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How Long Again?

March 18, 2013 12:47 AM

What do you do when a month is suffering from an identity crisis? Right now, March seems to think it is actually January (air temp this afternoon: 23; felt more like teens to me; 1 to 3 inches of snow hovering overhead as I write). Meanwhile, April waits on deck, its swing likely quite rusty. It will have barely awakened when we really need it to bring its "A" game.

Not that I'm nervous, but I do wonder just how cold it has to be before they call an opening day. Is there even such a temperature? 35? 30? 25? I seem to remember from the Met days that cold was basically ignored, while snow could cause a postponement, though it hardly ever happened. Of course, in those days they brought out the flamethrowers -- or worse, just plain gasoline and a match -- to melt the snow and dry the field. Helicopters would work for swampy conditions, but only flame worked on frozen ground.

We've come a long way, baby.

But I do wonder about poor Larry DiVito. He woke up the Target Field grass on schedule last week, painstakingly removing the blanket which protected it from the rest of Minnesota, then watched as the sky promptly showed an excess of disrespect. (Help needed from downtown skyscraper dwellers: Did the warmed field melt the precip?)

I'm glad that the Twins will open the season at home, and I hope to be there, but I do wonder about the wisdom of the scheduling. By my count, there are 14 ballparks essentially without early season weather concerns (Safeco included even though it's not fully climate-controlled), and 5 more where at least mildness is generally guaranteed. It would seem sensible to prioritize these during those first two weeks of the season. You would think that clubs in the north would even be in favor of this, if only because they stand to risk losing ticket sales if the weather is too cold for those earliest games.

This is not the only scheduling mystery, of course. The whole interleague schedule is especially perplexing this year. They really haven't found a gracious way to handle two 15-team leagues yet, but even that doesn't explain why they would schedule back-to-back two-game series. That's just plain weird.

So let me bring back my sure-fire way to make it work. Basically, the problem is that, when each league has an odd number of teams, you need at least one interleague series going on all the time. The only interleague series that anyone cares about are the so-called "rivalry" series (they also sell the most tickets). Putting those two things together makes it obvious (at least to me) that they need to have exactly one rivalry series going on at all times.

Each rivalry would get the spotlight, they would play real series against one another (three games in each ballpark), so there would be 30 series in all, evenly spaced throughout the season. As an example, the Twins could open the season in Milwaukee.

Once again, let me reiterate that I'm excited to be able to go to Target Field on the opening day of the season for the first time! (In 2010, after two exhibition games here, the Twins opened the season in Anaheim. In 2011, it was Toronto. In 2012, it was Baltimore.) It beats the crap out of the drive-by hot dog -- which is an awesome tradition, but something a little short of attending a real game.

Truth is, I'm ready. Just like my winter, my spring training has gotten a little long. I'm getting kind of tired of these weird games that look like, well they look sort of like real games -- but in an alternate universe where the ballparks are tiny and the average uniform number seems to be mathematically linked to the inning number. (Although, I do think the mini-monster at jetBlue Park is pretty cool -- what with the original Fenway scoreboard embedded and all.)

OK, I'll come out with it: I wish I were there. That's what is eating me up. I want to be hanging out at the ballpark again. And I want it bad! But I also want the games to count again. And I want the snow to be gone, and the Minnesota thermostat to be raised. I want the sunshine and the moonlit nights under the Minneapolis skyline. I want a freaking pulled pork sandwich and Minneapple Pie!

14 days until opening day. Really.

This summer will be my 50th on the planet, and in some ways I want it to never end (my birthday comes just as fall starts to get a little uppity with summer -- less a problem with each season's identity than a sloppy relay handoff). But right now, I can't wait for it to get started!

Comments


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As I read this, I glanced out the window and ... can you see where this is going ... it is snowing AGAIN! This winter has really over-stayed its welcome.

Posted on March 18, 2013 at 07:34 AM by terry Highlight this comment 1

I'm more worried about the condition of the isles/stairs/seats than the condition of the field. I can't imagine all the work that goes into melting and removing a whole winters worth of snow. Especially the areas shaded from the afternoon sun.

Posted on March 18, 2013 at 09:55 AM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 2

I stopped by the ballpark on Thursday and looked in. They had started removing the seat covers on the Legends Club seats, and other workers were clearing snow in the RF bleacher area. Sisyphean tasks of March!

Posted on March 18, 2013 at 10:26 AM by fiesta Highlight this comment 3

If only they had a well designed retractable roof!

I went to the noon game on April 28'th 2011, it was around 30 and light snow even then.

I'll never buy an advanced ticket in April again. Too much of a crap shoot.

Posted on March 18, 2013 at 11:35 AM by Dave Highlight this comment 4

TF grass is covered with snow again. Only bare area is the infield dirt.

Posted on March 18, 2013 at 11:41 AM by buzz Highlight this comment 5

If they want to make interleague games more interesting they should play the visiting team rules. Who really cares if the Marlins come to town, but if you were to play NL rules and allow the home teams fans to see their pitchers hit it would at least be an interesting change to the interleague games.

Posted on March 18, 2013 at 11:45 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 6

I guess two bad seasons and low expectations get you little consideration from the MLB schedule makers, but this year's slate is one of the worst I can recall seeing.

Last March not withstanding, April 1 is too soon to start in this part of the country and 15 of 25 home games in April is too many given the climate. A mere 9 home games in July is also inexcusable, only one weekend series makes it worse. Then we have the foolishness with the home and home Brewers series being reduced to two games apiece and played midweek. Getting 16 home games in September when this team will likely be well out of the race also won't help attendance. Conflicting with the Vikings on 3 Sundays that month also won't help the gate much either.

Obviously MLB has 29 other teams to accomodate and not every team can get what it wants, but the lack of common sense in the crafting of the 2013 schedule is maddening.

Posted on March 18, 2013 at 1:40 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 7

I have wondered year after year why MLB chooses to open the season in any northern non-dome ballpark and have warm weathered or domed ballpark teams open on the road.

This year we have Apr 1/2 games in MN, Chicago (Sox), Washington, NY (both teams), and Pittsburgh. Meanwhile, the Angels, Miami, San Diego, San Fran, Seattle (dome) and Texas open on the road. For some of those northern games the weather won't be an issue but they are practically begging for some poor weather cancellation dates, if not multiple cancellations in some cities. Remember the year Cleveland had to play their "home opener" in Milwaukee?

I understand your point, Rick, of having a true opening day here in MN, but from a logistics point of view it seems to be backwards thinking by MLB. Of course, last year we would have loved having a true opening day game here with a high temp of 61 on Apr 6 (and compare that to the high of 48 on the TF opener date).

Posted on March 18, 2013 at 2:09 PM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 8

Opening the season in northern cities has become more of a problem as MLB has moved opening day earlier and earlier. For most of the 20th Century the opener came about a week and a half to two weeks into April. Those 10 to 14 days make a difference in what we can expect the average weather to be.

Posted on March 18, 2013 at 2:32 PM by terry Highlight this comment 9

Bend and scoup Larry! No way this club should open up any season here before April 10th or even latter. Maybe they need to add more heaters again! Accuweather is saying icy morning with 1.2 inches of snow for April 1st! Not a 50 in sight for the next 2 weeks!!! Ohhhh nooooo!!!!! Put the blankie back on Larry!!!!

Posted on March 18, 2013 at 3:50 PM by twinfan Highlight this comment 10

Once again, AccuWeather is not very Accu on the Weather. It's March 18 for God's sake, as if they can see what's coming two weeks from now.
On average, in the 21 years at the Met, when did the Twinkies usually open at home?

We all know by now that global warming is a humungous farce. One giant lie that continues to earn a lot of money. Face it, we have an open-air ballpark (thank god), 8 times out of 10, it's going to be cold when we open up the season, regardless of where the date actually lies, whether it's the latter part of March, the second week of April or somewhere in between.

Posted on March 18, 2013 at 6:06 PM by luke Highlight this comment 11

Restraint, everyone. Remember who you're dealing with now.

Luke, let's have no talk radio evangelism polluting this here baseball site, please.

Posted on March 18, 2013 at 6:40 PM by Rick 12

"On average, in the 21 years at the Met, when did the Twinkies usually open at home?"

The typical opening day at The Met occurred on April 9th or 10th. In the 21 years that the Twins played at The Met, they opened at home five times. The average attendance at those openers was 24,124, with a high of 42,658, and a low of 15,388. While they didn’t open at home in 1970, their first home game, against Oakland, was played on April 11th, the following two games of the schedule were not played until much later in the year as part of double headers. This left the Twins with a three-day gap between games in the first week and a half of the season. I was unable to ascertain why the games were not played, but common sense would suggest the postponements were weather-related. After that, it was many years until the Twins hosted another season opener.

Posted on March 18, 2013 at 7:55 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 13

"Talk radio evangelism"? I am a bit lost on that one...lol

Posted on March 18, 2013 at 8:19 PM by luke Highlight this comment 14

That's why you fall for it.

Posted on March 19, 2013 at 05:38 AM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 15

Global warming is killing our spaceship mother earth! LOL! I do remember a beautiful 89 degree day in 1980 home opener on April 22nd! Don't remember much about the game after we plowed through a 16 gallon keg out tailgating in the lot! Might have rolled in about the 3rd or 4th inning!

Posted on March 19, 2013 at 10:00 AM by twinfan Highlight this comment 16

Sounds like a good day. And people here were against Tailgating space for the new Vikings stadium.

Posted on March 19, 2013 at 12:52 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 17

Apparently they tucked the TF grass back under the blanket before it snowed this weekend. All of the snow has melted except a little on the mound, baselines and batter’s box.

Posted on March 19, 2013 at 4:49 PM by buzz Highlight this comment 18

I am going to the Twins games on April 3rd and 4th here soon at TF and I am not worried about the weather too much. I went to an April 1st Gophers game and a March 27th Gophers game and the weather was not ideal, but I still enjoyed the game. I guess my point is I'd rather have outdoor baseball than indoor. All of the games I went to at the old Met were also fun no matter the weather.

Posted on March 19, 2013 at 5:02 PM by Tom D. Highlight this comment 19

Some things never change...

Scott Baker aka "Big Spot Scott" and "Moonshot Scott" will be sidelined to start the year for the Cubs after developing some fluid in his pitching elbow following his first start for the Cubs.

Posted on March 19, 2013 at 2:47 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 20

I always liked, "Bye Bye Baker."

Posted on March 20, 2013 at 05:34 AM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 21

At least the latest round of forecasts have improved dramatically for the week of April 1. Currently forecasting high of 54 with mostly sunshine. Even some lower 60's forecasted for that Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. I am going to the opener regardless so am not going to get worked up over the weather. At the end of the day, it is what it is and the field will be ready to play.

That Thursday April 4 noon game would be a good day to take off work with a high of 63 forecasted and mostly sunny :)

Posted on March 20, 2013 at 09:01 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 22

If you go to that noon game on April 4, whatever you do don't park in Luke's space!

Posted on March 20, 2013 at 09:47 AM by terry Highlight this comment 23

luke, if your views aren't in lock step with Minnesota liberalism you are in the same boat as right-wing talk show hosts...in some people's eyes.

Posted on March 20, 2013 at 08:39 AM by JamesT Highlight this comment 24

Hmm. I said "talk radio" and you heard "right-wing talk show hosts". And I'm not sure just what in that 21-word comment was "Minnesota liberalism". But, whatever.

Still, I'm just gonna guess that you prefer old-school scouting over sabermetrics.

Posted on March 20, 2013 at 10:12 AM by Rick 25

That's a definite improvement, but anyone going to the game should keep in mind that the low to mid 50s in the shade can be pretty chilly when you just sit there. I forget the temp for the exhibition Saturday game against the Cardinals in 2010, but it was fairly sunny that day and quite warm in the sun. However, it was quite cold in the shade and very windy on the upper tier. Plenty of fans got caught out by the weather that day. Anyone going to the home opener or April games ought to dress warmly, even more than they'd think is necessary.

Posted on March 20, 2013 at 10:24 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 26

Last night I did a little thought experiment: What if the Twins wanted to move a series to the Metrodome? Would it even be possible?

The game itself would be relatively easy, logistically-speaking, to move. Just basically treat it like any other road game.

But basically everything else would be nearly impossible. There would have to be a super-complicated and sure-to-displease-everyone relocation map for seating (with everyone still paying Target Field prices for Metrodome-quality seating and views), concessions and souvenirs would have to be brought along. Ushers, security, TV, radio, web, print press, the umpire rating gizmo, scoreboard programming, advertising...

I don't think it even could be done -- at least not without pissing off a whole bunch of people (and possibly breaking all sorts of contracts with vendors and advertisers). At the very least, it would be hugely disruptive and hugely expensive for the team.

But I wonder if some people (probably those in the relatively cheap seats) wouldn't get sort of a kick out of it...

Posted on March 20, 2013 at 10:26 AM by Rick 27

MinnPost has an interesting article today from someone who lives near the Metrodome and has heard through neighborhood groups that most of the surface parking around the new Vikings stadium is likely to stay just the way it is.

Only the last paragraphs indicate some wiggle room for optimism that the moonscape might get an upgrade:

More likely to alter the fate of Downtown East and Elliot Park is a possible purchase and development of four of the five lots owned by the Star Tribune. Back in December, the Ryan Companies, a local construction giant, allowed that it was in negotiations for the property on behalf of Wells Fargo. The site would become a campus for 5,000 of the bank's employees -- employees not currently in Minneapolis -- multi-family housing and a large downtown park, which the area currently lacks.

Talk about game-changer. That could be it.

Posted on March 20, 2013 at 10:32 AM by Rick 28

Rick must have been reading Soucheray's latest column. I don't think its going to be a big deal even if the weather is cold and snowy. People in Minnesota are going to go out for baseball at the begining of the year because it is a sign summer is right around the corner. I won't be at opening day due to work, but plan on getting out to a game as soon as I can, cold or not.

Posted on March 20, 2013 at 12:28 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 29

I hadn't actually seen that column, but I suspect a lot of baseball fans are at least turning the idea over in their minds as they bundle up these days.

And I do remember those exhibition games against the Cardinals (and the chilly open house and Gopher game which preceded them) before TF actually opened. I will certainly be bundled up on opening day.

Posted on March 20, 2013 at 12:52 PM by Rick 30

Just remember to bring a flask and you will be just fine.

Posted on March 20, 2013 at 1:17 PM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 31

One benefit of the cold, is that the beer will stay cold, and in the case of Surly may actually be drinkable.

Posted on March 20, 2013 at 1:38 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 32

I very much consider it a compliment when someone refers to my views as "liberal". Good. Liberal I be, liberal I stay...lol.

Rick - you're probably right, it just wouldn't work for the Twins to return to the Dome, even if they wanted to for one series. The hydraulic pitchers mound has been taken out and the divots in the turf for the sand around the bases has also been removed if I remember correctly. But, you're right, the relocation system would be terrible. Notably for Champions and Legends Club holders.

Duffman - very true...the beer will stay cold. Speaking of beer, are there any Blue Moon drinkers here? That is one of my favorites. And do we have any Angry Orchard drinkers here? I know, Angry Orchard is the apple juice version of Mike's Hard Lemonade, but by itself, I think it's very good (a wee bit sweet). Angry Orchard is one of my favorites as well, and my last trip to the bar, I had half Orchard and half Blue...it was really good. Does anyplace in TF sell Angry Orchard (I would assume if nothing else, TB Tavern might)??

Posted on March 20, 2013 at 6:00 PM by luke Highlight this comment 33

Speaking of beer

From Summit Brewery...

Due to unforeseen circumstances, we are no longer moving forward with our sponsorship of the Tavern. We’re big fans of the Twins and Summit will continue to have a presence at Target Field and on Twins Radio. We look forward to seeing everyone at the April 1st home opener and throughout the season...

Posted on March 20, 2013 at 6:58 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 34

I believe Luke is correct. After the roof of the Dome collapsed, the turf had to be replaced, and the current rug has no cutouts for sliding pits. My guess would be that they use a pitchers mound on a plate, similar to what they used at The Met in its later years, so the removaal of the hydraulic mound wouldn't be a problem, but turf in the sliding areas might not conform to major league standards.

Posted on March 20, 2013 at 7:53 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 35

Cutouts...that was the word I was looking for...lol. Divots are on the golf course.

Posted on March 20, 2013 at 8:38 PM by luke Highlight this comment 36

Jeff,

That's sad news. I was actually looking forward to Summit Town Ball Tavern. I had heard the Captain's Deck was going to be unbranded. I wonder what is going on in that corner???

Posted on March 21, 2013 at 08:43 AM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 37

My guess is that the Twins want too much money for the branding. Remember when they couldn't find a 4th core sponsor when Target Field opened up? Maybe their expectations are unrealistic. But who knows what the real answer is.

Posted on March 21, 2013 at 09:31 AM by FD Highlight this comment 38

Oh yeah, that's right. FSN ended up getting slapped up there, and has stuck.

I asked DSP about it on Twitter. He is usually very responsive.

Posted on March 21, 2013 at 09:47 AM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 39

Have they made an announcement about the RF drink rail sponsor? I thought I saw somewhere that they were going to be called "Great Clips, Great Seats" or something like that.

Posted on March 21, 2013 at 09:48 AM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 40

Perhaps sponsors think a thinly attended ballpark isn't the best use of their funds, either.

Posted on March 21, 2013 at 11:06 AM by jctwins Highlight this comment 41

You would think the money end of the deal had been already agreed upon. Sounds like somebody threw a wrench into the works at the last moment.

Posted on March 21, 2013 at 11:08 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 42

I don't know exactly how these deals work, but my impression is that they typically include "out" clauses for both parties, basically to allow for conditions which can change very quickly.

DSP has been quoted everywhere as saying that advertiser attrition, like STH attrition, has been very low -- especially for a franchise with two lousy seasons in the immediate past. Part of that is because the Twins have a reputation as treating their advertisers pretty well.

This is probably just one of those cost-benefit things and nothing more.

Posted on March 21, 2013 at 11:52 AM by Rick 43

To all of you worried about a cold opening day. The Twins new commercial looks to be throwing a little wink your way...

clicky

Posted on March 21, 2013 at 1:35 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 44

The slide at the end is hilarious!

Posted on March 21, 2013 at 1:51 PM by Rick 45

The slide brought to mind Ben Revere. I rarely worried that the catcher's throw would beat him, but I was always worried that he was going to over-slide the bag.

Posted on March 21, 2013 at 2:50 PM by terry Highlight this comment 46

I guess a good question is why are we even discussing moving to the dome? This time next year, the dome will be no more.

It looks we are going to be on a warming trend over the next tens leading up to opening day, so it will feel warm out.

Posted on March 21, 2013 at 2:59 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 47

The idea was just brought up Duff in case the stupid snow doesn't go anywhere. We had mentioned earlier that the Cleveland Indians had to move an opening series to Miller Park a number of years ago because of snow, and whether the Twins would consider going back to the Dome, just in case Old Man Winter overstayed his welcome into the Opening Series.

If you ask me, Old Man Winter overstayed his welcome by January. 10 days folks...10 days. Spring is delayed, but is on its way.

Posted on March 21, 2013 at 4:51 PM by luke Highlight this comment 48

BTB, Just read the newest ESPN Mag, baseball preview issue. Predicts the Twins will be dead last once again in the Central this season. *sigh*. Oh man, three 90-loss seasons in a row?

My guess is the verdict won't be much better when Baseball Weekly, Sporting News and Sports Illustrated follow suit in the days and weeks to come with their MLB preview issues.

Gonna be some lonely seats at TF this year...

Posted on March 21, 2013 at 5:14 PM by luke Highlight this comment 49

I wouldn't trust ESPN to tell me what day it was. Where were the Twins picked to finish in 1987? 1991? I'm certainly not suggesting that the Twins are World Series bound, merely that prognisticators have proven to be very wrong in the past. There's a reason they play the games.

Posted on March 22, 2013 at 05:39 AM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 50

It is true what you say Mike but you do need decent starting pitching to keep you in the first 7 innings of a game. All of the baseball experts are saying that Worley,Pelfrey, and Correia are no better than what we had last year. If that proves to be true I don't think we will win too many more ballgames. Even if we stink again, I still love going to games at Target Field.

Posted on March 22, 2013 at 08:26 AM by Tom D. Highlight this comment 51

Is that the cue for predictions? Twins will finish 86-76 and barely miss the playoffs. Pitching will be so-so but Bruno will teach us how to actually get some runs across the plate.

Posted on March 22, 2013 at 09:36 AM by DeePee Highlight this comment 52

Take a quick look at how they have begun the Defrosting of Target Field. (Hint: Lots of hot water.)

Posted on March 22, 2013 at 10:11 AM by Rick 53

Speaking of predictions, will we be seeing the annual "predict the season outcome" contest Rick? I love filling them out, and then embarrassingly checking back in as they become more and more foolish throughout the season...

Posted on March 22, 2013 at 11:01 AM by jp Highlight this comment 54

I'm working on it right this minute!

Posted on March 22, 2013 at 11:02 AM by Rick 55

sweet

Posted on March 22, 2013 at 11:19 AM by jp Highlight this comment 56

Wow what a waste of hot water! Why not bend and scoup it out like lamebow field? I predict 70-92 for the Twinks! The Strive for 75!!!Vegas has the over under at 64.5 for wins!

Posted on March 22, 2013 at 11:37 AM by twinfan Highlight this comment 57

Two contests are now up:

Twins in '13 Crystal Ball Challenge (guess how the Twins will do this season)

2013 Season Crystal Ball Challenge (guess who the 2013 playoff teams will be)

Incite your friends!

Posted on March 22, 2013 at 1:08 PM by Rick 58

Wait...make that "invite" your friends. OK, feel free to incite them as well...

Posted on March 22, 2013 at 1:08 PM by Rick 59

lol - quote of the day "I wouldn't trust ESPN to tell me what day it was". That was a good one.

Posted on March 22, 2013 at 4:58 PM by luke Highlight this comment 60

Oh, Rick. That third tie-breaker is harsh...

Posted on March 22, 2013 at 6:39 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 61

I know, F_T_K. It's sad to think we might be discussing it before the year is out.

My own personal guess is that he'll survive the season -- and more importantly, that they would win more games with him than without him. But the pressures on the brain trust to do something may simply be too much.

I remember how disgusted I was when the Yankees dumped Joe Torre in a very disrespecting manner. But it's hard to imagine Torre still managing the team at this point. It feels like Girardi has been there forever and fits the franchise like a glove. In fact, looking back, it seems like a move which was almost as perfectly timed as it was clumsily handled.

So the question may have nothing to do with Gardy or his skills. It may only be: Is the timing right to make this change?

Of course, if the team wins 80 games, there's probably no question that he'll be back.

Posted on March 22, 2013 at 8:17 PM by Rick 62

Did everyone notice the countdown clock at the top of the page? The number of days 'till the opener is down to single digits (kind of like the temperature has been the last few weeks).

Posted on March 23, 2013 at 08:24 AM by terry Highlight this comment 63

Well played, Terry! Two of my favorite Opening Days are now within two weeks: Twins on the 1st and Sea Salt at Minnehaha Park on the 5th.

Posted on March 23, 2013 at 12:19 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 64

The closer we get to the opener, the better the forecast look - can't wait!! Calling for our Ballpark Magic meterologist Jared to give us his expertise.

Posted on March 23, 2013 at 1:31 PM by ole Highlight this comment 65

I had no idea about Sea Salt's opening date. That might just deserve its own countdown clock!

Posted on March 23, 2013 at 1:33 PM by Rick 66

Hey Fellas- the dudes and the dudettes all seem to agree, spring is finally on its way. I have seen low 40s in the upcoming forecast...all is right once again. Play ball in one week, baby. ONE week!

Posted on March 24, 2013 at 08:59 AM by luke Highlight this comment 67

That gopher game would have been far more depressing if not for the fact that we'll all be watching Twins baseball games in just over a week.

Posted on March 24, 2013 at 7:58 PM by Jp Highlight this comment 68

It's supposed to be almost 40°F today, folks. Break out those mankinis!

Posted on March 25, 2013 at 09:55 AM by Chad Highlight this comment 69

I am excited for 'halter top day'. That is the un-official start of spring.

If you aren't sure what day that is, just take a walk on your local college campus. You'll know it when you see it!

Posted on March 25, 2013 at 10:08 AM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 70

A week from Opening Day, and there are still plenty of seats available. Not a good portent for ticket sales this season.

I watched some of yesterday's broadcast. Mauer's home run sure made a nice sound coming off his bat. When he makes solid contact (which is pretty often!) it really cracks.

Posted on March 25, 2013 at 12:31 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 71

No flyover this year on Opening Day?? That was one of my favorite things about Opening Day the last 3 years.

Posted on March 25, 2013 at 1:41 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 72

At least it hasn't come to this... The Marlins are doing 2 for 1 tickets. Buy an Opening Day ticket and get another free for April or May games.

Posted on March 25, 2013 at 4:13 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 73

The Marlins also are allowing those 55 and over into the park FREE for Thursday games. That's a pretty generous senior discount for a team in the second year in their new ballpark.

Posted on March 25, 2013 at 7:23 PM by terry Highlight this comment 74

Oh, Jeffrey Loria...what other wacky business-model shenanigans can you devise?

Posted on March 26, 2013 at 09:32 AM by fiesta Highlight this comment 75

You know what song I really miss? "Your Love" by The Outfield.

Posted on March 26, 2013 at 11:25 AM by Chad Highlight this comment 76

"Your Love" by the Outfield is going to be Josh Willingham's walk-up song this year

Posted on March 26, 2013 at 12:52 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 77

I saw that the Twins canned "DJ Dan the Music Man." Does anyone know who the new music director is? Sure wish they'd bring Kevin Dutcher back, but I don't think that'll happen, unfortunately.

Posted on March 26, 2013 at 2:30 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 78

They're making a lot of progress on The Interchange. View #3 has them laying the beams for the track bed.

Posted on March 27, 2013 at 10:17 AM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 79

Hi of just 35 on Monday??? Ouch! Better hope your in the shade! Bring the snowmobile suits. Maybe you can hide some beer in there? Looks kind of nasty all week with highs just in the low to mid 40's!

Posted on March 27, 2013 at 3:50 PM by twinfan Highlight this comment 80

It is only Wednesday, at 753 zulu. There is TONS of time for them to up that 35 degrees...and we all know...they will.

Posted on March 27, 2013 at 7:55 PM by luke Highlight this comment 81

Man some of the interchange stuff is very close to the garbage burner eww. Maybe its time for that thing to go.

Posted on March 27, 2013 at 8:00 PM by Leroy Highlight this comment 82

"Man some of the interchange stuff is very close to the garbage burner eww. Maybe its time for that thing to go."

And when is TF going to get that retractable roof? It's too cold for outdoor baseball in April.

Holiday dogs, anyone?

Posted on March 27, 2013 at 10:44 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 83

Vance worley named OD starter.

Twins payroll lowest since Metrodome days.

Have the Minnesota Twins perpetrated a fraud upon their fans?

Posted on March 27, 2013 at 11:41 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 84

Stop buying tickets.

Posted on March 28, 2013 at 05:36 AM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 85

The forecast for Monday has been consistent through at least two days of model runs. So unless the Rockies have some huge air mass modification going on that we can't forsee (which sometimes happens but usually you can tell in the forecast. I haven't looked into it that much.) then the odds are pretty good that it will be sunny, windy and 33-35 degrees. Bundle up.

Posted on March 28, 2013 at 07:52 AM by jared Highlight this comment 86

I still consider this time, whether justified or not, post Hurricane Billy Smith clean-up time. I think we'll start forking out some cash again next year.

Posted on March 28, 2013 at 09:17 AM by DeePee Highlight this comment 87

The word "layers" keeps going round and round in my head. I'll have to try to remember how I dressed for late season Vikings games at the Met. I know it's going to be cold, but I'm still excited for Opening Day.

Posted on March 28, 2013 at 10:11 AM by terry Highlight this comment 88

I guess I don't completely understand the excitement about attending opening day in lousy weather. Bottom line, it's just a ballgame. Why be miserable? Or, is the excitement limited to those who are "stuck" with tickets and are just rationalizing?

Posted on March 28, 2013 at 11:24 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 89

Ben,

The excitement of going to opening day is because going to Twins games is what we love to do. I won't be miserable because I will dress in layers and be warm. Even when the product on the field isn't great, I love going to games with friends and family and cheering on the Twins. I haven't been able to do my favorite thing for 6 months, I will always be there ASAP.

Posted on March 28, 2013 at 11:35 AM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 90

Baseball is back, baby. (I'll be there!)

Posted on March 28, 2013 at 11:36 AM by Rick 91

If you don't "get" what is exciting about opening, day, I'm not sure you are a baseball fan!

Posted on March 28, 2013 at 11:47 AM by ole Highlight this comment 92

Opening Day is a tradition, Opening Day is an event, Opening Day is the birth of a new baseball season, Opening Day signifies the end of a long winter...

Just ask the people in Cincinnati what Opening Day means to them.

My dad and I make it a tradition each year to go to Opening Day, its a special tradition we share and its one reason to take a day off of work.

The conditions will be less than ideal this year, but weather conditions/events make for greater memories. We never got that in the Metrodome. Hail Storms, Thunderstorms, Downpours, Snow, Sleet, Wind, Heat and Humidity...I have been through it all in the first 3 years of Target Field and look forward to some more memorable moments on Monday with my dad.

Posted on March 28, 2013 at 12:12 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 93

Being a big fan of fish and chips, I sought out that place once, but it was a little disappointing. In some ways, the mass production might actually improve the product a bit. It's kind of expensive, but I'll probably still check it out on opening day.

(Sure wish they had gone with Kieran's, though...)

Posted on March 28, 2013 at 12:16 PM by Rick 94

Rick - it would appear you are responding to my post regarding the new TF food choices for this year but my post is not showing on the board. Where did it go?

Posted on March 28, 2013 at 12:36 PM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 95

New Target Field offerings announced. Andrew Zimmern's goat and lamb burger ($13), Mac's fish & chips ($11.50), Sheboygan sausage from Alexandria ($5.50) and Panino's sandwiches ($9) are the new "local" foods. Gone are the walleye on a stick and turkey leg. Click my name for Star Trib article.

WCCO also reporting that the Kemp's malt cup is back this year. Good move.

Posted on March 28, 2013 at 11:56 AM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 96

(I'm psychic.)

Posted on March 28, 2013 at 12:47 PM by Rick 97

Will the sheboygan sausages replace the Target brand sausages served at Halsey's Sausage Haus?

As for Opening Day, it's just another high holy day celebrating resurrection. It is an event unto itself, whereas first games for football, basketball and hockey never have the same sense of celebration.

Posted on March 28, 2013 at 2:23 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 98

I don't think so Fiesta. It sounds like the Sheboygans will be sold at grill kiosks in the concourse. Of the new foods this year these are the only ones that really give me any interest.

Posted on March 28, 2013 at 3:43 PM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 99

I love Opening Day. The pageantry, giant 'colors' on the field, introduction of all the players, the whole deal. Definitely going to miss not having a flyover this year, though...

I'll be sitting here at my desk listening to the game on the radio!

Posted on March 28, 2013 at 3:47 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 100

I agree Fiesta...although people do highly await the start of the NFL season, I dont think there is the fanfare that accompanies the start of MLB.

Posted on March 28, 2013 at 4:33 PM by luke Highlight this comment 101

Not sure if that new Sheboygen can top a Holiday Brat or Polish. Although you could bring in dang near 5 for the price of one of those! Man wind chills in the low teens! Finding any sun at 3pm might be tough except in the outfield! Bundle up kids!

Posted on March 28, 2013 at 4:39 PM by twinfan Highlight this comment 102

I think the baseball opener seems a bit more special simply due to it being the first game at TF. Now if baseball had their preseason games at the same stadium as regular games, like the NFL does, then the first regular season game wouldn't seem as special.

They should of had the opener today, was beautiful out.

Looking forward to trying a goat burger, never have had one before.

Posted on March 28, 2013 at 5:22 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 103

Is that Maple Street baseball publication still a going concern?

Posted on March 28, 2013 at 5:28 PM by robin Highlight this comment 104

The last time I ate a hotdog (or was it a brat?) from Holiday, I was overcome with searing, abdominal cramps. Never again.

Posted on March 28, 2013 at 6:26 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 105

But you got the cramps for only a dollar! Who could pass up that deal?

In case anyone was wondering, there are still tickets available for opening day.

Posted on March 28, 2013 at 6:48 PM by jared Highlight this comment 106

Sad that this will be my first missed home opener in years...thankfully I'll have mlb.tv to get me through.

Posted on March 28, 2013 at 9:43 PM by tk Highlight this comment 107

Winona those are Johnsonville Brats you are ripping??? Pretty tasty in my book. I tried a dog at the park during $1.00 dog night and took one bite and had to pitch it. Hardly cooked and bun was terrible. Now I will admit the Kramaczuk sausage is better than the Holiday Brats. Wonder if the cancel the opener till Tuesday. 5 degrees warmer and a little less windy.

Posted on March 29, 2013 at 08:28 AM by twinfan Highlight this comment 108

Is this the worst pitching staff in twins history this year? Was listening to Reusse yesterday on his radio show and he thought it just might be. Is 75 wins a stretch this year? Ohh well I will go with my strive for 75! But am leaning twords 70-92.

Posted on March 29, 2013 at 08:53 AM by twinfan Highlight this comment 109

When would the Twins make a decision on delaying the opener until Tuesday - I am going and would have to rearrange a few things if that was the case (along with 39,000 other people)? Also, would they delay it by a day if the projected high was 5 degrees warmer with less wind?

Posted on March 29, 2013 at 09:29 AM by ole Highlight this comment 110

Ole, DSP tweeted yesterday that since Tuesday is only a marginally better forecast, it was doubtful they'd postpone. He did say that a decision would be made Sunday.

Posted on March 29, 2013 at 09:39 AM by fiesta Highlight this comment 111

I can't see the Twins postponing the opener on the basis of temps in the low to mid 30s minus any rain or snow. It'll be cold and uncomfortable, as well as an indictment of MLB for scheduling the home opener in this area on such an early date, but the show will go on.

The big thing for fans will be to dress for the weather. My experience at late season Gopher football games has been that most fans don't. On a 35 degree day, with a decreasing snow pack, you can step outside in the sun for a few minutes and feel pretty good. There's a big difference between that and largely sitting in a stationary position for nearly three hours, not to mention how windy it gets upstairs on summer days and how much of the park is in the shade by late afternoon. A fall jacket, sweatshirt, jeans, and sneakers won't do the job. People need to dress for big winter, boots, thermal underwear, thick gloves, hats, and all, in order to stay properly warm on Monday.

Posted on March 29, 2013 at 10:11 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 112

Oh. My. God. If they postpone the game because of a little cold...
I am putting $21,673.89 of MY tax dollars over the next 40 years into an outdoor ballpark. Thats what they wanted, thats what they got.
They should be complaining more about their pitching staff than a little cold weather for one day.
Priorities folks, priorities.

Posted on March 29, 2013 at 11:59 AM by luke Highlight this comment 113

What's a "Vance Worley"?

Posted on March 29, 2013 at 12:43 PM by Chad Highlight this comment 114

Yahoo's team of 'experts' all predict the Twins to win between 63 and 69 games. (linky)

Well, at least they're not predicting 100 loses!

Verlander reportedly just signed an extension with Detroit through the 2019 season, and an option for 2020. I wish he was in a different division, since he just dominates the Twins...

Posted on March 29, 2013 at 12:43 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 115

luke, it's not what the Twins wanted. It's what the Pohlad's were willing to pay. The Twins and the Pohlad's would of happily built a retractable roof had the public funding been there for it.

Once the decision was made not to build it, the Twins naturally had to heavily market the idea of outdoor baseball to the public. Making it seem like that's what they wanted. How's that Kool-Aid taste?

Posted on March 29, 2013 at 1:40 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 116

Indeed, it's no secret that the Twins much preferred some sort of cover, basically a TV studio configured for baseball.

Posted on March 29, 2013 at 1:50 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 117

For the record, I love the fact that the Twins play outdoors and will not bitch for a second about it being cold at the game Monday. Not sure if I'm going to wear boots, but I will dress in layers.

Now, the fact that my 8th grade baseball team might not get outside for another week and a half on a field of any kind? I will bitch about that!

Posted on March 29, 2013 at 1:55 PM by ole Highlight this comment 118

It's going to be cold on Monday, but I would still much prefer a real outdoor ballpark to one that looks and feels like a combination blimp hangar and greenhouse. Yes, I'm talking about you Milwaukee.

Posted on March 29, 2013 at 1:56 PM by terry Highlight this comment 119

Pretty simple, just tell MLB you want to open after April 10th. Case closed. It's called global warming! And at least your $9.00 beers will stay frosty!

Posted on March 29, 2013 at 2:41 PM by twinfan Highlight this comment 120

Golden Rats down 2-0 after 2 periods to Yale??? Can you say Holy Cross again??

Posted on March 29, 2013 at 2:42 PM by twinfan Highlight this comment 121

"Winona those are Johnsonville Brats you are ripping???"

Johnsonvilles are second only to Klements, in my book. It's the constant advertising on this site that Really give me stomach pains.

Posted on March 29, 2013 at 5:53 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 122

I still do not understand how we can lose 20+ degrees in 24 hours. Makes me wish the Dust Bowl of the 1930s was still around. We set record high temps back then that still stand to this day.

Posted on March 29, 2013 at 9:31 PM by luke Highlight this comment 123

Why would you even want record highs? Why would you want the dust bowl? Why am I responding to a Luke comment?

Posted on March 30, 2013 at 08:34 AM by fiesta Highlight this comment 124

Do fans talk about playing outdoors in Chicago and New York? When will this die?

Posted on March 30, 2013 at 10:21 AM by jctwins Highlight this comment 125

Because Fiesta...I would prefer warm weather over cold weather. I would prefer tornados in March than potential snow in May. Because, in my mind, if global warming really DOES exist, Minnesota HAS to be included in that, which in my mind, means above average temperatures, yes, even in January and February. Otherwise, it is just life as normal around here, and I dont like Minnesota's "normal"

Posted on March 30, 2013 at 11:38 AM by luke Highlight this comment 126

I was really looking forward to Gophers vs. Sioux. Maybe if they had competed for more than half a period?

Posted on March 30, 2013 at 12:58 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 127

Twins meme: I put a picture of the Twins bullpen on my laptop. Now, nothing is saved.

Posted on March 30, 2013 at 6:24 PM by luke Highlight this comment 128

Rumor has it the Gophers are just three more rejections away from offering the men's basketball head coaching position to Betaband.

Posted on March 30, 2013 at 10:33 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 129

The St Paul fishwrap said this morning that the coach at FGC might be a candidate.

Posted on March 31, 2013 at 07:26 AM by luke Highlight this comment 130

Why would the FGC coach want to take that big of a step backward?

Posted on March 31, 2013 at 07:34 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 131

LOL. I know, right? Why leave FLA for MN? Why leave a program like FGC that stunned everybody twice in the tournament, for a mediocre program at U of M?

It was the same thought that brought Tubby here: he won national titles with Kentucky...this is a good thing, he can do that here. But six years later: no Tubby and no titles for the Gophers.

Posted on March 31, 2013 at 08:01 AM by luke Highlight this comment 132

Luke, that makes no sense. Until last week, no one had heard of Florida Gulf Coast. They were only in their second season of Div 1 eligibility. So its not like they are a D-1 powerhouse that would make Minnesota this horrible step backwards. Tongue in cheek or not. Just because they upset a couple teams does not a good coach make. He may really be a great coach but all this run really means is that he got the players he wanted to work in his system and it worked. He is .750 overall in a pretty low tier conference but was sub-.500 in the first D-1 season, which is sort of expected. But he hasn't really established a winning report, yet. Shaka Smart was in the same boat (relatively unknown, makes a huge tourney run, then rumors start flying of big schools going after him) but the difference is he had a few more seasons of a bit more success, i.e. a very impressive Final Four run.

You are right about why Tubby was brought in but this guy isn't even close to being considered for similar reasons. Main reason- Tubby has Championships. All Enfield has is 2-seasons of D-1 experience and two mediocre upsets. I say mediocre because well, even though Georgetown was ranked high most of the season, if you watched them you would see this was a surprise but not that big of a surprise. I haven't been very impressed with Georgetown under this regime. It just seems like underwhelming, uninspired basketball. Syracuse has a team that looks very much the same on paper, yet is always doing so much more with it. San Diego state is a decent team but also not as big of a surprise.

The U considering this guy at this moment really only comes down to the fact that he is just the flavor of the month. Also, Teague's quotes in the Star Trib don't really align with this guy's history. Plus, the B1G is an entirely different, much larger animal. Does that mean if they signed him, that he could do that here? Sure he could do it here but it likely would take some time (a la Gopher Football), recruiting could be very tough and likely they would not have immediate success. I am not saying he would be a bad hire, just saying that we don't really know anything about him and considering what we should want out of a coach doesn't line up with his report that much so it would be a pretty big risk.

Posted on March 31, 2013 at 09:25 AM by jared Highlight this comment 133

Well, I was sort of going for the same thing Jared...lol. You're right, no one heard of FGC until now. Why did Walters even mention him? Is Enfield even SERIOUSLY being considered? Or is it as you mentioned: Enfield is just the flavor of the month based on a run in the Dance, and that is why he was mentioned in the fishwrap this morning.

I also realize that a coach really is only as good as the players he has. Smith had good quality players at UK, hence championships were won.

Posted on March 31, 2013 at 11:05 AM by luke Highlight this comment 134

Info on new TF music director in this City Pages link. Also does T'wolves music.

Posted on March 31, 2013 at 12:09 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 135

Wow....didn't realize this website was still a going concern. Man, do I feel bad for Rick by what some of you psychologically disturbed "regulars" have done to really bring down the reputation and overall enjoyment of his once glorious site. You deserve better than this Rick.

Happy Easter. He is risen.

Later bitches. :-)

Posted on March 31, 2013 at 12:12 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 136

No one exemplifies Beta's comment better than Beta himself.....

Posted on March 31, 2013 at 12:51 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 137

"The biggest change, however, is in the right field corner, where the Twins removed roughly 700 seats and replaced them with seven rows of 'drink rails,' --- "

"Those sections were the least popular in the old configuration, St. Peter said, because their view of right and center field was obstructed."

Soooooooooo, what happened to "Not a bad seat in the house."

Posted on March 31, 2013 at 2:12 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 138

Who are you people? Just go to the game, have fun and be happy we still have a baseball team ....

Posted on March 31, 2013 at 2:47 PM by Mazaratirick Highlight this comment 139

As far as the Great Clips Great Seats...are they pretty much going to be sold as Group Tickets, or will they be available single game? Sorry if we already had that discussion here, but I dont remember.
I cant imagine the sightlines will be much better than the RF bleachers were.

Posted on March 31, 2013 at 3:39 PM by luke Highlight this comment 140

DSP confirms on twitter that game is on tomorrow!

Mauer to bat 2nd in lineup - finally!

Baseball begins tomorrow!

Posted on March 31, 2013 at 4:04 PM by ole Highlight this comment 141

It appears most MLB teams have tickets available for Opening Day. Is Baseball on the wane in America?

Posted on March 31, 2013 at 10:32 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 142

Some things never change...

Scott Baker aka "Big Spot Scott" and "Moonshot Scott" will be sidelined to start the year for the Cubs after developing some fluid in his pitching elbow following his first start for the Cubs.

Posted on March 19, 2013 at 2:47 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 143

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

– Bernie Williams

Explore the Site

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


Lots of sun, but not much scoreboard from 127



The view from the upper concourse.












Mauer steps in for the first time.



A true fan out in the bleachers



The action drew everybody to the top step. (Click to enlarge greatly.)



Dramatic night-time lighting.



Doors directly to the concourse, and a view of the stands beyond






Saturday afternoon, KMSP-HD 720P









Shibe Park









Here's a correction: The LRT platform will actually be able to load outbound trains from both sides.



Selling exactly what they say they're selling.



Click to see the full-size image.






The view out Gate 6 "Oliva".



"Hey look! There we are!"



That is the gun-metal gray wall of The Stadium just beyond the elevated tracks.



Dan Kenney provided this alternate shot of a walkway behind the view level



Working on the connecting LRT tracks (this view looks up Fifth Street toward downtown.)



Approach in the A ramp to the skywalk over Seventh



Concept drawing of Coomer gate (click to enlarge)



A scene repeated about a million times each game



Train. (What is it about baseball and trains?)



Larry DiVito, mowing



Items promoting the Twins 2014 All-Star Game bid. I got to bring one of these buckets home, and Noah got his first-ever taste of Cracker Jacks.



Notice that the wooden-backed club seats are now covered by a green tarp for protection from the elements.



Here's an idea of what these Loge Boxes are all about. That guy is a waiter with no fans to serve. They seemed to have one server for about every four boxes.



For reference, this is that same area as viewed from the seat locator.









Installation in action (Home Plate Box)






An escalator was going in the day I was there.



Seals Stadium









Photo by Jeff Ewer



Another classic space in the making above the Hrbek gate.



An arch under construction.



Tony Oliva, R. T. Rybak and Mike Opat



If you are into shade, there are lots of opportunities. This is from the last row in section 108 -- scoreboard not blocked in the least.








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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