Unheralded

TOM COYNE: Back In Circulation — The Dirty 30 Or A September To Remember?

Even the loyalest of Twins’ fans could hardly have expected this. With 30 games to go in the 2019 regular season, Minnesota is 30 games over .500. That’s both symmetrical and surprising, considering the team has a first-year manager, a relatively new front office and more errors than all but three major league teams. Home runs can cure a number …


Unheralded

JIM THIELMAN: When The Ragamuffin Becomes Fact, Print The Ragamuffin

John Ford’s “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence” might be the most aching, life-ain’t-fair western film. Told in long flashback, it ends with a newsman trashing the notes from an interview that revealed who really pinged an ornery outlaw. “You’re not going to use the story?” asks Jimmy Stewart’s tired, flawed hero. The newsman explains, “This is the West. When …


JIM THIELMAN: It’s A Short Walk From The Sunshine To The Shade

These are panic-stricken days. Each win by one of baseball’s better teams, the Minnesota Twins, brings the boys closer to disaster. The team’s World Series prospects flicker with each home run that is launched through precisely calculated launch angle. The victory cigars grind to ash with each strikeout notched through optimum spin rate. After too many dreary seasons to count, …

JIM THIELMAN: Twins Have A Bead On A Mardi Gras Season

The American League Central standings have barely shifted since the Cleveland Indians fell from a first-place tie with the Minnesota Twins on April 21. The turbulent April weather that could have crinkled a pitching staff has been forgotten. The Twins lead their division by 11.5 games. It could become a Mardi Gras season. This franchise has reached 100 wins just …

JIM THIELMAN: Ayyyy, What’s Up, Deck?

Who would think stark realizations about shrewd capitalism and insight to human nature could come from watching nine innings of pantomime baseball? Not this little black duck, as Daffy would say during cartoons in which Bugs Bunny was the smart one and Daffy was, well, daffy. Because the Minnesota Twins have had more bad seasons than good since moving into …

TOM COYNE: Back In Circulation — No More April Mauers, But Can Twins Become Powers?

I think I’m experiencing a different kind of March madness this year. Instead of going crazy about hoops, I feel like I’ve been jumping through too many of them. At the start of the month, I was constantly getting plowed and it had nothing to do with alcohol. Everything in sight was white. Shoveling mountains of snow was a daily …

JIM THIELMAN: Maybe Oliva Is Too Good For The Hall Of Fame

After we arrived at the expansive field on the outskirts of Cooperstown, N.Y., that smoldering Sunday in July 2001 for Kirby Puckett’s Hall of Fame induction, Tim, Shari and I needed to visit the port-a-potties, all blue, lined in a row by the road. We joined one of the dozens of human anaconda lines packed with tomorrow’s sunburn victims. A …

JIM THIELMAN: No Baseball Owner Would Be This Candid Today

Twins President Calvin Griffith letter to Jim Thielman – July 1974 Whatever I wrote in that letter to Calvin Griffith in 1974, it didn’t include any profanities. I told the first owner of the Minnesota Twins about it a few years later. “Did I write back?” he asked. He said it was his habit to take phone calls and respond …

TOM COYNE: Back In Circulation — Baseball: Best Of Times Or Worst Of Times?

The All-Star Break has come and gone and baseball junkies can go back to their daily fixes this weekend as a full schedule of games resumes Friday. But the annual downtime in mid-July has again ramped up discussion about the general state of the game. Just by chance, I attended the Minnesota Twins’ final game before the break. It seemed …

TOM COYNE: Back In Circulation — Making Sense Out Of Our Futility

As I drove across town Thursday on one of the first lovely afternoons in an otherwise lousy spring, I attempted to put a positive spin on life in Minnesota. Sure, we’ve had April temperatures 30 degrees below normal. And yes, I could still see, out of the corner of my eye, those dirty, lingering snow piles along the side of …

JIM THIELMAN — Opening Day: It’s Greek To Me

Dunno why, but for the past half-century, Major League Baseball has missed the fun-filled opportunity to have Don Demeter throw out the first pitch of each season. The lanky, giraffe-necked Oklahoman will be 83 this year and retired from baseball for 50 years. It’s not as if he couldn’t have been capably handling this chore. If you’re not starting to …

TOM COYNE: Back In Circulation — As Hopes Peter Out, Twins Become Sellers

The dog days of August have arrived and our favorite baseball team is apparently “rebuilding” again. For the better part of four months, the Minnesota Twins teased local fans with a brand of ball just good enough to make us believe there was hope. In fact, as recently as July 20, the Twins were within a half-game of first place …

TOM COYNE: Back In Circulation — Walking The Twins’ Tightrope

The Minnesota Twins lost 103 games last year. Their pitching has been among the worst in the major leagues for several seasons. Fan interest has plummeted, as they approach their eighth season at beautiful Target Field. So in the offseason, the club made significant moves in the front office, hiring young and promising executives Derek Falvey and Thad Levine to …

JIM THIELMAN: Did Whack To Hand Cost Cubs ’45 Series?

Hitler was barely dead when the Chicago Cubs lost the 1945 Series to Detroit in seven games. The analog clock has stood still for the Cubs since. Until now. So with the Cubs headed to the World Series, you’ll hear some names. Like Phil Cavarretta. He was the National League Most Valuable Player in 1945 and the original “Mr. Cub,” …

RUSS HONS: Photo Gallery — Minnesota Twins Vs. Detroit Tigers

The Minnesota Twins aren’t having the season most of their fans were expecting, but that doesn’t stop some of them from going to a game. Grand Forks photographer Russ Hons was at Target Field on Thursday night for the second game of two the Twins played against the Detroit Tigers. And here’s what caught his eye. Check out more photos from Russ …

TOM COYNE: Back In Circulation — Grading The Twins

As a college broadcasting instructor, it’s my responsibility to give each of my students an update on his or her performance about halfway through each semester.  The report is designed to praise students for their positive achievements, offer suggestions on how they might improve in other areas and, maybe most importantly, catch any trouble spots before it’s too late. While …