Regardless of what happened last year, or during the offseason, or even a decade ago...
...the first pitches of every new season afford a team with something not found almost anywhere else in life: a clean slate. Is there anything more beautiful (in this context) than rows and rows of zeroes?
You are allowed -- nay, expected -- to slough off what has gone before. In fact, the sloughing off has already been done for you. The counters are all reset. All that is expected going forward is that you will hold your head up high, dig in and make something of this new opportunity, something big, something special.
Five minutes after I took this picture, large chunks of this sculpture were sliding around on the floor. Omen?
Between those dusty numbers from last fall and today's zeroes, there have been changes. Some faces are gone, some are arrived. Some are healed and sport new smiles in place of old grimaces.
Most of all, within the zeroes is that renewed chance of catching lightning. That's what they did in 2002, after all.
Pick your analogy: The toolbox has new tools. The palette has new colors. The menu has new selections.
Buffet in the Carew Atrium
Each new season is like a plate of goodies just waiting for the plastic wrapping to be removed. What will they taste like?
Spotted through a kitchen door on the suite level
For our part, the fans come out to the ballpark for the first time each April with a freshness, even if that does not exactly include optimism. It's been long enough, we think, and it's time to see what the Starting 10 can make out of all these zeroes. Pundits be damned, we're allowed to have some hope, and by gosh we will.
The ballpark, for its part, does not disappoint.
About 30 minutes before game time
That's one thing which has not changed: This is the same edifice it was when last we left it. The acquisition of a new ballpark is not like signing a free agent. The player will be gone long before the bonds are retired. This is an important thing to remember. (The same is generally true of radio announcers. Welcome, Mr. Provus.)
Target Field is actually starting to look a little lived-in -- a good thing, I think. There are finally some dents in the railings...
...and the furnace is on the fritz...
...but this is where we come to watch the Great Game turn a bunch of zeroes into, well, who knows?
"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 3033 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
The reverse angle shows that the signage will only partially obscure views from the top of the ramp. The wall is pretty high up there, so you'll need something to stand on, but it appears that this is one of the so-called "knotholes".
Lots of people are doing it.
Entrance to the Champions Club
Two plazas in Spain. (Brad and I were pretending to steal coins from the fountain. We were all just so darn funny back in high school, eh?)
Supports for the little sections in the outfield.
This is a good overview of the spot where the Northstar (bottom) and LRT (top) will intersect.
The pouring is taking place at the very bottom of this photo.
The heretofore unseen north facade (click to enlarge). Does it look like a ballpark? And what's with the bamboo?
Comerica Park main entrance: Tigers, bats, and much (maybe too much) more (Source: LP)
The rendering which excited a fan base! (Inset is an enlargement of the pictured neon sculpture.)
I see an opportunity in this view for an Abbey Road-style promotional photo! Mauer, Morneau, Nathan and Cuddyer walking toward the ballpark. The only question: which one takes off his cleats?
Looking from near the entry doors toward the center, the atrium is just visible at the far right.
The tracks on the right will be moved to the newly-cleared area on the left. The edge of the ballpark will be about where the rocks and dirt meet.
The Lincoln Saltdogs (and a promotional Nerd)
Opening Day 2008 (By Currier & Ives)
They can put a camera just about anywhere. (Photo by Jeff Ewer)
A mini-freeway! (Police action in progress...)
Double plays will be turned here.
A skyway-level view down Seventh Street.
This concourse, the uppermost, was built on top of the now-hidden old concourse during the 70s renovation.
I took this because of the view reflected in the store windows. (The store is cool too.)
First, an overview. The base of the plaza here will meet the base of Sixth Street at Second Avenue.
The HERC side, viewed from Fifth Street.
Mystery door on Seventh Street...
Saints between innings
Rally Hanky (2002 ALCS)
I know you've seen this, but I can't get enough of it.