So much to talk about, so little time. Let's start with the obvious: Before dropping a double-header to the Red Sox today, there had to be a rainout yesterday. Kevin in AZ nailed it:
Twins rained out tonight in Boston. What the hell were they thinking when they built Fenway without a roof. I'll bet there are riots down Boylston and all throughout the Kenmore about Fenway being open air. How could the Red Sox organization thumb their noses at all of the other New Englanders coming in from Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Rhode Island. Goodness knows there's nothing else to do in Boston except watch baseball so what on earth are all of those people supposed to do with their time tonight?????
There will be much gnashing of teeth in the Twin Towns next year at this time when the first game is postponed (which, I'm told, would not have happened yet if they'd been playing outside this year).
This may seem a little obvious, but there are 15 MLB teams either in warm parts of the country or with roofs. Why not simply weight the schedule a little bit toward these cities in the most vulnerable months? I know that we wouldn't want the Twins on the road for all of April or September, but why not an extra Texas, California, or Tampa Bay series in each of those months?
There's much to love about the opening of New Yankee Stadium -- if you're into Shadenfreude, that is (and I'm not talking about the blow-out losses).
Balls are jumping out at a rate that, while it's admittedly a small sample size, certainly catches one's attention. Could it be that there were no wind studies done in advance on that ballpark? Here's one that certainly raises eyebrows.
I'm checking to see if anything has been done on Target Field. I'll let you know.
But that isn't the only interesting thing. Seems that the economy has put a bit of a freeze on some ticket sales. Here's an interesting article (with photo) that talks about and illustrates the "empty premium seats" problem.
I don't want to say "I told you so", but I did write about this very subject well over a year ago -- long before my IRA dropped by 45%. It's one very serious potential downside for creating such a rigid distinction between the various tiers of seating.
Just so I'm clear: This is not a lament about ticket prices. Nor is it a lament about the increased difficulty of moving up to better seats later in the game. I do share these objections, but this is strictly about flexibility for the proprietors.
By creating a large and completely sequestered "premium" seating area, you risk seriously impacting your opportunities to change your plan mid-course. A year ago, no one in New York was thinking it might be hard to sell the most expensive seats (though they might have been if they'd noticed that Washington opened a ballpark and immediately experienced similar problems -- though for a different reason). Thus, no one was imagining that you might have the embarrassment of large swaths of empty seats on people's television screens.
But it was entirely predictable. With such a clearly visible line of demarcation between the uber-expensive seats and the only obnoxously-expensive seats, even the best of times would probably yield some empty seats in the best part of the ballpark. In fact, those seats, the "worst of the best", are destined to be the most likely to be empty -- even more than the ultra-cheap and obstructed-view bleacher seats.
Today, we know it's a real problem. Thankfully for the Twins, they have a year to devise a back-up plan (something the Yankees and Mets should have done). They're clever folks, and I have no doubt they'll be ready. But there's something fitting about seeing this problem raise its ugly head in the new baseball Taj Mahal.
I'm sharing this photo with you because this was perhaps the worst hot dog I've ever eaten (April 14, Toronto game). It was free (with the purchase of a seat in the family zone), but that does not redeem it. As you can see, though I didn't measure it before eating it, the hot dog itself is just over half the size of the bun (that's why I took the photo -- at which point I did not yet know just how undelectable it would be).
The bun was dry. The meat was cool (not quite cold, definitely not hot). The whole thing just barely fit for an animal.
It led to a somewhat awkward conversation between me, my friend and his son to determine whose was smallest.
"Is yours smaller than mine? Really?"
"No way. I think mine's the smallest."
"Looks like they're all pretty small."
* Sigh *
And that terrible dog was served by a volunteer who was just learning the cash register.
So let's use this as a springboard for the latest round of Things I Won't Miss About the Metrodome (TIWMATM):
#5 - Centerplate (the food service company)
#6 - Volunteer concession staff (well-meaning, but always a bottleneck)
#7 - Troughs (nothing quite like getting someone else's piss on your knees)
"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 3037 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Perched welder on the top of the canopy.
Skyline to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am, stuck in the outfield with you... (click to enlarge)
Brick work just inside the opening matches the color of the limestone - per Jerry Bell's requirements.
Scoreboard in profile against the skyline
From last week, you can see the piers taking shape. I believe that the front row, visible here as just forms and reinforcing rods, is the front edge of the plaza.
7:52 PM It's nearing peak, and covering the stands behind third base.
Click to enlarge.
Do you know who did this drawing? If so, please tell me so I can give them proper credit.
The scoreboard terminates the view on Fifth Street as seen from Hennepin
Flowers and Hall-of-Fame plaques. Very nice.
Here's the entrance from the seating bowl.
The media had some beautiful foliage to use as a background.
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...
Staircase entrance. You cannot miss them.
Lots of sun, but not much scoreboard from 127
Walkway construction is progressing
Here's a closer look.
Looking from First Avenue toward the ballpark (over the top of a construction barricade)
Two concepts here remain in the final design. First is the oddly-shaped pavilion in center. Second is the section just above the right field fence. In the current design this section will hang over the field by a few feet. The original doesn't do that, but you can see that the concept goes way back in the planning.
This would have been the HERC side, though it's unclear just how far over the plant the retracted roof would have gone. My fear was always that they would have to shorten the track and more of the roof would have stayed over the ballpark. The only good retractable roof is one which disappears when not in use. I don't think they could have realistically created such a thing.
Click to enlarge
The dessert carts came out earlier, and looked even better than last year.
The knothole (sans view of anything interesting)
Here's a quick look into the layout of the Metropolitan Club.
Emergency access viewed in context
Serious home dugout work in progress.
More of a bird's-eye view of the same area.
You can't get there from here.
You'll be able to park here for a quick stop at the Pro Shop or ticket window.
Fun with section counting!
Look familiar? Unfortunately, just adding little balconies with cool angles will not offset the pervading ugliness.
The french fry lights were on!
The bases for the player statues have been recently upgraded.