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Home Again

April 9, 2012 11:47 AM

There may be a chill in the air (and the bats), but there's only one place to be today. There's a beautiful patch of green grass downtown, and today the boys of summer will once again run around on it (sorry, Larry).

Is it harder to get excited about it this year? There are some reasons why this might be so. I hear that you can still get good seats, and I'd bet the prices will be tumbling fast after the first pitch. That just means we've shaken out the ballpark gawkers, if maybe a little sooner than anyone might have expected.

If it stays chilly, it'll just be the diehards by 4:30 or so. And if the Twins don't come to life, it'll be a diehards-only summer. Bad for the bottom line, I know, but good for you and me. (Now if only people would stop caring about the Cubs, I'd be able to afford to take my kids to a game that weekkend while my spouse is out of town... Really, don't people know that they haven't won anything in, oh, about a century? This year is not likely to be any different.)

See you at the game. (Follow me on Twitter during the game, and stop by tonight for some pix.)

Play ball and WIN TWINS!

Comments


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There were a few (theoretically) rational human beings waiting outside the gates 90 minutes before they open. Is there a million dollar prize I have not heard about attached to the first overpriced cheese curd or something?

Posted on April 9, 2012 at 12:14 PM by badjuggler Highlight this comment 1

A new post for the new season. I think the Twins and their fans are in a tough spot. Fan expectations were greatly raised during the 2001-2010 run. People want, and frankly expect and demand, this team to be a contender every year. Yet at the same time the club seems to be catering to that mindset by reloading, the fans want the team to rebuild instead. Whatever the case, the fans and the Twins are clearly not on the same page, something that will lead to tension before things hopefully turn around soon.

Posted on April 9, 2012 at 12:16 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 2

Things are bad for the Twins right now, but at least Gardy hasn't offended his team's fan base by outrageous comments. Ozzie continues to step in his own sh*t. Good luck Twins, let's have some Target Field Magic this season.

Posted on April 9, 2012 at 1:21 PM by unknowntwinsfan Highlight this comment 3

Spring brings new hope. The home opener brings new excitement. Hopefully the TF faithful can will a victory today. Here's to 159-3

Posted on April 9, 2012 at 1:29 PM by Eric Highlight this comment 4

At least this thing looks 10 times better at night.

Posted on April 9, 2012 at 2:14 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 5

Man, I'm gonna miss TF this year. On the bright side, I went to my first Red Wings game yesterday. Hard to beat $12 tickets behind the dugout, even if the team is lousy. Sixty degrees and sunny with a tall beer, so glad baseball is back.

Posted on April 9, 2012 at 3:27 PM by bp Highlight this comment 6

The Target Dog's tail wagging is distracting. Hope we won't have to see that too much. Maybe it'll only wag for Twins' HRs??

Posted on April 9, 2012 at 3:53 PM by BR Highlight this comment 7

Yikes, the dog tail is distracting.
I listened to a little bit of the 1st inning on radio...Probus (I think that's how you spell it) has a nice voice. Nice crisp delivery in the play-by-play. Now, I sort of wish they could get Dan Gladden out of the radio booth...lol.

Eric- I think your record was way off. I'm thinking you meant 3-159...lol.

Anybody who's at TF today, what's the attendance looking like? I know it's Opening Day...is it pretty much a sellout or are there pockets of empty seats about?

Posted on April 9, 2012 at 3:58 PM by 3-159 (aka luke) Highlight this comment 8

The pioneer press article on the sign stated at some point they are looking to have it be interactive with the crowd, if the crowd is excited or loud the tail would wag more.

Of course DSP gives a very lackluster disapproval, which since it is Target we all know that is a lie. Saying: "No partner has been more important to us than Target itself."

Posted on April 9, 2012 at 4:59 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 9

Of Course no one has condemned the new Target Center sign over looking the plaza, either.

Posted on April 9, 2012 at 5:01 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 10

Official Attendance 39,414 and they cannot sell out their Home Opener. Plenty of empty seats. About 750 tickets remained on StubHub before that game with most tickets going for 40%+ off Face Value.

The Twins are going to be crying for the scalpers to return. In the Interim, I have plenty of cheap seats to now put online and hope I can get 10% of my money back for the few games I can't go to.

Posted on April 9, 2012 at 7:08 PM by tk Highlight this comment 11

I thought it was a sellout. By the second inning, just about every seat was taken. I saw a couple of empty rows in one of the 300 level sections, but it looked more like a group didn't show or were somewhere else in the park as they were middle rows with the rows above them all full.

The wind was just brutal in certain areas of the stands today. The concourse on the upper level was barely tolerable to walk or stand. A stack of napkins (1000 or more) got a way from someone prior to the game and they rained down in the field and lower decks like snow. At one point a vendor carrying cotton candy had all of his bags bow off of his carrying stick and again, shower down on the fans sitting in Legends club. The captain's deck was packed most of the game, because of the heat lamps. The stands were less than half full by the eighth or ninth inning. Perhaps a quarter full by the last pitch.

Posted on April 9, 2012 at 7:35 PM by minn55441 Highlight this comment 12

Near the end of the game I was counting the people in a few sections. Section 301 had eight people sitting in it.

On of the sections right behind the Twins dugout (section 4, I think) was probably 80% empty.

Methinks there will be some cheap tickets on Stubhub this season...

Posted on April 9, 2012 at 7:38 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 13

Yeah, in the later portions of the game on TV, I was seeing it thin out. It also appears that Thomson Reuters has now emblazoned its name on the Champions Club seats as part of the new naming partnership.

Posted on April 9, 2012 at 8:32 PM by 3-159 Highlight this comment 14

I was at the game and there were parts of the park that were, too be charitable, highly uncomfortable to sit in. That issue was compounded by a significant number of fans not dressing for the weather. The lower deck concourse was impassable in places by the middle innings due to fans congregating and circulating. I can't blame them either. The empty seats today by midgame were in part due to the Twins' uninspiring performance. However, a much greater part was due to cold temperatures and stiff winds making sitting in a stationary position for a long time a deal breaker.

Posted on April 9, 2012 at 8:43 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 15

"To be charitable" not "Too be charitable". Sigh...

The "Stanley" and "DeWalt" signs in left field above the bullpens are gone, replaced by Super America signs.

Posted on April 9, 2012 at 8:45 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 16

Jorge, SA also sponsors on the back of the "ball retrievers" down the lines.

Posted on April 9, 2012 at 8:53 PM by TK Highlight this comment 17

Jamey effin Carroll has me missing Nish already.

Posted on April 9, 2012 at 9:02 PM by twinswschamps2079 (aka twinswschamps2011) Highlight this comment 18

The Mauer contract could go down as the biggest bungle in baseball history. Not a stretch. That single contract could kill this franchise for two decades.

Posted on April 9, 2012 at 9:05 PM by twinswschamps2077 (aka twinswschamps2011) Highlight this comment 19

Yeah, you can't judge the crowd today by looking at the seats. I was in a sweatshirt and my winter jacket, and by the 7th inning any exposed skin was pretty well wind whipped. Very cold in the upper deck. If you could get out of the wind you were ok.

Posted on April 9, 2012 at 9:22 PM by Lincster Highlight this comment 20

The decreasing amount of Major League Baseball on over the air TV has been a topic at times, so here is a rundown of which teams still do and how much. These local games exclude Fox broadcasts. The Angels and Astros went to cable/satellite only this year. Detroit, for all intents and purposes is cable/satellite only, showing just one game on free to air TV.

Cable/Satellite Only - 16 Teams
Arizona Diamondbacks
Boston Red Sox
Cincinnati Reds
Colorado Rockies
Houston Astros
Kansas City Royals
Los Angeles Angels
Miami Marlins
Minnesota Twins
Oakland A's
Pittsburgh Pirates
Saint Louis Cardinals
San Diego Padres
Seattle Mariners
Tampa Bay Rays
Toronto Blue Jays

Over The Air TV - 14 Teams
Atlanta Braves - 45 Games
Baltimore Orioles - 20 Games
Chicago Cubs - 70 games
Chicago White Sox - 55 Games
Cleveland Indians - 19 Games
Detroit Tigers - 1 Game
Los Angeles Dodgers - 50 Games
Milwaukee Brewers - 9 Games
New York Mets - 25 Games
New York Yankees - 19 Games
Philadelphia Phillies - 45 Games
San Francisco Giants - 15 Games
Texas Rangers - 25 Games
Washington Nationals - 20 Games

Some notes.

- When Time Warner's Turner Broadcasting arm surrendered operation of what's now WPCH-17, it left the former WTBS with a package of 45 Braves Games. If TBS ever loses its national package, it can't put the Braves back on.

- The Cubs and White Sox must maintain a continuous presence on WGN to retain their spots on the national feed. Should either team leave WGN and then later return, they'll be confined to the local Chicago feed only. The two teams also stay on local TV in part due to neither one wanting to be relegated to Comcast Sports Chicago's overflow, Plus feed.

- I'm pretty certain the Indians did a single season only on cable before popular demand led them to reinstating a small over the air package.

- The Detroit Tigers' sole game on local TV this year was the home opener which also aired on Fox Sports Detroit.

- The Los Angeles Dodgers' current TV deals run through the 2013 season, after which the team will likely leave over the air TV or at least significantly decrease the number of games shown. Their current station, KCAL-9, will pick up any games tentatively scheduled for Fox or ESPN that may not ultimately be shown by those networks for one reason or another.

- The Brewers' local TV schedule is entirely on the local affiliate of Spanish language network Telemundo.

- Due to changing broadcast alliances, the Yankees are now on WWOR-9 which was the long time home of the Mets while the Mets are now on WPIX-11 which was the long time home of the Yankees.

- The Phillies are on Comcast Sports Philadelphia which refuses to let DirecTV or Dish Network carry the station. So they keep plenty of games on local TV more to throw a bone to people who couldn't get cable if they wanted to as opposed to those who could, but don't.

Posted on April 9, 2012 at 10:11 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 21

The Mauer contract could go down as the biggest bungle in baseball history. Not a stretch. That single contract could kill this franchise for two decades.

The Twins had literally no option but to give Mauer that deal. Target Field was long touted as a way to keep the team's best players from leaving as free agents. To lose a star of Mauer's magnitude (the local ties can't be underrated) would have been a deal breaker for many fans and the media before the new park even opened. They had to do it.

I'll also add that the money spent on Mauer, regardless of his performance in 2011 and 2012, has little to nothing to do with the manner in which Bill Smith and company butchered the draft, the minor league system, and so many trades, those being the real reasons the Twins are looking at a long stretch in the second division.

Posted on April 9, 2012 at 10:22 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 22

It seemed the seats were 90-95% by the end of the 1st inning but by the 7th probably 50% full..GREAT to be back at Target Field again..Wifi was out of whack just as Twins bats were...

Posted on April 9, 2012 at 10:34 PM by Steve Highlight this comment 23

I understand that the great neon dog on the side of the arena will change based on fan interaction. DSP has stated that this will enhance the ballpark experience for a younger demographic.

Perhaps Famous Dave's can get great neon pigs similar to the two in the background of this clip from :42 to :58.

I think there is an opportunity here to increase brand recognition. And strengthen the partnership between the Twins, community, and business. The sign will hold and maintain the interest of the live crowd as well as the television viewing audience.

If my read on DSP is correct, in between innings PA Guy will ask three random fans which article of clothing is to be removed. Based on crowd noise and Dick & Bert asking fans to text in their responses from home, Robby will have the post game player interviewed announce the most popular article. At which point the appropriate area will go into animation.

Not sure my wife will go for it but I guess that's what happens when Land O' Lakes takes their flashing milk carton with them.

Posted on April 10, 2012 at 12:29 AM by NotMendoza Highlight this comment 24

Never a good sign when you hit into nearly as many double plays as you get hits. I think Josh Willingham should demand to re-negotiate his contract; he has knocked in 3/4ths of the Twins earned runs so far.

Posted on April 10, 2012 at 09:20 AM by terry Highlight this comment 25

I was sitting in section 104 yesterday and couldn't help but look up at the scoreboard and see these batting averages:

.267 Span
.000 Carroll
.143 Mauer
.308 Morneau
.385 Willingham
.100 Doumit
.091 Valencia
.000 Plouffe
.125 Casilla

That is a .150 average amongst the nine in the starting lineup yesterday.

I know its only four games in but this is just pathetic...

And what about our pitching? If/when the offense comes together, will the pitching be good enough to win some games or will we lose a lot of games 6-5 or 8-6?

6 runs scored (ranked 30 out of 30) through 4 games with a -14 run differential(ranked 30 out of 30), not good.

Posted on April 10, 2012 at 09:27 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 26

When most of your starting batting order has averages that start with ".0" or ".1", it's not a good sign.

Posted on April 10, 2012 at 09:44 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 27

Ozzie Guillen suspended for five games for 'pro Castro' comments.

He's never boring, is he?

Posted on April 10, 2012 at 09:46 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 28

You know, it's fairly common for BA to be low in the early, colder days of the season. But it's also pretty clear that this team lacks punch. They've lost Thome, Cuddyer, Kubel, and Young and replaced them with Willingham, Doumit, Revere and Plouffe. That's probably a net loss of 15-20 HRs and 100+ pts of slugging.

Posted on April 10, 2012 at 10:20 AM by BR Highlight this comment 29

Jorge,

Good info on the TV contracts. I'm reading Center Field Shot: A History of Baseball on Television and learning a whole lot about why baseball's relationship with TV is so dysfunctional.

Basically, even today, it comes down to a fear of losing gate receipts. There is still this weird belief that if people can watch games on TV they won't buy tickets. It's been the belief since the very beginning, despite a wealth of evidence which points to the exact opposite conclusion: more TV actually equals more ticket sales.

Many teams still do not understand that having the widest possible TV distribution actually stimulates not just ticket sales, but also overall loyalty. The cable companies play on these fears and exclusivity begins to look (on the inside) like a win-win, when in fact it's a lose-lose. Restricting the audience leads to less broad appeal, and your national pastime begins to look like a niche sport (which, I hate to say, it is in the process of becoming).

One can't help but notice that a similar move hasn't happened in the NFL -- nor is it likely. And while there's a lot behind that, the net result is that NFL games are actually available to a much wider audience, and the sport enjoys much wider popularity. I never stumble onto a Reds game on TV, but I run across the Bengals on a pretty regular basis. What does that say about the two programming strategies?

Put another way, a sport interested in expanding its appeal should work on building the broadest possible fan base. One way to do that would be to program baseball every Saturday and Sunday on multiple networks. Why not 12 national games every weekend instead of one or two?

The answer is because of provincialism and fear. And while it won't exactly kill the sport, it will support its decline over the generations. The question is: Who will be watching Major League Baseball 100 years from now?

Posted on April 10, 2012 at 11:31 AM by Rick 30

The few forward-thinking owners (I know, I know - that sounds like an oxymoron) 80 years ago who wanted to broadcast their games on the radio were thought of by their brethren as Bomb-Throwing-Bolsheviks. It would not only kill attendance, but the Red army would probably march from Moscow right into Yankee Stadium!

Posted on April 10, 2012 at 12:46 PM by terry Highlight this comment 31

Wow, heard our boys finished last year on a 19-50 run. Or you can say we have won 19 out of the last 73 games if you include this year. We can't sink any lower can we? Has any team ever gone winless an entire month?

Posted on April 10, 2012 at 2:46 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 32

Only in March and October.

Posted on April 10, 2012 at 3:01 PM by robin Highlight this comment 33

If anyone is looking for another bright spot (there aren't many) in the Twins horrendous start....Capps hasn't blown any saves....Remember him? The closer the Twins might not need this season.

Posted on April 10, 2012 at 3:01 PM by unknowntwinsfan Highlight this comment 34

UNKTwinsfan, I said to my wife last yesterday at the game when he came out that at least Capps can't blow too many saves this year.

Posted on April 10, 2012 at 3:13 PM by tk Highlight this comment 35

Well the Mad Crapper can always go into mop up stage I guess.

Posted on April 10, 2012 at 3:44 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 36

Another interesting article on the Vikings stadium issue in Arden Hills. Clicky on name or go to min.scout.com

Posted on April 10, 2012 at 3:45 PM by unknowntwinsfan Highlight this comment 37

Pardon my error, had last night, and thought I changed to yesterday, oh well...haha! Rick, when you going to get an edit button? :)

Posted on April 10, 2012 at 3:45 PM by tk Highlight this comment 38

I thought the energy in the crowd was just terrible yesterday...and rightfully so. There is lots of skepticism circulating among the fan base with a clear discord between what the Twins (St. Peter) are selling and what the fans are buying. Even heard scattered boos at times. Pretty unreal for opening day. I'd estimate there were no more than 10K people in the seats after the 7th inning. 2 more with Anaheim, 3 with Texas, 4 in NY, 3 in St. Pete, 3 with Boston, and ending April with 3 against the young promising KC Royals. Whoa baby sink or swim right outta the gate.

Posted on April 10, 2012 at 3:56 PM by Max Highlight this comment 39

tk, look for a "preview" button coming soon!

Posted on April 10, 2012 at 4:11 PM by Rick 40

unknown,

Whoever wrote that article is pretty much clueless about A) what happened, and B) how these things work. Funding for the clean-up had been secured, yet there was justifiably a general anxiety about it because no one knows for sure just how bad that land really is. In any case, contaminated land most definitely did not kill the AH deal.

Like always, AH died because the funding mechanism didn't work. It's the same exact thing which killed the most recent proposal to rebuild on the Dome site. (Don't think it's dead yet? It's actually bypassed dead altogether and entered undead territory. Now it's a zombie plan -- more meetings will be held tonight -- that still has virtually no chance of resulting in a stadium being built.)

Posted on April 10, 2012 at 4:23 PM by Rick 41

Twins are four games out, after four games.

Posted on April 10, 2012 at 4:55 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 42

The Twins Gigapan photo has been posted with the tagoramic option. Click name for link. You can see the results from the cold and crappy display of a team during the 6/7 inning.

Posted on April 10, 2012 at 5:53 PM by tk Highlight this comment 43

As kids, my brother and sister and I wouldn't have hounded Dad unceasingly to take us to a Twins' game if we hadn't been watching them on TV 50 times a year. Teams tend to forget that they're getting huge rights fees to put 3-hour-long commercials on TV.

Posted on April 10, 2012 at 6:34 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 44

At least the Twins' streak of 4 consecutive days of losing ended today.

Posted on April 10, 2012 at 9:46 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 45

This year the Twins won't have to worry where people may our may not be watching the game if this play keeps up.

Posted on April 10, 2012 at 9:54 PM by tk Highlight this comment 46

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"You talk about the magic, the aura, but what really makes a stadium is the fans. Concrete doesn't talk back to you. Chairs don't talk back to you. It's the people who are there, day in, day out, that makes the place magic."

– Bernie Williams

Explore the Site

Here are 50 images chosen randomly from the 3042 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.

















First Avenue at left, bike parking area at lower right



Door to the visitor's clubhouse.



Steel meets concrete, with the last rays of sun visible through the suite and concourse openings at left.



The plaza as seen from the B ramp.






Click to see the full-size image.









Hit gap, win suit!



Metropolitan Club



I know you've seen these, but is there a better finishing touch anywhere else in baseball? I know not one.















A skyway-level view down Seventh Street.



Location for automated ticket machines















A mysterious smile from within a very deep planter!



The main concourse.



A true fan out in the bleachers



Another B ramp glimpse (don't loiter here!)



Click to see the whole, beautiful image. (Photo by Tyler Wycoff)



Here's another view up Sixth Street toward where the plaza will meet First Avenue (it will hug Target Center all the way).



Great sign






Dude, this is NOT a multi-use facility.



Evidence of a food court behind the seating above the batter's eye









I don't exactly know what this is. A first-aid station? Concession office?



Guthrie Theater (original design colors)



Photo by Tyler Wycoff






One thing that the design disguises nicely is that the Pro Shop (and other key components) are actually built over lanes of freeway. That can clearly be seen here.






Main ticket window area






Photo by Jared Wieseler



Seville's certainly will benefit from 81 games a year played about a block away! (When I walked by on this day, the place looked deserted, but I stand corrected!)






OK, just how many servings per container?


Glossary

BPM - Ballpark Magic

BRT - Bus Rapid Transit

DSP - Dave St. Peter

FSE - Full Season Equivalent

FYS - Fake Yankee Stadium (see also: NYS)

HERC - Hennepin Energy Resource Company (aka the Garbage Burner)

HPB - Home Plate Box

HRP - Home Run Porch

LC - Legends Club

LRT - Light Rail Transit

MBA - Minnesota Ballpark Authority (will own Target Field)

MOA - Mall of America

MSFC - Minnesota Sports Facilities Commission (owns the Metrodome)

NYS - New Yankee Stadium

SRO - Standing Room Only

STH - Season Ticket Holder

TCFBS - TCF Bank Stadium

TF - Target Field

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(1993)
 


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(2008)
 

Selected Bibliography - Surveys
 


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Not a "Third Edition" exactly,
but it replaced the above title
(2000)
 


(2000, large coffee table)
 


Original edition (2000, round)
 


Revised edition (2006, round)
 


(2001, medium coffee table)
 


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Combines the previous two titles
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Selected Bibliography - Nostalgia
 


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Book and six ballpark miniatures
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Complete Bibliography

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