Twins announce 2002 schedule

Wishful thinking?

Posted: Sunday, December 23, 2001

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Twins still don't know if they have a future, but they finally have a schedule.

Minnesota, one of the teams commissioner Bud Selig wants to eliminate before next season, announced its 2002 schedule Friday. The Twins start the season on a 10-game trip to Kansas City, Toronto and Cleveland, then open at the Metrodome on April 12 against Detroit.

Robert DuPuy, baseball's chief legal officer, notified teams Thursday night they could release tentative schedules, but said Selig will press forward with contraction. Sixteen teams then released their schedules on Friday.

The AL champion New York Yankees will start selling individual game tickets Wednesday, but the Twins will wait a few weeks.

''All tickets are being sold subject to change,'' DuPuy said.

It's unclear if fans buying individual game tickets will be able to get refunds if opponents change.

''The policy is being set by the individual clubs,'' DuPuy said. ''The ticket holders will be treated fairly across the board.''

Baseball owners voted Nov. 6 to eliminate two teams, and the Twins and Montreal Expos are the likely candidates. But 10 days later, a Minnesota judge issued an injunction that forces the Twins to honor their least at the Metrodome next season.

The appeal by the Twins and baseball is scheduled to be hearing Thursday, and that ruling could be appealed to Minnesota's Supreme Court.

With spring training scheduled to start Feb. 15, many teams wanted to push ahead with ticket sales.

''We reached a point where it is important for us to move forward in preparation for the 2002 season,'' said Dave St. Peter, the Twins senior vice president of business affairs. ''That includes sending out the schedule.''

The Twins haven't decided when to start individual game sales, but they likely will begin in late January, spokesman Brad Ruiter said.

''Coordinating the logistics for a baseball season, including ticket sales and travel accommodations, is complicated and diverse,'' St. Peter said. ''Clearly, everything will be subject to change. It's marked as tentative, but tentative is an understatement at this point.''

The Twins will face the National League East and the Milwaukee Brewers in interleague play with home series against the Florida Marlins (June 7-9), Atlanta Braves (June 10-12) and the Brewers (June 28-30).

Minnesota has road games at the Brewers (July 18-20), New York Mets (July 18-20) and Philadelphia Phillies (July 21-23).

Other highlights for the Twins include home series against the Yankees (May 10-12) and Boston Red Sox (August 16-18).

Minnesota led the AL Central for much of last season and finished second to Cleveland, the Twins' best showing since winning the 1991 World Series. That was accomplished despite baseball's lowest payroll.

''The fact that our momentum has been stunted by talk of contraction has really clouded our offseason and may continue to do so,'' St. Peter said.

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