After a 50-day players union strike, baseball resumed in August 1981.
Since the strike lasted nearly two months, owners decided to go with a split season. Season No. 1 winners were the teams in 1st place the day before the strike began. Those teams would square off in the playoffs against the 1st place teams in Season No. 2, which began after the strike ended.
What that meant, in effect, was that first and last place teams (before the strike) were back to even when the season resumed. The Twins were still unable to make the playoffs, even with two chances to win the division.
Lee Axdahl reports.