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Killer News

May 13, 2011 1:16 PM

Though this is not exactly a surprise, it's still a sad day to be a Twins fan.

But as we might have expected, the news of Killebrew's entry into hospice comes with the grace and warmth that has filled his career and life. It's not too often that you see a press release on such an occasion. Most people enter hospice with a whisper, if the word is even used at all. (Ironic, isn't it, that our preferred euphemism for "end-of-life care" is now itself regularly replaced by other euphemisms. Ultimately, euphemizing death is sort of pointless.)

Killebrew knows that his death will be deeply felt by many, many people. Thus, making this announcement, in addition to supporting one of his chosen causes, is an act of great kindness. As he and his family will now be preparing, so can we. The inevitable grief won't be lessened, but now is the time to begin the robust celebration of his life. Maybe we can even help him.

Will I write him a letter? I might.

But I did have a chance a few years ago to tell him in person what he meant to my childhood. And though it was spontaneous and unrehearsed (in other words, clunky and garbled), I think he got it. Now might be the time to tell him in more considered words what he has meant to the rest of my life.

I'm in Oakland today, having spent yesterday traveling (mostly out of digital contact) and hanging out at AT&T Park. If you've been there, you know what a beauty it is. If you haven't, put it on your list. (Short review: Baseball heaven by the bay. Retro in the very best sense.) Tonight it's the much less impressive (at least from a distance) Oakland Coliseum.

But I wanted to take a moment to answer a question posed the other night by the ever-less-optimistic twinswschamps2027:

Does having a crappy team to watch taint YOUR ballpark experience when you go?

Believe it or not, I don't go out to the ballpark to see the Twins win. I like it when they do, of course. I prefer it when they do. I expect that the team will be built with at least a chance to win on any given night (they are).

But when it's all said and done, whether or not they actually won will be only a small part of my mental summary of the experience.

There are a lot of different ways to enjoy a trip to the ballpark. Some live and die by the final score. Some are looking for those great plays -- the homers, the leaping catches, the collisions at home plate. Some are out for a social experience, and the game is just a framework for that. Some people are actively parenting at the game, trying to give the kids a good experience, or maybe trying to teach a few life lessons, or even just trying to make a connection.

Some people are watching pitching, or hitting, or fielding, or running, or managing. Some are baffled by it all. Some are trying to learn it. There are probably fans who go out to watch the groundskeeping.

Some ballpark visitors will focus on people-watching, or the food, or the amenities, or even just the simple act of getting away from something else.

For some people, getting out to the ballpark is part of a rhythm, whether it's every game, or three times a season, or something in between. For some it's a very special occasion.

For me? I can't decide. All of the above. None of the above. A few of the above. Other things.

I love to watch the game -- a stew of brains, fine skills and raw power. I love to see a beautiful lawn, and a shifting sky. I love to experience the unified movement of a large group of people. I love to jump up and yell sometimes. I love to track the ball from pitcher to hitter to fielder. I love feeling connected to my grandfathers, and their grandfathers, my kids, and (someday) their kids. I love the arc of a baseball in flight.

Sometimes I go to the ballpark to study the game. Sometimes I go to study the people. Sometimes I go to study the ballpark. Sometimes I go to avoid studying. Sometimes I go without a care in the world. Sometimes I go to think. Sometimes I don't know why I went until I get there. Sometimes there's no reason. Sometimes I go because somebody gave me tickets. Sometimes I go and feel guilty. Sometimes I don't go and wish I had.

As you can tell, the make-up of any particular team has only a small impact on any of that. In fact, I had a blast yesterday in San Francisco, with my Twins nowhere in sight (yes, it's time to be concerned about them). I was there to study the park, and didn't much watch the game. But then it was 3-2 Giants in the top of the 9th and I found myself rooting noisily with the crowd for Brian Wilson to complete a shaky save. (He did.)

My summer could be a mess if I'm following a lousy team. But my ballpark experiences? They'll be just fine.

The other day, while watching the Cubs and Cards on TV with Noah, out of the blue he said, "Dad, why do you love baseball so much?"

Victoria laughed. "Good question, Noah."

I didn't have a ready answer, at least not one that would satisfy a five-year-old. So I tried the old trick of turning the question back on the questioner.

"Oh, I don't know. Why do you love baseball so much, Noah?"

He didn't even hesitate. "Because you do, Dad."

Thanks, Harmon.

Comments


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Very well said Rick.

Posted on May 13, 2011 at 1:31 PM by terry Highlight this comment 1

Harmon's prime was way before my time yet I still feel as though I watched him on the field. His presence is as strong as current players and was provided with such grace and humility.

When I saw TwinsChamps question posed to Rick, I too tried to think of why I love the game so much. To be totally honest, my answer was nearly the exact same as Rick's. I go to watch the great plays, the sour plays, the people, the vendors. I go to see great players play, new players try to make their way and managers make sense of it all. I go to learn the game, I go to teach the game and I go to be part of the game. I go to games because I can because when you are from South Dakota and from a fairly poor family, that generally doesn't happen. I do sometimes feel guilty because anyone in my family would love to be there so I try not to take it for granted. That means sitting through all 9 innings of a brutal loss on a cold snowy night. I hate leaving a game early, no matter the sport. But also like rick said Sometimes I go to avoid studying. Sometimes I go without a care in the world. Sometimes I go to think. Sometimes I don't know why I went until I get there. Sometimes there's no reason. I think if you look at my Flickr album from the games, you can see a bit of each scenario. Rick's answer is poetry and definitely speaks for my approach to the game.

Posted on May 13, 2011 at 1:37 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 2

for those of us whose fathers introduced us to the game of baseball, pitched to us in the batting cage, took us to the cities to see the twins, and listened to radio broadcasts religiously in late august and september especially in '87 and '91, today's news is very sad and reminds us all of our fathers. my dad loved watching "the killer." "why, dad?" i'd ask. "oh, son," he'd reply. "you just never know when the killer's gonna knock one outta sight!"

though i never saw one of your 573 home-runs, thank you, killer, for being a favorite of my dad's so he'd share his love of baseball with me.

Posted on May 13, 2011 at 1:49 PM by yeahklye Highlight this comment 3

Very nice post Rick. Unfortunately, Harmon Killebrew played when I was very young so I never got a chance to watch him play. The man is not only a fantastic baseball player, but a fantastic human being. An absolute class act.

I hope things go as well as possible for him and his family from here on out.

Posted on May 13, 2011 at 2:09 PM by Jeff T. Highlight this comment 4

I never had that baseball connection with my dad, although he liked it, and came to watch my high school games, he was never a die hard fan of the Twins or baseball. But he liked to talk with me about how the Twins were doing. I wanted to take him to a game in Target field, my treat, as part of a repayment of endless things that were his treat growing up, including games at the Metrodome. And that was no small task being a low income farming family from south central Minnesota.

I wanted to do that in the first year of Target Field but could not as he died May 24th last year of cancer. He gave his "press release" to our family early April as his fight was done. I know how hard it was for our family, and I am sure things aren't easy for the Killebrews right now, but this truly hits all of us Twins fans, especially those who grew up with Killer, and felt like he was part of our family.

Chances are we have all lost someone to cancer, and it never gets any easier when we lose another. I encourage those that were effected by his Harmon's life to write him a letter, or post on his hospice webpage if he has one, every little bit helps.

Thanks Harmon being a great ball player and great role model for us all.

Posted on May 13, 2011 at 2:09 PM by Thrillhouse Highlight this comment 5

I have seen angels walking among us, and they are all hospice nurses.

This makes me think of my sister's last days, almost 10 years ago. I was continually amazed at the skill and compassion her hospice nurses showed.

Harmon, you're the best, both on the field and off. Say "Hi" to my sister for me.

Posted on May 13, 2011 at 3:26 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 6

Thanks for the response, Rick. While I have been on a roll with Monday morning second-guessing of the Twins front office, it was a serious question. And, I had a feeling you'd have the perfect All-American answer to it. I have found my enthusiasm has been dampened quite a bit...I guess to me, I have to have a quality product to go with the ballpark. I need to know that my team has a legit shot at making the playoffs. I don't feel that this season. And, I have huge concerns for the future of this franchise.

Posted on May 13, 2011 at 7:05 PM by twinswschamps2027 (aka twinswschamps2011) Highlight this comment 7

Thank you all for the above comments and of course Rick's post. I just arrived home from a hospice visit myself, listening to the radio, a lot to think about. Nice to see the tone of the commentary today. FTK, I was thinking exactly that.

Posted on May 13, 2011 at 8:19 PM by robin Highlight this comment 8

As F_T_K put it so well, hospice nurses are angels. As a pastor, I am at our local hospice home often, and have seen first hand how much the hospice nurses and other hospice staff have meant to the dying.

I fully agree that Harmon was not only a great baseball player, but even more importantly is a great person. Thanks, Harmon, for being such a blessing to all of us!

Rokke

Posted on May 13, 2011 at 9:42 PM by Rokke Highlight this comment 9

Derek Boogaa,rd former MN Wild enforcer, was found dead today. RIP buddy, I was happy to have known you.

Posted on May 13, 2011 at 10:56 PM by Aj Highlight this comment 10

Great time to make a typo...

Posted on May 13, 2011 at 11:01 PM by Aj Highlight this comment 11

It is a very sad day to hear the news about Harmen. I was never able to see him play, but have had the opportunity to listen to him speak and have interacted briefly on the Twins Caravan. What a wonderful person! I wish his family and friends the very best during this very difficult time.

Posted on May 13, 2011 at 11:03 PM by tk Highlight this comment 12

I also wish Harmon the very best!

Posted on May 13, 2011 at 11:05 PM by tk Highlight this comment 13

TwinkFan, looks like they are taking away all the free parking.

The streets of 3rd Street, etc. now have the meters and are no longer 1 hour parking Mon-Fri 8a-6p.

It now costs $1.50/hour marked as "event parking" on the payment machine (8am to 10pm).

Posted on May 13, 2011 at 11:08 PM by tk Highlight this comment 14

I am old enough to have had the privilege not only to watch “The Killer” but also Tony-O, Sir Rodney and so many others. Those were the good old days when everyone played out in the backyard or park and played ball and idolized so many of the incredible Twins players from those days.
How many people can remember before each Twins game that was televised, the Halsey Hall show and then the Harmon Killebrew show would be on? What an era!
I know I am fortunate to have been able to see one of the many home runs that Harmon belted out. Back in ’72 I was out in the left field bleachers, the Twins were playing the Brewers and Harmon smacked a home run that landed several feet from me. As a 11 year old I didn’t stand a chance to go after that home run but I have never forgotten that moment!
Thank you Harmon!!!

Posted on May 14, 2011 at 07:28 AM by bphj Highlight this comment 15

I'm fortunate enough to have seen Harmon play for the Twins many times at the Met. One of the most memorable Met Stadium home runs I saw him hit though came the one year he played for KC. The crowd reacted as though it were a Twins home run! I have never heard an ovation like that for a visiting team's home run. Anyone who was there that day would not be surprised by the outpouring of emotion yesterday's news has produced.

Posted on May 14, 2011 at 08:53 AM by terry Highlight this comment 16

90% chance of rain.

Posted on May 14, 2011 at 09:47 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 17

Stay Strong Killer, you were a great person, on and off the field! RIP Boogyman,one of my favs! Sad couple days for MN Sports

Posted on May 14, 2011 at 10:47 AM by The Sooj Highlight this comment 18

Very sad news about Harmon. You'll hardly find a nice guy among athletes. He always had a lot of time for the fans.

Regarding going to see the Twins win, I always like going to the ballpark and even if the team can't get 2011 turned around, the promise of nice summer weather (hopefully!) will make the experience enjoyable, certainly more than a game at the Dome. That said, there's a buzz when the team is in a pennant race that can't be duplicated when the team is poor. When it's late July and the Twins are in first place or a couple of games behind the leader, every pitch in every at bat in every game matters. Wins and losses are a big deal. If it's late July and the Twins are a dozen games back, if they lose, then you feel disappointed, but know in your heart the team is so far back it doesn't really matter one way or the other.

The past decade has raised standards and probably spoiled the fanbase a bit, so if the 2011 season so far is representative of how things will be for the next few years, it'll be interesting to see how fans digest the new reality.

Posted on May 14, 2011 at 3:04 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 19

Jorge - I was thinking about that myself last night. If this Twins club takes this way past the All Star Break without any signs of improvement, a crowd of fewer than 20,000 for a Saturday game is not out of the question.

The honeymoon period is over. Well, not for us here...lol. I'd still go to TF as would maz or Rick or The Sooj or any of the other regulars around here. But, if this slump keeps up, we'll be the small faction who still show up I fear.

Posted on May 14, 2011 at 3:31 PM by luke Highlight this comment 20

I felt like last night I was paying attention to the US and Canada flags, but I may be mistaken. I thought last night the US flag closest to the right foul pole. Tonight the Canada flag is flying closest. What is the rule/standard that determines this. I know the fly at the same height, but the placement is what I question?

Posted on May 14, 2011 at 4:01 PM by tk Highlight this comment 21

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Posted on May 14, 2011 at 4:55 PM by Pharmf418 Highlight this comment 22

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Posted on May 14, 2011 at 4:56 PM by Pharmf360 Highlight this comment 23

Jim Hoey is not a very effective relief pitcher.

Posted on May 14, 2011 at 6:18 PM by Jeff T. Highlight this comment 24

Mijares is not a pitcher.

Posted on May 14, 2011 at 6:25 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 25

Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse!

Posted on May 14, 2011 at 7:07 PM by tk Highlight this comment 26

Alright - give it to me straight - I was out with my girlfriend for dinner and the last I checked before leaving home it was 2-2. HOW THE HELL did we end up losing 9-3? All I saw in the box score was a 6-run 11th for Toronto.

WTH happened??

Posted on May 14, 2011 at 7:27 PM by luke Highlight this comment 27

For the last seven games, the Twins' Cumulative batting average with runners in scoring position is .181.

Posted on May 14, 2011 at 7:49 PM by terry Highlight this comment 28

I'll tell you how we lost the last 2. Traded our best (and only) prospect for Crapps, gutted the already highly medicore bullpen, and went all in with a TJ surgery victim.

I'm going to assume there will be changes at the top in the off-season. Trust me, as a guy that has to sell 50% of his tickets, and the fact that I'm not sure I can give them away right now...you will see a 1/2 full stadium in the summer weeknights, and a 1/4 full stadium in September. This team is making the mid to late 90s Twins look legendary.

Posted on May 14, 2011 at 7:53 PM by twinswschamps2027 (aka twinswschamps2011) Highlight this comment 29

RIP, On Deck Circle.

Posted on May 14, 2011 at 7:56 PM by twinswschamps2027 (aka twinswschamps2011) Highlight this comment 30

Ohhh, how I long for a first round playoff exit.

Posted on May 14, 2011 at 8:29 PM by firedog Highlight this comment 31

Sorry, a transcribing error; that RISP batting average the last seven games is .161.

Posted on May 14, 2011 at 8:48 PM by terry Highlight this comment 32

I'm going to the game tomorrow and many of the reasons that Rick wrote about (Very well, I might add) are my reasons too. Plus, I feel somehow linked to all the great players, teams, and stadiums of the past when I'm at a game. (Unfortunately this year that link may be to the '62 Mets!)

Also, I truly get excited to go to a game, more now than when our team played inside. I feel like a little kid. The few times my wife has gone with me (she is tomorrow), she has to try to keep up with me on the way to the field; usually I'm trailing behind her.

Hey, the sun is supposed to be out, I worked my ass off this week and today, and maybe the Twins will put it all together just one time, and I'll be able to be there! (Optimistic? Probably! That's the beauty of baseball!)

Posted on May 14, 2011 at 8:50 PM by ole Highlight this comment 33

twinswschamps2027, I second you on the fact the Twins are going to lose some STH next year. I have had at least one ticket partner back out for next year. I can't imagine finding a decent replacement.

When do you think the promotions will start, "secure your Twins tickets for the All-Star season by calling..." Maybe 2 minutes after the site is named?

I wish it were like Vegas and could take a "surrender" bet :)

Posted on May 14, 2011 at 9:29 PM by tk Highlight this comment 34

Cold,windy,rainy, and 135 beer vendors in my FSTH seats in 109 but not one dam HOT CHOCOLATE vendor to be found....Maybe it's time to give up my season tickets......

Posted on May 14, 2011 at 9:52 PM by Steve Highlight this comment 35

Well that is one good thing about a sucky season....the people that aren't really fans will drop out of their season tickets, and I will be able to improve from my section 102, row 32 seats!

Posted on May 14, 2011 at 10:00 PM by antifire Highlight this comment 36

I would guess the STH equivalent will go from 25,000 to about 15,000. And, I'd guess they'll have to get creative and start doing more partial options that guarantee playoff tickets. I will be turning mine in next year...I can't go to at least half the games...a few partners that take the weekends I can't go to are backing out...I was at the mercy of the secondary market to at least break even...and that won't be happening anytime soon. That's probably why I am so pissed...now I'll be a single game ticket buyer again. Didn't think that would happen for 3-5 seasons. Hopefully, we're not on the verge of another PNC Park here. That park is living proof that a beautiful, fairly new park can bring in 10K a night with a poor product on the field.

Posted on May 14, 2011 at 10:01 PM by twinswschamps2027 (aka twinswschamps2011) Highlight this comment 37

Steve - you're kidding me?? My gf and I went to a game a couple weeks ago, and the hot chocolate vendors were up in our section like every inning...and it was a day much like today: cold and damp. I regretted not tracking one of those guys down - they even sell it to you in a reusable mug.

Posted on May 14, 2011 at 10:23 PM by luke Highlight this comment 38

This has so far been the Murphy's Law Season. Everything that could go wrong has. Unworldly numbers of injuries/illnesses; games played in horrible March and November-like weather; and poor off-season front office decisions about the bullpen. But still, I love going to the ballpark for all the reasons Rick cited. I'll be there tomorrow; I'll be the one buried under four or five layers of clothing ... and I'll be hoping for more than three runs!!

Posted on May 14, 2011 at 10:55 PM by terry Highlight this comment 39

just a slump...

Posted on May 15, 2011 at 01:18 AM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 40

I concure with antifire, the positive take away will be in knowing a bunch of small time brokers will abandon ship next season. Anyone who purchased tickets to cash in I have no sympathy or respect for.

I also agree with Steve, there are far too many beer vendors and too little of just about everything else. When I was in section 117 for the afternoon double header game it was cold as hell. I saw the hot chocloate vendor guy once. There were always two, sometimes three, beer vendors always around. I waited and waited for a pop vendor and never saw one. I finally gave up waiting and had to go get one myself during the 7'th inning stretch.

I'm still looking forward to attending the other games I have this season. About the only change I'm thinking of for next season is to avoid buying any April early May games when single games go on sale. Baseball isn't meant to be played when you can see your breath. I'll wait and see how the weather is and get tickets day of or a few days before the game.

Go Twins!

Posted on May 15, 2011 at 01:55 AM by Dave Highlight this comment 41

The sad thing about having so many games away from TF, I still have 32 more games to attend...

Posted on May 15, 2011 at 03:14 AM by tk Highlight this comment 42

twinschamp, I'm wondering if you were the caller on Saturday Sports 1500, making a small bet with Mr. Reusse on STH numbers next year.

Posted on May 15, 2011 at 10:17 AM by robin Highlight this comment 43

Some of my fondest memories of Twins games gone by are when the team sucked and only 5000 fans would show up at Met stadium. Many games from 78-81 were like that. Buy a cheap ticket and sit in a prime section in order to heckle players.

Posted on May 15, 2011 at 11:39 AM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 44

Oh poor Delmon Young in left field....perhaps the Twins can find a desk job for him. Somehow he'd probably fall out of his chair.

Posted on May 15, 2011 at 1:39 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 45

Not that it matters anymore this year, but Delmon Young is a terrible LF, he has cost us 3 runs in 2 innings already today. Nice to see the crowd give him the Bronx cheer when he caught a routine popout.

Posted on May 15, 2011 at 1:40 PM by firedog Highlight this comment 46

Seriously, can a team go 12-150?

Posted on May 15, 2011 at 1:56 PM by Jeff T. Highlight this comment 47

Kevin - I agree with you on the heckling from the cheap seats. Some of my fondest memories of attending Twins games were the first few years at the Dome before they got good. A guy could walk up 1/2 hour before the game and end up in the first few rows. We did a lot of yelling at guys in the visiting bullpen (and a few times at the Twins - think Ron Davis). My buddies and I have as much fun talking about those years as we do the "good years."

Posted on May 15, 2011 at 1:59 PM by Jeff T. Highlight this comment 48

Thanks Jeff. As if watching this game today wasn't painful enough, you just had to mention RD :-( Oh how I remember that well. The minute he'd stand up to get warmed up, our gang would start booing. Even more painful was watching Roy Smalley tear it up for the Yankees...Man did we get gypped or what?

Posted on May 15, 2011 at 2:39 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 49

Alright now we are leading the league in fewest runs scored and most runs allowed. Thats gotta be tough to do.

Posted on May 15, 2011 at 4:01 PM by firedog Highlight this comment 50

"just a slump" TTH says.
I think we're far past "slump", my friend, when Twins pitching gives up THREE home runs in the SAME GAME to ONE guy.

Posted on May 15, 2011 at 4:19 PM by luke Highlight this comment 51

luke,
I'm sure TTH was being sarcastic. Where is Dr. X? Where is he with the "it's early....it's a long season...no need to panic...all you people are so negative" Dr. X You've been awfully quiet. We need you back here to refill our kool-aid prescriptions.

Posted on May 15, 2011 at 5:12 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 52

This sunburn would feel so much better with a Twins win...

Posted on May 15, 2011 at 5:56 PM by tk Highlight this comment 53

I read what TTh posted, and shrugged it off as just one more jab at people who didn’t buy into the idea that the ship had sunk and the overwhelming urge to say, “I told you so” was too much for him to bear. But since I’m being singled out here for being patient and hopeful instead of cynical and negative, I suppose a response was required. I wasn’t reserving comment because I felt I was proven wrong; I just didn’t think I needed to state my case over and over.
By now it is time for serious concern. But the negativity started in the first two weeks of the season. I know this season isn't going to be a stand out for the twins, but every team has a stretch when things aren't going their way, it was just possible that the Twins were having theirs right away. They did have a lot of guys hurt, sick, etc. The past decade has seen fairly consistent winning for the Twins, and there have been years in the past when it looked like things wouldn’t be to good and they turned out to be very competitive during the pennant stretch.
But it's clear now that we can't expect much this season. I just don't see what was wrong with patience and optimism during the first month. Was that so wrong? Was that so naive?
Yeah, sure; The Twins' season is a bust. I'll agree to that now. Is that going to make anyone happier about what's going on? Am I and others who weren't ready to throw in the towel on this season on tax day supposed to prostrate ourselves at the feet of the nattering nabobs of negativity?
Getting down on the Twins right away didn’t indicate to anyone that your depth of baseball knowledge was somehow more profound than anyone else’s. It looked like premature panic.
And while there have been many who have taken advantage of hindsight to question the wisdom and acumen of Bill Smith, I haven’t seen anything written on this board that would suggest that anyone here is more qualified for the job. I’ve just seen the ranting of know-it-alls who are bent on proving their baseball smarts are superior by being the first to write the Twins off for the year.
Well, here it is: You were right. Lucky guess. Congratulations.

Posted on May 15, 2011 at 6:11 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 54

Remember, it's a marathon not a sprint.

Posted on May 15, 2011 at 6:40 PM by FD Highlight this comment 55

Thank you FD. The Twins just haven't hit their first wind yet.

Posted on May 15, 2011 at 6:42 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 56

Thank You. Thank you very much!

Posted on May 15, 2011 at 6:43 PM by firedog Highlight this comment 57

I still haven't written off the Twins chances of winning the division for several reasons...

the main reason... I don't think any team in the Central is very good.

They've dug themselves a deep hole, but every team in the division is capable of sucking as bad for a lengthy stretch.

Posted on May 15, 2011 at 7:54 PM by mj Highlight this comment 58

Robin...it wasn't me on the Sports Show. Fill me on the caller. Was it someone pissing and moaning like I do? The STH base will implode due to one simple premise. STH have to either attend many games, or find it financially advantageous to hold ST. #2 has been taken off the table, and that's why half the people are holding. Simple supply and demand...and the demand isn't there. Ask anyone trying to sell their tickets to ANY game right now.

Antifire...I am 100% confident you will be happier with your seats next season.

Dr. X...Bill Smith's moves are beyond 20/20 hindsight...he left the team really at risk in the bullpen and middle infield, and blew the empire on a player that is a cheerleader. And, we have no farm system.

Posted on May 15, 2011 at 7:55 PM by twinswschamps2011 Highlight this comment 59

I'm a positive guy, but the only positive I can take from today is that I got my initial burn on my arms, face, and legs. Oh, and I got my pregnant wife a root beer float from the Townball after reading on here that it might be the best thing at the ballpark. She agrees! It fufilled many cravings all at once. That root beer float should be the new clean - up hitter for the Twins - a lot of productivity in one swing! Still a great day to be at the game, just getting sick of the results. I was kidding about the '62 Mets earlier, (they lost 120), but our team may approach 100 losses unless something happens to turn the tide.

Posted on May 15, 2011 at 8:19 PM by ole Highlight this comment 60

" --- what was wrong with patience and optimism during the first month."

Absolutely nothing. But, anyone with half a brain could see (and point out) the obvious holes in the middle infield, bullpen, rotation, bench, etc. Commenting on same was REALITY.

" --- nattering nabobs of negativity --- " Please tell me (or show me) that you can do better than that --- PLEASE!

Posted on May 15, 2011 at 8:23 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 61

I was buried under four or five layers of clothing ... but still only three runs. SIGH.

Posted on May 15, 2011 at 8:27 PM by terry Highlight this comment 62

I was worried about the starting pitching at the beginning, but was not perceptive enough to foresee the anemic hitting, the injuries, mental errors, return of the old Delmon Young, etc. I'll just admit it is virtually certain that the nattering nabobs of negativism were correct, while we pusillanimous apologists of positivsm erred grievously.

Posted on May 15, 2011 at 8:47 PM by robin Highlight this comment 63

Well now 0-4 @ Target Field this year! Next game a week from Monday. Got lots of sun and a good burn going. What a difference sitting in the sun makes. Got my free parking on 5th street although it looks like they are putting some type of a meters or something down there. Be interesting to see how it shakes out. Just thinking this will be a lost Sseason. What is the run differential these days? On pace for 52 wins!

Posted on May 15, 2011 at 8:54 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 64

Thanks, twinschamp. The reason I thought it might be you was that the numbers mentioned were the same. The caller said it would fall to 15,000. Reusse said 20,000 was more realistic. They made a semifriendly $5 bet on 17,500 as over/under. It got a little testy between them at the end. I think the callers main point was that speculators were responsible for much more than Reusse thought of the STH base. He talked a lot about people upping their season tickets for the purpose of reselling. I thought he was overstating the role of speculators but anecdotally I know of regular baseball/Twins fans, not scalpers, who bought extra tickets this year mostly for reselling. I'm sure their goal wasn't to make a living out of it, but to reduce the effective cost of the tickets they used. It did occur to me that if it was indicative of a lot of other people doing the same thing, the added supply to the secondary market would absorb a lot of the demand. But I didn't expect such a radical drop in demand. Another thing I had overlooked was that in the inaugural season people were allowed to double what they had at the Metrodome. Eventually they would reduce their holdings. If someone could afford it, there might be some nice Dugout Box seats available next season.

Posted on May 15, 2011 at 9:02 PM by robin Highlight this comment 65

Nail down your furniture kiddos, it's time for "Screaming with the Vikings".

According to Charley Walters (known in these parts as the God of sportswriting) this morning: Zygi is beside himself because of the possibility that he might be able to snag upwards to $40 per car to park in Vikings Town in Arden Hills - should it come to fruition.

That won't go over big with lots of people - but why couldn't Zygi charge that much? There's absolutely no mass transit infrastructure out there...so people won't have another option to getting to Vikings Town.

So, let's crunch some numbers:
$40 to park
$150 for 2 tickets
$18.00 for 2 beers
$10.00 for 2 hot dogs
$3.00 for gameday program
total cost of $221 for two people for the day.

Posted on May 15, 2011 at 9:13 PM by luke Highlight this comment 66

Luke mine is a just a tad less!

Park for free north of TF
$26 for 2 tickets
$3.00 for smuggled rum
$2.22 for 2 hot dogs Holiday station
$8.50 for for 2 diet cokes
total cost of $39.77 for two people for the day.

Posted on May 15, 2011 at 9:30 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 67

And if you go to every Vikings Arden Hills game in a season, and every Twins' Target Field game in a season, you might see the same number of home team wins!

I can't believe I just wrote that...

But, I just enjoyed watching A-Ro(i)d have a slow roller go through his legs for the big E-5.

Posted on May 15, 2011 at 9:39 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 68

I'm still on the bus.Maybe even move "down" a couple rows next year,but I'm on,never getting off..for real.
STOP THE BUS!!!!
We've been driving since the winter
The destination doesn't change
You know i can still remember
The day you asked me for my name

You are thee rock on the riverbed
Growing smoother every year
You are the voice inside my head
I can't believe you got me here

Stop the bus and turn the radio up high
And grab the first guitar you see
And get out the old flare gun and throw it to the sky
Tonight you're sleeping next to me

You give me something to remember
Each time you look into my eyes
You see through my trouble and my temper
And you call me out on every lie

Stop the bus and turn the radio up high
And grab the first guitar you see
And get out the old flare gun and throw it to the sky
Tonight you're sleeping next to me
Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
Check her out on youtube.Better yet July 27th & Minnesota Zoo Amp :):)

Posted on May 15, 2011 at 10:13 PM by Steve Highlight this comment 69

There's the bona fide scalpers, there are people like me that sell off a decent chunk of the tickets to offset total cost or can't make a lot of games, and there are legit die-hards/masochists. The Twins pissed off #1 by taking tickets away, #2 is going bye-bye, and #3 might be pushed to the brink by this debacle of a season. It's even too early for the Twins to pimp the alleged 2013 All-Star game. Here are some ideas from other poor attendance teams for the Twins in 2012:

"Bark in the Park" Bring your dog to Target Field
"80s Night" Village People/Vanilla Ice concert
"Fireworks Fridays" with glorified flares around the skyscrapers
"College Night" Students in M-TH for $5
"All you can eat" in the Home Run Porch (THAT section may be a ghost town going forward. If you're there, make sure to travel in groups, wear bright colors, and be alert)

Other ideas:
-Bullseye Bobbleheads with costs offset by Target
-Sanford Health mini-pennants
-Drawings for free parking vouchers for Vikings games in 2015
-Bill Smith dunk tank
-Drawings for free auto detailing from local Chevrolet dealer
-"Juicy Twist" night with package autographed by Gardy


Posted on May 15, 2011 at 10:27 PM by twinswschamps2027 (aka twinswschamps2011) Highlight this comment 70

I was thinking it's about the time for tempers to boil over and a fight to occur in the dugout...but then I realized this is the Twins, and nobody would dare do that.

Posted on May 15, 2011 at 10:54 PM by twinswschamps2027 (aka twinswschamps2011) Highlight this comment 71

The Twins fans have become all to complacent. Fans need to let their team know when they are disappointed with their play!!

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 12:56 AM by TK Highlight this comment 72

5 Twins pitchers are tied for the most wins on this club...2...

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 12:58 AM by TK Highlight this comment 73

Thankfully the Twins have 2 back-to-back 2-game series. We do really well in 2-game scheduled or postponed shortened series this year!

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 12:59 AM by TK Highlight this comment 74

Twinkfan-

Just curious what kind of rum are you drinking for only $3?

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 05:02 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 75

In 2010 a Twins rally might have been expected to include a bomb from Thome, some doubles from the likes of Mauer, Morneau and Young, etc. Yesterday we saw the 2012 version of a Twins rally; a single, two walks and a hit batter. The result was one run. Unfortunately the pitchers couldn't make that one run stand up. Sorry for the sarcasm, but it is unavoidable when the team is playing as it now is. Speaking of which, how about that play by Delmon in the 2d inning?

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 06:42 AM by terry Highlight this comment 76

Sobering thought from the number 11 today: Tim McNiff said this morning that Jose Bautista himself has more home runs this season than the Minnesota Twins combined this season.

Bring back the trees!

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 06:51 AM by luke Highlight this comment 77

twinswschamps2011,

#1 - Bona fide scalpers. If demand is high Twins will sell their tickets with or without brokers. If demand is low, brokers would naturally drastically cut the number of tickets they buy anyway. Restricting them has little impact on overall sales.
#2 - Wana be scalpers. Pretty much the same as #1. In the long run they too have little impact on overall sales.
#3 - Diehards will always by their tickets if they can afford to do so.

The only time #1 and #2 buyers have an impact is during a downward demand transition. Which hopefully are few and far between. When demand levels out or is increasing, they have minimal impact on sales while generating negative press.

Two groups you are missing are corporate accounts and STH groups.

Twins probably won't lose many corporate accounts, those guys don't really care how well the Twins are playing. It's more of a marketing community involvement thing to them.

Twins may lose some STH groups. Well run STH groups, where all the members are only paying face value for the tickets and share in playoff ticket opportunities, stand a much better chance of sticking together. Bad run groups will have lots of member turn over and be a pain to manage.

Summary, the negatives of the "middle man" far out way the positives.

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 07:28 AM by Dave Highlight this comment 78

the fans aren't complacenent. the team was booed off the field after friday's game. yesterday delmon young heard a chorus a boos a few times thanks to his great effort in leftfield. we need the GM to acknowledge they botched the offseason. just keeping JJ Hardy at short would've solved one issue. and signing one of their veteran relievers would've solved another. this is why he is payed hundreds of thousands of dollars.

their management is obsessed with this "twins way" myth. the minor league system sucks. there isn't anything down on the farm for fans to have hope. we look like a sad, old team. now we know what pittsburgh has been going through. rock star ballpark with pathetic team. could be one year glitch but looking at our pitching gives me doubts.

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 07:28 AM by tim Highlight this comment 79

Duffman I put the clear Bacardi rum in the water bottle. Then bring them to the game. A couple real bottles and the rum. Security has no idea as the cap looks like it has not been opened! Wife got busted trying to smuggle the captain in last year. She had peanuts covering the rum bottle in the purse and security lifted the peanuts out and spotted the 1/2 water bottle full of rum! She had to make the walk of shame to the trash can! It's good year to do lots of drinking at the games fer sure! Kinda eases the pain from watching these guys bumble and stumble! Loved the Booos on Delmon!! When the ball went over his head and bounced back he just pointed at Span to ge fetch it! Gardy should have chewed his ass right in the dugout! Both he and Span walddled into the dugout! No Hustle at all! We looking at 100 losses this year?

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 09:10 AM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 80

Watching Bautista bat yesterday really showed the difference in the two team's approach at the plate.

Twins are looking to work the count, maybe get a single or a base on balls. Bautista was looking to crush the first mistake pitch he sees.

I still have hope that when a few more guys get healthy this team can win its fair share of games, but being 12 1/2 games back in the middle of May seems like too much to make up...

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 09:34 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 81

Not sure what the Twins "approach" at the plate is, but doesn't look like working the count to me (or maybe they just suck at it). Delmon swings at the first pitch he sees, not just the first mistake pitch, the first pitch, and everyone in the park knows it. And Cuddy? The other night he was down in the count 0-2, he has a history of chasing breaking balls (which I'm assuming he knows about if all the opposing pitchers know about it, maybe I'm wrong), and he gets served up - guess what? A piece-of-junk breaking ball. Does he anticipate that at 0-2 they might conceivablely try to give him something out of the zone? Does he listen to the 50-60 other fans in my section that were simultaneously yelling, "don't swing at this 0-2 pitch, Cuddy!"?? Nope, he hacks away and strikes out. Not exactly working the count.

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 10:25 AM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 82

Luke, McNiff should have shared that Bautista had more homeruns this series than any 1 Twin has on the season...

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 10:40 AM by tk Highlight this comment 83

LOL. How many players do you think we'll have to put on the block to get Bautista on our lineup? I say if we put Mauer, Morneau and Valencia on the block, they might be willing to at least entertain talks with us.

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 10:46 AM by luke Highlight this comment 84

The complacent comment I guess was directed at the section I was sitting in. I seemed to be the only one to notice when Kubel and Young gave little effort in their strikeouts and I made sure to let them know it.

On the horrible play from Young, very little in my area boo'd the play. Most thought it was as much effort as one could give....

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 10:52 AM by tk Highlight this comment 85

Last evening I had the thought that the Twins might trade Thome to a contender. He came back this year because he thought he had a chance at another ring, I for one would rather see him playing on a first-place team than a last-place team.

Maybe in return we could get a reliever that can get people out?

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 11:15 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 86

Anyone know what is the latest point in time during the season that a team has had the worst record in baseball, but still made the playoffs?? The Twins are the worst right now, and people think they can still make the playoffs. Really??

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 11:39 AM by Steeks Highlight this comment 87

Well a strong 64-60 finish would get us to 76 wins anyways!!!!

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 12:06 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 88

If we win 2 out of every three games, we could get to 94 wins!

I hope we have 41 2-game winning streaks left in us!

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 12:07 PM by tk Highlight this comment 89

Ok who is not back next year

Cuddy $10.5 mil
Nathan $11.5 mil $2 mil to buyout which will happen
Mad Crapper $7.5 mil
Delmon $5.38 mil
Fransico $4.3 mil
Slowey $2.7 mil
Thome $3.0 mil

I keep Kubel for next year. Try and trade the rest of the above for whatever you can. Cuddy could come back for 3-4 mil maybe! You would think they could get something for Fransico and or Slowey! Looks like major rebuilding in the future. You know the Twins would like to cut about 30 mil in payroll for next year! Baby Jesus will take up about 25% of it!

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 12:16 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 90

Mijares to DL
Hoey to Triple-A.

Is it me or does it seem like the DL is a place that the Twins put a player for 15 days so they can bring someone else up? Soreness in the elbow?

Twins are recalling Anthony Swarzak and bringing up Phil Dumatrait.

Dumatrait has pitched in 15 games (0-1; 1.15 ERA) 4 saves and 15.2 innings, 11BB/12K

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 2:28 PM by tk Highlight this comment 91

Our boy Billy S. traded a hot local prospect, Mark Hamburger, to Texas for a couple of months of Eddie Guardado. Meanwhile Mark has been making fast track progress the the Rangers farm system and is now with their AAA club as a fireballing reliver. Nice move Bill.

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 2:30 PM by Trebor651 Highlight this comment 92

I never would have thought Billy would give away a Hamburger?

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 2:36 PM by tk Highlight this comment 93

11 walks in 15.2 innings? Dumatrait will fit right in.

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 2:45 PM by terry Highlight this comment 94

Terry, it appears that either he is able to work around them or somehow has someone clean-up after him. I hope it is the former.

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 2:54 PM by tk Highlight this comment 95

In case anyone was still interested in paying face value and fees, the Twins released a bunch of tickets to popular games today. You are likely to find cheaper on StubHub later this summer, but if you want to buy from the Twins, availability is there.

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 3:08 PM by tk Highlight this comment 96

Young is the opposite of Mauer. He always swings at the first pitch and Mauer always looks at it. Also, if I were the manager of the Twins, Young would have been yanked off the field immediately after his embarassing non-effort after the ball hit the wall and bounced back toward the infield. Pathetic. Losing happens. But I expect at least token effort from effin Millionaires.

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 4:07 PM by antifire Highlight this comment 97

I don't know if any of you listen to KQRS...but on Saturdays, they replay parts of the Morning Show from the previous week.

Last week, at some point, they did a comedy bit called Gardy's Voicemail. Just a whole bunch of players calling him giving a bunch of lame ass excuses for their poor play. I loved the three in a row from Joe Mauer: "Gardy, I'm not feeling well, I've either got seclapsia or narcolepsy. I'm not sure" "Gardy, I guess it's not narcolepsy. Must be the other thing." "Actually, its not the other thing either."

I almost damn near drove off the road I laughed so hard.

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 4:52 PM by luke Highlight this comment 98

"Hey Mom, that guy's soda must be too strong tasting... He just dumped a half of a bottle of water in it!"

I've always used the pint in the back waistband method, with a loose untucked shirt... However... that method requires some stealth when it's time to mix the drink.

I saw a guy last year who drank CANS of Coors Light all game. He had a softsided cooler, and must have hidden his 12 pack under a false bottom.

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 5:26 PM by mj Highlight this comment 99

Is there a video of Young's non-play - I missed it.

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 5:26 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 100

"He had a softsided cooler, and must have hidden his 12 pack under a false bottom."

Why not smuggle something worth drinking?

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 5:28 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 101

good point.

smuggling in Coors Light is like smuggling in O'Dooles.

Maybe they did find his Coors, and just said "go ahead, you don't have enough there to get drunk and cause a problem"

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 5:45 PM by mj Highlight this comment 102

Been thinking about Nishioka. He is the Ken Mattingly of baseball. He missed out on the disaster but may have to play a role in bringing everyone home safely.

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 6:05 PM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 103

Nishioka's missed two disasters... the earthquake in Japan, and the Twins current season.

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 6:13 PM by mj Highlight this comment 104

Maybe I should try to score a $10 Champions Club ticket in Sept. The free food spread should be worth that.

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 6:52 PM by twinswschamps2027 (aka twinswschamps2011) Highlight this comment 105

ClarkAddison that is a great one! Unfortunately, I'm not seeing any Jim Lovell's on this ill-fated mission.

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 9:48 PM by terry Highlight this comment 106

There are all sorts of gadgets out there to aid in smuggling booze into an event. Things like flasks disguised as binoculars, cell phones, cameras, etc. Just do an internet search for "binocular flask" and you'll find all sorts of them.

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 10:47 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 107

if the Twins keep playing like this, I'll need something bigger than a cellphone flask to smuggle booze in, to get me through a game.

Maybe a fake leg cast, that hides a liter of Jack in a wine skin?

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 11:09 PM by mj Highlight this comment 108

Just a question. Do you think that our pitching staff has been struggling more with the call of the game with Butera, et. al. in the absence of Mauer.

I know that Mauer does lots of studying of the game and appears to know batters really well. Do you think this is having a significant impact on our club. I know that our pitchers still need to make good pitches, but it appears that they are always second guessing or not as confident.

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 11:25 PM by tk Highlight this comment 109

I'll pass on the Jack, but maybe some Johnny Walker Blue Label!!!!

Last game I went to we went out to eat at Manny's after. There a shot of Blue was $50. Yep, $50 for one shot.

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 11:36 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 110

do any of our catchers actually call pitches, or are they just trained monkeys who relay signs from the dugout?

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 11:37 PM by mj Highlight this comment 111

I've seen Mauer do the trained monkey routine at the Dome... stare into the dugout for five seconds between pitches, then put down the signs.

I don't know if he was doing that last year... but I'd bet my life that Butera and Rivera are not calling pitches

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 11:56 PM by mj Highlight this comment 112

mj-
Mauer gets signs from the dugout if a play is on. He does not get pitch signs. It's been like that for most of his career.

Posted on May 17, 2011 at 07:57 AM by AJ Highlight this comment 113


This page was last modified on May 29, 2011.



"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.


The overhang as seen through the unnumbered gate


















Hey! That limestone looks familiar!



Looking up Sixth Street, now barricaded for plaza extension.






A mass of rebar and complicated cable runs ready for a pour.









This is the upper deck in Anaheim



This is the start of construction on the Northstar platform which will feed under the bridge and to a lobby with escalators and elevators just inside the ballpark's public concourse. Compared to the ballpark construction, this looks kind of puny. But the work just to get the trains to come has been positively Herculean. Future generations will look back at this with awe.



Infield dirt used as accents



The Pro Shop.






Ice cream!



This appears to be the floor to the home dugout!






Someone please get those poor people a drink of water. (Gate 34, after the game had started)






The reverse angle shows that the signage will only partially obscure views from the top of the ramp. The wall is pretty high up there, so you'll need something to stand on, but it appears that this is one of the so-called "knotholes".






Hot dawgs! Getcher hot dawgs!



The east wall of the building looks like it will be the first part completed. These are probably supports for the plaza, and they hug the very edge of the site.



Lots of folks working behind those ticket windows



This is also the promenade, where the first indications of the final texture of the walkway can be seen. This layer of concrete is going on top of gravel (as has been done over on the plaza).



I still counted 11 flag poles...



This is as close as I could get to a pedestrian-eye view of the main entrance. This is what you'll see as you enter by coming down Sixth Street.









Spring of 1982 (click to enlarge greatly -- can you pick out Kent Hrbek?)



Rod Carew will greet you, but he's sorely in need of a home plate for reference. (Killebrew is too.)



Polo Grounds facade, obscured



We bumped into Jerry Bell (at right)!






Poles through the gap






Is it possible to take a bad picture of this building?









Gate 29 "Carew" is at right.



A distinct misstep, ostensibly to guard against missteps. But methinks I smell a lawyer...



Shibe Park



Storage tracks in the foreground.



That's my mom. She scored the whole game on her Gameday program (bought for just $1 on the opening night special -- thanks guys!)











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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