|2002 Minnesota Twins|
|American League Central champions|
|Major League affiliations|
|General manager(s)||Terry Ryan|
Fox Sports Minnesota
(Bert Blyleven, Dick Bremer)
|Local radio||830 WCCO AM |
(Herb Carneal, John Gordon, Dan Gladden)
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After nearly folding as part of the 2001 Major League Baseball contraction plan, and coming out of a second-place finish in the AL Central with a pitching staff with only two players with an ERA under 4.00, the 2002 Minnesota Twins won their division and made it to the 2002 American League Championship Series (ALCS) with the youngest team in the league, and with a new manager, Ron Gardenhire. The Twins had a solid first half of the season (45–36), but had a better second half (49–31), which led them to being the division champions.
New Alternate Logos
For the 2002 season, the Twins adopted a secondary logo based on those used from 1970 to 1986, with twins (one representing Minneapolis and the other St. Paul) shaking hands while standing by the river which separates the two cities. The logo also features the team's primary logo, replacing the "Win Twins!" baseball used in the 1976–1986 version.
The season also marked the revival of the "TC" cap logo, which had last been used as such in 1986.
- November 7, 2001: David Lamb was signed by the Twins as a free agent.
- January 23, 2002: Mike Jackson was signed by the Twins as a free agent.
- May 6: The 2002 NCAA National women's hockey champion Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs were recognized by the Minnesota Twins baseball team at the Metrodome in Minneapolis.
- June 4: The Twins walloped the hapless Cleveland Indians 23-2, setting a club record for their largest winning margin and tying their record for most RBI with 22. Pitcher Rick Reed was lifted after seven innings with a 21-run lead. In the game, Luis Rivas scored five times, joining three other Twins who have accomplished that mark before: Rod Carew (1977), Tim Teufel (1983) and Paul Molitor (1996).
- The representatives of the Twins in the All-Star Game were closer Eddie Guardado, center fielder Torii Hunter, and catcher A. J. Pierzynski.
- October 9: A home attendance record was set when 55,990 watched the Twins lose to the Anaheim Angels in the second game of the American League Championship Series.
- The Twins made just 74 errors this season, their best-ever showing in the field. The worst season was the inaugural campaign of 1961, when they committed 174 errors.
- Jacque Jones had eleven lead-off home runs this season, the second-best season total in American League history, trailing just Brady Anderson's twelve in 1996.
- The highest paid Twin in 2002 was Brad Radke at $8,750,000; followed by Rick Reed at $7,000,000.
- October 28: Pitcher Michael Jackson was granted free agency, and would later sign with the Arizona Diamondbacks. This season he wore number '42', being grandfathered in after Major League Baseball retired the number league-wide in 1997 to honor pioneer Jackie Robinson. Players wearing the number at that time were allowed to continue. Jackson was the last Minnesota Twin to wear the number '42'.
- Bert Blyleven and Tom Kelly were inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame.
No player hit 30 home runs or drove in 100 RBIs, but many players enjoyed solid seasons. Torii Hunter and Jacque Jones hit 29 and 27 home runs, respectively, while designated hitter David Ortiz battled injuries and hit 20. Catcher A. J. Pierzynski had a good year for a catcher, hitting .300. First baseman Doug Mientkiewicz saw his average drop significantly from the prior year, from .306 to .261. Third baseman Corey Koskie had a subpar year offensively, shortstop Cristian Guzmán was average, and second baseman Luis Rivas was not strong. The Twins enjoyed solid production out of the right field spot, whether the position was manned by opening day starter Brian Buchanan, Dustan Mohr, Bobby Kielty, or Michael Cuddyer.
The starting rotation resembled a tubercular ward. Brad Radke, Eric Milton, and Joe Mays suffered serious injuries, requiring Rick Reed to carry the starting rotation. He was able to fulfill this role, going 9-2 in the second half. For inexplicable reasons, manager Ron Gardenhire resisted putting Johan Santana into the starter role until he was forced to by injuries. Santana started only 14 games, but quickly established himself as a dominant starting pitcher, posting an 8-6 record, 2.99 ERA, and a team-leading 137 strikeouts. Kyle Lohse enjoyed his only solid year as a starter, going 13-8 with a 4.23 ERA. Matt Kinney also made 12 starts. Eddie Guardado excelled in his first full year as the team's closer, earning 45 saves, while J. C. Romero, LaTroy Hawkins, and Mike Jackson had strong years as set-up men. Tony Fiore had a bafflingly strong year out of the bullpen, going 10-3 with an ERA of 3.16.
A. J. Pierzynski was the team's all-star starting catcher, backed up by Tom Prince. Doug Mientkiewicz followed up his Gold Glove year with another superb year defensively. Unfortunately, his relatively weak hitting in 2002 may have prevented him from winning a second consecutive Gold Glove award, as it went to John Olerud. The rest of the infield was defensively solid, with Luis Rivas at second, Cristian Guzmán at short, and Corey Koskie at third. In the outfield, two-thirds of the "Soul Patrol" remained, with Jacque Jones in left and Torii Hunter in center. (This would be Hunter's second consecutive Gold Glove year.) Right field was a question mark, with Brian Buchanan not lasting long after being the opening day right fielder. The void was filled for most of the season by the platoon of Dustan Mohr and Bobby Kielty, known collectively by fans as "Dusty Kielmohr". However, Dusty Kielmohr gave way to Michael Cuddyer for the post-season run.
|Chicago White Sox||81||81||0.500||13½||47–34||34–47|
|Kansas City Royals||62||100||0.383||32½||37–44||25–56|
American League Wild Card
|New York Yankees||103||58||0.640|
|Boston Red Sox||93||69||0.574|
|Chicago White Sox||81||81||0.500|
|Toronto Blue Jays||78||84||0.481|
|Kansas City Royals||62||100||0.383|
|Tampa Bay Devil Rays||55||106||0.342|
Record vs. opponents
2002 American League Records
Sources:              
- April 15, 2002: Mike Trombley was signed by the Twins as a free agent.
- June 3, 2002: Mike Trombley was released by the Twins.
- June 4, 2002: Jesse Crain was drafted by the Twins in the 2nd round of the 2002 Major League Baseball draft.
- June 19, 2002: José Rodríguez was signed as a free agent by the Twins.
- July 12, 2002: Brian Buchanan was traded by the Twins to the San Diego Padres for Jason Bartlett.
|2002 Minnesota Twins|
Starters by position
Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in
Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in
The Twins made it to the ALCS, beating the Oakland Athletics in the Divisional series. They then lost to the eventual World Series Champions, the Anaheim Angels.
The Twins won game one at Oakland before losing two straight including one at home. The Twins rebounded, and won the final two games to win the series and move on to face Anaheim in the ALCS.
October 1, at Oakland
|W: Brad Radke (1-0) L: Ted Lilly (0-1) SV: Eddie Guardado (1)|
|HRs: MIN – Corey Koskie (1), Doug Mientkiewicz (1)|
October 2, at Oakland
|W: Mark Mulder (1-0) L: Joe Mays (0-1)|
|HRs: OAK – Eric Chavez (1),MIN – Cristian Guzmán (1)|
October 4, at Minnesota
|W: Barry Zito (1-0) L: Rick Reed (0-1)|
|HRs: OAK – Ray Durham (1), Scott Hatteberg (1), Terrence Long (1), Jermaine Dye, (1)|
October 5, at Minnesota
|W: Eric Milton (1-0) L: Tim Hudson (0-1)|
|HRs: OAK – Miguel Tejada (1),MIN – Doug Mientkiewicz (2)|
October 6, at Oakland
|W: Brad Radke (2-0) L: Mark Mulder (1-1)|
|HRs: OAK – Ray Durham (2), Mark Ellis (1) MIN – AJ Pierzynski (1)|
The Twins won the first game at home vs. the Angels, before losing the next four in a row, allowing the Angels to move on to the World Series, who won the Series in seven games against the San Francisco Giants.
October 8, at Minnesota
|W: Joe Mays (1-0) L: Kevin Appier (0-1) SV: Eddie Guardado (1)|
October 9, at Minnesota
|W: Ramón Ortiz (1-0) L: Rick Reed (0-1) SV: Troy Percival (1)|
|HRs: ANA – Darin Erstad (1), Brad Fullmer (1)|
October 11, at Anaheim
|W: Francisco Rodríguez (1-0) L: J. C. Romero (0-1) SV: Troy Percival (2)|
|HRs: ANA – Garret Anderson (1), Troy Glaus (1)|
October 12, at Anaheim
|W: John Lackey (1-0) L: Brad Radke (0-1)|
October 13, at Anaheim
|W: Francisco Rodríguez (2-0) L: Johan Santana (0-1)|
|HRs: ANA – Adam Kennedy (3), Scott Spiezio (1)|
- October 14: Released Casey Blake.
- October 17: Pitcher Jack Cressend selected off waivers by the Cleveland Indians.
- November 15: Traded pitcher Matt Kinney and catcher Javier Valentín to the Milwaukee Brewers for minor leaguers Gerry Oakes and Matt Yeatman.
- November 22: Signed pitcher Carlos Pulido as a free agent. Pulido had last played in the majors in 1994 (also for the Twins).
- December 16, 2002: Released DH David Ortiz.
Other post-season awards
- Calvin R. Griffith Award (Most Valuable Twin) – Torii Hunter
- Joseph W. Haynes Award (Twins Pitcher of the Year) – Eddie Guardado
- Bill Boni Award (Twins Outstanding Rookie) – Bobby Kielty
- Charles O. Johnson Award (Most Improved Twin) – LaTroy Hawkins
- Dick Siebert Award (Upper Midwest Player of the Year) – Jarrod Washburn
- The above awards are voted on by the Twin Cities chapter of the BBWAA
- Carl R. Pohlad Award (Outstanding Community Service) – Brad Radke
- Sherry Robertson Award (Twins Outstanding Farm System Position Player) – Lew Ford
- Jim Rantz Award (Twins Outstanding Farm System Pitcher) – J. D. Durbin
- 2002 Twins schedule with wins, losses, record, and scores Accessed June 20, 2006
- 2002 Twins Preview, by Adam J. Ulrey Accessed June 20, 2006
- 2002 Twins roster by Baseball Almanac Accessed June 20, 2006
- 2006 Minnesota Twins Record & Information book, pgs 278-280, copyright 2006 by the Minnesota Twins
- 2002 Oakland Athletics Roster by Baseball Almanac Accessed June 21, 2006
- 2002 ALCS at Baseball-Reference.com Accessed June 22, 2006
- David Lamb at Baseball Reference
- Mike Jackson at Baseball Reference
- "Twins 23, Indians 2". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved February 9, 2016.
- "2002 ALCS Game 2". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved February 9, 2016.
- "Home Run Records". Baseball-Almanac.com. Retrieved February 9, 2016.
- Mike Trombley at Baseball Reference
- Jesse Crain at Baseball Reference
- José Rodríguez at Baseball Reference
- Brian Buchanan at Baseball Reference
- David Ortiz Statistics Baseball-Reference.com
- Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 3rd edition. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, 2007
- Baseball America 2003 Annual Directory