April 20, 1998: Random Day in Twins History

I used a random number generator to pick a season from the past with the idea that I would quickly highlight the Twins history that occurred today in that year.  The generator sent me to the year 1998.

Oakland 3, Twins 2 - BR boxscore

In front of just 5,000 people (many entering complements of Eddie Guardado), the Twins lost 3-2 to the Oakland A’s in Oakland.  Brad Radke pitched seven strong innings (and threw 122 pitches – more than Gardy will likely let any Twin throw this entire season).  The loan run scored against Radke occurred on a delayed double-steal (although Kurt Abbott was not credited with a steal of home for some reason, he scored after Sandfrog got himself caught in a rundown after starting to second base on a pitch).

LEN3, perhaps listening to someone else in the press box reported that “Radke was entertaining as well as an enigma.  His pitches were good, but he left many of them up in the zone” (emphasis added).

After Radke departed, Greg Swindell entered and allowed a two-out, two-run homerun to rookie Ben Grieve in the bottom of the eighth to blow the game.

Offensively, the Twins managed just two runs despite fourteen baserunners because a Pat Meares double (already his eighth of the season) was the team's only extra base hit.  “We had a couple of chances to add on some runs [Monday], but we didn't and it came back to haunt us,” explained Tom Kelly in a statement exactly the same as one that a Tom Kelly Random Quote Generator would have created.

The loss dropped the team’s record to 7-11 despite the Twins having outscored their opponents 109-85 to that point.

Other Twins notes: Minnesota Attorney General Skip Humphrey was granted permission to proceed with an investigation of possible antitrust violations by Major League Baseball.  Humphrey’s ultimate motive was to force the Twins to open their books in order to determine whether the team’s threat to relocate to North Carolina was plausible.  He clarified that he had not yet discovered any violation of the law, but he was simply requesting documents to determine if teams (businesses) were acting in concert in order to pressure cities to fund stadiums.  Ramsey County Judge Margaret Marrinan explained in her ruling that the United States Supreme Court had drastically narrowed Major League Baseball’s antitrust exemption in the 1972 Curt Flood case.

Oh, and WASTE Ron Coomer missed the game because he broke his right, big toe the previous day after fouling a pitch off his foot.  He was back in the lineup the following day.

What did you think?  Should I try to work this into an occasional feature?

14 thoughts on “April 20, 1998: Random Day in Twins History”

  1. This looks like a worthwhile feature to me! Not sure you'll want to do one every day, though.

    Do the Twins as a whole even have 8 doubles yet this season?

    1. 29 Doubles actually

      PA H 2B ▾
      Justin Morneau* 56 11 5
      Jason Kubel* 65 19 5
      Delmon Young 63 13 3
      Michael Cuddyer 65 15 3
      Alexi Casilla# 43 5 2
      Denard Span* 71 21 2
      Jim Thome* 46 7 2
      Joe Mauer* 38 8 1
      Tsuyoshi Nishioka# 26 5 1
      Danny Valencia 67 13 1
      Matt Tolbert# 29 6 1
      Drew Butera 23 4 1
      Luke Hughes 21 4 1
      Steve Holm 7 2 1
      Jason Repko 7 2 0
      Team Totals 627 135 29
      Rank in 14 AL teams 9 8
      Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
      Generated 4/20/2011.
    2. I inserted that comment mainly because it occurred to me just how useful a perfectly cromulent Pat Meares would be compared to the jokers on the current squad.

  2. We had a couple of chances to add on some runs [Monday this year], but we didn't and it came back to haunt us,” explained Tom Kelly Ron Gardenhire.

    The more things change...

    Suffice it to say, I like it. I say bring it back a few times to gauge the interest.

  3. I like it too. Particularly the randomized aspect. This game isn't particularly remarkable but it brings back the whole sense of the 1998 season (Pat Meares! Greg Swindell! Radke pitching a gem but the Twins not winning, etc.)

    I agree with Rhu_Ru, every day might be tough, but I think it would make a great weekly periodic intermittent feature.

    1. I wish I still had the fantasy baseball magazine from Spring 1998 which speculated on various unlikely achievements with fake headlines. Pat Meares was chasing .400, hitting something like .381 at the break or something like that.

  4. looking at the box score, remember when Ben Grieve was going to be the next great outfielder. He was solid with Oakland, but fell off after he was traded to Tampa. And what a trade that was (from baseball-reference)

    January 8, 2001: Traded as part of a 3-team trade by the Oakland Athletics to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The Oakland Athletics sent Angel Berroa and A.J. Hinch to the Kansas City Royals. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays sent Cory Lidle to the Oakland Athletics. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays sent Roberto Hernandez to the Kansas City Royals. The Kansas City Royals sent Johnny Damon and Mark Ellis to the Oakland Athletics.

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