Connor Van Hulzen – Staff Writer
You might expect a less serious title for an article dealing with something as silly as the sport of baseball. I, however, have decided that such a name is only way to convey exactly how I feel at the moment.
The Minnesota Twins have now lost 18 straight playoff games. Yes, you read that right. One-eight. Eighteen. The date of the last Twins playoff win? You guessed it, October 5, 2004.
The 2020 Twins’ lack of a postseason victory hurts just a little more than previous outings. For one, the Twins were finally able to dodge the New York Yankees in the first round. Didn’t matter. For another, the Twins had finally assembled a team that was, in my opinion, all- around better than any in my lifetime. Didn’t matter. For yet another, the Twins had a home- field advantage (albeit, without fans) after winning the AL Central for the second year in a row. Didn’t matter.
The Twins continue to find new and improved ways to shatter hearts. After setting the all-time record for the number of home runs in a season last year and seemingly improving upon that same team this year, the Twins still could not find a way to win a singular playoff game.
Will they ever win a playoff game again? The laws of nature would say yes. However, I’m not convinced that the Twins haven’t been doomed to an eternity of mediocrity and heartbreak.
I was born in 2000. So technically, I have been alive for a playoff victory. But I certainly don’t remember the night of October 5, 2004. For as long as I have been aware of it, the Twins have consistently run into the playoffs full steam ahead only to be ushered out without even an ounce of resistance.
The main villain over the course of these 18 consecutive losses are the dreaded New York Yankees. The antithesis of the Twins, the
Yankees always spend immeasurable amounts of money, always hit lots of home runs, and always beat the Twins in the most heartbreaking ways possible. The Yankees have single- handedly contributed 13 losses to the 18 total.
Ignoring sole wins entirely and focusing on the Twins’ ability to win a playoff series, the Twins haven’t managed to do that since the year 2002. That means it is possible to be a freshman at Dordt University and have never witnessed a Twins playoff series victory.
Going back even further – since their World Series victory in 1991 – the Twins have been to the playoffs nine times. In these nine trips, they hold a winning percentage of .182 (6 out of 33). That number is horrifyingly low. Adding to the pain, their cumulative regular season winning percentage during those nine seasons sits at .571 (775 out of 1,356).
The Twins’ ability to win regular season games and inability to win postseason games has now gone on long enough to earn them a place alone in the history books. They now hold the record for the most consecutive playoff losses amongst all the four major sports leagues.
What might be the craziest thing about all of this, however, is that I know without a shadow of a doubt, this offseason, I will still manage to get excited about the Twins. I’ll still invest my time and money and what’s left of my fragile mental state into this team. I just don’t know any better.
The Minnesota Twins and their fans are truly the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
At this point, the losses are almost expected. But you can bet that when the Twins do win their first playoff game since George W. Bush’s first term, I’ll be right there watching and cheering along.