2 Minnesota's “Homer Hanky
Ethics, and the Twins
PAUL HORAN and JASON SOLOMON
Hangovers were still fading in Phoenix on the morning of November 6th, 2001. It was only thirty-six hours after Luis Gonzalez's blooper had fallen over Derek Jeter's head in the ninth inning of game seven of the World Series, giving the Arizona Diamondbacks their first-ever world championship. Still fresh in the minds of baseball fans around the country were Barry Bonds's record-breaking seventy-three home runs, Ichiro Suzuki's MVP year in Seattle, and Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson's pitching performances in one of the most exciting post seasons ever.
But 1,500 miles from Phoenix, baseball's owners were meeting in Chicago, doing what they seemingly do best: putting the game's purportedly troubled business situation on the front page of every sports section in the country. The owners voted, twenty-eight to two, to eliminate two teams from the major leagues. Commissioner Bud Selig did not identify the teams to be eliminated, but did note, “The teams to be contracted have a long record of failing to generate enough revenues to operate a viable major league franchise.”
It was a matter of hours before word got out on the two teams: the first, the Montreal Expos, an understandable and expected choice given their home in a town where the top three sports are hockey, hockey, and hockey. But the Minnesota Twins was a surprise. After all, in the last fifteen years, only the