Three weeks ago this was a patch of scruffy trees. Now it's a patio. In case you were wondering, that's where I've been...
Where have the boys been for the past 10 days? I hate these stretches when the game gets all distant and, well, unpleasant. Why isn't it here, on that stretch of grass we put up just for them to play on? Why can't they play all 162 within earshot? And win them all?
It's not a reasonable stance, I know, but that's how I feel. OK, not really.
My past 10 days have included, among other things (see photo), trying to explain to a very skeptical five-year-old why we should root for Derek Jeter on this one particular day, when we root against him for the whole rest of the season. It's definitely more absurd than you might at first think.
Not nearly as absurd, however, as the 49-minute monstrosity which passes for a pregame show to the All Star Game. The cast of some f-ing Fox show was singing some f-ing weepy slow song that, at the very least, wasn't the f-ing Star Spangled Banner, and should have been penalized for delay of game start.
And then, when we finally get to the SSB, we get this insanity:
As a baseball fan, I don't really care. But as a musician, I'm embarrassed. That's beyond ridiculous. Unless you are a songwriter, and it's your song, you have no business messing with the melody. Just sing the damn thing.
Speaking of being a musician (I have no theme again today, just a collection of stuff), if you're at the game Friday night, listen carefully for this song on the PA:
OK, I'm biased because I produced/recorded/mixed it, and my brother, Scott, is the drummer. Mike plays and sings everything else, and wrote all the songs. Click here to see a video we did for one of the other songs, and here to see us playing something completely different live at the Fine Line (I'm on bass, and we were all younger). As an aside, if you know Mischke, you know Mike's work.
We're told that the song will be played about 40 minutes before the game, and again somewhere around the 3rd/4th innings.
Both Scott and I will be in attendance, since tonight night is BallparkMagic Night at Target Field II, courtesy Mike Menner, whose 20th annual Fiesta de Beisbol takes place this weekend in south Minneapolis. Mike describes the weekend as one "which celebrates all that is good in the game...or something like that."
The party starts with Friday's game, but continues all through Saturday, including games actually played by attendees at Sibley Park in south Minneapolis, followed by a feast of homemade brats and a fabulous Hootenanny back at Mike's house.
Lest you think this is a small affair, Mike prints up a brochure every year, puts a group of 100 together to attend the Twins game, and hosts potentially many more for the rest of the festivities. It sounds very cool.
Unfortunately, I cannot attend because I'll be hosting birthday parties all day Saturday for Noah, who is turning five. He will also be at the game Friday night -- a special birthday treat. For those who'd like to offer their well-wishes (or cotton candy -- all he really wants), look for us in section 316, row 10.
Here are a couple of bits more closely related to the ballpark.
First, I was browsing through a collection of photos on Facebook which were posted by the youth group at Holy Trinity (where I conduct the adult choirs). Much to my surprise, they got a tour of Target Field, and the only photo I've seen yet of the visitor's clubhouse!
The visitor's clubhouse at Target Field. (Photo by Javen Swanson)
Pretty spartan compared to the home clubhouse, eh?
Next, I was out at the Mall of America this afternoon (shopping for birthday presents, you know) and caught this out of the corner of my eye in the Ikea parking lot:
I haven't been able to confirm it yet, but this looks to me like it's been there since the days when I sat in a sweaty Ford Galaxie 500 trying to inch our way out of that lot after a Twins game. Can anybody confirm this?
Fire Gardy? Trade Delmon? Bench Mauer? Say tsk tsk to the rotation? Commit ritual harakiri after dropping out of first?
Aren't we all just a little bit on edge these days? The Twins are only 3 1/2 games out of first, for crying out loud (EDIT: 4 1/2 games, ouch) on July 15.
Five years ago today, the day my son was born, the Twins were nine games over .500 at 49-40, and in 2nd place in the AL Central. And we all know full well that they went on to -- um -- uh oh, I probably should have checked my facts before starting this sentence, because it seems they went on to finish, oh I hate to even mention it, they finished the 2005 season in 3rd place.
Just a game, people.
Photo by Jared Wieseler
A damn beautiful game at that.
(But while we're on the subject, Bill, we need pitching. And a third baseman.)
"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 3046 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Here's the entrance from the seating bowl. It's down the outer moat, just beyond the last of the Dugout Box sections.
Now looking north, the tracks emerge from beneath Seventh Street as freight tracks only. The Northstar line ends at the northwest corner of the ballpark. One day, however, you can bet that other passenger trains will approach from the southwest metro on these tracks -- if our legislators are smart and persistent, that is.
An early concept for the pedestrial bridge. (Source: Ballpark Authority, RP)
Click to enlarge greatly. See yourself?
Looking up toward Seventh Street.
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.
Looking down Sixth Avenue toward the plaza
Pawlenty makes it official!
Mussina's first pitch. (Playing 3rd: Not A-Rod)
(Click to enlarge greatly)
Many people will approace the park from this direction and it's a pretty great first glimpse. It features all the design elements in modestly condensed form, and still manages to look like a ballpark (instead of something else).
This is where you will put out your butts -- I mean enjoy some pretty flowers.
A spot that's always full!
You can't get there from here.
This is also the promenade, where the first indications of the final texture of the walkway can be seen. This layer of concrete is going on top of gravel (as has been done over on the plaza).
Time to paint those supports Vikings-purple.
From an earlier visit: Don't bother with those escalators either. They were also roped off. And how about a bench? Or a planter? Or even a trash can? That woman is doing the only thing she can: leaning up against a post to do her texting.
This view, from the Minnekahda building (or possibly a predecessor), looks toward the right field corner. The City Market, at left, occupied the land where the B ramp and Target Plaza now stand (over I-394). And the Overlook now juts out just a little beyond where that driveway enters the railyard.
And another angle looking at the overhang area of the right field pavilion. This looks to me like a great area to watch a game.
This is the entrance behind home plate (not visible in the renderings which have been released). It shows that the upper deck is set back from the facade -- a very good thing if it remains in the final design.
A closer look into the park from down the street. How great will this view be during a game??
The east wall of the building looks like it will be the first part completed. These are probably supports for the plaza, and they hug the very edge of the site.
The splendid view from the roof of the Minikahda building. (Click to enlarge greatly.)
These images are found at the top of the staircase, which leads to the Suite Level.
Locations for ticket machines near the Hrbek outdoor plaza
7:32 PM Glare begins at about the left field foul pole.