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August Afternoon

Words From the Ballpark

August 2, 2012 2:13 AM

If years were days, August would be the afternoon of the year.

(White Sox score first on a sac fly from Adam Dunn. Is this guy back?)

It's that moment in the year when everybody sort of looks up from whatever they are doing, stretches a bit, maybe yawns, and thinks about -- if not actually doing it -- taking a nap. Vacations and long weekends prevail, we focus more on water, and the world takes on a warm, sleepy, hazy quality.

I purposely try not to schedule very much for the month, knowing I won't be very engaged or productive. Were the Twins a little closer, my thoughts would actually start to turn toward a pennant race about now. As it is, it will be thoughts of '13 and '14 instead -- though baseball will still begin to occupy an even larger portion of my consciousness.

(Twins answer by way of a Ben Revere double, a Sox pick-off play at second which sent the ball into the gap in right, and a Mauer RBI groundout.)

Given all that August is, it makes sense to begin the month with a sunny afternoon game, beginning at glorious midday.

Afternoon baseball is really one of life's great pleasures. The shadows are small but intense, the ball looks impossibly white, and the whole affair takes on a sort of Huck Finn quality -- you know that maybe you shouldn't, but you will.

Taking the field

By all rights, August in Minnesota should usher in the heat, but by that measure, it's been August since sometime back in March. Today, the game begins at a somewhat-steamy 81 degrees which, though sticky, actually feels like a relief.

(The Sox go quietly in the second, but Danny Valencia, apparently really wanting to stay in the bigs, hits a high homer to left-center. Twins go up 2-1.)

Here at Target Field, the flags above the left field stands are blowing robustly as if the wind will knock down fly balls to right today. In actuality, the first few innings have seen some towering flies that haven't appeared knocked-down in the least.

Ben Revere

Despite the beauty of the day, the stands are nowhere near full. It's hard to know why. Maybe not everyone has looked up from their work yet. Maybe not everyone appreciates that each individual contest has value even if the overall campaign has already been conceded. Maybe not everyone prioritizes the early innings.

Maybe not everyone realizes yet what a joy it is to watch Ben Revere play the game. Hard as it was to let go of Joe Nathan as my favorite Twin, it's been pretty easy to accept Revere as a worthy replacement. So far today: single, double, stolen base and diving catch. And it's the third inning!

People resist comparing him to Kirby Puckett because he doesn't have anywhere near the same bat, but one can easily recognize the same smiley approach and obvious love for what he does. It's contagious, and the team could do way worse than to use this guy as a rebuilding block.

(The visitors were victim to a double play and Revere's dive, but the home team couldn't capitalize on Revere's hit and Mauer's walk. Still, they hold on at 2-1.)

Five years ago today was to have been the eve of the groundbreaking for this ballpark. I'll never forget coming by to document the setup for the event late that afternoon, then continuing on to errands which would bring me to a choice I'll never forget.

But for a flash of impatience, I might very well have been on the 35W bridge when it collapsed. As it is, I'm able to look back at this as someone else's tragedy. But I take little comfort in that. Much of life is arbitrary and random.

Flags at half-staff in honor of the bridge victims, five years ago today

(Not an hour into this game and already in the fifth inning. This game is moving quickly thanks to a whole bunch of quick at-bats followed by groundouts. Call it "good pitching" if you prefer yin over yang.)

The stands remain stubbornly thin, perhaps 60% full, though the crowd is attentive and appreciative. I've chosen to sit in the air conditioning for a little while, though there's a palpable downside in not being able to hear or join the cheering. Somehow one's own cheering sounds a little absurd when part of a smattering.

Contrary to what you may believe, people in the air conditioning do follow the game, but they do other things as well.

Some talk loudly on cell phones, be it about important-sounding business deals, or just to describe where they are.

Exact quote #1: "I'm at the ballpark! ... The BALLPARK! ... I don't know, but it says 'Chicago 1' and underneath that 'Minnesota 2'. ... Yes, that's what it says! ... I'm not sure, but I think it means they're leading."

Exact quote #2: "No, it's an AMENDMENT! ... It's the part that says they only get PART of the land! ... Just look at the bottom and sign it! ... Then give it to MARY! ... No, MARY or whoever!"

First pitch

(The Sox get a run to tie it in the fifth on a couple of singles and a fielder's choice which might have been an inning-ending double play but for a little bobble by Brian Dozier. 2-2)

The woman to my left says nothing after hanging up the phone. But the man to my right is a gentleman who is happy to talk about his days as a season ticket holder back at Met Stadium. He worked at the downtown Dayton's for 30 years, and had tickets every year just behind third base. "Cheap ones," he emphasizes. His wife owned a beauty shop in Bloomington and often did hair for the players' wives. For himself, he made friends with the stadium club manager and always got to head down there for free drinks during the late innings.

In the recent past he's lived in Florida, "not three blocks from the Twins spring training. I seen 'em every year."

This is his first visit ever to Target Field, though he's seen it on TV. He declares it to be "just beautiful", though he has less kind words for the changes he's seen today in downtown Minneapolis. "Too much traffic," he said with disgust. "All these one-way streets..." He tossed up his hands.

He also quickly describes being shocked at the $30 he needed to spend on hot dogs and a couple of drinks. "These kids'll never know what it used to be like out at the Met," he says, gesturing in the general direction of, well, the whole stadium.

(Brian Dozier gets props for making it all the way to third with only one out, but winds up being doubled off when Denard Span lines out to first. Ouch. 2-2 after five.)

My companion, who declared himself to be 86 years old, decided to return to has actual seat, now finally in the shade. "I can't take the sun like I used to," he says with a smile of resignation. He's obviously been watching his actual seat very closely as the shade crept toward it.

Yes, it's the kind of a day at the ballpark when shade makes a difference, and not just to the octogenarians.

(Scott Diamond looks strong at 75 pitches after six innings. He gave up a double, and a long fly ball, but tamped down the Sox with two strikeouts. Still 2-2.)

I've been in the air conditioning long enough now that it's starting to feel kind of cold. Maybe it was just following the lead of my new ballpark buddy, but the sunshine now looks just too enticing. Grabbing a burger, I also grab one of the very many empty seats on the Skyline deck. For what it's worth, the air conditioning works a lot better on the shaded side of the ballpark.

As I sit down, the sun hovers mostly behind the clouds, bright enough to feel like a sunny day, but certainly not at full strength. The difference is definitely noticeable when the clouds part, and I immediately wonder just how long I can sit here without any sunscreen.

I gave up the bottom of the sixth to changing seats and the burger purchase, sitting down just in time to see a classic strike-em-out-throw-em-out double-play on Willingham and Mauer. The seventh I gave over to eating the monstrous burger, which I still contend is the best food deal in the ballpark at $9.

The game continues to fly by, with the eighth inning just getting underway as the clock on top of Twins Tower shows 2:10. In this inning, the Twins will basically gift a run to Chicago, Scott Diamond's day will end, and the crowd's attention will begin to drift. The scoreboard will begin to plead more frantically for "noise" and the sound system will bleat "Everybody clap your hands" a few times. Frankly, I think we'd be more likely to actually do it if we weren't being manipulated -- at least I know I would.

With the Olympics dominating the sports landscape, It's worth noting that here in downtown Minneapolis this afternoon you can actually see 50 of the best baseball players in the world battling out a game. No wonder baseball was eliminated from the Olympics. The world's best players are busy.

(Jake Peavey still looks strong while passing the 100 pitch mark, though the Twins seem to be making it easy on him. They benefit from another Sox error, but cannot score. 3-2 Chicago.)

As the ninth inning begins, the midday of that first pitch is long gone, and real afternoon has arrived. The shadows have lengthened accordingly. The players look more and more like they are trying. The sun, however, does not have to try. It remains highly potent whenever it gets a clear shot at us.

A foursome of young adults bearing frozen treats has taken up the seats in front of me. They appear to be just arriving to their seats for the first time today. Not surprisingly, they also appear not more than marginally interested in the game, looking off in odd directions, laughing at somewhat unexpected times. They appear to be mocking among themselves the collective reactions of the fans, such as the booing over pick-off attempts, and all the Pavlovian clapping.

OK, I sometimes think that, but open mockery? Not cool. Clapping, cheering and booing is what people come here to do, you know.

It's two married couples, and the only evidence I see that anyone in the group is a fan is a Millers throwback cap being held -- not worn -- by one of the guys. Frankly, it looks newly-purchased.

With 35,000 people here, there are probably at least as many stories, and at least as many reasons for finding themselves here at the ballpark. I cannot tell why these four people might be here. They look mightily out of place.

But, technically, they are not. The ballpark, despite its rigid separation of classes, has something of a flattening quality about it. Is it too much to say we're all one in baseball?

Yes, it probably is. We're not all one, we're still 35,000, with just as many approaches to the game, the team, the ballpark, and fandom in general.

But, as we begin the bottom of the ninth, with our team down by a run, we all have the same hopes and fears. Even the mockers in front of me turn toward the infield, clapping (with nearly no irony) at what transpires: a double and walk with two outs, followed by a beautiful double-steal.

Let's let that be our last image of the game, and of this bright August afternoon. The boys swung the bats and ran the bases until the very end. That's all we need for now.

August is special to me for another reason. Late in this month I'll begin my fiftieth year. And if our lives were days, I'm pretty sure our fifties would be the afternoons of our lives. Our blazing middays have passed, and it's time to look up from what we're doing, stretch, and think seriously about that nap. Then, maybe, it will be time to consider what comes next.

I love the afternoon sun. It feels great on the skin, creates a beautiful shadow, and serves as a reminder that every day ends.

So, soak it up, boys. Swing your bats. Run around those bases. Dive for the ball. Make the plays. Whatever you start, do it well, and do it until it's done.

This is your midday, ablaze with potential. Whatever you do, don't just sit there: start something!

Comments


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Wow late arriving crowd for that first pitch. More like 25,000 at the game. I suppose alot of no shows. They count tickets sold or actual people in the joint. All those outfield seats should be $10 not $20 or whatever they are trying to sell them for. The honeymoon is over at TF. Days of 25,000 are here for a while!

Posted on December 0, at 12: AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 1

I think its time to re-evaluate the pricing structure for the left field home run porch/terrace seats. Its embarrassing how empty those sections have been, especially on TV with the shots from behind home plate looking out toward the outfield. Maybe bring back college nights where the college kids can actually get a ticket for a seat and not SRO tickets? That would help fill those seats on those nights.

Whether we want to admit it or not, 2013 and 2014 are not going to be much better. The front office is already in desperation mode as they had several season ticket account reps calling season ticket holders over the last couple of days simply thanking them for being a season ticket holder. We sure didn't see that in 2010 or 2011 when we had the "on-deck circle" waiting list.

Win or lose, at the end of the day, its about enjoying the game of baseball and being outdoors because once the season is over, it will be a lot of long, cold, and dark nights until April.

Posted on August 2, 2012 at 11:10 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 2

I've never been able to make it to a weekday game. For some reason, I feel I would enjoy it much more than a weekend game. I don't know why.

Posted on August 2, 2012 at 12:40 PM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 3

What's worse on the Twins' side is I got a call from my rep this week. She and I had about an hour long conversation when I did a season ticket holder event. I gave her several clues that I am seriously considering leaving one group and forming my own, buying home plate or dugout box seats, and she failed to follow up with me on the improvement process (which I already understand, but wanted to see if she did), and when she called this week she didn't acknowledge that conversation at all, which I'm sure means she didn't even write down that we had it.

This won't impact my decision to upgrade or not, but it's not very good sales training on the Twins' part.

Posted on August 2, 2012 at 2:13 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 4

Did the Twins lose a bunch of reps over the past year? Is she new?

Posted on August 2, 2012 at 2:24 PM by Rick 5

Nice post, Rick. Having just hit the 'five-oh' myself a couple weeks ago, it hit home with me.

But, I'm a firm believer that you're only as old as you act, so I'm actually eight. :-)

Posted on August 2, 2012 at 4:49 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 6

Rick-loved your post. I was at the game too and it was my seventh 12:10 game of the year. ( I have Wednesdays off from work) I sure hope the Twins keep having lots of 12:10 games on Wednesdays and Thursdays for many years to come. Is any body else curious about the new Vikings stadium. I wonder if a decent retractable roof will become reality or not.

Posted on August 2, 2012 at 5:18 PM by Tom D. Highlight this comment 7

Rick not that I know of. My prior rep was promoted. I suppose it's possible that job got really hard and people moved on. There are a few that have been at it a long time, and I'm guessing they're insulated with a good client base, but the others probably ebb and flow with the team/attendance.

Posted on August 2, 2012 at 7:32 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 8

A shutout in Fenway! And with a starter who wasn't even on the radar in April. Then again most of the Twins' most effective starters this year weren't even on the radar opening day. It'll be a while before their contenders again, but the August 2, 2012 Twins are a better team than the August 2, 2011 Twins were.

Posted on August 2, 2012 at 9:50 PM by terry Highlight this comment 9

"they're" not "their". Sorry, I should know you always proof read.

Posted on August 2, 2012 at 9:51 PM by terry Highlight this comment 10

Last minute invite for two people. There are spots available in our group to take BP at the ballpark next Monday, the 6th. Report time is by 4:30pm with on field play to take place between 5 and 7. If you can make it:email your name (including posting name) and best number to be reached. Rick can have one of the spots if he wants it. Have them in by 6am tomorrow (8/3).

Posted on August 2, 2012 at 9:57 PM by NotMendoza Highlight this comment 11

Oh, damn! I'm out of town on Monday...

And I was just thinking this afternoon about how much fun it would be to take batting practice sometime -- and how unlikely it is that I'd ever get such a chance.

Thanks for the offer!

Posted on August 2, 2012 at 10:12 PM by Rick 12

NotMendoza, if I had seen that message last night I would have definitely sent you an email. As I didn't see it until this morning, I'm already too late. Oh well...

But I must ask, please take pictures and share them with us!!

Posted on August 3, 2012 at 08:20 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 13

I got something from my ST rep about signing up for a chance to watch BP from the overlook. Right!

Posted on August 3, 2012 at 10:20 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 14

F_T_K, Shoot me an email quick and I will check about adding you.

Posted on August 3, 2012 at 11:02 AM by NotMendoza Highlight this comment 15

The home run porch/terrace seats will always look empty. Not due to people not having those seats, but due to many leaving those seats for greener pastures. Lowering the prices there wouldn't help much, many still wouldn't sit/stay there unless they were forced to by ushers.

Posted on August 3, 2012 at 1:10 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 16

I appreciate the chance, NotMendoza. I'm not expecting anything, but just thinking about the possibility is making me a bit goofy. *grin*

Posted on August 3, 2012 at 1:17 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 17

Twins fans love collecting Twins player Bobbleheads, and here's your chance to add to your collection! Because you ranked this benefit high on your Sweet Spot Benefits Wish List, we have reserved for you a limited-edition Josh Willingham Bobblehead as a way to say thank you for being a Minnesota Twins Season Ticket Holder.

Watch for a postcard certificate that will detail instructions on how to secure your commemorative 2012 Bobblehead.

A postcard certificate will be mailed to you in late-August that will include redemption instructions. You will need this certificate to secure your limited-edition Bobblehead.

Redemption will be held on the Concourse at Gate 3 at an exclusive kiosk during remaining home games. Certificates may be redeemed from the first through the third inning.

One Bobblehead per account.

Your commemorative 2012 Bobblehead postcard certificate will be mailed next month!

Josh Willingham

2012 Bobblehead

Posted on August 3, 2012 at 1:59 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 18

Tom- the problem is with the scheduling. There is no use for a weekDAY game during the summer...ever. Look, if visiting teams want to get back home so damn fast (hence the term "getaway" game)...you play Wednesday NIGHT have Thursday OFF then you can start your next series on Friday. Incredibly simple.

Maybe when the 'Stros move to the AL next yea, MLB scheduling will be a bit smarter

Posted on August 3, 2012 at 4:59 PM by luke Highlight this comment 19

I'm with Rick and Tom. Rick described the beauty of daylight baseball more eloquently than I am able. I will just say the smell of sunscreen in the bleachers is something we missed for the 29 years the Twins were entombed at the other end of downtown. Thank God for the "get-away-day" clause in the CBA or there would never be baseball in the sun.

Posted on August 3, 2012 at 5:12 PM by terry Highlight this comment 20

Adding a travel day after each weekday series on the Twins' 2012 schedule that has been scheduled as an afternoon game would add about 11 days to the schedule. This is just the simple math; you'd have to factor in how the Twins' schedule dovetails with the schedules of the rest of the teams in baseball. There could be more days off still. That could push the World Series closer to Thanksgiving.

Posted on August 3, 2012 at 5:49 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 21

There is no "problem" with weekday (or weekend) afternoon games. They are scheduled according to team wishes and the MLB scheduling rules.

I have many objections to how Major League games are scheduled, but day versus night isn't one of them.

Posted on August 3, 2012 at 9:48 PM by Rick 22

Winona - how great would that be to have the MLB season creep all the way to Thanksgiving? I would be all for it. Less time between the end of the season and spring training. Given last winter, we could have played ball at TF most of the winter season...lol.

Hey, the Super Bowl back in the day used to be in mid-January. Then it moved back to the end of January. Now it's in the first week of February.

Posted on August 3, 2012 at 10:22 PM by luke Highlight this comment 23

And yes, there is a glaring "problem" with MLB scheduling, its unbalanced in many ways. Which again, I think is why the 'Stros are being moved to even it out. I belueve, with that move, interleague play will now be dispersed throughout the season, and not just on three designated weeks.

There is one problem solved already.

Posted on August 4, 2012 at 09:14 AM by luke Highlight this comment 24

" --- we have reserved for you a limited-edition Josh Willingham Bobblehead as a way to say thank you for being a Minnesota Twins Season Ticket Holder."

I wonder how many STH are being thanked. Anyone else get the above message in regard to bobbleheads?

Posted on August 4, 2012 at 10:22 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 25

It might be time for you to drop your season tickets and stop following Major League baseball. I’ve got news for you: Baseball has always been a business with profit at the center. If that profit motive has diminished the enjoyment for you, find something else to do with your time and stop subjecting us to constant, unrelenting complaining.

Posted on August 4, 2012 at 10:30 AM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 26

"Baseball has always been a business with profit at the center."

My nomination for Idiot of the Week would go to the author of the above statement.

Posted on August 4, 2012 at 10:58 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 27

I have not received any notice from the Twins. At this point, it doesn't really matter, as one bobble head split between two separate seating area groups, is not going to really matter. Will 8 bobble heads, so each partner can have one really keep my partners around....nope.

It is all about the value ($$$) one gets out of an investment. Right now, the return is negative and a small token is going to be a drop in the bucket.

I can't imagine the Twins raising ticket prices in 2012 (at least not on STH), if they do, I think they risk losing more on guaranteed sales.

However, if ticket prices go up $1.00/ticket, average price ($21.70) they will need to keep pace with about (21) renewals of every (22) 2012 STH to not lose revenue. So they can lose 4.4% of their STH renewals and break even with guaranteed gate. However, I am suspecting they are going to be losing a lot more than 4.4% of their STH.

Posted on August 4, 2012 at 11:40 AM by tk Highlight this comment 28

You would think that there would be further erosion in the "speculator" class of STH but not so much in corporate and "die-hard fan" ranks.

Posted on August 4, 2012 at 11:59 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 29

As far as I can tell, there isn't much of a "speculator" class left in the STHs at all. And whatever sliver is left will certainly be gone after this year.

I don't know how the guys on the street are doing, but they have looked pretty depressed the last couple of games I've gone to...

Posted on August 4, 2012 at 1:28 PM by Rick 30

From personal experience, I have 5 friends who are part of groups that will not be doing so again, and 2 of those groups are disbanding.

I have put a call out for people to join our group for 1 departed member, and I have gotten two bites from randoms that say they are interested, as their group is not renewing.

Posted on August 4, 2012 at 1:54 PM by tk Highlight this comment 31

Are reasons being given for dropping out? Dissatisfaction with record or level of play - honeymoon over - Stubhub better deal/opportunity???

Posted on August 4, 2012 at 2:27 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 32

Ben - I got the same message for the Willingham bobblehead and the only reason is beause I ranked bobbleheads pretty high on my list.

Since I downgraded to a 20 game plan this year, I figured I would have no other chances at some of the more intriguing benefits such as road trips, spring training, meeting Twins legends, autographs, etc. I don't need to run the bases after some Tuesday night game in late September when the Twins have 90+ losses.

At least with a bobblehead I can add it to my collection and it will be there for years to come.

I had some former members in one of my groups drop their 40-game plan this year and they are all going in on Minnesota Wild season tickets now.

We also need to remember if the STH base decreases, the inventory on stubhub and other secondary markets will also decrease resulting in less "bargains" on the secondary market.

Posted on August 4, 2012 at 2:42 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 33

The message I posted was forwarded to me by a Champs Club STH - I did not get one so count myself among the STH the Twins don't want to thank for their loyalty. Nice to know that some lowly 20 game STH did make the cut.

It would seem that ranking bobbleheads high on the survey was a factor. I have heard only 1,000 to be issued so other factors may be in play.

Posted on August 4, 2012 at 2:55 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 34

I ranked value and wins, little has that helped.

Ben, reasons i have been given are that it was easy to unload tickets at STH price, but those buyers go to SH for 70% tickets now...also the Wild signings have gotten peoples attention.

Posted on August 4, 2012 at 6:33 PM by tk Highlight this comment 35

Guess I never thought the Wid would factor in - different sports, seasons, etc.

Posted on August 4, 2012 at 10:26 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 36

Money is a big factor into it. I use to have season tickets for SCSU Hockey and would go to more Wild games prior to me expanding my attendance at Twins games.

Posted on August 4, 2012 at 11:44 PM by tk Highlight this comment 37

Anyone else heading down to Target Field today for the RBI championship games?

Which reminds me, first game is at 9:30am so I better get moving!

Posted on August 5, 2012 at 08:25 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 38

Wow 3 weekend home series for July and August? No wonder attendance is way down! Nice schedule! I see 3 in Sept when nobody cares! Crowds in the low 20's for weekday KC and Clev.

Posted on August 6, 2012 at 09:54 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 39

So they dumped Valencia for a 21 year old rookie.....wow. He was a starting 3B lsat year and has talent. Seems like Ryan just wanted to dump him, instead of putting in the effort to make him better.

Posted on August 6, 2012 at 12:18 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 40

Nishioka couldn't hit a lick last year with the Twins and he is hitting .245 this year in AAA. How in the name of Abner Doubleday did this guy ever win a Japanese League batting title?

Posted on August 6, 2012 at 12:53 PM by terry Highlight this comment 41

Danny boy was a pain in the ass and drove Gardy nuts with his so fla swagger! They wanted him out anyway they could. I look forward to Nishy looking like a little leaugue player out there once again! Did we really take 3 out of 4 from Boston???

Posted on August 6, 2012 at 4:01 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 42

I thought on the game's first play Nishi looked like I would imagine Clark Griswold would look if he tried to play 2d base in a big league game.

Posted on August 6, 2012 at 6:29 PM by terry Highlight this comment 43

Thank you, NotMendoza. That was a really fun time.

I'll post some pictures if I have any good ones.

Posted on August 6, 2012 at 8:43 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 44

I just returned from visiting family in California and finally got to take in AT&T Park. I was quite impressed. We started on the upper tier down the first base line and then moved around as the game progressed eventually sitting in the right field bleachers and then on the lower tier down the first base line while also circumnavigating the park and looking around. My brother in-law isn't much of a baseball fan, although he did spend a 2010 World Series game in a kayak floating in McCovey Cove, but he was a good sport about lasting all nine innings and moving around.

As crowded as Target Field can get, the area with a view of the field behind the left and center field bleachers was more jammed than anything seen in these parts although the food area behind the scoreboard was very roomy by comparision, no view of the field though. There's plenty of good food although the lines were bad. Some of the jams were due to the Mets absolutely smashing the Giants. The game was effectively over by the 2nd inning, so at that point fans left their seats to tool around.

Posted on August 6, 2012 at 10:20 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 45

Yes F_T_K! Good times taking bp and shagging balls at the ballpark! Even got a few line drives off my swing. We will make this an annual event.

Posted on August 6, 2012 at 11:55 PM by NotMendoza Highlight this comment 46

Are you glad those "mirror-like" trees weren't distracting you from the batters eye?

Posted on August 7, 2012 at 12:18 PM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 47

F_T_K and NotMendoza - If you guys need someone to throw BP, I do it about 40 days a year to my 8th grade baseball team. Just sayin'! I would LOVE to do BP at TF and shag. How did you make this happen??

Posted on August 7, 2012 at 10:15 PM by ole Highlight this comment 48

I was selected to take batting practice due to my response on the Twins Season Ticket Holder Survey from about a month ago. It is part of the "sweet spot" program. On a fill in the blank question the Twins asked if there is anything I would like to see offered to me as a STH. Naturally I responded to take BP on the field. The Twins called me two weeks ago to invite me and up to three people to take batting practice on the field.
Some of the STH Representatives threw BP. There was one of those gymnastics springboards set-up on the covered mound and there was artificial turf over the batter's box. Each group had about 10 minutes to hit. The pitcher our group had threw a lot of pitches in the dirt and even behind one of our hitters. It would have been awesome to have you serve us some 50 mph heat! Later on one of the members of another group threw bp so your offer of throwing would certainly have been accepted. As terrible as some of their pitches and my swings were it was an awesome feeling to hit a few line drives and hear the sweet crack of a smoked ball off my bat.
In talking to a STH representative the Twins want to have one more BP event like this in September. They said they want to do more experiential-type of events like this. Including ones where people can watch the Twins take BP from behind the cage or take in a game with Twins Alumni from the executive office decks in left field.
Shagging balls was pretty good as the evening went along. Initially there were too many people in the field and a few people cut other fielders off from balls. But after a while there was plenty of space to play catch, take photos, get grounders & fly balls, and leave our DNA on the field (spit). The Twins/Tribe game was to be shown live on the screens. I was told that no one in the control room responded to the STH representatives requests. So we settled for updates on the right field score board.
Pretty cool, pretty sweet, pretty neat experience. Hopefully you and others will do this as it is a memorable time that may not have been perfect but was to much damn fun!

Posted on August 7, 2012 at 11:11 PM by NotMendoza Highlight this comment 49

Did anyone have a favorite Danny Valencia moment?

According to Phil Mackey over at ESPN1500, Valencia called the clubhouse attendant and immediately requested Michael Cuddyer's former locker as soon as Cuddyer signed with Colorado in the offseason.

As we all know, those corner lockers are prestigious and usually go to the veterans/leaders on the team. Neither of which Valencia can be considered.

Posted on August 8, 2012 at 10:14 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 50

That BP sounds like fun. I bet that they could find some better pitchers if it got to be a regular thing. (I'd volunteer, but I'm only going to get it into the 40s every once in a while.)

Shagging flies would be a blast, too. I'd do that in a heartbeat. Seems like you could have groups go out before pretty much every game and shag flies hit by the real Twins for a while. (The pitchers often look pretty bored doing it -- when they actually do, which is only about once out of every ten hits.)

As for the big board, it would be a great promotion to open up the park on nice summer nights to watch the away games up there. I know that some parks have movie nights when families get to camp on the grass and watch movies. (Larry DiVito probably would not approve...)

Posted on August 8, 2012 at 11:32 AM by Rick 51

Another Nishi error = 2 unearned runs. His fielding has been brutal this series.

Posted on August 8, 2012 at 12:05 PM by terry Highlight this comment 52

They had a similar event at the Metrodome, at least for one year. STHs could bring a few buddies and take BP thrown by Twins staffers, while the team was away. "Cuts on the Diamond," I think it was called. They even had someone taking pictures of each batter (ALL ages and abilities), and posted the pictures on the Twins website. Definitely a blast, and I can only imagine how fun it would be at TF!

Posted on August 8, 2012 at 12:26 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 53

Twins had a guy taking pictures Monday night, I hope to see them sometime.

I'm still grinning from the experience. :-)

Posted on August 8, 2012 at 2:56 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 54

Rick, on that note, following the Mets-Giants game I attended last week, a Thursday getaway game, the Giants had a slumber party/camp out. Fans who paid a fee and season ticket holders who didn't need to, got to camp on the field, watch movies and the Olympics on the big screen, and engage in other activities. There was a big lineup behind of the rightfield bleachers with fans waiting to come in with their gear.

Posted on August 8, 2012 at 4:15 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 55

Nishioka with three errors and zero hits in the last three games.

I had high hopes for this guy when the Twins signed him two years ago...

Posted on August 8, 2012 at 5:07 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 56

5 xbh in 240+ MLB at bats!

Posted on August 8, 2012 at 9:08 PM by Rube Highlight this comment 57

I feel sorry for Nishi. With all that Japanese media attention last year, he fell flat on his face. You have to hurt for the guy. I was excited when the Twins signed him. A switch-hitting middle infielder who won both a batting title and a gold glove the year before in Japan? What's not to like? I don't know if the difference in quality between the Japanese League and MLB is that great or if Nishi's great year in Japan was some sort of fluke. Whatever it is, the Twins can't keep running Clark Griswold out to 2d base.

Posted on August 9, 2012 at 11:42 AM by terry Highlight this comment 58

You feel SORRY for the guy? Oh man...

Posted on August 9, 2012 at 8:19 PM by luke Highlight this comment 59

I agree with Terry on his take on Nishioka. I’m sure he’s at his wit’s end wondering what he needs to do to adapt to the Major League game. And Luke, I would expect you, above all people, to sympathize with the guy and what he’s going through.

Posted on August 9, 2012 at 10:35 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 60

How could you not feel sorry for the guy? One day he's a big star with a batting title and a model wife living a jet-set lifestyle, and the next he's a career minor leaguer who can't hit, can't field, with no wife, but gigantic alimony and child support payments.

I wouldn't wish that on anybody -- even Luke!

But don't get me wrong: If nobody else will take him, we have to just be done and let him go. His salary will be bad enough, and having him stinking up the system just makes things worse.

Posted on August 9, 2012 at 11:16 PM by Rick 61

How could you not feel sorry for the guy?

Empathy is a thing of the past. It's all about me.

Or it's just Luke derping again, nothing to see here, move along.

Posted on August 10, 2012 at 09:32 AM by Jared Highlight this comment 62

Wait did his wife leave him because he sucks at baseball? Or did he come in here and start banging any american woman that talked to him?

Posted on August 10, 2012 at 11:48 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 63

Would he need his interpreter for that?

Posted on August 11, 2012 at 07:50 AM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 64

Winona...I didnt sign with a faux-MLB club, THEN break my damn foot two weeks in, never to be seen or heard from again. So, why in Gods name would I feel the need to sympathize?

If Nisho had signed with Philly, Toronto or Miami even...he'd be a f+*&ing star by now...but oh no...he signed with the Twinks, where careers go to die.

Posted on August 11, 2012 at 08:42 AM by luke Highlight this comment 65

So Luke, if you took a new job and ran into all sorts of bad luck right off the bat, wouldn't you appreciate a little sympathy?

Posted on August 11, 2012 at 10:13 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 66

Yeah Luke. Like remember that time when you were really awesome at Magic: The Gathering, and then you decided to move on to "World of Warcraft" online? And your new character started developing new abilities and skills, joining guilds and building up quest chains, but then your guild leader began setting up restrictions, spirit healers refused to resurrect you and honor points didn't seem to be racking up fast enough?* Did you just want some dwarf, troll or orc to give you a little empathy???

*special thanks to Wikipedia

Posted on August 12, 2012 at 12:59 AM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 67

Uh oh:
From Shooter's column today:
Twins general manager Terry Ryan on building his team in the offseason: "This isn't going to be a free-agency approach."

Posted on August 12, 2012 at 10:43 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 68

From shooter's column..

"Pssst: There still have to be several significant land purchase deals arranged near the Metrodome in order for the Vikings to get adequate stadium space."

Ugh, Land Partners II all over again! BLEEPi Shooter, the CJ of sports columnists.

Posted on August 12, 2012 at 2:18 PM by Blurch Highlight this comment 69

1 for 11 with runners in scoring position = Twins get swept again at home.

Posted on August 12, 2012 at 4:18 PM by terry Highlight this comment 70

Actually they were 1 for 13 with RISP, but the last two came in the 10th after the issue had been decided.

Posted on August 12, 2012 at 4:49 PM by terry Highlight this comment 71

I suppose TTH and Winona have valid points, but "The Twins Way" of doing things produces our own damn bad luck...I am just saying, if it had been a team other than the Twinks, would Nisho have had the same bad luck?

TTH I much appreciated the World of Warcraft reference...lol

Posted on August 12, 2012 at 9:06 PM by luke Highlight this comment 72

38,108 Friday
39,512 Saturday
35,327 Sunday

How does a team tied for the worst record in the AL draw 112,947 for this weekend's series with Tampa Bay?

They do not deserve those kind of numbers for attendance when their on-field product is as bad as it is.

Twins fans should be embarrassed. Unfortunately, as long as the fans continue to go into Target Field, buy beer, buy food and buy Mauer jerseys, Twins ownership will do nothing.

The Twins were outplayed and out-managed by Tampa Bay this weekend. Tampa Bay is what you call a model franchise, not the Twins. Joe Maddon is far superior than Gardenhire and it showed this weekend.

Posted on August 13, 2012 at 10:36 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 73

Rick, I think your clock at the top of the page needs to be updated......next game is tonight.

Posted on August 13, 2012 at 10:45 AM by antifire Highlight this comment 74

Mike it could be that the weather was perfect this weekend for baseball games and people still have fun going to games.

Actually it is Terry Ryan who does nothing, because he has a misconception that building a team through free agency is bad, even though our best player this year came via free agency. If attendence starts dropping then so will payroll and it will be the late 90's all over again. Terry Ryan needs to go, along with the coaching staff. So I would continued to critize them and not the fans that are going and having a good time.

Posted on August 13, 2012 at 1:33 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 75

I'm going to the game Wednesday and another one the last week of August. I would go if the Twins were in last, first, or anywhere in between. Why? Because I love the sport of baseball, I'm a Twins fan, and I love going to Target Field after going to the Dome my whole life. So, does that make me a contributor to the Twins not fielding a good "on-field product?" Some fans prefer to stay loyal to their team, not jump off and on the bandwagon.

Posted on August 13, 2012 at 1:55 PM by ole Highlight this comment 76

38,108 Friday
39,512 Saturday
35,327 Sunday

Those are tickets sold, not bodies through the turnstiles.

Posted on August 13, 2012 at 2:53 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 77

Well, those are actually massaged numbers, representing neither actual ticket sales, nor actual turnstile counts. When I asked the question, the explanation that I got was that attendance is based on both things plus any comp tickets out there.

In other words, don't count on them for much of anything, especially comparisons between teams. Each team has their own unique formula...

Statistically speaking, you might actually do better by asking 100 people what they thought the attendance was as they are leaving the game, then averaging the responses.

But to answer Mike's question...

How does a team tied for the worst record in the AL draw 112,947 for this weekend's series with Tampa Bay?

New ballpark smell.

Once it wears off, the stink of the team will drive attendance numbers just like before. (It's already suppressing them, though probably not quite enough to make Terry Ryan sign a high-priced free agent pitcher. I'm not sure anything could do that.)

Posted on August 13, 2012 at 3:17 PM by Rick 78

"Unfortunately, as long as the fans continue to go into Target Field, buy beer, buy food and buy Mauer jerseys, Twins ownership will do nothing."

Dead on.

Posted on August 13, 2012 at 3:30 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 79

Countdown fixed!

(Still working on the record calculator, which also appears to be on the fritz.)

Posted on August 13, 2012 at 3:31 PM by Rick 80

Unfortunately, as long as the fans continue to go into Target Field, buy beer, buy food and buy Mauer jerseys, Twins ownership will do nothing.

According to this book, that's the very reason why the Cubs haven't won a World Series in a century: The fans keep coming when the team loses.

Hate to say it, but if you want to send a message to the front office, either stay away from TF, or at least spend as little money as possible while you're there.

Posted on August 13, 2012 at 3:35 PM by Rick 81

Reason they drew that well over the weekend is that it is the only weekend series scheduled for this month! Always load up on the Holiday dogs and bring the rum in! That will hurt em where it counts! LOL!

Posted on August 13, 2012 at 8:56 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 82

Holiday must sell rum also...

Posted on August 13, 2012 at 10:21 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 83

FM! About time!

Posted on August 14, 2012 at 08:02 AM by DeePee Highlight this comment 84

Does 96.3 have a signal that extends beyond Target Plaza? Since the Twins left 'CCO it has been harder and harder to find a signal when on the road.

Posted on August 14, 2012 at 08:32 AM by terry Highlight this comment 85

I am happy I will no longer have to listen to ESPN1500! The signal was terrible

Does anyone know what kind of signal KTWIN 96.3 FM has?

Either way, its gotta be better than the ESPN1500 AM signal.

I wonder if this will be the beginning of the end for ESPN1500 because they are nothing without the Twins. Sure they have Gopher hockey and basketball but KFAN has the Vikings, Gopher Football and Wild. WCCO has Wolves.

Posted on August 14, 2012 at 08:34 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 86

FM! About time!

Sweet baby Jesus, HOOOORAAAAYYY!

Posted on August 14, 2012 at 08:52 AM by Jared Highlight this comment 87

Finally an FM signal for the Twins. Saturday afternoon games on the mp3 player while mowing the lawn. No more ridiculous static while listening to the game. Good move.

Posted on August 14, 2012 at 09:03 AM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 88

This may be different now, but back during the dark ages of the late 1990s, the Twins did not count tickets given away as straight comps in the listed/announced attendance. By straight comps, think free tickets to sponsors, media partners, fans who needed a make good of some sort, friends of employees, and so on. However, tickets given away through the Twins Community Fund did count towards attendance. Why this distinction existed, or still exists, is a mystery to me. It's important to note that the Twins pushed a lot of tickets out the door through the Twins Community Fund in 1999 that didn't truly fit that entity's purpose and which should have been straight comps in order to get official attendance over 1,000,000. Are these games going on now? If so, no one should be surprised.

Posted on August 14, 2012 at 11:26 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 89

If you want to know how many people entered the stadium to watch a game (or just be there) you need only add up the turnstile counts. Tickets are scanned - presumably the "attendance" figure is available instantly. This figure, however, seems to be only one the Twins (and others) DO NOT publish. As to why, your guess is as good as mine.

Posted on August 14, 2012 at 1:24 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 90

The girls don't seem to care tonight,
As long as the mood is right,
FM...no static at all...

A long overdue move.

Posted on August 14, 2012 at 2:06 PM by Rick 91

FM signal...like. Station where FULL song containing "everybody clap your hands" is played for the girlies on the hour every hour...dislike

Posted on August 14, 2012 at 5:34 PM by luke Highlight this comment 92

I hope the AM stations up here are still part of the Twins Radio Network. I absolutely love listening to baseball on AM.

Posted on August 14, 2012 at 7:13 PM by JamesT Highlight this comment 93

Just a quick question. I have Champion Club tickets for an upcoming game. What is the free food and beverage selection like?

Posted on August 14, 2012 at 7:30 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 94

Jeff,

The food in the Champions Club is widely-varied, plentiful, and very yummy.

For example, unlimited hot dogs and ice cream bars, gigantic candy stations (you can fill a cup as you exit from the club to the seating area), sliders (little hamburgers), shrimp cocktail, tons of fruit, meat and cheese stations, free (non-alcoholic) beverages, etc. I'm not sure I could even list it all.

You will not be disappointed. And you will need to loosen your belt.

Posted on August 14, 2012 at 9:03 PM by Rick 95

DSP tweeting 3,000 walk-up tix sold...really?

Posted on August 14, 2012 at 9:47 PM by tk Highlight this comment 96

Anybody looking to dump tickets for tomorrow afternoon's game?

Posted on August 14, 2012 at 9:57 PM by Rick 97

Oh I wish I didn't have to work tomorrow. The season will be over before we know it and it will be a long winter.

Posted on August 14, 2012 at 10:12 PM by terry Highlight this comment 98

My brother sat in the Champions Club for aa game, and he enjoyed grilled salmon and wild rice while there. So the bill of fare goes well beyond the usual ballpark food.

Posted on August 15, 2012 at 05:53 AM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 99

Baseball afternoon for me - nearly the whole office is going (about 40 of us). Wasn't even me pushing for it but I fully support the event!

Don't worry Luke - we are taking a bus down so we won't be responsible for tying up your traffic.

Posted on August 15, 2012 at 09:10 AM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 100

Should be a beautiful day at the ballpark, Stevie - I'm a bit jealous as I'm stuck at work...

On the switch to FM: Is 'B96' going to change formats? Or will it still be crappy music 21 hours a day with 3 hours of baseball in there somewhere?

Posted on August 15, 2012 at 09:36 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 101

Has anyone ever seen as many outfielders splayed out on the grass as there were last night? I think the outfielders were all thinking about Mastroiani's catch the night before ... that and the fact Detroit was hitting line drives all over downtown Minneapolis.

Posted on August 15, 2012 at 09:46 AM by terry Highlight this comment 102

Here is a link to a construction timeline for the new Vikings stadium.

It's looking like they will be playing both the 2014 and 2015 seasons at TCF Bank Stadium.

Qwest Field (Seattle) and Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis) are two stadiums the Vikings seem to be looking after most.

It will be fun to follow this construction project, especially being on the site of the current stadium.

Posted on August 15, 2012 at 12:12 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 103

Traffic was still a bitch and a half Stevie. Goddamn, it was a beautiful, warm August night and St Peter still insisted on a day game. Its amazing what an extra 28,000 people do to rushhour traffic in this town.

Posted on August 15, 2012 at 9:25 PM by luke Highlight this comment 104

Luke, you're an idiot. That's all.

Posted on August 15, 2012 at 10:35 PM by tk Highlight this comment 105

the twins....yawn. twins ownership....yawn. twins general manager....yawn. twins players....yawn. twins manager/coaches....yawn. twins beat writers.....yawn. fawning twins media whores......yawn.

our group can't wait for gopher football season to start and gopher football tailgating season to start. money far better spent for season tickets. and a lot more fun than a day at target field, imo.

we will never spend money again on twins season tickets. so glad i dropped from my long-time twins season ticket group after the 2010 season. the writing was on the wall. so glad. tired of the whole "TWINS" organization.

Posted on August 15, 2012 at 11:29 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 106

You complain bitterly about the Twins because of two lousy seasons while extolling the virtues of Gophers football? You are aware that their last share of the Big 10 title came in 1967 and that two or three win seasons have been the norm in recent years? Don't get me wrong, I'm a Gophers fan, but your position seems more than a little inconsistent.

Posted on August 16, 2012 at 09:39 AM by terry Highlight this comment 107

Yesterday afternoon was an incredibly beautiful one at the ballpark, at least weather wise. Too bad the Twins bats flailed wildly and unproductively, to the tune of 14 batters retired by the whiff. I guess I shouldn't complain - those swinging bats provided a nice breeze to cool us off a bit when the sun was beating down.

Posted on August 16, 2012 at 09:56 AM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 108

terry - i know my stats. it is because we would rather watch a group of hard working, amateur, student-athletes play for our state than waste our time and money watching a group of over-paid, only playing for my next contract, professionals. professional athletes really are nothing more than hired mercenaries.

same goes for the vikings, wild, t-wolves. give us gopher football and college football (really college sports in general) over pro sports most any day.

have no interest giving money anymore to a shady turd like dave st. peter.

Posted on August 16, 2012 at 3:43 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 109

Big time college programs are little more than farm systems for the pros and there is HUGE money involved (see Penn State).

And anyone who thinks these kids are playing for "our state" has been spending waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much time tailgating.

Posted on August 16, 2012 at 4:25 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 110

I just tell it like it is tk...and holy hell, the Twinks had a day game on a WEDNESDAY of all things...not even the typical "getaway day" Thursday.

Posted on August 16, 2012 at 5:23 PM by luke Highlight this comment 111

Gopher football attracts kids who get turned down by NoDak State. Enough said.

Posted on August 16, 2012 at 8:43 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 112

The Gopher football program has been in a laughable state for over forty years. They make mention of their national championships in the stadium, but that's all ancient history. Does anyone here remember any of those championships?

Posted on August 16, 2012 at 11:28 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 113

Well I wss 7 back in 1960 so yea I remember the glory years. Also reading the old sports peach in the Star Tribune or was it just the Star back then? The sports section was peach colored! Thus the phrase reach for the peach! Ohhh those were the days! Rodents will win another national championship as soon as the Vikings win a super bowl. Too bad I won't see it!

Posted on August 17, 2012 at 08:23 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 114

Tribune was the morning paper.

The Gophers went to the Rose Bowl two years in a row - you can win a few beers in a bar on that bit.

Posted on August 17, 2012 at 10:34 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 115

TTH - knew your smarmy voice would chime in. let me know when your becky badger boys finally win that first national championship in football. k buddy? what is it year 128 or something like that? longer than the cubs last world series. then come here and take cheap shots at the overall history of the golden gopher football program. even factoring in recent records, minnesota has a far more successful overall college football history than that of wisconsin.

that and most boorish wisconsin football fans purposely refuse to remember anything about becky badger football prior to 1993. as if it didn't exist prior. that is because they then have to admit the wisconsin football program was craptastic for 70 years prior to that.

to the other pro sports worshiping rubes. get some perspective. we would rather support young amateur college athletes playing on behalf of our state university than over-paid, grown men playing for an inflated contract and some head & shoulders shampoo commercials. different priorities, i guess.

Posted on August 17, 2012 at 12:00 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 116

Same goes for Packer football 1969-1992. It's like that period in time never existed.

Posted on August 17, 2012 at 12:48 PM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 117

Maybe the Gophers should try and reanimate Bernie Bierman's corpse in an attempt to bring back the glory years. Murray Warmath as well, perhaps. I saw a Gopher football preview piece in the paper saying they're approaching this season with a new attitude, new uniforms, and a new outlook. Look out, the Gophers are comers.

Or was it a reprint of last year's preview page? Or the year before that. Or the year before that. Etc.

Posted on August 17, 2012 at 2:47 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 118

winona mike (a.k.a. closet becky badger fan): blah, blah, blah. haters gonna hate. and they look especially "cool and witty" by hating on 18-22 year old kids. move on already and get a clue.

Posted on August 17, 2012 at 3:57 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 119

Methinks someone needs his meds re-adjusted.

Posted on August 17, 2012 at 5:36 PM by terry Highlight this comment 120

The gophers honeymoon at the new stadium has waned quickly. Student ticket sales 2010: 10,000. 2011: 6,000. 2012: Not even 2,000. Wow.

Posted on August 17, 2012 at 6:41 PM by antifire Highlight this comment 121

And Michigan student ticket sales: 22,000. Wisconsin: capped at 13,000.

Bottom line: winning sells tickets and brings fans, no matter the sport or level.

Posted on August 17, 2012 at 6:43 PM by antifire Highlight this comment 122

Maybe it's 'cuz they don't let the students tailgate.

Posted on August 17, 2012 at 9:31 PM by terry Highlight this comment 123

So you're excusing Gopher football's FCS-caliber complacency because they won the big one over 50 years ago? Interesting. And not to take away anything from the Gophers' crown, but they did lose the Rose Bowl that year, as the champion was decided in November by sports writers. So, yes, there used to be a system even worse than the one we currently have to decide a champion. (Until playoffs start)

Best of luck in the Legends Division this year.

Posted on August 17, 2012 at 11:21 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 124

It could be that for students with any sort of alcohol in their system, it is harder to get into TCF Bank Stadium, than it would be Fort Knox. The Regents has done all they could to limit the fun people can have at the games. Combine that with the same unimagitve tired pep routine they had at the Metrodome, and a lack of decent football, it is no wonder no students want to get up early on a Saturday after a night of drinking and go to the stadium.

Posted on August 18, 2012 at 11:51 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 125

it is 2,000 to date antifire. you are almost as bad as the star tribune write mike kazsuba who wrote that poorly sourced, poorly quoted and poorly and researched article the other day. you both purposely fail to mention that the U of M sells most of their student season tickets in the last 2-3 weeks leading up to the home opener. i.e. once students get back on campus from summer break. it will be well more than 2,000 student season tickets sold when all is said and done. so please stop spreading falsehoods and tell the truth.

now does the U need to do more work overall to sell more student season tickets and make it an even better overall experience for students? yes, they do. and the hope is the new AD norwood teague will be able to round up the administration gray hairs and sports hating hippie professors (i.e. the baby boomer 60 year olds) and get them on board to step up and fully support the promotion of a full-fledged college football atmosphere both on AND around the campus environs for the first time in 35 years. and get them to stop fighting against a full fledged game day party atmosphere for U of M students by the way they routinely come up with alcohol use ordinances and regulations that to some degree purposely stifle it.

sure, winning consistently year in and year out certainly helps cure most ills. but i will also concede there is work the U administration can do to make it a much more accessible event (i.e. finding them cheap space to tailgate on-campus and near the stadium for instance) specifically for U of M students.

next time at least tell the truth and the whole story when you quote numbers and stats. thanks bud......

Posted on August 18, 2012 at 11:55 AM by Betaband Highlight this comment 126

p.s. i do apologize if i offended any 60 year old baby boomers who read this blog. sorry! ;-)

Posted on August 18, 2012 at 11:58 AM by Betaband Highlight this comment 127

Beta ---

No offense taken - we all know you are a borderline moron with a substance abuse problem.

Posted on August 18, 2012 at 12:31 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 128

Oh snap!

Posted on August 18, 2012 at 12:42 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 129

A bit of trivia about those Gopher Rose Bowl appearances that will really win you some bar bets is this: they only went the second year (January 1, 1962) because Ohio State TURNED DOWN the invitation. Could you imagine that happening today?

Posted on August 18, 2012 at 1:16 PM by terry Highlight this comment 130

no offense taken ben. we all know you are a certified crazy, old koot living in an assisted living facility who sits around in depends all day long while reading this blog and posting your drivel. to each his own.

Posted on August 18, 2012 at 2:37 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 131

Beta ---

The best part is that I can always rely on you to prove my point.

Posted on August 18, 2012 at 3:10 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 132

Doesnt surprise me Goldys student season tickets are down. Anti said it best, winning puts butts in the seats. The honeymoon periods for TCFBS and TF sure were short-lived. Good grief, the honeymoon period at XEC lasted about ten years, as the Wild had a good deal of consecutive sellouts in their first decade of existence.

Posted on August 18, 2012 at 3:36 PM by luke Highlight this comment 133

They also managed to get deep into the NHL playoffs during that decade. Winning does help to maintain interest.

And speaking of Gopher student ticket sales, while the Gophers may or may not have sold only 2,000 (we only have Beta's word on that; he has yet to direct us to his source), how many student season tickets have been sold at Michigan, Ohio State, or Wisconsin so far this year. My guess would be that those schools have realized a heck of a lot more success in that department as well.

Posted on August 18, 2012 at 4:16 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 134

Keep in mind only Ohio State has a higher enrollment than the U 0f M.

Posted on August 18, 2012 at 4:21 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 135

True Winona...I remember the 2003 Stanley Cup campaign well. I also think part of it was in support of the NHL after its untimely departure in 1993.

Posted on August 18, 2012 at 7:55 PM by luke Highlight this comment 136

In the event this Golden Gopher Football article has not been read. It is worth checking out about the students, fans, and game day experience. I would add that there needs to be more of a connection made with the U and younger alumni to create the buzz & money flow. This will build and maintain some excitement about Gopher Football.

Posted on August 18, 2012 at 8:35 PM by NotMendoza Highlight this comment 137

One batters eye that will give Cuddy issues.

Posted on August 18, 2012 at 8:37 PM by NotMendoza Highlight this comment 138

Holy baseball entropy Batman...that was an amazing picture Mendoza.

Posted on August 18, 2012 at 8:43 PM by luke Highlight this comment 139

Good news: Bud Selig, love him or hate him, will award the 2014 MLB ASG to TF within two weeks.
Bad news: USBank Stadium, set to open in 2016 will have a BASEBALL configuration for the damned Goldys. JESUS H CHRIST it sounds like they are building the Metrodome II! My sources also tell me there MIGHT be a PARTIALLY retractable roof on USBS. Cheap skates.

Posted on August 19, 2012 at 08:03 AM by luke Highlight this comment 140

" --- will award the 2014 MLB ASG to TF within two weeks."

I, for one, am not looking forward to the constant and intense barrage of spin, hype, and BS coming our way from DickBert and the other shameless shills - both team and media. The message, when reduced down to it's core, will be "Spend a whole bunch of money to watch a mediocre AAA quality team and we will reward you with a 0.5% chance to purchase ASG tickets."

Posted on August 19, 2012 at 12:07 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 141

Very true Ben. And, apparently, homeruns cant be had at TF, what the hell is the State Farm Homerun Derby gonna look like? Good grief, the winner would probably win the thing with a mere three HR's...lol

Posted on August 19, 2012 at 12:39 PM by luke Highlight this comment 142

The shilling thing is network-wide on the Fox regional sports networks. I don't know if the teams or the network bear more of the blame, but it is a phenomenon that is not limited to the Twins and FSN. A Fox operation that shills and slants news, who could imagine?

Posted on August 19, 2012 at 1:29 PM by terry Highlight this comment 143

Ben - what makes you think that you will have such a small chance to buy ASG tickets (or rather strips - the ASG itself isn't sold separately)?

I presume the Twins will sell ASG strips like all the other clubs have in recent years, with STHs near the top of the list. (n fact, I happen to believe that the only thing that will prop up/save season ticket sales in the next two years is the ASG. Unless we see a miracle or two, I expect 2015 season ticket sales will be pitiful.

Posted on August 19, 2012 at 9:39 PM by Jfh Highlight this comment 144

Just curious here, but if the ASG isn’t sold separately, and sold apart from season tickets, what would ASG tickets be packaged with? Home run contest tickets?

Posted on August 19, 2012 at 11:05 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 145

My guess is that STH will have "priority". But, realistically, what will that mean, especially to lowly 20 gamers like me?

Posted on August 19, 2012 at 11:44 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 146

If you've seen the video tape of Jim Kaat striking out Don Zimmer to end the game that clinched the '65 pennant, you heard Frank Beutel on the play-by-play. He also did the play-by-play for the state basketball tournament back when it was one class and perhaps the biggest sports event of the year. If you're old enough to remember, you can probably recall Frank calling something like this: "so-and-so from the corner - BOOM!" R.I.P. Frank.

Posted on August 20, 2012 at 07:38 AM by terry Highlight this comment 147

I am guessing the All Star Game ticket process will be very similar to the postseason ticket process we experienced in 2010 with only less tickets available.

You will probably need to "register" for a drawing, and than if selected, priority will start with the full-season plan holders than gradually work down towards the 20-game holders. I am sure tickets will be sold in strips of 3 only that will include the futures game (Sunday), home run derby/celebrity softball (Monday) and the All Star Game itself (Tuesday).

I just wonder how many actual tickets the Twins themselves will get for their fans and season ticket holders after MLB takes their share for each team and than the corporate sponsors.

And if you are one of the few selected and able to purchase tickets, it will probably cost at least $250-$300 for the cheapest seats and an additional $20 for fees per each seat.

On the other hand, you could probably pay $250/ticket and get yourself a very nice seat for the All Star Game itself without having to commit to Twin season tickets in 2013 and 2014.

The Twins will use the 2013 season as a "All Star Game priority" and than do the same thing for the 2014 season. Just don't be fooled into this "All Star Game priority" stuff because we all know the Twins are at least 2 or 3 years away from contention.

Posted on August 20, 2012 at 10:22 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 148

Right about now, the Twins look like geniuses for getting their application in so early for the '14 ASG. Unless something drastic changes, it may be their biggest marketing opportunity since opening the ballpark.

That said, I agree with the prognostications on how tickets will be distributed. Just like the playoffs, a sizable chunk will be withheld by MLB, and another by the Twins themselves for VIPs. The next chunk will get sold to STHs according to their level and seniority. The remainder (if any) will be sold by lottery, and everyone will have a better chance at going to the game by purchasing on the secondary market -- though it won't be cheap.

In other words, either become a STH, buy a rabbit's foot, get to know somebody, or save your pennies. And be prepared with a flat screen alternative, which will certainly be more economical, and maybe more enjoyable.

Posted on August 20, 2012 at 12:41 PM by Rick 149

I missed part of the Gopher discussion while in Baltimore and Washington, but didn't see this article linked:

Why is TCF Bank Stadium such a failure?

The headline is sort of off-putting and, I think, completely untrue.

How quickly we all forget. Back in the day, "build it and they will come" was the Twins' mantra, not the Gophers'. The U sold the whole "get back to campus" thing, along with "let's go back outside" and "we need more revenues". I can't remember any time when the U used that old hackneyed line from Field of Dreams. It was the Twins (and local baseball fans) who wore it out.

Further, blaming a new stadium for the same old lousy program is a little like blaming your new computer for the sparse and depressing contents of your resume. It's completely nonsensical (although I know of people who have done it). Blaming the old building is a little different. But you can't blame the new one until you've actually been there a while. (Is Target Field the reason that the Twins suck? No, I think it's the only reason that they don't suck worse.)

TCFBS has been a marvelous success as a stadium, with a few systemic problems that were anticipated and well-known in advance (mostly transportation-related). Problems with the gameday experience all have to be laid on the U administration, and not the building itself.

And anyone who expected the program to be suddenly good because they play in a different place was nuts. It takes years for stadiums to have that effect.

I don't even think you can blame Jerry Kill for the first few years when the real culprit is decisions made decades ago by certain lousy administrator-types.

Maybe it's just too hard for Minnesotans to blame people for the poor performance of the team. Maybe it's just easier to blame buildings.

Posted on August 20, 2012 at 1:07 PM by Rick 150

"My sources also tell me..."

Only people with actual sources (i.e. other than newspapers and web sites and talk radio) get to use this phrase.

Posted on August 20, 2012 at 1:15 PM by Rick 151

Bottom line --- there will be virtually no chance for the "little guy" to acquire ASG tickets from the Twins but they are certain to make a great deal of noise to the contrary.

Posted on August 20, 2012 at 1:56 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 152

What is up with the Twins and their injuries?

A guy is out for one or two games and it than turns into 3-4 days and before you know it, he is out for more than 10 days.

It never fails with this team...Span was originally "day to day" following his injury on August 12...here we are 8 days later and he is not even close to being ready saying there was "no chance" to take BP when asked on Sunday.

Plouffe is another example with his thumb issue, it started out as a day to day injury and he ended up missing several weeks.

You can go down the list of players...Blackburn, Baker, Pavano, Mauer, Morneau, Casilla...a day to day injury always results in several missed weeks with this team. It's no longer a trend for this team, its the norm.

I think its time to seriously consider replacing the training staff and coaching staff. Who is held accountable for this mess? Bill Smith? All they did was "reassign" him to a different position in the front office because they didn't have the guts to fire him.

Posted on August 20, 2012 at 2:58 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 153

Gary Gaetti gets to manage the Rocket for the Skeeters.

Posted on August 20, 2012 at 3:36 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 154

Blackburn and Nishioka outrighted off the 40 man roster. I'm surprised no one claimed either of these guys after the great seasons they're having.

Posted on August 20, 2012 at 3:59 PM by FD Highlight this comment 155

Nishi and Blackburn cut from the 40 man roster. If the guys you've got can't get the job done, try someone else. When you have the record the Twins have had the last season and two thirds, what have you got to lose?

Posted on August 20, 2012 at 4:01 PM by terry Highlight this comment 156

Precisely Rick, ergo I used the phrase. I do extensive research, trust me. Dont judge me until the bloom is off your rose...

Posted on August 20, 2012 at 4:51 PM by luke Highlight this comment 157

I do extensive research, trust me.

BAHAHAHAHA! I nearly fell off my chair laughing when I read this bit of comedy gold. Historically on BPM, your research goes no deeper than a Scott Baker start at the major league level this season.

Posted on August 20, 2012 at 6:08 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 158

Oops, I forgot to exclude Wikipedia.

Posted on August 20, 2012 at 7:38 PM by Rick 159

Aw damn, Jared's booster seat almost broke...lol. "Historically"? Prove it.

Posted on August 20, 2012 at 7:39 PM by luke Highlight this comment 160

"Ergo..."

Uh huh.

I'm sure my rose was de-bloomed ages ago, whatever that means.

Posted on August 20, 2012 at 7:40 PM by Rick 161

I haven't seen this mentioned yet, but there's now a webcam up for the Interchange project:

http://oxblue.com/open/knutson/interchange

Posted on August 20, 2012 at 7:41 PM by Rick 162

Oh, Wikipedia is NOT in my mind a bastion of respectable journalism. If my college professors wouldnt allow the Wiki as a citable source, well...there you have it... The Wiki maybe has SOME good info, but...not an APA citable source...lol

Posted on August 20, 2012 at 7:42 PM by 2-160 (aka luke) Highlight this comment 163

Oh, "ergo" means "therefore" in Latin.
Cogito Ergo Sum is the Latin translation of "I think, therefore I am" :)

Posted on August 20, 2012 at 7:48 PM by luke Highlight this comment 164

Luke would you like them in chronological order or priority given to the most ridiculous? Chronological will save some time but if I put them into order of most ridiculous I can start with the mundane to build you some credit only to allow the crazy to build and eventually blow your credibility tower to bits. The latter providing far more entertainment as I see it.

Or I can just post a snippet of a convo between TK and I at a game recently:
Me referencing Luke being ridiculous: "What day was it that Luke posted that stupid comment anyway?"
TK: "You mean everyday?"

Posted on August 20, 2012 at 8:52 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 165

Oh, ergo is Latin? Eally-ray?

Posted on August 20, 2012 at 9:52 PM by Rick 166

while they are at it on the interchange project, wish they could/would just tear down ALL of HERC and not just a small part of it. i am over it being there, but will never "like" it being in there in downtown. put something HERC out in wayzata or eden prairie or maple grove or minnetonka or edina. next to some suburban yuppie's mansion.

Posted on August 20, 2012 at 10:41 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 167

With Nishioka still under contract for next season, do the Twins just give him his outright release at the end of this season, or do they keep him around and try to get his head on straight again?

Posted on August 21, 2012 at 09:14 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 168

This board is pretty much dead. All that's left is the anti-luke clique.

Posted on August 21, 2012 at 09:15 AM by Dave Highlight this comment 169

Where are you Mazaratirick? Kevin in AZ? OG Jeff? fiesta? max? robin? CGS Mike? Jax? The Sooj? Steve? Locker? billymayshere? Faber College Alum? Lafferty? Buffalo? schweady? clublevelfan?

Posted on August 21, 2012 at 10:54 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 170

Am I the only one who has a mental image of Luke taking two cabs to a parking garage at 2:00 AM to meet with his source?

Posted on August 21, 2012 at 12:29 PM by terry Highlight this comment 171

At the risk of adding fuel to Dave's diagnosis, I do at least imagine Luke rearranging the flowerpots on his windowsill.

I'm sorry to say it, but the Twins are just kind of hard to watch these days. I watched the Nats beat Santana and the Mets last Friday night and the atmosphere at Nationals Park was positively electric. Bryce Harper gets on base and you've got something genuinely exciting to watch, and that sort of thing is contagious. All of those guys looked like they were having as much fun as Little Leaguers out there.

The Twins just don't. And the atmosphere at TF the last couple of games I've gone to is sort of funereal. No amount of "Make Some Noise" graphics can change that, and after a while, it starts to look sad and desperate.

That's why Ben Revere is my new favorite Twin. At least he looks like he's having fun.

Posted on August 21, 2012 at 12:38 PM by Rick 172

I just got back from an exhibit in the IDS crystal court of models and concept drawings for downtown development. It included a model of the Interchange project. Pretty cool...

Posted on August 21, 2012 at 12:42 PM by Rick 173

Rick - You are killing me.... No pictures? :)

Posted on August 21, 2012 at 12:50 PM by J2k Highlight this comment 174

Sorry, J2k. Here you go:


For those who are interested, I've started a new site to deal with development subjects which aren't strictly baseball-related:

FoundTwinCities.com

I'll probably post a few more photos there later. (I'm having a sort of whirlwind day today...)

Posted on August 21, 2012 at 1:03 PM by Rick 175

ASG strips have tickets for three days of events. The headline events:
1). Futures Game / Celebrity, Legends Softball Game
2) Home Run Derby
3) The All Star Game
Strips also include tickets to FanFest.

The Twins sent a survey to STHs earlier this season, asking how likely we were to buy tickets for a 2014 ASG at Target Field if strips were priced at similar levels to those this year in KC. ($340 to $750 per strip).

$680 to $1500 for a pair of tickets is steep. The only ASG I have experience with is Arizona 2011 where Rockies STHs were offered strips after DBacks STHs before the general public (because of the Salt River Fields relationship). I got in the Rockies portion of the offering about 30 seconds into it and the best seats open were lower to mid 3rd level. (I ended sitting in the first row behind home plate for the futures game and 9 rows behind the plate for the ASG, but that is a different story).

Twins STHs will presumably have an option to buy strips, but, even if you are a full season plan holder, only LC members are guaranteed the right to buy THEIR seats, as MLB takes a significant number of seats off the top.

And, if the Twins allow STHs to buy more strips then they have seats, we will see the return of the speculators in 2014. Many in Arizona got stuck holding the bag, as they found out that most people only wanted to pay for the actual ASG tickets.

It's going to be harder at TF because of the total capacity issue, so perhaps demand will be naturally higher.

I certainly hope the Twins can figure out a way to give fans that aren't STHs a reasonable chance to get tickets, but, outside of FanFest tickets, I suspect there will be no option to buy anything other than strips.

Posted on August 21, 2012 at 1:30 PM by Jfh Highlight this comment 176

Twins sent a note out to STHs this morning - renewal packets for 2013 in the mail soon.

Our third season of Twins baseball at Target Field continues to deliver memorable moments and warm summer days and nights in America's best ballpark. We are exceptionally thankful for your loyalty and support of Twins baseball in 2012 and are committed to ensuring Twins season tickets remain a great value.

While we continue to plan for the future, we are excited to share with you benefits and rewards that rival anything you've been provided in the past. That's something you can look forward to as we prepare for our 2013 season ticket renewal campaign, starting in the coming weeks.

Please watch your mailbox for your 2013 season ticket packet, which explains your ticket plan for 2013, payment options including our Easy Pay Installment Plan, Sweet Spot benefits and rewards exclusive to Season Ticket Holders, as well as information about seat upgrade and relocation opportunities for next season at Target Field

Posted on August 21, 2012 at 1:39 PM by Jfh Highlight this comment 177

"Our third season of Twins baseball at Target Field continues to deliver memorable moments and warm summer days and nights in America's best ballpark. We are exceptionally thankful for your loyalty and support of Twins baseball in 2012 and are committed to ensuring Twins season tickets remain a great value."

I think this is the opening volley in the ST renewal process - don't know for sure as I quit reading at "memorable".

Posted on August 21, 2012 at 1:39 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 178

That interchange is still is a massive waste of taxpayer money.

Posted on August 21, 2012 at 4:42 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 179

All Star game?? Who cares and would go anyways in that scrimmage game? Selig needs to take the home field out of the present format. With all the intraleauge play now it's a nuthin game.

Posted on August 21, 2012 at 4:50 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 180

Duffman,

Some people will never see the reasons to invest in infrastructure projects. I get that.

But when you consider that the Interchange will be the Twin Cities' own version of Grand Central Station in about 10 years, it's positively a bargain, as well as being a necessity.

For the money they are spending, you couldn't even build 2 miles of four-lane freeway. And this will handle literally millions of travelers each year.

You may never set foot in it, but take your blinders off for a minute and you might realize its value to the city and the region (and, by extension, you).

Posted on August 21, 2012 at 4:58 PM by Rick 181

Mike-I agree. I miss the regulars around here.
terry- the last time I met a source in a parking garage, Nixon was President and the guy I met was named Bernstein I believe. Swallow that one.

Posted on August 21, 2012 at 9:23 PM by luke Highlight this comment 182

Two things:
1. I don't remember seeing the red-billed cap this year. Is that new?
2. Did Dick really just say that Denard's mri was cancelled because he was effin claustrophobic????? You can't make this sh-- up. For christ's sake, knock him out if you have to. This is MAJOR LEAGUE baseball!!! Not junior high, FCOL! (I'm sorry, I had to bring FCOL back)

Posted on August 21, 2012 at 9:39 PM by antifire Highlight this comment 183

twinkfan -

Was that tongue in cheek? Who cares? The ASG has essentially turned into All Star Week and is a big deal for host cities. Do you really think no one cares or that the Twins won't sellout in a day or two?

I'm not a huge fan of the "winner takes home field advantage", but at least that's better when players left the park in the 4th inning and didn't care who won. There is a laundry list of reasons by Selig has to go, but the ASG isn't one of them. Before he took over, MLB had to beg teams to play host - now it is the other way around.

Posted on August 21, 2012 at 10:21 PM by Jfh Highlight this comment 184

Rick,

I believe the state should invest in infrastructure projects, but ones that make sense, this is not one of them.

I believe you are believing this to be more grand than it ever will be. Just as the current light rail, was thought to be, and the one currently destroying University Ave. ever will be. These are based on someones vision that we need this form of transportation.

The population of the metro area is not dense enough nor will it be dense enough anytime soon to make these projects sustainable. At $79 million, I don't know if interchange is being put in for less than 2 miles of highway, since the reconstruction of the 494/169 interchange is being down for only $125m. But what I do know is the money that will be spent on the trains that connect to it, will cost far more.

Why do you think it is ok for the state to lose money (every year plus the capital) on projects like this? Like I have said before, if you want infrastructure of value, expand the highway system significantly. It is completely deficient in respect to the population of any metro area this size.

Plus "Millions", really? What, are we talking over the course of 20 years?

Posted on August 21, 2012 at 10:22 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 185

looks like Luke hacked Ma's password again.

Posted on August 21, 2012 at 10:31 PM by tk Highlight this comment 186

Luke-

Bernstein wasn't a source, he was a reporter....Mark Felt was the source.

Posted on August 22, 2012 at 12:51 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 187

And the reporter who Felt spoke with was Bob Woodward, not Carl Bernstein.

Posted on August 22, 2012 at 07:00 AM by terry Highlight this comment 188

Well, I guess Luke really isn't a fact finding super sleuth. Whoda thought?

Twins lose. Blacky and Nishi dropped after the Twins brass seem to grow a pair. About a month and a half left. Lets see where this goes. Frankly, I am still excited because we can watch Scott Diamond pitch. Man, that guy is so consistent right now.

Posted on August 22, 2012 at 08:34 AM by Jared Highlight this comment 189

Hey guys... Quick catch up. I've been reading, just not chiming in on bickering.

1. TCFBS is a great venue, Gopher football is not going to fill it in their current state. I think this will be a long process until we get a winning team on the field.
2. I am excited for the ASG. I would love to go to the entire thing. To me it's a once in a lifetime deal. I am part of a LC STH group, so hopefully we can get all of our seats.
3. I think the interchage project is good, but could have been better. It will be a hub for many rail lines, however I have not seen anything yet that makes me think it will be easy to navigate. I hope I'm wrong.

Posted on August 22, 2012 at 10:25 AM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 190

Why do you think it is ok for the state to lose money (every year plus the capital) on projects like this?
Why do you still act as though the state doesn't lose money on road projects? Neither one is a money maker. That's not how most basic infrastructure works.

Posted on August 22, 2012 at 12:03 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 191

So now Pavano is showing his frustration with the Twins and the way they "misdiagnosed" his injury...it just never ends with this organization!

Than you have Span who is too scared to get an MRI because of his claustrophobia...nothing against being claustrophobic in an MRI machine, but come on, you are a professional athlete! I like Span but he just seems to act like a wimp at times. He's been out 10 days now, so I suppose the Twins will end up putting him on the DL in a few days. We don't need any depth when every player is day to day...

And the Twins talk about lack of bench depth? But yet Gardenhire insists on carrying three catchers?

Who is running the ship at 1 Twins Way? How about some accountability for this mess that is the Twins organization.

Posted on August 22, 2012 at 1:08 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 192

I have no problem with the three catchers because two of the three can play other positions and are good enough hitters to credibly fill the DH role. Last year they had catchers who could neither hit nor play other positions. Holm: .118; Rivera: .144; and Butera: .167. Those numbers will give you nightmares.

Posted on August 22, 2012 at 1:21 PM by terry Highlight this comment 193

I had an MRI on my neck and shoulder on Monday and, as someone with no meaningful claustrophobia, it could have been a total freak out moment if I hadn't been able to find a happy place (and keep my eyes closed).

I spent 25 minutes inside the machine, and managed to stay calm by basically pretending I was taking a nap -- eyes closed! -- and drifting back to my travels last week. (Nobody offered me any Valium.)

But I have to say that claustrophobia is like a lot of things where it doesn't even cross your mind until it's mentioned -- then you can't stop thinking about it. And the very first question I was asked when making the appointment was whether I was claustrophobic. After that, it was in the back of my mind the whole time.

I know they've now got newer machines where you don't have to be enclosed, so I would have assumed that's what they used on professional athletes, who seem to be getting these things all the time.

Anyway, you can probably understand why I have some sympathy for Denard on this one.

Posted on August 22, 2012 at 1:29 PM by Rick 194

Open-sided MRI. I don't understand why these haven't replaced the old ones (well, except for the cost).

Posted on August 22, 2012 at 2:35 PM by br Highlight this comment 195

Span is a big pvussy! Trade him ASAP. He is becoming more of a pain in the ass every day. Won't play RF either! He needs to go. Put Rivere in CF and get rid of Die Hard Span! Call up Parmelee and play him everyday in RF!

Posted on August 22, 2012 at 2:40 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 196

Open-sided MRI. I don't understand why these haven't replaced the old ones (well, except for the cost).

1) Cost is a pretty big reason, isn't it?
2) For certain tasks, the image quality of the closed MRI is better.

Posted on August 22, 2012 at 3:10 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 197

Just came back from a road trip to New Mexico that included a ballgame in Denver. Coors Field is nice with a great view if you sit on the 1B side. I was underwhelmed by the experience and the food, though. Some things that stood out were seeing fielders with long shadows at a night game, as the sunset happens from behind 3B/LF line. Had some entertaining fans behind us with their running commentary. And why did Cuddyer sign there? Didn't he know that there would be trees in CF? (And a great collection of Colorado trees it was!)

Was embarrassed by a guy in a Twins cap in the row in front of us who needed a crash course in ballpark etiquette: all the standing up to go in and out the aisle. And by standing up, I mean standing up during an at-bat and not moving for what seemed ages.

Posted on August 22, 2012 at 3:46 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 198

Regarding Gopher Football and filling the seats, the athletic department has long avoided using the best weapon it has available to it under present circumstances. It must employ an outbound sales force or outsource the project. The Vikings, Twins, Twolves, and Wild have all used outbound sales. Just last year USA Today ran a story about urban FBS level programs employing outsourced sales forces and the Gophers, who have no internal sales force I know of, weren't on the list.

All the cute ad campaigns, marketing ideas, and discounts in the world won't equate the effectiveness of going directly to past and potential customers. Get a database of past single game buyers, lapsed season ticket holders, current students, alumni, and businesses throughout the state and start working the phones. If you can't sell a winning team, then you sell great seat locations, sunny fall days, state and school pride, and whatever else is available. It's basically telemarketing, but the fact is that it gets a better bang for the buck than any other sales method at the U of M's disposal. By not doing so, the athletic department has left millions of dollars on the table over the years.

Posted on August 22, 2012 at 4:20 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 199

Jorge~
Couldn't tell if you knew this from your post (seemed like you might)...the Gophers started using an outbound service (Aspire) this season and the group sold 450 tickets and raised $250,000 in revenue in it's first month on the job.

Posted on August 22, 2012 at 4:49 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 200

I was unaware. When did Aspire begin its work?

Posted on August 22, 2012 at 9:24 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 201

Fiesta -

There are quite a few Twins fans in Denver. All the ones I've met at Coors Field have been solid with baseball etiquette, so I wouldn't worry about one bad apple.

As for food, Target Field has a better variety and overall better quality, though there are some terrific items at Coors Field.

The view of the mountains from the first base side is probably one of the prettiest views in any park, but the best side to watch a game is on the third base side.

Posted on August 23, 2012 at 01:44 AM by Jfh Highlight this comment 202

Expectorate:
Yes, of course, replacement cost is likely a main factor, but getting access to an open-sided MRI machine for a multimillion dollar employee who knows he's claustrophibic would seem to be a fairly simple proposition. If the results come back inconclusive, move to plan B (closed MRI with lots of drugs).

Posted on August 23, 2012 at 10:27 AM by br Highlight this comment 203

Rick also the amount of money being spent on the Interchange could fund 24 miles of brand new 2 lane (each way) freeway, with entrance/exit ramps.

Posted on August 23, 2012 at 10:49 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 204

Jorge~
It was announced back in April (GopherSports press release behind the linky).

Posted on August 23, 2012 at 11:16 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 205

Resurfacing and road construction are two very different things. (You linked to the former.)

Road construction costs are sometimes tough to pin down, but the last segment of 610 across the north metro will cost $200M (four lanes for six miles, or $8.3M per lane mile).

The Interchange is budgeted at $79M, though not all of that has been funded yet.

That comes to 9.5 lane miles of new freeway for the cost of the Interchange, or roughly 2.4 miles of new four-lane freeway (such as 610).

As for passenger counts, start with about 3M annual Twins fans, roughly one third of which ride a train to games, and you start with about a million riders just for baseball games.

Overall, Hiawatha carried 10.5M riders in 2011, to which you must add Central (projected to be well over 10M per year) and eventually close to 1M Northstar riders. Then add the Southwest and Bottineau lines, and the hoped for high-speed rail connection to Duluth.

The potential is for 20-30M people or more to hit that corner in a year starting in about 2020.

It's a no-brainer as far as I'm concerned.

It's all about providing options. So for those who would prefer roads, that's fine. Think of it this way if it helps: every damn one of those transit riders would have to be out there clogging up the roads if not for the trains.

Every. Damn. One.

Posted on August 23, 2012 at 11:27 AM by Rick 206

br-
If you're talking about Span's case specifically, I agree. Your original question seemed more general, like "why haven't open MRIs completely replaced all closed MRIs?" Maybe I misinterpreted....

Posted on August 23, 2012 at 11:28 AM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 207

Rick: Y U USE LOGIC AND FACTS?

Posted on August 23, 2012 at 11:35 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 208

Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads.

Posted on August 23, 2012 at 12:29 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 209

Oh what I wouldn't have given for the Central Corridor and Hiawatha light rail when I was a U of M student back in the Pleistocene Age.

Posted on August 23, 2012 at 12:47 PM by terry Highlight this comment 210

Rick- did you read the link? The title is misleading, the road is not being resurfaced, it is being completely replaced, new grading cement and everything. You can still argue about the cost of roads, either way $79m would be better spent on freeways than on this thing. Combine that with the cost $715.3m for the Hiawatha line, and the expected $957m for the central corridor, and that could build a lot of roads. Not to the mention the millions lost every year on operating the trains.

As of right now the only people you could include as using the interchange would be the 710,000 people that used northstar. As the 1 million people, you assume, I would believe much lower, that use the trains for Twins games, get off before they would get to the interchange. Or is the plan to destroy the 3 year old station at Target Field in order to make people walk farther? That seems cost effective.

Same with the other 9 million that use the current train, and the new ones that would come in from St. Paul. Most would not even make it anywhere near the interchange.

Like I have said hopefully someone comes to their senses and puts an end to those additional two lines. One is already a failure, and the other is sure to be too. Why would anyone hope for a high speed rail to Duluth? How are you going to get around once you are there? It too is not very dense.

My overall point is that if we were not wasting the taxpayer money on pet projects, we could have used that money to better our roads, so that those would be riders (which they would take the bus, not buy cars) would not jam up the roads.

Many people say that roads are not profitable, but they fail to look at what is transported over the roads. I am not only talking about the gas tax which is supposed to go to roads, but now a portion goes to transit too. What about all of the sales tax on all of the products that are transported by truck on the roads? Or the sales those products that creates a profit for companies which then pay taxs too. Roads are far more vital to this state and this country than some silly interchange for the choo-choo trains.

Posted on August 23, 2012 at 12:52 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 211

Say what you will, but the project you linked is maintenance and not new construction:

"This project will replace the roadway surface...

A layer of asphalt is placed atop the original concrete, acting as a flexible separator, and new concrete is placed atop the asphalt."

They aren't even tearing up the old concrete!

And you can condescend to the "choo choo trains" all you want, but every modern city in the world has them, with only the United States lagging behind, and they are expanding more and more here as decision-makers come to realize that they are by far the best bargain in transportation spending out there.

I know that I can't convince you, so time will have to have the final word.

Posted on August 23, 2012 at 1:07 PM by Rick 212

GoAUpher, thanks for the link. That completely slipped by me.

To some the sales of 450 probably sounds unimpressive, but they are starting from the ground up and real focus on the program doesn't start until Labor Day. There's the potential to close a lot of open deals in the build to the Gophers' home opener and partial season ticket sales will, or should continue, afterwards. Hopefully Aspire is going after groups as well. The hit ratio for those is higher if you get a good group leader within a company, school or organization.

Posted on August 23, 2012 at 1:22 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 213

Why is it people who pledge allegiance to Grover Norquist and to the lobbyists for which he stands are opposed to all government spending ... EXCEPT more roads, bigger roads, more lanes ... all to zip us to and from ever-sprawling 'burbs at the expense of our major cities?

Posted on August 23, 2012 at 1:36 PM by terry Highlight this comment 214

Jorge~
Agreed. The nice thing is that 450 sold becomes more impressive when you run the numbers. Making $250,000 in new revenue off 450 tickets means that there was approx $275 of additional rev per ticket gathered on average. Which means most of the seats sold had to be of the yearly seat donation variety. Nice to see that they are able to not only add new STH but to add STH willing to pony up a little more.

Posted on August 23, 2012 at 2:38 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 215

Are the numbers for building new roads as opposed to extending the LRT factoring in land acquisition and demolition to create an adequate right-of-way for any new road? A light rail line can be laid down on any abandoned rail bed; the subgrades are already in place.

Posted on August 23, 2012 at 5:07 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 216

Jorge~
Here's a recent article from the Rochester Post-Bulletin about the Aspire contract. Nothing too earth-shattering, but it's hook (profile a local grad who works for Aspire now) does show a little insight into some of what they are trying to do.

Posted on August 23, 2012 at 6:07 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 217

Jared, thanks for that small trip back to a simpler time. Just thinking about Back to the Future made me feel good :)

Posted on August 23, 2012 at 8:01 PM by 2-160 (aka luke) Highlight this comment 218

King Felix to pitch against the Twins Monday night. Two perfect games in one year?? If I was in Vegas I'd put money on it. The Twins marketing department should be promoting that possibility to sell tickets!

Posted on August 23, 2012 at 10:13 PM by antifire Highlight this comment 219

Twins announcers are a piece of work. Openly criticize Kinsler for losing track of the count, but not a negative word toward Plouffe, Filamon, and the rest of the hapless Twins who have left, what, 13 on base so far???

Posted on August 23, 2012 at 10:16 PM by antifire Highlight this comment 220

Dick made his share of mistakes tonight, even the truck was making mistakes (on a throw to first, they went to a shot of the flags and not first base).

Also, I am one who mostly understands baseball and tradition, but they really needed to stop talking about the beam ball and toss over Hamilton's head within an inning or two. No need to show Berties Tweety 3 innings later.

Posted on August 24, 2012 at 12:36 AM by tk Highlight this comment 221

It's gotta be hard to cover these meaningless games. I kept listening for something in Dick's voice to betray the difficulty, but never really heard it. Some people don't like his style, but I think he's a total master at his job.

The Strib reported this morning that Seattle newspapers aren't even sending their beat writers to cover the series between the Mariners and Twins next week.

You know it's bad when covering the games isn't even worth the cost of airfare...

Posted on August 24, 2012 at 11:16 AM by Rick 222

Yes, other cities of the world have trains going from here to there. They also have socialism, riots in the streets, and economic chaos..lets try to keep up.

Posted on August 24, 2012 at 4:19 PM by James1979 Highlight this comment 223

Are you suggesting a correlation?

Posted on August 24, 2012 at 5:50 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 224

I totally agree that Dick is a pro. The blatant homerism gets old at times, but I realize the Twins sign his checks.

Posted on August 24, 2012 at 7:54 PM by antifire Highlight this comment 225

Nick Punto sent to the Dods in a blockbuster deal with the BoSox. Guess we'll see Punto and the Dods in the WS shortly, ay? Oh, the former MN Twins curse cintinues

Posted on August 25, 2012 at 10:12 PM by luke Highlight this comment 226

*continues....

Posted on August 25, 2012 at 10:13 PM by luke Highlight this comment 227

Selig expected to announce 2014 ASG to TF this week. When he does, I expect apologies, full season tickets and a six pack of Budweiser from every one of ya

Posted on August 26, 2012 at 08:38 AM by luke Highlight this comment 228

To TK's point from 082412 I was thinking the same thing regarding going on and on about the bean ball episode for 3 1/2 innings trying to add drama to a(nother) meaningless game. My favorite part was Coomdog making a point to say that the Rangers "shouldnt mess w/ a team that is down" and predicted that they just awoke a sleeping giant and that the Twins will now take it out on them. We couldnt even get teh payback pitch right missing Hamilton completely. I believe the score was 2-2 at the time. Since then the Twins got so pissed at the Rangers hitting our star player we've been outscored 23-5 since then including serving up the 3rd longest HR in Rangers history. Way to get pissed Twins! Look out Rangers! We'll show ya what happens when u mess w/ Baby Jesus!

Posted on August 26, 2012 at 12:08 PM by Uffda Highlight this comment 229

Luke -

If the ASG is announced, I can't help you with the beer, but I'll be glad to give you my Twins season tickets...

... from 2008. Sorry.

Posted on August 26, 2012 at 10:01 PM by Jfh Highlight this comment 230

Beer - check. Tickets - check. Apology - check.

Posted on August 26, 2012 at 10:02 PM by Jfh Highlight this comment 231

OK, maybe I'm missing something, but why would anybody owe you anything, Luke?

We've known about the 2014 ASG at TF since, um, September 10, 2008.

Posted on August 26, 2012 at 10:09 PM by Rick 232

Perhaps logic and justice work differently on Luke's home planet.

Posted on August 26, 2012 at 10:16 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 233

Rick - for Christs sake, that 2008 post was about as valid as the Genesis account of the creation of the damn universe, nothing more than conjecture and theory. Sure Buddy had said that he would bring an ASG to TF, but we just speculated on the 2014 date...lol.

Incidentally, the NCAA promised a Final Four to KC upon contingency of Jefferson Cty passing the rolling roof referendum for Arrowhead. Well that never happened, ergo no Final Four. Sometimes things change :). All I'm saying is that Buddy is good to his word.

Posted on August 26, 2012 at 10:30 PM by 2-160 (aka luke) Highlight this comment 234

I would like to congratulate Luke on proving a theory.

Also, Rick - are you going to post about your trip to Oriole and National parks?

TTH

Posted on August 26, 2012 at 11:12 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 235

Indeed. I'm editing 1400 pictures, and creating a series of posts to run sometime in the next couple of weeks.

Wish I could just toss these things off, but I don't seem to be able to...

In the meantime, anybody care to guess why I might have taken this picture?


Posted on August 27, 2012 at 01:11 AM by Rick 236

Hmm...the picture. Perhaps you vacationed in Florida and the corrupt-government-controlled Trinidad and Tobago, saw these two street signs and a flood of memories came back?

Posted on August 27, 2012 at 06:14 AM by luke Highlight this comment 237

The intersection is in northeast Washington. It's not the site of Griffith Stadium or any of its predecessors. It's several miles away from the GS site - maybe one of Harmon's home runs landed there?

Posted on August 27, 2012 at 09:47 AM by terry Highlight this comment 238

Even though I make-up stuff a majority of the time in my articles, Luke still uses me as his "source" and than comes on to this message board to relay the information that I put in my columns whether it's legit or not.

Posted on August 27, 2012 at 10:59 AM by Charley Walters Highlight this comment 239

Mark Felt, a/k/a "Deep Throat", had numerous elaborate ruses to keep his contacts with Bob Woodward secret. Charley Walters publishes his info in the Saint Paul Pioneer-Press. My question is: does Luke have to put a flower pot with a red flag out on his balcony when he wants Charley to write something in his column?

Posted on August 27, 2012 at 12:05 PM by terry Highlight this comment 240

Trinidad Art in the Alley?

Posted on August 27, 2012 at 3:46 PM by terry Highlight this comment 241

Minnesota Twins Announce Plans for Limited Edition Managers Bobblehead Set

Proceeds benefit the Minnesota Twins Community Fund

Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn. – The Minnesota Twins today announced that 1,000 limited edition bobblehead doll sets showcasing all 12 managers of the Minnesota Twins will be available for purchase exclusively at www.twinsbaseball.com/managers beginning Friday, Sept. 7 at 9 a.m. CT.

The limited edition bobblehead set – priced at $210 (plus applicable fees and taxes) – features every manager of the Minnesota Twins including Cookie Lavagetto (1961), Sam Mele (1961-67), Cal Ermer (1967-68), Billy Martin (1969), Bill Rigney (1970-72), Frank Quilici (1972-75), Gene Mauch (1976-80), Johnny Goryl (1980-81), Billy Gardner (1981-85), Ray Miller (1985-86), Tom Kelly (1986-2001) and Ron Gardenhire (2002-Present).

Only one set may be ordered per transaction.

The limited edition bobblehead sets are schedule to arrive to fans by the end of January 2013.

Posted on August 27, 2012 at 5:26 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 242

Check out Derek Holland pitching on ESPN. Hurry!

Mmmmmmm. Stirrups!

Posted on August 27, 2012 at 7:52 PM by N.D. (aka N.D. "Rube") Highlight this comment 243

What is the Twins' season batting average with runners in scoring position, especially with a runner at 3d and less than two out? There are many things that lead to two consecutive near 100 loss seasons. That statistic is definitely one of them.

Posted on August 27, 2012 at 9:00 PM by terry Highlight this comment 244

So the game is tied 0-0 in the bottom of the 7th inning, you are facing one of the best pitchers in the game. Morneau hits a leadoff triple and is on 3rd base with no outs.

Next three batters....Doumit...ground out, Plouffe...ground out, and Carroll...ground out.

Why can't we run the suicide squeeze with Doumit or Plouffe? Plouffe has been struggling ever since he returned from the DL. Does the manager have no confidence that his guys can lay down a suicide squeeze or what?

It's situations like this that separate the great managers from the good managers. A manager like Joe Maddon or Mike Scoscia will put on a suicide squeeze in that scenario. Ron Gardenhire simply lets his next three batters swing away against one of the top pitchers in baseball.

Posted on August 28, 2012 at 12:42 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 245

Where are you Mazaratirick? Kevin in AZ? OG Jeff? fiesta? max? robin? CGS Mike? Jax? The Sooj? Steve? Locker? billymayshere? Faber College Alum? Lafferty? Buffalo? schweady? clublevelfan?
Posted on August 21, 2012 at 10:54 AM by Mike 170

Mike-I agree. I miss the regulars around here.
Posted on August 21, 2012 at 9:23 PM by luke 182

Ah... so nice to be missed. Thanks, Mike.

It's been a busy summer, and not involving baseball. (The only game I've attended so far was the home opener, and I demand a mulligan.) Traveling the country, fishing trips, canoeing adventures, my mother-in-law's death, catching up with distant family members... They've meant that following the Twins very closely this summer has taken a back seat, I'm afraid. Oh, when I do catch the occasional game, it's still a pleasure -- like last night's terrific effort by Hendriks... erased by the suckiness of our BA w RISP numbers.

And, reading posts from the past few months, it appears that one really doesn't need to be following the game of baseball anyway. That's too bad.

Rick: The photo. Obviously, you're in the Trinidad neighborhood NE of the Capitol... near the Trinidad Deli. Somebody's birthplace? A legendary stickball site? or do I have to wait for your O's/Nats piece to come out?

ASG: Yes, I'd love to go. I remember someone in our church choir who brought a hat and a program from the 1985 All Star Game and how jealous I was of his experience. Meaningless exhibition or not, you have to hope for the opportunity to get (relatively) close to some of the old greats of the game.

Posted on August 28, 2012 at 1:04 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 246

I attended the 1985 ASG at the dome and one memory I will always have is of meeting and getting an autograph from Lefty Gomez. The winning pitcher in the very first ASG in 1933 and he was in the stands as an ordinary spectator.

Posted on August 28, 2012 at 2:51 PM by terry Highlight this comment 247

Hey we got the all star game!!!!!Whoo hooo!!!!!! ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ! Man I better go back and renew my 20 game pack again! NOT! Maybe I can get into the Homerun contest?? Shezzzz the all star game don't mean squat. Interleauge play took care of that years ago. Pass me a delecious Hoilday Brat instead man!

Posted on August 28, 2012 at 4:48 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 248

Was it the 1985 ASG at the Dumpty that brought the Home Run Derby to the All Star festivities for the first time? Cant remember...

Posted on August 28, 2012 at 5:03 PM by luke Highlight this comment 249

Only thing I remember about that 1985 ASG is that I ate my pre-game meal at the old Market Barbeque on Glenwood (where the A ramp is today), and that the game was long and boring. Too bad that old Market BBQ isn't still around in that location. Not to mention the nearby Goofy's Upper Deck.

Click for link.

Posted on August 28, 2012 at 5:29 PM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 250

Also, regarding Rick's photo above - click for link.

Posted on August 28, 2012 at 5:39 PM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 251

Interesting link, but not the correct answer.

Posted on August 28, 2012 at 6:13 PM by Rick 252

My suspicions were correct after checking MULTIPLE sources, not one of which was Wikipedia, the MLB Home run Derby did in fa t debut in 1985 at the Dome.

Does anyone remember watching the weekly TV show back in the 60s called Home Run Derby? I know ESPN Classic showed reruns of it for a while after the channel's debut...I loved watching it. Then fucking Comcast took ESPNC off my lineup...damn heathens.

Posted on August 28, 2012 at 6:36 PM by luke Highlight this comment 253

I thought ClarkAddison's American League Park (home of the Senators in 1901 and 1902) entry would be the winner. Thanks for the link.

Posted on August 28, 2012 at 6:55 PM by Raging Peasants Highlight this comment 254

The park pictured in Clark's link was the Senators' home in 1905.

Posted on August 28, 2012 at 7:00 PM by Rick 255

(It was located on the same site where Griffith Stadium was ultimately built.)

Posted on August 28, 2012 at 7:00 PM by Rick 256

Well in that case the interwebs are full of contradictory information.

Posted on August 28, 2012 at 8:05 PM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 257

Yes, unfortunately, the photo on that page is inaccurate. But the page describes the correct ballpark!

The Senators played at Florida and Trinidad for the 1901 and 1902 seasons in a facility called "American League Park" which is almost completely forgotten.

The pitcher's mound was here:


It wasn't until 1903 that they moved to the site where Griffith Stadium would ultimately be built. At the time that site contained a very simple facility called "National Park" (and a few other names), but it was renamed "American League Park" and confusion has reigned ever since.

I love to seek out these old sites. If you look to the end of that alley, you'll see buildings that were actually the ballpark's neighbors. (Everything in the foreground was built later.)

Posted on August 28, 2012 at 8:59 PM by Rick 258

I'm thinking our own Tom Brunansky won that '85 Home Run Derby. I also recall the game itself being boring, but was interesting for me to see some NL stars in person for the first time. Valenzuela warming up near my seats, for example. What a treat it must have been to run into Lefty Gomez there. I think he just had an autobiography published. Or maybe someone wrote a biography of him.

Posted on August 28, 2012 at 9:50 PM by robin Highlight this comment 259

Mauer placed on waivers?? clicky

Posted on August 29, 2012 at 08:06 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 260

Lol, the female fans are going to be devastated if he's traded!

Posted on August 29, 2012 at 08:32 AM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 261

I can find nothing about the Trinidad site as home of the 1901-02 Senators. Every source (dare I use that word?) I've seen says Washington baseball was played continuously at the Griffith Stadium site in NW Washington from 1892 to 1961. That is the site of the ballpark first known as National Park and later renamed American League Park. What became known as Griffith Stadium was built on the site in 1911.

Posted on August 29, 2012 at 08:38 AM by terry Highlight this comment 262

He can't be traded unless he wants to be.

Posted on August 29, 2012 at 08:39 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 263

Terry -- Clicky for link

Posted on August 29, 2012 at 09:09 AM by Raging Peasants Highlight this comment 264

They do that waiver stuff all the time without anything ever coming of it. At this point, it's probably meaningless.

Posted on August 29, 2012 at 09:57 AM by Rick 265

In 1901, the plot of land which would ultimately hold Griffith Stadium was still controlled by the National League (thus its name, "National Park").

The new Senators, having just been transferred from Kansas City in the creation of the American League, needed a place to play. The National League was unwilling to let them use the preferred location, so a new park was built very quickly at Trinidad and Florida (also sometimes referred to, less accurately, as 14th and Bladensburg).

Once harmony was created between the two major leagues after the 1902 season, the Senators were allowed to move to their preferred site. They actually took all of the wooden stands they could with them in the move!

Even some of the better ballpark books get the story wrong because of confusion with the park names. (Green Cathedrals does get it right.)

Posted on August 29, 2012 at 10:05 AM by Rick 266

One could get an advanced degree in baseball history from this site! Thanks Rick and Raging.

Posted on August 29, 2012 at 10:27 AM by terry Highlight this comment 267

Wouldn't it be great if there were such a thing? (And that one would make a living with it...)

Posted on August 29, 2012 at 10:40 AM by Rick 268

My faith in the absolute accuracy of everything I read on the internet is shaken.

Posted on August 29, 2012 at 11:24 AM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 269

A guy gave me some Champs Club tix to Thurs. game. Guess I won't need to stop at Subway.

Posted on August 29, 2012 at 1:45 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 270

Rick - very interesting history. Can't wait to see the related upcoming post!

Posted on August 29, 2012 at 2:26 PM by Jfh Highlight this comment 271

The waivers on Mauer expired at noon, so presumably it's moot.

Posted on August 29, 2012 at 2:27 PM by Jfh Highlight this comment 272

Ben - go hungry. The Champions Club has pretty good food and is a great experience, especially if you got tickets for free.

Watching the game from those incredibly comfortable seats is like sitting in your living room, but the TV is life size ..

Posted on August 29, 2012 at 2:31 PM by Jfh Highlight this comment 273

Well, it is now official. 2014 ASG at TF. Big deal. As part of todays announcement, MLB will suspend the HR contest in 2014 due to the virtue that its too damn hard to hit HRs at TF.

Therefore, State Farm will sponsor the Strikeout Derby in 2014. The rules are a bit...shaky...but it should provide lots of practice for Twins batters.

Dont fret, the HR Derby will be reinstated in 2015 at the ASG in Cincinatti.

Posted on August 29, 2012 at 4:46 PM by luke Highlight this comment 274

First time announced crowd under 30,000 at TF last night! The dogs days of September coming! Scalpers ready to just give up! Let the drive for 100 continue! A nice 10-23 run will do it! Get those all star game tickets while you still can!

Posted on August 29, 2012 at 4:46 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 275

Twins STH if renew for 2013 & 2014 have the "opportunity" to be first to purchase...im sure i will have just as good of opportunity to secure by not being an STH.

Posted on August 29, 2012 at 7:38 PM by tk Highlight this comment 276

Ben, I thought you would refuse since you seem to hate all things Twins lately! Guess you will swallow your indignation as long as there is free food and tickets up for grabs!

Posted on August 29, 2012 at 8:28 PM by antifire Highlight this comment 277

Twins have posted an FAQ on ASG tickets (see link).

I don't like the implication that LC members may not be given the opportunity to buy their seats, which would appear to be n violation of the LC seat purchase contract.

In any event, math doesn't seem to favor the general public getting much of an opportunity to buy tickets. Assume 25K FTE and capacity of 39.5K, and assuming 95% take rate, that leaves 15.75K seats available. Assume MLB keeps 5K for its' use, sponsors, press, other clubs, etc., that leaves a little over 10K seats that get offered to group sponsors, partial season plan holders and the club itself. I suspect that means only about 4K to 8K seats available to the public via lottery and then public sale.

If you aren't a full season plan holder for both 2013 and 2014, you will most likely have to buy ASG tickets on the secondary market unless you win a slot in the lottery. And I wouldn't be surprised if lottery slots only entitle you to buy 2 strips, rather than 4, so it may be difficult for families or season ticket partnerships to get enough seats.

I also find it a bit hard to believe they will shutout new STHS in 2014, but that's what it sounds like.

Posted on August 29, 2012 at 9:21 PM by Jfh Highlight this comment 278

I don't "hate all things Twins", I just get very tired of all the hype and BS. Is there a reason not to just play ball (the Twins used to do it all the time)? Tonight it took a whole half inning for the Twins announcer to start in on renewing STs for ASG ticket priority. Why not focus on baseball? Make baseball a priority and everything else will take care of itself. By the way anti---, the guy who gave me the tickets did so saying I'm a "great fan".

Posted on August 30, 2012 at 12:40 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 279

Lester Oliveros, the pitcher the Twins got in the Delmon Young "trade", just had - can you guess? - Tommy John surgery.

Posted on August 30, 2012 at 07:29 AM by terry Highlight this comment 280

This is what I call hype/BS:

As a Minnesota Twins Season Ticket Holder, you will be among the first fans to receive the opportunity to secure tickets for the 2014 MLB All-Star Events.

Renew your season tickets today to ensure your spot at the 2014 All-Star Game, or reference your 2013 renewal package which will be arriving in your mailbox shortly.

"Among the first fans"? --- right after MLB, sponsors, VIPs, players, twenty-nine other teams, etc. etc. My point is that, realistically, the Twins are packing your ass. As someone above alluded, non-STH probably have as much a chance at ASG tickets as STH.

Posted on August 30, 2012 at 09:09 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 281

You could always become an Usher or Vedor at TF. That may be the easiest way to attand the ASG.

Posted on August 30, 2012 at 09:43 AM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 282

Priority will go to those that have been ushering for 10+ years, then to those retired ushers, than to those dependents of those ushers, to those that have been with the club 5 years as ushers (dating back to the metrodome), and finally to those that have just signed up in the last 4 years.

Posted on August 30, 2012 at 10:45 AM by tk Highlight this comment 283

StubHub Question, I thought tickets were pulled two hours before the actual game? I had an email a while back that stated that you could leave tickets listed until the game started.

I have never been able to do so, nor have I seen any tickets listed past the two hours prior to the game. I always assumed that the leave tickets posted until game somewhat coincided generally by gate open, etc.

However, today, I see there are still 16 tickets listed and are available for the next 1 hours 7 minutes, which would bring us to 12:10pm.

Anyone have any insight?

Posted on August 30, 2012 at 11:03 AM by tk Highlight this comment 284

You can disregard, when I went to go put them in the cart, it said they were not available.

Posted on August 30, 2012 at 11:04 AM by tk Highlight this comment 285

I just heard something from a season ticket rep that, if true, is going to be a big surprise to ticketholders/groups that have seats in multiple locations - they will only be allowed to buy strips for the number of seats they have in the highest level.

For example -I have 2 seats in the LC and 2 in HPB. Supposedly, I will not be offered the opportunity to buy 4 ASG strips (2+2), but only 2 (because if you look at my "highest seat level", the LC, I only have two seats there).

I hope the rep is mistaken, because I know there are a number of season ticket groups that have seats in multiple price levels and I suspect this won't go over very well with them. I'm going to see if I can get a clarification/confirmation of the policy.

Posted on August 30, 2012 at 1:32 PM by JFH Highlight this comment 286

On StubHub, the last minute services (less than 2 hours before) are only offered foor specific events. The only time I've seen that is during special events (playoffs, World Series, ASG) where pickup is typically available at a hotel or site close to the venue.

(If you are a seller, it's a pain in the butt to use LMS, as they appear to be a separate organization from SH itself and the one time I looked into it, I thought it was more hassle then it was worth to even bother).

Posted on August 30, 2012 at 1:36 PM by JFH Highlight this comment 287

So here we go again with Denard Span...he hurts his shoulder on August 12 and says he is day-to-day...10 days later, he finally returns on August 23 in Texas and plays 4 games before re-discovering shoulder soreness on Monday night. Now he is heading to the DL afterall. Instead of being retroactive to August 12, we have to start the 15 days all over again as of August 28. Ryan/Gardenhire should have just placed him on the DL after the first two days.

To make things worse, Gardenhire insists on carrying 3 catchers and 13 pitchers and you can't afford to have position players missing games when they are on the active roster.

We have seen this a lot in recent years with the Twins and its very frustrating...Mauer, Morneau, Baker, Blackburn, Span, Cuddyer, Hardy and Kubel to name a few. So many "minor" injuries that are "day-to-day" that end up hurting the team because the players miss much more time than originally anticipated. And more times than not, the players end up on the DL regardless.

I just had to rant when I saw that Span was place on the DL today. If the Twins want to be a better team, than they need to start putting these players on the DL much sooner next year instead of letting the players go day-to-day.

Posted on August 30, 2012 at 4:19 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 288

It might have been my imagination, but I think Glen Perkins was rocking some fine stirrups today.

Posted on August 30, 2012 at 5:58 PM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 289

Received a call from the Twins a little while ago. The information I was given earlier about ASG tickets was incorrect - it only applies to those that have partial season ticket plans and full season plans.

If an STH has multiple full season plans, they can buy one strip per seat, regardless of seat location/level. But it was confirmed that there are no plans to offer any STH the ability to buy extra strips, so this will make things difficult for groups.

Posted on August 30, 2012 at 6:14 PM by JFH (aka Jfh) Highlight this comment 290

Agree totally with Mike on the DL comment. This seems to be a general issue in baseball, but somehow bites the Twins more often.

Posted on August 30, 2012 at 6:16 PM by JFH (aka Jfh) Highlight this comment 291

It was a poignant moment yesterday when all those former Twins greats were present for the ASG announcement. Harmon's absence was really noticeable.

Posted on August 30, 2012 at 6:58 PM by terry Highlight this comment 292

Well, I have it all planned out: 2014, ASG. 2016, Ryder Cup, 2017, Super Bowl at USBank Stadium. 2018, Final Four at USBank Stadium. 2020, Democratic National Convention at USBank Stadium.

We have some big days ahead, kiddos!

Posted on August 30, 2012 at 8:09 PM by luke Highlight this comment 293

They released names of the companies that issued bids on the new stadium. Already, the crybabies that post in the Strib's comments section are complaining that there aren't any "hometown" companies.

Posted on August 30, 2012 at 10:01 PM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 294

Some interesting Twins news in Sid's column:

The Twins will not increase ticket prices for 2013, with most seats remaining at their 2012 levels. In addition, the 3,500 seats in the Home Run Porch and Grandstand sections will be reduced $4 for the 2013 season. And for the first time, all Twins season-ticket holders in 2013 will receive 10 percent off all food, beverage and merchandise purchases.

I am not surprised one bit to see the price reduction in the HR Porch and Grandstand sections as those have been rather empty for most of this year and dating back to parts of the 2011 season.

The 10% off food and beverages will be a nice benefit. While its not a huge savings, it can add up over the course of a season.

Posted on August 31, 2012 at 01:20 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 295

I hope AECOM or HKS gets it. I love Qwest Field in seattle and would love to see an RR version of it here. Of course, everybody loves LOS in Indy, so HKS would be a good choice as well.

Posted on August 31, 2012 at 06:50 AM by luke Highlight this comment 296

Now that Luke has pledged his support to the Democrats, I am officially a Republican! Luke and South Dakota have finally turned me off of my roots to my Home State, MN!

Posted on August 31, 2012 at 08:38 AM by JoJo Highlight this comment 297

JoJo...first, I am an Anarchist, I do not believe in government.
Second, we have already had the Republican convention, ergo it is only logical the Democratic one would be here next.

Posted on August 31, 2012 at 12:10 PM by luke Highlight this comment 298

So, Luke, you don't believe in government, yet weren't you screaming for government to fund a new Vikings stadium? Dadburn gummint!

Posted on August 31, 2012 at 9:28 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 299

I just wanted to see the damn thing done fiesta, if Rick himself put up the $985 mil for the place, I would have loved it just the same. Furthermore, as an Anarchist, I am looking for the DISSILUTION of government. I call the shots when it comes to how I live my life and the laws I obey...no government should tell me how to run my life.

Incidentally, I am an Existentialist as well, but this is neither a political nor a philospohical blog site...its about baseball and TF...lol

Posted on September 1, 2012 at 08:55 AM by luke Highlight this comment 300

RE: 2013 prices - I agree that the best move for the Twins is reducing the Home Run porch and Grandstand, and quite frankly it has to go down even more. The porch "view" tickets in particular with the always constant sun need to become, in my opinion, the $10 (or less) special seats. I know they can't section it off like they used to do with the upper level cheapies in the dome, but the skyline and field view seats are both superior and will still be less expensive than the HR porch in 2013.

Posted on September 1, 2012 at 09:09 AM by Lincster Highlight this comment 301

Agree re Home Run Porch. It's one of my least favorite seating areas. Much prefer Field and Skyline View seating (which, at $11 a seat, offer really good value).

Do they still sell SRO tickets? Never understood paying $20 for no seat, except for high demand games. $5, maybe...

Posted on September 1, 2012 at 09:19 AM by BR Highlight this comment 302

SRO tickets are only offered for certain games that have previously been sold out. I don't expect to see many games offering SRO any more until the Twins are closer to winning 90 games than losing 90 games.

I am still stunned at how quickly the club squandered the impact of the new ballpark effect. I'll be a minor miracle if they can keep their current FTE level, even with the promise of the ASG.

Posted on September 1, 2012 at 11:01 AM by JFH (aka Jfh) Highlight this comment 303

"I am still stunned at how quickly the club squandered the impact of the new ballpark effect"

There may well have been a calculation involved there, even given that injuries factored in. These guys are very clever when it comes to massaging the market and maximizing profit while reducing value. They are clearly still rolling in enough dough to not be greatly concerned about the kinks in the stream. There is genious involved here - no question. I wish this genious would be channeled towards putting a reasonable product on the field - but that, apparently, is just me.

Posted on September 1, 2012 at 12:54 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 304

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"You talk about the magic, the aura, but what really makes a stadium is the fans. Concrete doesn't talk back to you. Chairs don't talk back to you. It's the people who are there, day in, day out, that makes the place magic."

– Bernie Williams

Explore the Site

Here are 50 images chosen randomly from the 3037 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.




















"I've never seen them do that before," said a Metropolitan Club waiter as I snapped this picture.



Seals Stadium






Griffith Stadium (notch visible in lower photo at far left)



Imagine this!









Looking across the top of the B parking ramp. Notice that signage will block any attempts at seeing the game from up there. Also take note of the glassed in area which is part club and part office space for the Ballpark Authority.



From the TV camera platform -- the view you'll see on TV









In the foreground you can see the supports for the plaza as it will meet the corner of North Seventh Street and Third Avenue North.



No admittance -- yet! Note that you can see the seating bolts which are in place already.






A view into the park down Sixth Street from just beyond Hennepin. Note that one side of the street contains century-old, classic buildings -- structures which are likely to last another century or more. The other side, not so much. (Click the image to see what it looked like from exactly the same spot 97 years ago.)



New Downtown Minneapolis Public Library (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.









Brick work just inside the opening matches the color of the limestone - per Jerry Bell's requirements.



A recent view of the Bud deck in progress



Photo by Jared Wieseler



In case you don't know, that's Earl Battey.



Another deck to come...






A spot that's always full!






Carew atrium menu part 1



Viewed from up Sixth Street (that's Target Center on the left), you can get an idea of how the connection is currently planned. As it stands now, the plaza will extend to that support pillar, from which a stairway will empty to the sidewalk below. If they get their wish, additional support structures will provide a walkway along Target Center which will gradually (without stairs) meet the sidewalk somewhere up near First Avenue.






Work on the pavilion in center.



Hey! An unnumbered gate!



I know you've seen these, but is there a better finishing touch anywhere else in baseball? I know not one.



Storage tracks in the foreground.



The view from the corner of Ford Centre. (Feel free to tie up your boats here.)






Steps going up at Gate 29/Carew



Hooked up



Work beneath the scoreboard






Catwalks provide access to the View Level seats (from the Ballpark Authority July update)



This was actually taken from the top floor of the International Market Square.



Note that, even though the scoreboard appears strategically placed, it's the outfield stands which block any potential view of the field from this roof.





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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