Minnesota Twins: The franchise all-time bracket

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Nelson Cruz of the Minnesota Twins. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

The Minnesota Twins franchise has produced three World Series winners. But it also has a long recent history of post-season failures.

The Minnesota Twins began life as the Washington Senators, an original American League franchise. With rare exceptions, those Senators were awful, winning just three pennants in six decades of play.

Since moving to the Twin Cities in 1961, the Twins have fared better. Thirteen teams representing Minnesota have played in the post-season, two winning the World Series and a third getting to the Fall Classic.

Since the last World Series title in 1991, however, the Twins have become more or less notorious for post-season frustration. Since then, eight Twins teams have qualified for post-season play, but their combined post-season record shows only six victories, none since 2004. With their 2019  ALDS sweep at the hands of the Yankees, Minnesota’s post-season losing streak has reached 16 games.

Selection of contenders for an all-time Senators-Twins bracket obviously begins with the franchise’s three World Series winners, those being the champions of 1924, 1987 and 1991. Two of the three teams that played in and lost the World Series – the 1933 Senators and 1965 Twins – should also be included.

There is no particular reason to select the third World  Series loser, the 1925 Senators. They are a clone of the 1924 World Series winners, and leaving them out will allow greater flexibility to select more recent entries.

With those five teams in the field, we have room for three recent entries. Between 2002 and 2006, four Twins teams qualified for post-season play, of which the 2006 club had the best post-season record. It’s in.

Only two teams in franchise history won 100 games, one being the 2019 Twins, who hit 101 in winning the AL Central. That’s good enough to get them in the field. The final spot goes to the 1970 Twins, a divisional winner that featured Rod Carew, Tony Oliva, and Harmon Killebrew.

The format is identical to previous bracket challenges. Each matchup in the tournament is decided based on seven criteria. You can think of each as a ‘game,’ the winner of four games advancing. The seven criteria are:

  1. Game 1: Regular season winning percentage.
  2. Game 2: Post-season winning percentage
  3. Game 3: Team OPS+
  4. Game 4: Team ERA+
  5. Game 5 (if necessary): Team WAR
  6. Game 6 (if necessary: Fielding percentage above the league average for the season in question.
  7. Game 7 (if necessary): Hall of Famers or likely future Hall of Famers

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