Upon wrapping up their nine game homestand today, the Minnesota Twins will embark on 15-day, 14-game road trip. In fact, 24 of their next 30 games will be away from home. Given the fact most American League teams have struggled on the road this year (the LA Angels of Anaheim are the only AL team with a winning road record) this upcoming trip will likely make or break the Twins’ season.
One may ask ”Why such a long road trip?” In case you haven’t heard, there’s a rather large contingent of Republicans coming to town soon. As a result, many fans (and possibly Twins players and coaches) are cursing the GOP National Convention taking place the first week in September. Due to the need for accommodations of the conventioneers, can you imagine the logistical nightmare of visiting baseball teams coming to town? Besides, there have been teams in a similar situation who have had it worse.
Does anyone recall the 1992 Republican Convention in Houston, TX? With the actual gathering taking place in the Astrodome, the Houston Astros were forced to play on the road for 26 consecutive games. Of course, the argument there would be that the ’92 Astros were not a division contender like the ’08 Twins. Fair enough. But the Astros gutted it out and went 12-14 on the trip. That’s darn near a .500 record on a grueling trip that took them through (in order) Atlanta, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Chicago, St. Louis and Philadelphia.
If manager Ron Gardenhire could sign a deal to go 8-6 on the upcoming road swing, I think he would take it in a heartbeat. And if he couldn’t find a pen, he would prick his finger and sign it in blood.