Careful observers noted that the Twins swept Oakland over the past few days, with all three games featuring a small wardrobe modification from what the team has worn lately.
Instead of the "TC" caps that have typically adorned players' heads, Twins' players wore the "M" caps instead. On Monday, they wore special "M" caps as part of MLB's "Stars and Stripes" series for Memorial Day. On Tuesday and Wednesday, they wore navy caps with the red "M" lettering.
Before making the switch, the Twins hadn't worn the "M" caps since Aug. 7, 2011, according to team President Dave St. Peter. In the time between wearing the "M" caps, the Twins were a combined 27-68 spanning 48 games last season and 47 more this year. They were also on a five-game losing streak heading into Monday.
Now, you might argue that the extension of that streak had more to do with Capps (as in Matt, who surrendered a two-run homer in the ninth on Sunday) than caps, but ballplayers and the fans who watch them are notoriously superstitious creatures. So when a struggling team suddenly wins three consecutive games after a minor change, people notice. On our part, it sparked a little bit of digging into cap history.
"The 'TC' caps were eliminated from the club's uniform mix in 1987," St. Peter wrote in an e-mail. "The team brought the 'TC' cap back as a tribute to Calvin Griffith -- who passed away in October 1999 -- for the 2000 season. The 'TC' became an official cap again for the club in 2001 -- joining the 'M' cap."
The Twins have three caps that are official, based on the MLB style guide: Home "TC" caps (all navy), road "TC" caps (navy with a red bill) and the navy "M" caps. The "TC" caps have to be worn at the appropriate home/away games, but the "M" caps can be worn home or away. The decision on which to wear, according to St. Peter, "ultimately rests with Rod McCormick -- our equipment manager."
It's hard to argue, though, with three consecutive victories -- even against the struggling A's. Will the Twins don the "M" caps again when their next series starts in Cleveland?
"I'd be SHOCKED if we didn't wear them again on Friday," St. Peter wrote.