Patrick Reusse
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The New York Yankees are on a streak of having avoided the World Series for 14 seasons. This equals the stretch from 1982 through 1995, when they failed to play in a World Series.

The 2010s were a unique decade for the Yankees, in that it's the first one since the 1910s when they failed to play in a World Series.

Once Babe Ruth became a Yankee in 1920, the decades for World Series appearances have gone like this:

In the 1920s, six (3-3); 1930s, five (5-0); 1940s, five (4-1); 1950s, eight (6-2); 1960s, five (2-3); 1970s, three (2-1); 1980s, one (0-1); 1990s, three (3-0); 2000s, four (2-2).

It was way back in 1954, as the Yankees were carrying a streak of five straight World Series championships, that Douglass Wallop wrote the novel, "The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant."

The premise being, it took Joe Boyd, a rabid fan of the hapless Washington Senators, selling his soul to the devil for his team to overtake the Yankees.

As it turned out, the real Yankees did lose the pennant that season, although it took the then-Cleveland Indians going a spectacular 111-43 to finish eight games ahead of New York.

The willingness to make light of knocking off the Yankees was so popular that Wallop's work was turned into both a play and a movie titled "Damn Yankees," with the original run of the play lasting for over 1,000 shows on Broadway.

The movie was released in 1958, as the Yankees were in the midst of winning nine AL pennants in 10 seasons (1955-1964).

And surely you know, Minnesota baseball fans, even if it has taken a grandparent to point it out, that what it eventually took for the woebegone Senators to steal a pennant from the Yankees wasn't a deal with Beelzebub but Calvin Griffith moving the original franchise to Minnesota for the 1961 season.

In Year 5 on the Bloomington prairie, the Yankees were old and crippled, the Twins had pitching, fielding and a potent lineup, and they would stop New York's pennant-winning streak at five.

And how: 102-60, seven games ahead of the second-place White Sox and 25 games — 25! — removed from the Damn Yankees down there in sixth place.

The current 14th straight season without a World Series came emphatically for New York in 2023, when the Yankees went 82-80 to finish fourth in the AL East.

Don't take that to be a trend.

Asked about the Yankees before Tuesday's first meeting of 2024, Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said:

"I think they've definitely added and supplemented. … You can see it in the depth of their lineup. It's a good lineup right now.

"They don't have their No. 1 starting pitcher, but in a lot of ways, it seems like a more healthy group. Sometimes that's just the difference between being a .500 team and winning a lot more games than that."

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The Yankees won this one, 5-1, and now are 28-15, a half-game in front of Baltimore in the AL East. As for the Twins, on this night they were more reminiscent of the teams that went 2-16 vs. the Yankees in six playoff matchups from 2003 to 2019 than the red-hot club that came in having won 17 of 20.

The Twins announced during the game that Byron Buxton, after going through a pregame workout, will have a two-game rehab assignment in St. Paul before a likely return to center field for the Twins.

They could have used him there Tuesday. Willi Castro failed to break on a ball in the late-day sun in the first, then lollygagged a throw into second base. Starter Chris Paddack didn't allow that run to score.

Then, with it 3-1 in the fourth, Juan Soto and Aaron Judge were on base and Alex Verdugo smoked a ball a bit toward left-center. Castro's route was flawed (not a first out there) and Verdugo had a two-run double.

Ballgame, right there.

Bringing in Soto to join Judge makes these Yankees frightening, particularly when they're back in the Bronx with that ridiculous home run porch in right field.

There's also Giancarlo Stanton not appearing to be a full-time flailer as in 2023. He jumped a Paddack changeup in the third, it looked like a double in the gap, and this missile kept rising into the bullpen.

They don't have Cy Young-winner Gerrit Cole for now, and those young Orioles are talented, but here's my early choice to represent the American League in the 2024 World Series:

Those Damn Yankees. They are dangerous and they are due.