MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - The Twins arrived in Minnesota Thursday to a hero's welcome after clinching a spot in the playoffs, becoming the first team in MLB history to make the postseason after notching 100 losses the previous year.
Fox 9 Sports Director Jim Rich was on the tarmac to catch up with second baseman Brian Dozier, whose late-game heroics lifted the Twins to a victory over the Indians Tuesday night in Cleveland.
How did the Twins hold it together after the trade deadline passed and the team failed to pick up any game-changing players?
DOZIER: "At the time, everyone was down and out, but we corralled together. That kind of brought us together even more. We've always been a close-knit team ... but that kind of pushed us over the edge, so to speak. We decided, "Hey, we're getting into the postseason." And we kept saying, "Don't let us in, don't let us in," and they have.
"So it's going to be a fun ride, and we've got a lot of great baseball ahead of us. I've never been so proud of a group of guys in my entire life."
Was the champagne celebration everything you ever imagined it would be?
DOZIER: "Well, I always told myself that for my very first one I wasn't going to use any goggles. I want to feel the burn. After about 20 minutes, my eyes couldn't take it anymore and I put the goggles on.
"The amount of good emotion and vibes in the room when we saw we clinched and then over the course of the next hour or two, It's unbelievable.
"Just the fact that we came from where we were last year to where we were this year is really unique.
How much work went into the team and this run?
DOZIER: "We set out in Spring Training to clean a bunch of things up, and we recognized that we have a great team. We're not a 100-loss team and we're not a bad team--we can be really, really good.
"Once we got fundamentally sound, and let our talent take over, we can do anything. One thing that sets us apart from a lot of teams is that we play with a lot of heart. I wish I could say that you see that all the time up here, but that's not the case. This team plays with heart and that's what it takes to win up here."
The Twins resume play Friday night at 7:10 p.m. against the Detroit Tigers.