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Acknowledgements and Adjustments

May 22, 2011 1:46 AM

I'm republishing this article because it got buried quickly by the Killebrew news. I'll have another piece on Killebrew in the coming days, and definitely plan on attending the memorial Thursday night.

But the mourning has been taking its toll. Time to talk a little baseball -- which is exactly what Harmon wanted to do in the hours before he died. Too bad his final baseball conversations had to center on the theme "What's wrong with the Twins?"

Over the weekend, a visitor from the south side of Chicago asked me if I was "embarrassed" by the Twins. He was shocked when I said I wasn't (being himself readily willing to admit embarrassment by the Sox).

"They'll need to run their major league team out there a few times before I can say I'm embarrassed."

And that's really how I feel. We haven't seen what the 2011 Twins can do yet because we haven't really seen the 2011 Twins -- at least not the team we expected. A Molotov cocktail of injury, illness, and confidence-sapping bad luck have conspired to create the Frankenstein's monster of a baseball team we've been watching. You can almost see the bolts sticking out of the lineup's neck.

But we must also acknowledge that all the bad mojo has revealed something fundamental: What looked like a more or less routine "Twins way" offseason (cheap equivalents replacing expensive departures, non-move after non-move being regarded as "moves"), now looks more like a dereliction of duties, or at least a serious misdiagnosis. Most of the nonsteps now look like missteps.

In other words, blaming the results on circumstance rings decidedly hollow. Look back to reports during the offseason or spring training and you'll see that much of this mess was actually visible (and acknowledged) in foresight. Here are some big things which now glare at us from the Twins dugout.

1. The failure to pair Nishioka with a worthy double-play partner.

Whether he ended up at short or second, Nishi wasn't going to be able to handle the entire middle infield by himself. The pairing with Casilla was more out of a lack of alternatives than it was an unwillingness to cut bait on an underperforming, aging, former prospect. But cut bait they should have.

We don't know who the Twins may have tried to go after, but running Casilla out there on opening day was the first sign that maybe this season was going to be lumpy. It was the first dent in the confidence of the defense, which also became the first dent in the pitching performances. (Confidential to J.J. Hardy fans: More upside? Yes. Reality? No.)

2. The failure to retain a qualified backup catcher.

Stocking a backup messiah is expensive, so most religions don't. But when your messiah isn't available, you should at least be able to turn to a worthy apostle -- one whose name the faithful have at least heard. (Peter was no Jesus, but he did keep the franchise viable.)

Drew Butera has done yeoman's work, but he is half a player. This is not a surprise. Nor is it a surprise that Joe Mauer isn't catching every day. No one expected Joe Mauer to catch every day, even if he were 100% healthy. (Some would say that $23 million buys you every day. Such people do not know very well how professional baseball works.)

But by retaining only Butera as a backup, the Twins were essentially giving away all of Mauer's scheduled/anticipated/planned/guaranteed off-days. At one day a week, that's a hefty number of games to concede before the first pitch has been thrown.

You can look at the individual deals which moved Ramos and Morales and make a case that each was necessary and reasonable (maybe) at the time. But you cannot claim that Butera was ever going to be a viable, long-term sub for anybody. We have been spoiled with Mike Redmond, Henry Blanco and even Tom Prince -- catchers who were perfectly suited for one or two-days-a-week service, and who could also provide much-needed veteran presences. Butera is none of the above, and neither are the other anonymous and fleeting guys we've seen so far.

Delmon Young

But here's what's lost in the Butera-can't-hit focus: Twins pitchers post significantly higher ERAs when anybody but Mauer is calling games. That's major dent #2 in the pitching performances.

3. The failure to flip Delmon Young.

I have a friend who will defend Young as a potentially great player whose offense will always make up for his defense.

Not only do I disagree, but I've never been convinced by this offense/defense trade-off nonsense. Whole players do both. Players who are deficient in one or the other are wasting space. Winning teams have whole players at every position, with "specialists" sitting on the bench.

Young's defense moved up a notch in 2010 -- from dreadful to merely awful (I believe that the PC term is "replacement level") -- but it has tanked again in 2011. I think you can make a case both for his lack of abilities out there, and for his lack of comfort in the organization. He doesn't buy the "Twins way" and when the team is not winning, you get effort like we saw against the Blue Jays.

Not only does he not provide solid defense on a good day, but he does not add any of that "certain something" that winning teams need. He looks like a misfit out there, and the clubhouse stories that we hear suggest that he's been a misfit for the organization from day one.

After his relatively productive 2010 season, he became a natural candidate for exchange. Perhaps the Twins tried. We do not know. But that he's out there again this year represents a step backward, and his defense is yet another dent in pitching performances.

4. The failure to retain/build bullpen confidence.

What could the Twins have done to prevent the bullpen purge which took place? Staggering contracts might have helped. But picking the best of the bunch and resigning him also could have made a difference.

As it is, all the swagger drained into the Target Field bullpen turf just like snow in the wan spring sunlight. For years, guys who were serviceable at best somehow found a way to be better as a unit than any one was individually. That's a rare quality, but it has characterized the Twins bullpen for the better part of a decade.

Now, without any confidence, the weaknesses of each individual pitcher are on display, and they are left to flounder, alone.

I know that the salary numbers were prohibitive, but pick any one: Crain, Guerrier, Rauch, Fuentes, Neshek. I'm not saying that any of these guys could have been a savior -- wait, that's exactly what I'm saying. And I'm saying it because the turnover took away about one familiar face too many. One more continuous cog and that wheel might have been able to continue turning.

Barring that, a proven -- i.e. veteran -- replacement would have served. Joe Nathan as a leader can only do so much a year into Tommy John recovery.

5. The failure to move beyond wishful starting pitching.

It's not quite the same thing in the rotation. We signed the next best pitcher on the free agent list. But nobody's kidding himself about Pavano's status as an ace. He's not. On a contending club, he's a fine back-of-the-rotation starter. But the Twins have tried to elevate him, while surrounding him with the ruins of once great potential (and at least a little bit of remaining, though not-quite-realized potential).

But knowing all of the weaknesses in this rotation -- which have been talked to death in the past year or so -- it seems like somebody could have imagined that a few bad outings could break the confidence of the whole staff. To get at that, one fresh veteran arm seems like it would have at least given this crew some hope, and a little elasticity to absorb the inevitable bad things to come.

I don't know who that arm might have been, or what it would have cost. We also have no idea what deals the Twins tried but failed to make. But standing pat with a rotation which everyone knew was seriously flawed must be considered a big mistake.


.....deep breath.....

You may have noticed that I'm focusing on the reasons for the problems with the pitching. That's because, when I look at these box scores, I see the amount of runs we're giving up as the primary problem.

The hitters are having their struggles, and that's not to be discounted. But it's a lot harder to hit when your team is down 8-0 after three and a half innings. You can keep telling yourself that you'll come back, but after a few weeks of, um, not coming back, you have to start calling yourself a liar.

For the offense, here's my main beef:

6. The absence of spark.

You can work your tail off, but your personality is built into your genes. Some guys are born sparkplugs, others are not. Right now, it's hard to find a sparkplug on this team.

I was only half-joking a couple of weeks ago when I suggested that losing Nick Punto had a bigger effect on this club than any other single offseason move. Analysts have been lamenting for years what the Twins have been paying for a utility guy, but maybe they were actually paying for something else.

The highlight reels don't lie. Punto has a way of making the play that needs to be made. And he plays the game with a vigor that is contagious. The Cards are literally seeing the benefit of having him around. Teams have needed and benefited from mascots/cheerleaders for more than a century, and there's a reason.

This was on May 11...in the FIRST inning... Confidential to scoreboard guys: Really? This kind of thing looks pretty desperate.

I think that I'm still half-joking about this, but you let me know when you see another Twin playing with the excitement of a Little Leaguer.

All the great teams have that. And it comes from somewhere deep within the organization. The Twins need that desperately.

7. Over-reliance on the "Twins way".

Baseball is a game of adjustments. Working the count and trying to hit opposite field singles worked for a while. But let's face facts: that is not an exciting way to play the game. It's methodical and sensible. Sometimes, baseball is a game about abandon and crazy chances and swagger. (Besides, most of the Twins not named Mauer aren't really that good at working the count anyway.)

Sometimes they seem to be losing the head game, swinging at pitches that they have no business swinging at, for reasons unknown.

The 2011 Twins need to listen to the wisdom of Tony O, captured for all time in commercial form: "See ball, hit ball."

I've been watching a lot more non-Twins baseball on TV this season (for reasons which have been well-whined-about in this space before), and I've noticed something. Other teams are getting hits on pitches that are -- gasp -- not in the strike zone. I've actually seen home runs hit by pulling the ball!

Waiting for your pitch is all well and good, but what do you do if it never comes? Sometimes the Twins seem to be so intent on waiting for that pitch, that when they do swing, it looks to be more out of impatience and frustration than anything else.

I don't think there's a statistic for it, but is there a worse bad-ball-hitting team than the Twins? They seem to have forgotten that you can do something with any pitch you can get to. (Vlad Guerrero is the poster child for this ability.)

They need to consider this famous advice: "If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right." To paraphrase, instead of tuna salad and waiting for a mistake pitch to hit to the opposite field, chicken salad and hitting the next pitch from where it is to wherever the hell it wants to go.

Please note, this is not a suggestion for a long-term replacement to the "Twins way". It's just time for acknowledgements and adjustments. It's time for "do the opposite" day -- or season.


Now let's move to the the less tangible and wholly irrational.

8. Blaming Target Field.

The angle of the batter's eye has been changed.

A ballpark can get in the head of its players. The Twins were convinced that the Metrodome provided a measurable home field advantage, so it did. The Twins are now convinced that Target Field is stealing their offense, so it is. (Perception is reality.)

First it was the trees, now it's shadows or bright spots or goblins or something. (The angle of the batter's eye was changed during the last road trip to reduce "glare" even further. See photo.)

First, they need to shake this off. The ballpark is not going to change. Deal with it. You play half your games on the road anyway.

But the next thing I'd do is go out there while the team is on the road and . . . fly a kite.

We know that the air currents in and out of this stadium are somewhat funky. We know that the flags are of essentially no use in determining what the wind will do to a batted ball. We know we've all seen at least one homer mysteriously turned into a can of corn.

Flying a kite is just an example of how to explore the wind currents. I'm sure there are more scientific ways. But whatever is going on, the team needs to know how to harness it. If nothing else, it will convince the players that it can be harnessed. That's all they need.

I have this probably irrational theory about the profile of the canopy and what it could do to wind currents (think airfoil or spoiler). I've also mentioned before the wind tunnel effect that seems to happen regularly in the upper concourse, where wind enters above the concession stands, whips around in a frenzy, and exits toward the field through the "split" in the upper deck.

The best thing the team could do is thoroughly investigate the place, report to the players, and devise a scheme to put the knowledge to competitive use.

But blaming the ballpark just has to end.

9. Further irrationality.

If I've got irrational theories, imagine what's going through the clubhouse. Bad water? HERC fumes? Contagious hypochondria? When results don't come, confidence is down, and no rational explanations are found (or perhaps even if they are), we tend to turn toward irrationality. And there are signs of this happening.

Here's my other latest irrational thinking:

Did anybody else cringe just a little bit when Joe Nathan mixed Metrodome dirt into the Target Field mound?

As I said before, it was a sweet gesture, truly, to try and transplant some of his success from one park to another. But the other part of my brain realized that Target Field was built to be the anti-Dome, and was very successful in that regard pretty much until that exact moment. There's something unholy about mixing those two kinds of dirt.

If Bill Smith can't solve the roster problems, and Jim Rantz can't solve the farm system problems, and Gardy can't solve the line-up problems, and Rick Anderson can't solve the pitching problems, and Joe Vavra can't solve the hitting problems, well, perhaps a simple exorcism is in order...

I'm kidding, of course! It's time to let all that go.

See ball, hit ball.

Upgrade your shortstop and back-up catcher and left fielder.

Grab a sparkplug.

Do the opposite.

Stock the farm teams.

OK, these are not exactly short-term solutions. The lumpiness of 2011 may very well be here to stay.

But this organization has shown itself very capable of acknowledgements and adjustments. We may have to be satisfied with watching to see what the Twins' brain trust can really do when the chips are down.

Either that or enjoy the idea that it will be very easy to get good seats to games for the next few years...

Comments


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The commentary during all this is almost enough to drive one nuts as well. To hear Bert tell it, Justin's 4th-inning at bat is the answer to all their problems - well, his problems anyway. Morneau pathetically and apologetically swung at the first pitch for 0-1, was almost too embarrassed to swing at pitch two as it floated over the outside edge of the plate, and then happened to lace the third pitch into left field for a single - after which Bert and Coomer lauded him on a "great" at bat, taking Justin's at bat as an indication that he's now doing something right, because, as Bert has explained so many times, when he tries to go the other way with it it's an indication that he's doing thing right.

Posted on May 17, 2011 at 02:26 AM by theloniousjoe Highlight this comment 1

Easy to get seats for the next few years??
Who else here wonders if the Twins might pull a Tampa Rays at some point THIS SEASON, and give away 20,000 tickets to a game in September?

Posted on May 17, 2011 at 07:43 AM by luke Highlight this comment 2

I don't. This isn't Florida. And it isn't "the trop." It's an entirely different situation. They don't care about baseball in Florida - well, past March anyhow. And the Rays play in what everyone agrees is one of the worst parks in baseball. We have slightly different circumstances in MN. The Twins are one of those teams that would probably draw bigger crowds in September once they're mathematically eliminated than in August when they're 18 games back and their E# is 4.

Posted on May 17, 2011 at 08:48 AM by theloniousjoe Highlight this comment 3

Is anyone else getting the feeling that we have a "Delmon being Delmon" situation developing? It isn't just the "Go Fetch" play on Sunday; it is his whole demeanor and body language, especially during all those recent three pitch strikeouts.

Posted on May 17, 2011 at 08:52 AM by terry Highlight this comment 4

you've tiptoed around what we're all thinking, rick. by placing a tree somewhere on a new building, the scandinavians were to appease the displaced tree-dwelling spirits of their ancestors. since the trees of the batter's eye are gone, so is twins magic and "the curse of the black spruce" has descended onto 1 twins way...

Posted on May 17, 2011 at 09:02 AM by yeahklye Highlight this comment 5

Hear, hear on the "spark" piece. Given the crappy weather this year, maybe the Twins should start working on some Rain Delay Theatre. Click on my name for a look at how much fun we COULD be having during those delays.

Posted on May 17, 2011 at 09:50 AM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 6

MLB Twitter, Twins Baseball and WCCO reporting that Harmon Killebrew passed away this morning.

May heaven's starting nine include #3.

Posted on May 17, 2011 at 10:40 AM by Jared Highlight this comment 7

We lost a true legend today.

I wonder if they will have the services on Friday so that the Twins organization can attend while they are in Phoenix to play the D-Backs.

Posted on May 17, 2011 at 10:43 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 8

I saw the news. It's another sad day in Twins baseball and beyond. We lost a great person and I really wish to have had the opportunity to see him play.

Posted on May 17, 2011 at 10:57 AM by tk Highlight this comment 9

Thanks for the update, Jared. I'm actually rather glad I read it here first.

Posted on May 17, 2011 at 10:58 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 10

Sad day for sure. I can still remember that slide at home plate at the old met in late 60's! Killer got the green light to score from 2nd on a single. A cloud of dust as the Killer slide home and then the realization that he was 10 ft short of the plate! Saw many a homerun hit by the Killer at the old met! A legond for sure!

Posted on May 17, 2011 at 11:09 AM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 11

Looks like the Rapture has knocked us back in time?

Posted on May 22, 2011 at 01:35 AM by tk Highlight this comment 12

Perkins to the DL. I am starting to believe the crazy "polluted water" Doctor guy....

Posted on May 22, 2011 at 08:11 AM by Jeff T. Highlight this comment 13

Two games in a row they finally score some runs, but than its the pitching, in particular, the bullpen that fails. I have never been a fan of Matt Capps since day one and he has done nothing with the Twins to show he is worthy of keeping around. Not to mention, we gave up Wilson Ramos for him. We sure could use Ramos right now whether as a catcher or DH or 1B fill-in.

Bert was not afraid to call out Scott Baker on last night's postgame show saying that Baker was looking into the dugout in the 6th inning after giving up that double and wanting to come out of the game as soon as he reached the 100 pitch count. He was sailing along through 5 innings (with 7 strikeouts) but as soon as Gardy asked him to go out for the 6th inning, he was looking into the dugout wanting to come out of the game. I did not notice it, but I take Bert's word for it and if its true, its becoming more and more obvious this team needs a major overhaul from coaching/management down to the the roster itself. Their philosophy and mentality just does not cut it anymore.

They definitely lack a mentality and you are not going to win many games if you have your starting pitchers begging and/or expecting to come out of the game as soon as they reach 100 pitches.

When people like Bert start calling you out, you know you have problems on the team.

And for those who are so optimistic that the Twins will turn things around, when are they going to turn it around? In years past, they could depend on beating teams such as KC, Cleveland and some of the national league teams. This year, they are 0-2 against the NL and they recently got swept by Kansas City for the first time in many years.

Posted on May 22, 2011 at 09:38 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 14

Did anyone see the article on KSTP (ESPN 1500) about Kevin Slowey. Here's a quote:

"Manager Ron Gardenhire told 1500 ESPN he had a long talk on Saturday with Slowey, a career starter who admitted trying to become a reliever "is just really hard" for him and could be demoted to Class-AAA Rochester in the coming days as the Twins try to reinforce their bullpen."

What the hell is going on? I have personally never witnessed a bigger change in one professional team than from the 2010 Twins to the 2011 Twins. It's like we've passed into some sick, deranged alternate universe. I am convinced that the majority of the individuals who post comments on this blog care more about the outcome of Twins games than many of the Twins themselves. Not all, ind you. But - Slowey.....Delmon Young....

Posted on May 22, 2011 at 5:26 PM by Jeff T. Highlight this comment 15

After actually scoring some runs the first two games of the series - only to watch their highly suspect bullpen blow up in both - they reverted to form today. Two runs ,,, one of which was driven in by the pitcher! They are on a pace to lose 108 games this year. Has any team ever gone from 94 wins to 100+ losses in one year? And is there a Little League coach out there who could instruct them on how to execute the rundown play?

Posted on May 22, 2011 at 5:43 PM by terry Highlight this comment 16

It's no longer "early." In little over a week it will be June and this team is a complete disaster. In years past when the Twins stunk, I could always look forward to Vikings training camp starting soon. Not this year with a lousy football team and lockout. Too bad the rapture didn't occur, we could use the break.

Posted on May 22, 2011 at 6:25 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 17

no worries. just a slump. Arizona is a tough park to play in, especially with the shimmering glare off the surface of the outfield pool.

Posted on May 22, 2011 at 6:34 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 18

Something seemed a little off about the Twins during the run in the 2nd half of 2011. They never seemed like a dominant team, but yet reeled off win after win. The schedule was pretty soft, but I'm starting to think they just got some good breaks. Then, take that team, screw it up every possible way in the off-season, and this is the result...and team that is 6 full games in the clear of the Orioles of being the worst team in the AL. Anybody know what the 2008 STH count was in the Dome? That is the reversion to the mean # this team is going back to.

A quick informal poll: Which player will be forced, er, I mean earn a spot on the AL All-Star squad? Kubel? Sliding pretty badly, but a clear leader at this point. Perkins? DL. Span? A clear 2nd choice at .285. Ugly.

Posted on May 22, 2011 at 7:23 PM by twinswschamps2027 (aka twinswschamps2011) Highlight this comment 19

I am sure Ole wouldn't mind having a crack at teaching them the rundown. And hitting. And pitching.

Posted on May 22, 2011 at 7:23 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 20

In 2008 the Mariners were the first MLB team to ever lose 100 games with a payroll of 100 million. We may be watching the second.

Posted on May 22, 2011 at 8:38 PM by Aj Highlight this comment 21

I am wondering who the Twins will ask us to vote for down the stretch of All Star voting. Or are they just going to pretend the All Star game doesn't exist. Ha!

Posted on May 22, 2011 at 9:29 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 22

When I was at the game last week, we received the ballots from the Usher and I asked him which Blue Jay I should vote for...

Posted on May 22, 2011 at 9:33 PM by tk Highlight this comment 23

Maybe a Baby Jesus charity vote? He could be done rehabbing whatever the hell is wrong with him in time to make the flight to Phoenix.

Posted on May 22, 2011 at 9:36 PM by twinswschamps2027 (aka twinswschamps2011) Highlight this comment 24

Pioneer Press article in which Gardenhire states Mauer will play in a rehab game this week. I like his last quote about Mauer, seeing him come in "really, really sore". All this is about him being sore? That's sad, if I am sore I still go to work, and work out.

Posted on May 22, 2011 at 11:14 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 25

We should change the conversation back to ballparks.

Rick, would love to hear some feedback on the parks you have visited so far this year. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

Posted on May 22, 2011 at 11:26 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 26

Dave, I'm still waiting for Rick's detailed review of Target Field.

Posted on May 23, 2011 at 07:38 AM by Jeff Highlight this comment 27

Anyone else wondering why the $23 million dollar man did not make it to AZ for the funeral?

Posted on May 23, 2011 at 09:24 AM by Trebor651 Highlight this comment 28

I was wondering the same thing Trebor651. Kind of sad considering he is the "face of the Twins franchise" they say. I don't think Jim Thome attended either.

Posted on May 23, 2011 at 10:06 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 29

The Twins organization wanted Joe and Jim to stay in Fort Meyers and rehad their injuries.

Posted on May 23, 2011 at 10:31 AM by Jeff Highlight this comment 30

I'm so sick and tired of hearing the Twins players using the ballpark configuration as an excuse for their pathetic offensive numbers. If it was just the ballpark, then you'd expect their numbers on the road to be dramatically better....which they aren't....and you'd also expect that our opponents would also be struggling at TF....which they aren't.

Posted on May 23, 2011 at 10:55 AM by Fred Highlight this comment 31

Bautista was concerned about why he can't play more games at TF. He was really disappointed with the addition of the beehive in the Batter's Eye, as he believes he could have been the 16th player in MLB history to hit 4 HR's in one game...

Posted on May 23, 2011 at 11:28 AM by tk Highlight this comment 32

Will be there tonight! Will I go to 0-5? May have to forgo the Holiday dogs as it's $1.00 dog night on mondays! LOL!

Posted on May 23, 2011 at 11:36 AM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 33

I am hoping to end a 6-game losing streak at TF (2-8) on the year.

Posted on May 23, 2011 at 12:04 PM by tk Highlight this comment 34

Thursday's Harmon Memorial at TF details have been released, click name

Posted on May 23, 2011 at 12:06 PM by tk Highlight this comment 35

reading some of the comments to that strib story on harmon's tribute is disheartening. newspaper online comments really bring out the deouchebags. it's fitting what the twins are doing to honor this man. he was the greatest twin of all time and great man. sure he would be embarrassed by the attention but humility was one of his strongest traits.

Posted on May 23, 2011 at 12:36 PM by tim Highlight this comment 36

Tim, true story. I dislike comment features on news websites that allow for anonymity, as comments that are intended to hurt are usually in the face of the readers, especially on the more sensitive of stories.

Posted on May 23, 2011 at 12:44 PM by tk Highlight this comment 37

I'll be at the game tonight, looking to extend my perfect (2-0) record in games this season.

And I might have as many as three unused tickets, so if anyone is interested in going tonight, stay tuned and if needed I'll look for 'takers' since I hate having tickets go to waste.

Posted on May 23, 2011 at 12:45 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 38

F_T_K, I hope your power of perfection outweighs my power of defeat. Looking forward to seeing Thome back in the lineup!

Posted on May 23, 2011 at 12:47 PM by tk Highlight this comment 39

I am guessing not, but does anyone know if all Twins players are wearing number 3 tonight? If they are asking all fans to wear #3, is the #3 on the patch enough?

I do not have a #3 and I refuse to buy one just for tonight.

If the Twins did wear #3's, this would be a great way to raise funds for charity, and when do the Twins pass up on these opportunities?

Posted on May 23, 2011 at 1:40 PM by tk Highlight this comment 40

tk, I was thinking that the players would just be wearing the '3' on the sleeves of their 1961 throwbacks, but I could be wrong.

Paul Lukas on uniwatch (clicky) believes that "doubling up on the memorial (throwback uniforms) by adding the patch cheapens it a bit." I'll disagree, since the '61 cream uniforms have been a part of the Twins' alternate uniforms since last season, not just since the news about Killer. If he's so into the minuscule details of uniforms, he should know that.

Now, according to La Velle's notes in yesterday's STrib, there's some question as to whether the players will get "final clearance" to wear those throwbacks for all home games. From whom? The laundry boy?

Posted on May 23, 2011 at 2:23 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 41

I don't think the Twins have moved beyond tasteful yet but comments that this may be viewed as a commercial event are not totally without merit. The classy thing for the team to do would be to put a comma after the part about the concessions being open and continue with "all profits will be donated to the Harmon Killebrew Foundation".

Posted on May 23, 2011 at 2:50 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 42

tk-
I don't believe they are allowed to wear #3 ever again. I would assume it's just the patches. I know they do it for Jackie Robinson day, but I doubt that they'd do it for this.

schweady-
I thought they already had final approval to do that? I'm not sure who it goes through either but I know they did ask. I think Cuddyer was the one who suggested it. I wouldn't see why you'd need to ask anyway since the starting pitcher can choose the jersey and they'd all just choose that one...

Posted on May 23, 2011 at 2:53 PM by AJ Highlight this comment 43

What is the approval process for something like that, as I know that every team wears #42 on Jackie Robinson Day. It would be my guess using deduction that if the Brooklyn Dodgers were still playing in the same capacity, they would likely not wear the jersey on JRD

Posted on May 23, 2011 at 3:06 PM by tk Highlight this comment 44

#3 is retired - I do not believe it is to be worn under any circumstance. The tribute/remembrance is on the sleeve.

From the Twins site:

"Minnesota will also don its throwback 1961 cream-colored jerseys for home games the rest of the season."

Posted on May 23, 2011 at 3:11 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 45

If anyone can make it to tonight's game, it looks like I have three tickets which will otherwise go to waste. :-(

I might make you buy me a Killebrew's root beer or a Kramarczuk's brat in return, but that's all I'd ask. Speak up quickly, I hope to be leaving work by 5:30 at the latest.

Posted on May 23, 2011 at 4:29 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 46

F_T_K, offer still available? E-mail attached to name.

Posted on May 23, 2011 at 5:12 PM by tk Highlight this comment 47

F_T_K, you can disregard

Posted on May 23, 2011 at 5:48 PM by tk Highlight this comment 48

Jared - I'm just an 8th grade baseball coach, not a miracle worker. Thanks for the shout out though. (final record this season: 13-3, with 7 games rained out and not rescheduled. Great spring, huh?)

Whatever the Twins do to remember the Killer, some people will think it's too much, some not enough. No win.

Twins bats are coming alive, tie game at 4-4. Welcome back Jim Thome!!

Posted on May 23, 2011 at 8:42 PM by ole Highlight this comment 49

Rick

You teased us with a few lines about AT&T Park, but I'm really waiting for your analysis of the Crown Jewel of all ballparks...the Overstock.com Coliseum.

Posted on May 23, 2011 at 9:00 PM by twinswschamps2027 (aka twinswschamps2011) Highlight this comment 50

Comment from Bert about Slowey, "would look great in the rotation in Rochester"

Posted on May 23, 2011 at 9:30 PM by tk Highlight this comment 51

This might be the worst bullpen in the history of baseball.

Posted on May 23, 2011 at 9:56 PM by firedog Highlight this comment 52

If Matt Capps had blonde hair and glasses he'd be Ron Davis.

Posted on May 23, 2011 at 10:30 PM by Jeff T. Highlight this comment 53

Speaking of Slowey...Bert and Dick just mentioned that Slowey could use some time away from the professional ranks. They also said that Rick Anderson said "you can say what you want about Slowey..." and that he is "proud of the other guys because they take the ball when asked." Then they showed Slowey as he was yawning and Bert said "We must be keeping him up..."

Sounds like Andy (and Dick and Bert for that matter) is throwing Slowey under the bus and that the Twins add another "apparent" pansy to their ever growing list.

Posted on May 23, 2011 at 11:03 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 54

Thome does not deserve to be on this team.

Posted on May 23, 2011 at 11:14 PM by tk Highlight this comment 55

I think you mean this team does not deserve Thome.

Posted on May 23, 2011 at 11:31 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 56

I was at the game tonight. It was pure textbook. Asking for 5 outs out of Capps, or anyone in this bullpen, is asking too much. Sad to see Swarzak up in the bullpen in the top of the ninth when the CLOSER is on the mound.

And prior to that Cuddyer is pulled for Casilla at second base. WHY? Are you really gaining that much defense? I'd rather have Cuddy's potential to drive the ball up at the plate in the ninth rather than Casilla (though he did walk). Just. Don't. Get. It.

HEADS NEED TO ROLL.

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 12:05 AM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 57

On the bright side, it's just a slump.

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 12:06 AM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 58

Expectorate, yes, I get it, what I was trying to say is that Thome deserves better.

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 12:14 AM by tk Highlight this comment 59

TTH, Cuddy came out with an injury...

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 12:15 AM by tk Highlight this comment 60

Remember back in the day when DSP said, "The scalpers are gobbling up all the tickets."?

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 12:17 AM by tk Highlight this comment 61

When does the anger turn to apathy with the casual fan? I'm sure nobody here will get apathetic. Yes these turds in the bullpen have become so predictable, you could have called what was going to happen with the Twins up 7-4.

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 12:20 AM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 62

Cuddyer apparently did something to his hip.

When it was seven to four or five (can't remember) my buddy asked "why are people leaving? We are winning!" And then I wise cracked "because they don't want to stick around to watch the team blow it." Too predictable.

And I am of the group that thinks Slowey is a pansy. Can't pitch enough innings to be a starter and apparently can't pitch enough innings to be a reliever.

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 12:22 AM by Aj Highlight this comment 63

I was watching the game with my father and when Anderson called down to the bullpen real late, my dad goes, "Who's he calling? Is Stelly going to start warming up?"

When my dad starts his sarcasm, I know it has become a bad situation.

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 12:37 AM by tk Highlight this comment 64

Is it just me or does the Harmon signature on the wall look non-Harmon-like? I am not sure if it is the blowing up of the signature that made it look distorted, but it could definitely look more clean.

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 12:41 AM by tk Highlight this comment 65

This team find new and interesting ways to lose every day. Last 4 games tied or ahead in the 7th and predictably lose them all. Man it would sure be nice to have Crain and Gurrier now. When was the last time a sports town had the worst team in the league in two diffrent sports (T-Wolves) in the same season?

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 07:26 AM by firedog Highlight this comment 66

My record is now 3-1 after last night! I am so sick of our bullpen throwing the game, but when Nathan came in, i knew it was all downhill!

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 08:11 AM by The Sooj Highlight this comment 67

I didn't realize Cuddy had a boo boo. I guess nobody plays through the pain anymore...well, nobody on the Twins.

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 08:45 AM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 68

Sorry I missed you, TK - I think I had just left work. Had a coworker bring his 8 year old daughter for a few innings, so those two tickets didn't go to waste.

Our bullpen is in shambles, they look like they got hit by a tornado or something. Nathan had nothing last night, except belt-high fastballs. Asking Capps to get five outs is too much.

Welcome back, Jim Thome. Hope the rest of the team shows up, too.

Ploufe. Needs another year in Rochester before he's ready for the bigs, is way too tentative and lacks the 'take charge' you need from your shortstop.

I was thinking about this last night, does Mauer call a better game than our two AA catchers? Does he get a few extra strike calls by framing the pitches better? It just seems like these two guys are calling a predictable game, and there are times when everyone in the park knows what pitch is coming.

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 08:48 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 69

Well now a perfect 0-5 @ TF after last nights meltdown. Did enjoy a couple of $1.00 dogs. Fun to see Thome hitting 2 out! Sloppy D and of course the bullpen melting down is the norm these days! Can't see why they would sign the mad crapper next year. Was Pavano gassed? He seem to get stronger as the game went on. Can we get to 60 wins this year? Ohh well nice mild evening and a nice tribute to Harmon. Also got to see my kid perform the national anthem with about 120 other trumpet players. Looks like my free parking has come to an end as they have put up posts with numbers and I think you are supposed to hit the meter machine to get a ticket. Have not checked on the prices. Just ended up underneath the bridges in those $5.00 lots

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 09:10 AM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 70

That 'all trumpet' National Anthem was awesome.

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 09:39 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 71

On the radio, those trumpets sounded amazing!

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 09:43 AM by Rick 72

Plouffe probably needs one more year Rochester but when you are comparing two players with shaky D (Plouffe vs Casilla) I will take the one that actually swings at pitches and can hit the ball out of the infield AND the ballpark. At least Plouffe is good for runs outside of the last bat of the regular season when it means going to the playoffs or not.

I thought it was funny though last night. I watched one play where Plouffe went after a hit up the middle and it looked like he was tip-toeing around the 3 in the dirt so as not to ruin it.

I used to like Slowey for reasons outlined here) but as time passes he is just becoming a pansy in my eyes for sure. In best whiny voice For 2.7 million a year, I can't warm up for a relief spot, I can only warm up for a starting spot...Flippin baby. Get over yourself.

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 10:17 AM by Jared Highlight this comment 73

Yes this was my kids 2nd gig at doing the anthem. He played with 4 other trumpet players back in July of last year also. A much larger venue than last time. Sound was ok from where I was sitting in sec 305. Did they show them on tv at all?

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 11:05 AM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 74

TwinkFan,

The meters are $1.50/hour, it was a week or so ago I posted.

Also, there are plenty of free parking still available, you just have to know where to search.

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 11:15 AM by tk Highlight this comment 75

Just booked our airline tix for San Francisco for mid-June. Since we've been to SF once before, my wife thinks this trip is just all about the wine country for a week, but I am looking at tix to one of the Twins games at AT&T. The home nine sucking it up is helping with SF's dynamic pricing and SH is filled with bargains, too.

Looking for suggestions:
Day or night game? I know it gets pretty chilly on any given June evening there. Also, any thoughts on good seating? I am torn between sitting up in View Reserve Outfield (LF side) for $5 a seat or living it up in Club Level Infield (1B side) for around $50-75...

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 11:35 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 76

They apparently mowed a new pattern in the outfield grass prior to this homestand. Anyone at last night's game notice? Is it a new pattern we have not seen before or is it the same one we saw for most of last year?

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 12:10 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 77

I did not notice from watching on TV...

Speaking of mowing, what happened to the Mow 'em down inning now that it makes sense that we are outside?? Maybe they still do it on the radio?

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 12:54 PM by tk Highlight this comment 78

Schweady:
I think the best seats for the buck in SF are in the infield upper deck. Best views - maybe the best in baseball.

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 1:40 PM by BR Highlight this comment 79

@Mike - Linked here is the MLB Gameday video page. A few of the videos give you a good look at the "new" mow pattern and it appears that it is the same as last years. By "last years" I mean the second pattern (seen here and here) vs. the checkerboard pattern seen in the first few games last season that was quickly changed after players complained about funny bounces or something like that. Surprising that didn't happen this year. Maybe they haven't had enough home games this season.

The only real difference is actually in the infield. Last season there was a wide solid stripe from home to second base and then alternating thin stripes on either side whereas this year it appears as though it is alternating thin stripes all the way across the infield.

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 2:01 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 80

Sorry, just can't get down on Slowey. The blame falls on the coaching. Where is the player development coming from? The Twins coaching staff sucks at it. A player has to feel the staff is there helping him be the best he can be. I really don't feel the pitching staff has any confidence in their coaches. If I was Slowey I'd tell them all to kiss my ass, too!

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 2:05 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 81

BR - that's blasphemy. Everyone here knows that TF is the best there ever was, the best there is, and the best there ever will be.

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 2:07 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 82

The only place to really stay away from at AT&T is the bleachers. They have no backs, and are completely packed. The ones in straight-away left are especially bad because the kids' area is directly behind them. It's noisy and bustling and the activity is totally unrelated to what's happening on the field.

Anything in the main grandstand is awesome. The higher up you get, the more of the bay you'll see -- if that floats your boat, so to speak.

It's also a very windy place, and the higher up you go, the windier it gets. Just be prepared for a variety of temps. Day games are probably better if you want a better chance to be warm.

The best seats are either in the Premium Lower Box or View Box sections. Can't speak to the value, however, because the pricing is dynamic...

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 2:13 PM by Rick 83

I agree with TTH on Slowey. He's been mishandled by the staff. Every analyst I've read thinks he really does belong in the rotation -- or at least somebody's rotation.

Given the level of suckitude in ours, it seems like they'd want to find a way to get him in. Maybe they could flip Frankie (highest ERA among the starters at 5.73) to the Mets for Reyes.

The "Twins way" is falling apart before our eyes. Maybe it should. I really like the five-runs-on-three-swings type of baseball. it's so much more satisfying, even when they ultimately lose.

Part of me wonders if the spirit of this club was broken by the sweep last October -- on top of the many previous nearly-identical playoff results.

I don't like having such thoughts.

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 2:25 PM by Rick 84

Slowey is likely causing issues because he is not being shy and we all know how that all works in these parts. A player speaks up and the team tears him down. I will admit, Slowey hasn't helped his cause, but would the off field issues be occurring with a different style?

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 2:54 PM by tk Highlight this comment 85

I just looked at the standings, have not really paid too much attention recently.

Twins have played 46 games,won just under 1/3, and are more games out of 1st place (15.5) then they have won...

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 2:58 PM by tk Highlight this comment 86

Thanks for the thoughts on AT&T Park. I was looking at the 3D seat views on the Giants' website (much more detailed and clearer than the panos of TF) and liked the upper regions with views of the cove, Bay Bridge, etc. Thinking that would be quite nice during the afternoon game. Holding off purchasing until this weekend when I can see photos my daughter took of the park last summer.

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 3:15 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 87

Haven't won a game at Target Field since April 24, that's right, Easter Sunday was the last time the Twins won a game at home.

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 3:28 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 88

Rick I'm all for Reyes too, but the Twins would have to give up much more than Liriano. I would bet they would also ask for a top prospect in the Twins system. Also, I imagine Reyes wants to be part of a postseason run this year. If he is a free agent next year, it would be nice to see the Twins make a serious bid for him. Its sad, but the Twins will probably invest in bringing back Cuddyer and some of the other underachieving veterans on the current roster. Only if the Twins weren't so loyal.

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 3:51 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 89

Re: trading for Reyes... Twins won't make that kind of trade unless they have already righted the ship and it's a playoff-push move. As for going after hiim in free agency, in a word, doubtful. Reyes wants a 9 figure deal. If he remains healthy this year, he'll get it, or something very close. That's not coming from the Twins.

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 4:16 PM by BR Highlight this comment 90

"a top prospect in the Twins system"

Hmm. Think. Think.

You're right. That would be a problem...

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 4:18 PM by Rick 91

Come on, TTH. Of course "maybe the best in baseball" necessarily implies "...other than Target Field."

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 4:25 PM by BR Highlight this comment 92

I agree that Slowey belongs in a rotation, although from my perspective its not by getting there in a good way. If you want to be on the rotation, don't suck. He should put in good work to show for it. Its pretty clear that the guys in the rotation now have something going for them that Slowey didn't otherwise he wouldn't be in the 'pen. Maybe it is because he is "that guy" who speaks out in a humble clubhouse and the staff doesn't want that. If that's the case good luck in triple-A or on another team, I sure hope you (Slowey) show the staff what they missed out on.

I do have a hard time believing that our coaching staff is entirely mishandling him, especially when in the past they consistently put out decent pitching that did the team well. I hear Slowey isn't a favorite in the clubhouse. Neither was Perkins and his attitude, if I remember right, and he turned around.

The "Twins Way" has proven successful in the past and we can bitch and moan about it not working currently but it takes a group of guys in the dugout who believe and commit to that style. If they don't then we get BJ Upton style efforts from players. **cough** DELMON!! **cough**. Not to mention a series of unfortunate events (similar to what the Twins have experienced this season) can change a players mindset from believing in the system and giving it all to just saying 'well I am here, I guess I will throw the ball'. I am starting to believe that is what's happening to Slowey versus the staff being entirely responsible.

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 4:31 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 93

It's bad when the weather anchor rips on the Twins...

"Twins game should be dry tonight, unless you shed a tear because of the result."

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 5:19 PM by tk Highlight this comment 94

It's just a few days before Memorial Day and this we know: Joe Mauer has exactly three more RBIs than Francisco Liriano.

What will all of you be watching tonight? Twins game or Dancing with the Stars?

K

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 7:06 PM by Kramer Highlight this comment 95

Rick,

I'm sensing you're starting to break...be strong, you're among an elite group of final holdouts for optimism on your board.

P.S. Did AT&T Park carry the same level of retro and nostalgia that you saw at the Overstock.com Coliseum? :) Couldn't they have at least landed Amazon as a sponsor?

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 7:20 PM by twinswschamps2027 (aka twinswschamps2011) Highlight this comment 96

I never thought I'd be asking this in May of the 2nd season of Target Field, but has anybody with upper level seats had any luck meandering down and sitting in better seats yet? Or, do the ushers still care? I am counting on complete apathy by mid-July. My anger has turned to sorrow after last night's loss. Just sad, that on a night that Killer was remembered, and Thome blasted 2 HRs, they still couldn't muster the fight to beat a pretty bad team.

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 7:26 PM by twinswschamps2027 (aka twinswschamps2011) Highlight this comment 97

And there goes the mute of the FSN telecast, until DSP is gone.

"Well Dick, concessions will be open and we encourage everyone to grab a Killebrew."

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 7:47 PM by tk Highlight this comment 98

The upper level seats at AT&T Park offer a georgeous view of the bay, especially when there's a full moon. It reflects clear across the bay, and the mountains to the east are visible beyond Oakland. It's unforgettable.

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 8:09 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 99

@twinswschamps - so, you're moving the projected date of the next Twins WS championship back 16 years huh?

Guess it's a bit like the "end of the world": everybody's guess is wrong...lol. Apparently that Bumming dude (or whatever the hell his name is) moved his prediction back as well, to October.

Which actually might work out well for the Twinkies. Because, if your original prediction does by some slim chance in hell turn out to be right, it truly would be the "end of the world"

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 8:14 PM by luke Highlight this comment 100

Where the hell is Overstock.com Coliseum? Is that the current name of what was once called Oakland Alameda County Coliseum?

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 8:05 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 101

A lead going into the 8th...this game is as good as over once Matt "Lights Out" Capps sinks his teeth into this one.

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 9:00 PM by twinswschamps2027 (aka twinswschamps2011) Highlight this comment 102

Yes...it will be a long time before this franchise even smells the World Series, I'm afraid. And, yes, Overstock.com "won" the naming rights for the hellhole formerly known just as "The Coliseum". I'm waiting for Rick to say if he saw any "Big Os" around the ballpark...perhaps near the green perma-tarp that covers 90% of the upper level. To think, the A's were actually closing in on a new ballpark to be named Cisco Field before the economy went to hell.

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 9:04 PM by twinswschamps2027 (aka twinswschamps2011) Highlight this comment 103

Gardy has upped his pitch count limit to 120 pitches apparently, in an effort to not go to his 'pen. I had high expectations for Blackie pre-season, and he actually has not disappointed. The ERA is solid...he just can't be above .500 on this team. He might be our All-Star candidate if Kubel slides. The Twins website is actually encouraging a get out the vote on Mauer.

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 9:21 PM by twinswschamps2027 (aka twinswschamps2011) Highlight this comment 104

Nick Blackburn is the same thing as a knuckleballer. Some days his sinker works, some days it doesn't. That is why he is 10-10 every year with a 4.50 ERA.

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 9:30 PM by FD Highlight this comment 105

In case anyone is interested, "The Baseball Project" is playing at the Varsity Theater Thursday night. They're a four-piece pop-country-alt-rock, and all their songs are about baseball. Some pretty clever stuff, too! I'm definitely thinking of going, I've got some standing commitments on Thursday nights I'd have to get out of...

Posted on May 24, 2011 at 10:00 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 106

I guess DSP made a deal with DickBert --- DSP sells the root beer and DickBert takes care of the Slowey badmouthing for the team. I realize that DickBert are paid shills --- but shameless whores?

Posted on May 25, 2011 at 12:17 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 107

Schweady: Just curious what did you pay for airfare to SFO in June? I've been following it closely & it is sky high for most dates/times. I've been to AT&T Park several times and sat in the field club & the club level. Might be worth splurging in America's greatest ballpark...

Posted on May 25, 2011 at 12:50 AM by Max Highlight this comment 108

Forgot to mention I had the Minneapple pie last night at the yard. I thought it was very tasty yet priced poorly for the serving size. $7 seemed a bit steep for it. Especially with no ice cream included.

I also noticed that many of the volunteer cashiers were letting people buy as many $1 dogs as they wanted. Interesting...

The turkey sandwich remains my favorite item along with the outstanding Michelbobs ribs in CF.

Posted on May 25, 2011 at 12:55 AM by Max Highlight this comment 109

Are the $1 still the cheap dogs they had last year...the kind the daycare kids eat cold?

Posted on May 25, 2011 at 01:23 AM by tk Highlight this comment 110

I've had the apple pie twice. First time, hot and yummy and well worth $7. Second time, coolish, dry, and definitely over-priced.

The turkey sandwich may well be my new favorite, though the cheeseburger might still be the best overall deal. Also, I can't resist the pulled pork sandwich out at the State Fair booth.

And you know what? I haven't had a hot dog at TF since last April. I tried them all, and they were all pretty terrible. Never thought I would long for any of the Metrodome food (and really I don't), but the Hormel hot dogs were way better than Schweigert.

Posted on May 25, 2011 at 01:29 AM by Rick 111

I was trying to remember, the A's themselves scrapped the plans on Cisco Field, right? I'm not even sure if they went after funding for it, because the economy was going sour - so they weren't going to try.

But, it was going to be a nice ballpark if it had come to fruition. So, if the contraction moratorium is indeed lifted with the new CBA, the A's are still on the list I guess.

Posted on May 25, 2011 at 06:51 AM by luke Highlight this comment 112

Twinschamps- just to answer your question about moving down to better seats... I usually just stay in my seats but yes, over the past season and a 1/4, when I feel like moving down, I have been able to without too much problem. Mostly with two people, sometimes with four and the most resistance I get typically is someone who decides to show up in the 7th. I usually scout a handful of locations for a few innings and then move.

Posted on May 25, 2011 at 07:56 AM by Jared Highlight this comment 113

Jared - that's amazing. So, the TF police in the red jackets don't really even care if you move? Geez...the Metrodome police in the red jackets put up a gate in the concourse so GA folks wouldn't sneak over to Upper Reserved seats - even when there were only seven people in the entire Upper Reserved.

Which is just as well - when I went to the Open House last year, which was a ticketed event, I had to TELL the guy at the turnstile, "don't you need to see the tickets"??

Posted on May 25, 2011 at 08:12 AM by luke Highlight this comment 114

Tk yes the $1.00 dogs are well far below par and size compared to say the 2 fer $2.22 Holiday dogs! Who knows when they boiled them up? The Brats are also pretty tasty from Holiday also! I put them in the microwave for about 20 seconds to soften the Holiday buns up! LOL!

Posted on May 25, 2011 at 09:36 AM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 115

Miscellania...
- Tried the Kosher dogs. Dog was fine, bun was lousy, value was poor.
- Was lucky enough to sit in the Legends club - they had a brie and prosciutto pizza for $9 - an entire pie. Good pizza, great value.
- Stopped by TF this morning on my way into work to check on ticket availability for today's game (already have tix but was curious). Best tickets available? 2 in Section 3, row 3 of the Dugout Box seats. Those are really good seats. $80 each, but really good.
- Overstock.com Colisseum is almost certainly in the top 5 worst named ballparks of all time. Of course, it's one of the worst MLB parks I've ever been to, too (out of about 17).

Posted on May 25, 2011 at 10:20 AM by BR Highlight this comment 116

Oh, and I forgot - I've moved down into the home plate box seats a few times later in games where either the Twins were losing big or the weather was bad (which is nearly every game thus far). No problem.

Posted on May 25, 2011 at 10:23 AM by BR Highlight this comment 117

If its bad weather, a blow-out game, or a late-night game, its understandable that there will be lots of empty seats and you can move to wherever you pretty much please to. I did the same thing myself last year on the Thursday of Labor Day weekend when that Twins game went to midnight. We moved down to section 116 from the 300 level in the 7th inning or so.

But those people who buy cheap seats and than think they can just move into lower level reserved seating need to learn some ballpark etiquette.

Nothing more frustrating than when you leave for a couple of innings to walk around or get some food and than come back to some people in your assigned seats. The funny thing is, those people know they shouldn't be there but yet they still act surprised when you come back to your seats.

Than you have the people who are not even in their correct seats to begin with, before the game has even begun. They somehow think those seats will be empty for the entire game.

Posted on May 25, 2011 at 12:08 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 118

Max: Is there anything about SF that isn't $ky high? I used SkyMiles and had a $99 companion ticket for my wife, so got by easy. I noticed they were over $500 for a while, but just now I saw some for under $400, even some non-stop. (They say Tues and Wed are the best days to buy a ticket.) We're leaving out of Fargo, which we really enjoy. 4 gates, cheaper parking. Can't usually afford starting there since it's nearly always double the cost of going out of MSP, although I saw FAR-SFO today for $370. Still too much, for sure.

For AT&T, I'm thinking something similar to the Stubhub seats I saw yesterday may fill the bill as a compromise: View Box Sec 305 Row B $35. The view looks like TF's Terrace Level (200's), but with a cove full of kayaks instead of a plaza.

Posted on May 25, 2011 at 12:10 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 119

Another snoozefest for the Twins bats. If TF had the old fashioned, hand-operated scoreboard, all the zeroes would be worn off by now from overuse.

Posted on May 25, 2011 at 2:44 PM by terry Highlight this comment 120

Another day another loss! Now 16 games under 500! Will it be 20 by the end of May? I had these guys at about 78-80 wins and a 3rd or lower finish before the season started! But man I did not think they would be this bad! LOL!

Posted on May 25, 2011 at 2:45 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 121

Best forum comment today: If the Twins were a restaurant you would get salmonella and be overcharged for it.

Posted on May 25, 2011 at 3:28 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 122

Next week will be June 1st. Twins will likely not have 20 wins, and will likely be 20 games back.

Ouch.

Posted on May 25, 2011 at 3:33 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 123

WOW. Now an amazing 5-13 at home! Pretty much sums it up!

Posted on May 25, 2011 at 3:37 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 124

While at the game Monday , I noticed that they had patched areas around the mound and in RF and behind 1st and 3rd. Man it sure does not match the color of the current grass. Maybe some of the Gopher games there have taken its toll. They also have gone back to lasts years cut design. Not liking that!

Posted on May 25, 2011 at 3:55 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 125

TwinkFan, the cut out in RF has been that way since early last year, it has never gone back to growing a match.

Posted on May 25, 2011 at 4:30 PM by tk Highlight this comment 126

I figured I would post this here in case you have not seen this elsewhere, as we all seem to be involved witht the social media. The Twins are having an application process to Twins Social Suite night at TF:

Click name for link.

"The Twins Social Suite is a one-of-a-kind social media experience providing attendees both stunning views of the on-field action and the ability to network from their own private balcony. Fill out the application below for your chance to view the game from the Twins' own balcony on Friday, June 17 for the 7:10 p.m. tilt against the San Diego Padres."

Posted on May 25, 2011 at 4:33 PM by tk Highlight this comment 127

^^^Just read the terms and conditions. So much for making something fun and simple.

Posted on May 25, 2011 at 4:38 PM by tk Highlight this comment 128

Somewhat regarding what BR said about Overstock.com Coliseum being one of the worst named ballparks:

They're bringing up scuff again about renaming Lake Calhoun in south. Apparently the "Calhoun" they named the lake after was a huge advocate of slavery.

There's talk they might name it after HHH. Some clear-thinking local wrote to the Star Tribune this AM saying that Minnesota has had bad luck naming things after HHH. Furthermore, he said if the MAC had anything to say about it, they'd rename Lakes Calhoun and Harriet "Lake 1 and Lake 2".

Posted on May 25, 2011 at 6:57 PM by luke Highlight this comment 129

Informal poll for token All-Star member:

A)Kubel
B)Span
C)Perkins
D)Blackburn
E)Mauer via charity vote...hopefully would have more sense than to play, thus defaulting back to A-D.

Also, I think it's a given now that Thome hits #600 at Target Field. Once he hits #599...he won't be playing on the road. The Twins will need the full bag of tricks to keep the fans coming as long as possible.

Posted on May 25, 2011 at 9:03 PM by twinswschamps2027 (aka twinswschamps2011) Highlight this comment 130

Unfortunately, F_T_K, using that formula - if the Twins can't win but 20 games (or less) in two months, that would mean that the Twins will probably win 40 games (possibly less) in the remaining four months of the season.

Which means that in this - the 2011 season, the Twins could tie or worse yet, BEAT their worst win-loss record of 60-102 which was accomplished in 1982.

Posted on May 25, 2011 at 9:26 PM by luke Highlight this comment 131

After some research, the Twins in 1982 on May 25 were 12-34. Today, May 25, the Twins are 16-32.

As TTH says, "clicky" for the game-by-game results from 1982, courtesy of the Baseball Almanac.

Posted on May 25, 2011 at 9:32 PM by luke Highlight this comment 132

Nice, Gardy. Way to make your bullpen feel valued. I guess the bullpen is a demotion and relievers are second-class on a roster.

"I'm not going to punish Duensing because one guy can't pitch out of the 'pen," Gardenhire said. "I'll tell you that right now. We know Duensing can [pitch in relief] but why would I punish him because the other guy can't do it? That's just wrong."

Posted on May 25, 2011 at 10:27 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 133

the dollar dogs...

I had two on Monday...

They prepare thousands of them in advance, putting them in buns, and then they wrap them in a piece of paper.

to experience the result... take a hotdog bun out of a bag... and leave it sit on your counter for six hours.

Then, take a package of the cheapest hotdogs available at Cub, Bar S Franks, .77 cents for ten, and nuke one for 30 seconds.

(I do buy those hotdogs...

when my dog has to take pills, I bury the pill in a chunk of a Bar S hotdog.)

They are pretty cheap dog treats, but I wouldn't recommend eating one.

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 12:07 AM by mj Highlight this comment 134

They need to bring back the warming drawers, kept the dogs nice and hot and the buns moist. Well at least bring back the foil wrapper.

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 04:29 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 135

Pardon me, but I thought one of the things we raved about with TF was that, we were finally going to escape the days when our hot dogs were sitting in warmers for three hours.

At one point, Rick even did a post around here about that very topic. He even included a pic of the ugliest-ass hot dog I've ever seen that was served up to him at the SkyDome in Toronto.

If that's the case, and TF has gone back to the Metrodome days with pre-cooking hot dogs, then I'm only buying the Dugout Dogs from the vendors, because you watch them put it on the bun.

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 06:58 AM by luke Highlight this comment 136

I think there are now 5 kinds of cooking methods for sausage at TF, 1 of which is completely unacceptable and 1 is a personal choice for avoidance for me:

1) Pre-cooked, pre-wrapped dollar dogs. Definitely not worth their price. If you want a $1 hot dog, the ones at Canterbury on Thursday nights are superior (and you'll have more fun).

2) "Roller sausage" -- these seem to be at the main concession stands. These are fine but the cooking process is really just keeping the sausage at a reasonable temperature. I've always thought it an odd cooking method.

3) Dugout dogs, from the vendors walking the stadium. They are in a hotbox, and so we don't know how they are cooked. However, they are brought to your seat, have natural casing, and are pretty good. Acceptable.

4) Grilled on the flat griddles from the carts. These are my favorite at TF. You can get them a bit charred if you want, and they have grilled onions. Approved! I wish they would have Italian sausage at these as well as the polish and brats.

5) Kosher -- I haven't seen it yet, so I don't know what is different there.

Of course, the big one they are missing is charcoal grilled, but I don't think that is happening anytime soon with this footprint. Maybe when we are averaging 15,000 fans again they can do some remodeling and give us a grilling area.

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 07:47 AM by Lincster Highlight this comment 137

I had two dollar dogs on Monday. BEWARE OF THE DOLLAR DOGS! They remind me of the "finger dog" Vincent Ludwig almost ate in "Naked Gun."

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 08:56 AM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 138

My favorite is still the Cheeseburger-with-fries basket; they raised the price a bit this year, but still a (relatively) decent value.

I can't wait to see this team's slugging % at year's end; at this rate, it will equal the BA.

BTW - this M's/Twins tilt was a battle between #s 29 & 30 in overall team Slg.

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 09:24 AM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 139

Very nice article by Reusse in the Star Tribune...it's about time some in the media start calling out this team!

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 09:58 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 140

While its nice to see the Twins offer an autograph session to help with the Tornado relief efforts...Duensing, Capps and Butera is the best they could get???

They would have been better off bringing in some alumni and increasing the price.

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 10:02 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 141

Just saw on FB that the Twins have a photo of the Harmon Killebrew HOF plaque display out on the TF plaza. Looks horrible, like they posted it on some office cubicle dividers.

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 11:14 AM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 142

Lincster,
The Kosher hot dogs are Hebrew National, in my opinion the best nationally available commercial brand there is.

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 11:19 AM by Trebor651 Highlight this comment 143

Stop at the Holiday station about a block north of the ballpark and pick up a couple of large dogs or brats 2 fer $2.22. I nuke them in the bun for about 20 seconds! Then lug them right into the park! The $$ dogs the other night were pretty bad!

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 12:03 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 144

Mike,

Thanks for posting the article. I am surprised how well accepted his article has been so far! I cannot remember the last time when an actual writer for a local media has been so bold. I like it!

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 12:48 PM by tk Highlight this comment 145

"Women, children, and Joe first."

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 12:49 PM by tk Highlight this comment 146

I just received my second offer from the Twins for their STH Sweet Spot promotion. I have been selected to be a bench player for a game of my choosing. Only requirement is to not look foolish striking out if called to the plate.

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 12:54 PM by tk Highlight this comment 147

Mike-
That I know of, it still says "and others" for that disaster relief signing. I'd like to know who the "others" are, but right now...I agree with you.

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 1:19 PM by AJ Highlight this comment 148

Seriously, stop with the Holiday Station hotdogs already. I vomit in my mouth every time it is brought up. I understand it might be a personal taste you've acquired but There is no way in God's green Earth I'm going to smuggle any gas station prepared food into the ballpark with me. sheesh.

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 3:12 PM by Jim Highlight this comment 149

I'm with you Jim. Same with the exclamation points. Both have to go.

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 3:39 PM by FD Highlight this comment 150

tk,

What is the "STH Sweet Spot" promotion? Surely you don't mean sitting in the actual dugout during an actual game. What is it really?

And thanks for the "Social Suite" link. Sounds like fun. (I'm not one bit afraid of the legalese. It's all normal stuff.)

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 4:18 PM by Rick 151

Um Jim, no need to smuggle them in so to speak. You can bring all the food you want into TF!

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 4:31 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 152

Rick,

The Sweet Spot is what the Twins call there new promotions for Season Ticket Holders. I have only seen one benefit to their new program, a stadium blanket and pin.

I was joking about the 2nd opportunity received to become a bench player, it was a poor attempt to relate the Reusse article "Want a secure Job? Apply with hapless Twins."

The legalese information was just a bit difficult for me to understand...when I received the offer online, it seemed as though it was for the normal Joe/Jane, but the language in the terms made it more sound like for those that work with professional social media:

"Each Twins Social Suite attendee at one of the Games (each, a "Game") represents an individual acting on a specific assignment for a newspaper, for a press entity, news or photographic service or for the purpose of blogging or conducting social media activities."

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 5:39 PM by tk Highlight this comment 153

Hoey recalled, Slowey sent to extended Spring Training.

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 5:43 PM by tk Highlight this comment 154

Loon Cafe chili...

I had that for the first time a couple games back.

delicious! about 1/3 of the chili was big chunks of steak.

is it always like that, or did I get lucky, getting a scoop from the bottom?

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 5:46 PM by mj Highlight this comment 155

"it's about time some in the media start calling out this team!"

Um, there's a post up above these comments. (OK, I'm not Reusse, but I generally consider that to be a good thing.)

I stopped short of calling for Bill Smith's head, but all roads lead to this mess being his responsibility. In fact, I'd say that the woes of the Major League club aren't the big issue here. The lack of any depth or future in the rest of the system looms like a buzzard over the rest of this decade.

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 6:03 PM by Rick 156

Hard to tell what the Twins are looking for in the "Social Media Suite" but I registered anyway. I'd love to see a game from one of those balconies, and I could live-blog without standing next to a window or out on one of the balconies to get a data connection.

Could be fun.

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 6:05 PM by Rick 157

Vic had a cup of Byerly's wild rice soup yesterday. Cold. After a 10-minute wait. Definitely not a very good value.

I had cheese curds (awesome, $5.25) and an apple pie (pretty good, $7).

We each also had pulled pork sandwiches for lunch before the game. Those are very good as well.

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 6:07 PM by Rick 158

I like the game Gardy is playing, where he says he knows the target date for Mauer returning, but he wont tell us, it's a secret.

well... I know the target date for when I'm sending the check to pay for next years season tickets.

but it's a secret.

There may be months where it's not clear... if my hand is strong enough to sign the check.

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 6:09 PM by mj Highlight this comment 159

Anyone reading this from TF? How are things going down there? Did you buy a beverage from DSP yet?

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 6:31 PM by tk Highlight this comment 160

I'm at TF now. 5K people or so.

Family and former teammates now arriving by LRT after having a memorial out at the Met (er, MOA).

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 6:59 PM by Rick 161

Paul Molitor chatting with Bud Selig on the scoreboard. About what, I wonder...

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 7:03 PM by Rick 162

Nice video just finished. I sure hope the Twins put together some sort of commemorative DVD with all these classic clips.

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 7:08 PM by Rick 163

It doesn't get better than that: Mudcat Grant singing "What a WWonderful World."

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 7:50 PM by Rick 164

I had to do a few things while the ceremony was going on, but it seemed to be very nicely done. To me it was a very inspirational memorial, I hope it was the same for the hometown boys.

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 9:24 PM by tk Highlight this comment 165

Rick - regarding depth and the future, it looks like the Twins can start building after this year with a top 5, if not #1 pick. Let's hope they choose wisely.

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 10:16 PM by Jeff T. Highlight this comment 166

Strib reports 4,000. Why such a sparse crowd? DSP probably disappointed with the "take".

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 11:16 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 167

There's no way that place was 10% full. My first estimate of 5K was before people took their seats. Once the event got started, it became clear that there were only about 2K.

They clearly had printed way more programs than they needed. On the way out, ushers were handing large stacks to anyone who would take them.

Anticipating the size of a crowd for an event like that is pretty much impossible. There probably would have been more if it were 10 degrees warmer, or a few days earlier, or -- sad to say -- if the Twins were playing better right now.

But I gotta say that it was a totally classy event, very well-planned and executed. I'm very glad I went.

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 11:29 PM by Rick 168

Classy --- no question, but I'm very disappointed in the showing. There were a reported 15 - 20,000 for the Puck, with a blizzard on the way.

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 11:36 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 169

Classy --- no question, but I'm very disappointed in the showing. There were a reported 15 - 20,000 for the Puck, with a blizzard on the way.

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 11:36 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 170

One of the reasons I have a new computer on the way.

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 11:40 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 171

The Strib article didn't mention one of the moments that gave me chills. At the end of the Jeff Arundel song, just like on the recording, they played Bob Casey announcing Killebrew coming up to bat.

But it came out of every speaker in the stadium, loud and clear, as if it were happening at that very moment.

Oh, to see that again...

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 11:44 PM by Rick 172

The Bob Casey call, the Herb Carneal call, Mudcat Grant singing "what a wonderful world", the fact that nearly every speaker mentioned their awful autographs being criticized and fixed by Harmon...everything. Cool experience.

Posted on May 27, 2011 at 12:30 AM by Jared Highlight this comment 173

I should have also said, clicky the linky for a photo from my perspective of the night. You wont be disappointed.

Posted on May 27, 2011 at 12:33 AM by Jared Highlight this comment 174

Great image, Jared. Let's see some more!

Here's one of mine:


Posted on May 27, 2011 at 12:47 AM by Rick 175


Posted on May 27, 2011 at 12:49 AM by Rick 176

I may be alone on this, but I never liked Bob Casey.

Posted on May 27, 2011 at 03:44 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 177

I have mixed feelings about Bob Casey. I thought he was a good announcer, but, I also feel that he sounded pissed alot of times on the microphone.

I liked the gusto in Casey's voice that he put behind each batters name. He didn't sound bored when he announced the lineup. I've heard some PA guys at other ballparks and they always sound like they want to be out on the lake drinking and fishing rather than at the ballpark announcing that the next batter is Jose Bautista.

Casey, however, had a sharpness to his voice that made him sound angry (I'm not the first one to mention that), that alot of people probably didn't take a shine to. I don't know if that was his microphone persona, or if that was his everyday voice.

The final word on Casey, though: If you listen very carefully, "Batting third, number 34, the center fielder: Kirrrrbbbyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy Puckett" still rings loud and clear around here.

Posted on May 27, 2011 at 06:58 AM by luke Highlight this comment 178

Last night I noticed one of the homes in my neighborhood had a big #3 mowed into the front lawn. Well done.

Posted on May 27, 2011 at 08:23 AM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 179

Bob Casey in the later years was certainly crusty. But the voice from those old recordings sounds very different, lighter, happier -- more like a regular ballpark PA announcer of the era.

Here's hoping the Twins can find a way to work that little clip into the pregame shows.

Posted on May 27, 2011 at 09:32 AM by Rick 180

My Favorite Bob Casey moment was when Chuck Knoblach then playing for the Yankess in LF was being shelled with $1.00 dome dogs by the rowdy fans in left field! Casey yelling over the loudspeakers "NOW CUT THAT OUT" Good thing those were not Hoilday dogs man! LOL! Then TK coming out and patting knobby on the head like a little kid!

Posted on May 27, 2011 at 10:24 AM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 181

I added about 18 more photos from last night and put them in a set. Linky linky.

Posted on May 27, 2011 at 12:16 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 182

Anyone figure out the secret? Is Mauer actually in Florida? Has anyone spotted him (besides on a Kemps jug)? What is his next move?

Posted on May 27, 2011 at 2:17 PM by tk Highlight this comment 183

Nice pics Jared. Is that Rod Carews wife with him?

Posted on May 27, 2011 at 3:06 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 184

Twink - yeah I am pretty sure that is his wife.

Speaking of wives, Bert Blyleven's wife Gayle. Holy cow. Is her face the source well for botox and surgical ideas? Now, I had never seen her in person. They showed her on the jumbotron before the service and she walked a few feet from me as they were leaving the field. And I am no one to judge but when they showed her face 100 feet high in 1080 HD on that screen, there were audible gasps and comments from the people around me. I was quite speechless upon my first look.

Posted on May 27, 2011 at 3:30 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 185

Maybe one of you Met Stadium era guys can confirm or deny something for me: was there something with Bob Casey and a bomb threat at the stadium in 1974? I thought I vaguely heard something like a few years ago.

Posted on May 27, 2011 at 5:57 PM by luke Highlight this comment 186

I just tuned in. Who is doing the radio play-by-play tonight?

Posted on May 27, 2011 at 7:46 PM by Rick 187

Rick,

Bob Kurtz has the play by play tonight.

Posted on May 27, 2011 at 8:23 PM by FD Highlight this comment 188

He's the guy. Listening is a pleasure again. Hire him.

(And get Danny back to full-time color.)

Posted on May 27, 2011 at 8:29 PM by Rick 189

I thought he does a nice job too. I also like Ted Robinson.

Posted on May 27, 2011 at 8:39 PM by FD Highlight this comment 190

Robinson didn't do much for me. I like Atteberry a lot, but it would be hard to move him because he's so good where he is.

And Kurtz just has exactly what I want in a baseball play-by-play guy. To my ear, it's a classic sound.

Posted on May 27, 2011 at 8:52 PM by Rick 191

In August of 1970, someone called in a bomb scare at the Met when the Twins were playing Boston. Bob Casey announced over the PA system that fans should leave the premises or go down to the field, which most did. Casey said over the PA, "We appreciate your patience. We did have a phone call. There's no need to panic, but we've got a BOMB scare here!" Casey, according to Jim Rantz, bellowed out the word 'bomb' in his inimitable style.
prior to the Vikings joining the NFL, exhibition games were played at the Met. One of those games involved the Eagles and the Giants, and Casey did the PA work for those games as well. During the game, Casey was heard to announce a penalty by saying, "The Eagles are flagged for having an illegitimate receiver downfield!"

Posted on May 27, 2011 at 9:10 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 192

This bullpen is absolutely pathetic. Send them all down and bring up everybody at AAA, it couldnt possibly be any worse.

Posted on May 27, 2011 at 9:39 PM by firedog Highlight this comment 193

Another bullpen meltdown is in the works. Hughes gives up a first pitch three-run homer and he is then replaced by Hoey, who has an ERA of almost 10.

How long til Gardy finally tells Bill Smith, publicly, "thanks for gutting my bullpen you #$&!"?

K

Posted on May 27, 2011 at 9:43 PM by Kramer Highlight this comment 194

This is absolutely the most pathetic thing that I have ever seen. I am actually longing for the days of Ron Davis.

Posted on May 27, 2011 at 9:53 PM by Jeff T. Highlight this comment 195

I think the first words out of Gardy's mouth in the post game press conference need to be "Our bullpen stunk tonight".

Oh, heck. Make it "Our bullpen stinks this year"

Posted on May 27, 2011 at 10:00 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 196

Jim Hoey is the new standard bearer. He has taken the title from Ron Davis. He is literally the worst relief pitcher that I have ever witnessed. Jim Hoey makes Ron Davis look like Mariano Rivera. I would rather bring a random guy out of the crowd to pitch than have Jim Hoey ever step on that mound ever again. Or a random child. Anyone.

These are dark days.

Posted on May 27, 2011 at 10:20 PM by Jeff T. Highlight this comment 197

As you can tell, I am upset.

Posted on May 27, 2011 at 10:20 PM by Jeff T. Highlight this comment 198

Have we seriously tapped the AA level for relivers yet? I haven't heard of two of these guys...granted, my attention has waned in the last month.

Posted on May 27, 2011 at 10:21 PM by twinswschamps2027 (aka twinswschamps2011) Highlight this comment 199

Oh, the humanity.

Posted on May 27, 2011 at 10:32 PM by Rick 200

Anybody in the minors has to be better than Hoey, Burnett, Hughes, and Swarzak. Man these games are painful to watch this year. 5-14 at home, Ouch. When does the Lynx season start. .

Posted on May 27, 2011 at 10:37 PM by firedog Highlight this comment 201

I am sure you meant "OH the HUMIDITY!", surely this team isn't comparable to the Hindenberg right? Okay, I give... This Twins bullpen blows harder than a hurricane. They blow harder than the movie Gili. They blow harder than Pam on Tommy Lee. They suck more than that Jersey shore chicks...too far? Sorry, just having fun with comparisons now. I retract my paragaph up to the opening sentence.

Posted on May 27, 2011 at 10:38 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 202

No reason to talk about the team here, let's get back to hot dogs.

Posted on May 27, 2011 at 10:40 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 203

idhskhsdghdgufaudszk bullpen jdhjklghzlgzsjgd that is all

Posted on May 27, 2011 at 10:43 PM by The Sooj Highlight this comment 204

Firedog - anybody off the STREET has to be better than Hoey, Burnett, Hughes and Swarzak.

Posted on May 27, 2011 at 10:47 PM by Jeff T. Highlight this comment 205

My five-year-old southpaw throws so hard that it stings my hand.

I ran his numbers, and his ERA projects a full run less than Hoey.

Right now.

Posted on May 27, 2011 at 10:51 PM by Rick 206

It's just a minor slump people...relax.

Posted on May 27, 2011 at 10:55 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 207

“It's just a minor slump people...relax.”
Genius; pure comic genius.
That quip just never gets old! Time tested over the past month, we’ve seen it here in various forms several times and it never gets stale, but just seems to get funnier every time. I’m sure by September it’ll be a comedy classic. Who says you can beat a joke to death?
Funnier still is the idea that the irony in that “King of All Japery” digs at any of us who held any optimism for this team beyond the first month of the season. I’m sure we all feel devastated and humiliated by the repeated reminders well past the time any of us here still held out hope for this season. Keep it up; those of us who held out hope certainly deserve it.

Posted on May 27, 2011 at 11:21 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 208

I'm officially revising my STH count down to 9,000 next year...and that is mainly made up of the wealthy, corporate and people that actually score the game on a scoresheet. DSP will be begging scalpers to "gobble" up the tickets next year. If he's around. If I were a Pohlad, I think you know what I'd do. This is the worst year-over-year meltdown in professional sports that I can recall...ever.

Posted on May 27, 2011 at 11:44 PM by twinswschamps2045 (aka twinswschamps2011) Highlight this comment 209

If I'd told you in late March that come Memorial Day weekend, Kubel would be over .300, Span would be pushing .300, and Casilla, after a rough start, was starting to piece together some multi-hit games...what would you have thought?

Posted on May 27, 2011 at 11:47 PM by twinswschamps2045 (aka twinswschamps2011) Highlight this comment 210

Substandard
Lethargic
Useless
Minor league
Pitching

Sorry Dr. X, I agree with Kevin; it's just a slump.

Posted on May 27, 2011 at 11:55 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 211

I don't think it qualifies as a slump when it's been like this since the season began. I don't think it qualifies as a slump when you're in danger of tying or besting your WORST ever franchise record.

It's not merely a "slump" TTH - it's a massive train wreck.

Posted on May 28, 2011 at 12:03 AM by luke Highlight this comment 212

If I had to decide today whether or not to renew next year, I would say no. I have had season tickets since 2005 so I was on well before the ballpark legislation was signed in May 2006.

I love baseball and I love outdoor baseball, but it's to the point I have had enough. If I want to go next year, I will buy tickets on a single game basis because there will be plenty of ticket availability.

Anyone else notice the Twins have not been advertising the "On Deck Circle" as much this year??? "Get on the list for 2012 season tickets"...Also, there definitely seems to be a lot more advertising for "TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE"....the Target Field honeymoon was fun while it lasted...It's only a matter of time before we hear the "Get your 2014 All Star Game priority" now by securing season tickets...

A bad team this season on the field combined with the bad weather this spring has not been a very good combination for ticket demand.

Well it's time to get to bed because I am so excited about the opportunity to get to see Anthony Swarzak start tonight!! (sarcasm) I will be in section 103, row 7 as usual....

Posted on May 28, 2011 at 12:08 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 213

By the way, congratulations to my alma mater Winona State University baseball team as they advance to the NCAA Division II College World Series for the first time ever.

Also, good luck and congrats to the Gophers baseball team as they continue to advance through the Big Ten tourney!

At least we have a couple of baseball teams in Minnesota that can win some games, especially postseason games.

Posted on May 28, 2011 at 12:12 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 214

Why do they stop selling alcohol after the 7th inning? With the Twins bullpen, that is when we need it!

Posted on May 28, 2011 at 12:57 AM by terry Highlight this comment 215

Going to watch some ball tomorrow too, high school playoff baseball. I will be scouting for us. Maybe one of these kids would like a chance this year!

Speaking of STH renewal. In two sets of seats that I have, I have already lost 3 ticket partners. I am going to be having issues trying to fill these spots, and will likely be left to drop a set.

Posted on May 28, 2011 at 01:01 AM by tk Highlight this comment 216

Billy Smith is in a whirl of hurt with how this bullpen is looking right now, I am not confident one bit that he will be able to right this ship given 3-4 years...this could be a long few years to follow if some smart moves are not made by July.

Too bad I lost the keys to the DeLorean, so the option of letting Billy borrow is off the table.

On a ballpark related note, I was out in center field concessions tonight and saw their frozen blast or whatever "slush puppy/ICEE" things, anyone try them? I wish the Twins would try do some frozen alcoholic drinks like other ballparks (e.g. Comerica).

Posted on May 28, 2011 at 01:19 AM by tk Highlight this comment 217

It's interesting just how fast fortunes change.

I sat down to watch the Cubs and Pirates this afternoon and there were tons of empty seats at Wrigley. In fact, I haven't seen a game yet this year when the rooftop seats were more than sparsely populated.

It's already easier to find a place to sit at Target Field. It could very well be a buyer's market for season tickets come next spring.

I wonder if anyone could have anticipated a situation like this?

Posted on May 28, 2011 at 02:36 AM by Rick 218

Stop being so negative Dr. X

Posted on May 28, 2011 at 06:36 AM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 219

The Twins bullpen and their gas can arms are burning down Target Field.

Posted on May 28, 2011 at 07:09 AM by NewGuy Highlight this comment 220

From the Strib: "Burnett was late covering first base on a single by speedster Peter Bourjos to open the eighth inning. Then Maicer Izturis walked before pitching coach Rick Anderson turned to the lefthanded Hughes.

Gardenhire had a cortisone shot in his knee — no one can escape the Twins’ injury woes — leaving Anderson to make the pitching changes."

Huh?? A manager leaves his post IN THE MIDDLE OF A TIGHT GAME to go get a cortisone shot? That couldn't wait until after the game??? What the hell is going on here? Every day this team does something new to disappoint me just a little more.

If the Lowertown stadium gets the OK, the Twins might actually feel a tangible blow from the Saints in a couple years if this keeps up.

Posted on May 28, 2011 at 07:46 AM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 221

Kevo is a Sox fan. He's proven it time and time again. Wrote the Twins off from day one. Don't let the troll get under your skin. He couldn't be happier about the Twins present state.

Posted on May 28, 2011 at 07:51 AM by Jim Highlight this comment 222

Huh?? If Kev was a Sox fan, why would he hang around here for YEARS? Chat about his visits to Metropolitan Stadium?? geesh.... Guess realists aren't welcome here. Heading back to my Mensa blog now....

Posted on May 28, 2011 at 09:54 AM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 223

TTH,

I don't think he got the shot during the game. The radio guys made it sound like it had happened earlier in the day, and they weren't surprised that he didn't come out to make that pitching change.

And you probably saw this, but it made me actually feel better about the 2011 Twins. Not exactly hopeful, mind you, but better:

Postgame: Gardenhire furious, but not for the reasons you might think

Posted on May 28, 2011 at 10:09 AM by Rick 224

That's an interesting glimpse into the past, Rick. Look, no one has probably ripped on this team more than me (except for maybe 2 others). It sucks...plain and simple. I was never able to buy season tickets because I can't make weeknight games, and finally got them, knowing there would be plenty of demand. I even discussed with the rep that I'd be "safe" for 3-5 years with the new ballpark and the competitive team. Well, approx 3 weeks into Year #2, I knew it was over. I try not to use 20/20 hindsight to criticize Bill Smith. Nobody that I know of was ripping the Mauer deal when it was signed, myself included. BUT, as a baseball GM, you have to know what you're doing when you go into that kind of a deal. 8 years? 2nd highest paid player in history with a mid-market team? A catcher? Knee injury history? We all wanted to believe that local Jesus would have Target Field sold out for the next 8 years...hitting .340 and garnering 2 more MVPs. Given what was known at the time, and the fact that there was one year remaining on the contract, that deal should not have been signed. Then, there is a myriad of questionable moves to compliment that one that should have been obvious as well. The Cardinals didn't panic on Pujols, who is way more valuable than Mauer, and he is the 3rd best hitter on the team this year, and his value is going down as we speak for his next contract. The Cardinals took advantage of the year they had to buy time before signing. Had the Twins done the same, we would probably have some more options going forward. As it stands, we have a non-tradeable, really expensive player that will restrict payroll for several years as attendance dwindles. The early 80s brought in a great class of Twins, as did the early '00s. A new cycle will emerge, but it will be harder to retain any talent that does emerge because of the Mauer contract. I don't blame Mauer for signing the contract, but it's sort of like selling your soul to the devil. If you're going to sign it, and you're not going to produce, you will be crucified in the media...and Joe is getting crucified badly in various comments sections of the local media (as is Billy). It's actually really bad toward Mauer...and I never thought I'd see that day.

Posted on May 28, 2011 at 10:26 AM by twinswschamps2045 (aka twinswschamps2011) Highlight this comment 225

Rick, that makes sense. Maybe it was poor writing that made me think that. Nonetheless, if you can't suck it up and walk to the mound, and you're trying to be a team leader, what does that say to your players?

Is this entire team soft from the G.M. to the ballboy?

Posted on May 28, 2011 at 11:08 AM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 226

Actually, the ball boy down the right field line, who looked to be in his 70s, was making some pretty snappy plays during the Detroit series.

Definite shortstop material.

Posted on May 28, 2011 at 11:33 AM by Rick 227

Just remember it's a marathon, not a sprint.

Posted on May 28, 2011 at 12:10 PM by FD Highlight this comment 228

You're right FD, the race has started, but the Twins are barely out of the starting line and the teams are at least at mile 6.55

Posted on May 28, 2011 at 12:43 PM by tk Highlight this comment 229

Heard an interesting sports radio discussion a while back that discussed baseball as a dying sport. It compared baseball at it's peak, which was in the 70s and 80s, to boxing in the early 1900s. Boxing was dominant back then, and nobody could've envisioned what it is today. They said baseball started dying in the 90s and could become a secondary sport down the road. The attendance #s are pretty poor around the league...even interleague for most teams (we'll join them next year). Also linked baseball to a "newspaper sport" whereas the NFL has thrived due to being a "TV and internet" sport. I can't really say I disagree with any of it.

Posted on May 28, 2011 at 12:49 PM by twinswschamps2045 (aka twinswschamps2011) Highlight this comment 230

Rick-

None of the things Gardenhire mentioned in that article lead to them losing the game, except maybe Burnett failing to cover. He is making excuses instead of confronting the real problems. It does show the Twins coaching staff are blaming the wrong things for the woes of the season. Instead of trying to figure out why the bullpen stinks, they are concerned about a baserunning error that wasn't a baserunning air. Instead of pushing you "francise" player to get on the field, Gardenhire is worried about not getting someone home from 2nd with 2 outs.

The only thing this team needs to win this year is a stable bullpen. For the most part their bats have come alive and they are getting leads in games. But how many games have been lost by the bullpen? Fix that and they win this season, there is still time left but June is fast approaching. The babying of players needs to stop, tell Mauer he needs to come back as a cather now, or he will be going on the 60 day DL and be coming back as the Left Fielder.

If they do not turn things around, it is time for Gardenhire, Smith and the rest of the coaching staff to take a walk. They need a manager that is able to light a fire under guys asses. The Pohlands should then look to Joe Torre, the most successful manager of the recent era and give him a role like Elway has in Denver, Holmgren has in Cleveland, and Ryan has in Arlington.

Posted on May 28, 2011 at 12:57 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 231

Here's the quote that stuck with me:

Some readers will say Gardenhire's wrath was misdirected on a night when the relievers started an eighth-inning fire and kept adding gasoline. But the bullpen is what it is.

"That’s who we have. That's who we are. That’s who has to pitch," Gardenhire said.

He knows where the problem is. He knows it's not something he can fix. You can't coach Hoey into a lower ERA, or Capps into being a more reliable closer, or Nathan into returning to pre-TJ form. You can't install your weak AAA bullpen in the major league club and expect acceptable results. He knows that. He acknowledges that. It would be foolish to expend any of his energy on that because it simply cannot be fixed.

But what the Twins could be doing, that is, things which are within their control, they are not. That is his fault, and he's right to start calling them out. Managers earn a big part of their salaries in front of the media because of the ripple effect it has in the clubhouse. Gardy earned it there last night (after not exactly earning it in the dugout).

Maybe you don't win that game if you do all those little things right, but the Kubel gaffe literally cost the Twins a run -- which may have meant nothing, and may have meant everything.

You can't turn plow horses into thoroughbreds, so I have a hard time blaming Gardy or Rick Anderson for the big problems here. But Bill Smith? Um, yeah. Individual deals aside, he has not been successful in maintaining the depth that a major league club needs. It's not his fault that people get hurt, but it is his fault if you tilt the head of the Twins Pez dispenser and another qualified player doesn't pop up.

As for Mauer, you think he wants to be playing in extended spring training in May? He's not soft, he's hurt. And there are a lot of things we don't know about why he's hurt.

Obviously, the Twins think there's a risk of jeopardizing the other seven years of their investment if they make the wrong moves here in the first year.

They're right.

Posted on May 28, 2011 at 1:29 PM by Rick 232

That's right Jim. You probably saw me wearing my Carlton Fisk jersey at Harmon Killebrew's funeral last week.

Posted on May 28, 2011 at 1:30 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 233

Won a contest this morning after following tweets from Justin Morneau. Got to hang out with him for an hour this morning, got some reebok shoes and a apparel and a signed baseball. I am not a big fan of Reebok stuff but it was free and a cool experience nonetheless.

Posted on May 28, 2011 at 2:40 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 234

Last night at Club Metro the Killebrew flowers from the Thursday evening ballpark service were on display. There was a classy black & white photo of him swinging the bat next to it as well. For those going to the game tonight and/or tomorrow I recommend checking it out if it is available.

Posted on May 28, 2011 at 3:44 PM by NotMendoza Highlight this comment 235

There's a multitude of reasons why interest in MLB is in decline, but I don't think it has much to do with newspapers, TVs, or the internet.

Some better reasons:

1) The season is too long with far too many games being pretty much meaningless. You know the old saying: win 1/3, lose 1/3, and the other 1/3 is all that really matters.

2) The number of teams involved in the post season is too low making the latter part of the season meaningless for too many teams. Also The ratio of regular season games to playoff games is far too high.

3) The MLBPA is too powerful. The combination of free agency and no salary cap makes it too hard for low to mid market teams. It is impossible for them to financially retain a core set of good players that fans can grow to love and rally around. The best they can do is pick one or two players as franchise players and hope it pans out.

Personally I would like to see a shorter season with more back to back double header days. Larger playoff brackets and even some mid-season tournaments. And lastly a way for all teams to build a core set of players rather than a single franchise player.

Posted on May 28, 2011 at 3:54 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 236

Congrats Jared! That's cool.

Posted on May 28, 2011 at 3:56 PM by tk Highlight this comment 237

Mauer is not hurt, from Gardenhire's own mouth all he was just "really, really sore" after games. Thats part of playing catcher. Don't like it? Move to a different spot. They didn't sign him because of his catching prowess, he is a very average catcher. They signed him because the Twins love a player that can hit for average and Mauer does that very well. Of course the other big reason he was signed was he is a money maker because of all the rube's in Minnesota who love him just because he is from here.

Posted on May 28, 2011 at 4:14 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 238

You can read what you want into "really, really sore."

If he had a hangnail, he'd be playing. In a multi-million-dollar business, if your highest-paid employee is not at work, there's a damn good reason. And because words can have actual consequences, the words his coworkers and superiors use to describe his absence mean virtually nothing.

If I've learned anything about modern professional baseball, it's that a primary skill needed by every member of the organization is the ability to talk without saying anything.

That's why it caught my eye when I realized that Gardy was actually saying something to the media last night.

It's a flicker of hope.

Posted on May 28, 2011 at 7:14 PM by Rick 239

Good pitcher's duel so far tonight. I wonder if Swarczak can go the 16 innings it looks like it might take the Twins to score.

Posted on May 28, 2011 at 7:24 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 240

At the game and the question came up: has there been a game where both starting pitchers get a no hitter? Anyone know? If so, how many times?

Posted on May 28, 2011 at 8:13 PM by jared Highlight this comment 241

Jared, looking through the 271 no-hitters quickly, none occurred in the same game.

Posted on May 28, 2011 at 8:21 PM by TK Highlight this comment 242

I had a similar question, has there ever been a pitcher who started after a pitcher has been scratched to pitch a no-no?

Posted on May 28, 2011 at 8:22 PM by TK Highlight this comment 243

Nicely done by Swarzak! Glad Slowey was not available...

Posted on May 28, 2011 at 8:28 PM by TK Highlight this comment 244

TTH,
You don't need to prove that you are a realist by counting your team out on day one. What's the point of being a fan. Everyone knows this team sucks ass right now. But you two seem to think that since you rip them every chance you get that you are realists. By the way, just the name "The Truth Hurts" smells of arrogance.

Posted on May 28, 2011 at 8:35 PM by Jim Highlight this comment 245

TK, I remember reading about a combined no-hitter where Babe Ruth was the starting pitcher, and got thrown out of the game after arguing a walk of the first batter. Then a reliever came in and got 27 outs.

Posted on May 28, 2011 at 9:01 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 246

Because we don't get many chances to say it: Twins win!

Posted on May 28, 2011 at 9:02 PM by Rick 247

And a very good win, too.

Posted on May 28, 2011 at 9:06 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 248

Let me guess. TTH and Kevo are pissed tonight.

Posted on May 28, 2011 at 9:24 PM by Jim Highlight this comment 249

F_T_K, Ernie Shore was the player in relief, the player who was walked was thrown out at 2nd, and Shore got the 26 others, so technically faced the minimum, but the walk cost the combined perfect game.

What I was curious about is of the 271 no-hitters, were any of those players who pitched originally not the scheduled starter from the beginning.

Posted on May 28, 2011 at 9:44 PM by TK Highlight this comment 250

Jared,

Here's the game you're looking for:

On May 2, 1917, a game between the Chicago Cubs and the Cincinnati Reds reached the end of nine innings in a hitless scoreless tie, the only time in baseball history that neither team has had a hit in regulation. Both Hippo Vaughn of the Cubs and Fred Toney of the Reds continued pitching into the tenth inning. Vaughn lost his no-hitter in the top of the tenth, as the Reds got two hits and scored the winning run. Toney retired the side in the bottom of the tenth and recorded a ten-inning no-hitter. This game was long considered a "double no-hitter," but Vaughn is no longer credited with a no-hitter under the current rules.

Posted on May 28, 2011 at 10:35 PM by Rick 251

Was at the game and it turned out to be a great night weather-wise and a great game. 10-inning game was over in less than 3 hours, not bad!

I saw my first Target Field drunk fan run out on to the field following the game. Its funny how it always takes about 10 security people to finally get the person.

tk - I noticed those "ICEE" things too out at the State Fair concession stand but did not buy one.

The mini donut line was extremely long again, perhaps, they need to add a second or third mini donut stand? It wouldn't be that difficult to add mini donuts to the north shore creamery stands, would it?

I bought a bbq pulled pork sandwich for $6.50...definitely one of the best deals at the ballpark!

Posted on May 29, 2011 at 12:50 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 252

Weird about the mini-donut line. It was extremely long on Wednesday afternoon as well. Last year I was always able to walk right up to the counter.

It's kind of hidden, which makes me think that people are just starting to discover it.

Seems like a natural thing to sell at multiple locations within the ballpark. Of course, I think that about everything: corn dogs everywhere! apple pies everywhere! turkey sandwiches everywhere! pulled pork everywhere!

And those pizza stands are still looking pretty lonely, which makes me think that the quality of the pizzas has not improved over last season...

Posted on May 29, 2011 at 12:56 AM by Rick 253

Mike,

I have not seen a short line at the mini donuts stand...it would be nice for them to add one or two, there is also space on the Mezzanine. As long as they do not start selling them out of the domino pizza style heating bags.

Posted on May 29, 2011 at 12:56 AM by tk Highlight this comment 254

The Twins have only played 11 of 72 Divisional games this season and are 5-6 in those games (Home 3-3; Away 2-3). The Twins will be off for a 9-game divisional road trip, so this team needs to show some positive strides in the next 10 days. I have not lost complete hope, but the Twins need to start playing fundamentally strong baseball, along with making good pitches.

Posted on May 29, 2011 at 02:03 AM by tk Highlight this comment 255

The only one who sounds pissed off is you Jim. Take a pill.

Posted on May 29, 2011 at 02:39 AM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 256

Not sure if this play turned Thursday by the Rock Cats has been discussed yet?

Jose Coronado hit into fielder's choice double play, first baseman Chris Parmelee to catcher Daniel Rohlfing to shortstop Chris Cates to pitcher Brett Jacobson to third baseman Deibinson Romero to first baseman Chris Parmelee to second baseman Steve Singleton to shortstop Chris Cates to center fielder Joe Benson. Allan Dykstra out at home. Eric Campbell out at 3rd.

This is what we have up and coming, at least crisp throws are being made.

Click name for video

Posted on May 29, 2011 at 02:47 AM by tk Highlight this comment 257

^^^Maybe the Twins can learn a thing or two from these guys :)

Posted on May 29, 2011 at 02:49 AM by tk Highlight this comment 258

Baseball is not a dying sport. The NFL has taken over the top spot, I can concede that, but I've heard this argument since I was a kid. Attendance down? Think the economy might have something to do with that? Expanding the playoffs? That's what make baseball so great - the regular season MEANS something!

I know where I live youth numbers have never been stronger. The team that I coach - the kids have a PASSION for the game. They are all in a fantasy league. They can;t get enough of the game.

Too many people love the game. Yes, there might be issues, but the NFL has more issues now than baseball does!

Posted on May 29, 2011 at 07:44 AM by ole Highlight this comment 259

3 items from this thread:

1) Attendance -- baseball overall is down a total of 359 people per game vs. the same date last year. The biggest increase is in Texas, and largest decrease is the LA Dodgers(reference is www.baseball-reference.com). What one needs to remember is that the NFL sells about 18M tickets per year for their 256 games a year. Baseball sells 73M for its 2430 games per year. Definitely different beasts when it comes to availability and the sheer number of games involved.

2) I hadn't noticed them before, but I saw the division standing flags in right field tonight. I think that is a great touch, even if it doesn't look like the Twins flag is going to move north anytime soon.

3) I had the same reaction to Bob Kurtz on Friday night -- that is exactly the voice and style I want for the next 15 years. Ted Robinson is fine, but one night of listening to Kurtz made it for me. I also sort of liked the middle innings with Gladden doing the play by play and Morris doing the color to break it up. Anyway -- WE WANT KURTZ, WE WANT KURTZ

Posted on May 29, 2011 at 09:20 AM by Lincster Highlight this comment 260

Even with a .330 winning percentage, that was pretty electric last night. Makes me hold out the slightest bit of hope for a Cleveland collapse and a patented Twins run. The pile on after the hit? Maybe a bit overdone--but if it can lead to a winning streat, so be it. And, it appears Gardy has already put a "Y" after "Swarzy"'s name.

Posted on May 29, 2011 at 10:20 AM by twinswschamps2011 Highlight this comment 261

Rick,

I'm still waiting for a paragraph on your Overstock.com Coliseum experience.

Posted on May 29, 2011 at 10:23 AM by twinswschamps2011 Highlight this comment 262

Ha I enjoyed watching the guy in the grey mouse costume evade the rent-a-cops just as the game ended last night. That was something to watch as he jumped down over the dugout right next to the Champions Club & all security left their positions to chase him. If another streaker had wanted to follow it would have been free reign. And if the kid hadn't tripped over his own feet near section 125/126 he'd have made it back up into the stands without being apprehended. Seemed like a strange time to hop on the field, but the crowd clearly enjoyed it. I also have never seen anyone run on the field in a costume. Has anyone else seen this!

Luke: was that you in the mouse costume?

Sidenote: They had FOUR streakers including one naked at the Yankees/Mariners game last night at SafeCo. That has got to be a record?

Posted on May 29, 2011 at 11:11 AM by Max Highlight this comment 263

I would concur with others that it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize the Twins should be adding more mini donuts points of sale to accommodate the demand. The line had to be 100+ deep on Friday night. Is Delaware North paying attention? Do they care?

Interesting that Gardenhire couldnt make pitching changes but had no issue getting to 2nd base to argue with Andy Fletcher (who took lots of flak before finally granting Gardy's wish of being run). What was the verdict on tv? Was Span safe or out?

Posted on May 29, 2011 at 11:17 AM by Max Highlight this comment 264

Max, it was a close play and it appeared Span slid into the foot of the shortstop and didn't make it to the bag before the tag was applied. The reply showed Span grabbing the shoe and not the bag, but it was not slowed down enough to see how Span's hand eventually got to the bag and when the tag was applied. Live, I think the right call was made. With reply, the right call appeared to still have been made.

Posted on May 29, 2011 at 11:29 AM by TK Highlight this comment 265

Baseball is a dying sport that peaked in the 70's and 80's?

MLB total attendance by decade:
1970-79: 329M
1980-89: 458M
1990-99: 601M
2000-09: 808M

Posted on May 29, 2011 at 11:50 AM by foodog8 Highlight this comment 266

Read about my thoughts about Harmon's memorial service, which occurred Thursday at Target Field. Please click my name.

Posted on May 29, 2011 at 11:55 AM by michael Highlight this comment 267

Correction: the 2000-09 total included 2010. So, the actual total from 2000-09 should be 735M.

Still pretty impressive for a dying sport.

Posted on May 29, 2011 at 12:06 PM by foodog8 Highlight this comment 268

Right Max, as if I have NOTHING else in my life to do but to entertain you in a goddamn mouse costume. Grow up.

Posted on May 29, 2011 at 12:53 PM by luke Highlight this comment 269

twinswschampsXXXX,

I'm at 3500 words already on my bay trip, about halfway through the summary article. Sample:

I've not heard this said before, but I found that AT&T Park has a miniature quality about it... At first glimpse of the field, I wondered if I had wandered into a Little League facility by mistake.

This perception is partly because there is a gigantic expanse of water visible beyond the outfield stands. The optical illusion is striking and spectacular. The park feels very much like an oasis, or perhaps on its own island.

Exactly the opposite effect is in place in Oakland. The field is literally dwarfed by "Mount Davis", the colloquial name (used by every single person I talked to) for the football pavilion installed in 2005. One could be forgiven for wondering if that monstrosity is as tall as the field is deep.

But if you think this stark difference is going to lead me to lavish praise on one park and trash the other, not so fast...

Currently sorting through the 1000+ pictures I took. Can I finish it this weekend? Maybe.

I'm also at 2500 words on a Killebrew tribute, with a couple hundred photos to sort through from the memorial.

Sure wish I had more time to give to these...

Posted on May 29, 2011 at 12:57 PM by Rick 270

For a dying sport, the baseball people sure are making a lot of money.

Football is easier to understand, and there's only one game a week. It's perfect for Short Attention Span America. It's also way more brutal, which is perfect for Caveman America.

OK, could I be any more biased? (Seriously though, I like football too. But unlike baseball, it doesn't get any of my money.)

Posted on May 29, 2011 at 1:10 PM by Rick 271

Sunday afternoon, and I'm watching the Red Sox and Tigers, waiting for the rain delay at Wrigley to pass.

Should I turn this off and listen to the Twins on the radio?

Not gonna happen.

Damn exclusivity shit.

Posted on May 29, 2011 at 1:12 PM by Rick 272

One more thing: Kurtz is absolutely the best choice to replace Gordon. He was just great. It was a real treat to hear.

It's a subtle thing, but I could actually follow the game better, much like I used to be able to do with Herb. I think John Gordon may just be burned out. And why shouldn't he be? He's been at it for how many decades?

Dazzle's play-by-play has settled in nicely, but it's not in the same league as Kurtz. He should stick to color, which he does very well (as does Morris).

Posted on May 29, 2011 at 1:16 PM by Rick 273

Rick ---

Between Short Attention Span America and Caveman America you have America about 50% covered. Add in Airhead Talking on the Cellphone (or applying make-up, brushing hair, etc.) While Driving America and Free Rider America to complete the deal.

Posted on May 29, 2011 at 1:56 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 274

Foodog...those are interesting #s which blow the theory that I listened to away. I was just conveying what I heard and my gut reaction was that they were right on. Despite the #s, I still recall back to my childhood and it seemed...granted I'm saying seemed, that baseball was THE sport back in the 70s and 80s. Incidents like George Brett and the pine tar, Ricky Henderson's stolen bases, those were headline news back then. Now, historic moments seemed confined to stictly sports outlets that last 24 hours. Before you posted those #s, I thought back to my days attending Dome games in the early to mid 80s and seeing 5,000 people at the games. I hear that Wrigley drew less than 10,000 consistently in the pre-1984 era. I have heard the media mention that attendance is dwindling, etc. Based on your #s, I'd say the media is making something out of nothing. Although, I will say that highlights from about 2/3 of the stadiums look pretty pathetic.

Rick, a trip to the Bay Area has the ability to produce the best and worst ballpark within hours of each other, IMO. A very unique experience.

Posted on May 29, 2011 at 2:03 PM by twinswschamps2011 Highlight this comment 275

Can I ask one question: why do the Wild and Twins insist on sharing employees?

The Twins have the Wild's public address announcer - Adam Abrams (who in my opinion should have stayed on KOOL108).

And apparently we're going to get Bob Kurtz, their radio broadcaster now too??

Posted on May 29, 2011 at 2:05 PM by luke Highlight this comment 276

Is Hoey's ERA over 20, yet?

Posted on May 29, 2011 at 3:41 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 277

I realize that I am beating a dead horse here, but if Jim Hoey is not on a plane back to Rochester immediately after this game, there should be an investigation.

Posted on May 29, 2011 at 3:43 PM by Jeff T. Highlight this comment 278

I think this team is incapable of putting two wins in a row together. After the pile-on last night for the W that pulled them to within like 17 games of .500 in May, I'm thinking 2 in a row might have the champagne bottles chilling in the locker room.

Posted on May 29, 2011 at 4:38 PM by twinswschamps2011 Highlight this comment 279

lol twinschamps...that is the first time I've ever heard one run (note the sarcasm) referred to as a "pile-on". That was a nice touch.

Posted on May 29, 2011 at 4:45 PM by luke Highlight this comment 280

Luke, if you left your parents basement, you would have realize TwinsWS was speaking of the pile after Valencia hit the game-winner...

Posted on May 29, 2011 at 5:32 PM by tk Highlight this comment 281

That pile on was something you usually see in late September or October. Maybe some high-fives would've been more appropriate. Unless Hoey was at the bottom of it with his arm twisted behind his back. But, this team has never been shy to break out the champagne over the past decade without achieving higher goals.

Posted on May 29, 2011 at 6:20 PM by twinswschamps2011 Highlight this comment 282

You can't spell "Trevor Plouffe" without 2 "E"s...

Posted on May 29, 2011 at 6:58 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 283

Plouffe's throws are just embarrassing.

I hope Nishi has a good throwing arm, because I think he'll be at shortstop here pretty soon.

Posted on May 29, 2011 at 7:47 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 284

TTF, now THAT is good! I'm stealing that one. :)

Posted on May 29, 2011 at 7:56 PM by Jim Highlight this comment 285

I tried the Turkey To Go sandwich today. It was ok I guess; but nothing to write home about. Was kind of bland and could use some extra herbs or spices during cooking. So far my favorite has been J.D. Hoyt's Pork Chop On-a-Stick closely followed by Kramarczuk's brat.

I also noticed that the light rail was much less crowded this game. Must be less people using it or I got lucky.

Posted on May 29, 2011 at 8:46 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 286

I would be surprised if Nishioka has a good arm. His arm is supposedly much weaker than Casilla's and Plouffe's. The video I have seen seems to back that up too. His weak arm was the reason he was better suited for 2B, but with that being said, he seems to be our only option now

Posted on May 29, 2011 at 8:59 PM by Aj Highlight this comment 287

lol tk...you got me. You're right...I just read his comment too fast.

I guess winning a game 1-0 at the end of May is about the only opportunity the Twins will have for that end-of-the-game pile-on. They'd better enjoy it while they can.

Posted on May 29, 2011 at 9:12 PM by luke Highlight this comment 288

Rick's references to "Mount Davis" reminds me of Thome's appearance in the uppermost far corner of the left field upper deck at the Killebrew Memorial service. It is the only seat in TF that is as distant from the plate as the location of Harmon's famous upper deck shot at the Met. Harmon's shot, however, was to straight away left and was only two or three rows into the upper deck. The Met obviously had it's own version of "Mount Davis" and of course no one ever even came close to hitting the upper deck in left at the dome. The proximity to the field of even the outfield upper deck seats is one of the things I appreciate about TF.

Posted on May 30, 2011 at 12:30 PM by terry Highlight this comment 289

I'd just like to take the time on this special day to thank those who have paid the ultimate price: the season ticket holders.

But seriously, THANK YOU VETS for giving loudmouths like me the opportunity to live in a country where I can have a voice.

God Bless our Troops and God Bless America.

Posted on May 30, 2011 at 12:30 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 290

Agreed TwinsChamp. But I am against them celebrating with champagne after clinching the division or a playoff win, it should be reserved for winning the World Seires.

Posted on May 30, 2011 at 1:33 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 291

I'm just returning from the Memorial Day celebration in my home town. It's become sort of a tradition in recent years. And though it's a classic small-town sort of event, I wouldn't have missed it for the world. A young soldier from there was killed last week in Afghanistan. It made the reading of the names all that much more immediate.

Along the way, I remembered that I received this message a couple of weeks ago, and I'd like to share it with you all:

Dear BallparkMagic,

I am currently deployed in the war zone in Kandahar, Afghanistan, and must say that your site has given me some great, much-needed relief.

Your Metropolitan Stadium historical-pictoral spread was unbelievable and brought lots of happy memories back to this Twins fan. Keep up the good work, and know that many out there appreciate what you do. I am just getting ready to dig into the new site, with pictures of Target Field, which sadly, I have not been able to get to yet.

Best Regards,

Chaplain (MAJ) Dan Knaup
643rd RSG
Kandahar, Afghanistan

Dan,

My pleasure. And please know that many over here appreciate what you do.

Be safe. Come home soon. On behalf of the ballpark geeks, thank you for your service to our country.

Posted on May 30, 2011 at 3:03 PM by Rick 292

Nearly ready with my first SF article. Another sample, which touches on terry's comment above:

As an aside, that (Oakland) football pavilion, despite its ugly and tall hugeness, also reminded me emotionally of the Met and its own gigantic football pavilion, in which I sat (cheaply) for most of the games I attended... (But let's be clear: Mount Davis may be one of the most unfortunate pieces of sports architecture in history. More on that later.)

Posted on May 30, 2011 at 3:14 PM by Rick 293

Major Knaup, next time you're in town we here at BPM will get you out to a game at Target Field.

Semper Fi from a former Marine. /salute/

Posted on May 30, 2011 at 3:21 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 294

In case new visitors haven't see it, here's the site Chaplain Dan was referring to:

OldMetStadium.com

Posted on May 30, 2011 at 3:22 PM by Rick 295

Too bad the wrong call was made on the field today that prevented the game from going into the bottom of the 9th.

My major concern is that players have a greater chance of scoring from 1st on a Ground Rule Double when hit to Center Field, than a ball bouncing into the stands down the line. It appears that the 3rd base upmire Gary Darling makes the safe call when the fan misses reaching for the ball and then reaches the stands on the bounce.

This will likely not be discussed outside of Twins Territory...

Posted on May 30, 2011 at 3:43 PM by TK Highlight this comment 296

^Does this mean that if a fan hits the ball and bounces back onto the field in Center, it is the Umpires discretion? I thought they could only make the ruling on fan interference and it does not appear that fan interference was called initially by Darling who made the safe call first.

Posted on May 30, 2011 at 3:44 PM by TK Highlight this comment 297

That's funny the Met Stadium site was mentioned, I was just looking at it this morning. There were lots of good pics on there.

Another game decided by only one run. Another loss. Another day in "Twins Territory".

I wonder when the grounds crew at TF is going to start measuring to see if they can fit a football field in there. That wind veil could be moved (voice cracking) to provide netting behind the (cracking more) goal post located just past the Overlook seats.

Posted on May 30, 2011 at 5:01 PM by luke Highlight this comment 298

Well, this team must have hit rock bottom. There hasn't been any posts on this site in 13 hours.

Mindful of the fact that yesterday accrued another loss for the boys.
Or mindful of the fact that to add insult to injury, Gardy gets tossed yesterday.
Or mindful of the fact that Gardy got tossed because of a ball-kicking AWFUL call by an ump. Honestly, folks, Detroit never should have scored on that play - it should have been a ground rule double.

I figured there would have been ranting, raving and yelling abound on this site in the last 12 hours or so. This is getting bad for the Twins.

Posted on May 31, 2011 at 06:46 AM by luke Highlight this comment 299

Minnesota sports are cursed...

Posted on May 31, 2011 at 08:05 AM by tk Highlight this comment 300

Even worse, there is no legitimate minor league ball over at Midway this week either. Guess I'm going to have to pay attention to my family and my work. (sigh)

Posted on May 31, 2011 at 08:59 AM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 301

Well 18 games under 500 and not even June! Time for us to become sellers soon. I would start the gutting process when you can. Deal Duddy, Kubel, Young, Slowey, Morneau, Fransissssco when you can. If we can find any takers for Morneau you can then move the baby Jesus to 1st base. Need a shortstop and a catcher and some pitching prospects! You can bet mgmt is gonna trim down that payroll next year!

Posted on May 31, 2011 at 09:02 AM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 302

Here is a link to the New York Times ranking baseball's best ballparks.

Very interesting

Posted on May 31, 2011 at 10:21 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 303

Mike,

HAH! Any thing that uses Yelp! as a statistical analysis is just laughable...

Posted on May 31, 2011 at 10:46 AM by tk Highlight this comment 304

I also love how the article links you to an explanation of what a Standard Deviation using Wiki. College students where I work would be getting fails on their work for using Wiki as a resource.

Posted on May 31, 2011 at 10:58 AM by tk Highlight this comment 305

To the article at hand, it does bring up some interesting perspective in regards to retractable roofs vs. uncovered stadiums.

Posted on May 31, 2011 at 11:00 AM by tk Highlight this comment 306

Bill Pohlad is the producer of the film that won the top prize at this year's Cannes film festival. The film is: "The Tree of Life." Coincidence?

Bring Back the Trees

Posted on May 31, 2011 at 11:08 AM by msp Highlight this comment 307

Anyone know if Pavano is bringing a bat back to KC for Friday night?

Posted on May 31, 2011 at 11:19 AM by tk Highlight this comment 308

I've said it before, I yawn at rankings.

But I especially dislike rankings based on data from local users only. It's just a measure of how much they like what they have, and can be influenced by too many factors to be comparable across markets.

For example, many people will react to ballparks exclusively because of what they saw there, or maybe who they were with, or even just how long they've been going. Some Yankee fans hate FYS just because it's not the real thing.

So this article simply features a satisfaction rating, answering the question, "Which ballpark is most satisfying to its own fans?" It's sort of like giving 10 different books to 10 different people, then ranking the quality of the books by how much each reader liked what he read. Absurd, if you ask me.

Pittsburgh fans might love their stadium more just because the team is disappointing. And the Oakland Coliseum will naturally suffer from comparison to a much nicer park only 10 miles away. (I liked the Coliseum just fine. It beat the crap out of Shea and Busch II.)

If you want useful rankings, find those fans who have seen more than one ballpark and have them rank the ones they've seen. It's still subjective, but the patterns which emerge would be useful.

Hey! What a great book idea. Publishers, here I am!

Posted on May 31, 2011 at 12:26 PM by Rick 309

"... find those fans who have seen more than one ballpark ..."

When the debate about building a ballpark was heating up in the mid-90's, one of my son's middle-school friends said to me "The Metrodome is perfectly fine and doesn't need replacing." I thought oh you poor child, you have had no other MLB experience and just don't know any better. I think there were a lot of people in that same category last year wqhen TF opened; you could see it in their expressions upon entering the park.

Posted on May 31, 2011 at 2:11 PM by terry Highlight this comment 310

you could see it in their expressions upon entering the park.

Terry- to be honest that is one of the reasons I love going to TF. Every time I go, I encounter someone experiencing the park for the first time, mouth agape in stunned silence. The best is hearing the parents echo the awe of their little kids. The way baseball should be.

Posted on May 31, 2011 at 4:07 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 311

I've been to around 15 games at Target Field, and I still get that silly giddy grin on my face walking into the ballpark.

But then the game begins, and then I start whimpering...

Posted on May 31, 2011 at 4:32 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 312

Originally Posted by Rick
I sat down to watch the Cubs and Pirates this afternoon and there were tons of empty seats at Wrigley. In fact, I haven't seen a game yet this year when the rooftop seats were more than sparsely populated.

I attended the Pirates at Cubs on Sunday. The game began at 3:50 instead of the scheduled 1:20 due to a torrential downpour. I honestly thought the game would be called, but the field drained quickly and by 4:30 it was actually pretty nice. So the Cubs were right to hang on. We at least spent time at the Sports Corner bar across the street from the right field entrance until virtually game time. Some fans went in early and, if they weren't among the many to go home due to the monsoon, were in the park for as long as three or four hours before a pitch was thrown.

At any rate, once the game began, I'd say about 20,000 at the most were in the park out a below sellout 37,000 paid. However, the rooftops were almost completely full. Only one with a lousy view had some room on it. We picked up bleacher seats for below face value (granted face value is pretty high these days) on StubHub and the Cubs' website still had bleacher tickets in the days leading to the game. In recent years the bleacher seats were virtually a preseason sellout with huge mark ups on the black market. The years of losing and a rough economy have definitely taken a piece out of the Cubs with both locals and tourists staying away. In fact, this was most local seeming bleacher crowd I've seen at Wrigley since the early 1990s.

Posted on May 31, 2011 at 5:06 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 313

Another laughable meltdown. Twins on pace to go 51-111. Maybe we could lose a few more and set the record for futility and get rid of Gardy and BS!!!

Posted on May 31, 2011 at 7:31 PM by firedog Highlight this comment 314

Unbelievable...

Posted on May 31, 2011 at 7:40 PM by tk Highlight this comment 315

If all it takes is a pinched nerve, the Twins should sit and watch a game from the stands, I have tons of them!

Posted on May 31, 2011 at 8:19 PM by tk Highlight this comment 316

Morneau is starting to come out of his funk!

I've been to 20 stadiums and out of all the newer stadiums (TF included) I thought Pittsburgh's was the best with TF a close second. I don't think you can include Wrigley or Fenway on a ranking, they stand alone in a different category. More like baseball shrines. Rick - if you need help writing that book, I am sure I could do it!

I still get the giddy smile when I walk into to Target Field as well. I still can't believe my team plays in such an awesome stadium!!

Posted on May 31, 2011 at 8:24 PM by ole Highlight this comment 317

I'm feeling like I should add an arrrgh-meter on this site. It would probably instantly become the most-clicked item.

Posted on May 31, 2011 at 8:46 PM by Rick 318

Arrrgh.

Posted on May 31, 2011 at 9:04 PM by Rick 319

ARGH.

I must admit, I'm starting to lose faith in this team.

Pass the powder-based beverage, please.

Posted on May 31, 2011 at 9:24 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 320

You know, last season, we were all so happy when the Twins would return home after a below-par road trip, because we knew they were doing better at TF than they were on the road.

Unfortunately, we don't have that consolation this year, do we?

According to Wikipedia (as TTH would say, clicky), we could be in danger of being up there with Kev's Arizona Diamondbacks, who went 51-111 in 2004. That is nowhere near as bad as the Tigers the year before: 43-119.

OMG is this team in trouble. *sigh

Posted on May 31, 2011 at 9:28 PM by luke Highlight this comment 321

Back in the days of The Dome, my friends and I would often debate whether we'd rather watch a good team play in the Dome or a horrible team play outside. I always answered a horrible team play outside.

I got my wish.

Pretty soon, there has to be some sort of ramifications for what has transpired here in 2011. Players have to be dealt. Coaches need to be fired. Or a GM. Something has to give. This is beyond ridiculous.

Posted on May 31, 2011 at 9:34 PM by Jeff T. Highlight this comment 322

Starting to lose faith in this team?

For the Twins to be traders in July, they actually have to have tradeable assets. No one on this team will fetch any sort of value come July. Somebody might grab Cuddy as a utility guy down the stretch, knowing they don't have to pay him next year. Ditto for Kubel. Don't expect much in return, though. This team will look very different next year. I think gone will be Young, Kubel, Thome, Cuddy, Casilla, Nathan, the entire bullpen less Perkins for that matter, Butera...the only people I can count on being back would be Morneau, Mauer, Nish, and Valencia. One thing that concerns me is that when somebody makes a huge mistake, as in the handing of the keys to Target Field over to Mauer, there's usually a period of trying to justify it. That could mean unloading Morneau if he gets hot. Anybody who isn't in denial knows Mauer has to be moved immediately. Even when moved, I don't trust bad knees to play consistently. When at their A-games, I believe Morneau is better than Mauer. I also believe Morneau can achieve MVP-like #s again...I don't feel that way with Mauer.

In a season full of several huge disappointments, the biggest one for me has to be Danny Valencia. I thought we may have a long-termer at the hot corner...and now I'm on the fence on that one. At least he's cheap.

I wouldn't mind seeing a Capps for Ramos trade...are the Nats in the market for a closer?

Posted on May 31, 2011 at 9:54 PM by twinswschamps2011 Highlight this comment 323

we knew the bullpen was going to be a problem this year, but what is up with the fielding? It is horrible. It makes you wonder what they were doing in Fort Meyers.

Posted on May 31, 2011 at 10:17 PM by terry Highlight this comment 324

I have never played beyond high school sports, but the Tolbert throw was ridiculous today...I have seen crisper tosses at the State Fair Ring Toss

Posted on May 31, 2011 at 11:41 PM by tk Highlight this comment 325

Heading to KC this weekend. Anyone else making the trek down 35?

Also, Rick et al., I know it has been covered on here so many times, but how do you subscribe and post pictures through e-mail?

Posted on May 31, 2011 at 11:58 PM by tk (aka TK) Highlight this comment 326

I thought - correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the address to post was:

twins@ballparkmagic.com

Rick is the pro on that though.

Posted on June 1, 2011 at 07:44 AM by luke Highlight this comment 327

Enjoy the trip, TK. I've made that drive many times. Eat some KC BBQ for me!

I don't think I'll be down there this weekend, but I did check out the single-game tickets on the Royal's website. I wish the Twins' ticket selector was that nice!

Posted on June 1, 2011 at 08:32 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 328

If you can find it TK, if you want some good KC bbq, try Oklahoma Joe's. I think there's a couple locations in KC, but the original is located in a gas station just outside downtown.

Or if you're really ambitious, drive 15 minutes west on 435 to Overland Park, KS and KC Masterpiece.

Posted on June 1, 2011 at 08:57 AM by luke Highlight this comment 329

msp, I think as a much younger man Bill Pohlad might have also had a hand in a 1972 made-for-tv movie. Click my name to see what I mean.

BBtT

Posted on June 1, 2011 at 10:12 AM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 330

The problem with trading our "assets" is that B.S. is the dealer. I wouldn't trust him preparing my dinner in the kitchen let alone trading his players for something as good if not better.

Eventually B.S. will be gone (we all hope, though this IS the Twins) but his legacy of futility will stink up TF for many years afterward. And that, my friends, wants me to charge full speed into a light pole and take myself out of this misery.

Posted on June 1, 2011 at 10:30 AM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 331

tk,

First, register your device by sending a message (text or email, with your screen name as the subject) to:

twins-subscribe@ballparkmagic.com

Then you can send photos or comments from your phone to:

twins@ballparkmagic.com

Posted on June 1, 2011 at 10:46 AM by Rick 332

While teams have up and down years and tend to go in cycles, the frustrating thing is that the Twins have no solid future talent base in the minor leagues. Bill Smith has all but depleted the minor league system. Who do the Twins have in the minor leagues right now other than Hicks, Gibson and Revere that fans can be excited about in future years? It's not like Rochester and New Britain have been very good the last couple of years.

An entire organization overhaul is needed with some new philosophical approaches from the owners, to the general manager and manager.

The Twins have no reason whatsoever not to be sellers in the next two months. This season is lost and it does no good to stay status quo.

For as good as Terry Ryan was when he built a solid foundation for the franchise for several years, Bill Smith has seemed to do nothing to replenish the minor league system while the current major league roster is getting older and older each year while underachieving at the same time.

I liked the Hardy-Gomez trade and I liked the acquisition of Pavano in 2009. Other than those two moves, I am not a fan of what Bill Smith has done.

Posted on June 1, 2011 at 11:33 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 333

Twins have to be thinking that maybe they can make as much money drawing 28,000 per game with a 80 mil payroll as opposed to drawing 38,000 with 113 mil payroll. I think they will perhaps try and deal Morneau also and end up with the Baby Jesus there. Twinschamp you nailed it! Ramos for the Mad Crapper would be a steal for us. No way you can sign the crapper again next year for 7.5 or whatever the hell he wants.

Posted on June 1, 2011 at 11:33 AM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 334

As an FYI, my two computers do not agree with one another, so for those that are wondering, I am somehow both tk/TK, depending on the device.

Posted on June 1, 2011 at 11:58 AM by tk Highlight this comment 335

we had better players back then because the twins drafted high after sucking for most of the 90's. that being said, something is not right with scouting of late. the cupboard is really bare and that falls at the feet of the GM/scouting dept.

Posted on June 1, 2011 at 12:14 PM by tim Highlight this comment 336

To me the proper way to evaluate stadiums is to come up with a list of things/features that make up a ballpark. The items of the list then should be weighted according to their importance of making a good ballpark.

The weighting system could be as simple as a scale from 1 to 10. 10 being very desirable (a must have) and 1 being nice to have but could live without.

Go through the list with each ballpark and assign a weight to how well that ballpark meets them. Again, use a scale of 1 to 10. Where 10 fully meets and 1 barely. Multiply the two weights associated with each item. Sum those weights for a total for each stadium and divide by the number of items for a weighted average.

Now you have all sorts of statistics to analyze for comparing the stadiums.

The results are still of course going to be subjective. But having the list at least guarantees you will be judging each stadium using the same criteria.

Posted on June 1, 2011 at 1:00 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 337

F_T_K and Luke, Thanks!

I have been down to KC twice, just happen to be down there when the Twins were not and no time to check-out the K.

I have a itinerary planned out already and I am not too sure I am going to be making a stop at Oklahoma Joe's on this trip. I know that I will be going to Arthur Bryant's and making a stop at the former location of KC Municipal Stadium.

When I return, I will have blog of my entire trip, I can post at that time if anyone would be interested.

Posted on June 1, 2011 at 2:41 PM by tk Highlight this comment 338

It is no longer unapparent that:

1. The team which broke spring training and came north was not prepared, condition-wise, drill-wise, and otherwise, to compete against other MLB teams. This is on the field management staff.

2. The team is devoid of quality talent in several areas and the "emergency back-up system" has become very weak. This did not happen overnight and is on the front office.

Time for a soup to nuts overhaul.

Posted on June 1, 2011 at 2:42 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 339

Rick,

Thanks for the information about pictures, I may post one or two while at the K.

Posted on June 1, 2011 at 2:42 PM by tk Highlight this comment 340

I'm surprised at how high ticket prices are for the KC game Saturday. I'm going to be there, and was thinking I could pick something up as the week went on close to the Twins dugout. I would think demand from MN people has to be at an all-time low.

Posted on June 1, 2011 at 2:45 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 341

jctwins,

It is Willie Wilson Bobblehead night for the 1st TWENTY-thousand, remember the days when the Twins did more regularly?

So this may be a reason. We were able to find tickets behind the dugout reasonable about a month ago and have seen prices climb ever since.

Posted on June 1, 2011 at 2:49 PM by tk Highlight this comment 342

I just read that Joe Mauer is currently second in the All-Star voting for catcher. Who is third? Yogi Berra?

Posted on June 1, 2011 at 3:34 PM by terry Highlight this comment 343

Terry, HAH! Wow, really? I just got an e-mail from the Twins to start voting.

I am wondering who is the next AA call-up so I can make a final push!?!??

Posted on June 1, 2011 at 4:44 PM by tk Highlight this comment 344

No "Vote For" buttons being handed out this year?

Posted on June 1, 2011 at 6:15 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 345

Finally decided on tickets for the 6/23 afternoon game at AT&T. SH demand is pretty low for this series. Lots and lots of tickets for under $10; I picked up my View Box seats for two-thirds face. Over on the Giants' site, they use dynamic pricing, and guess which series has the cheapest prices? They're selling tix to watch our beloved Twinkies for half of what the same seat is priced for a Saturday afternoon Mets game.

Looking forward to your review of "Phone Company Park," Rick. Until then, if anyone has a list of "don't miss" items while at AT&T, I'd love to hear it.

Posted on June 1, 2011 at 6:23 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 346

Baby Jesus in the charity 2nd (but well off the pace) position. So, that sews it up...no Twins, except for the token nod for Kubel...who isn't even in the standings for DH. This, folks...is truly the worst team in baseball, and honestly, I'm going back to Rays, DBacks expansion years to try and find a worse team in recent history.

The more I think about that pile-on after win #17 on Memorial Day weekend, the more I am bothered by how low the bar has gotten for this team.

If I were Bill Smith, I would probably do the following to try and START righting the ship (this will be a multi-year process). I would move Morneau to 3rd rather than trade him. I would move Valencia to SS, Nish at 2nd, and Mauer to 1st. I would keep Span, re-sign Kubel for DH, keep Pav, Blackie, Swarzy, and Duensing. I would let everyone else go. Yes, it would be the worst defensive infield in the majors, but it would keep your 2 top ticket-sellers and fan favorites (which they'll need) on the team. Granted, question marks at every position, but Bill has created one helluva mess here with no easy answers. 1st to 3rd is a fairly easy transition too. I don't think Nish has the arm for SS.

Posted on June 1, 2011 at 6:30 PM by twinswschamps2011 Highlight this comment 347

Mauer 2nd for all star votes at catcher... funny.

Maybe people thought they were voting for biggest salary thieves.

Posted on June 1, 2011 at 6:44 PM by mj Highlight this comment 348

Maybe people think that Kevin Butler will be pitching to Mauer.

Posted on June 1, 2011 at 7:22 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 349

I think you hit the nail right on the head Ben. It's hard to argue with any of that.

Posted on June 1, 2011 at 7:33 PM by Jim Highlight this comment 350

will Mauer be seen as the biggest villian in the history of MN sports, when his contract causes a ten year run of shitty baseball?

Posted on June 1, 2011 at 7:53 PM by mj Highlight this comment 351

I did a write-in for Drew Butera...

Posted on June 1, 2011 at 9:11 PM by twinswschamps2011 Highlight this comment 352

How bad does this season compare to other teams who are coming off a Division Championship season?

"(Twins) record today is the worst record for a defending division winner since the start of division play in 1968."

Posted on June 1, 2011 at 9:11 PM by tk Highlight this comment 353

Argh. No orange slices from the Team Mom after tonight's game.

You hope the Twins would at least be able to get the fundamentals right... Sheesh...

Posted on June 1, 2011 at 9:14 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 354

Wow...6 games in the clear of ANYBODY for the worst record in baseball. This team sucks balls.

Posted on June 1, 2011 at 9:25 PM by twinswschamps2011 Highlight this comment 355

Rick,

I still remember you calling on Mr. Smith to find us some swagger in the off-season. Was this what you had in mind? A bunch of AA-AAA stiffs?

Posted on June 1, 2011 at 9:28 PM by twinswschamps2055 (aka twinswschamps2011) Highlight this comment 356

2055? Someone surely has been drinking the Kool-Aid!

Posted on June 1, 2011 at 9:41 PM by tk Highlight this comment 357

Oh, wait, sorry, that was a banned word...my bad!

Posted on June 1, 2011 at 9:42 PM by tk Highlight this comment 358

wtf?

Posted on December 3, 2011 at 11:22 PM by bulldog Highlight this comment 359

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"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 3042 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.








Home Run Porch Terrace (bottom) and View (top) as seen from the top of the B ramp



Trees also have sprouted near the topiaries



This is the LRT bridge under construction as viewed from the east looking west. The ballpark facade would be at the left in this photo.






Moonyball


















Spring of 1982 (click to enlarge greatly -- can you pick out Kent Hrbek?)



Ballpark elevation viewed from the promenade (HERC plant) side. (Click to enlarge.)















Winter approaches. But one day baseballs will fly where now there are cranes.



This mural is behind the staircase. The window looks onto the promenade, and the door goes to a kitchen.



TC meets the Mayor (Photo by Jeff Ewer)



This design has a rather generic quality to it, but they appear to have considered the B garage. Though it isn't part of the model, they've clearly left room for it.






Look at all those flag poles! But wouldn't the one from Met Stadium look great just inside the gates in the middle of that entrance plaza?



Lots of sun, but not much scoreboard from 127















The main concourse.



Not me, but it might as well be.



Oh, nevermind.






Great sign






Circulation building with construction team on top









The entry from the platform to the ballpark.



A Hrbek tribute wall marks the end of the Carew side of the club






Click to enlarge.



Awesome seat. Awesome sun. Awesome hitter. (Photo by Tony Voda, courtesy Jared Wieseler)






Bike parking available along Second Avenue



New Year's Eve, 2008



Polo Grounds from the south






I took this picture just moments before Morneau's homer landed almost exactly where I had been standing. If only I hadn't wanted to watch the game...



Seventh Street circulation


Glossary

BPM - Ballpark Magic

BRT - Bus Rapid Transit

DSP - Dave St. Peter

FSE - Full Season Equivalent

FYS - Fake Yankee Stadium (see also: NYS)

HERC - Hennepin Energy Resource Company (aka the Garbage Burner)

HPB - Home Plate Box

HRP - Home Run Porch

LC - Legends Club

LRT - Light Rail Transit

MBA - Minnesota Ballpark Authority (will own Target Field)

MOA - Mall of America

MSFC - Minnesota Sports Facilities Commission (owns the Metrodome)

NYS - New Yankee Stadium

SRO - Standing Room Only

STH - Season Ticket Holder

TCFBS - TCF Bank Stadium

TF - Target Field

Selected Bibliography - Analysis
 


(1993)
 


First Edition (1992)
 


Second Edition (2006)
 


(2008)
 

Selected Bibliography - Surveys
 


(1975)
 


Second Edition (1987)
 


Not a "Third Edition" exactly,
but it replaced the above title
(2000)
 


(2000, large coffee table)
 


Original edition (2000, round)
 


Revised edition (2006, round)
 


(2001, medium coffee table)
 


(2002, small coffee table)
 


(2003, medium coffee table)
 


(2004, very large coffee table)
 


(2006, very large coffee table)
 


Combines the previous two titles
(2007, medium coffee table)
 

Selected Bibliography - Nostalgia
 


(1992)
 


Book and six ballpark miniatures
(2004)
 

Complete Bibliography

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