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Opening Day (Somewhere)

April 1, 2011 1:36 PM

There's a game for us
Somewhere a game for us
Seats and vendors and open air
Wait for us somewhere...

Yesterday was opening day...somewhere.

Somewhere, the crack of major league bats could be heard in games which count. Somewhere, official major league balls were hurled toward batters filled with adrenaline and ready to crush them. Somewhere, major league hot dog vendors began the long, slow march toward the hoarseness of fall.

Somewhere, bellies got bigger, wallets got thinner, fists were either thrown into the air in triumph or had chins rested upon them with a sigh. High fives and fist bumps were exchanged (sometimes awkwardly).

Somewhere, hungry rookies joined The Show, old men in their 30s (and, God help us, even their early 40s) tried to prove that they still have something left in the tank, and the fans began their annual rite of living and dying by the box scores.

Somewhere, the big names were in the dugouts and out on the grass. Averages which started the day at .000 became either gaudy improbabilities or remained goose eggs.

But we are left to read about it.

We can read all about how Albert Pujols was a double-play machine (in a bad way), and how Pat Neshek (oddly, not in a Twins uniform) sawed off Pujols' bat and got his first win in the National League. We can read how Carlos Gomez (also, not a Twin) was part of a back-to-back-homer season start for the Brewers, how Curtis Granderson stuck it to his old team, and...

Where are our boys?

We can't read about the Twins because they didn't play.

OK, so today is opening day for the rest of us. We'll have to take that. It's still a joyous occasion, but wouldn't it have been great to read about 15 games today? To see all of the big names out there? To cover the continent with games which matter? To feel the virus which is baseball infecting people from sea to shining sea?

Wouldn't it be great if the season started with a solid blast of baseball? I mean, everybody will probably have Monday off as a safety date for weather, but why have only some teams play on "opening" day? Even with the scheduling gods being what they are (mercurial), it's a very weird thing (which I'm sure has something to do with TV schedules). * Sigh *

There's a game for us
A real live game for us
Hold my hand and we're halfway there
Hold my hand and I'll take you there
Somehow, Someday, Somewhere
-- With apologies to Stephen Sondheim

I'll take you there, indeed. We still have a few tickets remaining for the first BallparkMagic night of the season:

BallparkMagic at Target Field:
Saturday, April 9, 6:10 PM (Oakland Athletics)


These are great seats in Section T of the Skyline Deck. (Captain Morgan is just around the corner...) These tickets are being sold here exclusively at face value with no fees (shipping only)! It's my way of saying thanks for making this site your source of TF news.

Only $31 per ticket!

Qty:    

And even a few of these left:

2011 Opening Day BallparkMagic T-Shirt (Limited Edition)


2011 Opening Day T-Shirt
Large ($19) Qty:
X-Large ($19) Qty:
XX-Large ($21) Qty:
 

Thanks for making BallparkMagic part of your annual rite of baseball.

My main system died a tragic death on Wednesday, and I'm running everything right now from a very old, wee netbook and my phone until my new system arrives. So a few of the new features, including the games, which were set to be available this weekend will have to wait. Suffice it to say, there will be prizes. Stay tuned.

Comments


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MLB wanted to start the season much earlier due to a desire to prevent the World Series from ending in November. It would make logical sense for the season to begin for one and all today with perhaps a game or two brought forward to Thursday for ceremonial purposes. Instead MLB let the home teams choose which date they wanted.

Several Northern teams went with Thursday with Friday left open. That way there would be a make up date in case of inclement weather, much like the Twins with the regular season debut of Target Field last year. For PR and fan relations purposes, it's best if fans holding home opener tickets get to use them for the opener.

Teams in better climates or Northern teams that just didn't want to bother, went with Friday. As a result, we have this rather unsatisfying two days of season openers.

Posted on April 1, 2011 at 1:43 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 1

Play Ball!

Posted on April 1, 2011 at 1:44 PM by tk Highlight this comment 2

Wheel Chair seats are being released by the Twins right now if anyone is looking for tickets for OD

Posted on April 1, 2011 at 1:46 PM by tk Highlight this comment 3

I like that they spread out the days, but then again, I'm in the crowd of "I only have cable TV for sports." I get all those games plus they're doing a free preview of MLB Extra Innings until April 10th which are the same channels that play the NHL games (which I also watch) so...the beginning of the season is always a good time for me since they do this every year.

Posted on April 1, 2011 at 3:15 PM by AJ Highlight this comment 4

I can't wait to watch baseball that matters tonight!

I finally paid for my tickets and I'm looking forward to BPM night next Saturday. Are we going to have an "official" pre or post game destination?

Posted on April 1, 2011 at 3:31 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 5

The saddest part of the "new" way they pimp Opening Day is that Cincinnati gets screwed out of its tradition of being the official opener. It was really a treat living there in the early 90's when they had a big street parade before the first game. I'm sure it's nothing close to the same vibe now.

Posted on April 1, 2011 at 3:34 PM by Badjuggler Highlight this comment 6

Are the Chicago Bears and Cleavland Browns playing? Sox 14 Indians 7 in the going to the 4th quarter...

Did someone forget to tell them that this is no longer Spring Training

Posted on April 1, 2011 at 4:24 PM by tk Highlight this comment 7

One of the greatest three-word phrases in the English language:

"...and the pitch..."

Posted on April 1, 2011 at 6:36 PM by Rick 8

And then there's:

"Bases loaded and nobody out..."

Posted on April 1, 2011 at 6:47 PM by Rick 9

Should have fired Gardy!

Posted on April 1, 2011 at 6:49 PM by firedog Highlight this comment 10

A shaky 1st inning for Nishi. He makes the two plays he botched and Pavano gets out of the inning with only one run scored.

Posted on April 1, 2011 at 6:56 PM by terry Highlight this comment 11

FSN needs to fix their signal, I am about to turn on the radio, as I am out of Dramamine.

Posted on April 1, 2011 at 7:11 PM by TK Highlight this comment 12

Let's see...

After two full Dick and Bert have already called Joe Mauer a "future Hall of Famer" and implied that he will be the last Twin to wear #7. Are we getting ahead of ourselves?

I think yes!

Posted on April 1, 2011 at 7:17 PM by Andrew Highlight this comment 13

Wha?? This game is on TV??

Posted on April 1, 2011 at 7:26 PM by Rick 14

Dick also introduced the telecast, "The start of the 2011 Championship season is next."

Posted on April 1, 2011 at 7:27 PM by TK Highlight this comment 15

0-7 into the home opener looks like a good posibility!

Posted on April 1, 2011 at 7:49 PM by firedog Highlight this comment 16

No wonder nobody wanted Pavano

Posted on April 1, 2011 at 7:51 PM by firedog Highlight this comment 17

Firedog,

I think this will light a fire in the Twins and they will come out just fine tomorrow.

Twins lost 6-3 last year and turned out just fine.

Posted on April 1, 2011 at 7:54 PM by TK Highlight this comment 18

Nick Blackburn coming to the rescue...

Posted on April 1, 2011 at 8:12 PM by twinswschamps2011 Highlight this comment 19

Not a great way to start the year, but 161 more tries.
It sure has been one hell of a long winter. Thank God baseball is back.
I thought the FSN presentation looked good tonight. What's wrong with their signal?

Posted on April 1, 2011 at 9:42 PM by luke Highlight this comment 20

Luke,

During the first couple of innings the frame was shaky and became choppy. Almost like the frame rate was not keeping up at times, and it was just not my TV. Maybe it is Charter... :)

Posted on April 1, 2011 at 9:52 PM by tk Highlight this comment 21

Pavano had some very good stuff tonight. Excellent command...hitters looked extremely confused with knees buckling nearly every at-bat. I'm starting to think Manship might have solved many of the bullpen question marks. It's only one game, but if you can pitch like that in a hostile Opening Day environment like Toronto, Lord knows what you can do in other venues.

Posted on April 1, 2011 at 10:09 PM by twinswschamps2011 Highlight this comment 22

Twinswschamps is right. It's hard to strike out batters if you don't throw it up and in the middle of the strike zone, and Pavano found the middle of the plate as if the ball was made of metal and Mauer was wearing a magnet for a glove. Of course it helps when you have a team whose penchant is hitting dribbling ground balls that always find the holes in the infield.

Also, kudos to the Twins' Far East scout. That guy must study out of "Where's Waldo?" books.

Posted on April 1, 2011 at 10:39 PM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 23

Wow, did the Twins get knocked out of contention tonight?

Posted on April 1, 2011 at 11:03 PM by tk Highlight this comment 24

Sounds like it. The season's a bust.

Posted on April 2, 2011 at 01:47 AM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 25


This page was last modified on April 1, 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."

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I had to hold the camera as far over my head as I could to get this shot, in which the infield is finally visible. It's a spot made for your average Timberwolves player.



Original Concept - With a Retractable Roof



Imagine this!









JohnW provides this shot of a construction barricade on First Avenue



Don Swanson, left, in-coming commander of the Richfield American Legion, and Joe Kennedy, right, out-going commander, are pictured with the Legion's new flag pole, which once stood at old Metropolitan Stadium. (Click to enlarge.)






You can finally see how the plaza will meet the street on the north side of this emergency exit tower (which will be converted to a regular entrance/exit)



This is the left field pavilion in the original concept model. The restaurant pictured to its right has been moved, and the seating area has been extended at least one full section toward center.






(Click to enlarge.)












Above the Carew gate



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



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On this day, George was handling fruits and veggies right inside gate 34.






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Plaza seating installation






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Note that, even though the scoreboard appears strategically placed, it's the outfield stands which block any potential view of the field from this roof.



The original Candlestick Park



The moat walkway viewed from across the park.



"I've never seen them do that before," said a Metropolitan Club waiter as I snapped this picture.



A few weeks ago there were sand volleyball courts here. When the park opens, this will be surface parking. Maybe one day there will be something more interesting built on top of that parking...



This looks south and shows the track configuration for Northstar. The platform shown is just a placeholder. To the best of my knowledge, concept drawings for this platform have not been released. Keep in mind, this is NOT part of the ballpark project. It is completely separate.



One of those funny little sections above the entrance stairs






No admittance -- yet! Note that you can see the seating bolts which are in place already.



The sign reads, "Mortenson Radio Channels".



Signature elements. (And they wonder why we think the real trees look so small...)






Looking up toward Sixth Street.















This is where the main ticket office will be.



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Here's the entrance from the seating bowl. It's down the outer moat, just beyond the last of the Dugout Box sections.



A view into the Legend's Club



This view looks through the opening in the fence where the crosswalk will be.


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HPB - Home Plate Box

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LC - Legends Club

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MBA - Minnesota Ballpark Authority (will own Target Field)

MOA - Mall of America

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SRO - Standing Room Only

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