If you wanted to visit the Minnesota Twins website, twins.com won’t help you. The Twins have minnesotatwins.com, twinsbaseball.com, mntwins.com and for all I know WellSeeYouTomorrowNight.com (OK, they don’t have that one).
But they don’t have twins.com and not’s like Major League Baseball hasn’t tried, Grantland reports.
A Philadelphia law firm bought Twins.com was purchased in 1995, when Scott Leius owned thirdbase at the Metrodome and people didn’t really know what a URL was good for.
Major League Baseball didn’t care, either. It didn’t have a website until 1998.
Ever since then, according to Grantland, MLB has been conducting a “stealth campaign” to buy every website that could connect to one of its teams, making up for its slow entry into the web business.
There’s just these last three holdouts: Giants.com, Rays.com, and Twins.com.
But Twins.com? It goes to this:
It is the flyover country of websites.
Why? Grantland’s Ben Lindbergh tracked down the owner. It took months.
No surprise. Durland and Darvin Miller are twins.
“To lose the Twins.com thing for us would be a life change. We’ve identified with it for decades,” they said.
The league has tried for years to get the domain, but the fellas won’t sell. Why? Partly because the twins — the Minnesota Twins — have never asked.
An MLBAM spokesperson confirms that there has been “direct outreach [to the twins] from in-house,” but that the talks have never resulted in the right price. The Millers seem to prefer that the outreach originate with their team, not the league.
“We’ve just never been approached by anybody directly associated with the Minnesota Twins,” Durland says. “It’s always been through some other party trying to probably broker a deal, or commission a deal.” Judging by my own initial efforts to contact the Millers, the indirect approach doesn’t work. If MLB is serious about acquiring Twins.com, Twins president Dave St. Peter might have to fly to California and knock on Durland and Darvin’s door.
St. Peter, who tweeted in 2011 that he was “not optimistic” about reaching a resolution with the Millers based on the reports he’d received from MLBAM, told me that the Twins haven’t reached out to the Millers directly because teams rely on MLBAM to lead the acquisition effort.
“At this point, would I like to have Twins.com?” St. Peter asks. “Yeah, I think it would be great to have that. But obviously we’ve invested a tremendous amount of time and energy into twinsbaseball.com. And I think generally our fan base is well aware of what the URL is.”
St. Peter, who knew the Millers were twins but wasn’t aware they were Twins fans, doubts that the “baseball” tacked on to “twins” has cost the team any brand awareness or ticket/merchandise sales. And given the hassle and expense associated with changing a team’s long-held URL, he’s “not sure that it [would be] in the business interest of the Twins.”
So the twins — the guys — might’ve waited too long if they’re looking to get rich, Grantland says. The value of domains isn’t what it used to be.
But if they ever sell it, they’ve got a backup plan.
“We kept ‘twinz’ with a z as well, so we use that as our backup email address for all those free Chili’s gift certificates,” Durland says.