The unionized Minnesota teachers working full-time before July 1, 1989, have been blessed with the “Rule of 90,’’ the negotiated benefit allowing them to add years of service to age and when those numbers totaled 90 … voila, retirement.
There is also a Rule of 90 in Major League Baseball starting with the 162-game schedule in 1961: If a team wins 90 games, it has had a fine season, and if it loses 90 games, it has had a putrid season.
The Twins arrived in 1961, and for purposes of convenient math, the decades are assessed thusly: 1961-70, 1971-80, etc.
In the franchise’s previous life as the Washington Senators, there was a famous slogan: “Washington — first in war, first in peace and last in the American League.’’
For the Twins of this decade, it’s more cumbersome: “Minneapolis — first in lakes, first in bike lanes and lost in Target Field.’’
Consider the Rule of 90:
Twins (1961-70), six seasons with 90 wins, one with 90 losses, .549 winning percentage; (1971-80), no seasons with 90 wins or losses, .493; (1981-90), one season with 90 wins, three with 90 losses, .466.
Twins (1991-2000), two seasons with 90 wins, five with 90 losses, .460; (2001-2010), five seasons with 90 wins, none with 90 losses, .548; (2011-present), no seasons with 90 wins, five with 90 losses, .436.
It seemed a long shot in July that the current Twins could claim the sixth 90-loss season out of eight in this decade. Then, the Twins wizards embarked on a garage sale, and I’m confident that with a JV lineup, a nonexistent bullpen and increasingly poor fielding, our lads can blow past 90 losses with a stretch drive similar to the start of this misery in 2011 (11-33 after Aug. 12).
As with all garage sales, the items in the best condition (Eduardo Escobar and Ryan Pressly) went early, with everything else — including Brian Dozier and now closer Fernando Rodney — going at one-third of the sticker.
I looked this up and what a coincidence: The band Kansas is on a 40th anniversary tour. What baseball fans here need is an emergency concert at Target Field, with Kansas offering the hit that includes the line, “It’s just a travesty.’’
Read Reusse’s blog at startribune.com/patrick. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also on the futility front:
• The Twins are averaging 23,845 in announced attendance. With 80 dates (one true doubleheader), that projects to 1,907,600, or the lowest attendance since 1,782,929 in 2001 in the Dome. And wait ’til next year.
• The Twins have 14 90-win seasons and 14 90-loss seasons. They were robbed of two certain 90-loss seasons by strike-shortened schedules: 56-88 in 1995 and 41-68 in 1981.
• The “Dozier was a whiner’’ comments in public forums set a new standard for idiocy. Wanting a front office to not give up isn’t whining. He played hard and every day.