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Was Amy Klobuchar Snookered by Chuck Schumer?

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Everything Minnesota fans do not want to know about the Twins-Yankees rivalry

While it is unknown who initiated the wager, Minnesota DFL Senator Amy Klobuchar may very well have been hustled earlier on Wednesday when agreeing to a friendly bet with Democratic New York Senator Chuck Schumer over the Minnesota Twins/New York Yankees divisional series that begins Wednesday night.

Knowing full well the one-term Senator (born and raised in the Gopher State) could not bet against the Twins, the seasoned two-term senior Senator from New York has the experience of many such wagers under his belt, as well as history on his side.

While most Twins fans are painfully aware of the recent woes the club has experienced at the hands of New York over the past few years, Minnesota's problems with the Yankees date back decades.

The Twins' struggles in the playoffs against New York are well-known - getting booted out of the playoffs by the Yankees three out of the five times the ball club has made the playoffs since 2003.

Worse yet, these three divisional series were ugly - with the Twins notching just two games during the 2003 (1-3), 2004 (1-3) and 2009 (0-3) matchups.

But Minnesota's troubles with New York don't begin and end in the postseason, or even the past 10 years.

A Smart Politics analysis of Major League Baseball game logs finds the Twins have won just 10 of 50 season series with the Yankees, dating back to their first season in the Cities in 1961.

The Yankees have won 32 season series and the two teams have tied in another eight.

But the last two decades have been particularly brutal for Minnesota.

Over the last 18 seasons dating back to 1993, Minnesota has only won one season series - in 2001, winning four of six games.

New York, meanwhile, has won 14 season series and the teams have split three others (2000, 2005, 2006).

During this 18-season span, the Yankees have amassed a 97-52 record against Minnesota, or a .651 winning percentage.

The Twins' .349 winning percentage against the Yankees across these 149 games is 31 percent worse (.157 points) than their .506 winning percentage against the other 28 teams in the league (1,365 victories and 1,335 losses).

Meanwhile, the Yankees' record against Minnesota is 9.8 percent better (.058 points) than their winning percentage against the rest of the league during this 18-year span (.593).

Overall, the Yankees have a 328-242 advantage over the Twins in regular season games since 1961 (.575).

Minnesota got off to a good start against the Yankees, however, winning their first ever game on April 11, 1961 by blanking them in New York by a 6-0 score.

The following 10 years were the best period in the head-to-head matchups between the two cities, with the Twins winning 85 and losing 82 (.509).

Since then, the Twins only managed winning percentages of .371, .395, and .462 over the next three 10-year cycles.

But the worst stretch to date has definitely been the last ten years.

In addition to suffering three early playoff exits at the hands of the Yankees, Minnesota has not even mustered a winning percentage of 30 percent in regular season matchups (20 wins and 47 losses, .299).

Minnesota Twins vs. New York Yankees Regular Season Record by 10-Year Periods

Period
Twins
Yankees
Twins %
1961-1970
85
82
.509
1971-1980
43
73
.371
1981-1990
45
69
.395
1991-2000
49
57
.462
2001-2010
20
47
.299
Total
242
328
.425
Table compiled by Smart Politics.

Minnesota fans and Senator Klobuchar are thus hoping history does not repeat itself for a fourth time this October, and the Twins can put the misery they have suffered over the better part of the last 40 years against the Yankees behind them.

And the terms of the bet?

From Senator Klobuchar's press release:

"If the Yankees win, Klobuchar will deliver 10 bags of fried cheese curds from Target Field, a Minnesota specialty, to Schumer's office while wearing a Yankees cap. If the Twins win, Schumer will deliver 10 pizzas from Roma Pizza, a New York favorite in Brooklyn, to Klobuchar's office while wearing a Twins hat."

Then again, Klobuchar is a lawyer, and the terms do not dictate that the cheese curds must be fresh. If the Twins lose, perhaps she'll get a little 'Brooklyn' on Schumer and scour up some curds left over from last month's State Fair and stuff them in Target Field bags.

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