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Hibernatus Interruptus

January 21, 2011 1:47 AM

I'm starting to think that bears get it just about right.

You go to sleep as soon as the last pitch is thrown -- er, the first snow falls -- and wake up about the time that pitchers and catchers report -- er, the snow starts to melt. (Apologies to any ursinologists out there.)

Last night, in my winter delirium, I got into my car at about 9:15 and almost turned on the radio after thinking, "Hey, I wonder who the boys are playing tonight!" In other words, if I could skip ahead to spring right now, I certainly would.

Though I have no prospects for it happening, I could really use a month or so in some warm climate, preferably one in which, if I waited long enough, baseball would eventually appear.

Our good friend OG Jeff forwarded me this image of just such a place: Miami.

OK, there are no five-foot snowbanks lining those streets, but...do I have to say it? When baseball does finally amble into this neighborhood, most of it will be played inside a tin can. And after Google-Earthing around where this photo was taken, I can't help but wonder how all the people who live in these houses feel about the presence of this monster.

I know, they used to have the Orange Bowl there, but I bet at least a few of them were glad to see it go. (A few also probably wanted it preserved.) But the stadium seems, at least, to be an island unto itself. There is quite literally no attempt at integration with the neighborhood, nor could such a thing really be possible. It can only loom.

When I look at that photo, I can't help but think that we here in Twins Territory dodged a big bullet.

The Purple Elephant in the Room

I almost hate to bring up the subject of the other new stadium issue clouding local consciousness. But I'm interrupting my own pseudo-hibernation now because there are a few things worth saying.

1. The moment is right. Despite what detractors will inevitably say ("we need more money for education" -- a sentiment I agree with wholeheartedly, but which has nothing to do with stadiums no matter how often you try to put them in the same sentence), everything is primed. A new governor has put some energy (and a new face) to the problem. Legislators have been identified to shepherd the paperwork. Opposition that counts is relatively quiet. Anything spent can still be sold as economic stimulus. The Dome has never looked worse.

2. The Vikings still don't get it. It appears that they learned less than nothing from what happened with the Twins and the Gophers. Obviously, those were different circumstances, but lessons are lessons, and at least some apply: Threatening to move will set you back three or four years. Low-balling pisses off the people you need to please. You need partners with fiscal creativity. Negotiating in the press is poison. You need to be gracious. You're going to have to pay your fair share. Vision is everything. Things like that.

3. As a "face of the franchise", Lester Bagley is the worst. Zygi isn't that much better. The best thing the team could do now is find someone with class, humility and respect in the community to front their negotiations. (Arne Carlson?) Having a new Governor, new Legislature, and a new chairman of the MSFC seems like a good trigger to change faces all around the table.

4. The new stadium will have a fixed roof. Deal with it. The Vikings are being either disingenuous or stupid when they say they prefer playing outside. They do not, should not, and never will. Moreover, a billion dollars sure as hell better buy climate control and more than 12 events per year or a lot of people will be pissed. And nobody thinks that it's worth an extra $200 million just to open the roof for a couple of games per year. There's no discussion to have. This one's in the books.

5. The Dome site should be dumped. Build on the Brookdale site, or the Arden Hills site, or next to the Mall of America (who just may want to pay for naming rights again), but forget downtown. I know that some will howl about transit and parking, but let's admit that the Industry Square site (as it was known pre-Dome) has been a dog since day one. Freeway access is vestigial, parking options are dwindling, and the likelihood that the nearby landowners (I'm looking at you, Strib) will do anything to enhance the neighborhood is slim to none. With suburban land, you can build big parking lots and keep all the revenue for yourself. (By the way, if I were to advocate for a downtown site, I'd put it over by -- maybe right across the freeway from -- the Convention Center, where its usefulness on non-game days would be without question.)

6. The Dome itself might be worth saving. Did you know that the number of events held there actually went up after the Twins' 81 dates were removed from the schedule? The building still has a market, and that shouldn't be ignored. No matter what gets built for the Vikings, it's hard to imagine anyone playing baseball in it.

7. It's time to see more concept drawings. Believe it or not, people generally have trouble imagining things they can't see. Every drawing of a new stadium attracts attention and builds momentum. If it's to be nestled into some sort of larger development, even better. Remember those drawings of Twinsville? It still hasn't happened, but it sure did get people excited, and they could actually imagine things they hadn't thought of before.

8. Somebody needs to count the votes. The Vikes still don't have a Shane.

Personally, I checked out on my Vikings fandom a few years ago. Even before number four put on purple, the franchise -- maybe even the sport -- seemed to have lost its way. The culture shifted from strategy to brutality, from civility to coarseness, from "let's win" to "let's show up the other team, hurt somebody, and celebrate publicly". Football became, finally, once and for all, a caveman sport -- the ultimate anti-baseball.

Maybe it was when the dance in the end zone became more important than the touchdown. Maybe it was when the post-sack gesture toward the downed quarterback became standard. Maybe it was when rage became the standard mindset with which to begin a game. Maybe it was Randy Moss, and the loss of the notion that the team mattered more than the individual.

I know, all of these things can trace their roots back a long way. In truth, I think something snapped for me when Robert Smith retired, mostly because the decision made so much sense. Why would anyone literally risk their life for this form of entertainment? The stories of Wally Hilgenberg's brain just confirmed it.

I tried watching them with Favre, but it seemed like the franchise had been hijacked. The success seemed somehow hollow. I'll try watching again in the fall to see if anything has changed, but I'll admit that right now I really don't care that much whether the Vikings stay or go.

But I know that a lot of people do care. And I know that the smart money has been on the deal getting done this year. And I know that it will be a lot cheaper to build a stadium now than it will be to do it later, when there's an expansion or relocation fee attached. Smart money says build it and get it over with. This state will not, and should not, be without NFL football.

Some legislators appear to think that the Vikings can just pick up and move at any time if they want. To those legislators (cough-Julie Rosen-cough) I say, "Are you without a clue?" Los Angeles has not exactly been a Shangri-La for professional football. Any team even considering moving there had better be prepared for some rough times. The move itself will be expensive and contentious, and not even a shiny new stadium can heal that market without some serious time passing. As leverage goes, it's iffy. The Vikings most definitely do not hold all the cards here.

So I repeat: We're primed.

But the Vikings appear to be on a path which could derail that. One third of a roofless stadium? That's utter BS. It's embarrassing. Now's the time for the Vikings to come to the table in private and say, "What do we have to do to get this done? What do you need from us?" Then you can haggle, of course. But good faith is all it's going to take right now, and so far they have not shown that.

Meanwhile, Across Town and Across the Sporting World...

Somebody with a sense of humor built a snowperson inside of gate 34.

*sigh*

Comments


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If i had to pick a place, I'd say by the MOA if possible, because of the public transportation. I agree the dome is very useful and can be used to generate the city some money

Posted on January 21, 2011 at 02:04 AM by The Sooj Highlight this comment 1

Am I correctly remembering a time when there was an issue with the property east of the MOA because it was on the airport runway glide-path?

Posted on January 21, 2011 at 03:45 AM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 2

Great post Rick. I'm trying to remember which photo gives me a better chuckle, the snowperson in Gate 34; or the baseball stuck in the snowdrift from last year about this time (I can't remember which post it was).

Points 2, 4 and 6 I definitely resonate with. IF the Dome is in fact worth saving, I wonder if it might not be a good idea to maybe sell the Dome to the Minneapolis Convention authority. Sure, I know this isn't Saint Louis, where the stadium is actually attached to the convention center; or Indy, where the now defunct RCA Dome was attached; or the new Lucas Oil Stadium (which incidentally is referred to as the Luke over there) which is across the street, but still sold as part of convention bids. I don't know, just thought it would be interesting.

Posted on January 21, 2011 at 07:01 AM by luke Highlight this comment 3

Rick-
I'm getting a 406 no acceptance page that comes up.

"Not Acceptable

An appropriate representation of the requested resource /_page/pageCommentSave080731.cgi could not be found on this server.

Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request."

I tried to dissect my post to see if there was a certain part that might have been rejecting, but I didn't see anything that would have been. It does it every time I try to post it though, everything else goes through fine.

Posted on January 21, 2011 at 07:15 AM by AJ Highlight this comment 4

AJ,

That's a problem with an unrecognized character -- such as "fancy" quotes or the copyright symbol or something like that.

Posted on January 21, 2011 at 07:22 AM by Rick 5

I see nothing wrong if you would have called the snowperson a snowman.

Posted on January 21, 2011 at 07:38 AM by Steeks Highlight this comment 6

I'd like to see the new Vikings stadium built either at the Brookdale or Arden Hills site. Both have much better freeway access and more space for parking (tailgating). I don't think public transportation availability (light rail) is as important for football due to the number of events. Besides, I'm sure MTC will provide special busing schedules to and fro Vikings games, anyways, for those that want to use it.

Posted on January 21, 2011 at 07:49 AM by Fred Highlight this comment 7

Steeks,

I think we are save in calling it a "snow person", in that we have a right handed glove on a lefty. No guy would every try that would they?

Besides, how many guys would hold their homer hanky like that?

Great post Rick.

Posted on January 21, 2011 at 08:00 AM by minn55441 Highlight this comment 8

"People ask me what I do in the winter when there is no baseball. Well, I'll tell you; I stare out the window and wait for spring."

Rogers Hornsby

Posted on January 21, 2011 at 08:17 AM by terry Highlight this comment 9

Ha, agreed minn55441.

Posted on January 21, 2011 at 10:28 AM by Steeks Highlight this comment 10

One thing I love about the Twins-their sense of humor. Thanks for the pic/post Rick.

Posted on January 21, 2011 at 12:21 PM by Sass Highlight this comment 11

Steeks,

I've got a toddler, and that's the word they teach them in school these days. I guess it has permeated my consciousness...

terry,

Thanks for reminding me of that quote. I put it up at the top of the page.

Posted on January 21, 2011 at 12:41 PM by Rick 12

Can't believe i'm the first to post this extraordinary news. Lil Nicky Punto to the STL Cardinals. http://twitter.com/MatthewHLeach/status/28520297174929409

Posted on January 21, 2011 at 1:26 PM by jp Highlight this comment 13

I'm sorry, but if you're going to build a new Vikings stadium, it has to be on the Metrodome site. If you don't, you are simply throwing away the infrastructure already in place. Yeah, I get it, freeway access ain't great, but when money's tight, you save it wherever you can without sacrificing a good product.

I'm also biased because I live down the road from the Brookdale site, but they shouldn't build it there. The highway access isn't great there either, there would have to be tons of new infrastructure put into place to get it done, and the creek that runs under the site would cause way too many headaches to make it worth doing. I'm all for something being done with that site, just not something that brings an 80,000 people (at least 10,000 of them drunk by conservative estimates) through my neighborhood and will cost much more than the existing site.

I believe the MOA is out, as somebody already referenced, because of issues with building new structures in the flight path for the airport. Arden Hills might be doable, but again, you're going to end up paying much more for infrastructure than you would at the Dome site.

I also disagree that stadium funding and education funding don't have anything to do with each other. That might be true if you tap into only revenues coming from the stadium to build it, but if you're talking a new sales tax or racino or whatever, there are always better uses for that money. The state is in a $6.2 billion hole. Why should we divert money that could help fix that problem to building a $1 billion playplace for a billionaire owner and millionaire players to play 12 dates at?

Posted on January 21, 2011 at 5:33 PM by Buffalo Highlight this comment 14

I disagree buffalo, i also live by the brookdale sight, about a mile to the south, and think a vikings stadium would be perfect to rejuvenate the area. What infrastructure do you need there? Plow the buildings, build your football mecca, and watch the city blossom. The highway access is far superior to what the dome has now, the only thing it doesn't have is light-rail, which isn't that big a factor considering you only get 10 football games a year, and major events are infrequent enough to make it unnecessary. 694 and 100 will be awful an hour before and after every major event, but that's always the case regardless of location.

Posted on January 21, 2011 at 6:17 PM by jp Highlight this comment 15

This thought zipped through my head today: What of (Gasp!) international soccer events such as the World Cup? The US bid recently on another opportunity to host, but lost to Qutar. Should the US be awarded another opportunity to host, fields with real grass would be required, and that means a retractable roof for a Vikings stadium, whether you grow grass inside, or truck in planters of the stuff like they did at the Meadowlands a few years ago.

I'm by no means a soccer guy, but this would be a huge event in the area, and draw Super Bowl-like crowds for a series of games, er, matches, instead of just one. And we'd be more likely to see the World Cup here more often than a Super Bowl. Therefore, it seems to me to be worth at least factoring in to any design decisions.

Posted on January 21, 2011 at 7:08 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 16

New picture of supports for the new scoreboard. Click my name.

Posted on January 21, 2011 at 7:57 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 17

Well, Dr. X, it's not just the World Cup the US has lost out on...they've also lost the last two bids for the Summer Olympics (the North American continent has lost the last three). Toronto lost its bid for the 2008 games. New York lost to London for 2012, and Chicago lost to Rio for 2016. I thought I heard the Intl Olympic Committee told the US not even to bid for 2020.
I don't know, even if we did have a decent stadium, would they even have World Cup matches here??
TCFBS was included in Chicago's bid for the 2016 Olympics, and it was slated to host preliminary soccer matches.
Oh what could have been.

Posted on January 21, 2011 at 9:21 PM by luke Highlight this comment 18

I suppose it would all depend on the bid, wouldn't it? Maybe the timing just wasn't right these past two efforts. There could be lots of factors we aren't aware of. I guess the point I was moving toward, but failed to get to, was that someone with pull might come to the same conclusions, and while retractable roofs are certainly more expensive, there will be those who look at possible opportunities like World Cup events and believe that the monies that would come in, and the multiplier effects attached to them, would make the extra expense worth it.
So in my mind, despite Rick's belief (pt. #4), I don't think a retractable roof would necessarily be off the table.

Posted on January 21, 2011 at 10:17 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 19

Boy, I do love my run-on sentences and commas, don't I?

Posted on January 21, 2011 at 10:18 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 20

Buffalo,

I don't think anyone will blame you for not wanting a stadium in your neighborhood. That's one of the reasons they don't generally get built near residential areas (the Miami ballpark pictured above being a puzzling exception).

All I was doing was throwing out the sites which tend to get mentioned. Maybe none of those work, maybe all could work, and there are probably others I could have thrown in.

So I don't want to get too hung up on them. But let's clear up a few things.

It's likely impossible to find geologically worse land to build on than where TF now sits. In fact, as you probably know, there's a river flowing beneath the third base side of the grandstand (just a few feet beneath the Champions Club and visitors clubhouse). The whole building sits on hundreds of piles, necessary because the area was once a glacial river. No, soil condition certainly would not be a deal-breaker for the Brookdale site.

Infrastructure there isn't ideal, but it's really pretty darn good -- assuming you can build some parking on site. Access is good to 694 in both directions, and 100 connects to all points south. The nearest LRT station is currently planned to be a couple of miles away on highway 81, but that could probably be adjusted. Given the relatively few events, however, lack of rail transit connections probably won't kill any potential site at this point. (Maybe it should, but it probably won't.)

When the Dome was built, there was the openly-stated goal that infrastructure would grow up around it. It took over 20 years before the LRT finally came, and everything else was pretty much a bust. Compare infrastructure at the Dome with that surrounding TF. The latter is close to the ideal. The former is pretty much all missed opportunity.

Even Zygi has said that he would need some massive parking ramps built adjacent to a stadium on the Dome site. So, if you're going to build parking ramps anyway, why do you need to be in that particular location? The answer is that you do not. You might as well find the place that best suits your needs. If it turns out to be there, fine. But there's certainly nothing magical about the Industry Square (Metrodome) site. In fact, it isn't even available because there's already a potentially viable building sitting there.

The MOA land is restricted only in height, not type of use. There are currently some pretty elaborate plans out there for the old Met Center site (MOA Phase II):


A stadium wouldn't be precluded by any FAA regulations. (It's a separate question whether fans will want to have jets taking off and landing nearby during games. Also, the city of Bloomington may not want a stadium there.)

The same is true for the Kelley Farm land which sits due east of the mall, but remains privately owned.

(To be continued...)

Posted on January 21, 2011 at 10:46 PM by Rick 21

Now back to financing.

The unfortunate reality of how government actually works is that you don't need to solve one problem (even if it's gigantic) before attending to another. Politicians who don't want to talk about problem Y will often say it must wait until problem X is solved. This type of talk is meaningless and may be safely disregarded.

Likewise, it is never the case that all possible funding options must be applied to problem X before any money can go toward problem Y. In the wake of the TF deal, John Marty was heard to say that he wished we could just institute a .03 percent sales tax for education.

His point was sincere, but its absurdity highlights exactly what I'm saying. You never could do that politically. I don't exactly know why, but you can do funding things for stadiums that you just can't do for other things -- and vice versa. You could never institute, for example, an income tax for a stadium, or a property tax for E-85 subsidies, or a sales tax for budget-balancing. It just isn't done.

Contrary to what politicians would have you believe, the finances of a government are not in any way analogous to the finances of your typical family or business. Neither the income side, nor the expense side, nor the overall budget-balancing techniques, nor the debt management work anything like what you and I deal with on a daily basis. Government is its own thing. Any politician who tries to tell you otherwise is trying to manipulate you.

For example, could you or I do one of those magical accounting shifts to make current expenses look like they belong somewhere out in the future or bring future income into the present? (That's how budget deficits have generally been resolved on the previous Governor's watch -- at least when raiding reserves or deeply cutting services was not an option.) My guess is that the cable company won't accept accounting tricks in place of an actual payment.

But if we do allow the analogy for the sake of argument, the big budget deficit faced by the state this year is akin to, say, a large medical expense that you did not expect. You know that you need to pay it off, but how do you do it? Do you stop paying for everything else until it's gone? Do you drain your bank accounts? Your savings? Sell off your retirement accounts? Your stocks and bonds? Your house? Do you get a second job? Borrow from a friend or family member? Do you forgo ice cream cones, cable TV, internet, telephone service, meals? Buy a lottery ticket?

Buried in there is the stadium debate analogy. When faced with a gigantic, unexpected expense, do you stop having ice cream cones until the big kahuna is paid off? Do you stop paying for everything else until the biggest problem is out of the way? No, you wouldn't do that, and neither will our government.

Finding a financial mechanism for funding stadiums is a fundamentally different problem from finding funding mechanisms for education. The latter is clearly more important. The former is clearly a luxury item. But trying to connect them is to create a false association. They have, quite literally, nothing to do with each other -- and shouldn't.

But ask it one other way. Let's say that somebody figures out how to fund a stadium. A deal has been struck and everything gets approved. But at the last moment someone cries, "Wait! We need that money for our schools instead!" Everyone solemnly nods their heads and the deal gets amended. The word "stadium" is simply replaced with the word "schools".

You can wish it would work that way, but it does not and never will.

Posted on January 21, 2011 at 10:47 PM by Rick 22

Also, I appreciate the discussion about Super Bowls and Final Fours and the World Cup and Olympics. But the reality is that these really don't figure in the discussions because they are so speculative.

You could build the perfect facility and never land even one of those special events. So they have to be thought of as financial candy. They taste great when you get them, but they have no financial nutritional value whatsoever to the deal-making.

Posted on January 21, 2011 at 10:50 PM by Rick 23

AJ (and others),

If you get that "Not Authorized" error message, check to see if your post has a percent sign in it. Apparently the server doesn't like those in form submissions.

I'll check with my host provider to see if that can be adjusted.

Posted on January 21, 2011 at 10:51 PM by Rick 24

Rick needs a compass (or map).

Posted on January 22, 2011 at 12:16 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 25

I think leaving the Metrodome open if a new domed stadium goes to a different location would be a big mistake. The two buildings would cannibalize events from one another and push each other's rental rates downwards due to the competition. A new stadium will need every event it can book in order to generate revenue and doesn't need the Metrodome undercutting it.

One of the many reasons the Jets bailed on Shea Stadium was due to planes going in and out of LaGuardia Airport and causing significant noise and wind. The problem also plagued the Mets at Shea and still does at Citi Field. MSP is far busier now than when the Old Met stood and, I think, has more runways now too. The MOA/Met Center area is one best avoided unless it's the only viable option.

Posted on January 22, 2011 at 12:37 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 26

There's a lot there to think about, Rick. I agree with you about speculation when it comes to building to attract events, but public leaders dream, and many dream big. After all, Met Stadium and Midwway Stadium were both built with the intent to lure Major League Baseball to the area. There were no guarantees in place when ground was broken on either, if I recall correctly. Rudy Perpich was such a dreamer, and we have the World Trade Center in St. Paul to show for it.

What's that building called today?

Posted on January 22, 2011 at 03:00 AM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 27

Why do people contend that there is exsisting infrastructure around the Dome? Yes it is near 35W and 94, but there wasn't a game I went to there where I didn't sit for a half an hour on Washington Ave afterwards. Also the parking situation was absolutely awful.

Brookdale would be a better area, with direct access to 94, and 100. with 252, 94, and 694 in close proximity.

As I stated before, I would prefer the Lowertown flats which would have direct access to north and south 35E, east and west 94, and 52 and Shepard road leading to south 61 nearby. I guess you could include the future LRT as well. That coupled with mass amounts of parking and a possible Saints stadium, would be a nice addition for St. Paul.

Posted on January 22, 2011 at 03:45 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 28

Also without trying to start a political fight, what qualifications does Ted Mondale have to run the MSFC? He headed the Met Council but does that transfer to running a sports facility?

Posted on January 22, 2011 at 03:50 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 29

As for potential Viking stadium sites, has anyone ever investigated the area just north of 280 & 35W? Between F.A. Gross golf course and 35W, south of County Road C?

There used to be some big buildings there (Honeywell, I think), but now it's a lot of open space. Great view of downtown, not far from TCF Bank Stadium (for events that require staging), close to a freeway (35W) and two highways (36 and 280).

There are some railroad tracks through the area, but I don't think they'd get in the way of any major development...

I'm just dreaming this morning... :-)

Posted on January 22, 2011 at 08:25 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 30

I forgot to mention the alleged Wal-Mart plan for the Brookdale site. Last fall I remember hearing that some sort of deal had been struck and there was going to be a big announcement, but as far as I know, nothing ever came of it.

Posted on January 22, 2011 at 09:33 AM by Rick 31

Dodgeboy's Mrs. here, to lazy to log him out and put myself in.... Ok so I work at the Capitol, sure I just give tours and give people directions at the Info desk but it's a job (sort of), and now that I've been there for a while I can tell you how the government works when it comes to the issue of stadiums (and other things as well). It doesn't. Our government doesn't work, or at least it shouldn't work. If we ran our households the way that the government runs the state we would all be homeless, living in a van down by the river. It's mind boggling how little commonsense is used within the walls of the House and Senate Chambers, and the Governors office. I'll stop pontificating now.

Posted on January 22, 2011 at 10:36 AM by Dodgeboy Highlight this comment 32

Mrs. Dodgeboy,

I suspect that watching Hormel make hot dogs would be less frightening than watching government manage finances. I'm sorry for your trauma. You have my sincere sympathy.

Posted on January 22, 2011 at 11:06 AM by Rick 33

Duffman,
I think that when people refer to infrastructure at the Metrodome site - at least the way I think of it - They might be refering to utilities routed into the site. Sewer, water, and electrical sufficient to operate a stadium, etc. If a new stadium is built on another site, the dome will most likely be demolished. If that leaves a big hole, it seems like it would make sense to spare some time and expense by putting the new stadium in that hole.
Perhaps the method of transition from an old stadium to a new one would be to do work on TCF Stadium to upgrade the field and structure to accomidate NFL football before demolition of the dome, then build its replacement on the same site, hooking into the existing utilities.

Just a thought.

Posted on January 22, 2011 at 2:18 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 34

It might have been the percent sign, Rick. I think I had about two of them in there. It's not worth posting anymore anyway as the discussion has gone far away from what I was going to say and the comment I was going to reference is in the previous now.

Not a big deal, it wasn't important. I'll know not to use that symbol anymore., thanks for the heads up about it.

Posted on January 22, 2011 at 2:23 PM by AJ Highlight this comment 35

*previous post now...
missed a word there.

Posted on January 22, 2011 at 2:24 PM by AJ Highlight this comment 36

Rick - you're right about the speculative nature of the big-name events and the stadium. Saint Louis is one of those places. I alluded to this in an earlier comment, but in the 16 years their domed stadium has been there, they've had an NCAA Final Four, but not a Super Bowl, which surprises me a little.

Posted on January 22, 2011 at 3:46 PM by luke Highlight this comment 37

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the Brookdale site is no longer an option. I always thought it was kind of the "sleeper" location vs. downtown, but it is being redeveloped with a Wal-Mart as the main tenant. Not sure there's enough land now to support a new facility.

As to new facilities, just check out the major events Houston, Dallas, Detroit, and Indy are getting. There's no reason we would not be able to hold multiple Final Fours, a Super Bowl, a couple of political conventions, big concerts, etc. over the life of the facility.

These are the events that really drive big money into a local economy. And while I agree that the Dome site isn't the best, it's by far the most likely because the various business councils will want the site to be downtown where all the hotels are. It is a big selling point.

I also see that Mayor Rybak is doing his usual dance. Don't say anything about TF or a Dome replacement, but once the facility is constructed urge people to come into his city and spend money. Hardly leadership.

K

Posted on January 22, 2011 at 5:03 PM by Kramer Highlight this comment 38

Kramer:
I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure Rybak is still stuck with a city ordinance that does not allow Mpls to spend more than $10M on a stadium w/o a referendum. (Remember, TF was a Hennepin County deal.) That greatly limits what he can propose, let alone promise.

Posted on January 22, 2011 at 5:14 PM by br Highlight this comment 39

br - I believe you're right, as far as I know, that $10M cap in Mpls. hasn't gone away.

Posted on January 22, 2011 at 5:27 PM by luke Highlight this comment 40

Nice to see the site updated again!

Posted on January 22, 2011 at 6:15 PM by Myles C. Highlight this comment 41

Regarding the Vikings Stadium in my opinion Zygi has had it right since he took over the team. He believes that the outdoor gameday experience is superior to playing indoors. he asks if we(meaning Minnesotans) can ice fish outside in the bitter cold then why can't we play football outdoors like we did at the old Met Stadium. I wish he would stick to his beliefs and don't let all the politicians change his mind. I think if he was paying a higher percentage of the total cost of the project his views might have more pull. Anyway, it kind of surprises me that on this site we are all pretty much sports purists in a way, that I would have thought everyone here would prefer the outdoor experience as well. To me the indoor sports experience sucks. Just my opinion on this stuff.

Posted on January 23, 2011 at 07:59 AM by Tom D. Highlight this comment 42

br - despite the $10M Mpls that's in place there are numerous ways that Rybak could be out in front of this and he should be considering his city would benefit the most if the new facility was built at the site of the Dome or elsewhere in Mpls. (Although it's now quite funny that he really wanted the 2012 Democratic convention and they are now out of the running with the Dome in shambles).

Tom D. - the Wilfs are pushing for an open air stadium for a couple of reasons: they can say they only want to pay a third on an open air facility that would cost maybe $650M. This obviously keeps the amount they have to kick in less. It also probably increases the value of luxury suites and club level seats that offer heat and other "warm" amenities.

However the Wilfs also know that they it's going to be a fixed roof facility as there is no need for a retractable roof (any event there wouldn't need it to be open air) and it's safe to say that the Wilfs aren't going to pay extra for a retractable.

Probable end game: $900M fixed roof facility at the site of the Dome. Funding via the Wilfs, naming rights, ticket tax, memorabilia tax, lottery scratch off game, and perhaps racino or hotel/car rental tax. No general fund money used.

K

Posted on January 23, 2011 at 09:17 AM by Kramer Highlight this comment 43

It's interesting that the Minneapolis voters approved that charter change (the $10M cap on sports facility funding) with the idea that it would stop any stadiums from being built within the Minneapolis city limits.

The net effect, however, has been to let all the Minneapolis politicians off the hook (they can safely vote against any proposal), while at the same time benefiting the city from the stadium construction (which almost surely was going to happen here anyway).

The city barely lifted a finger for TF, but they have enjoyed a sizable windfall. So, in the long lens, all those anti-stadium crusaders now look a lot more like cynical opportunists.

Posted on January 23, 2011 at 09:40 AM by Rick 44

And, speaking of cynicism, Zygi knows full well that an open-air stadium is a non-starter. As Kramer suggests, all that talk is about saving money, plain and simple.

Once again, with comments like that, he's negotiating in the media, a strategy which will only make things harder for him (and probably with no financial benefit). It shows a certain level of contempt for the legislators with whom he needs to work.

Posted on January 23, 2011 at 09:46 AM by Rick 45

Football outdoors is great; snow, rain, seeing the players breath, etc. But, if I HAD to choose, I'd much rather watch baseball outdoors than football. (the experience between a Twins game at the Dome compared to Target Field?? Not even close or worth comparing!!) I don't care either way if the Vikes stadium is outdoors or not, I just want something done so we don't lose them to LA. Although, I consider myself more of a baseball fan than football. In the last 5 years there has been a shift and Rick hit the nail on the head; football has become all the things he posted:

"The culture shifted from strategy to brutality, from civility to coarseness, from "let's win" to "let's show up the other team, hurt somebody, and celebrate publicly". Football became, finally, once and for all, a caveman sport -- the ultimate anti-baseball."

Very well stated.

Posted on January 23, 2011 at 12:28 PM by ole Highlight this comment 46

Ditto.

Posted on January 23, 2011 at 4:38 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 47

Enough with the threats to move to LA. Football teams aren't successful there, and the Chargers or an expansion team will move there before anyone else. The Wilfs want no part of moving to LA if they want to make money on this team.

Posted on January 23, 2011 at 6:31 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 48

As far as I'm concerned the Vikings died in 1981 when they left the great outdoors. The weather was their image and it died. I will never take the Vikings seriously again until they return to their element. And given the wussies in MN, that will be never.

Posted on January 23, 2011 at 7:14 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 49

Life is good right now for the Drunken 'Sconnies....Badgers to the Rose Bowl and Packers to the Super Bowl within one month...

Last Vikings Super Bowl? 1976

Last Gophers Rose Bowl? 1962

Oh well, Twinsfest next weekend and the Grapefruit League Opener in just 5 weeks.

Posted on January 23, 2011 at 7:35 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 50

yawn. and national titles in football for weeeskonsin becky badger after 122 years = a big fat ZERO. basically the chicago cubs of college football....but then again at least the cubs have won a national title/world series before.

hopefully the world will see the steelers and their total defense (oh and they have an offense and a real QB that the bears didn't) kick the boorish asses of little erin rodgers and the fudge packers non-existent run game.

Posted on January 24, 2011 at 12:20 AM by Betaband Highlight this comment 51

Boorish. Hmmm....

Posted on January 24, 2011 at 03:29 AM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 52

Interesting thoughts on a new Vikings stadium. Although I could have done without the anti football rant.

Posted on January 24, 2011 at 09:16 AM by JamesT Highlight this comment 53

Back to Minneapolis and Rybak for a moment... rick, you're right about the net effect of the $10M stadium funding limit, although as a MPLS resident, I'm glad it's worked out the way it has. It's very hard for a city of modest size - like Mpls - to foot a large portion of a ballpark's cost.

Remember, when Rybak campaigned in '01, he was not in favor of public-funding for a stadium. But that's largely because the city was facing big deficits stemming in large part from problems with its pension fund. He did not want to raise property taxes while cutting police/fire and ALSO funding a ballpark.

However, he worked pretty diligently with Opat on coming up with and promoting the county-based solution that helped keep TF in Mpls (and not in St. P or elsewehre or nowhere). And he later pushed for city-funded (and other) improvements in the area, including the light rail extension, among other things. So I don't think it's fair to say he just sat back, did nothing, and then reaped a "windfall."

Could he have done more? Sure. But he helped while doing a decent job of balancing interests. Put it this way: He did a heckuva lot more than Guv Pawlenty did.

Posted on January 24, 2011 at 10:57 AM by BR Highlight this comment 54

Rick, I was glad to see a new post this morning. I was going to comment that you are updating about as often as DSP was on his ballpark blog. Keep up the good work! Go TWINS!

Posted on January 24, 2011 at 11:29 AM by JoJo Highlight this comment 55

If the only card in your hand you can play is that Wisconsin hasn't won a NCAA football championship in 122 years, and that makes Minnesota sports more successful, then you best get up from the table and walk away.

Posted on January 24, 2011 at 11:50 AM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 56

But that's not the only card, TTH. What about the devastating appellation, "Becky Badger"?

Posted on January 24, 2011 at 12:24 PM by robin Highlight this comment 57

Here's another great article from the New Yorker about concussions in football:

"...Jim McMahon, the ex-quarterback, confessed at a twenty-fifth reunion of the 1985 Super Bowl champion Chicago Bears that his memory is 'pretty much gone,' and that he often walks into a room without knowing why."

Don't worry, it's not an anti-football diatribe -- the author is a fan -- but it digs into some of the conflicting aspects of an inherently violent sport.

Posted on January 24, 2011 at 1:08 PM by Rick 58

Does anyone know what new food options will be available next season @ Target Field?

Posted on January 24, 2011 at 4:21 PM by HebrewHammer16 Highlight this comment 59

Looks like only 1 bidder so far for the M&M offer, but those bids usually pick-up in the last few hours of the offer. Maybe it will just be that, currently $150.

Has anyone heard any further word about Harmon?

Posted on January 24, 2011 at 6:03 PM by tk Highlight this comment 60

Amen to that, TTH.

Posted on January 24, 2011 at 6:29 PM by luke Highlight this comment 61

Morneau is skipping TwinsFest so he can keep working out in AZ.

Posted on January 24, 2011 at 6:39 PM by AJ Highlight this comment 62

AJ,

where is this information? Just curious.

I wonder what this will do the M&M auction :)

Posted on January 24, 2011 at 8:25 PM by tk Highlight this comment 63

~ A quick thought earlier today. What if the Twins were still playing in the dome? Where would they play their home games this upcoming season? MLB and interested parties must be taking a deep breath (amongst many other reasons) that the the new ballpark is up and running due to the dome's status.

Posted on January 24, 2011 at 9:01 PM by lindywig Highlight this comment 64

Very fortunate timing indeed. But when you roll that in with all the other things going on with the place...
Maybe I'm too cynical, but the whole dome situation stinks to high heaven. The roof comes down only after the Twins are gone and the Vikes are the sole tenant. It's too cold now to inspect the damage, but it was much colder than this when they built the place, and that never caused a stoppage in work. The roof has come down numberous times in the past, but only now does it do structural damage.

As I said, maybe I'm just too cynical.

Posted on January 24, 2011 at 9:15 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 65

God likes the Twins more than the Queens, that's all.

Posted on January 24, 2011 at 9:31 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 66

This is kinda funny. Danny Valencia revealed at the Twins Caravan in Sioux Falls that he has been working out with the A-Rod this off season. He was met with a chorus of boos.

Posted on January 24, 2011 at 10:10 PM by ab21 Highlight this comment 67

I wonder if he was showing him where to get injected in the ass. Wow you can read into that what you like.

Posted on January 24, 2011 at 10:37 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 68

I think I just threw up in my mouth.

Posted on January 25, 2011 at 02:45 AM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 69

Who are the idiots that booed him? Good for the young man to be able to work out with one of the best in the game.

Posted on January 25, 2011 at 04:15 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 70

Dave St. Peter was in Winona last night for the caravan and he mentioned that Harmon is doing really well. Although he will miss Twinfest this upcoming week (as will Justin Morneau), Harmon intends to be in Fort Myers in February for spring training donning that Twins uniform as a special instructor as he always does. Very good news indeed!

Also, I noticed on the updated "winter edition" pocket schedules that the Twins have quietly released single game ticket prices (scheduled to go on sale Saturday, March 19). Nothing unexpected, most weekends (Memorial Day thru Labor Day) are premium games along with Yankees, Red Sox and Brewers.

Value games are primarily the Sunday-Thursday home games in April, May and September

22 value homes
36 select games
23 premium games

Posted on January 25, 2011 at 07:46 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 71

tk-
It's on the StarTribune website. Bill smith suggested it and Morneau agreed to it.

Posted on January 25, 2011 at 07:52 AM by AJ Highlight this comment 72

DSP also mentioned that season ticket sales have been capped off at 25,000 this year...again, not a surprise.

He also stressed the importance of planning your games early and buying as early as possible (Saturday, March 19), which most of us on this site already know. Lots of fans complaining last year that they could not get tickets. Well as was the case last year, if you want some of those June-August games, than expect to buy early or pay more later. Don't expect to be able to call the Twins the week before the game and get good seats.

Posted on January 25, 2011 at 07:53 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 73

Mike-
I'm surprised at how many fans didn't/don't know that. It's a new ballpark, people are going to come to see it and it has fewer seats than the Dome. I guess I just see it as common sense.

Also, the further the season went on, it seemed like the Twins still had tickets, especially once school started up. It was a lot easier to buy tickets from the box office by August though people were still buying them off stubhub at a higher price instead...

Posted on January 25, 2011 at 08:41 AM by AJ Highlight this comment 74

With the Twins new variable pricing structure, if you can still buy tickets at the box office in August, chances are that they will be at higher prices as well.

Posted on January 25, 2011 at 09:17 AM by clublevelfan Highlight this comment 75

Looking at the schedule, August is going to be one tough ticket to attend a game at Target Field...3 of 4 weekends at home (White Sox, Yankees and Tigers) in addition to the Red Sox and Orioles visiting.

Posted on January 25, 2011 at 09:29 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 76

Anybody heard anything about Opening Day tickets? Will STH's have a better shot this year than last? Wasn't too pumped about last season's lottery...as a STH I ended up paying like $140 on Stubhub.

Posted on January 25, 2011 at 09:53 AM by PatMeares Highlight this comment 77

Yeah, I've been wondering the same thing about Opening Day tix. I'm a 20-game STH and I've heard nothing yet.

Posted on January 25, 2011 at 11:22 AM by EagleEyes Highlight this comment 78

Yeah me as well.

Posted on January 25, 2011 at 11:35 AM by PatMeares Highlight this comment 79

The Twins are strangely lacking in the communications department. I've been waiting for details on Twinsfest - who's signing, when and where - and there's nothing that I can see at this point. I sent an email to my STH rep who, not surprisingly, had no help to offer other than to "watch the website."

It'd be one thing of Twinsfest were just one day. But my kid wants to try for certain auto's, so it would be nice to know which of the 3 days to plan for. Even Twins fans have other things to do in life, and it wouldn't kill the team to provide ongoing updates more than a a couple of days in advance!!

Posted on January 25, 2011 at 11:46 AM by BR Highlight this comment 80

I assume that opening day tickets will be handled the same way as last season. Each season ticket holder will be given the opportunity to purchase tickets based on availability with priority based on number of years you have been a holder.

Posted on January 25, 2011 at 12:00 PM by PNB19 Highlight this comment 81

TwinsFest details should be out today according to the Twins official twitter. At least that's what they said a day or two ago. This is pretty usual for TwinsFest info, they usually give it out a few days before.

Posted on January 25, 2011 at 12:01 PM by AJ Highlight this comment 82

And the map for TwinsFest is up now. It doesn't say who/when/where yet though.

Posted on January 25, 2011 at 12:05 PM by AJ Highlight this comment 83

The news of Morneau staying put, especially in light of the M & M auction/spin, has not made me more comfortable about his prospects for full recovery.

Another deal no one wants to make much mention of is Nathan's situation. Coming back real good and solid just one year following TJ surgery seems to be the exception rather than the norm. I have heard the comment that his arm is "younger" because he came up as an infielder - but a blown out elbow is still a blown out elbow, is it not?

In my view, these are two HUGE question marks that everyone is trying to sweep under the carpet.

Posted on January 25, 2011 at 3:10 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 84

I think you're right to be concerned, Ben. Re: Nathan, I'm sure the team is, too, which is why they obtained, and then re-upped with, Capps. He's the fallback plan at closer. Of course, that would still leave another set-up hole, but there's only so much $ the team can devote to the 'pen.

I have to think the team is optimistic about Morneau's long term prospects or they would have signed a good back-up 1Bman instead of Thome (or a F/T OF to let Cuddyer move to 1st again if need be). Or they would have at least signed Thome earlier and not risked having a huge hole in the line-up. The way they played the Thome situation makes me think that they weren't giving the Morneau Back-up Plan too high a priority. That's probably because he's doing well and the dr's are encouraged with his progress.

Posted on January 25, 2011 at 3:51 PM by BR Highlight this comment 85

I don't often comment, but I've been a regular reader of this blog for a few years now.

I just want to say something about the nicknames Vikequeens and Fudge Packers. I know that they are said in jest, but maybe we should consider what we are saying when we use terms like these in our everyday lives. There are, after all, plenty of gay baseball fans (and probably a few players) and they might have something to contribute to this blog. Let's not exclude them with hateful language.

If you disagree with me, that's fine. But remember we are talking about more than a political issue-- We are talking about people.

Posted on January 25, 2011 at 5:07 PM by TimInDuluth Highlight this comment 86

I'm fine with that.

Posted on January 25, 2011 at 7:18 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 87

Amen to that

Posted on January 25, 2011 at 7:46 PM by Paul Highlight this comment 88

While I don't use it since I think it sounds dumb, I think the term Vikqueens is more geared at calling them females, than it is refering to gay men, as Queens are the female equivalent to Kings. If one wants to believe it is derogatory to gay men, and choses to be offended by it, that is on them.

As for Nathan, I could care less if he comes back. It will be nice to get him off the payroll next year. I know two years ago he put up 40-some saves, but many of those were very flimsey. HE also cost the Twins the game in the playoffs against New York. I believe it was the game where the ref blew the call on Mauer's double

When Nathan was healthy, he was far too nervous and lacked confindce to throw his pitches. (All the shaking and blowing, spending a minute to decide between his three pitches, and his over relience on his change-up, instead of his fastball)

Does anyone think that will improve after coming back after major arm surgery?

Posted on January 25, 2011 at 7:49 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 89

I think at this point gays would be offended by being called a viking!

i hope they do the OD the same which was if you had season tx at the doem then you get OD tix.. im sorry but its only fair... i really hope i bump in to harmon down at the complex this spring that would be awsome.. im starting to plan out my games (20plus) to spend the least amount possable.. last year i sometimes spent 100.00 or more at a game. this year im going el cheapo.. i did the food, beers and bottle of moet in the metropolitan club . now its time for a body flask! almost like a whoppie cushion full of brandy..food is really a after thought after you kill a liter and see Luke and joni talking about retractable roofs in the seats in front for 3 innings... i can picture it now dress shirt , pocket protector, twins mesh basketball shorts!

Posted on January 25, 2011 at 8:32 PM by mazaratirick Highlight this comment 90

Nobody's hurting the pro-gay agenda by calling the Vikings the Viqueens. Sheesh.

We need baseball back NOW.

Posted on January 25, 2011 at 10:55 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 91

As always, offense is in the eye of the beholder.

For me, the trash stuff would fit so much better on some board that smells more like jock straps.

I've always tried to maintain the fresh scent of outdoor baseball here. But if it helps, I'll throw one of those evergreen things on the rear view mirror.


Posted on January 25, 2011 at 11:42 PM by Rick 92

How do you post a picture to this thing? I need to show Maz how I prepared for a ballgame back in the day.

Posted on January 26, 2011 at 01:02 AM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 93

Straw hat and a starched collar?

Posted on January 26, 2011 at 03:41 AM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 94

Well said Tim and Rick

Posted on January 26, 2011 at 08:54 AM by terry Highlight this comment 95

Duffman I agree, I think Nathan is cooked! Be nice to get him off the books. You think they sign Lirano and Delvin before arbritration? Not expecting too much from Twins this year. Around 500 and battling for 3rd place behind the whitties and tigers. I've always called the purple the Queens. I think that goes back to Morgan Mundane on the old neighbor CCO days when Morg always called them the queens! LOL! The pack I call the hapless pack!

Posted on January 26, 2011 at 10:53 AM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 96

Updated information about TwinsFest now posted, click name for link.

Posted on January 26, 2011 at 11:49 AM by TK Highlight this comment 97

I'm hearing a strong rumor that there will be TurkeyToGo sandwiches at Target Field this summer. These are the outstanding turkey sandwiches available every year at the State Fair as well as their food cart out on the Nicollet Mall during the summer weekdays...

Posted on January 26, 2011 at 1:08 PM by Max Highlight this comment 98

Spring Training Tips:

1. Arrive early to the games. The parking is an absolute disaster if you come around 12:30pm for the 1pm game. It is run by elderly folks who end up having to direct traffic and park cars on the 4 adjacent softball fields, because there is no where near enough parking.

2. Head to Sun Harvest Citrus after the game for fresh squeezed juice samples (self-service as many as you wish), delicious Indian River citrus, and tasty orange swirl ice cream cones.

3. Walk the backfields when about March 10th the minor leaguers report and workout in the mornings and play games in the afternoons (usually against Boston, Baltimore, Tampa, or Pittsburgh minor leaguers).

4. Wanna run into the players? Rent a condo in Heritage Palms. They have 2 golf courses and several of the player/coaches own/rent property in this gated community located just north of the ballpark on Six Mile Cypress.

5. Ft. Myers Beach is highly overrated unless you wanna battle oppressive traffic just to get on the "island", along with run down hotels, rowdy spring breakers, etc. Depending on your budget/length of stay in SW Florida, you are better off in Estero at Coconut Point or Gulf Coast Town Center near the airport. I'd also recommend staying in Naples/Marco Island for the best experience albeit the most expensive & longest drive to the ballpark 45mins-1hour.

6. If you don't have tickets for a game, expect to pay a healthy premium from a scalper outside the ballpark. You're much better off hitting up eBay or Craigslist before heading to Ft. Myers. Virtually every game sells out and that creates a short supply/lots of demand from all the spring breakers who make the decision on a whim to attend a game.

7. The best pizza is either Grimaldi's (of Brooklyn Bridge fame) in the Bell Tower Shops across from the movie theater or Aurelio's (of Chicago fame/also have a location in a rundown Roseville strip mall) in the Gulf Coast Town Center development near Dick's Sporting Goods.

Posted on January 26, 2011 at 1:35 PM by Max Highlight this comment 99

I'd be down with Turkey2Go...they've got some good food. I wonder what else they will introduce. Hopefully they change some stands around, specifically the Frankie V's stands.

Posted on January 26, 2011 at 1:37 PM by PatMeares Highlight this comment 100

I think they will get Liriano signed before arbitration. Delmon, I don't think so. He only asked for $6.25 million at arbitration. With the year he had last year, there is no reason to believe he shouldn't get that number or close to it. It seems the Twins are waiting to make sure last year wasn't a fluke and for some reason hoping to save a million or two.

Argueable Delmon had the best hiting stats on the team last year. I know his average was much lower than Mauer's but he trounced him is RBI's and HR's. Yet he only made $2.6 million compared to Mauer's $12.5, Cuddy's $9.5, and made of glass Morneau's $15.

A note on Morneau, yes I know he had a concussion, and had several in his past, but really its been 7 months and you play baseball, one of the least contact sports out there. Supposedly he is worried about having it happen again, which if that is the case, he might as well retire, because a high and tight fastball may catch him in the head at anytime.

Also, if I recall correctly, in Morneau's first year up, Torii Hunter called him out for not playing through injuries.

I have seen the effects of a bad concussion, a friend of mine had to quit his job because one. He suffered from sensetivity to light, numberness in different parts of his body, and looked like he had a stroke. A few months after he was given medical clearence to resume his job as a cop, which at times can be a lot more violent than baseball. I know everyone recovers at different rates, but it is stupid to suggest not showing up at Twinfest would help him recover faster.

Posted on January 26, 2011 at 1:42 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 101

Max,

Now I'm hungry....Way back when I lived in Roseville, we used to go to Aurelio's a few times a month. Shhhh, don't tell anyone it's there. It's a well-kept secret.

Posted on January 26, 2011 at 2:53 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 102

Max-
Hopefully that parking issue will be solved in the next few years. The county just bought the land around Hammond Stadium and are looking to expand the Twins facilities. They mentioned parking as being upgraded.

I've never been to ST, but would love to go. I thought I might be able to go this year, but maybe next year.

Posted on January 26, 2011 at 3:59 PM by AJ Highlight this comment 103

Max:
Thanks for the ST tips. I'd amend a couple points. Ft. M Beach is actually enjoyable IF you get away from (far south of) the "Times Square" area. There are some reasonably priced cottages mid-island, and the beach itself is excellent - wide, fine sand, very shallow (toddler friendly) waters. Also, Sanibel and Captiva are beutiful and much closer than Naples, though also pricey. Condos on Sanibel just off the beach are your best bet for moderately priced ($1400-1800/week for 2BR) accommodations.

Duffman:
Lighten up re: Morneau. Ever hear of Corey Koskie? As you yourself note, all concussions are NOT alike. The point about Twinsfest, which the team made clear, is that he's on a very specific, doctor monitored, graduated program that they didn't want to disrupt for 4 days this close to spring training. Makes perfect sense to anyone who really has had to deal with concussions. You want him to actually play this season, don't you??

And as for Delmon, you don't compare the player to everyone else in arbitration, but to what other comparable players have made at the same point in the arbitration process. What Mauer or Morneau makes now is irrelevant to Delmon's case.

Posted on January 26, 2011 at 9:03 PM by br Highlight this comment 104

Just want to be clear: Are we allowed to call the Twins the "TWINKies" on this blog, or is that offensive to the homosexual community as well? Will the resident gays on this blog please clarify? Thank you in advance.

Posted on January 26, 2011 at 9:25 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 105

They're "Twinkies" when they're playing like crap. ;-)

Posted on January 26, 2011 at 10:00 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 106

Ha Kevin, I'm pretty sure there are a few Aurelio's locations in Vegas. A short 4 hour drive from PHX (or 1 hour flight). You are right though, it is a hidden secret in MSP pizza parlors. Terrible location, but mighty fine thin crust pizza.

Speaking of PHX, I'll be there next weekend. Can you recommend a good sports bar or restaurant to watch the Super Bowl in Scottsdale? I'll probably head straight there from the Phoenix Open shenanigans...

Posted on January 26, 2011 at 10:20 PM by Max Highlight this comment 107

Max...If you're looking to watch at a place close to the golf tourney then I would hit up Blue 32. It's located on Scottsdale Rd north of Indian Bend. Click my name for their website. This place is also just west of where the new ballpark is being built for the D-Backs and Rockies spring training...Set to open next month - Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. From there, the other side of the freeway is the Talking Stick Casino and Resort. You might have more fun watching the game there if you like to gamble.

If you don't mind driving a little bit, you can catch the game at Four Peaks Bar in Tempe. This is the biggest Vikings bar west of the Rockies. The 2 brothers that own it are from MN. It's also a brewery and their local selection is good. Their website is http://www.fourpeaks.com/ There is a location in N. Scottsdale but it's small and it sucks. The Tempe location is the mothership and the food is phenomenal - much better than your typical sports bar food.

Posted on January 26, 2011 at 10:45 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 108

Sorry Max, Roxy just corrected me...It's the North Scottsdale location that's bigger...Not Tempe....(getting old sucks)...Food is awesome, go there, you won't regret it!

Posted on January 26, 2011 at 10:50 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 109

TTH, you do not have to be part of the LGBT community, or any group for that matter, to take offense to certain statements/comments or hate speech.

If someone "interrupts" a comment someone makes, the person should acknowledge that someone did not take the remark kindly and move on.

3 weeks!

Posted on January 26, 2011 at 11:30 PM by tk Highlight this comment 110

Everybody posting here is his own editor.

But it was Tom Kelly who said, with deep seriousness, through a cigar, "We're not Twinkies. We're Twins."

Then he went out and grabbed two world championships just to drive the point home.

Posted on January 27, 2011 at 12:06 AM by Rick 111

I don't care what anybody says, trying to disparage the Packers by calling them a slur reserved for bashing gays is borderline hate speech. Never understood why "macho" sports fans always turn to calling guys by girls names either to disparage them. Try being original and little less insensitive when ripping teams you hate.

Posted on January 27, 2011 at 03:56 AM by Buffalo Highlight this comment 112

Original? Here?

Posted on January 27, 2011 at 05:52 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 113

Someone at some point in this recent post asked about new food options at TF this year. Might I suggest a Minnesota version of the 5/3 Burger that is featured at the Fifth Third Ballpark in Indiana (?). Someone said it's a "Major League burger at a minor league ballpark."
Click my name to see the 5/3 Burger in all its glory, and think about what a Minnesota version would look like....

It's also been featured on an episode of Man Vs Food on the Travel Network. Looks like one hell of a good burger.

Posted on January 27, 2011 at 06:59 AM by luke Highlight this comment 114

Luke, I think I suffred a minor case of angina just looking at that "burger"...!

Posted on January 27, 2011 at 09:38 AM by BR Highlight this comment 115

I was watching a show on Food Network (I think), they were showing that "burger". Now I loves me a good burger, but that thing was just too much.

I am curious about those turkey sandwiches, though! I've heard they're quite excellent.

Posted on January 27, 2011 at 11:05 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 116

Reminds me of a high school buddy of mine (6'1" / 170) whose standard trip to Burger King included four Whoppers.

Posted on January 27, 2011 at 11:10 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 117

man, this board is a fun read sometimes.

appears we have a number of overly sensitive gay/lesbian sympathizers as well as weeeeskonsin transplants to minnesota (geez what else is new) who post to this board........then again those two things are pretty much one in the same, so go figure.

p.s. whatever.......green bay fudge packers.........GO STEELERS, GO VIKES.

Posted on January 27, 2011 at 12:10 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 118

Max,
During Spring Training when the Twins don't have a game scheduled in March, do you know if the team still practices and can fans just go and watch? (and kids try to get an autograph or two.) Thanks

Posted on January 27, 2011 at 12:21 PM by Go Go Twins Highlight this comment 119

All of the training and practice fields are open to the public and you can wander all over the place. Go early and enjoy! You need $$$ to get into Hammond Stadium proper to see a game but that's it.

Posted on January 27, 2011 at 12:38 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 120

My point about Morneau was more venting that anything, but he was almost ready to come back at the end of last year, now he can't make Twinfest, a event that should not involve any physical contact asides from the occasional handshake. I don't know why I even care, I am not even going since I work this weekend.

Changing subjects, what about Casilla? What is the Twins back-up plan for when he, excuse the language, shits the bed? We all know its going to happen. He has roughly the same amount of baseball knowlege that Carlos Gomez had, in other words, none. It looks like Cabrera is the only free-agent short-stop left. I personally wouldn't mind seeing him in a Twins uniform again, even though he is 36.

One last note on "hate-speech" as that should be for a different blog, as an man of Irish-German one of my favorite lines in the Godfarther was the exchange between the movie producer and Robert Duvall:

Jack Woltz: Now you listen to me, you smooth-talking son-of-a-bitch, let me lay it on the line for you and your boss, whoever he is! Johnny Fontane will never get that movie! I don't care how many dago guinea wop greaseball goombahs come out of the woodwork!
Tom Hagen: I'm German-Irish.
Jack Woltz: Well, let me tell you something, my kraut-mick friend, I'm gonna make so much trouble for you, you won t know what hit you!

The way I figure it is you can only be offended if you allow yourself to be offended.

Posted on January 27, 2011 at 3:04 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 121

Excellent thanks Kevin. If forced to pick would you take Blue 32 or Four Peaks?

Go Go: yes you'll find the best access and smallest crowds when the team is playing an away game. Most of the stars don't make road trips and people think that if the team isn't playing at home that day nobody shows up to workout. That clearly isn't the case. Remember the early bird gets the worm (8am or earlier)...

Anyone else heading to the Diamond Awards tonight?

Posted on January 27, 2011 at 3:20 PM by Max Highlight this comment 122

Duffman-
I think you're looking too far into the Morneau thing. It's not like he can't come here to do TwinsFest. They said he could have, but he's on a training schedule and they don't want that schedule messed with. If he's spending time at TwinsFest, he's not doing the doctor ordered schedule...he'd be signing autographs instead of working out/lifting/doing baseball activities (which he mostly wasn't able to do last year).

This way he can keep doing those things and head straight to Fort Myers and do them there as well. There would be no stopping of his schedule this way.

And Casilla's back-up option is Tolbert/Plouffe. That's it. I know, "yay!" Orlando Cabrera could be an option, but I don't see it. He's usually not good defensively. I actually think Casilla would be a better D option than him. We will see though. Casilla wasn't a good defensive 2B, but it also wasn't his natural position. And Cabrera put up a line of .263/.303/.354 last year. In Casilla's good years, he does better than that. In his bad years, he does do worse, but I can see him putting up at least that line. If Cabrera would sign for less than $1 million than it would be worth it, but he doesn't deserve more than that. I don't know if he'd take that, but then again, he's still not signed...

Posted on January 27, 2011 at 3:43 PM by AJ Highlight this comment 123

So ----- the guy who lit the match on the whole M & M auction fuse thought Morneau was stored in a closet in Blaine and could just pop out without any impact on what he was really doing and where he really is - and then said "oops" and switched gears (spin) when someone pointed out the facts? People read one thing (at least a couple of us do) and then they read another - and the two entirely contradict each other - then they read the spin and say "Well now, that's why - I guess everything really is OK" even though anyone with half a brain can detect a bit of rat aroma wafting by. I am convinced that something is left being unsaid here (like that would be a new feature of Twins fan-dom).

Posted on January 27, 2011 at 5:05 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 124

I've said all along: I've got a baaaad feeling about the Morneau situation. I think things are not as good as we're being led to believe.

Posted on January 27, 2011 at 5:48 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 125

It's certainly a possibility but I'm not much of a conspiracy theorist. The difference, that I've noticed, from last year is that he's not having symptoms anymore. Last year when they said he could be back in a week (playoffs), they also reported that he was still having symptoms. It wasn't every day, but he was still having them. There was no way he was going to come back when he was having symptoms.

They could be lying about him not having symptoms now, but so far Morneau and Bill Smith have said he's had none. And if he really wasn't well, I don't think they'd go into the season without a first baseman. They don't have one at all then. Cuddyer is a fine fill in for an extremely short period of time, but he's not a first baseman and there was lots of proof of that last season.

Posted on January 27, 2011 at 7:13 PM by AJ Highlight this comment 126

I hope you're right and I'm just being too cynical. I'd love to see Morneau back and in full vigor.

Posted on January 27, 2011 at 8:26 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 127

I am not one of those guys that thinks we should bring people back just becasuse they were a Twin at one point, or from Minnesota. I was very much against Eddie Guardado's second stint here.

That being said, Casilla has already had one too many chances here already and depending on him, Tolbert or Plouffe to anchor our middle infield is a mistake especially with a big unknown at 2nd. I would just prefer a known quantity in case things go awry.

Posted on January 27, 2011 at 8:47 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 128

Every team has a weak spot. If Casilla is ours, then I'm ok with that. He has shown flashes of being a good defensive middle infielder and is decent with the bat. I don't expect all - star production in every spot in the lineup; he just needs to be solid and dependable - that's not too much to ask, right?!?

Posted on January 27, 2011 at 8:57 PM by ole Highlight this comment 129

Casilla just needs to get on base. I don't care how, just get on base.

Posted on January 27, 2011 at 9:15 PM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 130

Last I heard Morneau was told to play through his pain when he had it, not that he didn't have symptoms anymore. It's not over, and one incident on the field this year could very well do it if he still has symptoms.

Posted on January 27, 2011 at 9:42 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 131

Twins to retire #28 according to Star Tribune

Posted on January 27, 2011 at 9:53 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 132

July 16: Bert Blyleven Day for the #28 retiring. Danny Valencia tweeted, "That must be why Jesse Crain had to leave."

Crain was at the Diamond Awards tonight, accepting his Community Service award. Very classy.

Posted on January 27, 2011 at 9:59 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 133

Hey, isn't July 16 the Fiesta de Beisbol?

Posted on January 27, 2011 at 10:12 PM by Rick 134

What was the rotation order at the beginning of last season (Yeah, i can google it. just looking for some dialogue here as wife and dogs are asleep). I know it was a mess; nobody was real sure of their role in the rotation. This year, I see more stability that will only improve SP's chance of success. Liriano & Pavano know they're our 1, 2. Now, their season/playoff success will depend on whether or not Baker/Duensing/Blackbur/Slowey can exceed expectations as the 3rd, 4th & 5th starters. Shit, here we go again

Pitching has to be more mental than anything, right? Baker's FINALLY in his prober position as No 3/4, and doesnt have to deal with unattainable expectations. God it has to help!

As you can tell, I expect great things from our 1/2. It looks like we'll again live & die with Baker and Slowey in some capacity this season.

Last question: if things don't go well with Bake/Slowey/Blackburn, the org. HAS to do something. When they do, what do you see them doing? These guys have little to no trade value! Will we see one end up on waivers??

I hereby omit Twinkies from my vocabulary. If TK/God frowns upon it, so we shall too. End of discussion.

Oh yeah, and Beta, if you're gonna act like such an athletic supporter of gopher sports while throwing such hateful terms like becky badger around, the least you could do is stop talking about past football championships***, and refer to real gopher successes like you have in hockey, swimming & wrestling. Gopher football is a complete joke (soft j).

Posted on January 27, 2011 at 10:29 PM by N.D. (aka N.D. "Rube") Highlight this comment 135

ah, like in "jogging."

I'm not so sold on Liriano comfortable in the No. 1 or 2 position either. He's prone to first inning meltdowns (remember that home game vs. Colorado??) and you can't have that with your top tier pitchers. There were times when Frankie was shakier than Morneau's frontal lobe.

This pitching staff can keep the Twinkies in the hunt IF the offense can score 5-7 runs frequently. If not, this may be the year we amp up the disdain for the Pale Hose. Not hopin' it, just sayin' it.

Posted on January 27, 2011 at 11:44 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 136

N.D. (aka N.D. "Rube"),

Not sure if I have ever been called out before and then told by that same person, "end of discussion."

Not sure if I ever stated what people can and cannot write/think.

I simply was making a point that if someone takes offense to a statement you should acknowledge that it was not received well and move on.

I am not sure how one can compare unpopular nickname to an oppressed group of individuals.

I do not believe in my above statement I was calling anyone out, so I have said my peace and I am moving on.

When are people looking to head out to TwinsFest?

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 12:04 AM by tk Highlight this comment 137

Agreed. Though, thing is with Liriano, if he fails to perform to No 1 expectations, he's still a nice trade piece. He's got value.

I'm sure this is understood to most of you already, but what consistently keeps the team from truly contending is Baker, slowey & blkburn, all twins draft picks, have contributed 4.50 ERAs for the past 4-6 years. Puke!

I desperately want to talk about what it will take to compete with the Yanks & Red Sox (holy S***, Youk, scutaro, pedroia, Gonzalez, CC, Ellsbury, Lackey & Buchholz are the 3/4 starters!), but I'm afraid winning the mediocre central is gonna be a feat in and of itself.

something in my jack & coke tells me major changes will be coming to the pitching staff come july.

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 12:38 AM by N.D. (aka N.D. "Rube") Highlight this comment 138

Wow tk. was in no way referring to you. just being being facetious. I was simply referring to the Rick's TK quote.

Oh wait, now i get it! There's you, tk, and then there's TK/God. Simple misunderstanding. Take care now.

I'm putting the bottle in the cupboard

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 12:46 AM by N.D. (aka N.D. "Rube") Highlight this comment 139

jctwins-
The doctors said Morneau could push through symptoms IF he has any. Morneau and Smith have both said that he hasn't even had any, like I said, unless they're lying.

And it's about time they retire Blyleven's number. It should have been done a long time ago. That was probably another small reason why it took so long for him to get into the HOF. The team he spent the most time racking up those HOF stats with didn't even recognize what he had done. Funny tweet by Danny V.

I think I have tickets to that July 16th game, not sure though.

I like Baker, but the guy's biggest problem is the first two months of the season. He either sucks or is injured during that time. He has a career ERA over 5 in April/May. A career ERA over 4 in June/July and a career ERA under 4 in August/September/October. That's not always the case every season, but he usually is bad for at least two months, whichever two months it may be (last year it was three April/June/July).

It'll probably be Pavano/Liriano/Baker/Duensing/Blackburn (was Baker/Blackburn/Pavano/Slowey/Liriano to start 2010). Blackburn's more pitch to contact than anyone and that doesn't play well in the BP. He also pitches better when he's tired. Last year he completed at least seven innings in over 50 percent of his starts, only Pavano did better than that.

By the third time through the order, Slowey usually gets absolutely rocked and he's was only able to complete seven or more innings in about 20ish percent of his starts in 2010. Slowey has more talent, but Blackburn has shown to be the better pitcher so far. I guess we'll see how it goes in Spring Training.

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 07:35 AM by AJ Highlight this comment 140

Max,

Blue 32 has more TV's, but Four Peaks has much better food. If it were me, I would go to Four Peaks (because I'm a foodie) and arrive early so I could get a table near a TV. The N. Scotts location is along N. Hayden Rd just south of Frank Lloyd Wright...It's across the street from a Chevy dealership - can't miss it.

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 08:08 AM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 141

Bill Smith said at the Diamond Awards that he's not sure that Morneau will show up to camp on time, but they are hoping he'll be ready for April 1st...not a good outlook.

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 08:47 AM by PatMeares Highlight this comment 142

Eh, I'm still not worried. And this outlook from Michael Rand (at the Diamond Awards) sounds better than your description: "GM Bill Smith said the team is "optimistic" that Morneau will be ready to report at the start of spring training and that April 1 is the real target date for having the slugging first baseman full speed ahead for the season."

That's the kind of stuff they say about every player who's had a serious injury the previous season. You don't go into Spring Training ready to play game one of the season right then. Spring Training is just a warm-up for the season. Morneau used to go full blown before and during Spring Training and he believed it was one of the reasons he always slumped August and on, because he was already full-season game ready in February.

He did the same thing last year (lighter workouts, started training later than in the past) because of his back and everyone was freaking out about that. Almost those exact same words were said by Smith last year in regards to Morneau's back. He slowed down his training before and during Spring Training and was having an MVP season before he hit his head. Head and back are two completely different injuries, I know, but this happened last year as well and the same things were said.

And I truly believe the Twins wouldn't go into the season without a first baseman if they didn't believe he was fine and had all positive reports from the docs, because with head injuries he could be out all year if he's still having symptoms (which he is said to not be having). Cuddyer can't play there all year.

If they go and sign Glaus, Kotsay or Nick Johnson on the cheap (blah) before the season, then I'll be worried, because there isn't a bench spot for them and it would mean that something is wrong. Overbay was available and only signed for $5 million. And D-Lee was out there to get, who would have been the best option. I know he signed for +7 million, but they could have signed him and not signed Thome. I don't think Jim Pohlad would have turned that down, but obviously that's just my opinion.

I'm just not a person to worry about something that doesn't need to be worried about until it actually happens. There's no point in that to me. Fans and media are doing all of their speculations, but all reports so far say he's doing baseball activities, which he couldn't do last year. Right now, word is that there are no symptoms and that's what I'm going with. If the Twins sign somebody who can play first, then I'll worry. Without Morneau, they don't have a 1st baseman.

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 09:43 AM by AJ Highlight this comment 143

"Without Morneau, they don't have a 1st baseman."

What about Cuddles? You can always find generic corner outfielders to fill his RF spot.

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 10:23 AM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 144

I think the point about having no 1Bman w/o Morneau is that cuddyer is lousy at 1st. But I'm pretty sure he IS Plan B, with Ben Revere coming up to help Kubel back fill in RF (and Thome again becoming the F/T DH).

Off-topic: I was thinking of Gardy's unnatural affinity for sCRAPPY middle infielder/utility types and decided to look back at his own less than illustrious playing career. Wow. He made Punto look All-Staresque. I also noticed that Gardy wasn't born in the U.S. Any guesses as to where the Twins' skip hails from?

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 10:38 AM by BR Highlight this comment 145

That's the thing. Consider the possibility that the FO, knowing they are screwed, has already thrown in the towel on 2011. I know it's a fetch --- but the payroll is pretty well maxed, the player pool is pretty well drained (of quality at least), and they DO have warm bodies. Besides, the park is a sell-out (so the core mission is already accomplished), the Central will be a much steeper climb this year, and there ARE a number of other issues as well (bullpen, RH bats, middle infield, etc.). Why not just say "F**k it" and pay the spin-meisters a little overtime? Pretty bizarre scenario but I'm just another one of you with too much time to think while waiting for Spring. We have known all along that the new park would allow the team to skate for two years and that 2012 is the year to watch.

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 10:52 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 146

Yeah, I dismissed Cuddyer because he's not good there. He couldn't pick low throws to save his life. He usually looked scared of them. Not every throw is going to be perfect. And I'm not even comparing him to Morneau, which would be completely unfair.

I'm also sure his knee injury didn't help, but I think that hurt his offense more than his defense because that looked like normal Cuddyer first base defense to me. Offensively, he was below his normal numbers, but maybe that was just the Target Field factor. I guess we'll see.

Gardy would probably put him there all year because he is loves Cuddyer and Cuddyer seems to be willing to do whatever, but I completely stand by my "the Twins have no first baseman without Morneau" unless they sign someone. I'm not sure the guys available are much better than Cuddyer though..so even then...

BR-
I always found it funny that Gardy loves the players who were most like him, or so he thinks, because those players are almost always better than he was. Those were some Drew Butera numbers right there. I think I just found out the real reason why Drew is the backup...

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 11:00 AM by AJ Highlight this comment 147

I could see that, Ben. I just don't know though. If the FO really thinks they are screwed, I don't know why they'd waste money on bringing back Pavano and Thome. That's just wasting money and a lot of it. Like you said, the ballpark is already going to be filled almost every game, if not every game before those guys even signed.

I don't think fans put all of their hopes into those two signing when considering if they'd go this year or not. And I don't think the FO signed them just to make sure the seats are filled. I think we all know that they will be. They had to cap the season tickets again and almost everybody renewed (many wanting to up their package as well).

If they were screwed and had no chance then those signings would be pointless. And one of the reasons Pavano said he came back is that Jim Pohlad said he'd allow mid-season trades to fill needs which would make him pay even more this year.

They might be maxed out right now because they have said they were very close to being maxed out, but it sounds like they'll keep adding money if it's needed later...which they've done for the last two seasons. And if they really needed it, I'm not sure spending money for an available first baseman before the season starts would be out of the question. I think the guys available will be making less than Thome if they sign, but who knows.

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 11:14 AM by AJ Highlight this comment 148

AJ ---

Window dressing could account for some of those points and I did say that the theory is a bit bizarre and the result of a (Spring) fevered mind. Suffice to say that I'm going to feel a whole lot better when Morneau gets to bouncing balls high off of walls.

Back to Gardy --- Gardy is a lifer brat and could have been born on or near any number of foreign soil US bases.

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 11:22 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 149

I understand about the fevered mind, Ben. I was just responding to the points you brought up.

It definitely could be window dressing. I just don't know if they'd do that though, but again, it's obviously a possibility. If I was Jim Pohlad and I knew Morneau was going to be gone and I thought the Twins were screwed, no way would I have approved of the Pavano signing. Thome would be a special case, where I think we'd have signed him no matter what, but Pavano..not sure.

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 11:26 AM by AJ Highlight this comment 150

Well --- one thing we know for sure is that there is no figuring the FO out.

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 11:35 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 151

Betaband, I have a sister who's a lesbian, a gay uncle and several gay friends. I had one who was beat up in college on the way back from the bar by teenagers who called him a "fudge packer" while doing so. I've seen small-mindedness to no degree from people I usually consider my friends when it comes to gay issues. So if that makes me "overly sensitive gay/lesbian sympathizer," fine. At least I'm not a bigoted jerk.

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 11:46 AM by Buffalo Highlight this comment 152

Just saw a tweet from Dave Campbell (AP) indicating the trees in center field will be removed to improve the batters eye situation.

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 12:34 PM by ew Highlight this comment 153

If that is true, that is disappointing.

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 1:02 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 154

that's sad...the Twins players were complaining of shadows from the trees?

It's that same weak mentality that we see every October when they play on the big stage of postseason baseball.

Man up Twins and suck it up! In fact, it was probably one of the "leaders" of the team that complained such as Cuddyer, Morneau or Mauer.

As if the folded up plastic seats never bothered them for all of those years at Metrodome?

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 1:03 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 155

why are they removing the pine trees. that's too bad.

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 1:05 PM by tim Highlight this comment 156

I'm not disappointed at all. To me, the trees weren't unique (see Colorado) and didn't really add all that much. Seemed kind of out of place.

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 1:07 PM by ew Highlight this comment 157

I believe Cuddyer was the only one who mentioned the trees being a problem. Something about the shadows messing with his depth perception. Lefties didn't seem to have a problem with it, at least Kubel and Mauer said they didn't.

The trees seemed kind of out of place to me as well. It didn't help that they looked tiny.

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 1:22 PM by AJ Highlight this comment 158

the twins pr made such a big deal out of the native trees in center back when the park was under construction. hopefully they will plant ivy or soemthing there to soften a blank green wall.

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 1:26 PM by tim Highlight this comment 159

The first time I saw those puny trees, I thought, "They can do better than this."

Fountains?

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 1:53 PM by Rick 160

I'd say no to fountains. I, and probably other people, would compare it to Kauffman which is a battle the Twins would never win. If they did fountains, I'm guessing it would be a pretty crappy one, especially with limited space.

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 1:57 PM by AJ Highlight this comment 161

They should put a cave out there, and then when a Twins player hits a HR, T.C. would climb out and wave his flag.

The downside to that, of course, is that for most games we would never see him.

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 2:05 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 162

In regards to the "puny" trees, the idea was they would grow right? I always assumed that eventually they would grow taller to resemble the ones in sketches of the ballpark. Then again, I never understood why they just didn't plant fully grown trees then, but I'm not a horticulturalist either.

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 2:43 PM by Buffalo Highlight this comment 163

Click my name for the story from the Startrib.

While I like the fountain idea, if batters are having trouble with moving trees, I doubt flowing water would help the situation.

The article mentions relocating the trees inside the park, they should put them behind the Paul & Minni sign and when they grow, they would provide a nice backdrop to the sign, hopefully allowing people to see the sign better, at least during the day.

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 2:54 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 164

I also heard on 1500 ESPN today that the trees in the batter's eye will be removed for the season because of complaints from the players. I personally liked the trees, but were so small. I'm hoping they just don't leave it as a solid wall.

I have always wanted the Twins to have a design feature using water at the ballpark. What about a solid sheet of water that would fall from the concourse level. It could be back lit and you could also add fountains then at the bottom (Rick's suggestion above). We are the land of 10,000 Lakes.

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 2:57 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 165

With the fountain idea, they can be turned on and off. Have them on after batting practice is complete, in between innings, and after the game.

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 3:00 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 166

I don't think a fountain idea, even a solid sheet as Jeff suggests, is going to fly. Remember, the fountains at Kauffman aren't in the batter's eye. If the Twins and visiting players were upset over some slight movement from trees, flowing water isn't going to work any better.

I sure hope they do something rather than just leave it a brick wall. I like the ivy idea, but then again, that's pretty much ripping off Wrigley.

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 3:02 PM by Buffalo Highlight this comment 167

Duffman that is a good idea. It would look pretty awesome.

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 3:25 PM by PatMeares Highlight this comment 168

First, I'm a little surprised that this is news. This particular story about the trees was broken here a couple of weeks ago...

Second, they did intend for the trees to grow into the height shown in the original drawings. But once you've seen tall, thin trees on paper, short, squat trees in real life can't help but be a disappointment. It's a lesson in concept imagery, setting expectations, and human nature.

Third, obviously if trees are a problem, running water would be worse. But that's why you have an on/off switch.

Fourth, ivy is overdone. Fountains are underdone. Yeah, it'll get compared to Kauffmann, but who cares? It might be a favorable comparison. Anything the Twins do would certainly compare favorably to Anaheim.

Fifth, there's a Los Angeles company called WET (lousy flash web site) that specializes in high-tech fountains which can reach soaring heights with thin streams of carefully-controlled water. They redid the fountain at Lincoln Center a couple of years ago, which is where I first heard of them.

That should be the Twins' first call.

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 3:46 PM by Rick 169

One more thing: All season long I thought they should redo the top of the batter's eye with smoked glass. That wall, which I did enjoy standing at, is just too tall.

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 3:48 PM by Rick 170

I like the Cave idea. The hibernation parallels would be endless!

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 3:54 PM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 171

When teams decide to build a new ballpark or renovate they typically look at other stadiums and use some of the design ideas they like best. So the comparison between the fountains at Kauffman isn't relevant to me.

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 4:39 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 172

The fountain idea is incredibly original, but as ew said up there, the pine trees weren't exactly original either.
The water features out in the outfield aren't original either. KC and Anaheim have the fountains, San Fran has that water feature out in the bay that goes nuts and lights up after home runs, Arizona has the swimming pool, Tampa Bay has an aquarium...

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 5:09 PM by luke Highlight this comment 173

Sorry, don't know what was up with the typing, that SHOULD have said "The fountain idea ISN'T incredibly original..."

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 5:10 PM by luke Highlight this comment 174

I'd rather have ivy out on that big wall. I just don't think a fountain, no matter how cool it is, fits with the rest of the ballpark. I want something more natural there, not an artificial fountain that shoots water in the air.

How about a little pond stocked with fish? I know you couldn't really see it from most of the park, but it would be kinda cool and a Minnesota version of that stuff they have out in Anaheim.

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 5:27 PM by Buffalo Highlight this comment 175

The list of ballparks with fountains isn't complete without mentioning Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia. When it first opened, in 1971, there was a temporary, "Dancing Waters" feature beyond the centerfield fence. The dancing waters left players with green spots all over their uniforms. I don't think it lasted too long.

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 5:38 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 176

Twins Fest live on 1500AM now through Sunday. Click name for schedule.

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 6:16 PM by Buzz Highlight this comment 177

They're not in the outfield, but the Marlins are planning on putting two stocked aquariums behind home plate in their new digs...

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 6:19 PM by luke Highlight this comment 178

Man, I thought there was so much animosity on here last fall because it was a playoff race, we knew we were going to have to face the Yankees, and most likely fail, yatta, yatta, yatta...but it's late January and you guys are all just as tense as you were in late September! Lighten up! It's a LONG season!

Anyhow, I came on here to post this little mlb/Twins website FAIL, incase they got the chance to fix it before you guys saw it. Kind of funny. Looks like some sort of Bay Area Wednesday transit promotion...


Posted on January 28, 2011 at 6:29 PM by theloniousjoe Highlight this comment 179

Rick, Yes Fiesta Day is July 16. Alas, we're going to the July 15 game, with Fiesta-ivities on Sat.

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 6:37 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 180

yeah, it's been fixed. Now they have a picture of Mr. Blyleven tipping his cap.
Obviously the Twins don't maintain their own Web content huh?

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 6:53 PM by luke Highlight this comment 181

Yeah. I've always suspected that it was mlb-run, in a very general, boring, vanilla, national-sports-broadcaster sort of way. You can usually tell by the types of headlines that link to articles that they're all written by people who have very little specific knowledge about the team. No knowledge about team culture, history, folklore, local culture, etc. Almost as if they're trying to keep any strong civic-pride or identity in check, in a very Orwellian way.
Ok, maybe I went a bit far with that last part. But I stand by my first statement.

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 9:04 PM by theloniousjoe Highlight this comment 182

More information about the Batters Eye has been posted on the Twins website. Click name for link.

Posted on January 29, 2011 at 01:55 AM by tk Highlight this comment 183

"The team also plans to copy something that the Mariners did at Safeco Field in Seattle and install a new 'almost honeycomb-like' material on the backdrop, St. Peter said."

I have been trying to search for a picture of this, but unlike us and our obsessions, no one appears to have taken a picture of the honeycomb material in Seatle. Maybe someone with more patience than I can find an image to post.

Posted on January 29, 2011 at 02:05 AM by tk Highlight this comment 184

Kind of cool that the Gophers will, or probably will, be playing their games at TF. Although that game they played there last spring looked kinf of sad and pathetic in a way. Like if a high school band had a concert in Carnegie or something.

Posted on January 29, 2011 at 02:12 AM by theloniousjoe Highlight this comment 185

Rick, WET designs is probably most known for the Fountains of Bellagio in Vegas. That would be cool if they could do fountain shows like that to music between innings, and during the National Anthem.

In personally would like to see them move the Twins bullpen there. It would add seating in left and move in the Center Field wall a bit, satisfing Morneau. I have always wondered why they dont put the bullpens back to back in the batters eye since it is wasted space anyway.

While we are on the subject of vegatation in the park. It would be nice to see them replace the flowers, those red ones look sad, as did the pansies. I would like to see Lady Slippers, as it is the state flower, but oddly enough they would have to come from out of state since it is illegal to transplant them in Minnesota. Either that or a row of short, small, hedges in the flowers place.

Posted on January 29, 2011 at 04:25 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 186

A sunny, open ballpark environment might not be suitable for growing Lady Slippers. They're orchids, and orchids are generally heavily reliant on specific types of environments to thrive. Most Lady Slippers thrive in marshes or deep, cool woods.

Posted on January 29, 2011 at 08:13 AM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 187

I'll miss the trees, but I can completely understand the hitters complaints about them. If I was standing in the batter's box against guys that can throw 95mph-plus, I'd want to have as few visual distractions as possible, too.

Posted on January 29, 2011 at 08:43 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 188

Dr. X,

Shows what I know about horticulture.

Posted on January 29, 2011 at 11:09 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 189

Click my name...this picture I found, when you enlarge the image, it does look like they put some sort of netting over the Batter's Eye...cause I do remember the Safeco Batter's Eye being about the same shade of green that TF's is.

Here: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/87/Retractable_roof_open,_Safeco_Field.JPG

is another image that's even closer to the Batter's Eye, and when enlarged, seems to show a little detail.

Posted on January 29, 2011 at 11:19 AM by luke Highlight this comment 190

You just read everything I know about Lady Slippers, so we're pretty much on the same level in the horticulture/botany department.

Posted on January 29, 2011 at 1:22 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 191

Lady Slippers are actually a parasite, are they not?

Pansies like shade and may have been used just to get them to geranium time. Geraniums were pretty much a perfect choice for that use. They are showy and bloom all summer without a great deal of management required.

Posted on January 29, 2011 at 1:56 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 192

There's our horticulturalist.

Posted on January 29, 2011 at 4:43 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 193

My wife buys about $500 worth of geraniums every Spring. After thirty plus years of that you start to get the hang of it.

Posted on January 29, 2011 at 5:50 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 194

Twins fest was disappointing, best they could do given circumstances. i though it was funny how vendors in the area were selling twinsfest tickets, kind of tacky. first year at tf to where we spent no money.

Posted on January 29, 2011 at 6:41 PM by tk Highlight this comment 195

the trees will be relocated, not removed. Didn't say where. (from the Twins' website, click name for link)
They did say, though, that it could be to somewhere other than TF. I hope that doesn't happen.

Posted on January 29, 2011 at 9:20 PM by rback Highlight this comment 196

I'd take one of those trees next to my patio!

The funniest part of the story is that Larry DiVito says the trees will be "authenticated" before they are removed. Now, just how do you attach one of those little holograms to a pine tree?

Posted on January 29, 2011 at 10:22 PM by Rick 197

Each needle will be laser-etched with an authentication code number.

Posted on January 29, 2011 at 10:53 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 198

I heard a rumor that the needles will be plucked from the trees, mixed with pins and sold in baggies at the souvenir stands. Fans can then sit on them whenever the call to the bullpen is made.

Posted on January 30, 2011 at 10:29 AM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 199

Fantastic!

Posted on January 30, 2011 at 11:56 AM by N.D. (aka N.D. "Rube") Highlight this comment 200

I agree, well done sir.

Posted on January 30, 2011 at 12:30 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 201

LOL TTH

Posted on January 30, 2011 at 2:21 PM by luke Highlight this comment 202

I think this is the first year the home opener is a premium game. The opening series is the only one with a premium, select and value game. Twinsfest was sure different. I thought I parked close because I saw a line of people but it turned out to be a separate wing for autographs, and I had to walk a long way to get to the main entrance. Once there I guess it was fairly familiar. It's still a nice event to break up the long winter and get in the mood for spring training, etc.

Posted on January 30, 2011 at 3:33 PM by robin Highlight this comment 203

I was surprised to see Hall of Famers Phil Niekro, Rollie Fingers, Fergie Jenkins and Robin Yount at Twinsfest yesterday.

It was only $20 each for an autograph from Niekro, Fingers and/or Jenkins and there were NO LINES at all compared to the monstrous lines for Joe Mauer, where they probably charged $25 or $30.

Yount was signing with Jim Kaat on one side of the hall and Mudcat Grant was sitting with Niekro, Rollins and Jenkins on the other side of the hall near the main entrance.

I paid $40 and got a nice 8 x 10 autographed picture each of Rollie Fingers and Phil Niekro. I was just in no mood to sit in the long lines for Twins players.

Posted on January 30, 2011 at 5:39 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 204

I just realized today, a co-worker of mine gave me a Bert Blyleven Topps card from 1985. I have it stashed away in my desk. I wonder how much that card will be worth now that Bert is in the HOF.

Posted on January 30, 2011 at 6:27 PM by luke Highlight this comment 205

From Tom Verducci at the annual New York chapter of the BBWAA Awards Dinner reporting at SIdotcom:

"Bill Smith:
The Twins general manager was there to see Ron Gardenhire pick up his manager of the year award. When I asked him about Justin Morneau's comments about bringing in the fences at Target Field, Smith said he checked with his pitchers and checked the team's home record last year -- 53-28 -- and found there wasn't a problem that needed attention. Smith pointed out that more data is needed, anyway, before drawing any conclusions, referring to how new Yankee Stadium played so small in its opening year but didn't generate so much fuss about dimensions last season.

Smith did acknowledge that Target Field does need to address issues about the hitting background in daylight, when sunlight shimmers off the walls. The Twins are looking into different kinds of light-absorbing paints and materials, similar to how Seattle addressed background issues when Safeco Field opened.

For what it's worth, Target Field may not be a great home run park, but it looks like a good hitter's park -- for the amount of area outfielders must defend. The Twins actually had a tick higher slugging percentage at home last season than on the road, despite hitting 38 fewer home runs:


HR BA SLG
Home 52 .282 .422
Road 90 .265 .421"

Posted on January 30, 2011 at 7:25 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 206

Luke - not much.

Posted on January 30, 2011 at 9:49 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 207

Look who's back...not sure, however, if the roster automatically puts him on the bench every third game.

Posted on January 31, 2011 at 12:15 AM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 208

I didn't realize slugging percentage was equal home and away. That is an important addition to the debate about a hitters or pitchers park. And I suspect on-base pct is higher at home.

Posted on January 31, 2011 at 05:21 AM by robin Highlight this comment 209

It is:
away: .328
home: .354

I think they should stop worrying about hitting home runs. I'd rather worry about winning, and they were doing that at home.

Posted on January 31, 2011 at 07:52 AM by AJ Highlight this comment 210

I wasn't sure...plus I think it was one of those promo cards, cause it has a Wendy's logo on it...lol. That'll probably decrease any value the card has too. Those I think are just mere reprints.

Posted on January 31, 2011 at 08:39 AM by luke Highlight this comment 211

Anybody else think Twinsfest this year was a total bust? We left after an hour or two...not well executed.

Posted on January 31, 2011 at 11:11 AM by PatMeares Highlight this comment 212

ESPN is reporting Citi Field will get the 2013 all-star game.

Posted on January 31, 2011 at 11:22 AM by PNB19 Highlight this comment 213

I guess home run park and hitters park are far from synonymous terms.

Posted on January 31, 2011 at 11:37 AM by robin Highlight this comment 214

PatMeares - What did you not like about it or why would you call it a total bust? Just curious...

I thought it was OK considering the last-minute change of venue and all of the logistics involved with it.

Some of the autograph lines (Joe Mauer) were way too long and unorganized and blocking traffic in the sports hall but I avoided the autographs.

The only autographs I got were of Hall of Famers Phil Niekro, Rollie Fingers, and Fergie Jenkins where there were no lines whatsoever.

I am going to give the Twins the benefit of the doubt considering all of the logistics involved with last-minute change of venue but overall it was ok. Far from great, but not a total bust either.

There seemed to be a lot of confusion relating to parking and which halls to go to, etc. There was a huge line at the Schwan Center that went outside and along the sidewalk that was Saturday afternoon. Not sure if that was another Joe Mauer autograph line or what but we skipped the Schwan Center part of it all together.

Posted on January 31, 2011 at 11:59 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 215

Yeah the unorganized lines were the part that I really thought was bad. You couldn't move anywhere because of them.

It was good they were able to still do it, but I wasn't impressed.

Posted on January 31, 2011 at 12:43 PM by PatMeares Highlight this comment 216

If you were going to buy stuff or get autographs, TwinsFest was for you. To walk around and take it all in was not worth the trip. I was hoping to listen to the 1500 broadcast, but that area looked packed! We stayed for about an hour.

Posted on January 31, 2011 at 12:58 PM by tk Highlight this comment 217

People watching - maybe a celebrity sighting. Long lines followed by a very brief encounter with an incredibly bored athlete (for those who even want an auto). Grievously overpriced memorabilia. A few displays you have seen seven times already. Stupid questions delivered to people incapable - or at least unwilling - to give a straight answer. Fort Meyers booth. Cambria booth. $20 bags holding a few items the team was unable to give away. People who can't sing singing. Have I left anything out?

Posted on January 31, 2011 at 1:22 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 218

Ben, that about sums up TwinsFest no matter where it's held!

Posted on January 31, 2011 at 2:21 PM by Faber College Alum Highlight this comment 219

Indeed. And --- had my wife not been feeling poorly we would have been there.

Posted on January 31, 2011 at 2:38 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 220

Yep, Ben nailed it I think.

Posted on January 31, 2011 at 3:52 PM by luke Highlight this comment 221

I went over and checked out the grab bags and saw one man in front of me get excited when he thought he got a bobblehead...it turns out it was one of those cheap Pentair water bottles that are in boxes similar to what the bobbleheads have come in. He just laughed and realized he wasted $20 (In all fairness, I shouldn't say he "wasted" $20 as the proceeds do go to the Twins Community Fund) It was still funny nonetheless.

I wonder how many sessions Mauer signed this weekend? 1 or 2? I am sure quite a few people came away empty handed. I heard on KMSP FOX 9 that some people were waiting in line at 6am on Saturday morning hoping to get a Joe Mauer autograph.

Posted on January 31, 2011 at 3:54 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 222

Mauer did at least two. He was there Friday night, signing before Thome. He was at least 20 minutes late and at least 40 people missed out on his and moved into Thome's line.

There could be more people, but those 40 were the people who were already inside and in Mauer's line, technically the people outside weren't in a specific line yet. I was there Friday, so that's how I know.

According to the news, the first guy there on Friday was their since a little after 12 am.

Posted on January 31, 2011 at 4:00 PM by AJ Highlight this comment 223

Steve Smith called me up to debate my views on that very same water bottle after I took issue with it's being included in the "guaranteed giveaway" package. The guy can spin a aadvark turd.

Posted on January 31, 2011 at 4:15 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 224

Re: Mauer autographs... I mentioned this to others while standing in line with my kid for non-Mauer autos at Twinsfest yesterday: the Twins need to change how they do the Mauer/Morneau autos. The Vikings, of all teams, realized the demand for AP and Jared Allen autos was insane at training camp, so they started a scratch card system. They give away 1,000 scratch cards or so to the first fans who come, with 200 "winners." The winners get to go through the AP or Allen auto lines at the appointed time.

Other than limiting the number of scratch off cards distributed, this kind of system works well. The idea is to give everyone a chance at the big autograph. You avoid the need to camp out overnight. You avoid having 500 people in line when only 250 or so will actually get through in time to get the autograph, limitng the big disappointment/pissed off factor. The vendors (who get there first) don't have a leg up on everyone, as they do at the Dome.

In fact, the Twins could sell the scratch off tickets for $1 each, or 6 for $5, make it like a lottery, and raise even more money for the Community Fund. And no one would unnecessarily waste their time waiting in lines and then come away feeling like they were ripped off when they don't get the autograph.

Keeping with the same theme, they could have "guaranteed winner" scratch games, where every ticket gets you a spot in one of a handful of player autograph lines: Mauer, Morneau, Thome, Carew, whoever. Again, they could charge for it. Would be more popular than the $20 grab bags! The Twins wives did something like this a while back with $20 and $50 or $100 bags with guaranteed autographs in them from certain players - the mroe expensive ones had a Mauer, Morneau or Nathan auto.

Posted on January 31, 2011 at 4:39 PM by BR Highlight this comment 225

I'm willing to give the Twins the benefit of the doubt regarding this year's TwinsFest. It is tough to relocate an event of that size in only 6 weeks, and I think they pulled it off just fine. I give kudos to both the National Sports Center and the Twins for getting it done at all.

That said, the setup they had was not enjoyable for the most part. The split buildings, lack of outdoor signage, lack of parking direction, hallways that were way too narrow for what they were trying to do, all contributed to a less than ideal experience. I was dismayed to hear DSP suggest that the Sports Center would be considered as a venue in the future. I understand they might not ever be able to hold this in the dome again, but they will need to find a larger site. I think the convention center or Target Center/Xcel are really the only two viable locales.

I've enjoyed TwinsFest for several years running, but I too left after just a couple of hours, mostly from claustrophobia.

Posted on January 31, 2011 at 5:20 PM by Lincster Highlight this comment 226

If the NSC becomes a venue for TwinsFest in the future, I don't think I'll be going anymore.
IF however, they do plan on going back to NSC next year, they now have a year to maybe revamp the TwinsFest festivities. They only had six weeks to plan, I'll give them that, but it sounds like they tried to do the same amount of stuff that they can do at the Dome, in a much smaller location. I'm glad I missed out this year.

Posted on January 31, 2011 at 6:48 PM by luke Highlight this comment 227

Oh, and to Ben's (mostly accurate) description, I would add that the one part I really enjoyed was the display of special 2010 TF moments. Seeing the pictures of the exhibition games, opening day, Thome's homerun off the flag pole, coming back with 4 runs in the 9th against the White Sox, Hrbek's divot, and so on really reminded me of what a special summer it was out there. After all the anticipation, it was more fun than I could have ever guessed.

There is only one opening season of a ballpark after being confined for 30 years, so it is never repeatable. I'm glad I got to see it and that the team made it so memorable.

Posted on January 31, 2011 at 6:50 PM by Lincster Highlight this comment 228

09 tiebreaker number 16 of 20 great games on mlb network right now

Posted on January 31, 2011 at 7:14 PM by The Sooj Highlight this comment 229

Thanks Sooj! On again at 10PM. The greatest game I ever saw live! If the dome had better brats I would have had 3 heart attacks!

Posted on January 31, 2011 at 9:02 PM by Lincster Highlight this comment 230

Rube Chat is freaking out because Cuddy mentioned that Span missed TWO bunt signs in the 7th, right before Cabrera's HR.

They think he was calling out Span and that it should have stayed "in-house".

The pussification of this team by it's fan base boggles my mind sometimes.

Posted on January 31, 2011 at 9:38 PM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 231

Glen Taylor and R.T. Rybak to announce renovations to Target Center tomorrow at 1pm. Click name for source.

Posted on January 31, 2011 at 11:37 PM by Tommie Highlight this comment 232

The only overhaul needed at Target Center is inside the locker room.

Posted on February 1, 2011 at 12:20 AM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 233

You would have to pay me to attend Twinsfest. No thanks!

Posted on February 1, 2011 at 11:17 AM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 234

Tommie,

Here is the link for the Star article. The image is a little outdated, as it is missing the lovely Sanford signage.

Posted on February 1, 2011 at 11:35 AM by tk Highlight this comment 235

They mentioned updating the entrance. How about putting another "main" entrance facing TF. Redo the facade to match closer to TF and then extend the plaza all the way to TC. That way both TF and TC share one giant plaza. Make the building more visually appealing to those coming into the Intermodal station.

You can still keep another "Main entrance facing 1st Ave.

Posted on February 1, 2011 at 12:51 PM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 236

For those interested. Click my name for the new Target Center. Enjoy!

Posted on February 1, 2011 at 2:57 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 237

I like the new look and updates for the arena. That said, $155 million is going to be a non-starter. The peanut gallery over on the Strib's comment section are already making this a Timberwolves issue and are missing the bigger point: That this is a public arena that needs updating like any other public infrastructure and the Timberwolves are only one tenant among many.

Posted on February 1, 2011 at 3:34 PM by Buffalo Highlight this comment 238

Another point Buffalo is that they have not stated the specifics on how the renovations will be funded.

Posted on February 1, 2011 at 3:59 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 239

That's a poor attempt of "opening it up" to Target Field.

Posted on February 1, 2011 at 8:21 PM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 240

Once again Minneapolis is looking to someone else to help better their city, while they spend nothing and reep the benefits. First Target Field is gifted to them by the county of Hennepin, now they are going to look to the state to renovate an outdated arena. How about Minneapolis spends some of its own money.

Minneapolis is so short-sighted when it comes to sports they continue to have a $10 million cap on sports infrastructure. St. Paul assisted the Wild in building Xcel by giving them loans, why can't Minneapolis use the same loan structure to renovate the Target Center?

The problem I see with them asking for state money is they are looking for the state to literally help them, City of Minneapolis (Owns Target Center), compete with the City of St. Paul (Owns Xcel Energy Center).

Posted on February 2, 2011 at 04:09 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 241

I like the updates as well. It sounded to me like they're going to add some seats that might overhang the lower level. Certainly, signage, inside and outside the arena needs to be upgraded. Some of those static ads outside have been there since day 1 and they're getting yellow with age.
It also sounded from some reports I read that they might be getting a new scoreboard (again)? I know they replaced it a few years ago, but I dont think the new one is any better than the old one, except for a larger, clearer video screen.
I also heard on the TV that Glen Taylor, who is loaded, and someone of whom I hope I am mentioned in the will, is contributing a large chunk of the $155 million. Fancy that, it's costing more to do some renovations to the arena, than it cost to build the ENTIRE arena 21 years ago. That's sad.

Posted on February 2, 2011 at 06:56 AM by luke Highlight this comment 242

excel center was built with an interest free loan from the state, bonds sold by the city and a contribution from the team. st paul in no way solely funded that arena's construction. they've been begging the state in recent years for loan forgiveness.
the fact of the matter is both cities are too small to back arenas and stadiums. target field is unique for not receiving a direct subsidy from the state, save for parking, highway improvements. the city tax bases are too small and over burdened as it is. the entire state benefits from these things and imo should provide some assistance. both cities have received "gifts", mainly in the form of bonding money. There wouldn't be a new science museum or guthrie theater for instance without the state.

Posted on February 2, 2011 at 09:06 AM by tim Highlight this comment 243

Ah, "gifting." Don't forget that Target Center was built with private money to begin with...the original Wolves owners Marv & Harv built it privately, but then "sold" it to the city during the whole "we're moving the team" fiasco. To keep the franchise here, Minneapolis stepped up. How many times can the city alone be asked to step up?

Posted on February 2, 2011 at 10:44 AM by fiesta Highlight this comment 244

Anybody know the date for regular season presale for season ticket holders?

Posted on February 2, 2011 at 11:10 AM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 245

Stevie, it's only February...(Sarc)

Posted on February 2, 2011 at 12:13 PM by tk Highlight this comment 246

This news quietly broke Tuesday morning...

This will be John Gordon's final season behind the mic as the voice of Twins baseball.

Love him or hate him, when you hear John Gordon's voice, you think of Twins baseball and summertime, just like you did when you heard Herb Carneal over the years.

Whether driving in the car, walking around the ballpark or sitting outside and grilling out...there is something unique about radio and baseball.

I just hope the Twins find a solid replacement...perhaps this could be an auditioning job for Bob Kurtz and/or Ted Robinson as they fill-in throughout the summer?

Posted on February 2, 2011 at 12:16 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 247

And yes, there are no doubt any number people who know - ask the Twins.

Posted on February 2, 2011 at 12:17 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 248

For the public, it's March 19th. I believe for season ticket holders it was always like a week or two before that, but I can't say for sure. I haven't heard anything

Posted on February 2, 2011 at 12:24 PM by AJ Highlight this comment 249

I am just interested to see what ticket prices will look like and how their potential new system will run.

Posted on February 2, 2011 at 12:28 PM by tk Highlight this comment 250

Mike that is the best news I have heard in a while. John Gordon needed to go a long time ago. For me it was hard to listen, and normally wouldn't, to Twins games on the radio while he was broadcasting. It was the same with Paul Allen during the Vikings games.

Posted on February 2, 2011 at 1:00 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 251

Another day off of teaching here in SE Minnesota - more time to check out the site. A few things:

1. The Twins caravan made a stop where my wife works Monday. Span, Butera, Valencia, Larkin, Bremer, and TC were there. It was pretty cool to see them all, and how they got choked up at seeing some kids who are in rough shape was refreshing to see. It made me proud to be a Twins fan.

2. I would agree with other posters on John Gordon - he is THE voice of Twins baseball for my generation (I'm in my mid-thirties) however, it is time for him to retire. He knew when to leave, which is a compliment to him. I still miss Herb too. I hope the Twins get someone who will not be over the top; baseball does not lend itself to that type of guy. Also, I hope they get someone who, if they do well, will be the new voice of the Twins for a long time to come.

3. Has anyone gotten recent pictures of the improvements being made? Just curious if anything has happened - I don't get to downtown Minneapolis much during the winter!

Groundhog did not see his shadow - spring can not come soon enough. Being a huge baseball fan AND a baseball coach makes February a looooong month, even though it's the shortest!

Posted on February 2, 2011 at 1:44 PM by ole Highlight this comment 252

I just hope they can get someone who can accurately judge the trajectory of hard hit balls. Nothing more annoying than Gordo getting overly excited about a deep hit ball, only to be caught short of the warning track.

Posted on February 2, 2011 at 2:28 PM by PatMeares Highlight this comment 253

Ole - Does your wife work at Saint Marys Hospital or the Ronald McDonald House in Rochester? Just curious

Also, what school do you teach at that closed today? Unfortunately, Rochester schools were open today but I know some people the Plainview-Elgin-Millville district that was closed today.

Posted on February 2, 2011 at 2:39 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 254

No doubt the radio PBP gig should go to Ted Robinson. A consummate professional with a silky smooth delivery. A younger Vin Scully in my opinion. He should never have been allowed to leave this market.

Anyone planning any Twins road trips this summer? I'm eyeing up San Fran & am booked for Toronto to start the season...

Posted on February 2, 2011 at 4:12 PM by Max Highlight this comment 255

I'm eyeing San Fran as well. I've been trying to make one trip a year, started in '08. Not sure if I will this year, but AT&T Park looks beautiful.

Posted on February 2, 2011 at 4:29 PM by AJ Highlight this comment 256

I'm guessing STH presale is between March 14 and the 19th, since 14th is final payment date. Though maybe that wouldn't matter. The 19th is a Saturday and I hear the On Deck Circle people can pick before the public, so there will probably be prioritized presales during the Monday-Friday (14-18th) week, and maybe even earlier. But don't be surprised if the best seat locations are available in late March, early April.

Posted on February 2, 2011 at 5:50 PM by robin Highlight this comment 257

Click name for a 40 second video of TF from a City Center window.

Posted on February 2, 2011 at 9:41 PM by Buzz Highlight this comment 258

I realize I'm a little late to the party on this issue, but ... how can the team justify that the trees are distracting when the Royals play in a stadium where nearly the ENTIRE OUTFIELD has moving water as its backdrop? Even when the fountains aren't jumping, the water fall is continuous.

Posted on February 2, 2011 at 10:54 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 259

Kauffman has a batters eye - the razz-ma-tazz is all off to one side or the other.

Posted on February 2, 2011 at 11:38 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 260

I don't get worked up about the trees. But one thing was clear, Toronto had no problems seeing the baseball near the end of the year (if you get my drift)...

Wow I heard that they sold out the Twins/Sun Country trip to Spring Training & have subsequently added another one to meet the demand. One thing is certain Minnesotans are damn tires of winter & the Minnesota Twins brand is stronger than ever (possibly stronger than the buildup to Target Field in early 2010)?

Posted on February 3, 2011 at 12:53 AM by Max Highlight this comment 261

What is the background on Ted Robinson? His name means nothing to me, especially in Twins history, media or otherwise. Also any back story anyone has on the other guy coming in this year would be interesting.

Posted on February 3, 2011 at 09:29 AM by jctwins Highlight this comment 262

Kurtz is great he should be doing the Wild TV also instead or radio. Robinson is solid also! It was a nice run Gordo! Glady and Morris are fine. I could use less of Attebury fer sure!

Posted on February 3, 2011 at 10:14 AM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 263

I feel like Robinson has been around forever. He's been the 49er's play by play guy for about 10 years now, I think. He also does tennis tournaments, the Olympics, college sports, NBA, boxing, PGA. I'm sure the list goes on.

He's done baseball for a long time too. He worked for the Giants, Mets, A's and even our Twins. He was the tv guy for us for like five years. He's done "Game of the Week" stuff as well, for baseball. He's worked for TBS during the playoffs.

I think he's pretty well respected. I believe he has two awards for broadcasting as well. He basically does everything. Most fans either love him or hate him....and I'd say more love him.

Posted on February 3, 2011 at 10:43 AM by AJ Highlight this comment 264

Not baseball-related, but here's a memorable Ted Robinson call (go to about 2:00 for the best part)

Posted on February 3, 2011 at 11:17 AM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 265

I can't believe anyone thinks Gladden is good. He is an average color guy, but when he does the play by play it is brutal. This is a call that I heard from him once. "Swung on and it's high and deep. Way back, way back and it's in the seats! Whoa man, that would have hurt if that stayed fair." I mean what was that? I think Jack Morris is much better than Gladden at color and I enjoy when he is on.

Gordon might not be the best at judging fly balls, but I enjoy his delivery and the excitement in his voice. He also isn't a huge homer like Dick Bremer.

Posted on February 3, 2011 at 11:19 AM by FD Highlight this comment 266

My issue with both Gordo and Dazzle is their yucksterism. They spend so much time talking about their hotel/dinner/motorcycle/press box fridge that just seems endless. Yes, there is room for some banter, but geez, tone it down!

And, more importantly: Give the freaking score more often! Get one of the Red Barber egg timers to remind you every so often to tell us the score!

Posted on February 3, 2011 at 11:31 AM by fiesta Highlight this comment 267

I have a video of the last Twins game played at Met Stadium in 1981 and Bob Kurtz was the announcer. BTW Whenever Bob Casey could be heard in the background mentioning "next season" at the Dome, he was met with boos. Quite different from the experience of 2009 leading up to TF.

Posted on February 3, 2011 at 11:31 AM by terry Highlight this comment 268

Yes he is. (As big of homer and Dick) There are many reasons I dislike Gordon as the radio guy but here I will limit it to a few:

First he slurs his "s"'s during the games, which is odd since I have heard him speak in person and he did not do it there. Also whats with the 15 middle sentence drinks of water a game.

Second it should be manditory to say the score at the beginning and end of every half inning. I timed it once driving back from the cabin. Gordon went over 10 mins without giving the score. Unacceptable for a radio broadcast. He will give you the count 7 times an at bat but never gives the most important stat, the score.

Lastly, for now, his tired old phrases. "Way back, way back, and its gone, Touch'em all Turd Winkler" and "Swing and a miss." The second one wouldn't be so bad if he didn't use it everytime someone swung and missed.

FD, I think people like Gladden because they have memories of him as a player. Morris is a solid color guy. I actually enjoyed listening to the Twins games last year on Saturdays when it was Gladden and Morris.

Posted on February 3, 2011 at 11:39 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 269

Gordon---Agree wth FD. Good voice, good enthusiasm. Time for him to go, though.

Gladden---Pretty much agree with FD again. Acceptable as color, terrible at PBP.

Morris---Adequate. He and Gladden get a little annoying to listen to at times because their voices ar not good and their delivery can be pretty poor at times. Good insight as former ballplayers, though.

Atterbury---Please, not our next play-by-play guy. I won't listen.

Say the Damn Score!---Agree with Fiesta and Duffman. They don't say it nearly enough. When they go to commercial break and don't say the score it drives me nuts.

Posted on February 3, 2011 at 12:11 PM by Another Rick Highlight this comment 270

My favorite Gordon comment from last year, "Line Drive, BASE HIT, Caauughtt by the Shortstop, and the Twins go down in order."

Posted on February 3, 2011 at 12:25 PM by tk Highlight this comment 271

Didn't Ted Robinson do Twins TV games when they were on KMSP back in the day?

Posted on February 3, 2011 at 1:08 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 272

Based on the video linked above Robinson seems to have some Scully-ish potential. I like the sound of it.

Funny after watching Twins since the mid 80's I don't ever remember anyone other than Braemer, Gordon, and Herb Carneal as media personalities, other than the more recent cast.

Did Killebrew do some radio for awhile? For some reason I think I remember that.

Posted on February 3, 2011 at 1:31 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 273

The Twins have this on the web page under activity calendar:

March 14-25
Season Ticket Holder single game ticket pre-sale along with the regular season single game ticket public on sale. (look for more information to come prior to these dates)

Dates and times are subject to change. Check back for updates.

Posted on February 3, 2011 at 1:42 PM by Go Go Twins Highlight this comment 274

There have been many announcers over the past fifty years. In "the olden days" the announcers did both radio and TV. They would switch booths mid-game. Some of the more prominent pre-80's announcers in addition to Herb Carneal were Ray Scott, Bob Wolff (first season only), Merle Harmon, Ted Robinson, Bob Kurtz. And of course Halsey Hall was the most unique of all color commentators for roughly the first ten years of the Twins' existence. Harmon has done some color commentary as have Tommy john and Jim Kaat.

Posted on February 3, 2011 at 1:55 PM by terry Highlight this comment 275

Don't forget Frank Quilici.

Posted on February 3, 2011 at 2:20 PM by Rick 276

Ted Robinson last did TV for the Twins during the '91 season. He also narrated their '91 highlight video. (Time to dig that out of the basement to give it a watch...that'll make the snow melt faster, right?)

Posted on February 3, 2011 at 2:21 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 277

Ted was on MSC (Midwest Sports Channel) which preceded the failed Victory Sports & Fox Sports North...

My theory is this...you are exempt from offering opinions on who is good & who stinks unless you have the MLB Extra Innings package or the XM/Sirius radio package to listen to a wide variety of crews.

Posted on February 3, 2011 at 2:46 PM by Max Highlight this comment 278

I get Extra Innings, but no one really stands out to me. I love me some Vin Scully though. Cloning human beings needs to be done so he can be the Twins tv and radio guy. I make it a point to listen to him every chance I get. They don't make 'em like they used to.

Posted on February 3, 2011 at 2:56 PM by AJ Highlight this comment 279

And goodnight from Jacobs Field in Chicago.

Posted on February 3, 2011 at 4:27 PM by BULLDOG Highlight this comment 280

"And goodnight from Jacobs Field in Chicago."

HaHaHa...Yep,That's my Gordo..I like to listen to the game on my ear buds while I'm there and that's where you really hear how messed up Gordo is doing the PBP..Try it sometime..:(:(

Posted on February 3, 2011 at 5:07 PM by Steve Highlight this comment 281

I've got no problem with Bremer and even Blyleven being homers. I'd rather listen to that than hear Tim McCarver or (God help us) Ron Darling make sure that every story/evaluation/analysis relate somehow to the Yankees.
Heck, we're Twins fans, aren't we? What's wrong with listening to Twins fans call the game?

Posted on February 3, 2011 at 5:45 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 282

Well, I couldn't stand Gordo when he started doing the 2nd chair. Score would be tied with 2 men on, and he would interrupt Herb with the Beloit score every time. I grew up with Herb, and that straight-forward delivery is what I loved.

However, I think Gordo has gotten a lot better as his career has gone along, and now I'll miss him when he is gone. I agree with everyone else that Gladden is fine on the color, but he is dreadful on play-by-play and not getting noticeably better in my opinion. He brings no excitement to exciting plays at all.

Of the contenders for replacement, the only on so far that I could honestly say no to is Atterbury, unless he can significantly slow down his delivery. Silence is ok for a bit in a baseball broadcast. At least we'll get to sample a lot of potentials this year, though having 4 different play-by-play guys is going to drive me a bit nuts in itself!

Posted on February 3, 2011 at 5:53 PM by Lincster Highlight this comment 283

I remember a guy named Lynn Faris who did twins games on television in the mid seventies. I went to high school with two of his sons. does anybody else remember him? I also wanted to say that my all time favorite tv announcer for any sport is a man named Curt Gowdy. I think about how awesome he was and wish I could hear his voice again. I do not think it is nostalgia taking me back to my youth either-Curt Gowdy was the best baseball announcer in my opinion. I remember he always did the NBC game of the week.

Posted on February 3, 2011 at 6:06 PM by Tom D. Highlight this comment 284

I got spoiled for play-by-play when I spent five years in Cincinnati some years ago. Marty Brennaman is right up there with Scully at the top of the heap. Gordon has always been a root canal for me.

Posted on February 3, 2011 at 6:45 PM by Badjuggler Highlight this comment 285

What I learned from watching alot of MLB TV last year, around the league, it doesn't take long to associate a broadcaster's voice with the team they call games for. It's amazing how much of the identity it becomes.

And it's true, there are some really annoying announcing crews elsewhere.

Posted on February 3, 2011 at 6:57 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 286

Hearing old audio of Lindsey Nelson really takes me back. He used to call the Mets' games, but was also a play-by-play guy for NFL football on CBS. I can still hear his voice and those single-engine planes buzzing Met Stadium.

Posted on February 3, 2011 at 9:02 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 287

I like Gordo. I have been here 11 years and he has grown on me. I clap (if I am alone) when he says "Twins baseball is on the air!" I am really looking forward to hearing him say it at the end of this month.  I always like to here his "touch'em all!" call, what Twins fan doesn't?  

I also love Gladden when a game ends with an error on the other team. Dazzle will be so disgusted by the play that it takes a few beats to realize the Twins won. "That's just not how you play the game!"

I grew up with Bob Uecker who could make live reads for the army funny.  I also loved Ron Santos in Chicago. He was so emotionally invested in games that it made another loss kind of funny. He was upset enough for everyone.

Posted on February 3, 2011 at 9:19 PM by Buzz Highlight this comment 288

Way back, waaaaaayyyyy back and it's outta... no! It's caught shy of the warning track! Two out.

Oh, Gordon, I won't miss you one false home run call. Good riddance you old senile hack.

Posted on February 4, 2011 at 10:56 AM by ace Highlight this comment 289

I never understood "backing off". "Deep fly ball to left, Delmon is backing off, backing off, makes the catch". What does that mean?? To me I think he is backing off the ball, or away from the outfield fence waiting for the ball to ricochet off of it; not about to catch the dumb thing.

Posted on February 4, 2011 at 11:51 AM by Steeks Highlight this comment 290

I never liked the way he calls a game. We used to mimic his calls when he first started back in '87. I heard him intereviewed recently and he acknowledged he was slightly over-the-top at first. He said Blyleven even asked him about it one day after a game in the parking lot. "Do you get that excited every game"? The problem is he remained this way throughout his tenure. His call on near-homeruns is particularly annoying to a radio listener who can't see the flight of the ball. I never have liked the banter between gordon and gladden. They do seem to have genuine friendship and that's great. It just doesn't necessarily make for great radio to hear about their golf games during an inning, imo. He seems like a great guy and I know a lot of fans enjoy his call of the game. I do like Ted Robinson and he has all that recent experience doing San Francisco Giants game. He'd be a solid choice.

Posted on February 4, 2011 at 12:13 PM by tim Highlight this comment 291

Ace-

Thats close but it is more like: "Ball hit deep, way back, way back, Touc....Caught by Derek Jeter just shy of of the outfield."

Posted on February 4, 2011 at 12:15 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 292

9 weeks from today the gates of Target Field will open up and welcome the 2011 Twins home schedule!

The warehouse district will be rocking once again for another great baseball season outdoors in downtown Minneapolis.

63 days....Can't come soon enough for those of us not able to head to spring training in Fort Myers.

Posted on February 4, 2011 at 1:31 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 293

Just caught lunch at the Depot...sunny out and decently warm. Feeling almost like it's time for baseball...

Posted on February 4, 2011 at 1:53 PM by PatMeares Highlight this comment 294

Halsey Hall and Herb can never be beat!!!!!! Those green oninons and cigars drove poor Herb nuts! LOL!

Posted on February 4, 2011 at 3:49 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 295

Feels like about 50 out of the wind! Can't wait to be out in the sun at the yard again. Glad I'm on the sun side for those early games in the afternoon!

Posted on February 4, 2011 at 3:51 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 296

It's "no jacket" weather outside. I like it.

Posted on February 4, 2011 at 6:35 PM by AJ Highlight this comment 297

I wonder how the Twins will handle their ADA ticket sales this year.

Will they:
a) Continue to have no public policy on how they are handled?
b) Continue to sell large blocks of them to brokers before single game purchasers even have a shot at them?
c) Continue to sell them to the general public well in advance of game day?
d) Continue to hold prime ADA locations and later sell them to the general public?
e) Continue to sell them to whomever asks for them, no questions asked?

I'd like to see them come up with some formal policy on how they will be handled this seasons. Personally, I like how the Cubs do it.

Posted on February 5, 2011 at 12:15 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 298

The policy should be that those seats are held for the disabled until every other seat in the stadium has been sold. When there are no other seats available, those seats should be fair game. Since once the game is sold out, those with disablities who had not purchased tickets, had the same chance as those without disablities to get in to the game.

Stated another way:

No one without a disabilty should get a WC seat if there are regular seats available, no matter the price or location. And if the stadium is sold out, the WC seats should not be held longer for someone just because they didn't buy tickets in a timely manner and just happen to have a disability.

Posted on February 5, 2011 at 12:44 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 299

The Twins will continue to do whatever puts the most money in their collective pockets without regard to how it gets there or whom it imposes upon - and issue lots of spin in an attempt to deflect notice. It's pretty hard to put that policy into so many words - which is why they refrain from doing so.

Posted on February 5, 2011 at 1:44 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 300

well said Ben...

Ultimately those ADA seats will be sold regardless of whom sits in them. If you request ADA or other special seating you should be held to the same standards as any other fan in that you should be ordering your tickets early and planning in advance.

Just because you require special seating does not mean you should be able to get tickets to a Saturday night game in July or August two weeks before the game. You should be required to plan ahead and purchase well in advance just like everyone else does if you want tickets at face value through the Twins ticket office.

I am all for disability and special seating needs, but those people should be required to plan in advance just like every other fan.

The Twins are doing nothing wrong when they release those unsold WC row seats within 30 days of the game. If you require special seating, than you need to plan in advance too, otherwise its fair game when the Twins release those tickets to the "public" within 30 days of the game. When average Joe clicks on "Best available" seats and the WC row comes up, than its fair game that Joe is able to sit in those seats.

Posted on February 5, 2011 at 3:00 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 301

The issue, I think, is how far in advance of a given event the WC seats are made available, and to whom. It would seem that some should be "saved" until relatively close to game time (two weeks???) as a gesture to those who would like to have them to sit in and are unable, for whatever reasons, to book earlier. The parameters would be a very tough call - but doing nothing is not the answer. If, however, the team is selling whatever it can well in advance of an event it should be taken as evidence that WC seating is just so much window dressing.

Posted on February 5, 2011 at 3:40 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 302

Liriano signs one-year contract.

Posted on February 5, 2011 at 8:08 PM by Badjuggler Highlight this comment 303

Mike's comment is not surprising but ignorant nonetheless. If I'm in a wheelchair, I relly can't use a SRO ticket. I cn't use the tickets that are returned by other teams. There are plenty of opporuninities to buy tickets days before a game - most games - but NOT tickets for seats that are accessible and ADA-compliant. We're not talking about being nice here. We're talking about complying with a law that's been highly publicized and around for 21 years. The Twins have a crappy policy for reserving accessible seating and ensuring reasonable access on par with nondisabled seating. The flaws have been well-documented. They need to improve.

Posted on February 5, 2011 at 9:18 PM by BR Highlight this comment 304

Ben - you are all wrong. The Twins did not have to put in twice the ADA guideline of accessible seating. If all they cared about is $$$, they wouldn't have done that. You can say they sell them out anyway, which is true, but they could put a lot more regular seats in the same amount of space as what they get with the accessible seating.

I know that they also like to have accessible seating available for when a regular season ticket holder, or someone that is part of a group, has a guest that requires the special seating. I believe that they will exchange the tickets out in that situation.

From my little experience - I would say that they Twins have been very accomodating in this way.

Posted on February 5, 2011 at 9:55 PM by clublevelfan Highlight this comment 305

I think I have to side with BR on this one. The WC accessible seats are there for a reason; and I don't think the Twins should be putting them up for general public sale like any other seat. I can't tell you how many times I walked up to one of the automated kiosks last season just to see what seats were still available for the game (or online for that matter) and the WC tickets were for sale just like the seats for the Grandstand or the RF bleachers.
I think it's sad when someone who legitimately needs those seats comes up to the box office or the kiosk, hoping to find a seat that was specifically designated for them, only to find out that it was sold to someone who really does not need to sit in those seats - but they are only because the ticket was "fair game." That's sad.

Posted on February 5, 2011 at 10:55 PM by luke Highlight this comment 306

Maybe they ought to relabel the seats. Or, make well known a succinct policy in regard to their status. I don't think the team should be "required" to let them go unused. But, it seems clear from info appearing here and elsewhere that many of these seats are being sold to brokers and others well in advance of an event. There must be a middle ground.

Posted on February 6, 2011 at 09:23 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 307

clublevelfan has a valid point in that the team was not legally required to put in anywhere near the number of accessible seats as they did. I think they roughly doubled-up on the requirement.

Certain aspects of the design made that easy, but they could have just left some of those areas as standing room, but they did not. It's widely acknowledged that the Twins did right by the community of people who can genuinely benefit from such seating.

Further, in my unofficial survey after the issue was raised last summer, I saw a whole lot of wheelchairs, walkers, canes, oxygen tanks and the like. I cannot remember a single time when I saw someone blatantly and obviously using those seats who did not have some valid reason to be there (such as accompanying another person with such needs).

Now, I know that it happens, but that there wasn't obvious abuse says a great deal about the effectiveness of the Twins' policy on managing the sale of those seats.

Posted on February 6, 2011 at 10:11 AM by Rick 308

Even if there were a way to assure the WC seats are sold initially only to people with special needs, to what extent should the secondary market be controlled? If a disabled STH wants to sell the tickets to the games he cannot attend, his market would be significantly reduced if he could only sell to someone who is disabled. An absolute "handicapped only" restriction on those seats, a la handicapped parking spots, would hurt that person. Not sure what the answer is.

Posted on February 6, 2011 at 11:04 AM by terry Highlight this comment 309

What should we say next Monday: Happy Valentine's Day or Happy Pitchers and Catchers Voluntarily Report Day?

Posted on February 6, 2011 at 11:26 AM by luke Highlight this comment 310

Luke ---

Maybe we should say "Happy February 7th" --- which is what next Monday is.

Posted on February 6, 2011 at 12:05 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 311

Tomorrow (which is This Monday in my book) is Feb. 7, Ben. next Monday is "Happy Pitchers and Catchers Report Voluntarily Day"

Posted on February 6, 2011 at 1:07 PM by luke Highlight this comment 312

That would be your book. Try another book, I would recommend the dictionary.

Posted on February 6, 2011 at 1:20 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 313

I prefer looking at a calendar...

Posted on February 6, 2011 at 1:29 PM by TK Highlight this comment 314

Click my name for a concept video I found on The Warehouse with a Ball Field down in Miami. Interesting video, but that place makes me sick.

Posted on February 6, 2011 at 4:26 PM by luke Highlight this comment 315

I think I am going to vomit!

Posted on February 6, 2011 at 9:15 PM by firedog Highlight this comment 316

Better not go there then.

Posted on February 6, 2011 at 9:36 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 317

As a Vikings fan, I don't like the Packers but they played the best ball of anyone down the stretch and they took care of business when they needed to. They didn't have 12 men in the huddle when it mattered most...They have a very good QB and well disciplined team and earned the Super Bowl XLV victory.

Vikings fans are just jealous whether we want to admit it or not. And the Badgers also went to a Rose Bowl, something the Gophers have not experienced in decades...

The National Anthem was an embarrassment and the Halftime Show was horrible.

Anyways, enough of the negativity from me...lets officially spring forward to baseball season!

Posted on February 6, 2011 at 9:53 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 318

"The National Anthem was an embarrassment and the Halftime Show was horrible."

Amen, brother.

Posted on February 6, 2011 at 10:00 PM by Rick 319

I'm sure Betaband enjoyed the game.

Posted on February 6, 2011 at 10:22 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 320

Baseball season can not start soon enough after tonight!

Posted on February 6, 2011 at 10:26 PM by ole Highlight this comment 321

They could have dug Lita Ford out from underneath a rock and she would have performed better than Fergie.

Posted on February 6, 2011 at 11:08 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 322

Really Luke? You criticize Miami's warehouse with a ballfield...Yet, that's exactly what you want MN to build for the Vikings....An airplane hangar with a football field.

Posted on February 6, 2011 at 11:09 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 323

I was pleased to see the Packers beat the Steelers and roethlisberger. Especially the roethlisberger part. Congratulations to the Pack, although now their fans will have to blow all sorts of money on commemorative caps and apparel. Fortunately, football fans in this state never have to worry about that.

Posted on February 6, 2011 at 11:20 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 324

The ADA regulations were amended in 2010 to include language covering ticketing. Those regulations begin to partially go into effect March 15 2011 and go into full effect by March 15 2012.

The new language can be found here. New additions are in bold, search for "ticketing" to jump to that section.

Posted on February 6, 2011 at 11:38 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 325

Joe Buck's overly opinionated play-by-play makes me long for Gordo. And Steve Young on ESNE is an arrogant asshole.

What a horrible day! Pack win another; Intermission is a shit show that is the black eyed peas.

Excited to see Adam Dunn in the central

Random. Again.

Posted on February 7, 2011 at 01:08 AM by N.D. (aka N.D. "Rube") Highlight this comment 326

and to top it off, the becky brewers will be fielding a contending bball team this year as well. Makes for an exciting NL central this year too?

Posted on February 7, 2011 at 01:17 AM by N.D. (aka N.D. "Rube") Highlight this comment 327

Yeah! Lita Ford!

Wait. What?

Posted on February 7, 2011 at 01:21 AM by N.D. (aka N.D. "Rube") Highlight this comment 328

Actually Kev, like many other things in life, I frankly don't give a damn what happens to the ViQueens. Let 'em go to LA and a privately-funded stadium. If they get a new place built here, great. If the 'Queens leave, even better.

Posted on February 7, 2011 at 06:55 AM by luke Highlight this comment 329

Thanks Dave. That answers a lot of the questions that have been raised here. Go to the source for the information; what a unique concept.

Posted on February 7, 2011 at 09:10 AM by terry Highlight this comment 330

So play along with me here...If the Twins were "Piranhas" in the fishbowl that was the Metrodome, what are they in the outdoors at Target Field?

Squirrels? - pesky but not really a threat

Bears? - dangerous but better known as cute, soft and cuddly and known to hibernate in the winter (aka playoffs)

something else?

Posted on February 7, 2011 at 09:11 AM by Jared Highlight this comment 331

It's been a tail of two franchises since the end of 2005 when GB fired Mike Sherman and the Vikings fired Mike Tice...

GB had a plan and went with it, they took some time to interview coaching candidates and hired a no-name coach in Mike McCarthy from SF while the Vikings hired this "offensive guru" in Brad Childress instantly without even considering many other candidates. Than they unveiled those hideous-looking arena league style uniforms in April 2006.

Ted Thompson/Mike McCarthy took a lot of hell for the way they handled the Brett Favre saga following the 2007 season, but they didn't let the prima donna Favre get in their way and they parted ways giving the nod to Aaron Rodgers.

Meanwhile, the Vikings still have no QB after they threw all of their chips on the table to make a run in 2008-2009.

They traded several draft picks for an overrated Jared Allen in 2008 and last year, they traded a 3rd round pick (74th overall) to rent Randy Moss for four weeks.

Here we still are in Minnesota with no QB, no 3rd round draft pick this year because Childress was desperate to bring in a WR.

Green Bay could easily be on the verge of something special, they have a very solid foundation.

I wonder how things would be today if the Wilfs would have let Brad Childress head to Green Bay to interview for that job in January 2006?

Posted on February 7, 2011 at 09:30 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 332

That's the part that always bothers me, Mike. Childress was supposed to interview with the Packers after us. I hated him before he even signed, knew it would be a mistake. I was hoping he'd go to the Packers.

I wanted Tomlin to be our coach and was pissed when he left and Childress was still here.

Posted on February 7, 2011 at 09:47 AM by AJ Highlight this comment 333

Jared Allen. I can't believe he was selected by fans to be one of the 50 Greatest Vikings with less than two years with the organization (such as it is) under his belt. Sure, he had a very good 2009, but 2010 fell off quite a bit. Are memories that short? They couldn't think of anybody with more time in with the team to select?

Ridiculous.

Posted on February 7, 2011 at 09:51 AM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 334

congrats packers. now bring on baseball where MN actually has a franchise worth our support. i never thought i'd get to the point where i don't really care if the vikings leave or stay. the equipment truck leaves target field for ft myers on wednesday. spring and baseball mean hope. football is drudgery. the vikings of the 70's were our team. the dome era has been a 30 year mistake for football.

Posted on February 7, 2011 at 10:42 AM by tim Highlight this comment 335

A Vikes vs. Twins comparison is also interesting.

Only one of the organizations appears to at least consider the future while making decisions about the present.

Only one organization set aside all previous planning to import an aging superstar who may have effectively derailed their franchise for an as yet unknown length of time.

Only one organization has transformed itself successfully from a ma-and-pa shop to a world class corporation which is the envy of the rest of its industry.

Only one organization has been churning its coaching staff like butter.

Only one organization has learned from its mistakes and managed to secure a new facility.

Only one organization hired its last two head coaches from a pool of one.

The difference is even clear in the stats. Look at the past 10 seasons:

Winning percentage: .494 vs .547
Winning seasons: 4 vs. 9
Division titles: 2 vs. 6
Playoff appearances: 3 vs. 6
Off-field scandals: Multiple vs. none (dodged a bullet on Santana)

I could go on...

Posted on February 7, 2011 at 11:04 AM by Rick 336

I would only disagree with one of those points:

"Only one organization has transformed itself successfully from a ma-and-pa shop to a world class corporation which is the envy of the rest of its industry."

I don't think the Twins are the envy of the rest of MLB. That spot will always be held by the Yankees.

You always hear the Twins have an amazing farm system, but every year around the trade deadline, asides from one or two players that are untouchable (ala Michael Restovich, the cupboard is always bare. The system seems to produce steady good players, but no real super-stars. Mauer was always going to be good being a #1 draft pick. Morneau is too injury prone to be a super-star. Santana came over from the Mets and was not developed by the Twins, and actually spent too much time in the minors. The only one I see as possibly being superb is Valencia.

Posted on February 7, 2011 at 11:41 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 337

Santana came over from the Astros in the rule 5 draft, thus he never spent any time in the minors.

Posted on February 7, 2011 at 11:48 AM by bphj Highlight this comment 338

You are correct, I apologize, he spent way too long in our bullpen, not the minors. And he went to the Mets. That what I get trying to post right after I awoke.

Anyway my point was that the Twins farm system, while being praised highly, does not produce super-stars, remains unchanged.

Posted on February 7, 2011 at 12:05 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 339

Dave, thanks for that link to the ADA regulations. Anyone who really wants to bone up on the updated, specific ticketing requirements under federal law should click on that link. (Side notes: 1. Courts had required some of these same modifications to existing policy that are now in the reg's. 2. The generally excellent, accessible design at TF does not eliminate the need for improvements in the team's handling of ticket sales and specific accommodations issues. I've had clients who have raised both types of problems with he Twins, in the Dome and at TF.)

Duffman, I think it's fair to say that the Twins are a highly respected model franchise for mid-size makets. And I disagree that the MVP-winning Morneau isn't a superstar generated by the Twins' farm system. 2 MVPs drafted and playing for the team is an enviable track record.

Posted on February 7, 2011 at 1:22 PM by BR Highlight this comment 340

I don't see what about the Marlins Stadium makes you ill. The place is going to be beautiful. Granted, I'm biased, but there really isn't anything "airplane-hangery" about it. Here is what the view of downtown Miami will look like from home plate:


The Marlins design is actually not really like Arizona's, but have you been to Chase Field? Aside from being too big, it really was a very nice stadium to watch a game. I didn't feel like I was in a warehouse at all.

Posted on February 7, 2011 at 2:32 PM by Greg Highlight this comment 341

"Only one organization has learned from its mistakes and managed to secure a new facility."

Too early to say... the Vikings may still get one, in Arden Hills.

Posted on February 7, 2011 at 3:48 PM by Dan Highlight this comment 342

Greg -- that is a nice pic! Thanks for sending it. I think I am put off by rendering (link attached), showing something very much like your picture. The Miami skyline is obscured by beams, superstructure, and such. Rather than embracing that great view, they are trying to accommodate it.

In any case, you never know with a ballpark until you are playing in it. I'll just be curious how many games the roof is actually open. Between the heat and the constant threat of rain, I wonder if they will really open it at all from June to September.

Posted on February 7, 2011 at 4:50 PM by Lincster Highlight this comment 343

I actually like the Marlins stadium. Would it work here? No. But for some reason it feels right in Miami. They have to have a retractable roof to draw fans in the Miami summer, so I think they went about it the best way possible.

As Greg, said that view out to the skyline will be awesome and the park will be unique. As we often say here, you will be able to sit in the stands and know, for better or worse, that you're in Miami.

About the only problem I really have is that jumping-fish thing out in the outfield. Seems more than a little tacky, even by south Florida standards.

Posted on February 7, 2011 at 4:56 PM by Buffalo Highlight this comment 344

Greg - two things came to mind seeing that pic: it either looked like the first year of construction of Cowboys Stadium or stage preparation for a Pink Floyd reunion tour. I'm sorry but THAT is not a ballpark.

In my defense Kev, take a look at that pic from Greg - does that REALLY say "baseball" to you? What's even worse is I wanted one of those things built HERE for the Twins! Football stadiums are SUPPOSED to be huge, cavernous, steel-adorned buildings that could easily double as airplane hangars (note Cowboys Stadium).

As far as the NFL is concerned, bigger and the more steel you use is better. Not so with baseball, you taught me that! A ballpark is supposed to have a cozy, neighborhood like feel. It's not supposed to look like a docking station for the mothership. That's the feeling I get when looking at Miami's "ballpark."

Posted on February 7, 2011 at 5:55 PM by luke Highlight this comment 345

I see Michael Young wants out of Texas and he has the Twins on his list of the 8 teams that he would go to in a trade. I'd have to believe that he would be a upgrade at SS over Casilla?

Posted on February 8, 2011 at 07:03 AM by bphj Highlight this comment 346

DSP tweeted last night that the Twins will be wearing the 61 throwback jerseys again this year. He also stated that there are talks about making them the permanent home jersey.

Posted on February 8, 2011 at 08:22 AM by Joe117 Highlight this comment 347

bphj-
I don't know about that. His bat would be an upgrade, but his defense would be a downgrade. SS is Young's worst position and it's Casilla's natural position. Casilla is bad at second base, but in the small sample size at SS, he's been good.

If the Twins did end up with him, Young could play second moving Nishioka to SS (though he apparently doesn't have the arm for it). That would be the "best" scenario.

I just don't see it happening though. Young is owed 48 million total for the next three years and he's coming up on his mid-30's as far as age. The Twins don't have the money for it and they really don't have the roster space either.

Besides, in the last four years, Young's bat has only been average overall. 2009 was a good year, but otherwise he's average to very slightly above average offensively.

Looking at the last four years, Michael Young = Michael Cuddyer. During that time, Cuddyer had a very down and injured 2008 but he was still almost as good the last four years as Young has been. They both had one year where it was a career year (or close to it).

Average over the last four years:
Young: 89 runs, 186 hits, 36 doubles, 16 HR's, 84 RBI's, 50 walks, 105 K's, .300/.351/.442

Cuddyer: 76 runs, 135 hits, 28 doubles, 16 HR's, 73 RBI's, 50 walks, 90 K's, .271/.343/.446

The numbers aren't far off and remember, Cuddyer's numbers are dragged down by his injury plagued 2008. That season was the worst season of his career. The only time he's played worse was as a 22 year old in 18 AB's in 2001, which I wouldn't count since it's such an insanely small sample size.

People complain about paying Cuddyer 10 million, but they'd be okay with paying an equal and older player 16 million? The Rangers could take on salary, but that only means that the Twins would have to give up better prospects. Again, Young isn't worth that. Would you trade a ton or take on Cuddyer at 16 million if the situation was reversed?

I like the guy, but he's no different than Cuddy to me. I'd rather not do it. It'll help the offense sure, but it's not worth it. He wouldn't be the difference maker, at least I don't think so.

Posted on February 8, 2011 at 08:56 AM by AJ Highlight this comment 348

Does anyone know if Season Tickets have gone on sale after the Twins worked through their waiting list? I'm not buying this year, but interested in seeing what's available once they get everyone that put a down payment in seats. I was originally told it would take most of January to work through that waiting list.

Posted on February 8, 2011 at 09:33 AM by jctwins Highlight this comment 349

I hope they do make that uniform the permanent home uni.

As for Young, I hope he does come here, he would be a huge upgrade over Casilla. Also, we don't know if the Twins can afford him or not. For most of the offseason we heard they couldn't afford both Pavano and Thome, but yet both are back, and Pohlad supposedly told Pavano there would be money to improve the lineup during the season.

I think most of my utter distain for Casilla comes from his unforgivable base running error, that nearly cost us game 163. I know he got the base winning hit, but we wouldn't have needed it had he done his job in the bottom of the ninth.

Posted on February 8, 2011 at 11:09 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 350

jctwins - A friend of mine who put a deposit on 4 seats last season found out last week they didn't make the cut for this year and are still in the "on deck circle." It would appear there is still a sizable waiting list for getting in on season tickets.

Posted on February 8, 2011 at 11:30 AM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 351

Stevie any idea where he wanted tickets? I'd be interested in hearing if the higher end seats are as full as the less expensive ones.

Posted on February 8, 2011 at 12:38 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 352

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Posted on February 8, 2011 at 12:45 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 353

Not sure what that error message is, but the On Deck Circle waiting list was over 1,200 as of late-December.

Posted on February 8, 2011 at 12:46 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 354

Duffman-
I just don't see it happening with Young. He would be an offensive upgrade, but he'd be an extreme defensive downgrade. He's plain AWFUL at SS. People, me included, don't like Cuddyer at first base. Watch Young at SS, it's even more laughable.

You could move him to second, but he hasn't played there in like eight years. No way of guaranteeing that he'll be able to do that well. That would basically be the only option, because it would move Nishioka and bench Casilla. Nishioka and Valencia are starters guaranteed.

And I don't believe the Twins can afford him, not if they want to do mid-season trades. 16 million per would take up money that they have set for that.

I never heard the Twins say they couldn't afford Pavano & Thome. I heard the media suggest and speculate that, but the Twins never said that. The media speculates and says things just as fans do. Unless it comes from the Twins FO or Jim Pohlad, it doesn't really mean as much. You and I could write anything in the paper, just like they can and do. People read it and they took it to heart, which they shouldn't have.

The Twins said they could handle a payroll of 120-125 if they had to (when they were offering arbitration). So yes, there could be 10 million or so to take on, but I'm sure they'd rather fill a need mid-season than use up all that money right now. Who knows what they'll need at the deadline.

And yes, one of the reasons Pavano signed was because they'd be willing to add a piece or pieces at the deadline like they have for the past two years. I think that makes much more sense than going after Young.

And word is that the Twins have said no to getting Michael Young, but that could change, just like anything. He'll be an upgrade, but it's not like he's some missing piece. His defensive shortcomings only hurt his case.

Posted on February 8, 2011 at 1:06 PM by AJ Highlight this comment 355

That was sort of my point, we just don't know what the Twins can afford, they have not really tipped their hand as to how much they are willing to spend. Yes it was the media saying they couldn't afford both, but then they signed both, showing our local twins coverage really has no clue what they are talking about.

I would still prefer Young at SS over Casilla. Right now, in baseball, hitting has become more important than fielding. If having Young's bat in the lineup means we would have deminished fielding prowess at SS, so be it.

Posted on February 8, 2011 at 1:33 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 356

jctwins, I know their desire was for mid-range priced seating but I don't know how much that plays into it. The Twins commit to selling only a certain number of season tickets and they are spread through the ballpark with some areas sold only to groups and single game seats. I imagine the "available spread" of higher priced to lower priced for single game seating would be similar to last season

Posted on February 8, 2011 at 1:34 PM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 357

Something that no one is talking about when it comes to these payroll discussions is what happens when the Honeymoon is over. Can they continue with this kind of payroll in year 3-5 when they don't sell out games every day? I'd like to know what the team's revenue is, and how much of that is going to payroll, and how much ownership is keeping. Obviously both numbers have to be a lot bigger than they were at the dome, but how much bigger?

Posted on February 8, 2011 at 1:58 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 358

Thanks Stevie

Posted on February 8, 2011 at 1:58 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 359

The Twins have emphasized the need for speed this offseason and the need to get quicker, in particular, up the middle of the infield.

Gardy has also insisted they need to get quicker on the base paths, meaning they would like to run more and bunt more.

That does not bode well for a guy like Michael Young.

Posted on February 8, 2011 at 2:11 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 360

Duffman-
I think they have tipped their hand. They said 120-125 could be handled, but that doesn't mean they will spend that much. They also said "we're pretty much done." If something amazing comes up they said they will look into it just like any other opportunity...but they said "we're pretty much done." All the Twins said all offseason is how badly they wanted Pavano and Thome back. They got them. The media said the Twins couldn't afford them. The Twins said and acted differently.

I wouldn't call Young that "amazing" thing that came along. He's a slightly above average offensive player and an atrocious defensive player at SS. He doesn't bring speed, which is supposedly the main reason (besides money) they went from Hardy to Casilla when Hardy is the better player. If they wanted a guy who could hit but be poor defensively they could have signed Manny for 2 million. Young's offense in no way makes up for his poor defense. He's not Pujols with the bat and he'd have to be to make up for it.

If you listen to the Twins, and only the Twins, everything they've said has happened. If you listen to what the media decides to speculate, they've gotten almost everything wrong. They really do have no idea, like you said. Which is why I usually only pay attention to what the Twins say. And all the things that the Twins have said, has happened.

I think it's a bad idea to go all in on offense and ignore defense. Just imagine how many runs the Twins could have saved if they had a real OF defense.

One reason the Rays started to be good was they actually paid attention to preventing runs. There were articles about it all over the place about how they started to focus on that. They never used to care about defense, now it's a huge part of their game. Other teams took notice as well. It wasn't just all of their prospects turning good at once.

One of the quickest and easiest ways to become a better team is to have great defense. A good team can hit and field. The Twins don't have many good fielders. There's a few unknowns, a few above average and most are average or below average.

Young just doesn't provide enough offense to sacrifice money or prospects for. I wouldn't trade good prospects for Michael Cuddyer or pay him a 16 million dollar contract. No reason to do it for his twin.

Posted on February 8, 2011 at 2:14 PM by AJ Highlight this comment 361

jctwins-
No official word on revenue yet. I'm not sure when that comes out. I want to say it's within the next few months though. Word was always that it would be +$200 million. And that was the low point. It seems like it was higher than that though, just from what they indicated towards the end of last season. It seems like they made more than they expected to.

Anyway, they usually only spend 52 percent of that...though in the last five years or so I know they've gone over that percentage, sometimes under as well.

Posted on February 8, 2011 at 2:18 PM by AJ Highlight this comment 362

If we're peculating about what will happen down the road 3-5 years, and the novelty of Target Field is worn off, can we look at the Indians as a model? They sold out for several years and were near-fixtures in the playoffs, weren't they? My guess would be that their payroll isn't nearly what it was when you adjust for inflation, and they seem to take a few years off here and there from contention.

If my memory doesn't serve me well here, let me know.

Posted on February 8, 2011 at 5:30 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 363

Dr X, methinks you're right. I think the Indians won the first five or six Central Division titles since the division was formed back in 1994. I remember the 1996 season, the year after they made it to the Series, they sold the entire season out in like two days.
Now, Indians tickets are about as easy to come by at the Jake (yea, yea, yea, it's "Progressive Field" now) as they were at the Mistake by the Lake in the late 80s and early 90s.

Posted on February 8, 2011 at 9:08 PM by luke Highlight this comment 364

Aj-
Why do you keep taking the points I make, expanding on them and then act like I made the complete opposite point?

The Twins have not tipped their hand. They said they could handle that amount, but they have not come out and said there is a price they will not go above as they have in past years.

I would consider Young an amazing thing to come along if they can get the right deal for him. A guy who can hit in the high .200's, 20+ HR's and 90+ RBI's would be a great addition to a team at almost any position, but especially at SS.

Your analogy comparing Young to Manny is completely off. Young could play SS, Manny can not. Since SS is, as of now, the Twins only weakness offensively, Young would be an upgrade there.

You mentioned speed being a plus for Casilla. If he will be considered the Twins "fast" guy, (Asides from Span) that is sad. He had 6 SB's last year in 69 games, expanded to 162 games that would be roughly 15 SB's.

The Twins may have said speed was a reason they moved Hardy, and I know you mentioned besides money, but my bet is it came down only to money, and speed had nothing to do with it. Hardy was injury prone and his production when healthy didn't match his salary. Hardy will make $6.5 million this season, Casilla a little under $900,000. Sadly thats not a hard choice.

I never said, nor do I expect the Twins to get Young. All I said is they would be a better team with him at SS, than with Casilla.

As for Fielding (defense) baseball is not like Football where defense wins championships. In baseball pitching and hitting does. For most of the last decade the Twins had great fielding, where did it get them? A couple of trips to the playoffs in a weak division.

Posted on February 9, 2011 at 04:41 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 365

Here I am sending podcast suggestions to you all this Tuesday morning. Talk about procrastination firmly settling in!

"Talkin' Baseball", a Chicago-area radio show that airs every Saturday morning, has to be the best cure for many of us jonesing for the season to start. Rick, you familiar with this?

Give it a try. Alot of focus is spent dissecting the AL & NL Central divisions--this past weekend's show included an interview with Rikalbert Blyleven that I've been meaning to check out

Posted on February 9, 2011 at 09:32 AM by N.D. (aka N.D. "Rube") Highlight this comment 366

Clicky Clicky...

There's the Twins' "hush-hush" approach, and then there's Jerry Reinsdorf.

Hell will freeze over before you see an article like this show up in the Star Tribune.

Posted on February 9, 2011 at 09:44 AM by N.D. (aka N.D. "Rube") Highlight this comment 367

Click name for link from Trib about possible sites under consideration for a new Vikings stadium, two confirmed (Metrodome and Arden Hills) and two other speculations:

*West of Target Field on Interstate 94 in downtown Minneapolis
*Brooklyn Park near Hwys. 610 and 169

Posted on February 9, 2011 at 10:45 AM by tk Highlight this comment 368

Interesting e-mail was received today from the Twins that help Season Ticket holders find ticket partners, as well as those that do not have tickets to find a partner to join.

Also, there is an added function to help season ticket holders manage their inventory and hold an online draft.

Interesting.

Posted on February 9, 2011 at 11:50 AM by tk Highlight this comment 369

Anybody here see any sign of a "Minnie & Paul" - or other new - season ticket bobblehead at Twinsfest? The Fest is where the next round of ST bobbleheads traditionally make their first appearance so I wonder what's up. Any news would be appreciated.

Posted on February 9, 2011 at 11:51 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 370

Duffman-
Because you are saying the opposite.

Like I said, the Twins said they're done. They have money to spend for mid-season trades and that's it. Michael Young is not amazing. He's a slightly above average offensive player who basically has no position. That drops his value significantly.

His offense does not make up for his poor defense, which is something it needs to do. Delmon Young finally had a season where his offense made up for his poor defense. It was the first time it happened. Before that, he was just like Michael Young.

Young can't play SS. He can play SS as well as Cuddyer can play SS. He's a third baseman or a DH, nothing more. And he's a below average third baseman even. The Twins don't have room for him as either of those two things.

I'm surprised at how many people don't realize that catcher, SS and CF are defensive positions first. Any offense you can get out of those is a good thing. SS is one of the most important positions on the field. I'd probably put it right behind catcher. Young can't play it. Like I said, his bat doesn't make up for his insanely poor defense. Combine both and he's only an average player.

And speed is a plus for Casilla. I didn't mention SB's. I know he's not good at that, but he is the fastest guy on the team easily. Gardy likes guys who charge the ball at SS. Casilla does that. His speed should help him defensively, but he won't be as good as Hardy was defensively. Of course, very few are anyway. I don't expect much out of Casilla, but if he plays like he did last season in limited time then he'll be good.

And if it came down to money, why in the world do you think the Twins would pay 16 million a year for a player who can't even play the position well? Does that make sense at all? If they chose a player who is worse than Hardy because of money, they're not going to choose a player who is three times more expensive but truly can't play the position.

Hardy is one of the best SS's in the game. He was last year as well. And he's not making 6.5 million this year. He's making 5.85. He received a small raise because you always get a raise in arbitration.

Again, Young's production wouldn't match his salary. Cuddyer is paid 10 million to put up the same numbers and most believe he is overpaid. Cuddyer's also not good defensively.

Again, the averages the last four years.
Young: 89 runs, 186 hits, 36 doubles, 16 HR’s, 84 RBI’s, 50 walks, 105 K’s, .300/.351/.442

Cuddyer: 76 runs, 135 hits, 28 doubles, 16 HR’s, 73 RBI’s, 50 walks, 90 K’s, .271/.343/.446

That includes when Cuddyer played less than half a season in 2008. Healthy Cuddyer is better than Young. He's also a better player defensively, which is funny because Cuddyer is a below average defensively.

I just don't agree they'd be better with Young. Plus, most believe that this will be a bad contract for bad contract swap. That leaves very few Twins to be included in a trade. Cuddyer would be one of them. If that happens, the Twins would be trading the better player. The Rangers would win that trade. They'd only have to deal with someone for one year rather than three. We'd be giving them salary relief and the better player. That would be a very bad move.

If baseball was all about offense, then bad defensive players would work in every position on every team. Then it would be a good trade, but Young makes the team worse when he plays SS.

And you mention the last decade as the Twins being all defense and little offense. You really think that's what this team is now? You believe that's what they were last year? You look at this team and that's what you see?

They were one of the top offensive teams in all of baseball last year. This team isn't like any of those teams. Pitching, hitting AND defense is needed to win.

They lost only two guys on offense, Hardy and Hudson. Combined, they were equal to one good player. Separately they were one of the best middle infield defensive combo's in all of baseball. Hardy was one of the top SS while Hudson was one of the top 2B's.

I don't look at Span/Nishioka/Mauer/Morneau/Cuddyer/Kubel/Young/Valencia/Thome/Casilla (the combination of them in a lineup) and wonder "wow, how are we going to score!?" We "need" Young. This team is "all defense, no offense." That's what those teams were or at least they were much less offensively gifted. Going to a more pitcher friendly ballpark helped, but having those two on the team also helped.

This team is nothing like those teams. In fact, this team is way more offensive than it is defensive. Young/Kubel/Cuddyer or below average. Span is average. Valencia...we'll give him average, but no real idea yet. Casilla, back to his natural position where in a small sample size has looked just fine..so average. Nishioka, I don't even know where to guess with him. Morneau & Mauer, above average.

A few of the guys had down years last year, so they have bouncebacks in them. Not guaranteed though. I don't think Span will be as awful as he was.

Anyway, what I'm saying is, we are saying the opposite. The Twins have said they're done unless something amazing comes along. There isn't anything amazing out there. Young isn't and he also isn't cheap.

You are saying we don't know what the limit on payroll is right this moment. I agree we don't know the limit, but I do know they said they are done. I don't see them spending 16 million on a guy who can't play a position. Not when they could have kept Hardy or Hudson or some of the relievers that left. They didn't...because of money.

And you're saying, Young can play SS. I'm saying he can't. If we move Cuddyer to SS, he could do just as well. I don't even think he's played SS in two years. As awful as he was back then, he is likely worse now.

Their bats are the same and they'd both suck defensively there. He isn't something the team needs. The offense on paper looks good. It's almost the same team as last year and a bunch of guys are up for bounceback years.

If Young was on the team, sure, we could score more runs. We'd also allow more with his poor defense. Pavano, Duensing, Blackburn & Liriano are guys who get the ball on the ground more often than not. It's a bad idea to have a bad SS when four of your starters are GB guys.

Posted on February 9, 2011 at 12:58 PM by AJ Highlight this comment 371

I can't help but laugh at how long that is.

Posted on February 9, 2011 at 12:58 PM by AJ Highlight this comment 372

If you get the "Not Acceptable. An appropriate representation..." error message when trying to post, look through your post for a percent sign and remove it. The new server doesn't seem to like them.

It also rejects the TM or (C) symbols, and "fancy" quotes (like you get in word processors). I've asked to have that changed, but it hasn't been accomplished yet...

Posted on February 9, 2011 at 1:05 PM by Rick 373

In the article linked by tk, the Strib says this about the site near TF:

"Perhaps the toughest problem would be site acquisition: nearby properties belong to businesses, nonprofits and the city of Minneapolis. The Farmers Market and Mary's Place, a charity that provides for the poor and homeless, probably would have to be relocated."

If you look at the map of that area, you'll see that the site would have to be gigantic -- five to six times the size of TF's site -- to encompass both Mary's Place and the Farmer's Market.

Even so, it's an awesome idea, way better than any of the other three (assuming that the acquisition issues can be tamed).

Posted on February 9, 2011 at 1:15 PM by Rick 374

My crystal ball sees Michael Young hitting baseballs deep into the Denver night sky...

(Can you tell I'm playing catch-up on comments?)

Posted on February 9, 2011 at 1:17 PM by Rick 375

The Twins have been very open about how they manage total payroll size. They've talked openly about it with downtown business owners, and it's been widely known for a long time. (Sorry, but I seem to have lost the link to that article. It was in a business publication.)

The maximum they are willing to spend is roughly 55 percent of gross revenues.

With gross revenues expected to be near $250 million, it's easy to calculate a maximum payroll of $137.5 million.

Posted on February 9, 2011 at 1:26 PM by Rick 376

Anybody else think it would be a good idea to break up Mauer/Morneau in the batting order?...especially with the jury still out on Morneau's health and future effe3ctiveness.

IMHO, they've needed to do this for years.

Posted on February 9, 2011 at 1:35 PM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 377

Rick or anyone else-where do you get those gross revenue numbers?

Posted on February 9, 2011 at 1:36 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 378

Well, Mauer's a #2 hitter. Always was, and probably always should be. Morneau would be a better #3 hitter, too. I could live with a real #3 man, and Morneau hitting cleanup.

Posted on February 9, 2011 at 1:37 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 379

Now, I'm going off topic for a second:

I seem to remember that one of you regular visitors out there works for Target on the Market Pantry brand food items (discovered when I whined about unbilled coconut in a cookie).

Well, these looked like delicious cookies:


But they were terrible! Two dry, dusty, rock-hard, lousy-tasting cookies with a brittle, waxy substance between which tasted kind of like old candy corn.

Somebody please lead me to the Cookie Promised Land! The Market Pantry cupboard appears to be barren...

(Have I mentioned that I tend to crave carbs more as the winter wears on...?)

OK, food-related rant over. We now return to our regularly-scheduled ranting.

Posted on February 9, 2011 at 1:39 PM by Rick 380

That's possible Rick, though I think the Rockies just pulled out of it. Rangers seem to want a hitter and pitcher or just a good hitter. Most teams on his list seem to not want him.

Another thing I forgot to mention about Young is that he's a product of where the Rangers play.
career home: .322/.372/.487 (above avg player)
career away: .279/.322/.411 (below avg player)

If he goes to a park that isn't as hitter friendly, we'll see more of his "away" self. Interestingly, Cuddyer has almost the exact same splits for career. Cuddyer's numbers went way down at home last year in a park that's more pitcher friendly than the Dome was.

I'd be really interested in seeing what the revenue is, Rick. I know before the season started they were hoping for low 200's. If they did get 250 million than they just went from being at the middle of the pack as far as revenue into top five (from last year to this year).

Posted on February 9, 2011 at 1:43 PM by AJ Highlight this comment 381

Forbes lists the Twins 2009 revenue at $162 million.

Experts estimate a bump of $50 to $70 million for the new ballpark, bringing 2010 to between $212 and $232 million.

But word on the street is that the ballpark bump estimates are low, and that they hit pretty close to $250 million last year.

Posted on February 9, 2011 at 1:48 PM by Rick 382

jctwins-
Official numbers usually come out in early April. Nothing official out yet.

I think most predict that the payroll for the Twins will be 130 next year. At least from what I've read.

Posted on February 9, 2011 at 1:52 PM by AJ Highlight this comment 383

Rick, it's a good time of year to order girl scout cookies....mmmm, thin mints!

Posted on February 9, 2011 at 2:31 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 384

Sunshine and blue skies (although ccccold for a few more days) has me jonesing for outdoor baseball.

Pitchers and catchers report on Monday!

Posted on February 9, 2011 at 3:21 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 385

You're right, Rick...they do look quite delicious. Possibly you picked up a bad bunch (i.e. close to expiration)?? But, if not, thanks for letting me know, I'll stay away from them.

Target's Market Pantry brand does however have some really good "mini donuts." I think they come in variety packs of plain, powdered sugar and cinnamon powdered. The plain and cinnamon ones, pop those in the microwave for just a couple seconds, and they're just like the ones you get at the Great Minnesota Get-Together

Posted on February 9, 2011 at 4:13 PM by luke Highlight this comment 386

The mini donuts are great. The mini brownies are terrible. That brand is seriously hit-and-miss.

The Girl Scouts do, indeed, sell Cookie Nirvana.

Posted on February 9, 2011 at 4:20 PM by Rick 387

Morneau update: "Morneau returns to batting cage and begins fielding drills" expected to report to Fort Myers on Feb. 22

Posted on February 9, 2011 at 4:27 PM by tk Highlight this comment 388

Click name for link to Twins season ticket sharing site.

Posted on February 9, 2011 at 10:33 PM by Buzz Highlight this comment 389

Why are you comparing Cuddyer to Young? Thats like when you compared Young to Manny. There is no reason to. Cuddyer plays in the outfield (mostly), and Young would play SS. Again why compare them?

We can agree Young would be a downgrade in fielding at SS from Casilla. I don't believe it would be as bad as you think but thats where we differ. Now the thing that should be looked at is would Young's hitting prowess outweigh the dimished defense, and I would say most definately.

You keep bring up $16 million for some reason. I know that is his salary, but almost every report I have read about a possible trade is the Rangers may end up eating up to half of that. So Young at $8 million, seems much more attractive.

You stated this:
"And you mention the last decade as the Twins being all defense and little offense. You really think that's what this team is now? You believe that's what they were last year? You look at this team and that's what you see?"

I said for most of the last decade, not last year. In other words meaning the earlier part of the decade. No I don't see this team as that now, not with Delmon and Kubel in the outfield. So I really do not get why you are so against Young playing SS.

But once again I will say this, I DO NOT THINK THE TWINS WILL GET YOUNG. So since this is mostly pointless, I'm done. Rebut all you want, I no longer care.

Posted on February 10, 2011 at 03:48 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 390

I compared them because Cuddyer was a shortstop. That's what he was drafted as. He was just as awful as Young is there, but the team was smart to move him instead of dealing with an average player who can't play the position.

The Rangers just dealt with it differently. They believed his slightly above average offense was worth paying him 16 million dollars (it isn't). They also believed it was worth putting him in a position that he simply cannot play (one of the reasons, a smaller one, the Rangers were bad for so long). Cuddyer could play SS, right now, just as badly as Young does and provide the same offense. That shouldn't bring confidence at all.

Young's fielding stats for his career, he's a -71. AWFUL. No amount of hitting makes up for that.

If the Rangers eat half his salary and take crap in return, I'm all for it. It doesn't sound like the Rangers want crap though. They want one or two impact guys.

And I know you said "most of the last decade." I responded to it by saying this is not that team. It wasn't that team last year either. The way you said it, you made it sound like Young would be our savior from being a defensive team like they were...like he's the answer. Having Casilla over Young isn't going to hurt the team. And if that truly is our only "weakness" offensively then I'd say that's extremely good. Not many teams have only one offensive weakness.

Thanks for no longer caring :)
If you don't want to have a baseball discussion, don't respond in the first place.

Posted on February 10, 2011 at 07:24 AM by AJ Highlight this comment 391

Trading Liriano isn't just crazy talk

Sad article. Twins said no to Liriano's request of 3/39. I'm glad they did because he has to prove he's back to normal, but it's sad that they may never extend him. If he's good again, the Twins really need him.

Posted on February 10, 2011 at 08:40 AM by AJ Highlight this comment 392

Reading some of the comments on that Star Tribune article regarding possibly trading Francisco Liriano, it amazes me how many fans think the Twins have an "unlimited payroll" just because they have a new ballpark...some of these fans need to realize they are paying a combined $60 million ($59.75 to be exact) for just FOUR players...Mauer (23M), Morneau (15M), Nathan (11.25M) and Cuddyer (10.5M)

The Twins will more than likely have a top-10 payroll on Opening Day....What more can you ask for as a fan in relation to spending money on payroll?

You can't have it both ways...its the same fans who say the Twins don't spend enough or they overpaid for Cuddyer/Mauer/Morneau etc.

It's probably the same Minnesota fans calling the Green Bay Packers "lucky" for winning the Super Bowl although they went on the road and defeated the #1 and #2 seeds and essentially won 6 must-win games in a row...

Posted on February 10, 2011 at 08:48 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 393

I love the Strib comments, they're good for a laugh. The people on there are crazy. Some say things just to get others riled up. Some are actually serious and believe the things they are saying. Then there a very select few who appear to be sane.

Posted on February 10, 2011 at 10:20 AM by AJ Highlight this comment 394

One of the things I am looking forward to this season is seeing what direction Liriano goes. Last year was certainly a giant step forward from 2009. What will 2011 bring...a leveling off, another step foward, or perhaps a step backward? I would love to see even more progress, but I am not sure he has more in him than he has shown. To get to the next level (ace) he has a ways to go. He will have to prove he can win big games against the best teams and against other aces. He also has to learn to pitch deeper into the late innings. I just have a feeling that maybe 2010 is as good as he'll get, which is not bad, but not the stuff that aces and playoff pitchers are made of.

Posted on February 10, 2011 at 11:38 AM by Another Rick Highlight this comment 395

Havent heard or seen updates on the upgrades at TF! Wonder how the Twins tower and new scoreboard are coming along.

Posted on February 10, 2011 at 11:48 AM by firedog Highlight this comment 396

follow the twins twitter feed. they have periodic updates there. there is some advertising signage that's been installed.

Posted on February 10, 2011 at 2:14 PM by tim Highlight this comment 397

Unfortunately, you can't see very much from the street. I haven't been able to get any pictures worth posting.

It's been a couple of weeks since I've been by there, but here's the best I've gotten so far:


Posted on February 10, 2011 at 2:20 PM by Rick 398

Here's the now-complete new limestone installation:


(You're forgiven if you don't know instantaneously which of that limestone is actually new.)

Posted on February 10, 2011 at 2:22 PM by Rick 399

Following Tim's advice, I found this picture the Twins posted. Looks like they have a ways to go in 2 months.

The additional limestone looks a little underwhelming, mostly because of the big hunk of gray aluminum to its left. Hopefully it looks better in person.

Posted on February 10, 2011 at 2:27 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 400

Another Rick-
Liriano definitely improved big time compared to 2009, but I agree. He's not an ace yet. He's as close as you can get though. I'd love to see him take the next step.

He went from completing a minimum of seven innings in only 24 percent of his games in 2009 to doing it 52 percent of the time in 2010. HUGE improvement. He's getting there for sure.

Posted on February 10, 2011 at 3:11 PM by AJ Highlight this comment 401

I have been poking around on the Twins STH ticket-share website and there are still so many greedy fans out there. Every single listing is for way over what the owners paid. Some guy has his left field bleacher seats for $50 a seat for most of the games. Get real!

I actually think it is a good idea for the Twins since there are people on the waiting circle and surely some that want to unload some games, but don't let people set their own prices if that is the case.

Posted on February 10, 2011 at 3:17 PM by PatMeares Highlight this comment 402

Question(you can forgive my ignorance, if it's been mentioned already):

How much of that exposed concrete on the stands is being covered? All of it, or just the LC? (or something else?)

Posted on February 10, 2011 at 3:26 PM by rback Highlight this comment 403

rback-the only concrete covered by new limestome is that stretch immediately below the Metropolitan Club.

Posted on February 10, 2011 at 4:15 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 404

Ok, thank you Fiesta.

Posted on February 10, 2011 at 5:33 PM by rback Highlight this comment 405

3/39 for liriano would be great next year but would be INSANE for the twins this year. The twins have him for 4.3 mil this year, and let's assume a huge year next year and say he gets a 10 mil settlement in the final year of arbitration. That's about 14 million, which means the extension he wants would essentially buy one year of free agency for 25 million dollars, 25 million that would be guaranteed before he threw about 420 innings of regular season ball, no thanks.

Posted on February 10, 2011 at 9:30 PM by jp Highlight this comment 406

Anyone hear if Wally the Beerman (or any of the other vendors suspended) will be back selling $7.50 beers at Target Field this year?

Posted on February 11, 2011 at 12:05 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 407

The Twins Season Ticket Holder Ticket Manager and Share system looks like a great tool. It will also go to people on the On Deck Circle list, so they will have access to other season tickets while waiting to get their own.
And an online draft tool for STHs to use with their group members.

Posted on February 11, 2011 at 4:22 PM by robin Highlight this comment 408

If that 3/$39M was for this year and the next 2, then JP is right - the Twins obviously pass.

I was screaming for the Twins to extend Mauer when he was recovering in the spring of '09, BEFORE his big year, because we already knew how good he was and he could probably have been had for a highest-paid-catcher, better-than-Posada deal (4/$60? 5/$75?). but no, they wanted to see how things worked out. Well, they worked out fine, for Joe!

With Liriano, I don't think anyone's sure what he is at this point. Even last year, despite excellent overall numbers, he didn't feel like a staff ace, as Christensen points out. I think the team HAS to wait this one out, and take the chance that Liriano has a great year and increases his value even more. It's not a worst case scenario.

Posted on February 11, 2011 at 4:43 PM by BR Highlight this comment 409

I got an email from my ST rep today, it sounds like TF will be offering a couple "smaller suites" on a per-game basis for next season, down the 3rd baseline. I wonder if they sized a couple suites down from last season?

Posted on February 11, 2011 at 6:41 PM by luke Highlight this comment 410

Luke has season tickets? What in the world?

Posted on February 11, 2011 at 7:52 PM by Max Highlight this comment 411

Jealous there Max?

Actually, last year when I was thinking about a 20-game pak, he's the one that contacted me. He still sends me email updates.

Posted on February 11, 2011 at 9:48 PM by luke Highlight this comment 412

Pitchers and catchers report soon and our anxiety for another summer in our lovely stadium is building. For now, linked is a LARGE amount of interesting infographics mostly about baseball. That will definitely keep you busy for a while. Some are very basic and some are very, very detailed. Cool.

Posted on February 11, 2011 at 11:33 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 413

It's been a while Jared! Nice stuff!

I found a couple to be very interesting:

Twins/Toronto Positioning

Payroll = Success graph

# MLB Player by Franchise I sure as heck thought there would be more than 912 players in the Twins 50 seasons, but I am sure there was fewer call-up/send-down back in the early days.

Posted on February 11, 2011 at 11:55 PM by tk Highlight this comment 414

It would be cool to own a piece of the dome...but then again.

Posted on February 12, 2011 at 12:01 AM by tk Highlight this comment 415

I sort of like the idea of cutting up the fabric and selling it.
It'd be cool to have a display at TF of different autographed pieces of the fabric: members of the 87 and 91 teams could sign one huge piece, Dave Kingman (if you can find him) can sign the piece of the drainage hole fabric he hit a baseball through in 1984.

They can sell small pieces to the Topps card company that make those cards that have small slots of "game used" stuff in them.

Or, take my original advice...dump some gas on the thing and set the whole Dome on fire.

Posted on February 12, 2011 at 08:08 AM by luke Highlight this comment 416

Joe Mauer is scheduled to be on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon in Tuesday (2/15).

Posted on February 12, 2011 at 09:43 AM by Buzz Highlight this comment 417

luke,

drag your mouse to the lower left corner of your screen - left click.
drag you mouse to "shut down" - left click.

Posted on February 12, 2011 at 09:51 AM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 418

The man advocates setting fire to the dome with the intention of destroying it, and you suggest he log off? I've long suspected you loved the dome but were too ashamed to admit it.

Welcome to the daylight. It must have been cold in those shadows all these years.

Posted on February 12, 2011 at 10:11 AM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 419

Kev, you hated the Damn Dome more than anybody!
I would have thought you would have easily laughed at my suggestion to set the thing on fire.
Jimminy Crickets man...take a chill pill.

Posted on February 12, 2011 at 10:50 AM by luke Highlight this comment 420

the suggestion of fire is fine....the constant babble.....boring!

Posted on February 12, 2011 at 1:39 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 421

I like the idea of selling pieces of the roof. As much as i hated the place, i had lots of great memories, biggest being Oct 6th 2009 163, still one of the best games I've ever been to!

Rick, do you plan to have another BPM nights? The first one was fun, hanging with everyone!

Posted on February 12, 2011 at 3:47 PM by The Sooj Highlight this comment 422

I've had some preliminary discussions with a potential ticket source for other BPM nights this year. Believe it or not, demand for tickets seems to have actually increased this year. So it's been tough to find a block of tickets that could be used for such a thing... I do still hope to find some.

Sell the defunct Dome roof in pieces? I love America.

Posted on February 12, 2011 at 4:33 PM by Rick 423

I'd buy a small piece of the dome roof. I watched a lot of baseball in that stadium.

Less than a week until pitchers and catchers report. Sun is shining, snow is melting, I'm in a happy place. :-)

Posted on February 13, 2011 at 12:54 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 424

I can just picture Luke in his backyard at this moment on his knees sobbing into his mittens as he watches his best friend melt away....

Posted on February 13, 2011 at 2:27 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 425

TTH, WTF wears mittens on a day like today? God, I'm almost ready to pull out the shorts.
And BTW, if you're thinking of that snowman with the TC on the front of it that Rick posted on here, you're welcome to him. I've got a GF and a committed relationship, so the snowman's all yours.

Posted on February 13, 2011 at 4:02 PM by luke Highlight this comment 426

I wonder what secondary ticket prices will look like this year. Especially during the time around where Thome could hit 600, I may just camp out around the flag pole during that pursuit.

Hopefully it happens during a stretch of home games, that could definitely be days to have a ticket or two.

Posted on February 13, 2011 at 6:23 PM by tk Highlight this comment 427

JOANIE!!!!!!!!!!!

Season tickets & his main squeeze came home to Papa. Life is good!

Posted on February 13, 2011 at 8:46 PM by Max Highlight this comment 428

Oh God, Max.
a) you still spell the girl's name wrong
b) I'm seeing someone else

Posted on February 13, 2011 at 9:25 PM by luke Highlight this comment 429

Haha I would probably read a message board that the sole topic was Luke's love-life. Made even funnier by Luke constantly pointing out that he has a new main squeeze.

Posted on February 14, 2011 at 09:23 AM by PatMeares Highlight this comment 430

PatMeares,

When I first got to the board, I thought it was...

Posted on February 14, 2011 at 10:15 AM by tk Highlight this comment 431

I'm gonna go walk around TF on my lunch break today. Anybody want me to check out anything in particular?

Posted on February 14, 2011 at 10:27 AM by PatMeares Highlight this comment 432

Rick - Is there some way that Luke can officially be made this blog's mascot?

Posted on February 14, 2011 at 10:40 AM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 433

Fait accompli.

Posted on February 14, 2011 at 10:44 AM by Rick 434

pat I lost 10 bucks outsid ethe oliva gate in August. Can you check to see if it's there? THanks.

Posted on February 14, 2011 at 10:46 AM by moda253 Highlight this comment 435

Anybody know what is going on at Ford Centre? Scaffolding to protect pedestrians on 5th St. side.

Posted on February 14, 2011 at 12:17 PM by Badjuggler Highlight this comment 436

Massive, multi-million dollar renovation. The Pohlads are turning it into A-class space.

Posted on February 14, 2011 at 12:21 PM by Rick 437

Hey Rick.

Regarding the Ford Centre or now Ford Center renovations, have you heard any talk about a possible Twins Hall of Fame there? I know HGA is taking the first four floors, but during Target Field's construction, I thought the Twins were thinking about using it as a location for a hall of fame. Or was that just mostly a rumor?

Posted on February 14, 2011 at 12:48 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 438

Not a lot to report from the ballpark. The steel looks to be in place for the scoreboard but there are no panels in. The Twins Tower is actually connected to the scoreboard, which I think was different from the rendering.

The big door in left field was open with the seats up but no snow removal had taken place. That was all I really saw.

Posted on February 14, 2011 at 12:52 PM by PatMeares Highlight this comment 439

Oh and the trees in the batters eye were still in place.

Posted on February 14, 2011 at 12:52 PM by PatMeares Highlight this comment 440

I noticed that there is a list of dates out for single game ticket events for the season. It states that there will be a STH lotto for a chance to buy Opening Day seats. This pleases me.

Posted on February 14, 2011 at 2:24 PM by PatMeares Highlight this comment 441

As an STH, this is frustrating to know that we will not necessarily have an opportunity to purchase OD tickets. I get that you want to give everyone an opportunity, however, prior to this past season, I had been purchasing a 41-game package that included OD.

Posted on February 14, 2011 at 2:35 PM by tk Highlight this comment 442

For me, it is a better system than last year. I will end up going to Opening Day no matter what, but it would be nice to be able to get tickets (even standing room) from the Twins instead of paying what the secondary market charges (like I had to do last year as a STH).

I get that it isn't a right but a privilege to go to OD even as a partial STH, but I hope that over the years it gets easier and easier for STH's to get tickets. Prices this year are already half of what they were last year at this time on Stubhub.

Posted on February 14, 2011 at 2:41 PM by PatMeares Highlight this comment 443

PatMeares,

The way it reads, even those with full season, appear to have the opportunity to purchase OD.

"Home Opener Ticket Opportunity Registration- All Season Tickets Accounts, regardless of plan type, are eligible to register online for the opportunity (random drawing) to purchase Opening Day tickets."

I do not recall how it worked last year, but I thought they gave everyone the opportunity to purchase OD tickets. I have seen nothing about a public opportunity either...

Posted on February 14, 2011 at 3:11 PM by tk Highlight this comment 444

It sounds as if there will be a public lotto as well. Last year there was only 1 Opening Series lotto, which was available to the public as well. This year it sounds as if there will be 2.

Posted on February 14, 2011 at 3:45 PM by PatMeares Highlight this comment 445

If you want Minnesota Twins "Opening Day" tickets for April 1, you should have a pretty good chance...afterall, the Rogers Centre (SkyDome) has a capacity of 52,000+ with standing room....I am sure the Blue Jays would be happy to sell some "Opening Day" tickets to Minnesota Twins fans.

Meanwhile, the Minnesota Twins "Home Opener" at Target Field on April 8 will be a bit more difficult to get tickets and it will be interesting how that process goes in year two.

Posted on February 14, 2011 at 3:56 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 446

Jeff,

There was talk long ago about a museum of some sort going into Ford Center (nee "Centre"), but I haven't heard anything for a long time.

And I know what has been said about the first four floors, but I also know that the county has had its eyes on the second floor for some time as sort of a depot for Northstar commuters, with concessions, vending, ticketing, etc.:


My hunch is that the Twins have put so much effort into getting memorabilia on display in the ballpark proper that the notion of a separate museum has been moved to the back burner.

Posted on February 14, 2011 at 4:04 PM by Rick 447

Mike,

Don't take issue up with me for using the term "Opening Day" as you seem to clearly point that usage out in your recent post. I normally would let it go, but you had to use sarcasm and use it in a way to show that I am an idiot.

I was using common language that has been used by posters here, as well as the Twins themselves...

From the Twins website, as shared in an aforementioned post

"Home Opener Ticket Opportunity Registration- All Season Tickets Accounts, regardless of plan type, are eligible to register online for the opportunity (random drawing) to purchase Opening Day tickets."

Posted on February 14, 2011 at 4:27 PM by tk Highlight this comment 448

The panels for the new scoreboard were still on the racks on the floor at Daktronics in Brookings, SD the other day. I touched them and said a prayer for good luck for the Twins in the upcoming season. Not sure when they ship, though.

Posted on February 14, 2011 at 4:57 PM by Matt23 Highlight this comment 449

Luke: tell us more about your new arm candy. Fill us in on the details so I don't have to assume Joanie came crawling back to you. Flex your pimphand!!!

Mike: Anyone been to Skydome in Toronto? Tips? Looking forward to the trip to start the season.

I've perused the 2011 Twins home schedule. Looks like a really strong lineup. Great weekend series & quite a few good road trip opportunities. I betcha ticket demand remains sky high in year 2.

Rick: will TC Traders be back this year? Any noticeable changes? What were peoples thoughts on how it worked in 2010?

Posted on February 15, 2011 at 12:01 AM by Max Highlight this comment 450

Hey Mike,
Go pound sand, Big Country.

Posted on February 15, 2011 at 08:41 AM by PatMeares Highlight this comment 451

Rick-
Where are you locating the drawings for the depot? I was talking to a friend about the potential for it and wanted to show him the drawings but couldn't find them. Can you help me out?

Also, I just wanna say thanks to you guys here. I was contacted by a Twins rep who said that he had been following my photography of the ballpark and suggested I apply for a photographer position with the club. I am excited to have that opportunity. I know that doesn't guarantee me the job but its pretty cool to have someone from the organization find me instead of me seeking them out. A lot of that is because of everyone here enjoying what I produce and spreading my stuff around, so thanks.

Posted on February 15, 2011 at 12:23 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 452

Jared that is cool. I saw on their Twitter that they were looking for one.

Twins reps definitely read this site, BTW.

Posted on February 15, 2011 at 12:28 PM by PatMeares Highlight this comment 453

Congrats, Jared. Keep us posted!

Posted on February 15, 2011 at 12:52 PM by Rick 454

Jared, that is really awesome, even if just to be recognized. Best of luck.
TTH

Posted on February 15, 2011 at 1:18 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 455

Way to go Jared, your pictures are outstanding!

Posted on February 15, 2011 at 1:28 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 456

Wow - I'm proud to say I own a Jared original! That's too cool Jared - good for you!

Posted on February 15, 2011 at 2:45 PM by ole Highlight this comment 457

Way to represent, Jared!

GBR

Posted on February 15, 2011 at 3:17 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 458

Click my name for a picture of home plate from the new Marlins stadium (picture taken by the Marlins beat writer). Does it appear to anyone else that the scoreboard could be a problem for the batters? At TF, they all but turn off the ribbon board in center field for this reason (I'm assuming) leaving only the time shown in the far right corner of the board. Are there any other stadiums with a scoreboard in dead center?

Posted on February 15, 2011 at 3:50 PM by Tyler Highlight this comment 459

Jared-Awesome! nice job! My dream job would be doing sound for the twins/fsnn or MLB network! ha

Posted on February 15, 2011 at 4:02 PM by The Sooj Highlight this comment 460

A gallery link to the most recent pics of the Miami Marlins' new spacesh-- errr, ballpark.

Posted on February 15, 2011 at 4:05 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 461

It looks like Miller Park on steroids.

Posted on February 15, 2011 at 4:32 PM by Badjuggler Highlight this comment 462

Tyler - yes, I believe that might be an issue.
TF sort of has the same problem, as there is ribbon board directly above the batters eye, at one point which displayed "Twins Territory Time," and the various other graphics as the rest of the ribbon board; but I believe during gameplay it's actually switched off.

Way back in the olden days at the New Orleans Superdome, during basketball games, one of the replay boards was creating so much of a glare off the backboard, they had to switch it off when teams were shooting free throws.

Posted on February 15, 2011 at 4:35 PM by luke Highlight this comment 463

The board appears to be in right-center field. The picture is taken across the left handed batter's box, so it's not a true view looking dead center. I don't think it'll be a problem.

Posted on February 15, 2011 at 5:50 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 464

the olden days, huh luke?

Posted on February 15, 2011 at 8:43 PM by deenels Highlight this comment 465

he missed his short bus this morning.

Posted on February 15, 2011 at 9:08 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 466

Aw, you guys are great. I am no pro and just shoot the things i like when I can. Mainly just do it for myself but its fun sharing with you all. Thanks again for the support.

Posted on February 15, 2011 at 10:09 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 467

Anybody else catch Joseph Patrick on Jimmy Fallon? Is it me or is his virtual self more comfortable amongst other humans than the real guy?

Posted on February 16, 2011 at 02:30 AM by jp Highlight this comment 468

He virtual self just has more of a personallity.

Posted on February 16, 2011 at 03:37 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 469

Umm...his, not he.

Posted on February 16, 2011 at 03:46 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 470

Wow. Jimmy Fallon is (still) relevant?

Posted on February 16, 2011 at 08:33 AM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 471

Wow. Jimmy Fallon (still) has his own TV show?

Posted on February 16, 2011 at 08:54 AM by Rick 472

I'm pretty sure Fallon was never relevant. He tries too hard and isn't funny.

Posted on February 16, 2011 at 09:53 AM by AJ Highlight this comment 473

Not sure if this info has been posted in this thread or not but just got this e-mail from the Twins with some of the dates listed.

Posted on February 16, 2011 at 10:16 AM by PNB19 Highlight this comment 474

Best of luck with the potential job, Jared. I really enjoy your photos, thanks for sharing them with us!

Posted on February 16, 2011 at 11:14 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 475

Twins announce TV schedule...150 games will be televised on FS-North, all in HD!

FS North is now the exclusive television home for the Twins...no more of that MY29 garbage on Sundays!!

Posted on February 16, 2011 at 12:49 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 476

That's great news, Mike. I think that makes it 158 out of 162 games will be televised. They usually add more during the season too, so we could get all 162 games.

Posted on February 16, 2011 at 1:13 PM by AJ Highlight this comment 477

Mike, fyi the My29 garbage (as you call it) was one day a week when people without cable could watch a ballgame. Minnesota has the highest rate of non-cable/satellite households in the country. A very shortsighted (but, I imagine, lucrative) deal by the Twins.

Posted on February 16, 2011 at 1:24 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 478

March 15th Single game ticket presale 10:00 AM Full Season Ticket Holders - the brokers will just get their hands on more tickets.

Posted on February 16, 2011 at 2:01 PM by Go Go Twins Highlight this comment 479

WHA!?!?! No Sunday telecasts?

That totally bites! I'm in the camp without cable, and those Sunday games were my lifeline.

This is something worth raising a stink about.

Posted on February 16, 2011 at 2:36 PM by Rick 480

I just got one of my group ticket confirmations today and saw that the Twins have upped the service fee per order from $5 to $10. A small detail like that is one thing, but now in conjunction with the all-FSN announcement I am worried that the Twins may be entering an arrogant era of "because-we-can" decisionmaking. I sure hope they prove me wrong.

Posted on February 16, 2011 at 3:12 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 481

I wish the webcam was working because I would be they have started removing the snow from the field--they had said they would start this week.

Posted on February 16, 2011 at 3:27 PM by PatMeares Highlight this comment 482

I'm with you Rick - the tv deal is something to raise a stink about. I'm not a cable guy and the Sunday games were looked forward to by me and my house. Laugh all you want at a household without cable but there is more to life than watching tv and forking over a ton of cash every month to do it. It was bad enough when MLB decided to put so much of the playoffs on cable. I will survive but I am disappointed.

There was a time when much of the Twins stadium push was geared towards seniors (I'm not one but follow me here) and the enjoyment they got from watching/listening to the games. Well guess what Twins - I bet there is a large contingent of that population group who do not have cable.

Posted on February 16, 2011 at 4:08 PM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 483

Looks like cable penetration in the metro is still hovering around 60 per cent, though I can't find a figure for cable plus satellite. Even so, that seems like a number which would justify still throwing the Sunday bone to the unwired. I seem to recall reading the Minnesota has the lowest overall cable/satellite penetration in the country.

For the record, I have the "antenna replacement" level of cable (also called "Basic Cable"), which costs $15 per month and happens to include WTBS, so I do get to see those playoff games. If I could add only FSN, I would do that and be done.

But the cheapest I can get a package with FSN from Comcast is $40 per month, and that's only a promotional price (the full price appears to be $60). So that would be $25 (or $45) per month just for Twins baseball.

Nope. Sorry. No way.

Is there a way to (legally) watch live in-market games on the web?

Posted on February 16, 2011 at 4:26 PM by Rick 484

This just seems like an inevitable part of the evolutionary process. It is stupid that a system has not been devised where you pick the channels you want and pay ONLY for those. It seems the technology has to be pretty close to that point. I end up paying $70 a month for Dish Network and pay for 150 channels so I can get the eight I actually watch. This whole tiered thing is retarded.

Posted on February 16, 2011 at 4:38 PM by Badjuggler Highlight this comment 485

Just another "Thanks a lot ----- suckers!" from your friendly local pro ball team.

Posted on February 16, 2011 at 5:08 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 486

I wouldn't be surprised if they do some kind of co-op deal to show the FSN broadcast on My29. Afterall out state they would show the My29 broadcast on FSN, so there is precedent.

As far as watching the game legally, find or make a friend with a slingbox and you can watch his cable on your computer, all legally.

Posted on February 16, 2011 at 8:20 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 487

Yup, this television deal is bad news. I refuse to subscribe to a higher cable tier just to watch Twins baseball. I have the same package as you Rick, and I would add FSN if I could just add that channel only. I don't want the rest of the garbage. Had it all for free a couple years ago for a month long trial offer and I called and told them to remove it after about a week. Couldn't stand all the channels with nothing on. I would spend hours just flipping the channel over and over and then realize how I had wasted my time. There's more to life than TV and without the 29 Twins broadcasts, I guess there's even more life than before. Too bad we can't bring back Spectrum Sports!!!

Posted on February 16, 2011 at 9:13 PM by Ted Highlight this comment 488

If any of the Minnesota Golden Gophers baseball games or series end up being played at Target Field is any one out there thinking maybe to go to some games? I was thinking I would try to make it to a couple of games. It might be easier to get tickets and probably cheaper too. And of course the main reason to go would be to experience outdoor baseball at our great new ballpark.

Posted on February 16, 2011 at 9:52 PM by Tom D. Highlight this comment 489

I'd love to go to Gopher games at TF! I've heard rumors, but does anyone know if this is officially going to happen?

Posted on February 16, 2011 at 10:27 PM by Brandon Highlight this comment 490

Time to enter the 21st century folks. No cable or satellite TV??? Even the Official Mascot of this site "Luke" has it...

Posted on February 17, 2011 at 12:03 AM by Max Highlight this comment 491

The Twins are just out to make more money on the cable deal what that might do to its loyal fan base remains to be seen. The Gophers cant play on campus the stadium is unsafe they just use it for practice now and the dome well we all know about that so the gophers have to play somewhere I would guess.

Posted on February 17, 2011 at 01:47 AM by Leroy Highlight this comment 492

New scoreboard going in. Click my name.

Posted on February 17, 2011 at 05:37 AM by Jeff Highlight this comment 493

Happy Pitchers and Catchers Report with 50 Days Til Opening Day Day everybody

Posted on February 17, 2011 at 06:51 AM by luke Highlight this comment 494

Max-
It's not like cable is amazing or anything. Most people barely watch the channels they get. And most of the stuff on tv is crap. It really is a waste of money. That being said, sports (MLB/NHL/NFL) is the one and only reason I even have cable. I don't need it for anything more than that. I do wish you could just buy the channels you want, but I have zero problems having cable for sports only, as I have done it for a very long time now.

I don't even have a cell phone. I like my mostly caveman-like lifestyle. People are obsessed with those stupid things. It's very nice to be free of that crap.

Back to the Twins, I really don't think it's going to effect the ratings that much. The Twins have been in the top five for ratings for years now. Most of their games have always been televised on FSN, so that's where the majority of their ratings come from.

Ratings went up over 20 percent from 2009 to 2010. Radio went up over 20 percent too. I know at one point they reported that the ratings for the Twins mid-season 2010 only trailed the Cardinals. I believe they ended the season as #2 as far as ratings. In 2009, they were fifth best in ratings.

I'm not sure when their current contract ends, but I bet they're looking at the Texas tv deal and drooling. I think that deal was officially 20 years, 1.6 billion dollars. I know there were rumored amounts of 3 billion, but I don't believe those were accurate.

Posted on February 17, 2011 at 08:20 AM by AJ Highlight this comment 495

And here I thought I was the last man standing without a cell phone - these people who can't even back down their driveway without one are annoying - and dangerous. We got sat TV a few years ago for the express purpose of watching ball games.

Posted on February 17, 2011 at 08:33 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 496

It sucks that some Twins fans won't be able to see the Sunday games, but hopefully the TV deal they signed brings them more revenue, thus allowing the payroll to increase. That's where most of the Yankee money comes from--television money. Rangers signed a TV deal for $3B earlier this off season as well, over 20 years or so.

Posted on February 17, 2011 at 09:08 AM by PatMeares Highlight this comment 497

What hits me the most about this deal has nothing to do with me watching a game on Sunday afternoon. It's the purposeful shutting-out of seeing a ballgame. Channel 29 carried only 16 percent of games last year, but for some of us, those were the only TV games to see. For the Twins to take all of the goodwill built up last year with a great ballpark--funded by very good citizens and the team itself--and chuck it against the wall...that worries me about what else they will be doing *because they can*.

Posted on February 17, 2011 at 09:08 AM by fiesta Highlight this comment 498

If you were operating the Twins, you would want to maximize your revenues/profits as much as you could too. Bottom line is, Twins baseball is a business.

The interest in Twins baseball is at an all-time high with merchandise, ticket sales, tv ratings, radio ratings, and so on.

When interest declines and attendance declines, the Twins will need to be creative to get fans interested again. This is what marketing is all about. But until that happens, the Twins will take every advantage they can of the current interest in the ballclub.

Their local TV ratings are second highest in all of baseball, only behind the St. Louis Cardinals...I don't think they will lose much by going exclusively to FS North. We are talking about 22-25 games that were previously broadcast over-the-air on My29.

It was always nice to have an over-the-air partner, but the reality is, its now the 21st Century and sports are moving to cable faster than ever as cable offers more lucrative deals. 16 MLB teams currently have exclusive deals for cable television rights, so the Twins are doing nothing new regarding that aspect.

Other major events that have moved to cable in recent years are Rose Bowl (ESPN), BCS Bowls (ESPN), NCAA Basketball Tournaments (Turner Sports/CBS), Baseball Postseason (Turner Sports/FOX) and so on.

Posted on February 17, 2011 at 10:00 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 499

Miguel Cabrera....What a trainwreck...caught driving with the sauce again!

Posted on February 17, 2011 at 10:09 AM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 500

In regards to what Mike stated about the Rose Bowl and other sporting events that moved to a cable network, you were still able to watch some of them live on-line. It would be nice for FSN to stream a certain number of games live on their website. I know not everyone has internet either, but at least it gives people another option. Didn't FSN stream some highschool sporting events on-line over the past year?

I am probably in the minority here, but I like the change to all games by FSN. Yes I do have satelite with FSN included in my channel lineup, but all games will now be in HD with a much better pre and post game show. Also it may force Gardy not to use his B or C lineup so much on Sundays.

In regards to what jctwins said, my29 and FSN I think are owned by the same company, so maybe there will be some sort of deal worked out.

DSP was on KFAN yesterday evening and talked about the new television the deal. He was very open about everything. There was an email that was read to him from an upset fan and he stated on air for that person to contact him and see if they can get something worked out. He seems willing to listen to people on the issue and to hopefully find a solution.

Posted on February 17, 2011 at 10:25 AM by Jeff Highlight this comment 501

Well, if DSP is paying, sign me up for Premium Digital!

Posted on February 17, 2011 at 10:31 AM by Rick 502

Jeff, What exactly do you think DSP would be able to "work out" with an unhappy fan?

Posted on February 17, 2011 at 10:31 AM by fiesta Highlight this comment 503

At least they didn't try to launch their own network again...NONE of us were able to see that channel.

Posted on February 17, 2011 at 10:43 AM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 504

kev the first time Cabrera got media attention for the sauce he wasn't driving. He had taken a cab home from the bar and then gotten into it with his wife. The guy has serious problems though. I feel bad for him, actually.

Posted on February 17, 2011 at 11:06 AM by PatMeares Highlight this comment 505

Who was it that posted a picture of a sign some rube was holding in game 163. It read something like ".324 - Cabrera's batting average or BAC?"

The best part was that he was holding it right next to Dumbo (Dumbrowski). The kid had a shit-eating grin and Dumbo was just GLARING at him.

Priceless!

Posted on February 17, 2011 at 12:10 PM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 506


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