Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


Contributors

Jim Furtado
Founder & Publisher
Repoz
Editor - Baseball Primer

Syndicate

Breadsticks Newsbeat

Saturday, September 21, 2019

The Curse of Bunned Meat and Breadsticks: Why the Twins Can’t Beat the Yankees

On April 11, 1961, the Twins played their first game, beating the American League champion Yankees 6-0 in front of Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio and Toots Shor, who sat beneath that white scalloped frieze at Yankee Stadium, its famous arches suggesting grandeur, antiquity and empire. The new home of the Twins, meanwhile, was a minor league ballyard in a former Bloomington, Minn., cornfield, providing the first of many comparisons between the two teams and the communities they represent in which Minnesota always comes off as a lesser New York—Big Apple vs. Minneapple, Yankees vs. Twinkies, Mickey Mantle vs. Mickey Hatcher.

Even the franchise’s inaugural victory was largely forgotten by the next morning, when Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space. But the ballgame remains historic, for it began the Twins’ own long-standing Cold War with the Yanks. As those two teams await the 2019 playoffs and another possible matchup, Minnesotans are keenly aware (as New Yorkers are not) that the Twins have lost a record 13 consecutive postseason games, an ignominious distinction they share with the Yankees’ more famous rivals, the Red Sox. Minnesota’s last playoff win was at the old Yankee Stadium on Oct. 5, 2004, in Game 1 of the AL Division Series. Of the 13 losses that have followed, all but three—a sweep by the A’s in the ‘06 ALDS—were to the Yankees, most recently in the ‘17 wild-card game. For almost the entire 21st century the Bronx Bombers have had Minnesota’s number, and that number is still stored in a Nokia flip phone.

The Yankees’ inexplicable domination in this century began very differently in the last one. In 1964, a recent graduate of George Washington High in Washington Heights—a Panamanian national then playing for a sandlot team in the Bronx called the N.Y. Cavaliers—traveled a couple of miles across the Harlem River to work out for the Twins at Yankee Stadium. After just a few swings Minnesota officials bundled the 19-year-old out of sight, lest he be seen by a Yankees executive with a fat book of blank checks. They spirited Rodney Cline Carew to an Italian restaurant in the Bronx, the Stella D’Oro, across from the breadstick factory of the same name, and signed the second baseman on the spot. It was a bank heist in broad daylight, and one for which there would be disproportionate karmic payback.

Carew would be named the AL Rookie of the Year in 1967, then win seven batting titles (while the scouts who signed him—Herb Stein and Monroe Katz—were given, for all we know, Bronze Breadsticks). But in ‘78, with the frugal Twins intent on dealing him, Carew expressed his desire to play for the Yankees, in the stadium where it all began. “I’d rather hit there than in any of the other teams’ parks,” said Carew, who also admired New York’s skipper, Billy Martin, his former manager in Minnesota and the godfather to the second of his three daughters. Alas, Carew also had the temerity to entertain other offers, upsetting Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, who thought the future Hall of Famer didn’t sufficiently appreciate “the privilege of playing for the Yankees.” So Carew signed with the Angels and the Yankees maintained their imperious and often disdainful view of the Twins as backwater tightwads who didn’t sufficiently appreciate the privilege of playing against the Yankees, much less for them.

With Babe Ruth and the Black Sox and the billygoat and Eddie Grant no longer relevant as curses (and with Rocky Colavito coming within one overused relief pitcher of the same), it seems time for people to be creating new baseball curses, doesn’t it?

QLE Posted: September 21, 2019 at 12:32 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: breadsticks, curse, rod carew, twins, yankees

 

 

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
1k5v3L
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogChampionship Series OMNICHATTER!
(394 - 1:14am, Oct 14)
Last: Bote Man sez Deivi is MoY

NewsblogOT - NBA thread (pre-season)
(446 - 1:03am, Oct 14)
Last: Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim

NewsblogDavid Freese, 2011 World Series MVP with Cardinals, retires after 11 seasons
(19 - 12:31am, Oct 14)
Last: Barry`s_Lazy_Boy

NewsblogMajor League Baseball has an opioid problem. Now what?
(33 - 12:16am, Oct 14)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogNationals vs. Cardinals: Washington or St. Louis? How each city stacks up
(28 - 11:36pm, Oct 13)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogMLB Rumors: Curt Schilling Interested in Phillies Manager, Red Sox Coaching Job
(13 - 9:47pm, Oct 13)
Last: Nasty Nate

Sox TherapyLet’s Get On With It
(14 - 8:29pm, Oct 13)
Last: Jose is an Absurd Time Cube

NewsblogMLB rumors: Giants to interview ex-Phillies skipper Gabe Kapler for open managerial position
(5 - 8:22pm, Oct 13)
Last: .

NewsblogSeveral errors led Phillies to this point, and one excuse Friday doesn't hold up
(15 - 8:06pm, Oct 13)
Last: SoSH U at work

NewsblogCards’ front office says playoff baseballs have lost juice
(11 - 5:28pm, Oct 13)
Last: spycake

NewsblogTyler Skaggs: Fentanyl, oxycodone, alcohol led to death| LA Times
(45 - 5:11pm, Oct 13)
Last: Howie Menckel

Newsblog The Cooperstown Case for Yadier Molina, Russell Martin, and Brian McCann - The Ringer
(102 - 3:11pm, Oct 13)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogBaseball's top salaries are declining, as evidenced by smaller qualifying offer
(15 - 11:48am, Oct 13)
Last: Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant

NewsblogLos Angeles Angels employee details team's knowledge of Tyler Skaggs' drug use to federal DEA investigators -- ESPN
(4 - 10:57am, Oct 13)
Last: pikepredator

NewsblogThe 'purge' Mets' Brodie Van Wagenen, other GMs should fear
(4 - 10:53am, Oct 13)
Last: DL from MN

Page rendered in 1.3318 seconds
44 querie(s) executed