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Blah, Ballpark, Blah

January 16, 2008 11:42 PM

It's January. It's cold. There's not much going on. Oh, well, except this (click to enlarge):

sitepan_080108_small.jpg

I've started getting messages wondering where I've been. There are a lot of possible answers to this.

For one thing, it's January and baseball seems like a long time ago and a long way off. This happens every year.

But January is somehow colder when two of last year's stars either will be, or wish they were, playing somewhere else, and half of next year's line-up wasn't on anybody's radar six months ago. The "Get-To-Know-Em Twins"?? I think not. These may well be the "Don't-Get-Too-Used-To-Em Twins" or, better yet, the "WTF? Twins".

Add steroids and stir.

OK, OK. It's just the January getting to me. Truth is, real life intrudes on the fun stuff. Even when real life is fun -- which it has been -- it's a trade-off. (Victoria has received an exciting call. My gigantic CD project is finally done. Business is through the roof. My son needs a lot of fun every day. Even the cat is exhausted...)

I have continued to follow ballpark developments, of course, but there really hasn't been much worth noting.

Yes, Dave St. Peter wants to put a skating rink in the outfield during the winter. Of course, they won't do it unless they figure out a way to protect the grass, so it sounds great to me. I'll skate there. Outdoor NHL? Absolutely great idea.

The construction site looks pretty messy, but I swear there's a hint of where the backstop will be:

Is it a backstop in the making?

They'll be pouring the first cement for the concourses soon. The piers for the plaza and bridge over I-394 are shaping up nicely. Who said that bridge might not happen...?

Bridge supports

There ain't much to say except that the site is a chaotic -- but beautiful -- mess.

Happy new year! (Thanks for stopping by and bearing with me in these times when the project gets a little blissfully dull. See you again soon.)

Comments


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bridge indeed! I know it's still two more years away, but every week there are new things set and little by little one can envision the ballpark taking shape.

being able to walk by on the 5th St bridge is nice, too. I think that provides the best view of the work on the ballpark itself, and the skyway the best view of what will become the plaza.

Posted on January 17, 2008 at 10:10 AM by barryS Highlight this comment 1

Thanks for the updates Rick! I agree this is a tough time of year to think baseball. It has definitely been a little different this year with Torii Hunter's departure on Thanksgiving, the never-ending Johan Santana trade rumors, and the mess with steroids.

I usually attend the Twins Winter Caravan annually when they hit SE Minnesota, but just am not too crazy about it this year and am going to skip it for the first time in many years.

I might stop down by Twinsfest to check out the new ballpark model in person and see what else they have. Other than that, I am just not overly excited about Twins baseball this year. A lot has to deal with it still being January, but maybe when February rolls around the mood will change.

Posted on January 17, 2008 at 3:53 PM by Luke Highlight this comment 2

Thanks Rick...agreed theres not much to report but we appreciate the pics.

Would people recommend TwinsFest?? I've always been out of town so I could never attend, but I will be here this year...however, like Luke above, I'm just not too sure I'm really geared up about the team, the front office/owner, and its future (minus the outdoor baseball). I do wanna see first-hand that model we've talked about , but is TwinsFest worth it???

Posted on January 17, 2008 at 6:02 PM by Excited (for the ballpark..not so much the team, haha) Highlight this comment 3

i'm going to twinsfest just to see the model, it's been unavailable to the public up until now. i'm not as down on others on the team and it's kinda fun to have new players to watch at third, shortstop and leftfield. i'm particularly interested in the new, promising outfielder we traded for from tampa bay. i think your blahs will disappear rick as spring training begins and the park continues to take shape. and yea, it's cool to see the outlines of the new field come out of the ground, backstop, first baseline, and so on.

Posted on January 18, 2008 at 08:19 AM by Tim Highlight this comment 4

Why so afraid of change people? You know that's what I call a "tuna hot dish team": bland and mediocre at best with a mishmash of ingredients that suck on their own, but still the entire state rallies behind it because it has some crunchy potato chips on top. Mr. Smith took those potato chips and traded them out for a different ingredient, and no one has any faith that it just might taste better? Keep the faith Twins nation!

PS I can't wait to watch the structure of this stadium rise. Having grown up a pretty big Brewer fan, my family got the internet right at the time when Miller Park was being built, and two of the only things I used it for was to ICQ, and go to the Brewers website to see the latest construction pictures - It was awesome and now it's hard to believe we get to feel the same anticipation for our own stadium.

Posted on January 18, 2008 at 08:50 AM by John K Highlight this comment 5

Thanks for the update I check this site every day... Multiple times

About Torii and Johan, does anyone remember Torii pimping himself whenever we went to an away game this last year? I mean for pete's sake he was talking about how he could see himself playing in Kaufman stadium. Now I loved Torii but at the same time he wasn't really all that cooperative with the team either. He had a great year, but he had better keep it up out in Annaheim, Los Angeles, Souther California (they add anymore locations to that team yet?) or the media and the people out there will be coming down hard about an aging streaky center fielder. Again, I thought he was a great guy to have around here. But for someone that invokes Pucketts name so much he could have been a little more willing to work with the team. Granted the Twins could have done a little more too.

About Johan, what can we do? We absolutely HAVE to get a good trade out of it. We cannot afford to let some big market team swindle us. Even if that means not trading him in my opinion. We have a major role to play here that very well may effect other small market teams. Also I really don't think teh Twins want to be locked in on one pitcher for 1/3 of their payroll for what? 7 years? I think the Liriano situation really underscores what CAN happen. Granted I think that Johans mechanics are probably a little more sound (although they sure do like to show the side by side of them pitching and how they are almost identical). So I say let the trade play itself out. I don't think that we should give him away and if that means having him around for one more year, I think he is worth more to us in that timeframe than letting him go to the bullies for peanuts.

About the stadium. We have 2 more seasons until that ballpark opens up. Whether we like it or not that team will probably look quite a bit different by then. Heck we don't even know if Torii will be playing anywhere even close to what he did this last year. Just like the stadium being build I think (and I hope) the Twins are laying the groundwork for the pieces that will complete the ballpark in 2010.

It is exciting to watch the stadium come to be even if the daily progress is slow and small. That's the same approach I give to this ballteam. There will be a piece here and there that shows up it just takes a little patience.

I stopped guessing the Twins a while back when I cursed Gardenhire for replacing pretty much the entire infield... Yet he went on to make the playoffs. I cursed Gardenhire for getting ejected nearly every game... yet he spurred an unbelievable comeback for his team to make the playoffs again. They need to do better once they make the playoffs, but we've been alot more fortunate than other teams that have failed to make it even that far as often as we have in the recent past.

Please do keep up the awesome work that you do here. I really appreciate this site. It's one of my daily haunts and one of my most anticipated reads.

Posted on January 18, 2008 at 09:51 AM by moda253 Highlight this comment 6

don't forget that if we keep santana and he leaves via free agency, we can only get a maximum of two additional draft picks to replace him. if he's traded to the mets and we get four players in return, that has the potential of being another pierzynski or knoblach trade that will pay off over the next few years.

I'm also very excited for this new team and think they can compete next year, maybe not win the division or wild card but at least have a respectable over .500 record. Anything around there is an improvement from last year (79-83 does not impress me).

less than one month until pitchers and catchers report.... i can't wait until the broadcast schedule is released so i can see how many games will be in hd.

Posted on January 18, 2008 at 11:53 AM by annoying customer Highlight this comment 7

moda253 - nice post, but the Twins definitely need to trade Santana rather than get nothing in return but two draft picks. Hindsight is 20/20, but if the Twins were never going to go off of their 3-year offer to Torii, he should have been traded because there was no way that Torii was going to accept a three-year deal.

Also, I don't have a problem with rebuilding for 2010, but at some point management needs to make the investment to make a run. I can see why Santana spoke out last year because its getting frustrating as a fan to always talk about getting young talent in return. The Twins need to start holding onto the talent rather than letting it go all the time.

Posted on January 18, 2008 at 3:00 PM by IowaWigman Highlight this comment 8

Iowawigman nice response. Thank you.

I just think that to the Twins in terms of marketing he is worth more to them than two crappy players or a couple of draft picks.

I do however agree that they need to start holding onto their talent and hopefully that happens not that Ryan isn't doing the deals anymore. We'll see. Holding onto Torii and Johan right NOW and hoping that they are the same in 2010 is no guarantee either. That's 3 seasons under their belts and who knows what could happen by then. I guess until I see what Bill Smith does in the next year or two I am going to hold out on judgement.

The ownership thing will become clearer in the near future too I am afraid. I don't wish Carl any ill-will but unfortunately for all of us the end must come eventually. What happens with ownership after that is anybody's guess.

-Please note I am not hoping or predicting the downfall of Mr. Pohlads health.

Posted on January 21, 2008 at 2:09 PM by moda253 Highlight this comment 9


This page was last modified on January 21, 2010.



"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.





Polo Grounds facade, obscured






A southpaw?



Stairs down to Seventh Street now have the start of railings



End of the line.









From the B ramp, 6th level elevator lobby window



I was surprised at how close those upper deck seats seem. From the plaza, you feel like you can reach out and touch them. It really adds to the impression of overall compactness.



Cross section diagram of the field structure. (Click to enlarge.)






A classic profile on the horizon



The wall of brands at General Mills headquarters in Golden Valley (Source: RP)



The Carew gate ticket windows have grown a small awning.



A closer look into the park from down the street. How great will this view be during a game??









Tony Oliva, R. T. Rybak and Mike Opat






Cleveland






This would be easy to miss, but I found it on a cart located directly behind the Batter's Eye seating on the upper concourse in center field.



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



The blue line now indicates where the back of the accessible seating ends and standing room begins.



Some brick work out in the centerfield pavilion.



The Hennepin Grille appears to feature chicken, brats, and fries.









Here is one of the concept drawings referenced (but not shown) in the MPR story (conceptual ballpark at left, LRT tracks switched to the north half of the Fifth Street bridge, which is actually in all of the long-range plans).



The walkway under construction in the parking lot just outside the loading dock.









Not me, but it might as well be.






This view looks up Fifth Street toward downtown and shows how the LRT tracks sort of snuggle up to the ballpark.






The media all turned out!



A view of construction from the B ramp. This looks toward Seventh Street, over what will be Gate 34 (the main entrance).



The base of the old Met Stadium flagpole. (The plaque refers to the "Flame of Freedom" and not the origin of the pole.)



(Click to enlarge.)



Justin Morneau, mobbed after a game-winning homer on June 9



This view, from the Minnekahda building (or possibly a predecessor), looks toward the right field corner. The City Market, at left, occupied the land where the B ramp and Target Plaza now stand (over I-394). And the Overlook now juts out just a little beyond where that driveway enters the railyard.









OK, people are definitely riding their bikes to games! (Photo by Tim Davis, courtesy MBA)



Sky through steel.






His body language might as well be the box score.





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
 


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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)
 


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Combines the previous two titles
(2007, medium coffee table)
 

Selected Bibliography - Nostalgia
 


(1992)
 


Book and six ballpark miniatures
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Complete Bibliography

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