This post is nothing substantial, but I found something I thought was interesting and wanted to share it with you. The Philadelphia Phillies and Minnesota Twins have something in common besides that Eric Milton trade from a while ago.
For some reason, I decided to throw the teams’ regular season success and graph it in Excel. As is prone to happen when one toys with Excel, something was found!
Both teams did not have a good second half of the 1990’s after successful first halves. The Twins, of course, won the 1991 World Series against the Atlanta Braves, and the Phillies lost the 1993 World Series to the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Twins and the Phillies regain that success at the same time, it looks like — in 2001. From 1995 to 2000, the Twins never won more than 78 games in a season and the Phillies never won more than 77. In 2001, the Twins and Phils won 85 and 86 games respectively. From 2001 to present, both teams have been above .500 in eight out of the nine seasons.
Overall, since 1995, the Phillies have only been eight games better (.003) than the Twins over 2,400 games. The similarities are striking!
The major difference between the franchises is that the Phillies have won a World Series since 1995 and the Twins haven’t, although they have been to the post-season five times to the Phillies’ three appearances. The Phils have also had the luxury of a larger payroll; the Twins’ front office has been loath to rubber-stamp payroll increases over the years.
The good news for both clubs is that neither appears to be slowing down any time soon. The big question for both teams after the 2010 season is that a star player’s contract runs out. For the Phillies, Jimmy Rollins has a club option for 2011 that they can choose to pick up; the Twins will have to go out of their way to get Joe Mauer to sign a long-term contract lest he become a free agent. Other than that, both teams have their core players signed for several more years, which means there’s plenty more success to be enjoyed!
Were you as surprised as I was that the two teams seem to have followed the same track to their current positions?