The Franchise 1998 (Part 1)

1998 Minnesota Twins

Manager Tom Kelly 13th season (13th with Minnesota 923-977)
70 W 92 L 734 RS 818 RA 4th AL Central 19.0 GB (Cleveland 89-73)
4.53 RPG (AL = 5.01) 4.75 ERA (AL = 4.65)
.678 DER (11th AL)

All Stars (1) Brad Radke

Franchise (1901-1998) 7203-7893-110; 27-29 Post Season; 19-21 WS
Washington (1901-1960) 4214-4864-104; 8-11 WS
Minnesota (1961-1998) 2985-3029-6; 19-18 Post Season; 11-10 WS

The 1998 Twins are probably best known for this game. It is probably fitting. While David Wells’ perfect game is an accomplishment against any lineup, its difficult to say that the Twins offense wasn’t one that was ripe to be no-hit.

Around baseball, 1998 was the year of the home run. Balls were flying out of ballparks left and right. It was, of course, the summer of McGwire and Sosa. The season win which Roger Maris’ mark of 61 home runs in a season was destined to be broken while baseball made a comeback from the lingering fan frustration surrounding the 1994 strike.

Home run fever, however, was not a worry for the Twins. In a year in which the average AL team hit 176 home runs, the Twins managed just 115. The only team that was worse was the expansion Devil Rays.

The team limped to their sixth consecutive losing season while the stadium fight continued to draw out. Things did not look good for Minnesota baseball.

Of note, however, were four players in their early 20’s who made their debuts in September. Corey Koskie, Doug Mientkiewicz, AJ Pierzynski, and Torii Hunter (who actually had one plate appearance in 1997).

2 Responses to The Franchise 1998 (Part 1)

  1. Beau says:

    I know it’s been beat to death, but what’s the prevailing theory as to why the Twins haven’t had a lot of boppers? Unlike the Royals, the Twins have had success lately, and even then, there wasn’t a lot of homers.

    Many blame the Twins philosophy on stunting David Ortiz. Perhaps that’s partly true, but if Ortiz had flashed 50 homer power early on, I think the Twins would have let him do that.

    Has it just been the lack of focusing on power in the draft? Or is home run power too hard to predict that early on?

    Also, go Sano!

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