Monday, March 14, 2011

Selection Monday: Ultimate Twins Team Bracket

I am a big fan of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament and I have been eagerly watching the conference tournaments over the course of the last week. I wanted to find some way to combine my love of March Madness with my passion for the Minnesota Twins. The solution was a bracket that seeds the top teams in the history of the Twins, the Ultimate Twins Team Bracket.

The first step is to see how the committee divided up the seeds: 

#1 Seeds: The World Series Champions
There wasn't much debate over who should be at the top of this bracket. There was room for two number one seeds and there have been two teams that have survived the gauntlet of the MLB Postseason. The 1991 and 1987 Twins teams have provided some of the most cherished memories in Twins history but will they be able to survive the Ultimate Twins Team Bracket?

#2 Seeds: One Old and One New
Both of the number two seeds played very important roles at different parts of team history. The first Twins team to qualify for the World Series was the 1965 squad. The 2002 team played the important role of bringing the Twins back from the brink of contraction. Do either of these teams have a chance to upset one of the #1 seeds on the way to the title?

#3 Seeds: Blasts from the Past
The Twins of the late 1960's produced some of the highest win totals in the history of the organization. The 1969 team compiled 97 wins and the very next year the team managed one more win for a total of 98. Both of those seasons, the one thing standing in their way was the power-house Baltimore Orioles. Can either of these teams exercise their playoff demons and make it through the bracket?

#4 Seeds: Teams of Recent Memory
The last two teams to sneak into the tournament are from the last five seasons. The 2006 team put together a magical run to win the division on the final day of the regular season. Last year's Twins team made the first season at Target Field a memorable one. Will either one of these teams be able to have a Cinderella run to win the tournament?

(Click to enlarge)
With any tournament, there are going to be teams that get left off of the final bracket. Here is a look at some of the snubs from the Ultimate Twins Team Bracket:
1. 2004 Twins
2. 1967 Twins 
3. 2009 Twins
4. 1988 Twins
5. 2003 Twins

The tournament will be run similar to the MLB Postseason. The first round games will be a best of five series. The second round and championship round will both be best of seven series. I will look at the pitching match-ups, offensive line-ups, and coaching decisions for each match-up in every round.

Stay tuned later in the week for the first round match-ups and series analysis from the Opening Round.

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