It is rainy in the Twins Cities today. The sky is as grey as it gets, and the chances of actual sunshine are around zero percent. There is more cold, and more snow, in the forecast.
My yard is still partially covered with snow, the top of which now sports a crust thick enough that my kids can walk across it without leaving footprints or, thankfully, getting their socks and shoes wet. The remaining cover is thickest out in the middle of the yard, about where home plate generally gets placed, right in front of the garden bed that my mom will fill with hostas in a few weeks. Those plants will be mined over and over all summer long for balls which got by someone's bat, but my mom doesn't seem to care. She's a fan.
On the boulevards, the gigantic snow piles I created with my own muscle power have been steadily shrinking away from the sunshine of the past week. Their edges, once plump and tall and foreboding, are now scalloped and dirty and oddly crystalline. If I do have to shovel later this week, there will be a place to put it all. That wasn't true a couple of weeks ago.
But the disappearing snow is revealing something that I always forget about: The yard beneath it is still just as scruffy as it was when the first snow covered it so beautifully last fall. If there is a gift to winter, it's that all the sins of summer are shrouded for a time -- not exactly forgiven, but at least put away. Dormancy has its virtues.
Now those memories emerge, and the hidden things look once again like they need tending: The pitching got better, but the hitting got worse. The base running is an open question, as is the defense.
Wait, what just happened? Let's see, I was talking about the grass and leaves and general muck of my yard, and then...
On Opening Day, everything is about baseball.
As I write this, the sun is defying the odds and peaking out through a small break in the overcast. It reminds me that today all teams are 0-0 and, regardless of the forecast, anything is possible.
Reports in the media have been generally favorable toward this year's TwinsFest reboot. I didn't get to go, but here are some highlights as reported by BPMers who did.
First, from CSG Mike:
The crowds were not bad on Saturday afternoon from 1-3pm, considering it was "sold out." I think they probably limited it to the right number of tickets. I would compare it to a full game scenario in the LC. Make sense? Overall the spaces seemed rather disjointed. Unlike previous TF where it was all held in one giant space... They used the Suite level, LC, and service level (-2)...
Steve Maki, the Metrodome’s head of operations...said that long time staff from the MSFA and Mortenson went to the controls of the fans that hold up the building this morning, and one by one took turns shutting them off. "It wasn’t three-two-one, but still symbolic of taking down the building," Maki said.
Once the manager has exhausted his ability to challenge plays during the game and after the beginning of the seventh inning, the crew chief may choose to invoke instant replay on any reviewable call. In that circumstance, the crew chief is not obligated to invoke instant replay if requested by the manager.
Well, it's finally all over. Are we sad? Even a little? Really?
What is there left to say about one of the most maligned sports venues in the history of professional sports? That it served its purpose? That it was cost effective? That it was sufficiently warm/cool/dry on those too cold/hot/wet days? That some interesting things happened there? That some of our teams won? That a lot of people shouted, or roller-bladed, or even worshiped there? That the Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney and U2 played there? That it could be converted from one sport to another in just a few hours?
"You talk about the magic, the aura, but what really makes a stadium is the fans. Concrete doesn't talk back to you. Chairs don't talk back to you. It's the people who are there, day in, day out, that makes the place magic."
– Bernie Williams
Explore the Site
Here are 50 images chosen randomly from the 3037 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Sometime in the late 1980s: B ramp is under construction. Not yet built: Target Center, I-394 and the A ramp.
This is the trapezoid (for lack of a better name) in right center. Be sure to notice section of seats just below the pavilion and above the fence (which I hadn't noticed before). For those who are interested, what looks like an old-style scoreboard is in fact a high-def video board which will look, at times, like an old-fashioned scoreboard.
This view is from the roof of a warehouse which stood where the A ramp is today. The HERC is now located where the tracks turned north (toward the top).
Here's another view up Sixth Street toward where the plaza will meet First Avenue (it will hug Target Center all the way).
I suppose that one day my son will graduate from Mrs. Fields to Hooters. At least he won't have to travel too far. *Shudder*
(Click to enlarge.)
Go get 'em, boys!
The creative design of the admin building stands in stark contrast to the horribly pedestrian appearance of the LRT platform. This design looks like it came out of a public transportation manual.
Signage for the concession stand which is available from the plaza (plaques are up on the fencing)
...but you can get a feel for what it will be like.
Seventh Street circulation
Someone please get those poor people a drink of water. (Gate 34, after the game had started)
Yes, it's pretty tempting to just walk right in...
Here's the current overview from the south side of the B ramp (from which the banner at the top of this page was culled).
Poles through the gap
Click to enlarge. (Photo by Jared Wieseler)
A mini-freeway! (Police action in progress...)
I don't think this will remain a knothole, but the view is pretty cool.
These two sections are within a few feet of one another.
This looks from the base of the stairs, behind the big pillars, toward the street.
The gate has grown a row of sponsorship
Touring the Rapid Park site (L-R: Commissioners Wade, Vekich, Sykora, Cramer, and tour guide Chuck Ballentine, source: RP)
No offense, TC, but you're pointing exactly the wrong direction if you want people to use the ramp opening to your right...
Photo by Tyler Wycoff
A peek through a tiny gate.
From the TV camera platform -- the view you'll see on TV
Despite what those signs say, every one of these places was selling either snacks or Yankee memorabilia out of its front door. Do you suppose anything like this will spring up anywhere near the new Twins ballpark?
The circulation ramp on the north now has its louver framing.
A cold afternoon in 323, but we had our trusty Twins blanket -- made by my mom when Noah was born.
I had to hold the camera as far over my head as I could to get this shot, in which the infield is finally visible. It's a spot made for your average Timberwolves player.