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Pitchers and Catchers, Oh Yeah

February 19, 2012 12:23 AM

Dead presidents? Who cares! Pitchers and catchers are back in camp! This should be the national holiday.

In celebration, here are some shots I got last season of pitchers and catchers in various settings. Some are significant moments, some not. Enjoy!

Slideshow Play/Pause Play/Pause Play/Pause Image 1 of 24
Slideshow: pitcherscatchers
The troops, Home Opener 2011 

Comments


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It is nice to see that picture from opening day and know Joe Nathan will no longer be a Twin.

Posted on February 19, 2012 at 04:37 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 1

I'm with you Duff, it's good to see the end of the Joe Nathan era. Sure he had his moments but in my mind the worst move the Twins have made in the past 5 years or so was the contract extension Nathan got following the 07 season.

That was the year Torii, Johan, and Nathan all were approaching free agency and the club ultimately invested in the oldest, most replaceable commodity, a 30 something closer. By locking up Nathan they ultimately doomed their future roster by assuming the health of an aging power pitcher wouldn't be a factor.

It was inevitable that he'd suffer a major injury, and when he finally did the Twins panicked and traded an insanely valuable piece in Wilson Ramos for another overrated closer. Not only did they lose Ramos as a indirect result of signing Nathan, but you could argue they lost J.j Hardy and other roster depth by having to hedge their bet with rehabbing Nathan by keeping Capps. Nathan and Capps made 20+ Million dollars last year, money that could have gone to any other need positions.

This is why I hate Joe Nathan. Wait....that's not true. The reason I hate Joe Nathan is while dominating every regular season with his silly spastic antics, he'd then turn around and look like a frightened child every single playoff series he pitched in. I'll never forgive him for 2004 and 2009 especially. That's all. Rant over. Sorry to Rick and the other Nathan fans out there.

Posted on February 19, 2012 at 11:08 AM by jp Highlight this comment 2

They did not "lose" Ramos or Hardy, etc. - they gave them away. The larger problem has been the baseball IQ of the front office.

Posted on February 19, 2012 at 11:24 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 3

I haven't been this disinterested in Twins baseball since the mid 1990s

Posted on February 19, 2012 at 12:14 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 4

This, Stadium debate is not all about money, pretty much hits the nail on the head.

Posted on February 19, 2012 at 12:15 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 5

LOL Kev. It's nice to see you around again. How are things in sunny AZ??

Posted on February 19, 2012 at 12:25 PM by luke Highlight this comment 6

Nice collection of photos, Rick! Thanks for honoring the holiday.

Posted on February 19, 2012 at 5:11 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 7

Follow the link to a interesting site where they paired MLB teams with a matching beer or malt beverage. I think they got the Twins about right. Or Wild...

Posted on February 20, 2012 at 08:19 AM by Dust Highlight this comment 8

Hail Mary for Ramsey County?

Posted on February 20, 2012 at 12:23 PM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 9

Wow, jp. Can't support that level of bitterness toward Nathan, or your conclusion that his contract was the worst move n the past 5 years. I agree with Ben; the move was symptomatic of some larger failings of the Twins' FO. Biggest screw up by far was the handling of the Santana trade negotiations.

As for that 2004 series, I've always been confused by Twins fans who like to blame Nathan rather than Gardy. Nathan certainly had his struggles in the post-season, but in that series, he closed out game 1 easily (3 up, 3 down, 10 pitches). He then pitched very well for 2 innings the next night in Game 2. Hunter hits a go-ahead 11th inning homer and what does Gardy do? Brings Nathan back out for a 3rd inning.

Seriously, how often do you see closers being asked to pitch THREE innings? Nathan gets one out, then walks Cairo on 4 pitches. Gardy sits there. He then walks Jeter on 4 pitches. Hello? Anyone home in the dugout? Nope. Nathan stays out there, gets to pitch to yet one more guy - A-Rod - who predictably rips a game tying double.

Criminy, that was just about as bad a managing job as you could imagine. Nathan threw 53 (!) pitches in that outing. And it fried him for the series.

Posted on February 20, 2012 at 12:50 PM by BR Highlight this comment 10

BR just had to bring that deal up - such a painful memory. And --- how on Earth did he get away with that? It only serves to reinforce the argument that:

1. Gardy may well be the worst bullpen manager in the game - maybe one of the worst ever, and
2. The Twins FO somehow takes no notice of this

Posted on February 20, 2012 at 1:43 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 11

BR I agree you could Gardy is more to blame for 2004 than Nathan, but game 2 in 2009 is 100% on Nathan choking. After Tex got on base you could see the fear in Nathan's eyes, and it was all to predictable when A-Rod launched that belt high heater deep into the night. My beef with Nathan is when given the opportunity to step up on the biggest stage he dropped the ball.

Career Reg Season ERA/WHIP/k's per bb:
2.87/1.110/2.76

Career Playoff ERA/WHIP/k's per bb:
4.70/1.826/1.43

I know the small sample size inflates numbers, but you only get so many chances and for a supposedly elite closer Nathan seemed to lose it when it mattered most.

Posted on February 20, 2012 at 1:43 PM by jp Highlight this comment 12

" --- Nathan seemed to lose it when it mattered most --- "

An obviously arguable point. My problem is with the FO and on-field management that never seemed to have "it" in the first place.

Posted on February 20, 2012 at 2:00 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 13

Hail Mary for Ramsey County?

I'll give the guy who made that website some credit for making an effort, but no credit for being in touch with reality.

The part about the public getting a cut from a future sale of the Vikings that matches the amount the value of the team would increase from having a new publicly financed stadium was ridiculous. It has exactly a 0% chance of ever being accepted by the Vikings, or the NFL itself for that matter. Unrealistic proposals such as this one don't deserve any serious attention.

Posted on February 20, 2012 at 2:44 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 14

Sorry about devling too deeply into old playoff wounds!

About those post-season numbers for Nathan, though... Not only is the sample size small, it's skewed by the fact that the Twins played the Yankees almost every freakin' year. And NY has had some pretty decent line-ups over that time, even vis-a-vis other playoff teams.

Posted on February 20, 2012 at 3:22 PM by BR Highlight this comment 15

I like the enthusiasm, creativity and detail on the O'Connor web site. It's refreshing.

My first impression is that any profits reaped by "the people" would come out of Zygi's pockets. It's already been demonstrated that he chafes mightily at this idea, so it's hard to imagine him embracing anything like this -- unless he thought that maybe he could negotiate all those partnership rates downward during the legislative process.

Beyond that, it's hard to imagine an NFL owner wanting to partner with any governmental entity at any level (other than the one called "you give me some money now"). Sending royalty checks to the government is not something that either NFL owners or real estate developers like to do.

But these are just first impressions. There's a lot to digest there.

Long ago I got into trouble with the KFAN crowd for saying that the state needs to tell Zygi where his stadium is going to be and how much he needs to pay, and he should simply say "thank you" and sign the forms. But I really do believe that's how this should happen, and a plan like the one proposed on that site is at least a step in that (i.e. the correct) direction.

Posted on February 20, 2012 at 4:06 PM by Rick 16

" --- the state needs to tell Zygi where his stadium is going to be and how much he needs to pay --- "

Exactly!!!!! Why is this such a difficult concept for so many people? Zygi IS NOT GOING ANYWHERE - any little kid on the corner can tell you that. Anything else is no more than hollow bullshit and bluster. And this Dome lease issue --- call his bluff - stick it to him - where else is he going to play?

Posted on February 20, 2012 at 4:52 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 17

The NFL and the owners bring in $4 billion each year just from the TV contracts...that could build you (5) new stadiums each year, assuming a cost of $800 million/stadium. Now that cost is probably low for an average stadium, but you get the point, they could more than easily afford to build/renovate at least 4 or 5 stadiums each year. And that is just from the TV revenue...

So every 6-7 years, they would have more than enough money to build/renovate each of the 32 teams own stadiums.

And with Roger Goodell aiming for league revenues of $25 billion/year by 2027? Give me a break, the league and the owners can foot the bill for these stadiums.

If they were such great "investments" than why isn't the league and it's owners privately financing/investing in more of these venues?

Because they are not good investments! plain and simple

I am a Vikings fan and season ticket holder and even I am opposed to public financing for this stadium. I could understand a smaller public contribution, say 15-20%, but to expect the public to contribute so much money to this project is beyond ridiculous when you consider the overall revenues of the NFL and it's owners.

Posted on February 20, 2012 at 5:07 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 18

Mike ---

Welcome to Sanity Central. Now --- if we could only get someone besides just you and me to join!

Posted on February 20, 2012 at 5:12 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 19

Ben - "Zygs isn't going anywhere??" I'm not so sure. If he doesn't get what he wants, what incentive would he have to stay? I think the Vikings are setting up to become the next Robert Irsay and Baltimore Colts. Irsay was sick of waiting around for a new stadium. So, in the middle of a cold night in 1983 (and a blizzard), Irsay packed up the Mayflower moving van and shipped out. Maryland State Police even put barricades on some mainline state borders to prevent him from moving (they took side roads out of the state).

Zygs has been lenient enough to wait as long as he has. Carl Pohlad too...he had no incentive to stay here either, but he stuck it out God bless him, and we got a beautiful new ballpark out of it. But, the NFL doesn't work that way IMO.

Given the right circumstances, I think Zygs could bail in the middle of the night too.

Posted on February 20, 2012 at 5:48 PM by luke Highlight this comment 20

I took the O'Connor site to be more of an anti-gambling message than a stadium funding proposal.

Posted on February 20, 2012 at 6:18 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 21

Mike -

We've heard that argument time and time again....and you know what, you're right. Building a sports stadium does not make good economic sense.....but we build a lot of things that don't generate a good ROI. But that doesn't stop us from moving forward with those projects.

The fact of the matter is that most sports fans believe that, while it doesn't make economic sense to build a stadium, we just want to see the Vikings remain as part of the fabric of the Minnesota "scene"....and unfortunately, public financing of professional sports stadiums is something that every "major league" sports town has had to deal with. We're no different than anywhere else....and in the end, we all know it will get done, one way or the other.

Look at the bright side, once the Vikings get their new stadium, this should be the last time we need to deal with this issue for at least the next 40-50 years....and by then, I'll either be dead or too old to give a rat's behind.

SKOL VIKINGS!!!!!

Posted on February 20, 2012 at 6:25 PM by Fred Highlight this comment 22

The precedent of public financing for NFL stadia was set in an era when two things were very different than they are today. First the NFL wasn't the multi-billion dollar juggernaut it is today. Playing in half empty baseball parks was a pretty common occurrence through the fifties and into the early sixties. The Vikings' first ever game against the Bears (in publicly built Met Stadium)attracted a crowd of barely 30,000. The second thing is that stadia in those days were simple utilitarian structures, i.e. a grandstand, concession stands, rest rooms and locker rooms. Grandiose structures like "Jerry World" were beyond anyone's imagination back then. It would be interesting to see what would happen if public bodies throughout the country were to say they would build a grandstand with basic amenities, but the team or league must pay for all the things that make "Jerry World" different from the Cotton Bowl or Lucas Oil different from Baltimore memorial Stadium.

Posted on February 20, 2012 at 6:29 PM by terry Highlight this comment 23

"...this should be the last time we need to deal with this issue for at least the next 40-50 years...

The average lifespan of a professional sports facility today is around 30 years. No matter what happens now, the Vikings will be back again circa 2030 (Twins circa 2025).

That's where the idea of a MEC (Metropolitan Entertainment Commission) comes in...

Posted on February 20, 2012 at 6:58 PM by Rick 24

"I took the O'Connor site to be more of an anti-gambling message..."

It certainly is at least that.

Posted on February 20, 2012 at 6:59 PM by Rick 25

whether it's a good investment or not, you don't always build things for profit reasons. It's built because we enjoy sports, we enjoy entertainment, and they are a part of our culture and tradition of Minnesota.

Light Rail Transit doesn't make money, it never will, in fact, it will be subsidized for ever. I still think its great to have, but it will never be profitable.

If we only built things to make money, there wouldn't be much being built anywhere.

Posted on February 20, 2012 at 7:30 PM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 26

Hooray for Vikeologist! Roads don't make money (except for private toll roads perhaps, which we don't have in MN). The DNR doesn't make money with fish hatcheries. Regional airports lose money every day. Schools "lose" money. Light rail loses money. Health care for the poor loses money. Care for the elderly is a losing game. And on and on....

Taxes are only bad if they aren't funding something you don't like or don't use. But there are some public good elements that really are ok to fund. For me (and apparently 9 million attendees by October 2012, and probably 100 million attendees before we abandon it), Target Field was a good investment of public dollars. I care much less about the Vikings stadium myself, but the TV ratings say we as a region care and care and care that we have large men in purple shirts playing football for here. It is ok to invest in that public good too.

Posted on February 20, 2012 at 7:55 PM by Lincster Highlight this comment 27

Rick...you think the Twins are going to demand a new facility in 2025?? A mere 15-year lifespan for TF?? Eeks...somehow I don't see that happening.

We have too cool of a ballpark to only make use of it for 15 years. Plus we have a 30-year lease at the place, don't we?

Posted on February 20, 2012 at 9:35 PM by luke Highlight this comment 28

"The average lifespan of a professional sports facility today is around 30 years. "

For the dual-purpose stadiums built in the 60's-70's-80's...sure, 30 years sounds right....

But my guess is the new single purpose ballparks/stadiums will have a lifespan longer than that. The oldest of the new stadiums would be either US Cellular and Camden Yards, correct. Both of them have hit the 20 year mark and I don't believe they will be looking for new parks anytime soon. Granted US Cellular did have some upgrades done shortly after it was built.

Rather than asking for completely new parks, I think the future trend will be to ask for help in making some modifications/upgrades.

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 10:01 AM by Fred Highlight this comment 29

just got 3 tickets to the May 26th game vs. Detroit. Section 113 Row 20...only thing im worried about is that it is very close to being under the club level overhang. Not that its a big deal, but just prefer to be able to see the sky above me! Anyone know if that row is under the overhang?

Twinsbaseball.com used to have a section that would say which rows had obstructed views, but I can't find it anywhere there now.

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 11:24 AM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 30

Linky to the "seating views" page for Target Field. I keep it bookmarked. :-)

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 12:31 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 31

Vikeologist, having sat in nearly the same location as your seats, I can say that you're under cover enough that there's protection from rain and sun. However, you're also in the open enough to know and feel like you're outside and won't have the claustrophobic effect that seats further back can get. You'll also be able to see the sky, plus the main scoreboard, celebration sign, and secondary video board in their entirety.

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 12:49 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 32

For those that got thier tickets.....

Are there any usable coupons on the back of the tickets this year? The only one I have used in the last couple years is the Rock Bottom.

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 12:51 PM by Joe117 Highlight this comment 33

F_T_K and Jorge thanks for the info. I hope I can get opening day tickets tomorrow, otherwise will have to go to stubhub again, but prices are jacked up for opening day.

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 1:02 PM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 34

Joe117, I'm guessing you are asking about coupons printed on single-game tickets. Those have not been sent out yet, I am guessing they are a bit delayed with all the STH being sent out.

If they are the same as STH issued, you can look for the following:

Subway: $.50 off six in. sub/breakfast sandwich
Sports Authority: $10 off a $50 or more purchase
Rock Bottom: Free beverage, up to $5.00 value

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 1:07 PM by tk Highlight this comment 35

Barring any rainouts the first game back from suspension for Manny Rameriez will be a Wednesday noon game at Target Field. After Opening Day that will probably be the most sought after ticket when single game tix go on sale on Saturday, am I right?

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 1:41 PM by jp Highlight this comment 36

I hope you're kidding about seeing Manny, jp! I wouldn't walk across the street with a free ticket to see washed-up Manny play any more. But I can halfway see why Oakland would take a flyer on him.

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 2:14 PM by EagleEyes Highlight this comment 37

Yes i'm kidding, but if he does make his debut here and I can find a cheap ticket it's pretty likely I'll find the time in my schedule to head down to see him play.

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 2:24 PM by jp Highlight this comment 38

Message from my ST rep.:

Dear Ben,

Each year we take great care to ensure that each partial season ticket package includes premium matchups with the top Major League teams. We divide the games equally among all six packages so that no matter what 20- or 40-game plan you choose, you know that you're going to see some of the best action in baseball.

We recently discovered that one of the dates we had listed on twinsbaseball.com for Plan 20E was incorrect. Specifically, it was stated that the Setember 25th vs the Yankees game was in your package, when the correct game is June 17th vs the Brewers.

My reply:

Andrea ---


So ----- I have ZERO games against the Yankees and ZERO games against the Red Sox and ZERO games against the Angels. Media guides, which I much appreciated, are no longer a perk for season ticket holders. Neither are ST bobbleheads (not to mention that bobbleheads have been eliminated altogether). Please tell me again what a good deal being a STH is.

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 2:28 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 39

Ben - I got the same email today from my rep as well and was a little disappointed to say the least.

As you said, no Angels, Yankees or Red Sox...but you know what, we get THREE ROYALS and THREE INDIANS games!!

In all fairness, plan E gets the Saturday Cubs game and Sunday Brewers game and the Wednesday Phillies game. But to not even get one single Angels, Red Sox or Yankees game?? That's 12 games and to not get one single game???

How can they screw up the season ticket plan schedule and not notice it until this late in the game? Not to mention, it could have been a good opportunity to take advantage of the pre-sale event to buy Yankees tickets if we chose. But no, we get notified after the fact and just four days before single game tickets go on sale.

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 3:07 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 40

For those who complained about this mix up, did any response come back? If so, what was said?

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 3:18 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 41

Mike,
If you are interested in buying some tickets, send me an email. I have a presale password that is good until 8:00 tonight that I didn't use.

Anybody have an opening day password for tomorrow that they aren't going to use? Just looking for some 300 level tickets so the rest of the family can go. Thanks

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 3:41 PM by gogotwins Highlight this comment 42

I got the same e-mail regarding my 40B schedule. I end up losing a Brewers weekend day game in June for a midweek Yankees game in late September. I am pissed. In my opinion the 40A schedule is now about 100 times better than 40B.

40A now has 2 weekend games against both the Cubs and Brewers in June. 40B has 2 Yankee games, one of which is a Wednesday afternoon game September 26. What a joke.

My rep told me the correct schedule was in the system and the incorrect schedule was what was posted online until recently. The discrepancy was discovered after they started printing the tickets. That is a bunch of BS. The 40 game plans are way out of balance now. Obviously the mistake was what was entered into the sytem.

Rather than doing what is right and reprinting the tickets, they must have figured it was easier to screw over the 40Bs (and apparently the 20Es as well).

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 3:44 PM by foodog8 Highlight this comment 43

How can they even call this 20/40-game mishap a mistake? Do they not determine their own game dates for each package. I would assume they could correct this in other means then just taking from Peter to satisfy Paul. I do not recall seeing fine print on the schedule, *subject to change.

I responded for my 40-game plan asking how they are planning to correct the situation, as one who drafts early and we switched packages to get the 2 Brewers games. Especially since this was changed after single game ticket priority had passed.

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 3:49 PM by tk Highlight this comment 44

foodog8, look at the day games that are not holidays...

40B: 6
40A: 3

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 3:52 PM by tk Highlight this comment 45

Sounds like you guys need to man up and get the full season packages so you can go to all the premium games. And you'll be able to enjoy even more STH benefits.

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 4:13 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 46

20E is the ONLY package to miss out on all three of the mentioned AL teams. Surely the packages could have been better tweaked. It's not so much a matter of why 20E got the short stick as a matter of why there is so short a stick to begin with.

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 4:15 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 47

I too got the email regarding my 40B, not too happy with the switch. A June weekend Brewers game when there still might be a little optimism in the air in not equivalent to Yankees in September when all hope could be lost. I guess we just have to pray for a pennant race.

And the timing was REALLY bad - had I known earlier I would have bought that Brewers game in the pre-sale. I had another shot at pre-sale today via a lottery, but there wasn't anything in my price range left for that Brewer game.

This was my first year at 40 game level and I would likely have taken 40A had I known the schedule would work out this way.

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 4:23 PM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 48

Speaking of STH benefits, I'm not one to complain about freebies and bobbleheads and such, but a couple of weeks ago they asked STHs to rank their top ten STH benefits.

The ranking was done at a Web page. I went through the list and found about 4 or 5 that I found somewhat interesting. I thought it was funny that the system wouldn't take that for an answer - you HAD to come up with 10 that you liked, whether you liked them or not, before the "submit" button would appear.

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 4:28 PM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 49

Dave, full season benefits suck. I have both and having a full-season means nothing. I am guessing you are being sarcastic.

We have a 40game and full-season to get a variety of games and not have an overload of the 9 Royals/Indians/etc games each.

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 4:32 PM by tk Highlight this comment 50

ClarkAddison,

I have heard a few mentions of this ranking thing. I have never received such an e-mail.

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 4:33 PM by tk Highlight this comment 51

tk,

I don't think you need the email to get to it - click on my name, it's still there.

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 4:39 PM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 52

Ben, you aren't kidding about 20E. There are only 4 games in 20E with the Angels, Rangers, Red Sox, Cubs, Brewers, Phillies or Yankees. The other plans have 6 or 7 games. That is absurd.

I do think the switch from a September Yankee game to a June Brewers game upgraded the 20E schedule. But whether you agree with that or not, you are correct that the Twins should do a better job with the schedules. 20C is so far and away the best of the 20 game plans it is laughable.

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 4:57 PM by foodog8 Highlight this comment 53

We have the 20C plan and are satisfied with it. The first half of the plan has very good games (starting with the 1st 4). On the other hand, there are 2 crappy midday weekday games in the spring (versus 1 summer midday gm in plan E), no Phillies game (midweek but after school let's out), and no final series game against Detroit.

Part of the problem is that we expect the Twins to stink, so people are looking for good games earlier in the season rather than later, which is a reversal of prior "value" systems...

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 5:47 PM by BR Highlight this comment 54

Yes tk I was being a bit sarcastic.

I'm not a STH but I still buy about 40 tickets per season, 6-8 games 4-6 tickets per game. Including single game fees my ticket prices range around $90 to $30, about $50 average per ticket or roughly 40 x $50 = $2,000 total.

So I'm spending as much or more than many of the 20 game package STHs. Yet I get zero STH benefits. I can't even go into the metropolitan club. So when I hear these 20 game guys complaining about their benefits it kind of makes me laugh.

I do get some non-STH benefits for paying full price + fees. I like being able to sit in different locations rather than the same seat over and over again. And I like the flexibility of setting my own schedule.

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 6:04 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 55

I was able to get in touch with my representative today and was pleased with his response.

Also, it appears a third party runs the mlb.com and they caught the mistake as they were distributing tickets.

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 6:38 PM by tk Highlight this comment 56

Lincster: "Roads don't make money (except for private toll roads perhaps, which we don't have in MN). The DNR doesn't make money with fish hatcheries. Regional airports lose money every day. Schools "lose" money. Light rail loses money. Health care for the poor loses money. Care for the elderly is a losing game. And on and on...."

Just had to correct this: roads do indeed make money. Imagine our economy if we didn't have an easy flow of goods and people? The economic benefits are a little indirect, although not nearly as indirect as a stadium. Similarly, schools and health care for the poor (especially children) are big contributors to our economy, ensuring we have a continuing supply of healthy educated workers. (Agreed that health care for the elderly is a losing proposition, and unfortunately they are the biggest health care consumers, but that's a whole other debate entirely!)

Other things you mention are more in line with a stadium, although they don't necessarily support the pro-stadium-funding argument very well. Light rail might be most comparable, in terms of high cost and limited direct benefits, but remember that massive public funding for light rail construction is also fairly controversial and has many opponents (including me). Using it as a justification for another project probably isn't a great idea.

The only real justification for huge public stadium funding is the "why not us?" argument: other cities have done it, other sports in this same town have done it, so why not the Vikings? And it's not a terrible argument, and it's probably why a stadium bill will eventually pass. However, the Vikings are stretching this argument like few other teams previously, asking for record or near-record amounts of public money. If the public price tag on this thing was a couple hundred million cheaper, I'm guessing the deal would be done by now.

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 6:53 PM by spycake Highlight this comment 57

Mike: "The NFL and the owners bring in $4 billion each year just from the TV contracts...that could build you (5) new stadiums each year, assuming a cost of $800 million/stadium. Now that cost is probably low for an average stadium, but you get the point, they could more than easily afford to build/renovate at least 4 or 5 stadiums each year. And that is just from the TV revenue..."

I will quibble with the exact numbers -- that $4 billion is not pure profit, and part of what makes the NFL so valuable/powerful are the often free stadiums -- but the league probably should be investing more in accommodations for its member teams. As it is, the league cries that the Vikings are costing them money, and the Vikings cry that the league is costing them money and competitiveness. Seems like that problem would be better solved by more equitable league arrangement/split, and not periodic infusions of public cash, but that's the power of pro sports leagues today.

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 7:03 PM by spycake Highlight this comment 58

In terms of the current vikings stadium plan how do they think a new stadium on the same metrodome site will stimulate new developement when the metrodome didnt get the job done.

Are they thinking hey we have A new stadium we should now start building new things around it. wouldnt that have been the same thought when the metrodome was built. It didnt happen then why would it happen now just curious.

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 9:29 PM by Leroy Highlight this comment 59

spycake, the reason the public subsidy will be so high is because this thing gets pushed back every frickin year. Every year the stadium cost goes up at least $50 million. put it off another 2-3 years and you have another $150 million to the cost.

As far as development around the dome, I think a new stadium will help, if Zygi or whoever can buy up some of the land around the dome.

This will be a world class facility, something the Metrodome never was. I could be wrong, but I think a world class facility could change that.

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 10:00 PM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 60

Leroy, that's a good question.

Smartphone users: you might want to check out the MLB At Bat app - I just downloaded it for my smartphone, aside from news, schedules, scores etc. one very neat feature is a map for every stadium in MLB which will show you where all the necessities are on each level (beer, brats and the bathroom). It's a very nice app.

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 10:09 PM by Twins2014 (aka luke) Highlight this comment 61

For those who have done the pre-sale ticket thing, do you see the seat-by-seat map and pick your own?

luke?!?! Can it really be?!?! Would it be too much to hope?!?!

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 10:15 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 62

schweady,

It is the old way, select # of seats, section, and hope for something decent in the computers thought on "Best available".

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 10:25 PM by tk Highlight this comment 63

"I was able to get in touch with my representative today and was pleased with his response."

Which was -----------------------

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 11:48 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 64

Spycake -- there was no correction. You made my point exactly. We collectively pool our money (called taxes), and spend that money on a variety of things. Some benefit our economy, some benefit our quality of life in less tangible ways, some benefit us directly, some we might personally think are useless.

Roads do not make money unless they are operated as private, for-profit toll roads. If we took away gas taxes and car registration taxes, we would not build new roads nor would we be able to repair the roads we have. I'm not suggesting that they are not desirable for the functioning of our current economy, but one can certainly argue that we have too many roads per mile driven in some of our more rural areas, for example. I don't benefit from road repairs in Roseau, so why should I pay for them!

Anyway, all I'm really saying that personally I think it is ok to just talk about taxes as part of these stadium discussions. I'm also ok with people saying that the public subsidy should be low or zero. I just get sick of the hoops of trying to conceive of the "least objectionable tax" for this particular issue.

I think our region derives quality of life benefits from having men play football in purple shirts within a 30 minute drive of our major state population center. The cheaper option would be for us to not have the purple shirt playing men here, and instead watch green and gold shirted men play football 300 miles to the east of us. I personally don't derive any benefits from the purple shirted playing men, but I think the region as a whole seems to -- quite passionately it seems.

Posted on February 22, 2012 at 08:03 AM by Lincster Highlight this comment 65

I had a friend get a password for the Opening Day sale today, she got tickets another way and sent the password to me. Does anyone know if I'll actually be able to use it or if it is somehow linked to her email/credit card/name/etc? I'd hate to get in there find some good tickets then get stuck because I am the "wrong person".

Thanks for the help.

Posted on February 22, 2012 at 08:28 AM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 66

This is not an excuse for the 40B screw-up, but as for the other complaints I would say in defense of the Twins that they really got a lousy schedule this year from MLB. Premium teams coming to town mid-week and in poor weather/school year times of the season, few weekend series during the prime summertime months, etc. Is this what happens to 99 loss teams?

Posted on February 22, 2012 at 08:28 AM by terry Highlight this comment 67

Welcome Back Luke!

Posted on February 22, 2012 at 08:29 AM by JoJo Highlight this comment 68

CSG Mike, I was offered the use of a BPM reader's password to get spring training tickets and it went hassle-free.

Posted on February 22, 2012 at 08:35 AM by terry Highlight this comment 69

This will be a world class facility, something the Metrodome never was. I could be wrong, but I think a world class facility could change that.

One question. Why would it change that? The quality of the stadium doesn't change the product (or product quality) housed within it. That product (plus other products that don't play there anymore) weren't enough to draw development before. Why would a nicer stadium stir more development now?

I dislike the Dome site immensely but if that's where it ends up, ok. But I don't think anyone needs/should go back to the hopes and dreams "build it and they will build more around it" idea that failed miserably with the Dome.

Posted on February 22, 2012 at 08:49 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 70

Thanks Terry! I'll let you guys know how it goes in an hour...

Posted on February 22, 2012 at 09:01 AM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 71

GoAUpher:

A cleverly built facility could change the area's dynamic in ways that the Dome never did. That's one reason why you see ideas like an ampitheater on the plaza floated - having more amenities (especially green space, if possible) would encrouage other uses of the site, and draw people (and potentially other businesses) to it. Having the light rail in place when teh new site is built could also encourage a bit more development. (Hasn't happened in the past few years because the Dome offers such a poor anchor attraction and because most people have figured that the Vikings would eventually be leaving that site).

But as Rick noted, the site's small footprint makes it highly unlikely that we'll see such creative, additional amenities developed. A Parking ramp? Perhaps. But you're right - that sort of "extra" isn't going to spur development any more than the Dome itself did.

Posted on February 22, 2012 at 09:11 AM by BR Highlight this comment 72

GoAupher : The quality of the stadium doesn't change the product (or product quality) housed within it. That product (plus other products that don't play there anymore) weren't enough to draw development before. Why would a nicer stadium stir more development now?

Ummm Northloop and target center and a crappy Twins Team say otherwise. True North Loop was starting to come around but there wouldn't have been light rail there until Target Field was announced and there wouldn't be the Northstar station there either. And there wouldn't be some of the private development either. Metrodome and downtown east suffered from bad zoning more than anything. The metrodome didn't hold back the area.

Posted on February 22, 2012 at 09:33 AM by moda Highlight this comment 73

Ahhhh... Basking in the warm coziness of the Virtual Waiting Room...

Posted on February 22, 2012 at 09:49 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 74

me too Schweady! (im)patiently waiting to hopefully get some tickets.

Posted on February 22, 2012 at 09:55 AM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 75

Done deal. Not rubbing elbows with the players, but it's my first Home Opener and I'm pumped. (Yes, I looked at the calendar and yes, it's 2012...)

Sec 321 Row 8

Posted on February 22, 2012 at 10:14 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 76

Picked up two for the home opener in 236, row 5. Got into the system with only about five minutes of waiting.

Now, /fingers crossed/ for a warm & sunny day on April 9th!!

Posted on February 22, 2012 at 10:17 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 77

I got in and out. 4 in Sec 108, row 20.

I couldn't remember how many rows were in that section... looks like only 24 according to the 3D seat view. Damn! I was hoping 30+ rows so I wouldn't be so close to the top. I didn't see where there was a "select another section" option to release the tickets and try for something else. At least I have something. Another Opening Day! I've been to both at TF and the last 3-4 at the Dome.

Posted on February 22, 2012 at 10:18 AM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 78

When you get to the 'summary' page, there are buttons on the left side (below the detail information for that game) where you can "replace" the selected tickets for that game - which takes you back to the 'select your seating section' page.

They've changed the system this year, it's taking some getting used to.

Posted on February 22, 2012 at 10:23 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 79

Well i wanted 4, but got 3. Section 106 Row 18

Posted on February 22, 2012 at 10:27 AM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 80

I see there are 4 tickets available on StubHub in my same section only 3 rows closer and over 2.5 times the bottom line cost after each method's added fees are totaled. Hooray for a lottery that I can actually win for once!

Posted on February 22, 2012 at 10:28 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 81

exactly Schweady, last year i shelled out around $125 a ticket for the home opener.

Posted on February 22, 2012 at 10:30 AM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 82

Just bought four. Section 334, row 1. Pretty happy, $125 total.

Posted on February 22, 2012 at 10:38 AM by visionsaul Highlight this comment 83

Have any STH's received their tickets to the home opener yet? Those STH's who bought last week.

Posted on February 22, 2012 at 10:43 AM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 84

Ummm Northloop and target center and a crappy Twins Team say otherwise. True North Loop was starting to come around but there wouldn't have been light rail there until Target Field was announced and there wouldn't be the Northstar station there either.

All true, but still a completely different situation. First, the team wasn't crappy when the field was built (they weren't great either, but certainly not crappy). Adding the extra few blocks of LRT was a factor, but the bigger plus was that Target Field also included a major transpo hub being built. The Dome site already has LRT and won't see improvements to public transpo on the same level (though the Central Corridor line will come into play at around the same time the new stadium would open which would be one plus).

The metrodome didn't hold back the area.

I never suggested the Dome did. I'm simply saying I don't see why any further development of any real quality/quantity should be expected just because a new stadium goes into the space while pointing out that the same reasoning failed the first go round. I'm not familiar with the zoning changes so hopefully changes there will make things better. But on the whole, my expectations for the possibilities are low (just like I always assumed Zygi's grand plans for AH were overstated).

Basically, I'm not trying to say it won't drive some development. I'm simply interested in why people would assume that it would.

Posted on February 22, 2012 at 10:43 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 85

Ugh...cut off my last thought too soon. Last sentence should have read "I'm simply interested in why people would assume that it would drive any major development worth being excited about."

Posted on February 22, 2012 at 10:45 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 86

Vikeologist: Not sure if you've sat there before, but that's where my buddy's 40-game plan seats were last year and I really enjoyed my 2 games from there.

Posted on February 22, 2012 at 10:49 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 87

Mike,

Nothing yet, but I hear they will be sent out closer the first week in March.

Posted on February 22, 2012 at 11:01 AM by tk Highlight this comment 88

Schweady, I actually sat there for the Target Field opener in 2010, and I liked it a lot.

I wanted 3rd base side because I like sitting on the 3rd base side in the spring for the sunshine, but I always sit on the 1st base side in the summer for the shade.

Posted on February 22, 2012 at 11:10 AM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 89

F_T_K, darn I couldn't find it... Maybe I was just a bit frazzled because I thought the tickets were decent and didn't want to lose them and end up out under the jumbotron.

Was there a "best available" option? I didn't see that either. I didn't really care where I sat. But I like the infield lower level. I know I'm a "ticket snob", it's just where I was at the Dome and now I am in the LC with my ticket group.

Posted on February 22, 2012 at 11:31 AM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 90

I see we have rehashed the season ticket holder perk debate.

Of course the twins gave perks when they needed to sell tickets at the dome. Now they have a very strong season ticket base they do not need to give away as much to keep season ticket holders. I personally don't care about the perks and treat them for what they are, perks.

The reason I have season tickets is because I now have tickets to all the games at a discounted price, and without fees, which in itself is a perk enough. Anything else is just extra.

For those of you complaining about your 20 game packs if you are really that upset and feel you are entitled to these minor perks, cancel them, I am sure the Twins will truly miss your $600.00. But if you like going to games and that is the real reason you have the tickets, stop complaining about not getting the perks you used to get.

Posted on February 22, 2012 at 2:17 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 91

I don't think the issue is so much about perks we used to get but that the elimination of same is at least another manisfestation of a concerted effort on the part of the team to increase cost to their fans while subtracting value - something we were led to believe would not happen in return for presenting them with a new palace. Other manisfestations include the TV deal which was a punch in the gut to a great many senior citizens, shut-ins, etc. --- ticket prices increasing by a factor of four, effectively shutting out many of the same folks who are paying for the palace --- and reducing payroll and putting a AAA team on the field at MLB prices. My point is, and always has been, that the team need not be so predatory - and that they would never have considered these moves when they had their hands out.

Posted on February 22, 2012 at 2:59 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 92

as a Vikings Season ticket holder, do you know what freebies I get???

Wait for it.......

Wait for it.......

NOTHING!

Posted on February 22, 2012 at 3:32 PM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 93

I think it's asking too much for a new football stadium to be the primary catalyst for neighborhood revitalization, especially at the Metrodome site. The site is basically a giant concrete dead-end downtown. That won't change because there is a shiny new building. If you had $5 million to build a new home anywhere in the Twin Cities, would you put it in Brooklyn Park? No. You. Wouldn't. So why are we settling on the Dome site? Because that's what you'll have.

Posted on February 22, 2012 at 3:59 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 94

Vikings are settling on the dome site because they were told by Dayton and lawmakers that is the only place they will support right now.

Posted on February 22, 2012 at 4:05 PM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 95

Been having a busy time at work and feeling a bit rough and stressed lately. And then today, a ray of sunshine! I have baseball, and hopefully sunny skies to look forward to. Got a couple opening day tickets and I get to take my son with me. This will be my third year in a row, and his second (pretty lucky for a 10 year old). He gets to skip school again for opening day this year :) We aren't going to tell him that we got tickets though so now I get to plan on how we will surprise him with it. I figure I will tell him I'm working from home that Monday. Let him sleep in a bit (hoping he doesn't look at a clock), then go into his room and tell them he has to get ready to 'go'. Then once he gets his school clothes on and backpack picked up tell him he can't possibly go wearing that. Toss a Twins shirt and hat at him and tell him he better get changed quick. Just puts a smile on my face thinking about it.

Baseball is a big thing in our house, I got to take my son to his first ever baseball game, in fact it was where I met him for the first time when my now wife thought it was time we should meet. He loves to play baseball, and I love to watch him, we go out to the local park and he gets to have his 'batting practice' where he gets to just swing away, we get to play catch in the yard, and we love to go to games together. I know we haven't had a rough winter, but I'm always looking forward to spring.

Posted on February 22, 2012 at 4:07 PM by schda Highlight this comment 96

I would bet that when this is all said and done, the majority will be disappointed by this stadium because we all know what could have been - be it in Arden Hills or over in Twinsville.

Posted on February 22, 2012 at 6:10 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 97

That is what i am deathly afraid of. I think too many things are going to be compromised by the lack of space where they are going to build this. I really hope I'm wrong!

Posted on February 22, 2012 at 7:16 PM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 98

Schda - same deal at our house. The young lad got to go to opening day of Target Field, but we didn't get in the drawing last year. I got in the drawing this year and grabbed a pair for this year so he gets to get out a bit early. I told him already and a huge smile came on his face.

We've had a lot of fun together on a lousy 2 ticket upper deck 20 game package. We got to go to game 163 together against the Tigers, he's seen playoff games live, he saw Thome chase for 600, we sat in the snowfall last April and he caught his first foul ball (I'm still zero for lifetime)....those are irreplaceable memories.

Posted on February 22, 2012 at 7:26 PM by Lincster Highlight this comment 99

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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.


The entrance at Gate 3.



Circulation ramps: Wrigley (classic, integrated) and Kauffman (modern, external)









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.



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.









Rich Pogin (left) and Bruce Lambrecht (Source: Skyway News)






The creative design of the admin building stands in stark contrast to the horribly pedestrian appearance of the LRT platform. This design looks like it came out of a public transportation manual.



Walkway construction is progressing



Looking across the top of the B parking ramp. Notice that signage will block any attempts at seeing the game from up there. Also take note of the glassed in area which is part club and part office space for the Ballpark Authority.



A cold afternoon in 323, but we had our trusty Twins blanket -- made by my mom when Noah was born.



Now from the inside looking at the same area.









The view from the corner of Ford Centre. (Feel free to tie up your boats here.)






20 minutes to get from our seat to the street. Miss this place? Nah.



Plaza overview from the A ramp



Left field bench seating



This little pathway snakes between the LRT tracks and the Environmental Services Building, emptying into the parking area surrounding the HERC. It could be for maintenance, but it looks more like it's for convenience.






Approach in the A ramp to the skywalk over Seventh



Gate 29 Carew



Selling exactly what they say they're selling.






The first passengers are about to arrive, but the switch is set for the wrong track (those guys walked all the way out to correct it)



Playing surface dirt out there? Maybe. (click to enlarge)






Open house skeptics



An early concept for the pedestrial bridge. (Source: Ballpark Authority, RP)



After the rain. (We were in the wrong spot to see the rainbow...)



The HERC promenade side.



July 7, 1966 (Click to see the entire scorecard with ads)



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.



This is the trapezoid (for lack of a better name) in right center. Be sure to notice section of seats just below the pavilion and above the fence (which I hadn't noticed before). For those who are interested, what looks like an old-style scoreboard is in fact a high-def video board which will look, at times, like an old-fashioned scoreboard.



I love views like this. They show just how much Target Field shimmers. (Photo by Jeff Ewer)



Dan Mehls, Mortenson Construction









Clemson Memorial Stadium



The seating bowl of Citizens Bank Park overlaid on the Target Field site



June 29,1936 - May 17, 2011



This is a background image extracted from one of the blueprint pages. It's essentially a schematic of the park (Terrace Level). In it you can see the shape of the various seating areas (to a certain extent).



Carew atrium menu part 1






Photo by Tom Sweeney, Star Tribune





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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