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Aftertaste

October 10, 2010 1:02 AM

Baseball regularly turns all of us grown-ups back into little kids. Usually it's a good thing.

Tonight, not so much. There may not be tears on my baseball glove, but there's a lump in my stomach the size of Gardy's bowling ball. (I shudder to think of the lump in his stomach.)

It's unusually sad because Target Field seemed to open a new competitive era for this franchise. Unfortunately, that new era burst onto a landscape that we now know is every bit as competitively unbalanced as it has ever been. Consider this: The Yankees' starting infield makes more than the entire Twins team. I'm really not a salary cap kind of guy, but this is completely ridiculous.

It's as if baseball has decided that the Yankees need some sort of tune-up, maybe even a little rest, before playing the real playoff games, and one of the other divisions is expected to provide that. (The Globetrotters/Generals relationship comes to mind, though there at least everybody's in on it.)

It's as if the playoff structure is designed to make it seem that any team has a chance, while in reality requiring herculean efforts and lots of luck for any team not wearing pinstripes. Possible, yes. Likely? MLB hopes not because the TV revenues of a Twins-Reds World Series are a whole lot less than the Yankees-Phillies equivalent.

All this is not to imply that our team played well and the other team just played better. No, our team did not play well. They looked a little bit like the nervous kid who's been asked to sing at the school assembly.

Whatever swagger they may have built up during the incredible run after the All-Star break seemed to dim when they clinched. And it evaporated completely about the time the Yankees gave that last game to the Red Sox to guarantee a playoff match-up they knew would be to their liking. (You think they didn't? I'm happy to make the case if you like.)

Memo to Bill Smith: Go find us some damn swagger.

Humility is nice, but it takes confidence, passion, emotion, anger, aggressiveness, brainlessness, and just the right amount of arrogance to win playoff games. It's different than what it takes to win the previous 162. And I really think that was the primary missing ingredient. We just don't appear to have anybody on the team who can get up and say, "Screw this. Tonight we're winning." -- and then go out and make it happen.

The whole thing just bites. And it bites harder now after the decade we've had, and the amazing and memorable season we've just enjoyed in a new ballpark. (It's also eerily familiar. Only the names and venue have changed.)

But it would be completely unfair to let tonight's aftertaste cover up the rich flavors of a great season. We'll have lots of time to mull it all over before the gates at Target Field open once again, but for now, to the 2010 Twins I say:

Thanks. I had a blast.

And at least I will not be spending the off-season wondering which team has the best stadium.

Comments


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Ballparks do not win ballgames. Neither does spin.

Posted on October 10, 2010 at 01:29 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 1

rick: thanks for all of the great work you do/have done on this site over the last couple years. much appreciated.

***********and yes, i am happily reposting my comments from the earlier article which was bumped by your new one**********

silly = people who think that this offensive roster & pitching rotation assembled were good enough to beat a team of legit veterans like the yankees and that it is really just some mental block thing. come on! two #3's and perhaps a legit #2 against two legit #1's and a legit #2. couple that with the fact that a number of our everyday players wouldn't even be everyday players on several good mlb clubs.

even sillier = the sect of "forgive anything twins rubes" giving a worthless p.o.s. ron gardenhire (as well as bill smith/terry ryan) yet another free pass simply because the twins won yet another meaningless division title (they give out 6 of those damn things every year folks!) while looking like complete chumps in the playoffs.

FYI in case some still haven't figured it out: division titles don't mean shit and aren't worth shit. win a world series pennant. shoot just win an AL pennant for goodness sake. i will be laughing my ass off next spring when the twins front office & marketing knobs make yet another silly spectacle of flying up a worthless division pennant!

if you are really honest, then you can admit that more than anything else that the twins of the last decade are simply an anomoly of an often weak AL central and an even weaker NL during inter-league play. ron gardenhire and bill smith/terry ryan have FOOLED and are still fooling an awful lot of twin rubes with these silly division pennants they give out to 20% of the MLB teams.

a guarantee: the patheticly corporate, kiss ass, brown nosing media (include kiss ass #1 dick bremer in that group) in this town will essentially give ron gardenhire yet another free pass for his complete and total failure as a major league manager. following tonight's humiliation, ron gardenhire has now officially set at least a few different all-time MLB records for consecutive playoff losses. now that is embarassing. who cares how the regular season went yet again?! it doesn't mean jack when all is said and done.

every other pro and college coach in this town is ridden/has been ridden endlessly by an idiotic and often sophomoric local media (radio/tv/print). denny green was rightfully bounced. glen mason was rightfully bounced. tim brewster will be rightfully bounced. flip saunders was rightfully bounced. jacque lemaire was rightfully bounced. brad childress takes a lot of heat. but somehow ron gardenhire is considered untouchable by 95% of them and a good portion of the local public because he wins one of six division titles every couple years?!?! in just about any other major league city who has a press that is worth a damn, ron gardenhire and the twins front office would have been absolutely and rightfully DESTROYED by the media after his 2006 playoff debacle. perhaps they will finally give ron gardenhire his due.....something tells me i am hoping for too much.

unlike, firedog and luke, i have absolutely NO PROBLEM saying I TOLD YOU SO. remember this: division titles aren't worth shit. a good number of twins player haven't been worth shit. ron gardenhire isn't worth shit. bill smith/terry ryan aren't worth shit. can't believe our family has been wasting our time and money on this b.s. little "game" the twins organization plays every year. no more season tickets next year and we are okay with that.

the better team, better manager, better front office won this series. regardless of no salary cap in baseball. please stop trying to spin it any other way people! please stop being silly!

Posted on October 10, 2010 at 01:47 AM by Betaband Highlight this comment 2

Betaband, I gotta say, you are right. No bones about it division titles mean nothing, I agree that it's funny how people say "Well the Twins do it the right way, the Twins play baseball the right way" well apparently not right enough because the team that does know the way to win and the "right" way to play the game has given us a clinic on how it's done the past 2 years in a row. We deserve better, the state of Minnesota deseres better and Ron Gardenhire deserves to feel a little heat from that hot seat this offseason.

Posted on October 10, 2010 at 02:07 AM by Justin Highlight this comment 3

The Twins have not played the game the "right" way for a decade or more. It is a myth. The game the Twins play best is: come out on top in a pathetic division and make a ton of money - spin it well and hope the fans never take notice of what is really going on.

Posted on October 10, 2010 at 02:18 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 4

I'm quite honestly sick and tired, not of the Twins inability to beat the Yankees, but chums who think the answer is to fire Ron Gardenhire, who is quite simply the best coaching manager in the entire league. This man has done far MORE with LESS than any two managers in his time, you name one! Only one close would maybe be Maddon, but that's simply it. People piss and moan about ONLY winning division titles, ASK TIGERS FANS, ROYALS FANS, WHITE SOX FANS AND INDIANS FANS if they would just once love to be in our position. I know a lot of people who root for the opposition and they envy everything we have and have achieved and everything Ron Gardenhire has achieved with a band of AAA and AA players. The players he has turned into Gold Glove winners, Cy Young winners, Batting champs and MVPs. If you want to blame our payroll, fair enough, but unless you're a Mets fan (total fail) or a Redsox fan, nearly EVERYONE has half the payroll the damn-yankees have, but not everyone has had the on-field success the Twins have had under Gardy. So stop bitch'n about our manager and stop putting the blame on him, it sickens me the bandwagon jumping some folks have... Be thankful that you have a team that can get into the damn playoffs, because theirs a lot of fans of other teams with MUCH bigger payrolls that only dream of having what we have. The end.

Posted on October 10, 2010 at 02:25 AM by jcm028-baseball Highlight this comment 5

Beta, you're a retard.

No. I'm sorry everyone. That's an insult to retarded people.

You mean to tell me that winning a division championship doesn't mean anything to the people of Cincinnati this year? Are you completely mad? I suppose winning the AL Central in 2002 didn't mean anything to us either? Nor did winning in 2003. And in 2004. No. Winning back-to-back-to-back divisional championships was not an accomplishment.

"Ron gardenhire has now officially set at least a few different all-time MLB records for consecutive playoff losses." Oh beta, we've been over this before. Gardy didn't set shit. Gardy didn't lose 12 consecutive playoff games. The Twins did. The BASEBALL PLAYERS did. It would be more accurate to say that Terry Ryan and Billy Smith lost a combined 12 consecutive playoff games. They're the ones that set the field. Gardy just played with the pieces they gave him.

So here's the 64 million dollar question that no one has ever asked you fire Gardy morons:

If not Gardenhire, then WHO? Who the hell would you rather have as your manager? Ned Yost?! Gil Meche?! HA! Oh, ok. I'm being silly. I'm sorry. I'll be serious. Joe Girardi? Yeah. Because he's the reason the Yankees are doing what they're doing. You said it yourself. Two legit #1's and a legit #2. THAT'S why the Yankees beat us. NOT Girardi. So who else? Joe Maddon? Yeah, that's worked out great for them. A WS appearance, almost getting swept out of the ALDS by a team that hasn't ever won a playoff series. Great. Maddon's that much better than Gardy. No? Ok then, who? Mike Scioscia? Jim Leyland? Wonderful. I'm sure everyone in Anaheim and Detroit are singing the praises of the guys who didn't get their teams to the postseason this year.

If you want to make the argument that they should fire Billy Smith, fine. It's still a stupid idea, because what really separates the Twins from the Yankees (but no one wants to admit) is about $100 million dollars. Give Billy Smith the Yankees payroll and he'd make Brian Cashman look like a freakin idiot. The point is, firing Gardenhire makes about as much sense as getting rid of Mauer because he went 3-12 in the playoffs. That's a mediocre .250 you know.

So beta, firedog, luke. You guys were right. The Twins got swept out of the playoffs. But you were completely wrong about why. The why? Head. Psychology. Confidence. Leadership. Mentality. Swagger. They had none. They went into game three knowing they were going to lose. The Yankees went into game three knowing they were going to waltz into the ALCS. And if it's not to Girardi's credit (which it most certainly is not), then how is it also Gardy's fault? THIS is the question that you fire Gardy folks keep failing to effectively and convincingly answer.

Posted on October 10, 2010 at 02:48 AM by theloniousjoe Highlight this comment 6

jcm028.

Word.

Posted on October 10, 2010 at 02:50 AM by theloniousjoe Highlight this comment 7

Sorry Rick, please fix my broken FAIL italics tag...

Posted on October 10, 2010 at 02:52 AM by theloniousjoe Highlight this comment 8

2010 Salaries: Morneau $15,000,000. Nathan $11,000,000 When over 25% of your payroll never leaves the training room - it is tough to be competitive. But the Twins were both competitive and entertaining. It was an exciting year with a disappointing finish. Many of you will disagree, but both Gardy and B Smith did a great job with what they had to work with.

Twins - thanks for the great season!

Rick - thanks for all you do. And thanks for putting the countdown to the next game on this page. Only 180 days to go!

The Pohlads and Hennepin County - thanks for Target Field!

theloniousjoe - thanks for posting some common sense on this board.

Posted on October 10, 2010 at 08:11 AM by clublevelfan Highlight this comment 9

joe - you're true about the Mentality, psychology, swagger and such. Endurance might be another dish to put on that plate.

Posted on October 10, 2010 at 08:21 AM by luke Highlight this comment 10

I hear Joe Torre is currently unemployed, he's had a bit of success in the past. His teams always had 'swagger'.

I might have to drive by the ballpark today, and dream happy thoughts of next year. :-)

Posted on October 10, 2010 at 08:59 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 11

I'd be careful about firing Ron Gardenhire. I was a big advocate back in the day of firing Glen Mason because he couldn't get the Gophers "to the next level."

Look where that got us.

Posted on October 10, 2010 at 10:11 AM by Jeff T. Highlight this comment 12

The Twins' 2010 season was a HUGE success - just ask the bean counters. That's all that matters.

Posted on October 10, 2010 at 10:22 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 13

Club level is right. No team can lose TWO all-stars and expect to compete. Once the jink is gone, it will be gone.

Posted on October 10, 2010 at 11:12 AM by jkbpromo Highlight this comment 14

In case you guys missed it, Pohlad said in today's paper it's a "no brainer" that they do an extension with Gardy. Probably multi-year.

Posted on October 10, 2010 at 12:09 PM by JCTwins Highlight this comment 15

glen mason was rightfully bounced. flip saunders was rightfully bounced. jacque lemaire was rightfully bounced.

Yep - all those coaches were let go, in attempts to better the respective clubs. How's that workin' out so far?

Posted on October 10, 2010 at 2:04 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 16

I was thinking earlier today, maybe it ISN'T Gardy's fault and he shouldn't be fired.
Object lesson: Timberwolves, under a bevy of coaches, made it to the playoffs alot with KG and assorted others, farthest they got was W Conference Finals against the Lakers. No Finals.
Wild, with Lemaire, had a hell of a run in 2003, a couple huge upsets, made it to the Conference Finals against the Ducks. Lost. Brief stint in 2006, out in first round.
Vikings, well, what can I say, a couple trips to the NFC Championship game, one under Denny, one under Chili. An abysmal 41-point loss to the Giants about 12 years ago...and then of course last year against the Saints. But no Super Bowl.
And finally, the Gophers. Need I say more about a team that loses to 1-AA schools and makes it to fake bowl games year in and year out and loses those too.

Maybe it isn't the coach after all...

You can blame the dealer all you want, but he/she has no control over the hand that's dealt.

Posted on October 10, 2010 at 2:20 PM by luke Highlight this comment 17

Just watching the Rays-Rangers game, wondering if swagger is what we really lost in the Garza/Bartlett/Young deal. I seem to remember that their arrogance was deemed "not the Twins way" and these guys were basically jettisoned.

Posted on October 10, 2010 at 3:18 PM by Rick 18

And, for the record, getting rid of Bartlett was a decision that Gardy most-definitely did NOT agree with.

Posted on October 10, 2010 at 3:31 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 19

My sketchy memory was that Gardy didn't get along with either player. Maybe that's not correct.

Posted on October 10, 2010 at 3:46 PM by Rick 20

Yeah, I was thinking Gardy didn't like Bartlett too..

Not that I care that he's gone, at all.

Posted on October 10, 2010 at 3:50 PM by AJ Highlight this comment 21

Refunds of post-season tickets are subject to four to six weeks for processing. You pay with a CC and the CC is charged almost immediately - and the tickets arrive shortly thereafter. Yet the refunds take that long when all they have to do is credit back to the CC?

Posted on October 10, 2010 at 3:54 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 22

I also recall the Bartlett deal being a Gardy thing - the joke was that Bartlett must be messing with Gardy's daughter. Gardy was quoted as saying that Bartlett was not a leader. The real head scratcher is that they would dump a pretty good SS and then go looking for a SS.

Posted on October 10, 2010 at 3:59 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 23

Watching the TEX/TB game this afternoon just makes me more angry about the Twins' postseason. The Rays started their series the same as the Twins. They knew they were going into hostile territory. Did they walk into Arlington with their heads hung low? Nope.

Unlike the Rays, the Twins looked defeated the second that FOX began airing last night's game. It was more obvious than Craig Sager. The instant I saw the team, I said out loud, "It's over."

I have no idea what the "Twins Way" is other than to play with tact. Well, if I had the choice of rooting for a team with tact or a team with heart, I'd gladly take the latter. I sure hope we remember this come April, and not allow the winter to wipe the slate clean. This business model works well for the Pohlads and their banker, but that's about it.

Posted on October 10, 2010 at 4:23 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 24

I'm sorry, TBS.

Where's my Sunny D and rum?

Posted on October 10, 2010 at 4:24 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 25

One of my trusted friends, a long time season ticket holder, e-mailed the Twins front office after the Garza-Bartlett deal was done, voicing his displeasure. A few days later he received a phone call from Gardy himself. Gardy told my friend that he didn't agree with getting rid of Bartlett. That's my source, whatever it's worth.

Posted on October 10, 2010 at 4:40 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 26

You would think that Gardy had to at least sign off on it.

Posted on October 10, 2010 at 5:01 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 27

I'm glad that Gardy will be back, but you all know that. Now maybe the front office will make some "swaggerish acquisitions." Oh who am I kidding? THAT's the kool-aid all you naysayers always speak of. Getting us "rubes" to think that the front office will do anything of value in the offseason. Last winter was just a fluke - they were just buttering us all up for the new stadium. Nope, we'll just have to wait until opening day, see whatever crap they managed to scrape together, and see whatever comes up from the farm throughout the season.

Who cares about the Vikings. F&%k the NFL. Who cares about the Gophers. Who cares about the Wild, or the Timberwolves. The Twins are Minnesota's only true team. I'm going into hibernation. See you in March.

Posted on October 10, 2010 at 5:33 PM by theloniousjoe Highlight this comment 28

Rick,

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your posts for the last year and a half/two years. I may not post often, but this page is probably in the top three of my visited sites over that span. This post hit it right on the head. It was a great year, and we now (finally) can say we have a GREAT stadium. I hope to enjoy many more years of Twins ball at TF, hopefully some that come with playoff wins.

Thanks for all the work you do, and go Twins. (Hopefully WS champs in 2011)

Posted on October 10, 2010 at 7:29 PM by Sass Highlight this comment 29

What a great season the Twins had! Read my thoughts about the post-season, Click name.

Posted on October 10, 2010 at 8:17 PM by michael Highlight this comment 30

Sleep well, Thelonious. We'll give you a nudge when pitchers and catchers report. :-)

Posted on October 10, 2010 at 8:22 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 31

The "Aftertaste" reeks of no swagger,eye of the tiger etc..Total team letdown in post season..Makes it tough to do that 1st installment tomorrow...Thanks Rick for the site.I visit daily and will continue to do so..90% of us will be giddy come April like we always are..Nice to have Target Field this year.

Posted on October 10, 2010 at 8:56 PM by Steve Highlight this comment 32

Hey Rick, just wanted to let you know that Volume One newspaper in Eau Claire, WI gave you plug in there review of Target Field. Keep up the good work!
Regards

Posted on October 10, 2010 at 8:58 PM by on_wisconsin Highlight this comment 33

I'm afraid the Twins will need some drastic changes come spring. The players they have acquitted themselves nicely during the second half, but the mental block at playoff time might be beyond the point where it can be reversed with this group.
With next season's payroll looking to be even larger than this year's, it will be interesting to see what happens during the winter.

Posted on October 10, 2010 at 10:21 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 34

The Twins will be right back in NY to start the season with 4 straight.
Something must change.

Also, I am not sure if it is my failed memory, but we have 10 home game early afternoon, mid-week, non-holiday games this upcoming season...and not even on getaway games either!

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 01:34 AM by TK Highlight this comment 35

the payroll will not be that much larger next season, and may even decrease, even with the mauer contract kicking in. it will only increase a lot if they add a cliff lee, but that isn't going to happen. we'll be facing cliff lee in a yankee uniform next season. the rich get richer. that's baseball!

i'd like to see denard span and jason kubel gone. orlando hudson won't be back, possibly jj hardy, (always hurt) delmon young maybe. nick punto thankfully bye bye. can't pay that much for a utility infielder who is always hurt, no matter he is one of the manager's favorites. unfortunately they will probably keep span and let him be a subpar centerfielder. twins are slow, they have to get younger and faster, especially in the outfield. can't wait for the three-run homerun when nobody is hitting.

have u ever seen a team whine as much as the twins do about battling injuries? derek jeter started nearly every game for the yankees.

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 07:15 AM by tim Highlight this comment 36

TK - of those ten weekday day games, seven of them are the final game of the series for the opponent where they are getting out of town. The remaining three are getaway games for the Twins.

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 08:27 AM by clublevelfan Highlight this comment 37

Anybody know how this refund process will work?

You have to think the Twins will do anything they can to keep the money for a while. Take the interest off of the float. It should be automatic though

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 08:32 AM by PatMeares Highlight this comment 38

I think I got my refund last year in 6-7 days. I think they say 4-6 weeks just to cover themselves.

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 10:01 AM by tk Highlight this comment 39

clublevelfan,

You are correct, but why do we have 7 on non-getaway days! Case and point, our afternoon game against Detroit (5/11) and Seattle (5/25) both are afternoon games played before an off-day by both the Twins and opponent.

Is this done so the Twins can have a night to themselves before an off-day. If that is the case, I can understand, but thankfully I am not a Cubs fan, all those afternoon games would drive me crazy. I am much more a nighttime baseball fan.

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 10:06 AM by tk Highlight this comment 40

Well --- it's not like they have a whole lot to do at present.

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 10:09 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 41

I remember saying all season "the Twins have trouble scoring runs", especially with RISP. Now this observation becomes the postseason epitaph. It seems the focus has been on pitching for so many years that offense and durability has taken a back seat. Tom Kelly used to call his best pitchers "horses". Now we need some "horses" for the batter's box.

Rick, thanks for all that you do and for making the season even more memorable! This is one of my favorite sites. See you next spring.

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 10:15 AM by tommy Highlight this comment 42

So far I believe the home teams are 4-8 in the postseason. A part of that is that the Yankees were wildcard and so played 2 of 3 on the road, and it may turn around completely as the postseason continues, but I still suspect home advantage is overrated in MLB postseasons, compared to NFL, NBA and NHL.

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 10:55 AM by robin Highlight this comment 43

clublevelfan passed on this fresh (and funny) take on the playoff loss: The Curse of Wally the Beer Man.

Who would dare make a playoff run without him?

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 10:55 AM by Rick 44

Just 120 days until Fort Myers. One thing is certain, this team will look much different in 2011. There are numerous decisions to be made on pending FAs that could be determined by the state of the market.

These are the FAs and/or Arbitration eligible/Club Options: Rauch, Crain, Guerrier, Fuentes, Punto, Hardy (arb), Hudson, Pavano, Kubel(club option), Capps (club option)

Remember the Twins are loyal to a fault as an organization. They don't make quick, hasty decisions. They haven't fired a manager/GM since the mid-80s.

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 11:06 AM by Max Highlight this comment 45

Capps is pretty much guaranteed to come back. They said they never would have traded Ramos if they didn't have Capps for more than one year.

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 12:21 PM by AJ Highlight this comment 46

What is the status of Delmon Young's contract?

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 12:37 PM by twinswschamps2010 Highlight this comment 47

And, is the team able to cut loose Nathan, or are we saddled with his contract? And, they picked up the final year of Cuddy, right?

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 12:38 PM by twinswschamps2010 Highlight this comment 48

We are paying role players too much money...along with the massively paid superstar. They need to be careful and not go down the Cubs' road. That will kill the franchise for years.

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 12:39 PM by twinswschamps2010 Highlight this comment 49

Delmon is arbitration eligible through 2012.

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 1:44 PM by FD Highlight this comment 50

Looking strictly at the ballpark itself, there are a few wrinkles I'd like to see smoothed out in 2011. None of these are fatal flaws and may not be a big deal to the Twins organization or other fans, but they all struck me as things that could be improved upon.

- The concession lines on the lower deck between the bases often extended so far out into the concourse that they blocked traffic. The Twins could alleviate this by using stanchions to direct the lines out of traffic and keep things flowing.

- Some of the specialty concession stands, namely the Viola and Berenguer themed Italian and Latino kiosks, seemed underused. The Twins could solve this in one of three ways. 1.) Improve the fare at those stands to encourage more customers. 2.) Increase the product mix at those stands to include traditional baseball and thus lighten the load on overtaxed stands offering those products. 3.) Eliminate the specialty nature of those stands and rebrand them as general concession stands, but still with a few specialty items. When you have a Hennepin Grill stand featuring lines 10 people long and a Senor Smokes stand with concession workers standing around due to a lack of business, it's time to make some sort of change.

- The crush by the escalators inside the Carew gate needs to be addressed in some way. I'm not sure how. The crowd of people moving in conflicting directions and the resulting traffic jam causes some real safety issues at worst and at best is mighty inconvenient.

- On that note, it seems like so many fans enter via the Puckett and Carew gates that it in part leads to the crush mentioned above. I'm not sure how you do this without seeming heavy handed, but it might be wise to strongly encourage fans to walk around the perimeter of the park to enter via gates that put them closest to their seats instead of entering the first gate they encounter and then having to make a more time consuming journey through congested concourses.

- More mounted TVs on and around the Captain Morgan Deck. That area seems like it was far more popular than anticipated. There's always a big crowd, but the field is hard to see unless you're right at the rail, so give folks a few more TVs to keep an eye on.

- Unless I missed it, the concourse that serves the middle and upper tiers of the left field grandstand lacks a souvenir stand. You have to travel down to the New Era shop on the main level in the left field corner for such things. Although it's not a very long journey, it's still inconvenient, especially for families with small kids. A temporary stand, as opposed to a walk in shop, would be helpful and probably increase the per capita take on souvenirs.

- Make sure the roving vendors hike up to the 300 level more often. It seems like too often they're content to pop down to the 200 level seats or just park in the upper concourse instead of walking up another flight to take care of fans in the upper most seating deck.

- Put the 1987 and 1991 World Series Championship trophies on display in an area visible to all fans. It always irked me that the Twins kept them in their lobby at the Dome, but at least anyone who wanted to could come take a look and a photo. Now they're hidden away in the Champions Club where only a select few get to see them unless they take the guided tour during a non game time. Let everyone have a look in a more public space.

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 1:53 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 51

The Twins are stuck with Nathan's contract unless they trade him. And I doubt they'd get much of anything for a guy just coming off of TJ surgery.

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 2:15 PM by AJ Highlight this comment 52

The Twins will need one more big bat -- with significant past playoff success -- and one more big arm -- with significant past playoff success. These need to be guys who can do it on the field AND in the clubhouse -- pump everyone else up, that is.

Alternately, they will have to pray that another team eliminates the Yankees. I'm sure they don't want to take that approach.

It will cost a lot of money, but it will pay off big if they choose wisely.

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 2:23 PM by Rick 53

Be interesting to see how we look next year. I like the Fuentes better than the mad crapper capps. BUT he is 9 mil vs 6 mil Fuentes may have injury issues but I trust him more than Capps. They will resign Thome say for 5 mil. I think I let Hardy, Hudson Punto Kubel all walk. Not sure about Delmon. We need the righthanded stick for sure But he put some weight on again at the end of the year and he is not great on D. Big question will the Canuck Morneau be back next year. Be interesting to see what # we come in at. Pavano wants 3 years 30 mil. Twins more interested in 2 years 18 mil. Could have 2 new infielders and an outfielder next year. Should be a very interesting off season for sure!

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 2:30 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 54

If you want to see the World Series trophies, go to Twinsfest...they are on display each and every year and it costs LESS to go to Twinsfest than it does a game at Target Field.

You also have to have some incentives for those premium areas. I have no problem leaving the trophies in the champions club.

They definitely need to work on the traffic issue in the Gate 34/29 area. There is always a long line waiting to get into the Majestic Twins Clubhouse Store too that extends out into the concourse near the escalator.

I agree with the concessions...replace or offer a better variety for some of those Italian and Mexican stands. Those "specialty" stands were always under-utilized. They need to better separate the kramarczuk's stands as well...do they both really need to be behind home plate? How about one down the first baseline and one down the third baseline? Better yet, replace a mexican/italian stand with a kramarczuk's stand.

They also need to improve the "seasonal" items...it seemed there weren't enough hot chocolate stands early/late in the season and most stands were running out of soup and chili. I know the temps can change drastically from day to day in Minnesota in April and September, but when the demand is there, you need to be ready.

The Twins need to improve the signage for the restrooms to help with traffic flow in and out of the restrooms. The men's room near section 107 is ridiculous...As is the tiny men's room between gate 34/29. I do realize that is more of a design issue than anything, but its a very poor design nonetheless.

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 2:39 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 55

Jorge at least before the game gate #6 and #3 are wide open. After the game you have the log jam for the light rail is all. Yep 3rd deck pretty wide open as far as concessions go.

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 2:41 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 56

Please keep the suggestions and observations of the fan experience coming. That's going to be our next big topic of conversation.

I have a long list, but one of the biggest is: bathrooms, bathrooms, bathrooms. They're too small, and surprisingly poorly-configured.

For concessions, they need to make each fixed stand do more work. At the beginning of the game, the non-ice cream counters are packed and the ice cream ones empty. By the late innings, it's the opposite. They need to make sure every stand has an early-inning function, and a late-inning function.

And, yes, the pizzas either have to get better, cheaper, or just go away. Those stands are horribly under-utilized.

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 2:48 PM by Rick 57

They need signs outside by the light rail area. It's horribly inefficient to have people yelling at everyone to tell them where to go. They also could paint the ground to make it clearer, but there is plenty of room for signs over the fence on the incinerator side of the promenade.

Bathroom signs are horrible, right on Rick. Reverse the doors and put a sign inside that says "more pissers in the back."

Make a dedicated "hot dog and coke" line that would go quickly. All you say is "1 please" and it's $5 and you're off. No waffling in line allowed.

There are more, I'll post them as they come to mind.

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 2:53 PM by JCTwins Highlight this comment 58

No lines for the cans in back of sec 326! Wide open. Plus no lines at the concession areas there also!

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 2:53 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 59

Put DIGITAL signs in the concession area that are changeable. That way they can sell hot dogs across the whole stand at the beginning of the game, and ice cream across most of the stand at the end.

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 2:54 PM by JCTwins Highlight this comment 60

When I leave for the evening they do not like me cutting into the cho cho lines. I just tell them I wanna cross the tracks and head to my free parking down the street! LOL! I'm home in 12 minutes!!!!

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 2:55 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 61

it might be wise to strongly encourage fans to walk around the perimeter of the park to enter via gates that put them closest to their seats instead of entering the first gate they encounter and then having to make a more time consuming journey through congested concourses.

Amen. It would also help if the gate printed on the tickets is actually the closest one to the seat in question. My seats are in LC section Q, down the 3rd base line, but my tickets "told" me to enter at gate 29 off the plaza, which makes no sense. Gate 6 was always WAY less crowded, and is WAY closer to my seats. Not an issue with regulars, but people not familiar with the park may be led astray, and contribute to the congestion.

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 3:01 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 62

The section signs are horrible too...it can be very confusing reading those signs in the main concourse...

Main Concourse sign example (signs located on the concrete pillars): "103 104" ....what the hell is that stuff??? Is it section 103 or is it section 104

Than they got some really small signs in front of the railing on the WC row, but you can't see them when everyone is standing around. How about hanging some signs above that clearly designate the sections.

I always knew where my regular seats where, but it was still confusing at times with all of the standing room traffic in the concourse.

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 3:15 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 63

We were about to go up the crowded escalator mentioned above when there was a commotion. A large man fell backwards almost causing a domino effect, and a woman was knocked over. It took a while to stop the escalator and for the woman to be helped up. I don't think anyone was seriously hurt but the more crowded, the more dangerous. I would advise spacing yourself when using the escalators there.

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 3:33 PM by robin Highlight this comment 64

1. Fix the "Race to Target Field" cartoon. As they race into the fish's mouth, it appears that they intend to shoot straight out the tail, but the next shot shows them exiting off a fin from the fish's side. Doesn't make sense.

2. Give one-way tickets out of town to any player whose name begins with a /k/ sound: Kubel, Cuddyer, Crain, Capps and as an exception to the rule: Ullger.

3. Have FSN hire Jenn Sterger to replace Marney Gellner.

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 3:33 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 65

Beautiful weather for a ballgame. Sigh.

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 3:34 PM by robin Highlight this comment 66

:)

It'd be nice to see those 'Twins' every night

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 3:36 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 67

Bret would have his hands full that is for sure! LOL! And why can't they have all escalators going down at the end of the game? Makes no sence.

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 3:44 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 68

Maybe Ines Sainz. She has experience as a "sports reporter."

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 4:10 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 69

Don't know if any of you read this one, but the last sentence is a wolf in sheep's clothing. Masquerading as a positive, Jason Beck's statement pointed that of the current postseason "sucking streaks" the Twins are currently on, at least one of them came to an end. The Yankees streak of consecutive postseason comeback wins against the Twins is over at eight - because the Twins never led in the game.

Well! THAT'S a relief!!

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 4:11 PM by theloniousjoe Highlight this comment 70

Sorry, I'm going back to my cave now...

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 4:11 PM by theloniousjoe Highlight this comment 71

Mike - I agree 100% about the section signs. They are on the railing on the back of each section too, but with SRO folks standing there, it's hard to see them.

And, they're also embedded into the stairwell railings. Which I think is strange. People headed down the aisle are looking for their seats, not the railing to see what section they're in.

As far as the light rail is concerned, I made it a point never to exit Gate 6...that queue area is just too confusing. And if you didn't take the light rail, it'll cost you about an extra 10 minutes to push your way through the crowd.

I think that's why they want to build that plaza area out there.

I do wish the concession stands had more neutral offerings...like you can only go to a certain concession stand for a Dinger Dog, and another one for Cheese Curds. At least the Field Fare stands at the Dome had the same stuff at every one of them.

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 5:22 PM by luke Highlight this comment 72

We took the light rail 15 times or so from St.Cloud..Either somehow have another entrance/exit or open another door..HUGE congestion area that can be easily solved..Open another door or 2..20 minutes to get in and 2 mins to get on the train..Nobody can get IN the entrance..Once your in the building it's empty...Doesn't make sense..

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 5:41 PM by Steve Highlight this comment 73

I love how when I go to the twins website I see Joe Giradi advertising dove for men. Nice to have some salt in the wound.

The only bathroom I ever had a problem with at target field was the men's bathroom between gates 29 and 34. I think there were 3 urinals, two stalls, only one way in or out and about 50 dudes trying to use them. That thing should have either been made bigger with two entry/exit points like the other bathrooms or not been made at all.

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 6:21 PM by billymayshere Highlight this comment 74

I still agree with David Letterman, we should have installed the "Home-Field Advantage"

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 6:26 PM by tk Highlight this comment 75

I agree with the post-game cluster-#### that is gate 6. I work just north of the park, and we've found that it's much quicker to go out gate 3 and walk a bit farther to our parking spots.

Let's see what else would I like to see next year... I'd like to see the tvs in the concourses (and under the overhangs) be doubled up - one showing the tv coverage, one showing whatever is on the big scoreboard.

I'd like to require that whoever is singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" be able to carry a tune.

I'd like the gates to be open early enough that I could watch our guys take batting practice.

I'd like to see a 'signature' cut on the grass, something unique (but not gimicky) to Target Field.

I'd like to see additional escalators between the main concourse and the club level. Leaving a game where you have two full escalators coming down from the upper deck, plus all the people from the club level, trying to cram into two escalators just doesn't work.

I'd like to ban 'the wave' for anyone older than twelve.

I'd like to see our guys continue to have success at home, and carry that into the post-season!!

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 7:26 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 76

Ditto on that wave idea.

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 8:46 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 77

Thank God that Braves chop is silenced. Now I can unmute the TV for the rest of the postseason.

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 9:38 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 78

Cheapest ticket on Stub Hub for Twins Home Opener is $172.00.

You definitely get somewhat of an idea of where the scalper inventory is...

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 12:35 AM by TK Highlight this comment 79

How about decreasing the right field power alley?

Might be good for the Twins Psyche to hit a lot of home runs in right. For a ball park with a small footprint, it sure isn't very hitter friendly. Add more seats = more dough!

I don't recall the difference between TF and NYS but it seemed a bit disproportionate if I remember correctly...

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 12:37 AM by OldMetFan7 Highlight this comment 80

It would be neat if the Twins could put the Scoreboard above the Metro club and somehow manage to get some seats up there too. Doubtful if that would be possible, but would it be a good view? Probably not, but could you have a Budweiser style deck...

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 12:41 AM by TK Highlight this comment 81

Not sure if I would mess with the outfield dimensions, especially with our current rotation. This season, 116 total home runs were hit at Target Field. A majority of those (64) were hit by opposing teams.

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 07:01 AM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 82

the twins will be putting a scoreboard above the seats in right-center to appease fans sitting in left who can't see the main board. 1500 espn mentioned this last week but i havn't seen any press release from the twins.

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 07:52 AM by tim Highlight this comment 83

Just an observation from the last game I went to in September- I sat in the terrace level on the first base side right at about the pitcher's mound and boy were the seats close together. Much more so than any of the other 5 spots I sat in previously at other games. I guess I am going to learn by mistake next year when I buy tickets to more games where the seats are more cramped. Does anyone know where else the seats are so cramped that I should avoid sitting there next year?

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 08:36 AM by Tom D. Highlight this comment 84

"Does anyone know where else the seats are so cramped that I should avoid sitting there next year?"

That's a list we should get going soon - it's a long one and will take quite some time.

We had seats one game down the third base line (123 I think). My wife's seat was right in the middle of the row where the angle towards the plate became sharper. The corner of the seat to the right of her actually invaded the space of the one she was in and she wound up with a bruise from it.

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 08:55 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 85

As you compile a list of "tight" seats - keep in mind that list almost has to be specific to each seat location. You can't assume that all seats in a given price category or given section will all be the same.

Any section that is at all pie shape, the number of seats per row will vary by row. Likewise, the width of the seats within each row will also vary.

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 09:17 AM by clublevelfan Highlight this comment 86

Well I put my seat relocation request in. Be interesting to see if it works or not. I try to get the 2 end seats. Then if some fat azz is sitting next to one of the seats I will send the wife in there. LOL! Course if some hot babe there I glady take that seat!!!!!

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 09:56 AM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 87

"Any section that is at all pie shape, the number of seats per row will vary by row. Likewise, the width of the seats within each row will also vary."

Indeed. Same problem as at the Dump - zero improvement. What they should have done is establish a minimum width (as they promised to do, I believe) and adjust by spacing them. This would have resulted, of course, in fewer seats and - GASP - fewer dollars, but also a damn sight fewer liars ("Not a bad seat in the house").

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 10:00 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 88

Anybody know if they have poseted next years games for the different season ticket packages next year?

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 10:01 AM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 89

Twinkfan,

My uneducated guess would be closer to when the schedule is finalized (e.g. when season ticket sales have begun for next year) and see what packages may need a boost, and then market those packages. Maybe not, but if I were in charge, that is what I would do.

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 10:20 AM by tk Highlight this comment 90

Not that it matters. I will take any of the 4 different packages if I can get closer. I would think they would post these pretty quick. Most of them had the same sprinkling of day games and weekend games etc.

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 10:35 AM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 91

Seat widths vary widely no matter where you sit. I've measured seat widths between 16 1/2" and 18" in the same row.

There is no pattern that I can detect.

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 11:00 AM by Rick 92

Speaking of 16.5, that would be our seats in section 123. I thought it was just me needing to lose some weight until I sat in a friends seats in Section 112, Row 2.

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 11:07 AM by tk Highlight this comment 93

Does anyone know how the relocation will work. Do you just send in the form and they place you or do you get options?

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 11:19 AM by Joe117 Highlight this comment 94

Hi Joe, you have to go online and fill out the form and hit submit. I suppose it may go by priority on when you bought your tickets and if upgrading etc etc. I think it said they will be starting the process in Nov or Dec.

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 11:24 AM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 95

Slight modification: I just looked back at my notes and actually found one seat in section 140 that was 18 3/4" wide! That's the opening between the arm rests, by the way -- the "ass-opening" as it were.

The explanation for the widely-varying widths is actually pretty simple. The seats are installed by first attaching the arm rests to the riser, then inserting each seat bottom between two arm rests. The actual seat bottoms do not appear to vary much in width, but the hinges are long enough that the same seat base can cover a variety of opening widths. Thus, a 2 1/4" spread is no big deal.

How they determined where to mount the arm rests is the real mystery. The widths appear to be completely random. Where the angle of the deck changes, sometimes the openings get smaller, but not always. I have no explanation, unless they intentionally do it that way to allow people to switch around until they find one that fits them. But if that were the case, wouldn't they tell people about the feature? But how can you tell people that they might be sitting in a skinnier seat than the person next to them? It all makes no sense.

I suppose it could just be sloppiness. After all, they had to do 40K of them -- all by hand.

When quoting seat widths in the publicity materials, it appears that arm rest widths are included. That adds between 3" and 4" to the total width. It's deceptive, of course, but industry-standard (and you can easily see why).

What shocked me most in my seat measurements, however, was the presence of some real -- mathematically verifiable -- sightline issues in the lower deck (the so-called "Box" sections). It's a function of the riser height (too small) and the leg room (too large).

I've been trying to learn all the math on this, and it's a little mind-boggling. My algebra skills are a little bit rusty...

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 11:36 AM by Rick 96

Oh, but I forgot the upshot:

Seat selection is something of a crap shoot. Within the same section or row, you may find seats comfortable, tight, or super tight. There's probably no way to guarantee that you get a wider seat.

Seats in the lower deck were generally a little bit larger on average, but not by much. And seats in the outfield varied every bit as much as seats in the main grandstand. (Obviously, I'm excluding the Champion's Club and the suites, but I'm not excluding the Legends Club. The same rules and overall widths apply there. But they are padded...)

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 11:40 AM by Rick 97

I have tickets in the Legends Club and have found them to be the most spacious along with the Dugout Box. The LF bleachers with only a number were real narrow. Same thing for the Home Plate Terrace between the bases. The Overlook was outstanding. I sat in the Home Plate Box a few times and felt really squeezed comparatively speaking. They really packed em in between the bases.

BTW: Anybody buy the Terrence Fogarty "Twins Territory" print ($210) or canvas ($1240)? Thoughts? I received an email yesterday saying they were nearly sold out...

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 11:52 AM by Max Highlight this comment 98

"nearly" sold out...just like the Metrodome Medallions?

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 11:53 AM by tk Highlight this comment 99

I bought the Fogarty print, but haven't opened the tube yet. Plan to get it framed this week, so will post back. I got number 199 if I remember correctly.

Great idea for ballpark improvements - don't hold your breath on major structural changes like "more escalators" though ...

I agree that on the lower concourse the section signs both on the pillars and the actual sections could be improved. Ditto with the specialty concessions.

I would really like to see the park opened 1/2 earlier and an improvement in traffic flow by the main store and the Carew gate.

In the Legends Club - reverse the IN and OUT doors on the restrooms (I think Rick mentioned this before), add some food items to the in-seat service menu and DON'T SELL ANY SRO/Drink Rail tickets.

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 12:16 PM by jfh Highlight this comment 100

It's just very important to remember that the width you experience in one seat does not necessarily apply to a whole section, and not even necessarily to a whole row. I found skinny seats everywhere, and very generous seats everywhere.

There was a very big difference in comfort (at least for me) between an 18" opening (very roomy) and a 17" opening (too scrunched). I would not have guessed that a one inch difference would be noticeable, but it definitely was.

And just to be clear, I did this when there was no one else in the place, so I could move freely from one area to another, take notes, and test ideas. It took a whole freakin' afternoon, and I really just ended up with samples from each area because of the wide diversity I found.

My assumption going into the whole thing was that I could measure one seat in a section and have them all be the same. That's kind of how the team had presented it. When that didn't work, I thought maybe I could just measure one per row and at least have seats be the same within rows. But that was not the case.

It did not take me long to realize that it would be difficult to make any generalities beyond what I made above (lower deck, very slightly larger on average, by maybe half an inch).

It would be great to have a comprehensive map of the whole place, but it would require measuring each individual seat...

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 12:31 PM by Rick 101

Is there an actual "seat map" anywhere that shows every actual seat (not necessarily every seat width)?

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 12:39 PM by jfh Highlight this comment 102

tk: Actually it was 40 prints remaining (500 total) and 2 canvas (25 total)...

RE: Legends Club Drink Rail Seats

I was at Game 1 last Wednesday. The "open" seating on the drink rail was that which was behind the Wheelchair accessible seating making it virtually impossible to see the action on the field. The drink rail assigned seats were the prime viewing spots. They were empty until game time so i sat down behind my section just to rest for a bit. Like stink on sh!t an usher promptly asked if that was my seat and if not I had to move. I mean c'mon nobody was itching to sit there 1 hour plus before the game. I then asked if I could stand behind the chair instead. He hummed and hah'd before finally relenting. A little common sense and flexibility would go a long ways...

This had better be Major League Baseball's doing (selling these as tickets) rather than the Twins. This was an immediate loss of value of the Legends Club seat license if they are going to sell those great spots inside the glass to watch the games.

Really liked the Nacho Bar that they added to the LC this season. Different than the Nacho Stands throughout the Main and Upper Level concourse, you pay $8.50 and get a bowl to fill however you wish with chips, chili, nacho cheese, 2 kinds of shredded cheese, black olives, onions, sour cream, jalapenos, and salsa.

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 1:42 PM by Max Highlight this comment 103

JFH they did reverse the doors on the 3rd base side restroom in LC. I'm not sure about the other side. It was such a no-brainer I don't know what took them so long, and why they didn't do it in other parts of the park.

Does anyone know if they are still doing tours? I may take one just for an excuse to go back down there before snow flies.

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 2:01 PM by JCTwins Highlight this comment 104

Max - sorry to hear about your experience with the drink rail seats. I would have told the usher that I would move 10 minutes before game time IF the person with the ticket for the seat showed up. I believe the ticket license is for the seat for the game, not before, not after.

I may write the Twins and see if I can get the scoop on future plans for selling SRO and/or DR seats in the LC. I agree with you 100% that it devalues the LC seats. The drink rail seats and the LC common areas are/were marketed as an amenity/benefit of the LC membership.

However, what can LC members do? There is actually nothing in the contract that deals with this other than membership grants "Access to private clubs and lounges associated with the seat location of the Legend's Club seats", though the Twins do reserve the right to "increase or decrease the seating areas in the Ballpark which are treated as Legend's Club seats and to increase or decrease the number of Legend's Club members beyond the number originally contemplated by Twins Ballpark".

(In other words, if they want to sell memberships to the drink rail seats, they probably can).

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 4:00 PM by jfh Highlight this comment 105

JFH I think the answer is sell now while they have value. There were a number of offers to buy at $2000 on Craigslist while I was perusing the other day. It actually looks like a pretty strong market for STH sharing out there, too, with people looking to join a group.

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 5:55 PM by JCTwins Highlight this comment 106

F_T_K, they just open the gates in time for visitor's practice, right? I think that's a practice that goes back to the Mistake on Chicago. Would be nice though.

The wave should be banned, PERIOD. Not just with an age limit, ballpark-wide. I'll let the same, boring organ music slide, but this is a new day, a new yard...nothing from the Mistake on Chicago should have come over to the new place.

I too would like to see a unique cut pattern on the field. The one this year was a carbon-copy of what they did in Washington. Of course, DeVito's last job was at Nationals Park, so there ya go.

I'm not so sure I want the plain, white "TC" behind home plate to return. I'd either like some color to it, a shadow like what the Rangers do, or at least an outline of some kind. Or have them paint "Twins" back there, like what was in all the renderings for TF. Only problem, I'm not quite sure they have enough room back there, thus, is probably why they went with "TC."

I'm sure it was designed this way, so as not to disturb the surrounding neighborhood...but did anyone notice that the farther out you stood on the plaza, the PA system was virtually drowned out? You didn't really hear Abrams' voice until you were actually past the turnstile and inside the park. The automated message outside, that welcomed people to Target Field was clearly audible, but...at least to me, that was all you heard out on the plaza, and not the in-park PA system.

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 6:30 PM by luke Highlight this comment 107

I didn't witness any wave attempts during the playoff games, and only one misguided (and unsuccessful) attempt in September.

If that's all TF had given us, it might have been enough!

The Wave (1982-2009, RIP)

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 7:22 PM by Rick 108

I can testify that the wave is alive and well at target field. I went to 4 games this summer and saw the wave at two of them.

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 8:14 PM by billymayshere Highlight this comment 109

I regret still living in Chicago this year if for no other reason than I only saw one single game at TF this past summer - and "summer" is a stretch...it was on April 2. I was living vicariously through many of you throughout the summer, while taking in the sights and sounds of outdoor baseball on mlb.tv and the 1500 radio broadcasts.

But Rick, hearing the news that "the wave" has all but died a wonderfully just death makes me feel warm and fuzzy all over. Please tell me that the beach balls died too!!

I'm a little surprised to see such a lack of actual baseball talk on here over the past 24 hours. I guess people are trying to forget about the past week, huh? Well, let me bring it back to the forefront of your minds.

Yesterday I posted this: Don't know if any of you read this one, (in reference to this article) but the last sentence is a wolf in sheep's clothing. Masquerading as a positive, Jason Beck's statement pointed that of the current postseason "sucking streaks" the Twins are currently on, at least one of them came to an end. The Yankees streak of consecutive postseason comeback wins against the Twins is over at eight - because the Twins never led in the game.

Well! THAT'S a relief!!

This other article by Michael Rand at the StarTrib offers an explanation as to exactly why the Twins lost so many of those games during this current 12-game postseason losing streak. The reasons are no surprise to most of us, even the ones that he says "might be a surprise," e.g. not expanding leads, and the bullpen sucking in the playoffs against the Yankees. But some of the stats are still telling. Like this little gem regarding that whole Twins-blowing-8-consecutive-games-where-they-held-leads thing:

Despite only expanding their lead to a crooked number on rare occasions, in seven of the Twins' 12 consecutive losses they either had a lead or were tied at some point from the seventh inning on. Think about that. Now try thinking about it without gouging your eye out with a fork.

OUCH. Kind of makes it sting a little bit more, huh?

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 8:28 PM by theloniousjoe Highlight this comment 110

Dammit billymays,

you just had to go and pop my balloon?

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 8:29 PM by theloniousjoe Highlight this comment 111

JCTwins -

I'm confused - how does an individual selling their LC seat licenses prevent the Twins from creating new seats out of thin air?

I certainly don't like the idea of drink rail seats, but I'm not upset enough to give up my seats.

Or perhaps you left a smiley off your post?

As for the wave, if I could pay a "no-wave" tax to guarantee there would be no wave at a baseball game, I would ...

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 8:47 PM by jfh Highlight this comment 112

Good grief Joe, I thought you were gonna hibernate for the winter...lol.
I guess Indian summer dragged you back out, ay?
Twins are done, baseball talk is over. Now is a whole bunch of rants about TF, as to help Rick with his next post (which he mentioned earlier).

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 9:15 PM by luke Highlight this comment 113

I did see the wave attempted several times early in the season. When it got started, it didn't last long. And once it dies, it was not tried again.

No stadium is wave-proof, but maybe, just maybe, people realized that there was something more interesting going on right in front of them on the field.

We won't know for sure until the Twins suck again.

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 9:17 PM by Rick 114

"We won't know for sure until the Twins suck again."

You mean in the regular season? :)

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 9:36 PM by jfh Highlight this comment 115

And Cliff Lee could have been a Twin? Really?

Nuts.

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 10:10 PM by Rick 116

You watch these other teams playing in the playoffs and you begin to realize why the Twins were ranked dead last of the eight.

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 10:26 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 117

Still, can't help thinking maybe we would have played better against TB, and then maybe Texas with Lee going twice in a five-gamer could upset NY, and just maybe a revived Twins team could beat Texas in 7, and then just maybe, maybe in the World Series...

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 10:47 PM by robin Highlight this comment 118

Home team advantage continued: Away teams 11, Home teams 4. But plenty of games left, so Homers need not despair.

I think JCTwins simply meant that if one was considering giving up on Legend Club seats now is when they still have value. But that's the inevitable conundrum: You don't want to sell when they have greater value, and when you do want out, their value is less.

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 10:51 PM by robin Highlight this comment 119

Yeah Luke,
I just can't stop rehashing the ALDS in my head. Especially after watching TB-TEX duke it out pretty evenly all the way to the end. Even with Cliff Lee. In fact, as you look at it, Cliff Lee was the difference maker. Without him, quite obviously, the Rays win this thing in 4, maybe even 3. Can't help but think about how nice it would've been to face either of those teams in the first round.

And baseball talk is over Luke? I mean, I know we're all dyed-in-the-wool Twins fans around here, but I mean...don't you guys watch the rest of the postseason?

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 03:53 AM by theloniousjoe Highlight this comment 120

And Ben,
who exactly ranked the Twins behind Texas, Cincinnati, San Francisco, and Atlanta??? Where is this ranking that makes no sense?

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 03:56 AM by theloniousjoe Highlight this comment 121

Once the Twins are out, I just don't give a damn.

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 05:51 AM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 122

Well, I have to admit, I watched about ten minutes of the Rays-Rangers game last night.
And thinking to myself, after the Rangers beat the Rays...'the Twins might have had a decent chance against the Rangers in the ALCS.'

*sigh

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 06:50 AM by luke Highlight this comment 123

theloniousjoe:

I believe it was ESPN or similar - it was reported and linked to on this site. Don't have time to dredge it up at present.

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 07:55 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 124

It was John Heyman from CNN-SI who ranked the Twins 8 out of 8...even though he had no idea who/how he was ranking the teams, it turns out to be pretty accurate as the Twins were the first team to clinch and the first team be to eliminated. Other than possibly the Reds, it's fair game to say the Twins should be ranked #7/8 of the 8 teams in the postseason.

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 08:06 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 125

Miracle of miracles -- the Twins ARE refunding the per-ticket fee charged to those who bought playoff tickets online! Amazing. Maybe they feel guilty???!! :-)

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 08:07 AM by antifire Highlight this comment 126

Play-off game ticket refunds:

"Please allow 10 business days for us to complete the refund process."

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 08:07 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 127

the city approved a liquor license for that topless club near the ballpark. the "tenth inning" ugh. does it get tackier? so we have that to look forward to next season. (cough cough)

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 08:12 AM by tim Highlight this comment 128

antifire - what are they feeling guilty about? That was the announced plan all along. They aren't refunding the order processing fee of $6 per order, which is also what was disclosed in playoff ticket information.

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 08:19 AM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 129

Huh. Guess I just assumed I would never see that money again, since they were processing fees. So I was pleasantly surprised anyway!

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 08:21 AM by antifire Highlight this comment 130

How much will the Skanks throw at Cliff Lee? 30 mil a year? Sure would look good in our rotation. But having 2 guys take up 50% of your payroll not good! Looks like Skanks will luck out and only see Lee maybe only once if short series. Rangers would probably start him Monday? And whats up with the 3pm start time on Wed the 20th?

Friday, Oct. 15

New York (Sabathia 21-7) at Texas, 7:07 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 16

New York (Pettitte 11-3 or Hughes 18-8) at Texas, 3:07 p.m.

Monday, Oct. 18

Texas at New York (Hughes 18-8 or Pettitte 11-3), 7:07 p.m

Tuesday, Oct. 19

Texas at New York (Burnett 10-15), 7:07 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 20

Texas at New York, 3:07 p.m., if necessary

Friday, Oct. 22

New York at Texas, 7:07 p.m., if necessary

Saturday, Oct. 23

New York at Texas, 7:07 p.m., if necessary

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 08:35 AM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 131

Wednesday is also Game 4 of the NLCS, which is a "for sure" game. Since it's a "if necessary" for the ALCS, I'm sure that's why it's in the afternoon. I bet TBS just loves that, missing out on big ratings with the Yanks.

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 08:49 AM by antifire Highlight this comment 132

Well that game 4 is on the west coast in SF. Why not have the ALCS game start at say 5:15pm central and the NLCS start @ 8:15pm central. Fox doing the NLCS and TBS is doing the ALCS. Just seems strange to have a 3pm start!

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 09:03 AM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 133

I know this is a little off topic actually its way off topic, but was just curious about something. Watched the football game on Monday and it was mentioned many times that the new Meadowlands cost somewheres around 1.7 to 1.8 billion to build thats without a roof even. Based upon what I saw it doesnt look that special for the kind of money they spent. I mean if I spent that kind of money and ended up with that I would ask for my money back. Is it the mob or something that had anything to do with price or did someone get really ripped off. Just curious.

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 10:22 AM by Leroy Highlight this comment 134

Did they build it on prime NY real estate?

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 10:41 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 135

I've learned that the biggest variables in these stadium cost equations are location and finishing. In other words, once the cost of real estate is removed, the real causes of the high cost might only be seen inside the suites and club levels.

And a lot of that cost may not be literally "visible" because it went to the labor necessary to do the detailed and fine finishing work.

That said, the mob probably does need a cut on a project like that as well. (Don't forget, FYS cost three times what TF cost, and the cement is already crumbling.)

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 11:29 AM by Rick 136

The stadium was built on unstable land, so lots of money was put into the infrastructure that was to support the stadium, plus New Jersey has strong labor unions and that adds to the cost of work. Also, a lot of recycled materials were used to build the stadium to make it green, and those costs add up, especially in the areas it is located.

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 11:32 AM by tk Highlight this comment 137

It is important to remember that a Minnesota dollar is not directly comparable to a New Jersey dollar. Our dollars generally buy more because similar items cost less.

Whenever I think about salary caps and revenue sharing, I realize all over again that the teams play their games (and generate their revenues) in one economic zone (their home market) while simultaneously being forced to play in another (the national baseball labor market). Thus, the lack of equitable revenue sharing affects disproportionately the teams situated in outlier local markets (the biggest and the smallest).

Put plainly, Minnesota dollars really are at a disadvantage then because they do not buy more on the player market (which is national) like they do with everything else. In fact, they buy less.

I'm not an economist, obviously, but if baseball ever genuinely decides to solve this problem, an economist is probably what it will take.

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 11:44 AM by Rick 138

Naw --- I'm sure Guido and his cousin "Thumbs" can fix anything that needs fixing.

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 11:49 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 139

JFH my comment was sort of TIC. I've accepted though that if we don't like them selling drink rail seats, it's not likely the Twins care all that much. And as Robin said, I think a LC PSL goes from a short term financial commitment to a potential long term commitment at the end of next year, unless the sellout streak stays intact. I think the Twins will have to get really good, including post-season for that to happen.

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 12:54 PM by JCTwins Highlight this comment 140

As you discuss LC drink rail tickets, keep in mind that the Twins are on record publicly as saying they did not want to do this, and MLB made them for the playoffs.

Make of that what you will.

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 1:00 PM by Rick 141

The only way the Twins continue the streak of sell-outs, if the Twins continue to win or buyers fear price gouging on street and buy tickets directly from Twins. I do see the mid-week games as becoming unpopular and great discounts on StubHub like other baseball markets see.

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 1:17 PM by tk Highlight this comment 142

Let me clarify, if there are concerns prior to the season of perceived price increases, I see the number of fans buying tickets when they go on sale to increase dramatically for the games they would like.

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 1:18 PM by tk Highlight this comment 143

Dangit! Perceived price increases on the street.

Is it Friday yet?

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 1:19 PM by tk Highlight this comment 144

For the record, refunding of convenience fees was something new to the Twins postseason ticketing arrangement last year. Here's my experience:

Oct 6 1009: Ordered 6 strips, 2 games each.
The 'Thank you for your order' email contained this fine print: "Convenience fees and Order Processing fees are non-refundable." As it turned out, that was less than accurate.

Upper Pavilion tickets $12/seat*6 seats*2 games=$144
Convenience fee $5/seat*6 seats*2 games=$60
Shipping/handling fee per order=$4
Total=$208

Oct 8, 2009: $208 total charged to my VISA

Oct 11, 2009: One game played=$72 spent

Oct 14, 2009: $72 ticket cost refunded to my VISA along with an explanatory email

Nov 20 2009: $30 refunded to my VISA for what I can only assume were the convenience fees for the tickets to unplayed Game 4. No explanation was ever received.

Still waiting for credit to show up for this year's ticket purchases.

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 1:39 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 145

...but the part that actually sticks out above the rest, I guess:
$12/seat for an ALDS game...

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 1:42 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 146

Unless the Twins absolutely tank in the regular season (and I don't think they will), I don't see LC licenses dropping in value to the extent that they are discounted until at least the year past the All Star game, especially "prime" LC seats (first 4-5-6 rows) from D to M or C-N and the first couple rows in the other sections, as long as the Twins don't do anything to take value away from the LC experience.

As for "short term" vs. "long term" commitment, if you are a PSL holder, you pretty much have to consider it "sunk" money already - there is a very short window of time every year where you either pay for the season tickets or lose your PSL without any compensation.

I have a little leeway, since I have groups for both HPB and LC seats. If people drop out beyond my desire to absorb more games, I'll drop the HPB seats first since I don't "own" them. But I bought the membership for the seat location and benefits of the LC, not to look forward to what an eventual sale would bring. To robin's point, when I do eventually sell, it's quite possible that the value will be less than what I could sell for today.

Obviously, if the Twins advance in the post-season, demand will go up (and if they go to the WS, it's about a 4 year benefit IIRC). But 2011 is pretty much already set, given the wait list for season tickets. I suspect whatever gets dropped this offseason will be easily replaced.

If the Twins have a decent year on the field in 2011, 2012 should be OK. And you will get new folks in 2013 looking to get in line for the AGS in 2014 (if as expected), just like you had new STHs jumping in 2009 to get Target Field priority.

To me, the real question for the Twins is how long will the FSE stay in the 20K+ range (this year was 24K, I think) before dropping back to a more historical norm. My guess is that 2011 is the peak, we see an overall drop 2012-2015 and then a drop back to whatever the new baseline will be.

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 2:31 PM by jfh Highlight this comment 147

Yes, the All-Star game year might be a good point to exit, if one was considering it.
It's a great problem to have, but a tough decision if you have a ticket-sharing group. At least with playoffs there is a chance for 2 or more games to take care of everyone in the group. Maybe that's the year to let your partners have the home opener, most of the premium games, etc., as consolation.

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 3:43 PM by robin Highlight this comment 148

I was going to post this earlier but didn't get around to it...on_wisconsin, you beat me to the punch! Anyway, I happen to be the sports columnist for Volume One, a culture & entertainment newspaper/magazine in Eau Claire, WI (sort of a smaller version of City Pages). My latest column was on my first visit to Target Field. And, frequent BallparkMagic.com visitor that I am, I had to throw in a plug for the website in my column.

Click my username to read the column if any of you haven't already done so when on_wisconsin posted the link. I was limited to 700 words and trying to make it readable to non-Twins (and, in many cases, non-sports) fans in western Wisconsin, so I couldn't go into the hyper-detail that I've learned from reading this site on a near-daily basis for the last few years.

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 4:26 PM by hofflalu Highlight this comment 149

Thanks for the plug, hoffalu!

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 4:44 PM by Rick 150

Oops. I missed an L...

Thanks for the plug, hofflalu!

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 4:46 PM by Rick 151

tk - "unstable land"? Is that because that's where they buried Jimmy Hoffa?
My dad told me the story of Jimmy Hoffa years ago, and that Hoffa was buried underneath Giants Stadium, whilst the thing was still under construction. New Meadowlands is right next door.

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 5:40 PM by luke Highlight this comment 152

The Mythbusters tested that myth a few years ago, using resonance imaging in the suspected end zone and found nothing. They tested the effectiveness by burying a couple pig corpses in concrete and waiting several months. The imaging found a cavity in the concrete when they tested the theory. Once they detected a cavity, they busted up the concrete and found said cavity. In theory, Hoffa's body would have left a similar cavity, but none was detected.
During the demolition of Giants Stadium, Hoffa's remains, if there, should have been found. But there was no news of such a discovery. But then, maybe the demolition company was mob controlled.

The mystery lives on.

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 6:30 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 153

Heyman's a moron. I've walked away from reading too many articles of his just scratching my head, wondering why the hell SI continues to pay him - and lots of other writers they have.

There were just as many other rankings (if not more) putting the Twins as the third or fourth best team going into the playoffs. I don't know if any of you guys get the bleacher report e-mails, but I saw several leading up to the playoffs that had the Twins beating the Yankees, even going to the WS, as well as power rankings that had them up there with the Phillies and Yankees. Obviously the postseason didn't work out that way, but my point is that ranking teams (on the whole) based on their postseason performance (after facing only ONE team) is a completely meaningless and unobjective evaluation. In comments on this site just this afternoon, we've had people wondering what a Twins-Rays or Twins-Rangers matchup would have been like. Imagine also the Twins against any of the NL teams. Remember what we did to the Phillies in Philly? To say that the Twins were the worst team that went to the postseason is ludicrous. They weren't even the worst team in the postseason. They didn't get no-hit after all.

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 7:52 PM by theloniousjoe Highlight this comment 154

And yet, they were the first team shown the door.

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 8:45 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 155

They got whupped good and proper. Thoroughly whupped, stomped, squashed like a bug. They were a laughing stock and taken very lightly by their opponent. Can those things be said of any other team in the playoffs? It pains me to point these things out --- but reality speaks for itself. Let's move on.

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 9:06 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 156

Yep, the mystery lives on.
Of course, I think Hoffa was from Chicago, wasn't he? I suppose it wouldn't have made sense to cart him half-across the country to bury him alive.

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 9:50 PM by luke Highlight this comment 157

He was last seen in Michigan, if I correctly recall. Yes, carting him all the way to New Jersey doeesn't seem likely.

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 9:55 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 158

Yes, Dr. X, Ben, I know. They were shown the door, results speak for themselves, etc, etc.

But my point is that if you're going to be ranking the playoff bound teams prior to the start of the postseason, to rank the Twins 8th of the 8 playoff bound teams is ridiculous. Allow me...
---They finished the regular season just two games back of the Rays for the AL's best record. (And don't give me any of that crap about winning a "weak division." If you're going to make that argument, you need to realize that the AL Central was just as strong, if not stronger, than the AL West, NL Central, and NL West.)
---There were only three teams in baseball that finished with better records, the Yankees (1 game better), Rays (2 games better), and Phillies (3 games better).
---The Twins had the best home record in the AL. And for a year in which they played the first two months of the season at an effectively "neutral" park, that's pretty damn good.
---Over a 65 game stretch, from July 11 through September 22, their record was 47-18. FORTY-SEVEN AND EIGHTEEN!
---So the Twins sucked it up down the final stretch - once they had already clinched - I know. But if you're going to hold that against them, you might want to take note of the fact that two teams in the AL East who were actually still trying to win a division weren't playing any better than the Twins. While the Twins were busy losing 8 of their final 11 games, the Yankees ALSO went 3-8 in their final week and half, and the Rays lost 5 of their final 8 games as well. So except for those teams without a playoff slot locked in (Giants, Braves, Padres) no one really had a great final week, not really much to separate the pack from the Twins there.

So you say you want to move on? History or reality or whatever "speaks for itself"? Fine, let's move on. But while we allow the results to speak for themselves, let's at least try to let them speak objectively. Let's call a spade a spade, and not allow our frustration or anger for what happened in the ALDS (I have it too) to allow us to talk about the 2010 Twins as though they were 83-79.

Posted on October 14, 2010 at 03:07 AM by theloniousjoe Highlight this comment 159

On a completely unrelated topic...

Have any of you followed the Lincecum "controversies" as of late? Apparently it's a huge fucking deal when someone swears on TV! It seems pretty ridiculous when you see exactly what it is that people are making such a big deal out of. This one, this one, and now this one. Seriously?!

George Carlin and Lewis Black are right. There are no such things as "bad words." Just words that make our senators go poopy.

Posted on October 14, 2010 at 03:58 AM by theloniousjoe Highlight this comment 160

Thelonious Joe: I agree with your main point, the side you're taking, etc. One minor thing, though, is that I wonder how hard they were trying to win the East outright. I still suspect the theoretical home advantage (applicable only when a series goes its full 5 or 7 games) is a lot less important than likely opponent, favorable pitching rotation, etc.)

Posted on October 14, 2010 at 05:29 AM by robin Highlight this comment 161

It is pretty clear that the Yankees were aiming for the Twins and cared not a whit about being the wild card or their post clinch record. And, I think in any objective player by player analysis of the playoff teams the Twins fare poorly. Perhaps they did not deserve to be ranked dead last by anyone, but I do not believe there is any question that they do not belong among the teams we will see in the ALCS.

Posted on October 14, 2010 at 06:44 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 162

ALCS/NLCS.

Posted on October 14, 2010 at 09:43 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 163

I guess I don't have to make the case here for the Yankees', uh, lack of urgency on the last day of the season. Judd Spicer has made it over at City Pages.

Posted on October 14, 2010 at 12:51 PM by Rick 164

Is there a typo on the 2011 Twins schedule as posted on the Twins' web site? Does the season really end on a Wednesday? On September 28th? I've never seen a scheduled season end on anything other than a weekend.

Posted on October 14, 2010 at 8:18 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 165

Dr. X,

this is Bud Selig's brilliant solution to the TV networks being assholes and stretching out the playoffs into November because it means more TV revenue, i.e. the solution is to start the season mid-week (3-4 days earlier) for the first time in over a century, so that the season can end earlier, so that the playoffs can begin earlier, so that they're not playing World Series games in November.

Of course, the better solution would just be to take out all the super unnecessary off days in October. Like 2 or 3 day between the LDS and LCS for instance...

Posted on October 14, 2010 at 8:54 PM by theloniousjoe Highlight this comment 166

It is pretty clear that the Yankees were aiming for the Twins and cared not a whit about being the wild card or their post clinch record. Yes. Without a doubt, you are correct.

And, I think in any objective player by player analysis of the playoff teams the Twins fare poorly. Perhaps they did not deserve to be ranked dead last by anyone, but I do not believe there is any question that they do not belong among the teams we will see in the ALCS. I'm sorry Ben, but this statement is just plain stupid. The first sentence is stupidly wrong, and the second is stupidly right. If your hypothetical "player by player analysis of playoff teams" is regarding how those teams actually performed in the playoffs, then fine, sure, you're right. They don't belong in the ALCS. Brilliant. This is Sports Center caliber analysis here folks. That's like saying that the Royals didn't deserve to make the playoffs this year. Well guess what? They didn't. But if your hypothetical "player by player analysis of playoff teams" is regarding the strength of the team itself, objectively, based on their performance this year, then you're dead wrong. And there aren't many baseball analysts or writers who would disagree. On the basis of their regular season performance (which is a much better way to effectively and accurately measure the strength of a given team), the 2010 Twins were by any measure almost as good, as good, and in some cases even better than the other playoff teams.

I don't disagree with what you guys are saying. The Yankees didn't have a whole lot to play for during their last 11 games. They knew they were in the playoffs, and so did the Rays. So...they both kind of put it on cruise control. I agree. The Yankees may have even intentionally finished behind the Rays in order to face the Twins. I don't even disagree with that point.

My point is that people are using the Twins' weak finish as evidence of their inferiority as a team, instead of as evidence of the fact that THEY TOO had just as little motivation to win as the Yankees or the Rays did. It's a double standard that people are using that just doesn't make sense. The rationale goes: The Twins were a weak team because of their finish, 3-8 in their last 11. But the Yankees, also 3-8 in their last 11, were losing because they didn't need to win. THEY HAD THE SAME RECORDS. But according to many of you, the Twins record shows their weaknesses, whereas the Yankees record shows their motivation. It wouldn't even take a chimp to point out that the Twins also didn't need to win, and therefore should not be evaluated based on their last 11 games, any more than the Yankees are being evaluated on the basis of their last 11 games. If the regular season had ended on September 22, we all would have been talking about how the Twins were one of the strongest teams entering the playoffs.

Which was my original point. The Twins were one of the strongest teams on the morning of Oct. 5...and they simply, plainly, (and in game 3 fantastically) underperformed. Their performance in the playoffs is not an indicator that they were one of the worst teams to go to the playoffs. It's simply an indicator that one of the better teams that was there didn't play up to their ability.

Posted on October 14, 2010 at 9:02 PM by theloniousjoe Highlight this comment 167

Crap. I'm sorry Rick. I fail at italics tags...again.

Posted on October 14, 2010 at 9:03 PM by theloniousjoe Highlight this comment 168

tlj ... define "hibernate."

Posted on October 14, 2010 at 9:26 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 169

the twins have gotten fat off their division foes for nearly a decade. they have rode that to the playoffs and fallen on their backsides after each division win. you put them in the west? they would be no better than 500 playing LA, texas or oakland. LA and oakland are two teams they historically have trouble with. their record would also suffer having to play in seattle for more than a 3 or 4 game series. and it goes without saying they would barely be no better than a third place team in the east. so no, by an objective measurement they were in no way one of the "strongest" teams on oct. 5.

they've been a rousing success in the mlb division set-up as presently constructed. can't wait for that 2010 banner flying high over target field.

Posted on October 14, 2010 at 9:56 PM by tim Highlight this comment 170

People, people, why do you make me do this?

Tim, perhaps if you haven't paid any attention to baseball from April through August, you should look things up before typing your thoughts...

Twins vs. AL West in 2010: 24-12 overall.

vs. LAA: 5-2
vs. OAK: 6-3
vs. SEA: 6-4
vs. TEX: 7-3

Would I put them in the West? Um, yes. The 2010 Twins, I would put up against the West, again and again and again. They would've won that division this year too.

Posted on October 15, 2010 at 01:09 AM by theloniousjoe Highlight this comment 171

And Truth,
the "t-h-e" in thelonious is not a definite article.

It's not my fault Truth. When people insist on making ignorant statements, I just can't help myself.

Posted on October 15, 2010 at 01:14 AM by theloniousjoe Highlight this comment 172

And just to clarify, that second sentence there was my definition of "hibernate." It wasn't regarding you calling me "tlj."

Posted on October 15, 2010 at 01:16 AM by theloniousjoe Highlight this comment 173

And I talk in my sleep too...

Posted on October 15, 2010 at 01:17 AM by theloniousjoe Highlight this comment 174

tlj - you nailed it in post 167. Agree 100%.

Posted on October 15, 2010 at 1:29 PM by jfh Highlight this comment 175

theloniousjoe,

Maybe I can help, so I'll take a stab at this. You tell me if I've got it all wrong:


And for those still not clear, start here.

Posted on October 15, 2010 at 2:12 PM by Rick 176

Perhaps a true hibernation would be in order for our friend. He seems pretty cranky, and a nice, long sleep might do his disposition a lot of good.

Posted on October 15, 2010 at 4:11 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 177

Not to disappoint: but in the file of "fiction is stranger than truth," my MLB2010 Twins on the PS2 continue on in the playoffs.
After a 106 win season, they handled the Red Sox fairly easily in the DS. Followed by a five-game oust of the Angels.

The joke from the North Side somehow ended up in the World Series (blame it on Playstation AI) and the Twins handled Game 1 with a 6-4 win.

*sigh...if only all this had been on TBS instead of the PS2 in my family room.

Posted on October 15, 2010 at 6:18 PM by luke Highlight this comment 178

2011 Prediction: Twins win Central. Let's say TX in the West. Yankees win the East and Boston will win the wildcard because Tampa is going to be blown up this offseason.

Assuming we have a better record than the West winner, we'd face Boston.

How do we stack up? Predictions?

Posted on October 15, 2010 at 6:33 PM by Kramer Highlight this comment 179

I predict if you say that in a bar someone will dump a beer on you.

Posted on October 15, 2010 at 6:44 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 180

Well the Rangers sure look to be intimidated by the big bad CC Sabathia and the yankees tonight....What a pathetic joke the Twins are. I'm completely embarrassed.

Posted on October 15, 2010 at 9:13 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 181

Pitching might win pennants in the National League, but power bats win the American League pennant. Somebody please pass this on to Bill Smith. PLEASE.

Posted on October 15, 2010 at 9:15 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 182

Don't forget, the Rangers were also once called the Washington Senators...

Posted on October 15, 2010 at 10:01 PM by Rick 183

Something seems familiar about this game....

Posted on October 15, 2010 at 10:10 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 184

Say what you want, but it's not the Twins who should be embarrassed. It's MLB.

Posted on October 15, 2010 at 10:11 PM by Rick 185

Just look what over $200,000,000/year can buy you.

I'm starting to think baseball needs a salary cap.

Posted on October 15, 2010 at 10:36 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 186

Welcome to the salary cap party FTK....Baseball needed a salary cap 10 years ago...Today it's just a joke.

I hear what you're saying Rick. But the Twins don't get a free pass just because the Yankees spend twice as much.

Posted on October 15, 2010 at 10:43 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 187

"Don't forget, the Rangers were also once called the Washington Senators..."

I fail to see the relevence or importance of that information. you'll need to elaborate.

Posted on October 15, 2010 at 11:22 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 188

Posted on October 15, 2010 at 11:47 PM by Rick 189

While a salary cap might help things, its more so the current format of the playoffs and unbalanced schedule.

The salary cap would not be necessary if MLB went to a balanced schedule and a simple playoff format of seeding teams 1-3 with the wild card #4...regardless of what division.

You just had to figure the Yankees would come back from that 5-0 deficit...they just have that magic to them when it comes to October. It will be interesting to see how Texas responds. It definitely deflated the Texas fans after game 1. I am not afraid to say if Texas loses game two at home, the series is over. Even with Cliff Lee expected to pitch in New York, Texas needs to win game 2 at home if they want a chance at the series.

Posted on October 16, 2010 at 09:34 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 190

At this point I'm kind of wondering why they should even have the AL playoffs. Without revenue-sharing reform, the Yankees will always have the dollar advantage. And as long as they are free to spend whatever they want, they'll win.

Oh, sure, there will be bumps in the road for them. But requiring the Yankees to screw up or just have a down year before any other team has a chance is not my idea of competitive balance.

Eventually, the early round TV revenues will dry up as people realize that the playoffs are a sham.

Posted on October 16, 2010 at 09:57 AM by Rick 191

I know this is off topic, but I was wondering if anyone knows the name of the painter who made the paintings in the Town Ball Tavern. They all have rural settings with children playing ball, one is by a corn crib and another is a group of kids walking down a dirt road.

Thanks in advance, love the site!

Posted on October 16, 2010 at 10:21 AM by kirbyb Highlight this comment 192

Part of the magic in professional sports is having that dominant team. Would I be glued to the TV watching the Rangers-Rays? No. But, there I was, rooting hard for the Rangers last night, just like it was the Twins ALDS game. The lack of a cap will make that moment when (and if) the Twins beat the Yanks in the playoffs that much more special. A cap will help ensure that there may some day be an Astros-Mariners World Series. A lot of my memories involve rooting hard against the Lakers, Celtics, Yankees, Cowboys, etc. That is what makes the playoffs fun to watch when your team isn't in them. Parity ensures goodness but not greatness and less excitement in general. If fans fill the stands, the team can compete with the Yankees with no excuses.

I think the Phillies will beat the Yankees. Had we spent our money on Cliff Lee instead of Capps/Fuentes, the ALDS would've been much closer. There was no reason Lee should've ended up in Texas over Minnesota. Right now, I'd much rather have a chance of signing Lee, and Wilson Ramos in the stable, as opposed to a soon-to-be-exiled Fuentes and a soon-to-be-maybe-set up man in Capps. Smith has been handed 3.2 million fans a year. The Pohlads have seen their investment increase 10-fold over the years. The ability is there to compete. Only the Yankees, Phillies, Twins, Red Sox and Cubs enjoy this luxury--sold out stands and money to spend. The Cubs screwed it up bad. The others didn't. I think the jury is still out on the Twins, but the salary schedule over the next 2 years is definitely not ideal.

Posted on October 16, 2010 at 10:24 AM by twinswschamps2010 Highlight this comment 193

The Twins could buy more talent - they are rolling in dough now - but why would they? There are no more seats to fill. People need to get it through their heads that the goal is not to win the whole works, but rather to play just well enough to max income (and perhaps hope for another "perfect storm" - try to remember that the '87 Twins were one of the most mediocre teams to ever win a WS). It's a cost/benefit deal.

Posted on October 16, 2010 at 12:01 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 194

Filling the seats doesn't mean you can compete with the Yankees. Local TV/radio money in New York has got to be up to about $100 million/year by now. What kind of money do the Twins get from their local Tv/radio contract? $20 million?

Posted on October 16, 2010 at 1:07 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 195

Notre Dame fans shown on TV doing the wave.

Posted on October 16, 2010 at 4:23 PM by Josh Highlight this comment 196

Booooooooo....the wave should be banished from all stadiums.

Posted on October 16, 2010 at 5:01 PM by luke Highlight this comment 197

Look at what the Rangers did to a medicore Phil Hughes!

Posted on October 17, 2010 at 09:21 AM by firedog Highlight this comment 198

Here's a great article on Cliff Lee from ESPN which, though it never mentions the Twins by name, suggests what might have been.

Posted on October 18, 2010 at 12:52 PM by Rick 199

Is anybody dumping tickets for the Gopher game on Saturday? (Noah wants to go to a real football game. I know, I know, the Gophers may not qualify in that regard, but he won't notice the difference...)

Posted on October 18, 2010 at 1:23 PM by Rick 200

I can't imagine walk-up sales would be a problem...

Posted on October 18, 2010 at 2:00 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 201

Tickets for that game on Stubhub are getting into the mid single digits right now too. Fees probably just as much as tickets.

Posted on October 18, 2010 at 2:13 PM by PatMeares Highlight this comment 202

SH fees and shipping more than double the price...

Non-student walk-up tickets, if the web site is accurate, will start at $60. Yikes!

Posted on October 18, 2010 at 2:16 PM by Rick 203

Who are they playing?

Posted on October 18, 2010 at 4:13 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 204

Penn State. (I realize that I may be tilting at windmills here...)

Posted on October 18, 2010 at 4:20 PM by Rick 205

I have dreamed thee too long
Never seen thee or touched thee but known thee with all of my heart
Half a prayer, half a song
Thou hast always been with me though we have have been always apart

Sorry ---

Posted on October 18, 2010 at 4:41 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 206

And, there's been no chatter on here about Brewster finally getting the ax?

Posted on October 18, 2010 at 5:18 PM by luke Highlight this comment 207

"Finally" is an apt word.

The U Is going to need to hire a big-name coach who can lure talent up here. Why would a kid from Texas or Florida who is of high enough caliber to play in the SEC or at Texas come up here where he won't consistently get on national TV and he'll have to play in the cold? It's going to he tough turning this thing around. It's going to take years. I hope I live long enough to see it happen, but I only have a few decades left.

Posted on October 18, 2010 at 6:34 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 208

Dr. X- I don't see why the Gophers can't someday turn into a decent football team/program. If Iowa and Wisconsin can be decent programs who can compete decently in the Big Ten-then we should be able to. Although I too think it will take a gig time name coach to do it.

Posted on October 18, 2010 at 9:47 PM by Tom D. Highlight this comment 209

Forget about the TX and FL kids, how about keeping the Minnesota talent, of which there is plenty. Start at home, then look nationally.

"Lack of national TV coverage" - not a valid excuse anymore, especially with the Big Ten Network. And weather? If Wisconsin can recruit effectively from FL and TX (which they do), the weather in MN shouldn't be a deterrent.

As head coach, the U needs either a previously-successful head coach, or previously-successful offensive or defensive coordinator (Brewster fail). They need a stable coaching staff, with a consistent offensive philosophy (Brewster fail). They need to be willing to pay handsomely for all of this this. And, as Dr. X stated, this will take time, so as long as a workable identity for the program is established, they need to give him time. Brewster doesn't deserve any more time, as he clearly has no idea what the hell he's doing.

Based on his previous experience hiring a head football coach, does anyone have any confidence that Maturi can come up with a replacement?

Posted on October 18, 2010 at 10:02 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 210

hey rick - your "cheap shot" aside, our group will be at the minnesota vs. penn state game this saturday. we are gopher football season ticket holders and have been for a long time. no bandwagon people in our group so we will all be using our full allotment of tickets this saturday afternoon. so unfortunately we don't have any extras to sell.

hope you score some tickets for you and noah and take in a game. gopher football saturdays are always a good time no matter the final result of the game. even more so now that we are finally back on campus where we belong. tailgating, bar hopping around stadium village and dinkytown, sitting out in the sun watching the game, etc. good times.

who knows, maybe we will run into you and noah at the game? :-)

Posted on October 18, 2010 at 10:53 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 211

Who's this Lee guy who pitched tonight, and why have the Twins not looked at picking him up?

Posted on October 18, 2010 at 10:56 PM by TK Highlight this comment 212

"your "cheap shot" aside" ???????

Somebody never read Cervantes.

Posted on October 18, 2010 at 11:09 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 213

Texas should be up 3-0 in this series.

Posted on October 18, 2010 at 11:10 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 214

I think he was referring to my crack about "real football".

Cervantes is above reproach.

Posted on October 18, 2010 at 11:31 PM by Rick 215

The Gophers haven't played "real football" since Lou Holtz left.

Posted on October 19, 2010 at 03:53 AM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 216

Brian Duensing is our Cliff Lee. It's obvious after comparing Game 3 performances...

Posted on October 19, 2010 at 08:45 AM by JCTwins Highlight this comment 217

The Twins are going to continue to give tours of TF through December.

Posted on October 19, 2010 at 09:25 AM by Joe117 Highlight this comment 218

The Gophers are going to get a lot of national tv exposure starting next year when they play WISCONSIN (cross-over rival), IOWA, NEBRASKA and MICHIGAN each and every year.

If you start winning some of those games, you have great potential to be in the spotlight.

The "new" Big Ten is going to be a very competitive and strong conference and I hope the University can finally lure the right guy for the job. It just scares me that the decision will ultimately fall on Maturi again...

Posted on October 19, 2010 at 09:46 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 219

Well we can get Cliff Lee for a nice little 6 year 150 million! Oh wait we already got a guy we are paying that kind of money too. Think Lee added another year and about 25 mil to next years contract last night. Me thinks the Skanks will throw that at him. Hard to belive a bankrupt Texas team will be able to resign him. Got to think Texas only needs one more win to wrap it up. No way the beat Lee in a game 7!!

Posted on October 19, 2010 at 10:40 AM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 220

Skanks got to be real nervous with Burnett on the mound tonight!

Posted on October 19, 2010 at 10:41 AM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 221

Calling the Rangers a bankrupt team is uninformed to say the least. The old ownership group may have been, but the new owners are going to spend money. They recently signed a $3 billion dollar deal with FS West or whatever, the richest TV deal in the MLB (which is what drives revenue more than even ticket sales)

Posted on October 19, 2010 at 11:06 AM by PatMeares Highlight this comment 222

You think the Twins are knocking on FSN doors about getting a better taste? 3 billion for tv rights to the Rangers? LOL! And nobody watches them down there. Thats football country man! Will be interesting if Lee takes the hometown discount or goes to the Skanks. 6-7 year deal to a 32 yr old may be a little Johan Santana like

Posted on October 19, 2010 at 2:33 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 223

What does Texas think they are in a NY tv market? Is that deal guaranteed? Or a Bernie Kosar like kinda deal? Good luck with recouping that money.

Posted on October 19, 2010 at 3:24 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 224

You got it Rick. Monk's the man. The guy was a frickin genius. Brilliant, beautiful, timeless artist.

This is from the CD that made me fall in love with jazz. Here he is in action with Charlie Rouse (sax), Larry Gales (bass), and Ben Riley (drums), the same sidemen that were on Live at the It Club with him.

Posted on October 19, 2010 at 3:47 PM by theloniousjoe Highlight this comment 225

Rangers still seemingly competing with the Yankees just fine. It's like you said kevin in az, pretty embarrassing that the Twins get so intimidated by their bullshit Yankee mystique. I'm reminded of a quote from Catch Me If You Can.

Frank Abagnale, Sr.: You know why the Yankees always win, Frank?
Frank Abagnale, Jr.: 'Cause they have Mickey Mantle?
Frank Abagnale, Sr.: No, it's 'cause the other teams can't stop staring at those damn pinstripes.

Posted on October 19, 2010 at 9:01 PM by theloniousjoe Highlight this comment 226

you're right joe....it's amazing just how amazing the yankees look when their opposition actually comes to play. I totally think the spending by the yankees is obscene, but the Twins didn't come to play. Kubel's performance alone warrants him being released. Superstar Mauer was absent. Honestly when your best batting average is Orlando Hudson at .333 you've got problems....BIG PROBLEMS! The Twins batters didn't show up. The pitchers for the most part kept the team in the games as much as they could, but when you can't score runs, you're not going to win. I would love to see a Giants/Rangers WS.

Posted on October 19, 2010 at 10:41 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 227

I am happy for the Texas Rangers and it just makes me sick how every other team but the Twins can show up to play the Yankees in the postseason...it further validates the point that the Twins are just a bunch of underachievers come October who are intimidated by the spotlight that is Postseason baseball...

The Texas Rangers are just destroying the baseball in this series but yet the Twins are swinging at first pitches and are undisciplined at the plate.

The Rangers came back with a ton of confidence in game 2 after losing a heart-breaking game 1 after leading 5-0...They went to NY tied 1-1 on a mission to take game 3. Meanwhile, the Twins lose all of their confidence and show no energy/emotion and get swept in 3 games.

Posted on October 19, 2010 at 11:03 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 228

Oh I'm right there with you. As soon as the Twins were eliminated, I was pulling for a Giants-Rangers series. Of course before that, I was hoping for a Twins-Braves rematch.

I'm pretty surprised that both series are now 2-1 in favor of the underdog. I'm especially surprised by the Giants taking two from Philly. A TEX-SF World Series would just make FOX and MLB super happy huh? It would be great for baseball though. Just like that guy on the tenth inning said, and I'm paraphrasing, "90% of baseball fans hate the Yankees - which is good...and it's good for baseball when the Yankees make the playoffs every year...and don't make it to the World Series." A-men.

Posted on October 19, 2010 at 11:07 PM by theloniousjoe Highlight this comment 229

...and what's the home field advantage now? Something like 75% or more wins by the road team?

Posted on October 19, 2010 at 11:41 PM by robin Highlight this comment 230

and it also underscores the confidence having a true ace, a stopper, provides a team. the rangers know they have cliff lee waiting to make the yankees his bitch again if it comes to that. i'm just enjoying seeing the rangers showing the twins organization how it's done. i hope they're taking mental notes. but i dought it because the twins have an arrogance about them that they do everything the right way. the rays, angels, rangers always play the yankees tough and baseball is better for it.

Posted on October 20, 2010 at 07:43 AM by tim Highlight this comment 231

Well the Twins had Johan Santana (CY Young Winner), Justin Morneau (MVP) and Joe Mauer (batting champ) in 2006 and had home-field advantage against OAKLAND in the ALDS and they got swept in 2006 as well...

Frank Thomas went deep off Santana in the first inning and that was the end of the Twins...as soon as the opposing team gets the lead its like the Twins just fall flat. No energy or swagger to fight back, no confidence.

Same with game 1 this year after Texeira hit the homerun after the Twins were leading 3-0. They fell flat after that and the Yankees never looked back in the series.

It's definitely the mentality of the "core" group of players on this team...Cuddyer, Kubel, Mauer and Morneau to name a few...

Until that changes, the Twins will never win in October as has been proven over the last several years.

You can say all you want about Gardenhire, but its ultimately the players themselves who lack the mentality to play in October. It should not be Gardy's job to get his players excited and ready to play in October. If the players are not excited to play baseball in October, than they don't belong in the big leagues. Just my opinion...

Posted on October 20, 2010 at 09:34 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 232

I am hopeful that Billy Smith & Co. are as irritated as I am watching Texas destroy NY and they tear down the walls and let a bunch of these guys go. I'm more motivated now than I was before this Texas series started to advocate for a major overhaul.

Posted on October 20, 2010 at 09:37 AM by JCTwins Highlight this comment 233

The first inning of game 2 changed the tone of the proceedings. Andrus scratches out an infield base hit, moves to second on a wild pitch, then steals third and home -- the latter on a crafty double-steal which was designed to require a run-down! Great, bold baseball.

There were so many moving parts in getting that first run that the Rangers, whose faces looked a lot like the Twins at the end of game 1, were suddenly not only alive again, they snatched the momentum and have refused to let go.

Credit Ron Washington for -- well, I don't know for sure. Whatever he did to prop up his team going into game 2 really worked. And I have this sinking feeling that if the manager of the year voting were held today, Washington would outpace all the other AL options.

So, what did the Rangers have that the Twins didn't? Washington, Andrus, Hamilton, Lee -- swagger. Frankly, I think our team was almost as good (better, with Lee), but a mindset doomed them. And that's the value of the "difference-makers": they change mindsets.

Of course, it may also have been that, after their cakewalk over one former-Senators team, the Yankees got the notion that the other one would be a similar experience.

Oops.

Posted on October 20, 2010 at 10:54 AM by Rick 234

It's interesting that only one person, Badjuggler, picked the Rangers to win the ALCS in the playoff challenge.

If the Giants hold on, the pool of potential winners will shrink dramatically. Seems like confirmation of the old adage that anything can happen in the playoffs.

I'm sure that the thought of a Rangers-Giants World Series is a lot less appealing to the TV folks than, say, a Yankees-Phillies Series...

Posted on October 20, 2010 at 11:14 AM by Rick 235

OK What are we going to do with our bullpen? I like Fuentes over the Mad Crapper. Too bad he is getting 9 mil a year. We keep both Crain Wreck and Guerier?

What about these guys?

Delmon
Kubel
Thome
JJ Hardy
O Dog
Herman Muster aka Raush

Gonna be interesting to see what that opening day lineup looks like. Man I almost liked Cabrerra over JJ. At least he would play everyday!

Posted on October 20, 2010 at 11:49 AM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 236

Dump Kubel, Hardy, O Dawg, and Herman Munster. Keep Delmon and Thome. Cabrera is free and personally I thought he was a good club house guy even though his numbers were average. His experience and ability to clutch hit made up for it.

Posted on October 20, 2010 at 12:47 PM by JCTwins Highlight this comment 237

GONE: Jason Kubel, Orlando Hudson, JJ Hardy, Jon Rauch, Jesse Crain/Matt Guerrier (more than likely, only one of them would be back, with a possibility that neither of them will be back)

POSSIBLY TRADE: Scott Baker, Kevin Slowey, and/or Michael Cuddyer

RE-SIGN: Jim Thome

I really like Liriano, Duensing and Blackburn

I also think they need to keep those right handed bats in Delmon Young and Danny Valencia

Posted on October 20, 2010 at 2:22 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 238

I hope to see Thome hit #600 in a Twins' uniform.

I have my doubts that Morneau will ever play again, although I hope to see it since he was on fire this year before he got hurt. If he can't come back, maybe the Twins go after Konerko?

Posted on October 20, 2010 at 3:20 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 239

I hear Greinke wants out of KC. I would give them Delmon and any 2 of the the 3 pitchers Slowey, Baker or Blackburn for him.

Posted on October 20, 2010 at 3:35 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 240

I guess we can't give em both pitchers if Pavano is gone also. So our bullpen is

The Crapper
Nathan
Mujares
and???

Posted on October 20, 2010 at 3:37 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 241

Interesting that Cliff Lee was shipped to minors in 2007 seaason. I guess a light must have turned on or something after that! WOW

2007 season
In 2007, Lee suffered a groin strain during a spring training start, forcing him to begin the regular season on the disabled list. He returned to the Indians rotation in May, but struggled to a 4–9 record and a 5.38 ERA in his first 16 starts. On July 21, Lee hit Texas Rangers' right fielder Sammy Sosa in the head with a pitch on a night when the Rangers were honoring Sosa for hitting his 600th home run. The beaning sparked an altercation between Lee and Indians' catcher Víctor Martínez and led to a players-only meeting immediately after the game.[8] Cliff encountered even more problems on July 26, 2007, when he gave up 7 runs in 4 innings. When he left the ballgame, the fans booed him and right before he entered the dugout, he tipped his cap to the fans. The next day, July 27, the struggling left-hander was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo.[9] He was called back up on September 1 when rosters expanded, but only appeared in 4 games, all out of the bullpen.

Posted on October 20, 2010 at 3:46 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 242

TwinkFan,

I can see them keeping Crain. There is also Burnett and Slama that saw some major league time. I bet Delaney gets his shot next year. If Neshek improves his velocity during the offseason, he'll be there. I don't see any other team taking Perkins, the Twins probably can't even give him away.

So far I see...Nathan, Capps, Mijares, Crain, Burnett, Slama, Delaney, Neshek, and Perkins.

I bet Bromberg or Waldrop will get an invite to spring training

Posted on October 20, 2010 at 3:58 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 243

Does anyone really expect Joe Nathan to come back? Tommy John surgery usually takes a couple years for a full recovery, and isn't Nathan 37-38 already? What are the odds that he'd be as effective as he was before the surgery in only a year? Has anyone ever made a full recovery from TJ surgery in only a year?

Posted on October 20, 2010 at 4:02 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 244

I will be shocked if Nathan makes it back. What Neshek had the surgery and is still not back. Thats could be an ugly looking bullpen Jeff!

Posted on October 20, 2010 at 4:34 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 245

I'm with Twink on this one. I hope the best for him and a good recovery, but I don't know how much of an asset he'd be to the team next season even if he did come back.
I had a buddy who was drafted to the Rockies straight out of high school, was a damn good pitcher (even ESPN Magazine mentioned his name a couple times), he had Tommy John, and that was it. Never got to pitch a pro game.

Posted on October 20, 2010 at 5:58 PM by luke Highlight this comment 246

Bleacher Report ranks the MLB fan bases. Last Florida, first Cubs fans, Twins are 9th.

Posted on October 20, 2010 at 6:27 PM by robin Highlight this comment 247

I think I just read somewhere today about Nathan's recovery. He's ahead of schedule. And yes, there are cases of a guy returning just as good after a year. I've heard it's easier for relievers too since they don't have to pitch as much. Liriano could pitch well for four innings and then lose his release point (heck, he still does at times). Nathan doesn't have to pitch four innings, hopefully just one.

Billy Wagner is the guy we hope Nathan will be. Wagner had TJ surgery, returned 11-12 months after and pitched great at the end of the '09 season. This season he's been outstanding, possibly a career year. I believe he's retiring though. Wagner was 37, I believe, when he had the surgery. Nathan is almost 36. Nathan hasn't pitched as long as most guys (SS turned SP turned RP), so that is several years of wear and tear that is not on his arm. Hopefully that fact will help him.

There are other cases, such as Josh Johnson, who returned just as good and is now a pretty great pitcher. Tim Hudson too. If you want to go with relievers though, Wagner is where you want Nathan to be. It won't be easy, but it's not impossible for it to happen. If not, then we're stuck with Capps...which we are anyway in some capacity.

I'm more concerned that Neshek is done. Before surgery he was looking like the closer of the future. Now his velocity is not there, usually after this amount of time that is back. It's the control that's usually not there yet. Instead he has both problems. TJ surgery pitchers sometimes have to change their delivery, which Neshek cannot do. Their shoulders are usually stronger and with Neshek's funky delivery, he's still using his elbow so he's not stronger than he was before.

Posted on October 20, 2010 at 8:22 PM by AJ Highlight this comment 248

I didn't say it looked pretty. The Twins has a decent track record of putting together a decent bullpen, so I'm not as concerned as I am with them getting position players who will be able to compete with the other top major league teams and finally win a playoff series.

Posted on October 20, 2010 at 8:45 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 249

So much speculation regarding the 2011 Twins about so many giant question marks, and it's only what, October 21?

If history has taught us anything about this team, it's that spring things are nearly impossible to predict in fall. Whether they actually surprise us and go out and pick up an Orlando Hudson, J.J. Hardy, Orlando Cabrera, what have you, or whether it's some minor league call up that none of us saw coming - see Wilson Ramos 1st half of 2010 - chances are none of these predictions will be too valuable come April 1 in Toronto. And chances are further that whatever things look like on April 1 in Toronto will be something other than what things look like on September 28 at TF vs. the Royals.

Posted on October 21, 2010 at 02:22 AM by theloniousjoe Highlight this comment 250

Well --- I guess we all better shut up until March?

Posted on October 21, 2010 at 06:27 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 251

Twins credited my card for my ALDS Game 5 tickets yesterday. Still waiting for the ALCS tickets refund...

Posted on October 21, 2010 at 06:43 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 252

I got $82 of the $88 dollars that I was owed for game 5 credited, and then $120. Not sure why $120, since my 2 tickets to 2 ALCS games was about $268 with fees.

Posted on October 21, 2010 at 08:57 AM by PatMeares Highlight this comment 253

Glad to hear I wasn't the only one to get a partial (1 of 2 games purchased) refund for my ALCS tickets. Is this standard practice? Seems odd that I bought the tickets as 1 transaction and they are refunding them as two.

Posted on October 21, 2010 at 09:42 AM by Syzygy Highlight this comment 254

You all probably already know about this, but the guys at TwinsCentric are now taking pre-orders for the 2009-10 TwinsCentric Offseason Handbook. Only $9.95 and it promises to be filled with all the info necessary to follow the Twins' next moves.

Best ten bucks a Twins fan could spend at this point, I think. (I just pre-ordered my e-copy!)

Posted on October 21, 2010 at 09:51 AM by Rick 255

Also without the fees. They have said all along that you will get your money back for the fees, but they don't seem to be putting them through. Seperate transaction or did the Twins get greedy and change their minds?

Posted on October 21, 2010 at 09:52 AM by PatMeares Highlight this comment 256

Twinscentric is a must have. Got mine pre-ordered this year for only $4.95. I think that was for the first 500?

Posted on October 21, 2010 at 09:53 AM by PatMeares Highlight this comment 257

On my ALDS Game 5 tickets they only kept the order service fee of $6. They refunded the per ticket "convenience" fees. I assume it will be the same with the ALCS, but it's weird that they didn't refund the entire transaction all at once.

Posted on October 21, 2010 at 10:16 AM by Syzygy Highlight this comment 258

I thought the $6 order service fee was supposed to be refunded as well? They stated the only thing that wouldn't would be the Print At Home fee. If they don't end up refunding all the money they are going to get a lot of backlash as well as credit card disputes.

Posted on October 21, 2010 at 10:35 AM by PatMeares Highlight this comment 259

Partial plans for 2011 have been released. See link.

Posted on October 21, 2010 at 12:24 PM by jfh Highlight this comment 260

They definitely did a better job of balancing the plans this year, at least my plan, which is plan E.

Instead of numbering games 1-4 which they pretty much did for 2010, they did a better job balancing days/opponents/etc.

I am happy with my plan E games...Saturday games (Blue Jays, Brewers and Yankees) Two Friday night games in July (White Sox, Tigers) as well as Dodgers and Red Sox.

While I will miss out on the Angels and Padres, I am excited to get Brewers, Dodgers and Red Sox.

Posted on October 21, 2010 at 1:34 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 261

I have "E" as well - good enough for you, good enough for me.

Posted on October 21, 2010 at 2:34 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 262

The Order Processing Fees of $6 per order were never represented as being part of the amount to be refunded. Those fees are meant to cover overhead expenses (printing/mailing tickets, paying ticket office wages, etc). The per ticket fees (convenience fees is what they called them) were refunded, as was announced in the policy.

Click on my name for the full details of the refund policy. Any credit card disputes should not be upheld. Not trying to be a Twins apologist, just stating the facts.

Posted on October 21, 2010 at 2:43 PM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 263

A slight wrinkle this year. I was curious to see if like last year, each 40 game plan consisted of two of the 20 game plans. Almost. Plan A consists of C and F, and Plan B consists of D and E, with the exception of 6 games; June 9 and 10, August 18 and 19, and September 20 and 21.

Posted on October 21, 2010 at 4:02 PM by robin Highlight this comment 264

Interesting: The Twins Twitter feed @minnesotatwins posted today asking what changes people would like to see next year at Target Field. The response was tremendous and there was everything from the comical (playoff wins) to the practical (controlling concession lines & ingress/egress to the escalators). Fun thing to check out Rick...

Posted on October 21, 2010 at 4:24 PM by Max Highlight this comment 265

Thanks for the link on the partial plans. E might be the best of a pretty well balanced group at first glance. Do you get to pick your plan or did they assign them to you?

Posted on October 21, 2010 at 4:27 PM by robin Highlight this comment 266

You picked your plans when you purchased your 2010 season tickets...you can "upgrade" or "change plans" for 2011, but there is no guarantee you will actually "upgrade" your seats based on the plan selected.

With most STH's likely renewing and staying status quo, I don't see a lot of STH's moving to different plans other than upgrading from a 20 to 40 or from a 40 to full-season plan. Even than, its going to be difficult getting "better" seats.

Posted on October 21, 2010 at 4:33 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 267

OK, I guess I'm a Twitter idiot (Twitiot?). I see the original tweet from the Twins asking for suggestions, but not any of the replies. Can anybody clue me in?

Posted on October 21, 2010 at 4:36 PM by Rick 268

Rick, click link on my name.

Then when it loads, you will see a bunch of comments, click the tab at the bottom middle "more"

It is about another 10 comments down...

"# 1st ? What are some changes that you'd like to see at Target Field next year? about 6 hours ago via web

# Anyone around? I've got some questions for you. I want as much feedback as possible. about 6 hours ago via web "

When you read the comments it is in reverse order of this board, where the most recent comment is on top, so read from bottom to top.

Posted on October 21, 2010 at 5:53 PM by tk Highlight this comment 269

Hmmm. I'm not seeing the replies either. Just the responses to the replies, so I can't tell what the actual suggestions are (though I can guess a few).

Posted on October 21, 2010 at 6:14 PM by jfh Highlight this comment 270

In the reply, click on the name they are responding to. While on the page, click the highlighted @twinsfreak2010 to see what is being responded to...

@twinsfreak2010 we are concerned about it. That's an issue that we'll continue to try and get under control next season.

This is what you will see if you click "@twinsfreak2010"

@MinnesotaTwins concern over the drinks dropped from captains deck bar on lower seats! Really bad and disgusting!

Posted on October 21, 2010 at 6:19 PM by tk Highlight this comment 271

Rick, I think its time to get a new thread started for suggestions for Target Field to coincide with that Twitter discussion. I tried to see what suggestions where made, but can't. Is there anyway that someone can post what suggestions where made?

Posted on October 22, 2010 at 05:43 AM by Jeff Highlight this comment 272

Twitter's user interface is terrible for this type of stuff. It is not at all designed for any sort of back and forth discussion.

Posted on October 22, 2010 at 08:53 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 273

Were, not where. Sorry.

Posted on October 22, 2010 at 10:09 AM by Jeff Highlight this comment 274

Everybody in the whole world knows exactly what happened -- except the people who have to make the decisions.

Again, MLB should be embarrassed.

Posted on October 22, 2010 at 8:39 PM by Rick 275

A-rod goes down looking for the final out. How's that for a perfect bit of poetic justice?

A well-rested Cliff Lee for game 1 of the Series. Texas is in a happy place right now.

Posted on October 22, 2010 at 10:10 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 276

Is anyone else just sick to their stomach right now? THAT COULD HAVE BEEN US!

Posted on October 22, 2010 at 10:24 PM by luke Highlight this comment 277

No, let me rephrase that: THAT SHOULDHAVE BEEN US!

Posted on October 22, 2010 at 10:25 PM by luke Highlight this comment 278

No Luke, it should NOT have been us. We didn't show up!!

Posted on October 22, 2010 at 11:30 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 279

I'm over it. The Twins left their heart, fight, and mentality at home - but it's done. All I care about now is San Fran sealing the deal, and once that happens, then we all get to watch what will hopefully be one of the best World Series since 1991.

And if it's not a great series, then at they very least, (if the Giants win), for the first time in a long time, I can watch it honestly wishing that both teams could win. I didn't even watch the ALCS, and only partly because I don't have cable...I could've gone to any one of a number of bars within a 30 second walk from my front door. But the thought, even the possibility, of the god-forsaken Yankees pulling yet another comeback win out of their asses, was enough to keep me away. Now, if the Giants pull it off, I'll be more excited for game 1 of the World Series than I've been in quite a while!

Posted on October 23, 2010 at 01:57 AM by theloniousjoe Highlight this comment 280

I hear ya, Luke. I have tickets to what would have been game 6 at Target Field, too. :-(

Posted on October 23, 2010 at 07:36 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 281

The stars at night, are clear and bright...

Posted on October 23, 2010 at 09:21 AM by N.D. (aka N.D. "Rube") Highlight this comment 282

Yeah, you're true Kev.

Posted on October 23, 2010 at 09:43 AM by luke Highlight this comment 283

Memo to the Twins: I guess everything is bigger in Texas. Including heart.

K

Posted on October 23, 2010 at 09:52 AM by Kramer Highlight this comment 284

The Yankees looked pretty much baffled, and their manager made a few of what turned out to be tactical errors. Sound familiar? Almost like it was scripted.

Posted on October 23, 2010 at 11:41 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 285

I thought it looked like the Yankees let down a bit after beating the Twins so easily. I think they thought they would do the same thing to Texas eventually -- probably relaxing even further after anticipating a series with the Rays which they knew in advance would have been very tough. (The days off also probably hurt them. In that way, maybe we should thank the Twins.)

It's that familiar old phenomenon: You beat the tough teams, then let down and lose to the lesser teams because you think it won't be as hard.

Not to say that the Rangers were the lesser team, but the differences didn't really seem to be in raw skill, but in desire. The Rangers played like they really wanted to win, whereas the Yankees played like they expected to win.

That's a pretty big psychological difference.

And it's the reason that a Rangers-Giants World Series (which I'm pulling for) could be very exciting and very heartbreaking. Those are the two teams who are playing like they really want a ring.

I probably wouldn't be rooting for one over the other, just for good baseball -- which would pretty much be a lock.

Posted on October 23, 2010 at 11:55 AM by Rick 286

I'm not sure if this has been talked about, theres a lot of comments to read through, But does anybody know when the new scoreboard in the trap will be installed? And do we know yet how much of the billboard it will take up. I think it would be nice if they made it a rectangle in the middle and filled ads in around it

Posted on October 23, 2010 at 12:54 PM by twinlves Highlight this comment 287

That's exactly what I've been thinking, Rick. Rangers-Giants, good baseball played, I'll be happy with either team winning. Let's just hope the Phillies have one more overconfident night in them...

Posted on October 23, 2010 at 12:57 PM by theloniousjoe Highlight this comment 288

I've only heard of a new scoreboard somewhere out in right field. I don't think the specific location has ever been said. Someone please link to the article where it states it is going above the trapezoid seating section.

Posted on October 23, 2010 at 9:24 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 289

WOW it was like the ump didn't want to call that 3rd stike on Howard to end the game.

Posted on October 23, 2010 at 10:40 PM by Josh Highlight this comment 290

That was a heck of a 3-2 pitch. Offspeed, right at the knees, after a 95+ high fastball.

Posted on October 23, 2010 at 10:42 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 291

That at-bat showed us why Howard isn't clutch. He was almost looking for a walk. A clutch hitter isn't going to wait for Ball 4. A pitch at the knees with two strikes?? You GOTTA be swinging. You have to grab that pig and ride it, Ryan!

Unlike FOX, I'm looking forward to a Series that does not include New York and Phila.

Posted on October 24, 2010 at 01:35 AM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 292

Should be a good series!

Posted on October 24, 2010 at 10:37 AM by The Sooj Highlight this comment 293

TTH ---

Like you say --- every (Little League) kid on the corner knows to "protect the plate" with two strikes.

Posted on October 24, 2010 at 1:37 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 294

Both championship series ended with the clean-up hitter taking a called third strike. Poetic justice of some sort.

Gee, maybe the competitive balance in the MLB is just fine after all.

Posted on October 24, 2010 at 2:41 PM by Rick 295

Right on Truth and Rick.

I'm definitely looking forward to this WS! It's sure nice to see the big East clubs go down in flames. This World Series should be good for baseball! Like the '04, '05, '06, and '08 series, it's nice to see teams in it that haven't been dominant in the postseason for a long time. Not to mention how great it is to see the Yankees make the postseason, yet again, and not make it. '07 was fun because of the Rockies, but also a bit depressing seeing them get crushed by a big east powerhouse after such a great run.

Well, no predictable big-budget thumpings this year. Both the San Fran and Texas teams are teams that are more than the sum of their parts. Unlike the Yankees and Phillies, the Giants and Rangers are each an entertaining group of players with talent to burn, lots of chemistry, good stories, and, aside from Cliff Lee, it seems like they're relatively organically grown too. Relatively speaking, comparing them to the likes of the Yankees, that is.

I will enjoy this series. I hope all of you do too!

Posted on October 24, 2010 at 4:38 PM by theloniousjoe Highlight this comment 296


This page was last modified on October 10, 2010.



"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 3045 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.





(Click to enlarge greatly)



The Ballpark Wall! (really stunning)



Dancing for the cameras






Ticket window at Gate 29/Carew



Ketchup, mustard, relish, mustard, ketchup



These stairs will go up to the centerfield pavilion.



A closer look at the bridge and walls. You can see where the tracks will be laid.



Is it possible to take a bad picture of this building?



You are forgiven for wondering whether architect Tom Oslund is, in fact, a visitor from the future.



How many times did we water down our field as kids? More times than we played games, that's for sure!



Roped off for the LRT crowd






Looking for some detail






Handshakes all around (there's gonna be a lot of that over the next few weeks)









The back gates at Comerica park, like everything else, a bit overwrought.






That group was working on something very carefully, but I couldn't tell just what it was.






A closer look into the park from down the street. How great will this view be during a game??



No griping here.



This appears to be the floor to the home dugout!



Trees now line Seventh Street



Note reflected sunset (7:30 PM). Could be a worry...



CBP: retro in facade only



The parking bay structure is now clearly visible









This view clearly shows the curve in the left field stands and the relationship of the first row with the playing field (no overhang to speak of in left).









(Click to enlarge.)



Click on this photo to see what it looked like on this spot 101 years ago (I'm not kidding)



The media had some beautiful foliage to use as a background.



Miller Park: Gymnasium with skylight (Source: RP)



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.



The glare problem.












Sue Nelson, and her organ, in one of the Twins Pubs



That's my mom. She scored the whole game on her Gameday program (bought for just $1 on the opening night special -- thanks guys!)



August 2001 (a month later we were engaged)






The plaza as seen from the B ramp.



4th inning in the thinning crowd of the Grandstand.


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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