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BEST TWINS PLAYER Minneapolis 1999 -

Readers' Choice: Brad Radke

Why does Twins manager Tom Kelly look like he's about to break into tears every time someone asks him about the team's prospects in 1999? Perhaps he knows that vague descriptions like "talented," "young," and "exciting" really mean that most of the team's lineup should be playing softball in Kenosha. After some belt-tightening by gazillionaire owner Carl Pohlad, Kelly and his boys will need divine intervention to go .500 and finish anywhere but in the basement of the dismal AL Central. As always, the Twinkies should get plenty of aid from their man on the mound, Brad Radke. The right-handed hurler's 12 wins and 4.3 ERA in 1998 were down from his stellar 1997 season totals but still largely responsible for keeping the Twins from being demoted to AAA. Barring injury, Radke has a shot at winning 20 games in 1999 (perhaps more if the team didn't also have to score to win). By Pohlad logic, this means that he will either be summarily released at the end of the year or offered a pittance contract worth the same as one of Mark McGwire's home run balls.

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