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OOTP 22 Tournament: Twinkie Town Gud Twins Tourney

Before the season fails to begin on time, let’s bring back the simulator.

MLB: JUL 07 White Sox at Twins

It’s been several months since the last OOTP 22 tournament on Twinkie Town. Let’s change that.

Inspired by the recent The Dugs Experimental Baseball Tournament, I have gathered Twins and Senators past and present into eight unorthodox teams, which I will pit against each other in a tournament to determine which Twins are the guddest.

It should be noted that roster construction was hampered by the fact that players who debuted in 2021 are not in the importable historical player database in OOTP 22. This meant that some rosters needed to be edited from their original construction, but in the end I was able to put together eight 26-man squads.

A few notes:

  • I have let the AI set lineups, depth charts, rotations, and bullpens, so any oddities are the game’s, not mine.
  • Players were eligible for more than one team, which is why you’ll see Byron Buxton’s name four times.
  • Unless otherwise stated, the chosen season is (in my estimation) the player’s best statistical season as a Twin or Senator under the given constraint. (An exception is when that season was 2021, as there were import issues with bringing in 2021s while maintaining players’ ratings. As such, the only player whose 2021 season is represented is Alex Kirilloff.)

Here are the eight teams.

TJ Division

Team 1: Digital Divide

Players with uniform numbers 60 or higher

The team which lost the most players (five) due to 2021 debuts, the Divide consists of players who have worn uniform numbers 60 or higher in the season they wore that number. While their group of starters is a weakness, they have a stronger bullpen anchored by Pat Neshek (who, as far as I can tell, wore No. 72 for exactly one game) at closer. Their lineup and bench is also not all that strong, with Max Kepler and Chris Parmelee not yet in their prime. Overall, this is a team without any obvious strengths, but they have a group of young players who could grow.

Team 2: Bristol Barstools

Players who bat right (or switch) and throw left

Given the constraints of this team, an obvious flaw can be seen in their seven position players on the roster. (It would have been eight if 2021 debuts could have been imported, as Gilberto Celestino is a BRTL.) The team has a strong pitching staff, with Hippo Vaughn and Syd Cohen rated the top pitchers by the game, and have a solid outfield. But the entire rest of their lineup, including catchers and most infielders, will have to be filled by pitchers. That ought to be fun to watch.

Team 3: Wonder Years

Players who had one great year in an otherwise not-so-great career

These players have all had their best seasons imported, so they could easily be a strong contender in the postseason bracket. They boast a strong rotation, Pete Redfern the highest-rated starter, and a solid but unspectacular position group. This squad should be a strong contender in the TJ Division.

Team 4: Scrabble Babble

Players with a prominent Q, Z, or X in their name

Another team that is decent but not spectacular in any particular area. This team sees only three players — pitchers Tom Zachary (55), Zach Duke (57), and Bill Zuber (59) — rated by OOTP as 55 or above on a 20-80 scale. Given the state of the rest of their division, though, any team has a chance in this league.

Benjamin Division

Team 5: Alliterative Appellations

Players with alliterative (or assonant) first and last names

This team (one of three teams crafted as Twins-only, along with teams 7 and 8) was easy to construct, as I’d made it three years ago, only adding Mike Morin as the 26th man. The strength of the squad is its infield, with Rich Reese, Tim Teufel, Greg Gagne, and Gary Gaetti starting and three solid backups behind. They also boast a true ace in Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven, but the rest of the pitching staff is considerably more questionable.

Team 6: Special Ks

Pitchers and batters with lots of strikeouts

In this team, seasons are decided by highest strikeout total, meaning there are plenty of dominant starters to compete for five rotation spots. This team’s pitching staff includes Hall of Famers in Walter Johnson and Blyleven, and going through the names we see ace after ace after ace. The one weakness of the squad is its infield, as few Twins infielders have struck out with considerable frequency.

Team 7: Early Birds

First-round draft picks

By far the strengths of this team are the catcher spot — any team with prime Joe Mauer has a strength at catcher — and the outfield. Everything else is mediocre to okay, with a good ace in José Berríos but plenty of players here who never played up to their potential.

Team 8: Inside Baseballers

Batters who hit inside-the-park home runs and pitchers who surrendered them

For this team, seasons were selected based on when the player was involved in the most ITPHRs, or the better season if there was a tie. For batters, all players who hit multiple ITPHRs made the team, as did all three catchers and David Ortiz, because he is David Ortiz. Newly-elected Hall of Famers Ortiz and Tony Oliva highlight this squad, with a solid lineup and bench all around. The rotation is just okay behind Blyleven and Jim Kaat, but a strong bullpen anchored by Taylor Rogers and Joe Nathan hopes to keep other teams off the scoreboard.

All rosters can be found here.

I’ll recap the season in two halves before starting the tournament proper, but here are your latest Twinkie Town Tournament teams.

Let’s go.

Let’s git gud.

— | Introduction | Season (first half)