Thirteen straight playoff losses including 10 at the hands of the Yankees means absolutely nothing to the 2019 Twins and manager Rocco Baldelli.
While New York media is harnessing the energy of Twins President Dave St. Peter's statement about it being time to slay the Yankee dragon, Baldelli and the players have no fear of playing under the bright lights in the big city.
The statement Baldelli was presented with on Tuesday: "You have to admit there's somewhat of an intimidation factor at Yankee Stadium in the. playoffs."
"I wouldn't agree with the preface there," Baldelli responded. "I think it's a different energy. You're in NYC, it's a big city. There's a different feel to everything that you do when you fly into the airport, jump on the bus and head into the big city. That said, I don't find it intimidating at all. I've been a part of many, many games in that ballpark and been a part of many, many great efforts in that ballpark – and winning efforts.
"So I don't see it. I think the fans and everyone who have followed the Twins for a long time ... have many thoughts about these types of games. But as far as our players and our clubhouse, I don't think any of our guys care one bit about what has happened here previously. And I think our guys are about as confidence going into this series as you can be."
Part of that confidence has to come from Minnesota's MLB-leading 55 road wins, which is just two fewer victories than the Yankees had at home (57-24) this season. New York owns the third-best home record in the majors, but the Twins 55-26 road record is seven games better than the next best road record (Tampa Bay, 48-33).
Baldelli has yet to announce who will start Game 1 on Friday night (6:07 p.m.). The Twins' skipper says he plans to wait until the very last moment to unveil the postseason roster and pitching rotation.