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Hopener 2012

April 11, 2012 12:08 AM

New seasons start with such great hope.

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?

0-0

.000

0.00

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?

Comments


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Jared- How did everything work out?

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 03:14 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 1

It still amazes me after two full seasons that they cannot have more hot beverages readily available during those early season and late season games. The hot beverage stands are few and far in between and the lines are very long.

It was a big problem again on Monday...they knew the forecast was going to be chilly and it will be chilly again tonight and on Friday night.

On another note, I went to redeem my STH coupons for the 2012 yearbook and the April Twins magazine program. I asked the rep for a bag and he said they now have them available at the guest services desk across the concourse (near section 115 or so). I know its only a plastic bag, but its nice to see the Twins finally recognize the fact that its a big convenience for STH's to have a bag to be able to carry their yearbooks and/or Twins magazine in. In years past, they would always say no bags available. And the souvenir stands would not give out any bags either unless you purchased something. Like I said, its only a plastic bag and not a huge deal but its nice to know the Twins are actually recognizing the fact that STH's like myself enjoying having a bag to carry the complimentary publications in.

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 08:13 AM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 2

Duffman- Everything went great! I have linked to an image of the flag holding. I am the point of the white star directly underneath the over-hang. I kinda blend in with the "US" on the USBank sign. Other than a few star groups taking the wrong color star (which required my group to switch from red to white so there weren't two of the same color next to each other) it went very smoothly. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity!

That process could be a logistical nightmare. Especially within the confines of the spaces we were working with while waiting to go out onto the field. If anyone is interested I can do a longer write-up on the whole thing, give some insight on how that whole thing works. For someone like me it was fascinating going through the whole deal.

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 08:48 AM by Jared Highlight this comment 3

I still think the grass cut design sucks! Go back to how it was 2 years ago. Traditional checkerboard. When does Ozzie get the boot? When will we win a game? Stay tuned!

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 08:53 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 4

Found and interesting video while poking around looking for twins ballpark stuff. Not sure if its been posted on here before but click the link if you want to watch it.

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 09:03 AM by Leroy Highlight this comment 5

Even with the nearly silent bats, I still loved the home opener! It's my favorite day of the year. It always makes me think of Dumb and Dumber... "So you're saying there's a chance." I'm going again tonight and plan on bundling up even more than I did on Monday. I love our park! Go Twins!

Rick, I saw you hustling by in the Legends Club about 20 mins before the game. I was gonna say hi but you looked like a man on a mission. Thanks again for a great site and all the pictures.

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 09:42 AM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 6

The only negative I noticed opening day (other than the sleep walking of the Twins hitters) was the choke points in the concourse. There was one between a Kramarczuk's stand and a Turkey-to-Go stand on the main level that was awful. There might still be fans stuck in that one. Hopefully, the powers that be can come up with some way to more efficiently move peopel through the concourse without restricting access. Being able to fully circumnavigate the park is one of the real pluses of TF.

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 10:04 AM by terry Highlight this comment 7

Rick, if only that 0-0 .000 Opening Day excitement was for real... On Monday, we came home an 0-3 club, headed for an 0-for-April start, and the crowd reflected it. As for my first Home Opener ever, I feel like I need to ask for a mulligan.

My daughter and son-in-law endured it with us. They had just returned from taking in the O's-Twins Season Opener at Camden and noted huge differences in the atmospheres at the two parks. Of course, it was in the 60s on that sunny day in Baltimore and the home team was winning, but the electric feel in the ballpark made it more like a 180 degree difference. Not exactly Busch's Cardinal Red, the fans still made up a sea of orange gear that at least filled the seats the whole game. Fans were overall quite a bit rowdier. Maybe not 100% baseball aficionados, but they roared approval or disapproval (ON THEIR OWN) with every play. This is from a fan base that should hold just as little hope as we have here.

At TF, every scoreboard attempt at GET ON YOUR FEET or MAKE SOME NOISE or CLAP YOUR HANDS was a wimpy embarrassment. You occasionally noticed the organ music, mostly because it came in such unexplainable, sporadic bursts. And then two DAY-Os would abruptly come at you out of the blue and just as abruptly shut off between pitches of an 8th inning Twins AB.

Yes, it was cold... as cold as I've been at a baseball game. Yes, folks were unprepared... I saw countless folks in shorts and flip-flops and if you were one of those, or even if you were one who grabbed a jacket at the last minute, you probably joined those on the way out of the gates by the 6th. I was glad I had worn enough layers to survive the entire 9, and although the upper deck concourse was brutal we were actually quite protected from the wind in our seats up there above 3rd base.

A couple of pics showing the expanses of empty seats may help paint the sobering scene.

First pitch:

Pujols batting in the 8th:

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 10:20 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 8

Jared,

I'd love to publish your story!

schweady,

I made the edit for you.

CSG Mike,

I was probably hustling to get the first shot you see in this post. I had staked out a spot for the first pitch, but it turned out I couldn't see either the uniform numbers or the guys' faces from there... Sorry I couldn't say HI. (Good to see a bunch of other folks out there! If you see me, please say HI.)

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 10:36 AM by Rick 9

Are scalpers even getting $5 a ticket?

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 10:58 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 10

Not on StubHub. Upper deck is mostly around $4 (plus fees, of course).

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 11:01 AM by Rick 11

I've decided that I need to go to Fort Myers for scorecard spring training. My book was a mess on Monday. It didn't help that an early lineup posting on the big scoreboard was WRONG. Had Callaspo at first, hitting third. I should have waited for the official one that of course had Pujols batting 3rd and playing first.

Apparently the Twins need to add at least another Surly cart or two. I heard the lines were 50 deep much of the game. I was able to work my way to the bar at the Town Ball Tavern for a Fulton. (Thus missing an inning and lots of WW notations on my scorecard..."Wasn't Watching.")

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 12:02 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 12

Why go throuh stub hub and pay the fees?. Gotta think the guys on the street will take cash even if its only $5.00! What are they going to do eat the unsold tickets?

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 12:06 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 13

Stubhub has 748 tickets listed under $14 for tomorrow's afternoon game, including 2 in Section 109, Row 7 for $9 each (plus fees).

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 12:09 PM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 14

Rick- I will do a write up and submit to you for approval. I have maybe 3 images (all from my cell phone)that could be used, otherwise you will have to borrow images from your stockpile or from others. I brought my camera with me but I wasn't sure where I could bring it, so I left it with my buddy to try to get the shots I would have. Then during the game I was still so cold (you will find out why in the story, I came prepared though) that I didn't even pull the camera out of the bag. I got some ideas for some angles that will wait till another day.

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 12:50 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 15

Fiesta: My friend had a new scorekeeping app on her iPad, we were discovering how it worked during the game. (I don't know the name of the app, I could ask her if people are interested.) There were a lot of "I wonder how you do this?" moments, but I think we got most of the high points of the action!

Did anyone see Torii's face during the 7th inning singing of 'take me out to the ballgame'? From where we were in 237, it looked like he was laughing at his 2002 teammates and their terrible singing.

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 1:30 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 16

I must say Torii is one of the Twins I miss most...he was a gamer and all-around great person. His leadership and energy is something the current Twins lack. I still have my authentic Torii Hunter road alternate jersey to this day and I remember buying it in November 2001 in the midst of the contraction talk.

It's just comical watching the ticket prices plunge on StubHub. Gonna be a great year for buyers!! Legend's Club seats under $20, Dugout Box seats for $35. Unlike the dark years of the mid to late 90's...at least we will have outdoor baseball to enjoy this summer regardless of the team's performance. Sure, winning helps tremendously, but for those folks who simply enjoy the game of baseball and being outdoors, its going to be a good summer with some great deals on Twins tickets.

While I renewed my season tickets this year, I am glad I downgraded to the "cheap seats" and no longer having to worry about taking a $10-25 loss per ticket for these April and May games.

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 2:45 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 17

Twins calling a 4pm press conference with Terry Ryan and Scott Baker...

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 3:31 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 18

Baker is out for the season. Gonna be a looooooong year.

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 4:12 PM by ace Highlight this comment 19

THUD.

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 4:46 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 20

I wonder how quickly they can rewrite DickBert's script for the game tonight.

Here comes the spin, little darlin'
Here comes the spin -----

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 4:57 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 21

Loss for words.

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 4:58 PM by tk Highlight this comment 22

Triple digits for sure!

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 5:05 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 23

Was anyone truely counting on a healthy Baker to even make a difference? I wish him the best, but he Exhibit A when it comes to pitching staff mediocrity/inconsistency.

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 5:14 PM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 24

You have to look for the silver lining, so here it is. Baker lasted longer than Zumaya. No one has yet come down with that dreaded Target Field disease - Bilateral Leg Weakness. They don't slide as hard at AAA so Nishi's clumsiness around second base may not get his leg broken this year. With Delmon hitting homers for Detroit, we shouldn't be treated to any "Go Fetch" plays in left field. Ya just gotta be a "Glass is Half ... or is it a quarter ... or is it a tenth ... full" sort of person.

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 5:40 PM by terry Highlight this comment 25

oh my god!! the sky is falling the sky is falling!!!!

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 7:01 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 26

Oh, I forgot to mention that on Monday I went down to the front rows of the Dugout Box sections and got some pics from a few angles I had never experienced prior. An usher up in the 300-level was actually encouraging folks to go down. (Champions Club was well-guarded, however.) No real great shakes, since they started chasing folks out at 2:30, before any players arrived. Is this an OD thing?

F_T_K: Yes, I would love the name of the app. I have yet to find one I like. The guy down the row was fiddling with a tablet of some sort the whole game, constantly shifting it and dropping it and bumping into my wife while trying to hold it with his hands covered with his jacket sleeves. I asked her if he had a scorecard app. She answered, "No, he's reading a book."

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 7:05 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 27

I think Larry DeVito needs to go to lawn-mowing school. Does he like, not know ANY other mowing patterns?

I know it looks like the pattern that was in all the renderings and stuff, but good grief man, be creative.

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 8:11 PM by 0-162 (aka luke) Highlight this comment 28

The iPad app is called 'GameChanger'. (linky!)

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 8:37 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 29

Wow Never thought I would see somebody play a worse LF then Delmon! That inside the park homer was disgusting. Where was our CF??

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 8:42 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 30

Wow, our guys are actually showing some backbone tonight.

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 9:23 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 31

When Torii face-planted into that wall I couldn't stop laughing. Doink!

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 9:38 PM by ace Highlight this comment 32

Feels good to feel good once in a while.

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 10:53 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 33

If you would have told me that we would have only one 1 game in the first 5, this game would have been the match-up I thought we would least likely to win. Nice win from the boys tonight. Willingham still has not read the Twins way of hitting. Man! That was a shot!

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 11:24 PM by tk Highlight this comment 34

Beautiful night at the ballpark - we'll see if the "offensive explosion" (as FSN called it) continues.

I was also curious about scoring apps, so I tried "iScore" on my android phone, at least for a few innings. Kind of "neat" technology/interfaces, but ultimately seemed cumbersome, and more suited to people who have no desire to actually learn how to score. Plus, you lose all of the personalization you get with pencil and paper.

Couple of other extremely minor observations:

There are covers on all the seatbacks in the Champions Club, with some corporate sponsor's name on them.

The "gallery of ballparks" outside the Metropolitan Club already has a picture of Marlins Park.

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 11:29 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 35

I like the concept of scoring a game on my phone, but I can't bear to be without the physical piece of paper on which I can scribble things in the margins.

Plus, I write down a ton of things that no scoring app could ever accommodate, like where I was sitting, comments I overheard, what I ate and how much it cost, who I'm with and why, what was weird about that play, stuff like that.

By the way, on BPM you can now review the food you ate at TF.

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 11:51 PM by Rick 36

Considering they scored more runs in this game than they had the previous four, for them I guess this would be a offensive explosion.

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 02:22 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 37

Turning back to the discussion of TV rights in the previous post, MLB will never be capable of having an NFL style TV package not so much because there are simply too many games to make a Saturday or Sunday of wall to wall coverage appealing as an event. NFL teams play 16 regular season games and MLB teams play 162. For the most part if a baseball team loses, the fans say "we'll get them tomorrow". If an NFL team loses, it's a catastrophe due to the fewer games on the slate. The whole mentality is different.

The one time MLB tried to go with something resembling the NFL's broadcast model was in 1994 and 1995 with The Baseball Network concept. All MLB games on a particular evening were scheduled for network broadcast by either ABC or NBC depending on the time of the season. As with NFL Sundays games were shown to the market of primary interest. So a Twins at Red Sox game would go to the Twin Cities and Boston while a Phillies at Cardinals game would to Philadelphia and St. Louis. Fans rarely ever saw neutral games unless they lived in an open market. Many fans, and especially the Bob Costas "guardians of the game" types in the media, blasted the whole concept. By 1996 MLB was on Fox with a more conventional package. This summer Fox will dip its toe in the regionalization water by airing games in prime time on Saturdays and instead of two or three as is the case in the afternoons, it will air as many as a half dozen at at time.

The big thing MLB has to get a handle on is bringing sanity to its broadcast territorial map while simultaneously bringing in market games to MLB.TV if not to Extra Innings. Right now the map enables multiple teams to claim a market and also enables teams to claim territories in which they have no measurable fanbase. So you wind up with multiple teams getting blacked out on MLB.TV and Extra Innings in places like Las Vegas and Iowa even though viewers in those areas couldn't get access to some of the blacked out teams on their cable or satellite system if they wanted to. You also get a team like the Reds claiming pieces of North Carolina on the basis that their radio network went into the state back in the 1970s, blacking out games in the specialty packages as a result when the Reds don't get games on locally and won't be either.

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 10:45 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 38

5 runners left on base with less than 2 outs for the Baby Jesus so far today. $23 Million well spent.

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 1:15 PM by jp Highlight this comment 39

3 run shot?

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 2:09 PM by moda Highlight this comment 40

Jorge,

Good points all. At the core of the problem are the crazy ideas of "territories" and "blackouts". MLB owners still treat one another as business competitors rather than as multiple heads of the same business. It's understandable, but whacked. They should be fierce competitors on the field, and shrewd collaborators off of it.

In the only sane scenario I can think of, any fan anywhere should be able to watch any game at all on whatever medium is at hand -- and pay MLB directly for the privilege. I think that's the only scenario in which no money is left on the table.

The losers in that case would be all of the tiny cable channels that nobody watches and the big pay-TV companies who make their money largely from a type of bundling that nobody really wants. But who cares about them?

I suppose that another loser could be the rural fan with limited access to a high-speed data pipe, but steps are already being taken to overcome that problem.

Believe it or not, I think MLBAM is leading the way toward that, but at a snail's pace because it is so upsetting to the status quo. That's perhaps the real reason we're seeing deals like the ones the Angels and Rangers just got. Pay-TV companies are doing as much as they can to keep things the way they are, seeing the writing on the wall unless the deals keep getting bigger and bigger.

Unfortunately, because those companies have so much money already, baseball fans will continue to be losers for quite some time.

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 2:22 PM by Rick 41

3 Run Shot by the Baby Jesus! 6-3 going into the bottom of the 7th. Morneau has left the bases loaded twice today. At least the bats are somewhat alive.

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 2:35 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 42

Atleast these misfits are making it interesting today!

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 2:51 PM by JoJo Highlight this comment 43

I would be willing to drop my DirecTv package in a heartbeat if only FSNorth would offer Internet streaming. I'm sure they've run the numbers, but I'm curious to know if their revenue stream would shrink if they went to a 'single subscriber channel' (ie - you want FSNorth, you pay them $x/month). I know I would be willing to pay between $5-$10 month for just that channel, and save approx $40-$50 month by dropping DirecTv.

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 2:55 PM by Fred Highlight this comment 44

Tied at 6!!!! WOW!

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 2:56 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 45

Fred,

If FSN would offer a deal like that for internet streaming I would be in. And so would my brother. I wonder if the cable companies can block that though, since the funds would go direct to FSN rather than the middle man getting their cut.

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 3:07 PM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 46

The regionalization maps made sense when most teams showed no more than about half their games at best on TV and many quite a bit fewer than that. Teams put together small regional networks of affiliates that carried the televised games. As a result you wound up with some grey areas along the borders. For instance, what was the cut off in central Ohio between the Indians and Reds? Circa 1976 when the Reds were a powerhouse and the Indians were a disaster, it made sense to draw some borders and protect the weaker team. If a team, even on radio, made an effort to stake a claim to a theoretically neutral territory, it made sense to protect that team's turf. Then times changed. TV went from over the air to cable/satellite. A club didn't need to put together a network of up to a dozen affiliates. Yet the map never got revised or even junked altogether.

The other stumbling block is trying to get a regional sports net into an area in which it is only partially relevant. For instance, the Pirates inexplicably claim Columbus, OH and their Extra Innings and MLB.TV games get blacked out there due to that claim. The problem could be solved by getting the local cable companies to carry the regional sports net known as Root Sports Pittsburgh. However, doing so would mean all Penguins broadcasts on that channel would need to be blacked out due to the Blue Jackets. The cable carriers in Columbus don't want to use precious space on a channel that will have some of its primary programming blacked out. So the Pirates claim a city in which no one can see their locally produced games under any circumstances.

The answer is either MLB allows in market games (which the Pirates technically are in this case) to be seen on MLB.TV and Extra Innings or it cleans up the map and revokes the Pirates claim to Columbus, which would have the same effect. Yet MLB seems interested in doing neither.

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 3:11 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 47

Stevie B-

I'm sure FSNorth has an exclusivity deal in place with Comcast/DishNetwork/DirecTv that would prohibit them from offering their channel via Internet Streaming. I know I'm just being wishful, but I'd be delighted if they could figure out a way to do just that.

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 3:13 PM by Fred Highlight this comment 48

Finally Morneau wakes up

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 3:23 PM by moda Highlight this comment 49

Nineteen hits (so far) today!!

Target Field sounds like it's rocking, too.

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 3:29 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 50

Can anyone explain why on atbat some pitches are shown as red and some shown as blue?

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 3:40 PM by moda Highlight this comment 51

Red, strike or swing
Green, ball
Blue ball in play?

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 4:14 PM by tk Highlight this comment 52

ummm blue, (pause) ball in play

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 4:15 PM by tk Highlight this comment 53

I wouldn't say TF was rocking, but there was some clappng anyway - at least until Capps came in. And then a huge sigh of relief.

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 4:15 PM by BR Highlight this comment 54

The Mad Crapper just wanted to get it to a save situation! Mercy! Wow what a game! Who would have thought this team would come back twice? Maybe there is a ray of hope?

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 4:22 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 55

Des Moines is in a blackout vortex: Can't get MLB tv for: Twins, Royals, Cardinals, Cubs and White Sox. How's that for a raw deal?

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 4:29 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 56

Today was a perfect example of how closers are made:

A good situation (three-run lead), spoiled by a couple of things of your own making and a couple beyond your control (ball bouncing off a base, ump blowing a DP call), but you make your way out of it.

Next time, you have just a little more of what it takes.

I don't think Capps (or anyone, for that matter) is a born closer. But situations like this give him the chance to become a real closer.

It becomes up to him whether to internalize that all, and from his offseason comments, it sounds like this was exactly what the doctor ordered.

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 4:36 PM by Rick 57

Nice comeback by the boys today. Good to see Mauer respond to the boos that were showered upon him by stepping up his game and leading his team to victory.

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 5:08 PM by jp Highlight this comment 58

Amazing. Two in a row. The 3-run blast by Mauer was...well - it happened.
I'm shocked.
I still say we're gonna have far more losses than wins. I just started at 162 losses and worked my way down...lol.

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 5:16 PM by 2-160 (aka luke) Highlight this comment 59

They just beat the Angels who were going with Weaver and Haren, two of the top 10 pitchers in the AL. The season might not go well, but these two days are sure to be a highlight.

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 5:25 PM by BR Highlight this comment 60

Not the ball, I'm talking about the streak of the pitch. I knwo the ball color indicates that but the streak that the ball is tied to changes from red to blue. Often on a strike not a ball in play.

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 5:34 PM by moda Highlight this comment 61

Des Moines is in a blackout vortex: Can't get MLB tv for: Twins, Royals, Cardinals, Cubs and White Sox. How's that for a raw deal?

Fiesta, are you able to get any of those teams via cable? I'm pretty sure you can get them all via DirecTV if you have the sports pack since they all claim the market.

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 5:43 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 62

Moda- I believe the color of the flight path of the ball on the gamecast indicates the pitch type. Typically the MLB gamecast has a legend for the color red being a fastball (2 or 4 seam), blue is a breaking pitch, etc.

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 6:44 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 63

Had the game cranked on my vehicle radio while my 8th grade baseball team was practicing today. Pretty cool to see and hear 8th graders all stop playing catch to listen to Morneau's home run go into the trapezoid in RF. Then hear them all groan as Capps almost blows the save while we work on bunt defense, 1st and 3rd situational defense, and then all cheer when the Twins win while we do infield/outfield

As a DISH customer, I had the pleasure of watching MLB Strike Zone Tuesday night. WOW! All the scoring plays, good to great defensive plays, every star player at bat, and split screen at times to show 2 games at once and ... no commercials (might be the best part!)

I'm going to the game Sunday and could not be more excited. Has anyone tried the fried pickles yet?

What a great game baseball is! I love it more each year.

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 9:20 PM by ole Highlight this comment 64

JP, you are a piece of work. Are back on the the "baby Jesus" bandwagon? Even at 23 million, not going to get a hit every at bat you know.

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 9:22 PM by antifire Highlight this comment 65

I heard that tidbit on MLB tv blackout from my brother in Iowa. I'm sure dish or cable would offer games, but it's the MLB blackout that stinks. (right up there with the local broadcast TV blackout.

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 9:51 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 66

Lol antifire...KFAN is back on the "baby jesus" bandwagon too, they used that exact phrase this afternoon on the drive home. I almost swerved off the road i laughed so hard

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 10:25 PM by 3-159 Highlight this comment 67

Ooops - I gave us an extra win.

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 10:31 PM by 2-160 (aka luke) Highlight this comment 68

thanks Jared I figured that was it but couldn't find anything concrete. I thought maybe it had to do with the batter swinging or something.

Posted on April 13, 2012 at 09:59 AM by moda Highlight this comment 69

Anyone want to take a crack at the weather?

Tonight is our first game and, while I like going to the park as much as anyone, I had my fill of wet/cold/miserable last season. A comfortable seat in front of a large HDTV and a really good whole pizza for the price of a lousy slice is something to think about.

Posted on April 13, 2012 at 1:52 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 70

Totally should have put a roof on it. /sarcasm

Posted on April 13, 2012 at 2:06 PM by moda Highlight this comment 71

Where is weatherman Jared when we need him?

Looking at the radar, I see another band of showers moving toward the cities, but probably not getting here until after the game is over.

My guess would be that tonight is going to look a lot like today: cloudy, periods of light rain, temps in the low 50s and falling.

Thankfully there isn't much wind, so it will likely be more comfortable than it was Monday, but that whole TV/pizza configuration would sure be tempting...

Posted on April 13, 2012 at 3:01 PM by Rick 72

Really missing Delmon (link).

Posted on April 13, 2012 at 3:58 PM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 73

I dunno they are calling for 80% chance of rain through 10pm on weather.com Low 50's and a howling wind gusting to 30mph from the SE! SE OUCH!

Posted on April 13, 2012 at 4:17 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 74

If it's blowing from the SE, maybe it'll keep Hamilton in the ballpark.

Posted on April 13, 2012 at 4:41 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 75

I just stepped outside and the wind has come up something fierce...

StubHub has tickets from $2, with lower bowl seats from $10. Ouch.

(Still, I wish I could be there.)

Posted on April 13, 2012 at 4:46 PM by Rick 76

unnecessary concerns about weather.....enthralling stuff guys. it is season 3. get over it. go to the game, be prepared just in case, and deal with it. there will likely be no rain. move on. :-)

Posted on April 13, 2012 at 5:44 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 77

You're Minnesotans.....Tough it out!

Posted on April 13, 2012 at 6:43 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 78

We're Minnesotans. We enjoy talking about the weather!

Posted on April 13, 2012 at 8:00 PM by Rick 79

I agree, but they also made TF to handle this. If we are playing for real games in September, then I'll mock folks for leaving their seats, but in April it is ok to go to the bars or the heat lamps or whatever. They built the place to accommodate bad April weather, which most years we certainly will have.

No shame in finding some shelter during the cold evenings in my book!

Posted on April 13, 2012 at 9:53 PM by Lincster Highlight this comment 80

At least TF doesnt handle the weather like The Hangar (hence abbreviated TH) in Miami deals with the weather. I know Miami summers can be brutal...but MN summers can too. Has there been any record of how often the Marlins have played at TH with the roof open/closed in the last weeks?

Posted on April 14, 2012 at 08:14 AM by 2-160 (aka 3-159) Highlight this comment 81

ps - checked the box score for last night's game against Texas: says attendance was 31,400. That's got to be the lowest recorded attendance for a Twins game thus far at TF, wouldn't you say?

Posted on April 14, 2012 at 09:09 AM by 3-159 (aka luke) (aka luke) Highlight this comment 82

April can produce some beautiful afternoon weather, Thursday being a perfect example. The nights this early in the spring though are always going to be cold, albeit not usually as nasty as last night was. Why not wait another week or so before scheduling night games?

Posted on April 14, 2012 at 09:12 AM by terry Highlight this comment 83

Can anyone tell me why Jamey Carroll bats second in this lineup?

Posted on April 14, 2012 at 12:51 PM by Jeff T. Highlight this comment 84

Jeff - because Gardy loves batting scrappy middle infielders in the 2 hole. I'm sure Carroll will be fine - he's just a kid that's pressing a little right now.

Posted on April 14, 2012 at 1:46 PM by IowaWigman Highlight this comment 85

a 38 year old kid?

Posted on April 14, 2012 at 2:36 PM by ace Highlight this comment 86

Terry afternoon weekday games aren't good for the bottom line.

Posted on April 14, 2012 at 4:06 PM by tk Highlight this comment 87

Another pitcher. This time, 'stiff and sore.' Can we please get a major league pitching coach?... and batting coach?

Posted on April 14, 2012 at 4:09 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 88

It seems to me the training staff seems to either have really bad luck, or there are things they are not catching and working to prevent.

Posted on April 14, 2012 at 4:28 PM by tk Highlight this comment 89

Re: official attendance; I had the season lows as 38,145 (2010 04/12 Boston Opening Day) and 34,228 (2011 09/27 Kansas City). Various articles state that between 2.2 and 2.7 million tickets have already been sold for 2012.

Posted on April 14, 2012 at 5:44 PM by Raging Peasants Highlight this comment 90

Rick, I've tried writing a couple reviews and keep getting the following message on your review page.

"Links, email addresses and raw HTML are not allowed in reviews."

Btw, the ice cream stands no longer offer crushed Butterfinger as a topping option. It is the only thing that saved their "soft serve" ice cream.

Posted on April 14, 2012 at 7:00 PM by tk Highlight this comment 91

Planning a road trip to Rangers Ballpark this summer for the weekend after the 4th. Anyone been there? Thoughts?

Right now we are looking at tickets in the 3rd Base Commissioners Box and above the Twins Dugout.

Posted on April 14, 2012 at 7:12 PM by tk Highlight this comment 92

Took the kids to the Rangers' ballpark to see the Twins in August 2010. Almost saw our first no hitter. Mauer broke it up with a hit in the ninth with one out. It was a night game, but I think the game time temp. was 100. We were in the cheap seats in the outfield. We enjoyed the ballpark. (It's outdoor baseball, so no complaints.) We stayed near the ballpark. (Holiday Inn? with a shuttle to the game back then.) We also took a tour of the Cowboys' Stadium which we also enjoyed. (Within walking distance of the Rangers' ballpark.) Have fun.

Posted on April 14, 2012 at 8:48 PM by gogotwins Highlight this comment 93

tk,

Sorry about that! I've fixed it.

Posted on April 14, 2012 at 11:06 PM by Rick 94

Watching the late news to see the clip of Hamilton's bomb, and it's followed shockingly by a shot of my dad taking pictures at the Hrbek statue unveiling!


Oh wait. That's me. I'm old.

Nobody ever told me that baseball was about sons turning into their fathers...

Posted on April 14, 2012 at 11:35 PM by Rick 95

Went to the game last (Fri) night, and didn't think it was nasty at all. Sat in 103, and was quite pleasant. Had a polo, pullover, and jacket on, plus stocking cap. Staid the whole game. not uncomfortable at all. People -- we have an OUTDOOR stadium now. Watch the forecast and dress appropriately, FCOL. Place was less than half full for sure, I would say actual attendance about 15,000. It was a fun night at the park, a lot of people missed out. Now did people stay away because of the "bad weather" or the product?

Posted on April 14, 2012 at 11:49 PM by antifire Highlight this comment 96

For those not following the event live, here's the Twitter recap of the Hrbek statue unveiling:

Gate 14 at #targetfield is now the "Hometown Heroes" corner, honoring #mntwins born in MN.

Hrbek statue at #targetfield is posed holding the final out of the 87 WS. #mntwins #hrbek

Some in the crowd at #targetfield not so sure the face looks quite like #Hrbek. Some think it looks BETTER. #mntwins

TK said, "I had to put these on today." then held up 2 WS rings. #targetfield #mntwins #hrbek

Bremer listed a few #Hrbek nicknames, then suggests that fans in Atlanta may have others. #targetfield #mntwins

Won't make the TV coverage: #Hrbek finds his nose in the pit of his new #TargetField statue. "Smells good." #mntwins

Bremer made it sound like there's a plaque somewhere near #targetfield gate 14 honoring all MN-born #mntwins. Haven't seen it yet.

Sculptor Mack said he wanted to show #Hrbek "off the ground". #targetfield #mntwins

Mike Opat said #Hrbek did the most of all former #mntwins to get #targetfield built. Showed up for EVERY meeting. Thanks, Hrbie!

#Hrbek speech very humble. Bloomington kid will live forever holding the last out of a WS win. Awesome. #mntwins #targetfield

Posted on April 15, 2012 at 12:02 AM by Rick 97

Check out the Pioneer Press today. Huge article defending the cold bats of the Twins and defending why the hell we cant hit homers at TF but our opponents can. I will post the linky when I am back at my PC.

Posted on April 15, 2012 at 11:04 AM by 3-159 Highlight this comment 98

RE: Rangers Ballpark at Arlington

Don't visit after May 15th. Stay at the Hyatt Place about a mile away near Six Flags (you'll see the game umpires here if you're especially astute). There is a free trolley to/from the game. There is no exclusive "Champion's Club" area at RB. No moat. I think maybe the 1st 2 rows got waiter service. Splurge for good seats. Scalpers were non-existent so I'd either wait til the last minute on Stubhub or another alternate method. Are you flying to DFW or driving 35? I'd recommend the highly underrated downtown Fort Worth area. Eat brisket at a non-chain BBQ joint. In n Out burger now has several DFW locations (including Arlington). Don't miss a Double-Double with animal style fries and a chocolate shake. If you have kids they should enjoy all of the activities in CF in front of the large office building. I found the people in Texas and particularly at the ballpark extraordinarily friendly & hospitable. Enjoy!

Posted on April 15, 2012 at 11:37 AM by Max Highlight this comment 99

Another home run from a Twins newcomer. Clete Thomas just slammed a 421 foot 2 run bomb. Then the TV camera showed him talking to Vavra in the dugout afterwards. God, I hope Vavra wasn't giving him any Twins Way hitting advice.

Posted on April 15, 2012 at 2:47 PM by unknowntwinsfan Highlight this comment 100

what unknowntwinsfan said. hey joe vavra and ron gardenhire: stay the hell away from clete thomas, josh willingham, et. al.

Posted on April 15, 2012 at 3:07 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 101

Hendriks deserved a win today. Giving up 1 run in 7 innings was fine work.

Posted on April 15, 2012 at 6:26 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 102

I will withhold judgement on the latest statue until I see it in person, but at first look it seems to lack any emotion. Just compare it to Current Herbie's pose next to it. Maybe if the statue had a couple more chins...

Posted on April 15, 2012 at 7:54 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 103

Just don't tell the kid that it's imposssible to hit homers at TF.

Posted on April 15, 2012 at 10:04 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 104

I wonder how they are going to hype Ben Revere Bat Day.

Posted on April 16, 2012 at 12:10 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 105

So now Morneau is saying he is not comfortable in the DH role and wants to play some 1B...why are we hearing about this just now???

He was the DH all of spring training and the first 10 days of the regular season and all of a sudden he claims he is not comfortable in the DH role???

Seems like more excuses to me...just like the Scott Baker situation, everything was fine going into spring training than all of a sudden, the elbow problems reappear as soon as they start playing games. He had elbow problems the last two years and was "fine" heading into spring training both years to only have those problems reappear during spring training and the regular season. Does Baker not condition himself properly in the offseason or what?

And how many more chances are we going to give Alexi Casilla???

I have been to two games now (Monday and Friday) and they have both been diseased. Considering Monday was the home opener, the atmosphere was pathetic regardless of the cool and windy weather. Friday was even worse with a lot of empty seats and a very quiet crowd. On the bright side, at least I have not heard the "everybody clap your hands" bit....

Twins are 2-7 heading into this road trip to New York and Tampa than return home for a 3 games with Boston...They could very well be 4-15 heading into that weekend series with Kansas City.

And its only a matter of time before Vavra and the Twins coaches mess up Willingham's approach at the plate.

This is shaping up to be another long season with no end in sight. What are the long-term plans for the Twins? The roster is a bunch of patch work veterans and underachieving players who will not be here in the next few years. Other than Dozier, is there really anyone in AAA right now to be excited about?

If I am Terry Ryan, its time to start making phone calls and offering players such as Pavano, Liriano, Capps, Span, Carrol, and Valencia. You are not going to get much for any of these players, but its time to rebuild the minor league system with some prospects to give the fans some kind of long-term hope. Casilla needs to go now and Dozier needs to be promoted.

Posted on April 16, 2012 at 10:52 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 106

All of the complaining about how hard it is to hit a home run at TF is really getting old. The Twins organization should not be worried about the wind currents at all. To me the only adjustment needed is to lower the right field fence starting right after the overlook to either be 8 or 12 feet high all the way to dead center.

Posted on April 16, 2012 at 10:54 AM by Tom D. Highlight this comment 107

Tom D - I forgot to even mention that issue in my rant and that is another thing that bothers me. The Target Field dimensions never seem to affect the opponents...I think of the Rangers, Yankees, Brewers and Blue Jays to name a few.

Thome and Willingham don't seem to have problems hitting at Target Field, that is until Vavra and the Twins coaches try to change Willingham's approach at the plate...

Posted on April 16, 2012 at 11:09 AM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 108

Pittsburgh,Denver, and Baltimore all have similar fence set-ups like I have suggested and I think that type of set-up for the right field fences would be just about right.

Posted on April 16, 2012 at 11:28 AM by Tom D. Highlight this comment 109

Why make it even easier for opponents to hit HRs?

Posted on April 16, 2012 at 11:54 AM by tk Highlight this comment 110

Why make it even easier for opponents to hit HRs?

Exactly. Especially considering the breed of pitcher this organization seems to value. Keep the fences the way they are.

Posted on April 16, 2012 at 1:14 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 111

The fences aren't the issue anyway, being, as they are, very close to those at the Metrodome.

It's airflow that is making all the difference, and it is playing a significant role, especially coming into the park through the plaza area.

That said, changing the facility is not the answer. It's changing the players and the coaching that will be necessary. I think adding Willingham (and letting him continue to pull the ball) is actually an acknowledgement of these needs.

They will soon realize that getting under the ball at all is death to homers at Target Field. Towering homers to right are the exception, while the line drives go out just fine. Different story to left.

If any change to the facility is needed (and that's a very big if), it will be a complete reconfiguration of the overlook and RF bleachers area to mitigate the inflow of air.

Frankly, I see that as a very likely change within 10 years, because it's also the most obvious way to add seating capacity.

Posted on April 16, 2012 at 2:08 PM by Rick 112

Oh, almost forgot: The "pitch to contact" strategy will need to die a thousand deaths. Twins pitchers will have to learn how to miss some bats.

Posted on April 16, 2012 at 2:08 PM by Rick 113

The Twins are marketing heavily their "Steal of the Week." Twins fans can just wait a couple days prior to the game and get a great deal. I sold my opening day tickets for half-price.

Posted on April 16, 2012 at 2:39 PM by tk Highlight this comment 114

Roll up around the bottom of the first or top of the 2nd inning. Scalpers with fist loads of tickets they got to uload, offer em $5 a ticket!

Posted on April 16, 2012 at 2:47 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 115

And DickBert always has a pitch for new season ticket customers at least once a game - so much for the On Deck deal.

Posted on April 16, 2012 at 2:52 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 116

Speaking of DickBert ---

An opposing team's nicely smacked screamer to the wall = a lazy fly ball while a looper to the mid-outfield by a Twin's batter = deeeeeeeep to _____field!

Posted on April 16, 2012 at 2:57 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 117

My wife and I got Legends Club tickets in section M, row 3 for $20 each on the street on Saturday...the first Saturday home game of the year. That was at approximately 11:30am.

Ticket prices will only continue to fall, with the exception of the Cubs, Phillies and Brewers homestand in June.

Posted on April 16, 2012 at 3:20 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 118

Looks like Opat is not in favor of his funding source being used for the stadium he doesn't support. No surprise there. (click name)

Posted on April 16, 2012 at 3:54 PM by Mort Highlight this comment 119

Opat doesn't want to be a "back up" to a flawed funding source, which adds his name to the list of people ready to sue if the current plan gets enacted.

It's yet another indicator that the plan currently under consideration is quite unlikely to actually result in a stadium getting built.

Posted on April 16, 2012 at 4:08 PM by Rick 120

Common Man had a couple bits ripping on the Twins on his show this afternoon on the Fan. I couldn't stop laughing. They compared the Twins and the Yankees. The one thing I do remember them calling the Twins was "coupon clippers"...lol

And, they thought the excuse article about why the Twins can't hit HR's out of TF in yesterday's Pioneer Press was preposterous.

Posted on April 16, 2012 at 6:58 PM by 2-160 (aka luke) Highlight this comment 121

Why does 50-year old Moyer get all the press these days? Steve Lombardozzi un-retires and has a 4 for 4 night going with the Senators, er, Nationals tonight, leaving him w/.545 BA. He's 52!! And just a shade older than Carroll.

Posted on April 16, 2012 at 9:04 PM by N.D. (aka N.D. "Rube") Highlight this comment 122

I had forgotten how good it feels to beat the Skankees. What year did they start having Sinatra sing NYNY after losses, too? It was always traditional to play the Liza Minnelli version on those rare, sad nights.

luke, you're not going to burn through 80-90 usernames as the season progresses, are you? We get it.

Posted on April 16, 2012 at 10:01 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 123

Tonight illustrates the allure of baseball. Even in the midst of a season for a team we all expect to be (a) awful if you're a pessimist or (b) rebuilding if you're an optimist, you can just have a wonderfully fun evening like tonight watching the lads come back against The Evil Empire.

Posted on April 16, 2012 at 10:08 PM by terry Highlight this comment 124

It was a thing of beauty!

Posted on April 16, 2012 at 11:09 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 125

Rube got my head scratching, and perhaps doesn't know that there's a "Jr." behind the name of tonight's Washington hero...

Posted on April 16, 2012 at 11:42 PM by Rick 126

Born in '88. Let's see --- 2012-1988 = 52?

Posted on April 16, 2012 at 11:48 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 127

On any given day, a team can put it all together: get some key 2 out hits, great starting pitching (after the first two batters, anyway) good relief pitching, make plays, and hit a bomb. Great game last night!

Now the question is: can it happen two nights in a row??

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 09:03 AM by Ole Highlight this comment 128

Now, I don't follow the legislative processes for these stadium bills all that well but...I get the impression that Opat (at least according to Rick) is the key to this whole thing getting done. At what point does he step in and say "alright, you have had your 'fun' long enough, here is how it will get done"?

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 09:49 AM by Jared Highlight this comment 129

It will be a while before Opat steps in. The dust of the legislative session needs to clear a bit IMO. AND Zygi needs to put his hat in his hand.

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 10:04 AM by moda Highlight this comment 130

Jared,

Basically, the Vikings will need to go back to Hennepin County and eat some crow.

You may remember that the two parties negotiated quietly but for a very long time before Arden Hills agreed to give the team everything and the moon. At that point, the Vikes dropped the AH plan on Opat's desk and said, "Match this or we're gone."

Now, with that suburban plan dead, and the Minneapolis distraction subsiding, clearer heads will likely prevail.

I suspect that, sometime between now and next January, Zygi will accept the hand he's been dealt, return to Hennepin County, and finalize a local partnership deal.

Once that happens (and don't expect a big announcement about it), the only question will be how to maneuver it through the new political make-up of the Legislature. That's the wild card, but early signs are good because it may not even take an act of the Legislature to adjust the Hennepin sales tax to include a football stadium.

The Vikings will have to come up with more cash up front, and give up much of the parking revenue they seek. That's what will need to be negotiated, and it's the correct way to proceed. (Opat will insist on building next to Target Field, and the Vikings will have to accept that.)

As for the state's contribution, two things come to mind. First, it may not be necessary. If the Vikes put in a more real $500M, and Hennepin contributes $350M, you can build a world class, fixed roof stadium for $850M. The amounts they've been throwing out are never fully justified, and they seem to increase arbitrarily. This is the moment to put just a little bit of sanity back into the project. And the Vikes will need to accept responsibility for all cost overruns, just like the Twins did. That way they can spiff the place up to their heart's (and wallet's) content.

Second, if the state does need to contribute, they may be able to do so exclusively through infrastructure improvements and site acquisition, amounts which are essentially rounding errors in the capital budget.

There will probably still be a philosophical battle among legislators, but if a package like this gets that far, the powerful forces will make sure it gets through.

Once again, the election is the wild card. It really does matter who you send to St. Paul (and to the Hennepin County Commission).

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 10:23 AM by Rick 131

What constituted a "more real $500,000,000"? I think I know what you mean and have a response in mind, but don't want to post it without being sure of where you're going.

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 10:43 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 132

There is currently the perception that the Vikings will be using all either loans from the NFL or new revenues from stadium amenities (such as naming or PSLs) to cover their contribution. (MPR covered it nicely a couple of weeks ago.)

This may be real money, but the perception it creates is that the Vikes are funding on fumes -- that the public is making the down payment (footing the bill for construction), and the team is making easy monthly payments out of the gobs of new stadium revenue.

You can argue that all is well as long as everybody makes the contribution they commit to, but that isn't really so. In order to seem like they have some skin in the game, they will need to come up with some real cash up front.

As always, perception is reality.

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 11:04 AM by Rick 133

I am 99% certain the up to $200,000,000 loaned to the Vikings by the NFL would go in to the project largely up front with the team repaying the the league, with interest, from revenues generated in subsequent years.

If the Vikings didn't use NFL loan money up front, where do people think the dough would from? It's not as if the team, or the Wilfs and people of similar wealth, keep that kind of liquid cash just lying around in a money market account earning next to zero interest. Nor do businesses and individuals of vast wealth usually pay cash on the barrel for projects like this because that's a bad use of money. Does anyone think the Twins put down cash and didn't finance their part of Target Field?

If the Vikings don't take an NFL loan, then the team would take a loan from a financial institution and the model of repaying the principle with interest, albeit at a less forgiving rate, would still exist. The whole idea that the team somehow isn't contributing real money just boggles my mind.

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 11:30 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 134

[i],where do people think the dough would come from?

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 11:31 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 135

If the Vikings didn't use NFL loan money up front, where do people think the dough would from?
Private lenders. That's where about 80% of the funding for the new 49's stadium is coming from.

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 12:36 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 136

Exactly Jorge, I'm glad you put it the way you did.

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 1:16 PM by moda Highlight this comment 137

The Vikings have a perception problem, but it's a big one. We all know that most construction costs will be paid for with borrowed money and paid back from the various funding sources over 30 years, but when it looks like the Vikings aren't contributing any cash at all, the whole world (including the lenders) will inevitably cry foul.

If the Wilfs were to, say, put $75M of personal cash into the deal upfront (regardless of how they get it), bringing their contribution to a cool $500M, I think all would be forgiven.

It's like any other financing scenario in life. If you go to a bank for a loan but are unwilling to make some sort of down payment out of your own pocket, they just won't give you the money. Everybody has to put in something of their own resources, whether that's to buy a house, start a business, or build a stadium.

There are probably other ways to get past this perception problem, but cash is the easiest and quickest.

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 1:18 PM by Rick 138

The loans covering roughly 80% of the cost to build a new stadium for the 49ers in Santa Clara aren't being taken out by the team, but rather by the Santa Clara Stadium Authority, body owned by the city of Santa Clara and the Santa Clara Redevelopment Agency. The 49ers are bringing to the table $200,000,000 loaned to the team by the NFL.

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 1:22 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 139

On a separate subject, I'm starting to read in the press calls for the Vikings to use the big stick: threats to move.

It seems logical, but nothing could be dumber. They are closer now than they have ever been, and any intimation that they are going to bail out would set them back another year -- or longer.

They just need to keep playing the game. The last play didn't work, but they didn't lose any yardage. It's third down on the 10-yard line, and they will just have to complete a screen pass to get this done.

But to do that, they need to swallow hard and keep talking -- quietly, behind closed doors, under the radar -- to the decision-makers. Go back to Hennepin and make the deal, then start working on the legislative strategy for next year. Follow the polls closely and feel out legislators likely to return. Start courting and counting votes.

This can get done, but it's like trying to lure a squirrel: No sudden movements.

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 1:26 PM by Rick 140

Ruesse saying just now that source is saying the vote last night was just a DFL ploy for the upcoming election. Also that the governor is mad that some that said "yes" actually voted "no" and that Rybak wasn't in attendance.

Maybe I should pay more attention. This process could be so interesting to me I might not get other work done though...

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 1:58 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 141

Reusse and pals calling something a DFL ploy? What a shock!

(For the record, both support and opposition to a stadium are highly bi-partisan. People might be playing games, of course, but when it comes to this project, there are some very strange bedfellows on each side.

And, Jared, the closer you follow the more interesting it gets...)

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 2:11 PM by Rick 142

Give me a break. Of course the politards want to turn this into a political slam against the dems. Look the Majority leaders didn't support it and the committee was made up of 9 GOP and 6 dems..... Yeah completely the dems fault.

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 2:17 PM by moda Highlight this comment 143

For the record both sides do this. The dems have called Repubs roadblocks in the past when they had enough people on committee to pass it as well. Not saying the GOP holds the cornerstone on ridiculousness.

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 2:18 PM by moda Highlight this comment 144

And right on cue, Mike Opat is again talking about a Vikings stadium and being very coy:

http://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy/2012/04/%E2%80%98death%E2%80%99-one-vikings-stadium-plan-gives-new-life-alternate-proposals

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 2:14 PM by Jerry Highlight this comment 145

The loans covering roughly 80% of the cost to build a new stadium for the 49ers in Santa Clara aren't being taken out by the team, but rather by the Santa Clara Stadium Authority, body owned by the city of Santa Clara and the Santa Clara Redevelopment Agency. The 49ers are bringing to the table $200,000,000 loaned to the team by the NFL.

I understand this. I'm not trying to say the 49's are getting the money from private lenders. I am however saying that the answer to your question is still "private lenders".

Now, I do agree that there is no reason for Wilf to do so if he doesn't have to (either because MN ponies up or b/c he moves the team and gets public financing elsewhere). But it's still the answer to the question. Unlike several years ago, it is easier to get private funding for this sort of project if you want it.

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 3:03 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 146

GoAUGopher, I get your point now.

I'd love to see Lester Bagley get the boot so that someone with a brain could take over the lead chair for the Vikings. The guy comes off like a dead fish with no sense of political savvy or knowledge. Maybe he's just following orders with tied hands. Nevertheless, a more personable and politically realistic front man would do the Vikings a lot of good.

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 3:14 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 147

for the life of me I can't figure out how or why Wilf has allowed Bagley to be the point man on this for so long.

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 3:27 PM by moda Highlight this comment 148

Who is a worse point man - Bagley or Kevin Smith from the Twins? I realize that Dave St. Peter does most of the speaking these days but anytime I see Kevin Smith discussing something I cringe.

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 3:49 PM by IowaWigman Highlight this comment 149

Here's what many don't realize about Bagley: He's not a decision-maker at all. Despite his title, he is actually just a spokesman -- the Vikings EQUIVALENT of Kevin Smith.

Just about anybody could do a better job.

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 4:12 PM by Rick 150

Linked-Target Field night game to day game time lapse.

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 4:44 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 151

That time-lapse is pretty cool.

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 5:26 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 152

How long before we see the youtube of that NY fan running on the field (and rather roughly escorted off)?

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 7:54 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 153

Has any Twins pitcher or any pitcher for that matter, ever had a greater decline in his career than Francisco Liariano? What a head case. Most pitchers would kill to have his ability. Did you hear Pavano talk from the dugout during the telecast tonight? That guy knows how to pitch.

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 8:00 PM by bmjundt Highlight this comment 154

The aisle cleaners in the time lapse sure work some long dark hours.

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 10:17 PM by ab21 Highlight this comment 155

Jay Kolls of KSTP-5 did a report tonight saying Hennepin County was meeting with land owners in the Farmers Market area on a proposal that would be unveiled once the Dome site was officially dead.

They'd raise the sales tax that's already in place (they need neither a referendum nor legislative approval to do so), refinance the Target Field bonds, and have Minneapolis kick in some convention center money. The thought is this plan, which leaves Target Center renovations out of the mix, would get support in the legislature. The official word on Mary Jo is she can stay, something I think is posturing until they can come up with a politically acceptable way to move her. Target has supposedly thrown it's hat in the ring for naming rights.

What will the Vikings think about this? They ought to pounce on it, but I expect the team to react very coolly despite the lack of any other doable and sane option.

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 10:33 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 156

It didn't take long for the Hennepin County rumors to get into full swing...

Sources tell 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that the developers have reconfigured the Farmer's Market site and are now calling it the "Stadium District" site. It would move the stadium property line within 100 yards of Target Field.

The idea is to create a sports complex with restaurants, hotels and entertainment connecting the new Vikings stadium to Target Field and Target Center.

...

Sources tell us Hennepin County is waiting for the legislative session to end without a Vikings stadium deal. If that happens, expect Hennepin County and developers of the Stadium District site to unveil their plans publicly.

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 10:33 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 157

Ha ha...beat me to it Jorge!

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 10:34 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 158

in the above time-lapse, I could still pick up the seams of Pavano's fastball.

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 11:40 PM by N.D. (aka N.D. "Rube") Highlight this comment 159

Kolls apparently has some very good sources, but he got a couple of key things wrong.

First, the Stadium District site no longer includes any part of the existing Farmer's Market -- which is why it's no longer being referred to as the "Farmer's Market site". The FM would not necessarily change in any way (unless they want to be part of a larger overhaul of the area).

Second, the site actually in play now tucks the stadium basically right up against Mary Jo. As Stenglein said in his interview, S&CH could absolutely stay and would not necessarily be disturbed, but it's doubtful they would want to. (Keep in mind that Mary Jo is already past retirement age, and her organization apparently has no concrete succession plans. It could just go poof in the time between now and when Target Stadium opens.)

The Vikings are getting pretty blustery, so they may need a little time to calm down enough to realize that now, finally, a viable deal is actually within reach.

They don't realize it yet, but last night's vote was the best thing that could have happened to them.

Posted on April 18, 2012 at 12:24 AM by Rick 160

"Reusse and pals calling something a DFL ploy? What a shock!"

Well, I'm kind of shocked since Reusse is a liberal. However his co-host, "The Mayor", certainly isn't.

Posted on April 18, 2012 at 04:50 AM by James1979 Highlight this comment 161

Souhan has a good column today about the demagoguery that always comes to the fore when stadiums are being discussed.

Posted on April 18, 2012 at 07:30 AM by terry Highlight this comment 162

Will be interesting following the Hennepin County developments over the next few weeks.

I must ask, what's the deal with Scott Baker?? He has had arm problems the last two years and has been "feeling healthy" the last two years entering spring training to only have hell break loose once they begin playing games. He than starts 2012 spring training "feeling good" than starts experiencing soreness once spring training games started. They said no Tommy John surgery was needed and that the UCL was in good condition although he would still miss the 2012 season due to another type of ligament procedure. Now, it turns out he has Tommy John reconstructive surgery and will most likely miss a majority of the 2013 season as well as the entire 2012 season because the UCL was not in the same condition as they previously thought.

This is very frustrating as a Twins fan and really makes a person question their entire training/medical staff and their organizational approach to these injuries. It just seems like they ALWAYS need a second and third opinion for all their injuries and they can never seem to figure them out.

I think Baker's days as a Twin are all but over at this point.

Posted on April 18, 2012 at 07:51 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 163

Aaron Gleeman hits this one on the head:

"...at this point any injured Twins player who doesn't seek a second opinion from someone outside the organization is an idiot."

(Emphasis mine.)

He also points out these defining and depressing statistical facts:

"Twins hitters collectively lead baseball with a ground-ball rate of 55.1 percent. No other team is above 51.6 percent and only two other teams are above 50 percent. And because it's really hard to hit a ground ball over the fence everyone not named Willingham has combined for four homers in 358 plate appearances."

* * *

"Last season Twins pitchers ranked dead last among MLB teams in strikeouts by a wide margin and they're back in 30th place again this season with just 54 strikeouts through 11 games. ...not surprisingly the combination of the fewest strikeouts in baseball and a sub par defense has added up to MLB's fourth-worst ERA."

These are not exactly news, but this has now gone beyond the "bad luck" explanations. One really has to begin questioning the medical and coaching staff when situations and numbers like these become the norm.

Posted on April 18, 2012 at 10:44 AM by Rick 164

I think the team's legendary cheapness has many manifestations --- to include the quality of the training and medical staffs.

They really ought to toss their marketing budget dollars into the "quality product" budget. When you have top notch people in all facets of the organization the spin takes care of itself.

Posted on April 18, 2012 at 10:47 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 165

Apart from MinnPost and Jay Kolls of KSTP-5 giving Hennepin County and the site by Target Field on and off attention, why have the other major television, radio, and print outlets in this area not given that possibility much play? Even now that the county is openly discussing putting a package together, it's getting next to no play. The Strib, institutionally, can be accused of pushing the Dome site for its own interests, but what about individual journalists? Where are the journalists from other entities? It strikes me as odd and always has.

Posted on April 18, 2012 at 10:50 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 166

I had to laugh during one of the broadcasts earlier this year - Dick actually said something to the effect of, "there is no doubt that the Twins organization has the best TV commercials in the majors." And he said it in all seriousness.

Way to go, Twins!

Posted on April 18, 2012 at 11:02 AM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 167

Click link for a White Sox commercial that puts the Twins campaign to shame. White Sox, no nonsense (e.g. Sorta Deep Thoughts) approach.

Posted on April 18, 2012 at 11:38 AM by tk Highlight this comment 168

Things have gotten so low that the Twins are now using the Cubs-Phillies-Brewers Interleague games in June to promote 2012 season ticket packages...what about the other 66 remaining home games?? And the only reason those Interleague games are such high-demand is due to the thousands of Brewers, Cubs and Phillies fans that will travel to Minneapolis.

As far as next year, the Twins will simply use the "Establish your 2014 All Star Game Priority Today with a 2013 season ticket package"....

I think the marketing department over at 1 Twins Way is going to have some work to do, but again, a lot of Twins fans will be dumb enough to renew their season tickets. If you are going to renew, at least downgrade to send a message to the front office. I sat by one guy last week and he said he had not one, not two, but THREE different seating areas for his season tickets. One was 40A and the other two were 20E and 20F...4 seats each. After this year, I don't know how much longer many of these STH's will continue to hang on to their tickets when its so difficult to sell and the prices on the market are going well below the STH price. It's not like the NFL or NHL where you only have 10 games or 41 games to deal with.

Posted on April 18, 2012 at 11:47 AM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 169

I would certainly reduce my tickets, but I have found other ticket partners when others have left. I am one that has a full season and a 40-game package.

The first-year, I went to 44 games, last year 31, and this year I will go to about 25.

After this year, I am seriously considering dropping tickets (or at least have someone pick-up my portion), as I can save the money I lose on tickets (e.g. Home Opener, et al.) and spend the extra cash on games I really want to go to.

Posted on April 18, 2012 at 11:53 AM by tk Highlight this comment 170

Here's the depressing truth, Jorge: The other broadcast outlets largely practice "press release journalism" -- especially when it comes to complex issues like stadiums. For some unknown reason, KSTP (and Kolls specifically) has been the only broadcast outlet consistently doing real reporting on this issue. (In print, Kaszuba at the Strib is very good, and is above reproach in the question of Strib interests. The editorial board, not so much.)

Personally, I've stopped relying on TV news for anything, but especially stadium coverage. I've learned, since starting to follow the stadium debate very closely about 15 years ago, that TV news is mostly -- no, not mostly, entirely -- sh!t.

As an experiment sometime, watch all of the broadcasts from the local news on a particular issue or story. You will often find multiple cases of word-for-word overlap. That's the press release talking. And it's extremely rare to find any piece of information which is not on the press release, or anything which one station reports and the others do not.

When I see these people at press conferences then watch the coverage later, I always think, "How is it that they ALL picked the same details? How is it that they ALL missed the subtleties and other interesting and important details?" The answer, I'm afraid, is that what they practice is a tried-and-true process for collecting and packaging everything into easily-digestible snippets. It could not be called "reporting" or "journalism" in any way.

It makes me sick to my stomach to think about, because most people will never know just how shallow it all is. They rely on it, especially for political news which affects how they vote. But I can't stress this enough: It's. All. Sh!t.

Now, though I'm loathe to defend them, it is true that covering such a complex issue as stadium politics to the degree required is very expensive. And there are a million other issues which are just as complex, and just as much in need of careful investigation.

But they have a show to put on. And the show must go on.

Basically, everyone assumes that what they are getting in the news has been vetted or is in some way essentially complete because that's what they get paid to do. But that's not what they actually do. People who accuse TV news of being infotainment miss the point. There's no "info" -- only "tainment".

This is not new, I know, and it's unlikely to change. So I'll end my rant with a little story that essentially sent me over the edge on this issue.

A couple of summers ago there was a shooting in our neighborhood. A teenager was critically wounded by a gunshot to the head. TV crews came from all the stations, and one of them set up on the boulevard in front of my house. I chatted with the reporter a little bit to find out what she knew about the event.

Since this was a shooting, there was no press release to quote from. There was a fair amount of chaos. There was a police spokesperson (actually several), but the event represented a real test of the basic news-gathering capabilities of the crews who came out.

Later that night I recorded and watched all of the newscasts. Four newscasts, four radically different stories. Four different angles, including one who described it as a "domestic" disturbance, and one who described it as "likely gang-related." Various neighbors were interviewed, as were several people who live in the duplex where the event happened. At least one of the neighbors is certifiably crazy (there's probably a more politically correct way to say that), but sounded quite reasonable in the clip the TV station used.

After a couple of days, I talked to my neighbor who was directly involved. He told me what had actually happened. It did not match ANY of the news stories. It was not sensational at all, though it was very unfortunate and sad. The shooting had been an accident caused by some teenagers playing with a gun.

But that couldn't change what had been reported. And as I came to know what actually happened, it became more and more obvious that multiple details in those TV news stories were wrong or omitted, and some were just plain made up (though by whom is anybody's guess). The story had played well on TV, but it wasn't the actual story -- and nobody cared.

Even as details became available, none of the stations returned to the story. No corrections were run, no further filling in of the original holes in the reporting, no real attempts to find out what actually happened. The Strib ran a follow-up which actually added to the confusion (though they did a nice piece six months later on how the kid was recovering).

But the TV crews? They had gotten what they needed -- good footage of a bloody story -- and then moved on.

Getting back to stadiums, I'm basically a hobbyist, as you know. I'm not a reporter and have no journalistic training at all. But something about the issue clicked for me because I hated the Dome so much that I decided to get educated. (This is not the only public policy issue on which I have become educated.)

So now I can see this stuff pretty clearly, and I know that TV journalists don't take that type of approach to many issues (you're much more likely to find that in print journalism, though less than it used to be). I suppose they don't have that much time, but that sounds like an excuse.

Perhaps that will ultimately be the way the web interacts with the mainstream. After all, every issue seems to have its own nutcase followers.

Wait. Did I just call myself a "nutcase"?

Posted on April 18, 2012 at 12:03 PM by Rick 171

Sadly, I have to agree with Rick's assessment of most TV news. Sensationalism sells advertising time. That is why video of a lost puppy takes precedence over "hard" news or why "if-it-bleeds-it-leads" has become the mantra of most TV news departments, e.g. Rick's story about the coverage of the accidental shooting in his neighborhood. And any time you hear the word "SHOCKING!" mentioned in connection with a sweeps month investigative report, you know it is time to reach for the barf bag. Material facts will be omitted or out and out changed to make the story more sensational than it probably is.

Posted on April 18, 2012 at 12:49 PM by terry Highlight this comment 172

Now that I've vented and managed to offend any reader associated with TV news, I'll change the subject. What do people think of the way the home plate ump handled the Denard Span situation last night?

Posted on April 18, 2012 at 1:27 PM by terry Highlight this comment 173

Brooks baseball (linky!) has the official pitch-track info for MLB. You can pretty quickly find the Span at bat and see how close that pitch was.

Too close to argue, if you ask me.

Posted on April 18, 2012 at 1:50 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 174

I think the Twins have a little dark cloud which follows them around in NY. Isn't tonight's plate ump the guy who doesn't know what a foul line is?

Posted on April 18, 2012 at 2:29 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 175

Once the call was made, it seemed on-par with usual practice. Umps don't really tolerate arguing called strikes, and it looks like Denard paid a particularly nice compliment to the umpire's mother as he finally stepped back in the box. Gardy was just trying to get tossed, as usual.

The call was wrong, but that's a different story.

Posted on April 18, 2012 at 2:50 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 176

What I noticed most was that Span was not showing the ump up, i.e. he did not turn around or gesture in any way. The unwritten rule is they will allow some complaining about ball/strike calls both from the batter and from the catcher as long as they do not turn around or otherwise show the ump up. If Span said one of the official MLB naughty words, that would be another story, but up until being thrown out he seemed awfully calm to have been doing that.

Posted on April 18, 2012 at 2:57 PM by terry Highlight this comment 177

Yes indeed old pal, New Jersey native, Phil Cuzzi is behind the dish tonight. If anyone is interested, Deadspin has been running an ongoing "Get to know the umpires" series. Some very interesting nuggets. You can learn an awful lot of tendencies/attitude/temperment etc in several of the profiles which have already included St. Paul's Tim Tschida...

It's also interesting that the Yankees have scheduled 4 consecutive night games with no day/getaway game at the end of the series. The Twins should be willing to return the favor in September when they come to town....nah that wouldn't be Minnesota nice. I know it is all about the gate receipts which are usually significantly better at night.

Lastly, has anyone tried the new "SuperAmerica" mini donuts? I've walked around the park on multiple levels and seen them sitting near the cash registers prepackaged in plastic containers for $5. Are you kidding me? Why would anyone want those cold donuts (packaged when??) with the hot excellent mini donuts available out in RF? Sometimes I wonder who the geniuses are that run Delaware North's concession services at the ballpark...

Posted on April 18, 2012 at 3:00 PM by Max Highlight this comment 178

Max,

Check out the new food critic page and scroll down to find my review of those convenience-store-quality duds. (I only bought them because they are new and I wanted to see if what I suspected about them was accurate. I did it all for y'all.)

Posted on April 18, 2012 at 3:25 PM by Rick 179

I only bought them because they are new and I wanted to see if what I suspected about them was accurate. I did it all for y'all.

Much braver than I, blech. Although I am waiting for the conveniently timed plug for our favorite gas station just down the street from the park.

Posted on April 18, 2012 at 4:09 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 180

On the one hand, Vikings fans should take heart that some legislators are very tenacious about getting something done now.

On the other hand, these misguided souls appear to think that one funding method is just as good as another as long as something gets done, showing a sort of fundamental misunderstanding of why they are there and how government is actually supposed to work.

They are there, I think, to find workable solutions to difficult problems, and not, as this little development (which is probably going nowhere) indicates, "to get something done no matter what."

Sometimes it's a political freakshow over there.

Posted on April 18, 2012 at 4:34 PM by Rick 181

Thanks Jared. Yes the Holiday Brats and dogs are the best value right next to the park. Will be loading up April 24th. Bringing the rum in too!

Posted on April 18, 2012 at 4:56 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 182

Trying to keep up with the political winds is like trying to understand why the Twins cannot stay healthy.

The Strib wants us to think the Arden Hills plan is getting dusted off. Click name for link.

Posted on April 18, 2012 at 5:52 PM by TK Highlight this comment 183

Thanks for that reminder Rick. I just checked out the food reviews and posted one for myself. Great addition to the site this season. I tend to agree with Mort that the Michelbob's ribs are an outstanding value and a bit of a hidden secret at Target Field being they are only sold out in CF at the State Fair stand. You probably get between a 1/3 & 1/2 rack of ribs with fries for $8.50. The ribs are shipped over from Denmark and having eaten at their restaurant in Naples, FL the racks are small-ish but the pork is very tender.

Has anyone had the patience to stand in line for the Surly "Bandwagon" on tap exclusively at Target Field behind Section 124? Thoughts? I spent some time at the new Fulton Brewery/Taproom down near the Holiday Station on Friday night before the game (414 6th Ave). They have a different food truck/cart out front serving grub and then about 5 different tasty brews on tap inside. The place was jammed before the game and definitely offers a nice alternative to the hustle & bustle of the Warehouse District...

Posted on April 18, 2012 at 6:14 PM by Max Highlight this comment 184

Who are the umpires memorializing on their left sleeves this year? Also, is it my imagination, or does it look to anyone else like Mauer is wearing white nail polish on his throwing hand on nights when he's catching? It would certainly make sense if he wants to be sure the pitcher is picking up his signals.

Posted on April 18, 2012 at 9:52 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 185

Once again, we're watching the (potential) making of a closer. Now that Capps is starting to catch on, it's actually a fun process to watch.

Posted on April 18, 2012 at 9:58 PM by Rick 186

Nice to see The Boys win TWO in the Bronx.
Maybe things won't be as bad this season?? A glimmer of hope??

Umpires: patches commemorate the passing of Marty Springstead and Harry Wendlestedt in the 2011-12 offseason.

Posted on April 18, 2012 at 10:08 PM by 4-158 Highlight this comment 187

Thanks. And let's push for THREE in the Bronx.

Posted on April 18, 2012 at 11:37 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 188

Real quick, was at Marlins Park tonight. A very nice facility, does not feel like retractable roof stadium. The green walls look good in person, and all the colors work well together. I'll write up a more indepth review when I return from West Palm Beach on Sunday. I also have some pictures, not a ton. I can also do a comparative to Target Field but I will wait until after I make the season debut there on Monday.

Posted on April 18, 2012 at 11:41 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 189

Also how about Cliff Lee going 10 innings, no runs, 7 hits and no walks.

Posted on April 18, 2012 at 11:43 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 190

^Cliff Lee and Matt Cain combine for 19.0IP, 0ER, 9H, 11SO, 1BB in a no decision, then Clay Hensley gets the W on 3 pitches

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 12:01 AM by TK Highlight this comment 191

Legislature taking up stadium again. All sites considered. The big finale? Showcase showdown? Will Opat get involved in this flurry of activity?

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 12:57 PM by moda Highlight this comment 192

Opat is only interested in the site by Target Field, a location the Vikings seem unwilling to acknowledge the existence of, at least publicly. Neither the team nor its legislative allies are discussion anything but the Dome site. So I think Hennepin County will remain on the sidelines.

Roger Goodell and Art Rooney II of the Steelers' ownership family are coming to Minnesota to speak with various political honchos, doing some sabre rattling about the Vikings' potential to relocate if something doesn't happen on the stadium front soon.

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 1:03 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 193

"are discussing" not "are discussion". I call for an edit feature!

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 1:04 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 194

Agree Jorge need edit feature. Cuz I suck at teh typingz.

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 1:20 PM by moda Highlight this comment 195

Last Rick replied to same request and stated that he was in works of a preview function.

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 1:27 PM by tk Highlight this comment 196

Stadium supporters should be pretty happy about this level of activity, but I think the critical component has not yet happened, and will not until the session is over.

Namely, the Vikings simply have to make a deal with Hennepin County. I think that might be possible before the end of this session, but isn't very likely because the team is so blustery about this whole thing. In other words, I don't think this whole thing is in Opat's hands right now. I think it's in Zygi's hands, but he's unlikely to do what needs to be done until his hand is forced.

As for sabre-rattling, it's a very fine line. Minnesota legislators are famous for reacting negatively to such tactics. They tend to say, "If you're going to be that way about it, then you can wait a little longer." (It's not unlike how I handle my kids when they try to demand a snack.)

Despite what the NFL will say and Mark Dayton's uncanny Chicken Little impression, the Vikings are not for sale, do not have any suitors, and cannot move to Los Angeles in the foreseeable future. We are nowhere near the point where Zygi actually has to consider cutting bait. If he sold now, he'd leave a whole lot of money on the table. It would be a stupid move on his part, and there's just no way he would make it.

Legislators know these things, and no amount of threatening this year will make things move faster. (Next year however...who knows?)

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 1:29 PM by Rick 197

"I call for an edit feature!"

Well, if you're going to be that way about it, you can just wait a little longer.

(Just kidding. Preview is coming soon as part of a some general site upgrades. I could do editing, but I hate those boards that contain entries which say "Post deleted by author.")

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 1:31 PM by Rick 198

It's funny because I don't really think about this debate in terms of stadium location anymore. Like all stadium debates which have gone before, it's all about the financing plan.

Right now, Hennepin County has a genuinely viable financing plan that could simply sail through the process. All that's preventing it from moving forward is Zygi's determination to get something better from someone else. Understandable, but it's not going to happen.

So, when you get right down to it, the real sticking point here is that the Hennepin financing requires a North Loop location, and that location reduces (but does not eliminate) the amount of parking revenue Zygi can get.

I'm serious. That is the only thing preventing this deal from getting done today.

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 1:38 PM by Rick 199

Putting all other issues aside and assuming that 100% a deal will get done:

What is the percentage breakdown for each viable site's chances (Dome, NorthLoop, Arden Hills)?

I am guessing 75% Dome, 24.99% North Loop, and 0.01% Arden Hills

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 1:57 PM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 200

0%, 100%, 0%

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 2:00 PM by Rick 201

It's not unlike how I handle my kids when they try to demand a snack.

Rick, I think you just summed up the entire stadium debate in one sentence. I salute you, sir!

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 2:05 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 202

rick why is it that the Henn Co proposal absolutely MUST be in the North Loop? Because that's where they want it? Or is there some other concrete reason?

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 2:11 PM by moda Highlight this comment 203

Hennepin County Board of Commissioners member Mike Opat has stated that the location by Target Field makes the most sense to him and the County, and by extension the city of Minneapolis and the metro area, for several reasons.

- The area has a variety of parking options in place via the A-B-C ramps and numerous surface lots and private ramps spread through the North Loop and into the downtown core up to Nicollet Mall.

- Clustering the baseball, football, and basketball arenas in one general area frees the east side of downtown for new development not tied to a sports stadium.

- By extension, the feeling is 30 years have proven the type of development one would hope for in proximity to a sports stadium hasn't happened around the Dome due to the limitations of the site.

- Other long term development plans by the county and downtown council are based around all three sports facilities being together.

- The stadium hub is linked to multiple current and planned mass transit projects.

There are other reasons, but those spring to mind. Opat has trashed the idea of a new stadium at the Metrodome site as being "dumb urban planning" or words to that effect. He has the funding mechanisms to build a stadium, but only where the county wants it, by Target Field.

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 2:24 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 204

I think the simplest way to say it is, "That's where stadiums go in this town."

If you dig into it a little further, the underlying reason is that a ton of money has been spent in that area of town to make it ready for stadiums, starting with the construction of 394 and the big ramps, then continuing through all the money spent on LRT and Northstar, and looking forward to the money already committed to the Southwest line, the Interchange project, and designs for things like the Bottineau corridor.

Looking backward, it's easy to see how, once Target Center was built there, it was inevitable that the other big facilities would follow. (Though we all remember how hard that was to see before it was pointed out to us.)

Not surprisingly, the guys at CorridorMN.com have just released a new version of their presentation which lays it out about as plain as could be.

Whether you find that convincing or not, money talks. And a whole lot of money has already gone into that part of town to make it ready. As Opat said a few weeks ago, building anywhere else would constitute bad urban planning.

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 2:24 PM by Rick 205

Here's something new. Now that you've had a little chance to see them in action, try to predict how the Twins will do in 2012:

The Twins in 2012 Crystal Ball Challenge

(There will be prizes!)

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 2:40 PM by Rick 206

Have they determined if the Bottineau corridor will use light rail vs bus rapid transit?

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 2:54 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 207

No one will accuse the CorridorMN guys of being subtle. =)

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 3:16 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 208

Well the SW line is dead as of right now unless Dayton gets the money from someplace else. Which he probably will but Zellers is committed to killing it.

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 3:30 PM by moda Highlight this comment 209

Guessing Liriano's ERA for tiebreaker. Hilarious.

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 3:39 PM by Mort Highlight this comment 210

I have emailed several state Representatives and Senators regarding the Vikings Stadium proposal. I actually got responses back from each of them, however, not one single one of them has answered my questions about why they do not support the White Earth or Racino proposals.

It's ridiculous that Racino or White Earth does not get any support. And its only further evidence that our politicians are being bought out by special interest groups and Tribes who oppose "expanded gambling." The sad truth is that ANYONE over 18 can walk to their local convenience store and buy a lottery ticket if they so choose.

Obviously they don't see the potential for the millions of dollars of revenues these proposals could generate for the state while not raising any taxes whatsoever.

But that's Minnesota politics for ya...

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 3:41 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 211

Well the SW line is dead as of right now unless Dayton gets the money from someplace else. Which he probably will but Zellers is committed to killing it.

True, but it won't be totally dead until the federal funding (which will fund most of the project) disappears. As long as that is on the table they'll keep bringing it back up. In the meantime, I'd expect that the line gets extended to the 1st SW Corridor LRT station (Royalton) if a stadium passes for that location.

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 4:03 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 212

Mike, even if they did allow the WE tribe to get involved (which will never happen) it would get tied up in the courts for a LONG time.

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 4:18 PM by moda Highlight this comment 213

Just like Hiawatha, Central and Northstar, the SW Corridor is going to have to fight for its existence. But there's no question that it will exist, if only because too much money has already been spent on it to abandon now. (Just like a stadium, it's cheaper to do it now. All the efforts to kill it only delay it and make it more expensive. Will politicians never realize that populist ideological stands often lead to poor stewardship of finances?)

Bottineau is another matter altogether. Though LRT is certainly the smartest way to do it, I can imagine a scenario in which all the forces line up to do it as BRT. I've heard politicians from that area (including the mayor), say that trains would be too disruptive to the neighborhood. That's total BS because everyone knows that trains -- and not buses -- have the insanely positive impact on property values which foster neighborhood improvement.

Put a train down Broadway and you'll be able to watch the north side come back to life and thrive for a couple of generations.

But the anti-train lobby, with its foot stuck on the accelerator of cars, can't see it that way. I'll never understand the thinking because trains offer both options and relief to roads. And it's now become quite clear that the return of urban trains is what will allow cities to continue to thrive and grow, while road expansion always has the opposite effect.

But you don't even need to get into that philosophical discussion. Frankly, doing Bottineau with buses is equivalent to saying, "This neighborhood isn't worth spending money on, so we're going to do this on the cheap." That would be a slap in the face of efforts to renew the north side, but I have a feeling that may be how the forces are gathering.

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 4:57 PM by Rick 214

Can baseball survive in Miami? 7 games into their new ballpark and attendance for today's game was just barely over 23k. Smallest ballpark in baseball (37k) and only at 62% of capacity. And I think this entire series with the Cubs was around 24k average.

I don't think they can pin this on Ozzie either - for a new ballpark the games are usually sold out well in advance. There just doesn't seem to be "new ballpark buzz" in Miami.

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 5:12 PM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 215

yep, I watched some of that Marlins game last night and thought the same thing...crowd looked pretty thin.

Pioneer Press said today that the Golden Rodents should be turning dirt for their new ballpark in June, however, source said that the team "might not have enough money for lights"...

If that's true, instead of Siebert Field II...how about Wrigley Field pre-1989 at University of Minnesota...lol.

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 5:19 PM by 4-158 (aka luke) (aka 4-158) Highlight this comment 216

The worst "new ballpark buzz" has to have been at the Metrodome. The Twins drew barely 900,000 their first year in what the scoreboard at the time called "The Fabulous Metrodome". It was even worse the second year.

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 6:23 PM by terry Highlight this comment 217

Jorge said, in regards to why the stadium should go into the "stadium district":

- Clustering the baseball, football, and basketball arenas in one general area frees the east side of downtown for new development not tied to a sports stadium.

This is actually the most important reason. The StarTribune will eventually not need all the space they have. There are probably 8-10 contiguous city blocks down there (dome plus lots plus a couple of the Strib buildings), with a light rail station right in the middle. I'm not saying anything happens overnight, but with the projection today of 900,000 more Minnesotans by 2040, don't you think a few of them might want to live and work in the "Downtown East" district?

The development of that, when it happens and if they do it right, will be huge.

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 6:54 PM by Lincster Highlight this comment 218

luke: you are an idiot. that is all.

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 7:07 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 219

I've said it before, I'll say it again. I continue to be astounded that the politicians of Minnesota were able to work together to pass the Target Field bill in 2006. This was nothing short of a miracle. Other-worldly. Really, how did this ever happen?

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 7:28 PM by Jeff T. Highlight this comment 220

Will the Gophers' new baseball field have a brown turf infield like they have in Champaign, IL?

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 7:48 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 221

Beta, are you ever nice to anyone?

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 7:49 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 222

Yeah Beta are you ever nice to anyone? Geez why call me an idiot?

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 8:25 PM by 4-158 (aka 3-159) Highlight this comment 223

Granderson with 3 bombs tonight. Making the Mankato Moondogs proud

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 8:30 PM by Eric Highlight this comment 224

According to the Pioneer Press web site, we have now reportedly made it to the "owners plane spotted in LA" phase of the Vikings stadium story.

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 9:31 PM by Jeff T. Highlight this comment 225

It would seem threatening if there was a viable stadium currently available in LA.

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 10:31 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 226

So I can buy Legends Club tickets for the Boston series directly from the Twins. (Not that I would with so may STH selling their tickets for less than face.) I thought the Legends Club was sold out. Do the buyers just lose their PSL money if they don't renew?

Posted on April 20, 2012 at 12:18 AM by gogotwins Highlight this comment 227

In some cases, there are LC seats made available for single game purchases, first offered to LC members and then (I presume) to the general public. Haven't seen as much advertising of it this year though.

And, yes, if you don't renew your LC seats, you forfiet the PSL to the Twins, unless you sell it to someone else. I suspect we will see this a lot after 2014 (assuming Twins get the ASG), unless the club is competitive and winning again. It's pretty amazing how quickly the front office lost the benefit of "the new ballpark effect".

Posted on April 20, 2012 at 01:52 AM by Jfh Highlight this comment 228

I see that the Twins are going to take another 'Tagoramic' photo during the Sox game on the 25th. This time it says "Be in your seats during the 3rd inning..." Perhaps the stands weren't quite filled to their liking when the Home Opener photo was taken in the 6th/7th...

Posted on April 20, 2012 at 09:51 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 229

Hey Rick:
I saw your food review of the pizza. Just a head's up, if you find yourself in the LC at some point. Last year, they sold entire personal pizzas (equivalent to 2 concession stand slices) for $9, and they were very good. I had a goat cheese and eggplant version and a pepperoni and onion version - both tasty, not too oily, chewy thin crust. And a good ballpark value. Just too bad it's only in the LC.

Posted on April 20, 2012 at 10:40 AM by BR Highlight this comment 230

BR,

I actually bought my BBQ chicken slice in the LC, and didn't notice the option you're referring to. I'll look when I'm there next.

Thanks for the tip!

(Also available only in the LC: The most delicious deli chicken sandwiches.)

Posted on April 20, 2012 at 11:08 AM by Rick 231

Since we are talking about football stadiums,has anyone seen the new Winnipeg football stadium now getting built? It looks like it will be a very cool looking stadium;the cantilevered roof canopy looks quite cool and is quite big. I visited Winnipeg a couple of years ago and get inside to see Can-Adds Stadium and that was a nice stadium too, but was getting old.

Posted on April 20, 2012 at 11:29 AM by Tom D. Highlight this comment 232

The Winnipeg stadium kinda makes me think of a nicer version of the stadium that the University of Washington has (the similar block W prob contributes). Should be loud with those overhangs. I like it.

Posted on April 20, 2012 at 11:51 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 233

Question for everyone. Earlier Rick said this:
Right now, Hennepin County has a genuinely viable financing plan that could simply sail through the process.

Obviously the county feels this way (thus the Channel 5 report that says they can increase the tax without referendum) but can anyone explain why that would be true? Was their referendum in the 2006 TF bill written so that this tax could be expanded as needed? Something else?

Posted on April 20, 2012 at 12:24 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 234

makes me think of a nicer version of the stadium that the University of Washington has

Husky Stadium has always been one of my favorites, and they've begun a major renovation of it in the last year (click for details). More than just the standard "remove the track and lower the field" renovation we've seen at a number of college facilities, this is a near-complete tear-down and rebuild.

Posted on April 20, 2012 at 12:29 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 235

When they first released the plans I was glad to see they kept the overhangs since that is such a unique feature.

I've been hoping for a while now that the Gophers might get a home and home with Washington so that I could see a game out there. It was on my CFB bucket list before the reno was announced and has been even higher on the list since I heard they were improving it a while back. With the new Pac-12/Big Ten partnership announced in December I might get my wish (albeit in like a decade).

Posted on April 20, 2012 at 2:20 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 236

Love it or hate it, today marks the 100th Birthday of Fenway Park.

Posted on April 20, 2012 at 2:40 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 237

If the Gophers make it out there, do whatever it takes. I was there in '97, following "my" team - unbelievable place to watch a game.

Posted on April 20, 2012 at 2:47 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 238

That Husky stadium sort of reminds me of a European football (soccer to us Yanks!) stadium. Field uncovered, fans covered (for the most part).

I was watching some of the #Fenway100 coverage on mlb.com. Looks like a fantastic and historic day at the old ballpark. It was great to see so many former players on the field again.

Posted on April 20, 2012 at 3:02 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 239

I enjoyed the three games I saw at Fenway, one in 2003 and two in 2010. Should you ever go, you really have to get the right seat, however.

The 2003 game, Red Sox vs. Yankees in the bleachers, was an adventure. The 2010 games were both seen from the relatively new upper tier seating, one game down the third base/left field line, the other down the first base/right field line. Due to their recent construction, both of those areas have unobstructed views and considerably more legroom than most seats as well as fairly roomy, uncovered concourses.

I made it a goal to get us the most comfortable seats with the best view possible in 2010. There are some seats to definitely avoid down the right field line. They face directly at the Green Monster and into the twilight sun in the early evening. These seats require the occupants to turn their heads at a 90 degree angle, just like down lower left field at the Dome, in order to see the plate while looking back through a web of posts and with a narrow seat and little legroom to boot. It's a mystery as to how anyone can really enjoy themselves from those seats. The occupants are apparently often tourists or locals who get to maybe a game or two per year tops. Regulars try to avoid them.

Posted on April 20, 2012 at 3:58 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 240

GoAUpher,

I took a look back at the legislation which created Target Field to see if I could divine an answer to your question.

Unfortunately, I cannot.

Here's the critical section:

Subd. 10. Sales and use tax.

(a) Notwithstanding section 477A.016, or other law, the governing body of the county may by ordinance, impose a sales and use tax at the rate of 0.15 percent for the purposes listed in this section. The taxes authorized under this section and the manner in which they are imposed are exempt from the rules of section 297A.99, subdivisions 2 and 3. The provisions of section 297A.99, except for subdivisions 2 and 3, apply to the imposition, administration, collection, and enforcement of this tax.

(b) The tax imposed under this section is not included in determining if the total tax on lodging in the city of Minneapolis exceeds the maximum allowed tax under Laws 1986, chapter 396, section 5, as amended by Laws 2001, First Special Session chapter 5, article 12, section 87, or in determining a tax that may be imposed under any other limitations.

There is additional language in this law which appears to limit everything to the construction of a baseball stadium. But there is a lot of language like that above which refers to other statutes or sections of statutes which are either repealed or deemed as inapplicable to this bill. Without a whole lot of research, I can't say for sure what each part does. Also, I suppose it's possible that parts of this statute were amended later in a low profile manner.

Suffice it to say that the Hennepin County attorneys know this stuff backwards and forwards, and it's unlikely that Opat would be out there with these claims unless he was reasonably sure they were true.

It's most definitely not like the problematic Minneapolis charter amendment, which specifically imposed a referendum on any stadium expenditures over $10M.

Posted on April 20, 2012 at 4:23 PM by Rick 241

Thanks Rick. I read the same sections and came away with the same feeling.

In the meantime, does anyone else find it interesting how freaked out folks are getting as Wilf and the NFL play the exact cards everyone expected them to play?

Posted on April 20, 2012 at 8:58 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 242

The SKY IS FALLING AND THE VIKINGS ARE MOVING TO L.A. !!!!!

Posted on April 20, 2012 at 10:41 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 243

Yea the Deli in the Legends Club directly behind the Press Box is very good. I've had the pastrami sandwich several times and it is fantastic. Someone had the turkey with cranberry sauce on a fresh roll in front of me that looked equally good.

Random Thought: The Red Sox play the Yankees in Sunday night's national ESPN game with an 8:05 EST start. If the game goes their usual 3.5-4 hours (conservative) they are looking at an awfully late/early arrival into MSP. Definite schedule advantage on Monday although I'd just about guarantee that Jon Lester flies ahead of the team on Sunday...

Posted on April 20, 2012 at 10:54 PM by Max Highlight this comment 244

From the StarTribune (linky!):

"Vikings, NFL are past stage of bluffing"...

So, in other words, they've been bluffing up to now?

Posted on April 21, 2012 at 08:21 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 245

No offense to Mark Craig, but he doesn't have a clue what he's talking about. Minnesota in 2012 is most definitely not Cleveland in 1995.

And this is particularly hilarious:

"Good or bad. Yea or nay. In or out. Just make a decision!"

No decision is a decision -- and a good one under the current conditions. The Vikes are not in dire straits right now, no matter what anyone wants us to think. They are actually primed to get a deal done before the kickoff of the 2013 season, and the whole thing is in their hands.

Posted on April 21, 2012 at 11:37 AM by Rick 246

So, when you get right down to it, the real sticking point here is that the Hennepin financing requires a North Loop location, and that location reduces (but does not eliminate) the amount of parking revenue Zygi can get.

If that truly is the only real sticking point the solution seems fairly straight forward to me. Simply have Hennepin and Zygi work out a revenue sharing deal. On game day, the Vikings would receive a percentage of the parking revenue generated by the ramps.

Posted on April 21, 2012 at 3:33 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 247

Actually, the ABC ramps are controlled by the city. Hennepin could not make such a deal.

I'm racking my brains to remember for sure, but I don't think the Twins get any cut from gameday revenues in those ramps. And I have a feeling that's how it's going to work out with the Vikings.

And that is the real sticking point, I suppose.

Posted on April 21, 2012 at 4:15 PM by Rick 248

Congrats to former Twins pitcher Philip Humber in pitching the 21st Perfect Game in MLB History.

Posted on April 21, 2012 at 5:35 PM by tk Highlight this comment 249

0 for 7 with RISP last night. OUCH!

Posted on April 22, 2012 at 08:32 AM by terry Highlight this comment 250

Damn Twins...they send players and pitchers away and THEN they do the amazing stuff AFTER they leave Minnesota.

Has any Twins ACTIVE pitcher ever pitched a perfect game?

Posted on April 22, 2012 at 12:03 PM by luke (aka 3-159) Highlight this comment 251

Jack Kralick came the closest. In his '62 no-hitter, he had a perfect game until with one out in the 9th George Alusik fouled off one 3-2 pitch and then walked on the next pitch. He was the only man to reach base against Kralick.

Posted on April 22, 2012 at 12:28 PM by terry Highlight this comment 252

Luke Hughes should be hitting for the cycle any day now.

Posted on April 22, 2012 at 2:52 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 253

Following Miguel Sano in Beloit?
16 games, 6 HR, 18 RBI, 13 BB, 16 SO, .315 BA, .456 OBP, .741 SLG, 1.197 OPS

Posted on April 22, 2012 at 10:19 PM by Paul Highlight this comment 254

So that means the Twins will bring Sano up sometime in 2015?

Posted on April 23, 2012 at 10:06 AM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 255

A team that has gone 1 for 15 with runners in scoring position the last two games could be looking at any level for hitting help before the season is done.

Posted on April 23, 2012 at 10:17 AM by terry Highlight this comment 256

No, he will be traded for a PTBNL

Posted on April 23, 2012 at 10:18 AM by tk Highlight this comment 257

Heading into the season, I never anticipated not being able to even get bites at my tickets 40% off the STH ticket price for a Boston series.

Posted on April 23, 2012 at 10:20 AM by tk Highlight this comment 258

TK, a big problem is that the Red Sox stink right now, too, so none of the teams' fans want to go!

Posted on April 23, 2012 at 10:41 AM by BR Highlight this comment 259

Getting the Red Sox in April for a weekday series isn't helping ticket resellers either. A June or July series, even midweek, would be an entirely different story.

Posted on April 23, 2012 at 10:46 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 260

BR, I completely know why...I should have written a more complete thought. I find it funny how the Twins are continuing to push their tickets at their new full price when the market is super-saturated with cheap tickets.

Posted on April 23, 2012 at 10:48 AM by tk Highlight this comment 261

I wrote to Mark Craig about the Cleveland situation years ago and discovered he had most of the facts wrong--and he was there for pete's sake. I wouldn't rely on him to report on anything.

Posted on April 23, 2012 at 10:49 AM by Piggy Wilf Highlight this comment 262

It seems like last weeks stadium push has already slowed.

Posted on April 23, 2012 at 10:50 AM by tk Highlight this comment 263

The link above has pictures of the stadium. The quality may not be the best, but I was using a 10mp point and shoot Nikon.

On Wednesday, April 18th, I attended, with the girlfriend, the Chicago Cubs vs. the Miami Marlins game at Marlins Park. The temperature was 83 degrees, with a low of 72. We arrived at the stadium at 6pm for the 7pm game. Driving up to the city, we could see the roof was open, and it stayed open the entire game. I bought tickets online about a month before I went down, and also bought a parking pass for the First Base Parking ramp. Not knowing the area, I figured it was $15, well spent, and comparable to the ABC ramps. Oddly enough I was able to choose between regular parking and reserved parking for no extra charge. It was funny seeing the rented Chevy Aveo parked next to Range Rovers and BMWs. Very nice parking facility, and no booths, about eight attendants standing at the entrance with ticket readers scanning the parking passes. They were all around after the game and waved to everyone as they left, and were very nice, I wondered how long that will last.

I was staying in West Palm Beach, so the drive , normally an hour, was about an hour and forty-five due to rush hour traffic/construction. Once we was in Miami, it was a quick exit of the freeway, over the Miami River and into the parking garage. It only took 5 minutes, from freeway exit to parking, very quick and smooth. On the way in, it reminded me of the State Fair. Being in a neighborhood, as opposed to an urban core, there a numerous residential properties, and almost every single one was being used as a parking lot. After parking we made our way to the stadium.

The parking ramp exits just to the south of the plaza under the retracted roof, which at this time of night, did not block any sun, and was high enough up that you forget about it. I would put it at a mix between Target Plaza and the Vikings Plaza, people milling about, but also a large stage, and larger video screen, with people yelling out contests from some radio station or something. Walking up to the building I noticed the field was built at ground level, so we had to walk up the ramp to get to the main concourse. The circulation ramps, are much nicer than Target Field’s, mostly because they are spread out and open to the environment, so instead of an enclosed, back and forth, airport security feeling, it is a nice round easy ascent (decent). Also something about Palm Trees adds to the environment.

Getting to the main concourse level, it was very similar to the Target Field‘s, with it being open to the playing field but there were three things I noticed right away. First, off being that it was a retractable roof stadium, but the concourse felt much more open, then I realized it was because there was no ceiling to the concourse, it continued up, exposing the cement from the grandstands above. In addition it allowed natural light in from the big windows on the building. The second was the floor, it was covered in an non-skid rubberized material, much like the product used on garage floors. It provided more color (red or yellow/green) mixed with white which reflected the natural light making it seem lighter and added to the openness of the concourse. The last thing was the way Standing Room areas were handled, there were no railings or painted areas people could walk right to the back of the seats in front. That being said, I don’t know how they worked the Handicap seating.

Walking around the concourse they had numerous small walk up bars, including a big Budweiser one in front of the glass doors in left field. Again with the high ceilings, these felt much more open than the Captain’s Deck at Target Field. Stopped by a concession stand, we each had a hot dog and beer, which ran about $28, The dog was pricier, but it actually had some taste to it, and the bun was fresh. One thing that annoyed me was the rotating menu boards. It rotated between Spanish and English. Smart idea giving the population, but it sucks when all the boards switch over at the same time, so then you are stuck looking at an unknown language for about a minute. They probably could have altered the boards timing so one was in English while the other was in Spanish. Not a big deal, but it cost me some money, when I noticed they has a special deal on two hot dogs, soft drinks and a bag of peanuts all for $13, which I thought was a pretty good deal, but didn’t notice it until my card had already gone through, due to the not knowing Spanish thing. All in all it would saved me by peanuts later in the game. Also had a pizza, which was pretty good, except they used the diced pepperoni instead of sliced.

Continuing around they have wrapped the pillars in the granstand portion of the stadium with the starting lineup for the day, I only noticed Miami players, but truth be told, I stopped paying attention to them. The next part may make Ben cream himself. They had a BobbleHead Hall of Fame, one AL side, one NL side, I attempted to get pictures of all the Twins ones. It appears they have or attempted to get all the bobble heads each team has release and has placards for the ones coming this year. The view of the Miami skyline from behind home plate was impressive and reminded me of the early drawing of the then unnamed Target Field with Minneapolis rising up behind center field.

I also noticed they had seats behind a screen in the right field wall, next to the bullpen. Which seemed like it may be a pretty cool place to watch the game.

Getting to my seats, obviously the first things you notice are the green walls, the home run celebration (more on that later), and the 1984 video board which seems to loom over the field. As I have posted, in person the green walls are not as glaring as in pictures or on TV, and I actually thought it looked good.

Looking in towards home plate, the lower bowl has much the same design as Target Field. The one thing I noticed was the moat area is less pronounced, I assume due to the blue tile used on the walls as opposed to the tan limestone in Target Field. The suites and press box were stacked together, but also had a few suites run down the each baseline. As much press that was made that the Marlins put aquariums in the backstop, you really can see them too well unless you are behind home plate. From my seats, with my back to it, I did not even notice the roof. The seats themselves were comfortable (and wide) enough, and had decent leg room where neither I (6’2), nor my girlfriend (5’11) felt cramped. They did appear to be the exact blue of the Metrodome seats.

Moving on to the game itself, The Marlins had the same between innings gimmicks and contests. Two things different, they pushed tickets a lot more than the Twins, and smartly, used a really attractive women, a former Miami Heat Cheerleader (Google: Katherine Akra), instead of the dopy guy from the Carsoup commercials.

The stadium had two video boards one over center field, the other in the left field corner. Both are use much more wisely than either of the boards at target field and give you a tremendous amount of statistical information. The Twins should learn from this, and better utilize they video boards. But like the Twins coaches, the Game Presentation people may still be stuck thinking they are playing in the Metrodome.

The Marlins did hit two home runs, I captured one of the celebration with the camera. The sign is glaring and obnoxious, but the one thing you have to give it, is that it actually does something which in my opinion makes it infinite times better that Minnie and Paul. Because when you really think about it, two dude shaking hands after a home run is almost as stupid as a milk jug that lights up. I guess the one thing that would make ours unique would be if after a home run, instead of high fiving, everyone would turn to each other and shake hands like Minnie and Paul, but that would seem far too much like church. Although I may give it a try tonight.

The field at Marlins Park would be the one thing I would say was a negative. It had no discernible patterned and was half yellow in color, it made Target Field look like Augusta National. Which given my previous posts is saying a lot.

What I did find funny is people are making fun that the Twins no longer have a waiting list for season tickets, well the Marlins could not even muster 26,000 against the Cubs that night in a brand new stadium. They are in a lot more trouble than the Twins are, especially with Reyes new contract.

Leaving the stadium took a bit longer than getting in. All in all it took about 25 minutes from getting to the car to getting out of the traffic on the freeway. I mostly attribute this to the really bad driving of Floridians. Mostly the people would wait to the very last second so not have to wait in traffic, then cut over into the turn lane, causing everyone to slam on their brakes. Had I known the area better, I am sure I could have found a better route, but I didn’t and instead took it out on one of the people trying to get over at the last second. After waiting 20 minutes, I didn’t let him move over, then his buddy in the passenger seat began yelling at me, so I left them with a few choice explicatives and went on my way. Was back in West Palm in less than an hour from that point on.

Over all they did a great job with the stadium, for the most part it doesn’t feel like a retractable roof stadium, with a few exceptions. It was a fun experience, and may consider doing it again if the Twins play down there.

The pictures on Flikr for some reason posted in reverse chronological order, so if you want to see them as I took them, and for most part, wrote about them, start on page three with the pictures of the exterior. The one of the stadium with the roof closed, was taken a few days prior when we was on the way back from Key West.

Any Questions let me know.

Posted on April 23, 2012 at 11:02 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 264

My editing sucks, ignore the grammical errors please, such as we was.

Posted on April 23, 2012 at 11:03 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 265

I guess the one thing that would make ours unique would be if after a home run, instead of high fiving, everyone would turn to each other and shake hands like Minnie and Paul, but that would seem far too much like church. Although I may give it a try tonight.

Quick TK post pics of the Shakin shirts and the pics of you guys doing this. I get people asking about the shirt every time I wear mine. Maybe we need to bring them back and try to revive "Shakin for Homers".

Posted on April 23, 2012 at 11:47 AM by Jared Highlight this comment 266

The Strib throws some light on who the real decision-makers are in this town.

Given the great skill of the individuals involved, and the unwillingness of any to be interviewed for the article, it's extremely difficult to read between the lines on this occasion.

On the one hand, the Downtown Council came out publicly a few months ago as being in favor of a stadium district by Target Field. And Griffith was critical of the funding plan's inclusion of Target Center.

On the other hand, the article includes this:

While Griffith and the Downtown Council initially advocated a stadium on the west side of downtown, they eventually warmed to the Metrodome site. Noting that he spent "most of Friday in [an architecture and engineering firm's] office" outlining a plaza next to the stadium, he forwarded designs of what the project could look like.

Remembering that I'm reading this in the Strib, which has acknowledged financial interests in the Metrodome site, one has to be very careful in assessing both the accuracy of such statements and whether they truly characterize what's going on. You also have to think that anyone sending emails to public officials had to realize they might one day become public. The fact that they now have should throw some ice on this little working group.

Basically, I'm reading this article (the most interesting stadium-related coverage in months) trying to get clues as to whether the winds have changed and these very powerful people may have decided to line up behind the current plan in order to get something done now. Or whether, as I suspect, they have simply tried to look like they were helping the mayor and his plan, and doing so for self-serving reasons (which also helps win Strib loyalties).

I think it's significant that the article was not written by Mike Kaszuba, the Strib's stadium guru, and that while the article mentions "A month's worth of e-mails" that they've reviewed not a single one is quoted. That could suggest a shot fired across someone's bow. In fact, this is the second article about this email correspondence between business leaders and lawmakers, and it includes more detail than the first, although not much more.

But I come away from the article empty-handed. I can't draw any conclusion.

As I review what has happened in the last week, it still looks to me like nothing has changed. Pushing this stadium plan through still looks doubtful, and even if it does get pushed through, it looks like the type of plan which is unlikely to result in the construction of an actual stadium.

The Strib article leaves me with the impression that games are being played, but it's very difficult for anybody outside of this inner circle to understand the rules or implications of anybody's actions.

Posted on April 23, 2012 at 12:38 PM by Rick 267

Duffman,

Thanks for the detailed report on Miami! (I highlighted it to make sure it doesn't get missed by anybody. If you want to make any edits, let me know. Sorry if my Vikings aside detracts from it.)

Let me second your thoughts on Minnie and Paul. Even at night, it's a decidedly underwhelming celebration feature. Maybe if it did what it does in the animated commercial...

I also love the idea of featuring the starting line-up more prominently. For one thing, it looks like an afterthought on the ribbon boards, and it disappears regularly for commercials. It would be great if, as you walked down the concourse after entering a gate (it could appear in multiple locations), the players for today's game would be featured prominently.

Posted on April 23, 2012 at 12:55 PM by Rick 268

Looking at Duffman's pic of the Miami scoreboard made me think: for all of the hype surrounding their appearance, size, quantity, the scoreboards at TF are quite a let-down. Lots of wasted space and canned, static info. There is never a good reason for the two bigscreens to simultaneously display identical information. One or the other, or both, should continually display evolving game-related information, along with both teams' lineups, during the entire game -- even between half-innings. That way, I can use that time to either watch the real-life Minne-so-tah characters cavort around the warning track or I can learn something new about the relief pitcher jogging in or review past at-bats of the batters due up. The ribbons could scroll useful game information, too, not just advertising or blaring garbage about MORNEAU'S MOUNTIES, et al. The only cool thing I can honestly say I really love about the display is the instantly changing batting averages or ERA numbers. Those are fun.

Posted on April 23, 2012 at 3:51 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 269

I think it's a sad commentary on the TF scoreboards that when I read Duffman's point about the better info in Miami I couldn't come up with a memory of how the MN boards look. They just aren't useful enough to be memorable to me.

Posted on April 23, 2012 at 4:21 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 270

I find the ribbon boards very difficult to read because of the color scheme -- well, that and the fact that all the collections of numbers use the same color scheme.

To find out the current count, for example, I routinely have to scan a ribbon board once or twice, and make a conscious note of which part is the count and which part is something else which looks similar like, say, the line score.

As for the big boards, I love it when I can find the inning summary up above the Grandstand, but it isn't always there. So I've sort of abandoned that and switched to using my phone when I miss something.

When your phone, which requires digging out of your pocket, unlocking, and navigating around, is more useful than the big boards which you can just glance at, there's definitely a problem.

Posted on April 23, 2012 at 5:01 PM by Rick 271

I have to scan all the boards to find the count. Some things, e.g. the count and the lineups should always be displayed and always in the same location.

Posted on April 23, 2012 at 5:10 PM by terry Highlight this comment 272

Duff, how did you make your post green? very nice discussion on Marlins Park. I guess one can jeer at it all they want, but maybe it's different being there huh?
You say the roof was in fact open during the entirety of the game huh? Funny, they were thinking they'd have it CLOSED for 90 % of their games there this year. I hope they find that the roof was a horrible waste of money and regret putting it up there.

interesting about the TF scoreboards and the info they provide, I have to agree. having said that, I discovered an interesting article from Daktronics, supplier of the scoreboards at TF, and about a software upgrade they made this year. They have a picture of what they're doing at GABP in Cincy, which is very nice...shows what each batter did in each inning.

I do believe TF does something to that effect, but I like the way Cincy displays it. Looking at the way GABP does it, I visualized the Twins putting something like it on Twins Tower. Would look a little bit like the place towers at Indy Motor Speedway and other large racing tracks. Clicky.

Posted on April 23, 2012 at 5:12 PM by luke (aka 4-158) Highlight this comment 273

The KC big board blows away the TF board for function. It shows both lineups through the whole game, instead of big blocks of logos and other wasted space.

Posted on April 23, 2012 at 5:28 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 274

Luke,

Save up your newspaper route money and buy a clue, OK?

Posted on April 23, 2012 at 8:00 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 275

Great. TK in the booth:

7:05... "Richard, I'll just let you call the game and I'll just be quiet and perhaps try to contribute where I can."

7:10 to present -- Non-stop interruptions and rambling and mumbling about what we're going to pitch to get that 6-4-3 and get him to roll it over and get that ground ball at somebody and... oh, you know, your really gotta hand it to a guy like Mr. Sal-ta..la-macch.ia... hitting that one out and now working hard behind the plate but we are putting a good swing on it too and doing a wonderful job and Span is going to be putting up some good numbers and you gotta be happy about that at bat.

TK, You-kil-is.

Posted on April 23, 2012 at 8:15 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 276

lol Schweady. It's sort of like listening to John Madden in the booth, "Great football players play great football. And great football makes a great game." lol.

TTH, are YOU the one who did the voice over for the Common Man's "KFAN yawn"? Be honest now. God you rip on everybody's comments. Be social for once.

Ah, "I always love that one"...lol.

Posted on April 23, 2012 at 8:25 PM by luke (aka 4-158) Highlight this comment 277

Game update from sec 105 row 7. Light rail trains stop at the TF station and can't go past anymore. There are concrete barriers blocking the tracks.

The drunks behind us were looking fer a doggie on the field that comes from the terr-git builds.

Self proclaimed hippies loves them some Doug Mientkewicz. hes a hottie. And apparently have a little Tarzan in them.

Danny Valencia still knows how to hit the ball...a long ways. Blind squirrel?

Posted on April 23, 2012 at 8:36 PM by jared Highlight this comment 278

Why cant LRT go past? I thought that was a holding area for trains, especially after games?

Posted on April 23, 2012 at 9:58 PM by luke (aka 3-159) Highlight this comment 279

What is it about having a runner at third with nobody out that seems to incapacitate Twins hitters?

Posted on April 23, 2012 at 10:10 PM by terry Highlight this comment 280

Just guessing here, but maybe they don't want to block the pedestrian crossing outside gate 6 with the light rail trains?

Posted on April 23, 2012 at 10:11 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 281

Nice to see the 60's throwbacks back in action tonight! Wish the Twins would wear these more frequently, but not full-time as I also enjoy the regular whites.

Anyone else find it odd that this week's "steal of the week" ticket deal is for Yankees-Twins in late September?

June-July-August tend to be pretty good months for attendance, but to promote a late September "premium" game vs Yankees in April as a "steal of the week?"

Posted on April 23, 2012 at 10:42 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 282

They have placed the concrete barriers just on the inside of the crossing. It appears as though, like what F_T_K said, they are leaving that pedestrian crossing open and free flowing at all times now and staging LRT riders on the middle platform. I didn't see how that actually affected pedestrian traffic tonight since we left were able to get out before the large majority of the traffic.

Posted on April 23, 2012 at 11:13 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 283

Hitting the game tonight. Free tickets. Should be some great weather anyways. Holiday station stop on the way in. May try the ribs latter in the game. They need to fire the Larry Devito. The field looks like a mess already. Poor cut pattern and you can see the patches in the outfield. From 40 games the last 2 years to maybe 3-4. It was a nice run. Did they boo the Mad Crapper after he gave up the homer? I knew the game was over once he took the field.

Posted on April 24, 2012 at 09:54 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 284

The barriers and changes at the light rail station are in preparation for the Interchange project. Clicky for the link.

Posted on April 24, 2012 at 10:19 AM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 285

Yes, cream pinstripes were nice to see last night. on the scoreboard topic, I found the "in-game box score" interesting on the grandstand videoboard. Like Rick, said, though, it wasn't consistent throughout the game...sometimes they would give the inning-so-far details, but with no apparent system.

At the home opener my scorecard was thrown into immediate disarray even before first pitch after they posted lineups (for about 30 seconds) on the big board that showed Callaspo batting 3rd and playing first. No Pujols?? Game 2 for me last night was a much better scorecard effort.

Posted on April 24, 2012 at 10:59 AM by fiesta Highlight this comment 286

On the Capps HR, that was not a terrible pitch to Ross. Ross just went the other way with it.

Posted on April 24, 2012 at 11:38 AM by tk Highlight this comment 287

Hitters can hit home runs on low pitches from Capps and Marquis when they are only 90 MPH.

Posted on April 24, 2012 at 11:46 AM by FD Highlight this comment 288

The barriers and changes at the light rail station are in preparation for the Interchange project. Clicky for the link.

This makes sense. I didn't even think to connect the two. Haven't been following that project too closely.

Posted on April 24, 2012 at 12:11 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 289

Of all the vexations of modern life this is a pretty mild one, but it is irritating nonetheless. Why does MLB start schlepping those All-Star ballots when the season is barely underway? I seem to recall that when fan voting started in about 1970, they waited a couple months before ballotting began. Now ballots practically come with the refrigerator magnets on opening day. Why not wait and see who is having an all-star year before we vote for the all-stars?

Posted on April 24, 2012 at 12:17 PM by terry Highlight this comment 290

Because the All-Star game is not about who is playing well, it's just a popularity contest?

Posted on April 24, 2012 at 12:52 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 291

You're right F_T_K and that is why every year there seems to be at least one guy among the top vote getters who has been on the DL all season and hasn't played a game. And there always seems to be some guy from the Yankees who is hitting .212 but who nonetheless has more votes than a guy from KC or Minnesota who is batting .340.

Posted on April 24, 2012 at 1:08 PM by terry Highlight this comment 292

I guess the one thing that would make ours unique would be if after a home run, instead of high fiving, everyone would turn to each other and shake hands like Minnie and Paul, but that would seem far too much like church. Although I may give it a try tonight.

That is exactly what my friends and family have been doing after each homerun since the place opened. We even shake hands at bars or at home watching the game. We love that goofy new tradition.

Too true about the poor scoreboard info. I saw a Twins/Royals series at The K in '09 and was totally excited for our new big board to be just as informative. It ain't. Boo. I disliked the uselessness of it and barrage of advertizing on it so much, I moved my season tickets to the lower level left field bleachers just so I didn't have to see it anymore.

Posted on April 24, 2012 at 02:45 AM by bites Highlight this comment 293

I don't think you blame Capps for that homer. It was a good pitch -- good choice, good location. Ross just nailed it. That happens. I bet Ross was as surprised as anybody.

Once again, when you look at last night, you see all the missed opportunities to put up runs. The offense nearly won that game last night, but ultimately lost it.

Posted on April 24, 2012 at 2:18 PM by Rick 294

Some guys were talking on the radio about Punto. Apparently the Twins had a shot at him this past offseason and took a pass. The salient point, for me, was one guy saying that the Twins are an "average to below average team" (with which I agree) and that if a team is unable to play well why not, at least, play with some "grit" (Punto, young/rebuilding type players?). Anybody else think that a few more dirty uniforms might at least make for some fun watching?

Posted on April 24, 2012 at 2:23 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 295

The endgame on the Vikings stadium this year appears to be just throwing it out and seeing what happens. There also appears to be some prep work underway to use it as a campaign issue:

Rep. Morrie Lanning, (R-Moorhead) "said vote counting in the House had begun and that Republicans, who hold 54 percent of the seats in the House, would vote for a stadium in proportionate numbers." (Vikings stadium revived, rolling)

That's language you don't hear very often. Basically, he's saying that there will be enough Republican votes that they will be able to shift blame to the Democrats if it fails. That's very typical maneuvering, of course, but you hardly ever hear such an open admission of what's going on.

They also appear to be positioning the Legislature to say 'yes' and the city of Minneapolis to say 'no', thus making the city the fall guy instead of the Legislature. They do this by leaving the referendum requirement in the bill. (Though it's hard to track all that's going on, I think that's where it stands right now.)

And there was this little disheartening note from today's MinnPost coverage:

"Some of the things that were supposed to help actually may have hindered the effort. Over the weekend, for example, hundreds of Vikings fans sent emails to legislators pushing for support. But in many cases, the language in those emails was threatening and obscene, which likely did more to hurt the team's chances than to help.

"Additionally, about 50 Vikings fans showed up at the Capitol Monday to lobby for the stadium. This was not a politically savvy group and in at least one case, they were upset at a legislator for something she didn't do."

One might think that Vikings fans would be more interested in breaking stereotypes rather than reinforcing them...

Posted on April 24, 2012 at 2:28 PM by Rick 296

I was only half joking when I suggested a few months back that Nick Punto was a significant part of the reason the Cardinals, who had no business being in the playoffs, let alone the World Series, actually won.

He may very well have meant more to the Twins' self-image than we were all willing to give him credit for back in the day.

But if it's Nick Punto versus Bobby Valentine for the heart of the Red Sox, I don't think LNP stands a chance. Bring back Tito!

Posted on April 24, 2012 at 2:32 PM by Rick 297

So many people blaming Capps and Gardenhire on last night's loss but what about about a runner on third base with no outs and the 3-4-5 hitters coming up? Mauer swinging the bat just ONCE in that at-bat? To me, that was the most frustrating part of last night leaving Carroll stranded at third base during the bottom of the 8th inning. Most Twins fans could probably have assumed the Twins would leave Carroll stranded at third base, and sure enough...

Than you have people who are complaining that Gardenhire left Marquis in too long? The same people would complain if Gardenhire took out Marquis too early if he had hit that "100 pitch count"...Bottom line, Marquis was doing a good job and felt fine and wanted to go out for the 7th inning. And it's not like the Twins have the greatest bullpen either...I am not defending Gardenhire by any means, its just one of those tough decisions a manager faces from time to time.

Posted on April 24, 2012 at 2:32 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 298

I think the game played out the way it should of as far as personnel and decisions. I think Mike is spot on that the M&M boys have to come through in that instant.

I have been talking lately about how Valencia has been pressing and needs to relax. Hopefully yesterdays game wakes him up. I was calling for a Burroughs start in Tampa.

Posted on April 24, 2012 at 2:39 PM by tk Highlight this comment 299

Also, you have the decision by Valentine, do you leave Lester in to face Willingham and have a Lefty versus Morneau, whould they reach that point.

Valentine paces in the dugout and gives his pitcher the confidence to make a good pitch to Willingham and end the threat...

Posted on April 24, 2012 at 2:41 PM by tk Highlight this comment 300

Not sure what happened to my last post...

It was suppose to be something like this...

When the Twins were threatening with Mauer on and Willingham up at the plate, knowing that a lefty Morneau was up next, Valentine does not go and make a move and leaves Lester in to take care of Willingham, in case Willingham should reach.

Valentine paces in the dugout and gives his pitcher the confidence to make a good pitch to Willingham and end the threat...

Posted on April 24, 2012 at 2:43 PM by tk Highlight this comment 301

I have no problem with the Marquis issue but the RISP situation is quickly becoming as sour a joke as it was all last year. Mauer should sell his bats and donate the money to charity - although he might want to save one for slapping meaningless singles.

Posted on April 24, 2012 at 2:46 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 302

One might think that Vikings fans would be more interested in breaking stereotypes rather than reinforcing them...

Yea, far too many aren't able to discuss the stadium rationally or in a way that makes sense. To these folks if it wasn't for the "Minneapolis Mafia" the team would be breaking ground in Arden Hills.

The bill getting voted down in the House committee simply brought out the stupid. It resulted in a wail of "THEY'RE GONE!" and "EVERYONE MUST HEAR ABOUT HOW ANGRY I AM!" and "EFF ALL POLITICIANS EVERYWHERE!" and the like. This doesn't surprise me one bit.

Posted on April 24, 2012 at 2:48 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 303

Re: Reinforcing rather than breaking stereotypes

Anyone who read the overheated rhetoric that was regularly being posted on this site a few months ago should not be surprised by this.

Posted on April 24, 2012 at 3:39 PM by terry Highlight this comment 304

All I can think of is that crazy Vikings fan Larry Spooner who camps out at the Capital and wears his Vikings jersey and cap to all of the committee hearings. Just google "Minnesota Vikings Larry Spooner" and you will know who I am talking about. I applaud his efforts to keep the Vikings in Minnesota, but does he have a life outside of the Vikings? Just look at the picture in my link with Lester Bagley and the rest of the committee laughing at him. Do you think the Wilfs and the Vikings really care what this person thinks?

Posted on April 24, 2012 at 3:44 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 305

terry,

Surprised, no. Disheartened, yes.

Mike,

Maybe the Vikings are paying that guy. He does seem to provide enthusiasm and comic relief...

The MinnPost article I linked above has a long segment about how bad the Vikings' lobbying efforts have been. Whatever they're paying their lobbyists, they're not getting their money's worth.

In other words, if they aren't paying that guy, they should be.

Posted on April 24, 2012 at 4:22 PM by Rick 306

More than the Vikings and their official activist arm, I blame the unofficial arms for some of the negative stuff amongst the fans such as people sending profanity laced emails, making overly angry phone calls, cyber bullying while spamming up legislators' Twitter feeds, and acting like stereotypically mindless football fans at public meetings and hearings. The act of showing up in a jersey is not a negative thing. When people are acting like it's a football Sunday and behave towards people with opposing or on the fence views like they're Packers fans in the Metrodome concourse, it's too much.

By unofficial arms, I'll come out and say SaveTheVikes.org. That outfit has done some good work via focusing fans and keeping the fire burning. However, its lack of political savvy, even understanding how to direct people on basic stuff to avoid alienating potential allies or galvanizing enemies, is pretty jarring. The group, which to a great extent is really one guy at the helm, will deserve some credit when it's all said and done, but will deserve a little blame if this thing dies in the legislature.

Posted on April 24, 2012 at 4:30 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 307


This page was last modified on April 11, 2012.



"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 3045 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.


The visitor's clubhouse at Target Field. (Photo by Javen Swanson)



Looking north (toward Fifth Street and the LRT station).









7:52 PM It's nearing peak, and covering the stands behind third base.






Outside, lots of window space



Trees also have sprouted near the topiaries



Glass!



Photo by Tyler Wycoff



Here we are waiting for the first train to arrive at the station (Nov 14).



The admin building (note TF logo on banner)






Stepping inside the circulation building



Crosswalk taking shape.



2014 Twins ASG promo bat.






Click to enlarge.






Look closely and you'll see limestone on the front of the press box!






This will be a great sight on game nights.



"I've never seen them do that before," said a Metropolitan Club waiter as I snapped this picture.



I think AP is in there somewhere...



The dish!



I love this view of the Basilica.



That is the gun-metal gray wall of The Stadium just beyond the elevated tracks.



Miller Park: Gymnasium with skylight (Source: RP)



Wrigley Field. Paradise? Not from these seats.



This is the area above the pro shop, with some new support structure



The wooden louvers are in on Fifth Street



Click to see the whole page from this 1971 program.






A sharp-eyed reader caught me trying to make the best of a bad situation with my SP-570UZ on Sunday afternoon






A final glimpse from the street of stadia installation along the left field line






TF: template-based?



Go get 'em, boys!



You are forgiven for wondering whether architect Tom Oslund is, in fact, a visitor from the future.



Press box, hallway to the print room



This view clearly shows the curve in the left field stands and the relationship of the first row with the playing field (no overhang to speak of in left).



A portrait of the 573 Club.



Dancing for the cameras



The electronic sign has been corrected (and never forget that ballpark is one word, not two)



Though there's nothing there now, you have to believe they'll find a way to add a party deck up there at some point.



Ticket window at Gate 29/Carew









Delmon Young getting warmed up


Glossary

BPM - Ballpark Magic

BRT - Bus Rapid Transit

DSP - Dave St. Peter

FSE - Full Season Equivalent

FYS - Fake Yankee Stadium (see also: NYS)

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

HPB - Home Plate Box

HRP - Home Run Porch

LC - Legends Club

LRT - Light Rail Transit

MBA - Minnesota Ballpark Authority (will own Target Field)

MOA - Mall of America

MSFC - Minnesota Sports Facilities Commission (owns the Metrodome)

NYS - New Yankee Stadium

SRO - Standing Room Only

STH - Season Ticket Holder

TCFBS - TCF Bank Stadium

TF - Target Field

Selected Bibliography - Analysis
 


(1993)
 


First Edition (1992)
 


Second Edition (2006)
 


(2008)
 

Selected Bibliography - Surveys
 


(1975)
 


Second Edition (1987)
 


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


(2000, large coffee table)
 


Original edition (2000, round)
 


Revised edition (2006, round)
 


(2001, medium coffee table)
 


(2002, small coffee table)
 


(2003, medium coffee table)
 


(2004, very large coffee table)
 


(2006, very large coffee table)
 


Combines the previous two titles
(2007, medium coffee table)
 

Selected Bibliography - Nostalgia
 


(1992)
 


Book and six ballpark miniatures
(2004)
 

Complete Bibliography

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