, particularly in Minnesota, there was still some buzz that it might be on the table as the 2002 season opened.

While Selig’s plan loomed over the Twins like a storm cloud, it wasn’t enough to dampen the spirits of Twins fans who finally got  a taste of a winning team in 2001. The Twins only figured to be better in 2002, and that’s exactly what happened.

It is difficult to envision a small market team with more promise than this version of the Twins. Perhaps the biggest testament to this team is the career successes of its individual players, most of which occurred after the 2002 season. The roster had future stars (Hunter, Ortiz, Santana), and a load of future All-Stars and players who would play key roles on championship teams (sadly, with other teams). Additionally, the team had both Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer playing in the minor leagues at the time.

In some ways they lived up to the promise of 2002, bringing winning baseball to Minnesota for the bulk of the decade. Still, those Twins teams were never the best in the American League (maybe in 2006…) and they benefited a great deal from playing in a weak Central Division. In 2002, however, the playoff failures had not happened yet and it was a great time to be a Twins fan.


Half-Baked Hall Profile: Old Hoss Radbourn

July 22, 2014

Charles Gardner Radbourn 1854-1897
100213-MLB-Hoss-Radbourn-TV-ia2_20131002200713983_0_0

Pitcher
Providence Grays 1881-1885
Boston Beaneaters 1886-1889
Boston Reds 1890
Cincinnati Reds 1891

Quote:

Tired of tossing a little five-ounce baseball for two hours? I used to be a butcher. From four in the morning until eight at night, I knocked down steers with a 25-pound sledge. Tired from playing two hours a day for 10 times the money I used to get for 16 hours a day? – Old Hoss after being asked if he got tired from pitching so often.

Career WAR: 77.2 Total (73.5 Pitching)

Best Season: 1884 59-12 1.38 ERA 205 ERA+ 2.75 FIP 0.922 WHIP 19.1 WAR 73 GS 73 CG 678.2 IP

Known For: May have put together the finest single season for a pitcher in history in 1884, one of the first pitchers to vary his arm angles, known as one of the top fielding pitchers of his era, maintains a Twitter account even though he has been dead for more than a century.

The Bad: Was suspended at least twice in his career for “slovenly” play. Feuded with a teammate Charlie Sweeney during the 1884 season.

The Interesting: Where to start? During his feud with Sweeney, Hoss reportedly lost a game on purpose by throwing lob pitches (this is in his 59-12 season), earning one of his suspensions. Sweeney was the only pitcher left on the roster, and the pressure without his teammate/rival Hoss around got to be too much. Sweeney quit the team in the middle of a game in a drunken fit. Old Hoss, though still on suspension, suddenly had some leverage with the team, and made the deal that he would pitch the team to the pennant in exchange for some contractual changes, including a raise and an exemption from the reserve clause. The Grays agreed, and Old Hoss started 41 of the team’s last 51 games, and at one point won 18 straight, and, of course, led the team to the pennant.

Innovations that didn’t quite stick: Hoss experiemented with a pitch that bounced in the dirt then crossed the plate at the strike zone. Though there was nothing in the rules stating it was not legal, the umpires did not allow it. One newspaper report insisted that he pitched with both arms, though there is no other evidence that he was ambidextrous. He also was (incorrectly) credited with inventing the change up.

Hall of Fame Facial Hair: Check.

Flipping the Bird on Camera: First ever.

Training: A quart of whiskey every day.

After Baseball: Owned and operated a saloon and billiards parlor. Was shot in the face in a hunting accident in 1894. Died of complications due to syphilis.

About Getting Shot: There were rumors prior to the 1884 season that Radbourn had been shot in the thigh by a “female acquaintance” – it turned out the person who was shot was a cousin Old Hoss.

Comments from Voters:

“Also, as your filling out your ballots, remember to toss Old Hoss some love. I didn’t think I would have to mention that, but here we are, not voting for a man so good at baseball that he inspired a man born in a different century to fake a Twitter account for him.” – Nibbish

“has anyone tweeted this honor to Old Hoss from the WGOM account?” – Cheaptoy
“Do we want that bastard to know? ;-)” – brianS

WGOM Election Results Page

SABR Bio

Actual HOF Page

 

 

 

 

 


The Franchise 2001 (Pitchers)

July 20, 2014

SP Joe Mays 6.7 WAR
At age 25 everything came together for Joe Mays. In 2000, opposing batters got on base at a .364 rate and had an OPS of .825. In 2001 Mays allowed opposing batters just .289 OBP and .653 OPS. Interestingly, his strikeout rate, which was not high for MLB standards, went down in 2001. Instead, Mays got outs by the famous “pitching to contact” mantra that the Twins preached heavily in the decade (his walk rate fell as well). Opposing players put about the same number of balls in play against Mays as they had the previous season, but BABIP indicates that Mays improved from .327 to .246, in part due to a 10% drop in his line drive rate. Some of that likely was due to better command, but some of it was due to luck as well. In summary, Mays was not a dominant pitcher, but everything came together for him in 2001. In retrospect, it really isn’t a surprise that he came back down to earth in subsequent seasons.

SP Brad Radke 4.5 WAR
This was the 6th consecutive very good season for Radke. While he had always been a very good control pitcher, he maintained a major league high 1.0 BB/9 rate throughout the 2001 season. Aside from that, the only major difference between 2001 and previous seasons is that, for the first time in his career, Radke had a winning team to pitch for.

SP Eric Milton 3.6 WAR
Eric Milton starred in a couple of games that served to announce the Twins presence as a contender. The first was on April 15, when he struck out 10 in 7 innings of work, including the first four batters he faced, to help the Twins complete a four-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox and improve their record to 9-2. The second came on May 8, when he shutout the powerful Yankees, allowing just four hits.

SP Kyle Lohse -0.1 WAR
SP JC Romero -0.6 WAR
SP Rick Reed -0.1 WAR
The Twins had three very good starters at the top of the rotation, but spent the bulk of the season searching for a solid #4 and #5. At the beginning of the season Mark Redman looked to be a solid fourth starter, but injury derailed him and he was ultimately traded to address the closer problem. Lohse and Romero each got long looks as starting pitchers, and Kelly also had Adam Johnson, Brad Thomas, and Johan Santana start some games as well. With little success, the Twins turned to the trade market and acquired Rick Reed from the Mets. Reed had an undistinguished major league career with several teams from 1988-1995. He briefly came to spring training as a replacement player in 1995. Despite some pushback from other players when the strike ended, Reed began to make some noise with the New York Mets, earning a couple of trips to the All Star game, including in 2001. His performance down the stretch wasn’t very good for the Twins, however.

CL LaTroy Hawkins -0.7 WAR
Based on his strong performance out of the bullpen in 2000, Hawkins earned the job as the team’s closer in 2001. Simply put, as closer he was a mess. Despite finishing the year with 28 saves, Hawkins sported an ugly 5.96 ERA. While he was never really a strong control pitcher, his BB rate ballooned from a career rate of about 3.5 per 9 IP to 6.8 in 2001. He lost the closer role when the team traded for Todd Jones in August, though ultimately it was Eddie Guardado who took over. In short, 2001 was forgettable for Hawkins, and the team and fans were left wondering if he was finished as a major league caliber pitcher.

RP Eddie Guardado 1.3 WAR
Guardado had another very strong season, so much so that he was installed as the team’s closer at the end of the season. It went so well that Guardado would start the 2002 season as the team’s full time closer.

RP Hector Carrasco 0.3 WAR
RP Bob Wells 0.0 WAR
RP Travis Miller -0.1 WAR
In all the excitement of 2001, there was one area where the team seemed to take a few steps back. Carrasco, Wells, and Miller had quietly been the nucleus of the team’s area of strength from 1998-2000: the bullpen. In 2001 the bullpen was no longer the team’s strength, not just due to the high profile struggles of the team’s closer. These three all struggled to maintain the form of the previous seasons. Aside from a handful of innings for Wells and Miller in 2002, none of these three would pitch for the Twins again.


The Franchise 2001 (Position Players)

July 17, 2014

C AJ Pierzynski 1.8 WAR
C Tom Prince 0.7 WAR
Though he had stints with the team in each of the previous three seasons, 2001 was technically AJ Pierzynski’s rookie season. The 24-year-old solidified himself as the team’s catcher of the future by performing well enough in 2001. The Twins brought in 36-year-old journeyman back up catcher Tom Prince to back up Pierzynski. Prince’s first major league action came in 1987, the year that Tom Kelly won a World Series as a rookie manager.

1B Doug Mientkiewicz 2.8 WAR
In his second full major league season it looked as though Doug Mientkiewicz was on his way. He was mostly known for his defense at first base. Advanced fielding statistics don’t necessarily bear out his defensive reputation (in 2001 he was a 0 Total Zone Rating), and given that first base is to the far left of the defensive spectrum his value as a fielder was definitely overblown. By the same token, he was underrated as a hitter, particularly in 2001 and 2003, when he posted 123 and 122 OPS+ respectively. He was a different kind of first basemen in an era were most were still the hulking power hitters, but Mientkiewicz produced by getting on base on a .387 clip and sprinkling in some power as well (15 home runs – a number that stands as his career high).

2B Luis Rivas 0.0 WAR
The Twins signed Luis Rivas as a free agent out of Venezuela in 1995 when he was only 16. For all of the hopes the Twins had placed on Rivas to hold down second base for the future, he was not very good in his debut as a 21 year old. In fairness to the organization, it is likely the plan was to have Jay Canizaro play second for 2001 while Rivas continued to get minor league experience, but injury erased Canizaro as a possibility, so the team went with the rookie. The company line was that he was a good fielder, but the reality was that he was a -14 defender in 2001.

SS Cristian Guzman 4.8 WAR
Guzman earned a reputation as one of the most exciting players in baseball when he led the league with 20 triples in 2000. While his number was down in 2001 (14 triples – still AL leader), he was an all-around better player and gave the Twins and their fans hope that he would be very good for a long time. In addition to improved offense, Guzman was a +8 shortstop in 2001. All told, his performance earned him an All Star appearance and MVP consideration at the end of the season (he finished 16th in the voting).

3B Corey Koskie 6.3 WAR
Writing about Corey Koskie is getting to feel like a broken record. Another season in which he was the team’s most valuable offensive player. Add to that the fact that he was a +16 player at third base in 2001, and it is difficult to understand why he did not get more recognition at the time, and why he continues to be overlooked as one of the best players of the new millennium Twins. Historically, he is lost among the Morneaus and Mauers, but of his contemporaries, Koskie did not get as much attention as Hunter, Guzman, Pierynski, and Mientkiewicz. Yet he was more valuable to the team than all of them.

LF Jacque Jones 1.3 WAR
Jones vs. RHP (461 PA) .288/.349/.445/.794; 14 HR
Jones vs. LHP (59 PA) .182/.224/.200/.424; 0 HR
In his second full season in the Twins outfield, Jones difficulty with lefties did not seem to be going away. It was noticed by Tom Kelly, who started Jacque in just 5 games against left-handed starting pitchers.

CF Torii Hunter 4.7 WAR
Hunter’s reputation for center field defense exploded in 2001, and for good reason. He was a +20 fielder in 2001, up from -4 the year before. He won the first of his nine consecutive gold gloves in 2001, despite the fact that he never would again even approach the success he had in the field in 2001.

RF Matt Lawton 2.2 WAR
Terry Ryan broke up the short-lived soul patrol when he dealt Lawton to the Mets for veteran starter Rick Reed at the trade deadline. It was truly a case of selling high. Lawton was in the midst of what looked to be his best season since 1998, possibly even better. He struggled against National League pitching for the rest of the season, however, and though he had some decent seasons before retiring in 2006, never again played as well as he did for the first few months of the 2001 season. In his absence, the Twins covered right field by committee, using Brian Buchanan (0.7 WAR), Dustan Mohr (0.1 WAR), and Bobby Kielty (0.1 WAR).

DH David Ortiz 0.3 WAR
Ortiz was batting .311/.386/.611/.997 with 6 HR when he broke his wrist in Kansas City on May 4. When he returned towards the end of July, he showed flashes of that same success, but was unable to consistently keep those numbers up. He ended the season in a slump, finishing with a .234/.324/.475/.799 slash line.

UT Denny Hocking 0.2 WAR
After a spike in offense in 2000, Hocking returned to his career norms, which weren’t very good. He was valuable in the Twins’ eyes for the fact that he could play every position save catcher and pitcher.


1985 All Star Game

July 14, 2014

1985 All Star Game

asg.gif
56th All-Star Game
Metrodome
Minneapolis, MN

The Pre-Game

The buzz surrounding the 56th All-Star game was dominated by the disparity between the leagues, specifically in home runs. The AL lineup collected a total of 118 in the first half of 1985, while the NL’s eight starting position players only had 69 home runs.

The question was not if the AL would knock some out of the “homer dome”, it was simply a matter of how many.

The senior circuit, however, had dominated the mid-summer classic. Since 1962, the NL had posted a 20-2 record. The junior circuit won roughly once a decade, first in 1971, and two years earlier in 1983.

The hosts were represented by the league minimum one player: Tom Brunansky (.265/.359/.508 19 HR). Also on the AL roster was former Twins pitcher, now with the Indians, Bert Blyleven, and St. Paul natives Paul Molitor (MIL) and Dave Winfield (NYY).

NL Lineup
1. Tony Gwynn SD LF .302/.342/.419 4 HR
2. Tom Herr STL 2B .332/.397/.441 3 HR
3. Steve Garvey SD 1B .261/.284/.426 13 HR
4. Dale Murphy ATL CF .290/.383/.558 22 HR
5. Darryl Strawberry NYM RF .229/.356/.438 8 HR
6. Graig Nettles SD 3B .250/.392/.405 8 HR
7. Terry Kennedy SD C .286/.302/.397 7 HR
8. Ozzie Smith STL SS .283/.346/.383 4 HR
9. LaMarr Hoyt SD P 12-4 2.93 ERA

AL Lineup
1. Rickey Henderson NYY CF .357/.441/.552 11 HR
2. Lou Whitaker DET 2B .309/.393/.495 15 HR
3. George Brett KC 3B .358/.456/.580 12 HR
4. Eddie Murray BAL 1B .274/.353/.465 13 HR
5. Cal Ripken BAL SS .282/.342/.472 15 HR
6. Dave Winfield NYY RF .297/.340/.461 12 HR
7. Jim Rice BOS LF .274/.326/.453 17 HR
8. Carlton Fisk CHW C .238/.320/.528 23 HR
9. Jack Morris DET P 10-6 3.04 ERA

The Game

National League Continues Domination, 6-1

by Michael Wilbon
Washington Post Staff Writer

MINNEAPOLIS, July 16-The American League arguably has superior players in seven out of eight positions. But the National League could have fielded a neighborhood softball team behing the brilliant pitching it got tonight, and the result might have been the same.

Five National League pitchers allowed only five hits and one run-an unearned one at that-to shut down the American League, 6-1, before 54,960 in the 56th All-Star Game in the Metrodome.

Full Boxscore

MVP
hoyt.gif
LaMarr Hoyt SD 3 IP 2 H 1 ER 0 W 0 K

Scoring (from Retrosheet)

AMERICAN LEAGUE 1ST: Henderson singled to center; Whitaker made
an out to right; Henderson stole second [Henderson to third
(error by Kennedy)]; Brett lined out on a sacrifice fly to left
[Henderson scored (unearned)]; Murray popped to shortstop; 1 R,
1 H, 1 E, 0 LOB.  National League 0, American League 1.
NATIONAL LEAGUE 2ND: Murphy made an out to shortstop; Strawberry
singled to left; Strawberry stole second; Nettles made an out to
left; Kennedy singled to center [Strawberry scored]; Smith
popped to third;over the shoulder catch; 1 R, 2 H, 0 E,
1 LOB.  National League 1, American League 1.
NATIONAL LEAGUE 3RD: Hoyt struck out; Cruz grounded out (first
to pitcher); Herr doubled to left; Garvey singled to center
[Herr scored]; Murphy doubled [Garvey to third]; Strawberry
walked; KEY REPLACED MORRIS (PITCHING); Nettles popped to third
in foul territory; 1 R, 3 H, 0 E, 3 LOB.  National League 2,
American League 1.
NATIONAL LEAGUE 5TH: Garvey grounded out (shortstop to first);
Murphy struck out; Strawberry was hit by a pitch; hit on the
leg; Wallach doubled [Strawberry to third]; Virgil singled
to left [Strawberry scored, Wallach scored, Virgil out at second
(pitcher to second)]; Rice's throw got past Fisk; 2 R, 2
H, 0 E, 0 LOB.  National League 4, American League 1.
NATIONAL LEAGUE 9TH: MOLITOR CHANGED POSITIONS (PLAYING CF);
BOGGS REPLACED MOORE (PLAYING 3B); PETRY REPLACED BRADLEY
(PITCHING); Sandberg walked; RAINES BATTED FOR CRUZ; Raines
walked [Sandberg to second]; Pena struck out; Clark walked
[Sandberg to third, Raines to second]; HERNANDEZ REPLACED PETRY
(PITCHING); McGee doubled [Sandberg scored, Raines scored, Clark
to third]; Parker struck out; Wallach was walked intentionally;
WILSON BATTED FOR REARDON; Wilson struck out; 2 R, 1 H, 0 E, 3
LOB.  National League 6, American League 1.

Top WPA
1. Nolan Ryan NL 0.18
2. Ozzie Virgil NL 0.16
3. 3 Tied at 0.07 – Terry Kennedy NL, Steve Garvey NL, Jimmy Key NL

Worst WPA
1. Jack Morris AL -0.13
2, Bert Blyleven AL -0.11
2. Craig Nettles AL -0.11

The Post-Game

The 1985 All-Star game was the first and last held at the Metrodome. It is also the last one held in the Twin Cities. It has been a 29 year wait.

1985 also marked the end of the National League’s dominance. Since that game, the American League has put up a 20-7-1 record in the All-Star Game.

Bert Blyleven pitched two innings (4th and 5th) and gave up two runs. He would be back in the Metrodome less than a month later. On August 1, Blyleven was acquired by the Twins in a trade. He would go on to pitch three full season with the Twins, including the World Series year of 1987.

The Pioneer Press has a link to video of the entire game (including Vin Scully’s play-by-play) in an article by Kevin Cusick:

– The game featured more former Twins (Bert Blyleven, Graig Nettles, Gary Ward) than 1985 Twins (Tom Brunansky). As for future Twins, this game had a six-pack (Paul Molitor, Jack Morris, Dave Winfield, Tom Herr, Jeff Reardon and Blyleven).

– Pete Rose became the only player to appear in both Minnesota all-star games, going hitless as he did at the Met in 1965. It’s not known, though, whether he won big by betting on the National League.

– Vin Scully did play-by-play for NBC, nearly two decades after calling Sandy Koufax’s shutout of the Twins in Game 7 of the 1965 World Series at the Met. While the golden voice hadn’t changed, his golden “hair” certainly had.

 

Originally published in 2006. Just a few edits in 2014.


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