Target Field, the Dome, and a competitive team: A re-evaluation


With the firing of Ron Gardenhire, it’s a good time to take stock of the Twins owners’ claims for why we needed Target Field and the massive public investment that required. Recall that the Pohlads and their spokespeople told us numerous times that in order to field a competitive team, the Metrodome was no longer a viable option.

Well, keeping in mind that sometimes statistics will demonstrate anything one wants them to demonstrate, I think a five-year comparison is not unfair. It’s enough time to turn around a franchise’s prospects, and after all, I have five fingers on each hand.

So here goes. During the final five years the Twins were in the Metrodome — when we were constantly hearing why a competitive team could not be fielded there — the Twins regular season combined record was 433 wins and 379 losses, or 86.6 wins and 75.8 losses per year, for a winning percentage of .533.

During the first five years the Twins have played in Target Field, the combined record is 359-451, or 71.8-90.2 per year, or a winning percentage of .433.

Chuck, Chuck, Chuck. Certainly you’re being selective in the time periods you’re using, just to make your point.

Well, in the immediate four years preceding the last five in the Metrodome, the Twins knocked out wins of 85, 94, 90, and 92, for an even better winning percentage than in the 2005-2009 period used for our comparison here.

Moreover, in the 33-year period since the Twins began playing in the Metrodome, they have had 11 seasons when their winning percentage was .432 or less — 7 of the 28 seasons in the Dome and 4 of the 5 seasons at Target Field.

And finally — and coincidentally — the Twins combined record for their first five years in the Dome is exactly the same as their first five years at Target Field: 359-451.

I’m googling the etymology of the phrase “sold a bill of goods.”