If you're like me, you're not very productive these days.
It's baseball pretty much all day on TBS, and despite the wildly varying quality of the announcers (I think all three of the other teams are better than the set we're stuck with) it can be difficult to look away.
But I had two things on my mind today. (If I create a new post today can I feel like I've at least accomplished something?)
(As I write, Torii Hunter has hit a three-run homer for the Angels. It sure looked like a "climb on my back" moment, and he is pumped. Did you know that he hit .299 in the regular season? That's a career high. Do we miss him? Well, yes, but Denard Span hit .311.)
Schedule? Look Closely
On my way out of the Metrodome last Sunday I spied a box of preliminary 2010 pocket schedules and grabbed a handful.
I didn't get a chance to look at one until today, but I saw something sort of unexpected: The gates at Target Field have all been renumbered!
This was kind of implied by the placement of the Hrbek-themed restaurant at what had previously been known as the Oliva gate, but I don't remember hearing any official announcement about the change.
The numbering I've been using all along is what was seen on the model. Basically, they've just reversed the order. The Killebrew gate is now outside center field, and they are numbered counter-clockwise from there. The net is that Hrbek's gate ends up next to his restaurant, and Puckett still gets the main gate area off the plaza.
In addition, each gate is labeled with the area of the park which you are entering. This may seem like a small thing, but first-time visitors (which will include lots of people throughout the life of the park) will find it much easier to know where to enter to get closest to their seats.
The print on this schedule is pretty tiny (uh oh, my eyes are getting old), but you can also make out that the main pro shop on Seventh Street, previously announced as "Twins Town", will actually be called "Majestic Twins Clubhouse Store." That's kind of wordy, and is going to take a little time before it will roll off anybody's tongue. (JohnF points out in the comments that "Majestic" is the brand name of Major League players' uniforms.)
The promenade is labeled simply as "Promenade", alas not yet bearing the hoped-for "Halsey Hall Memorial Promenade" designation. A lot of fans don't realize the gigantic role that Halsey played in selling the Twins to the public when they first arrived. He'd been a broadcaster for the Millers and had covered the Saints as a reporter for the Pioneer Press. A lot of fans, though excited for Major League baseball, were apprehensive about losing their favorite teams (both the Saints and Millers disappeared when the Twins arrived). Halsey smoothed it all over and brought everybody into the fold -- much like the logo seen on the Celebration Sign was designed to do. What he did for the early success of the team here can't be overstated.
(As I write, the first base ump has blown a pretty easy call allowing Howie Kendrick to reach on an errant throw, despite the fact that he was clearly out by more than a step. Instant replay, wherefore art thou?)
Concessions to Mother Nature?
Comparing next year's schedule to this year's reveals some relatively small concessions to the weather, most of which are in April.
April of 2010 will see five fewer home games (9 versus 14 in 2009), and nine fewer night games (3 versus 12 in 2009). The shift is to 12:10 and 3:10 games, of which there will be five (versus 1 in '09).
The games missing from April are found in May and June. This may be due to just how the schedule falls, but it does allow all five games shifted out of the coolest month to be night games in the warmer ones.
At the other end of the season, it's almost the opposite of what you might expect as concessions to the weather. Four games are shifted from balmy August to become night games in September. The average temperature in September (71) is similar to May (70), but those September evenings do tend to cool off a little faster and a little more.
The explanation may come, in part, from something Dave St. Peter has said many times. He expects to get as many complaints about the lack of air conditioning as about the lack of heat.
The scheduling process is pretty mysterious. It's hard to know just how much control the Twins had over these things. But game times are probably the most within their control, and it appears that they've done at least some small things in consideration of fan (and player) comfort.
(As I write, the Angels have completed their shut out of the Red Sox. In terms of former Twins, Papi looked pathetic, and Torii looked pumped.)
A loyal reader found himself with the task of packing up lights which had gone bad out at the ballpark this week. In total, six of these 64-pound monsters had to go back -- in very large boxes.
Four were just bad, and the other two were shattered. Take a look.
(As I finish, Cal Ripken Jr. is demonstrating how to steal a base on the pitcher's first movement. It's, well, a little bit interesting. But it turns out my favorite episode of ST:TNG is on WGN, so I'm moving from one type of distraction to another, for now.)
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This page was last modified on October 9, 2009.
"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 3004 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Visual depiction of current stadium legislation
It's a great view of the action, though standing here is somewhat discouraged.
I know you've seen these, but is there a better finishing touch anywhere else in baseball? I know not one.
(Click to enlarge greatly)
The green in question (click for very large version)
Here's the current overview from the south side of the B ramp (from which the banner at the top of this page was culled).
Also from the B ramp entrance off of Third, a look up at the tiny crack between ballpark and parking ramp
Cross section diagram of the field structure. (Click to enlarge.)
The stunning curtains, which skillfully evoke the architecture, keep the atrium from getting too hot in the late afternoon sun, simultaneously hiding the HERC.
At lower left are the seats I'm not going to use any time soon.
(Click to enlarge.)
One of the sweetest sights of the day -- the Dome, and only through passing bus windows.
These openings will facilitate access to the catwalks which run throughout the canopy.
These images are found at the top of the staircase, which leads to the Suite Level.
Arrival back at Target Field
Dude, this is NOT a multi-use facility.
Click to enlarge. (Photo by Jared Wieseler)
First Avenue at left, bike parking area at lower right
Walkway entrance from ramp
Just up the foul line, it looks like the base of the wall in foul territory on the right side.
Dancing for the cameras
Trees also have sprouted near the topiaries
The Carew gate ticket windows have grown a small awning.
Nearby, workers are finishing a support column. The guy at the bottom is using some sort of personal dirt mover (inset). Very cool.
At left, across the tracks by that pile of dirt is where the Northstar commuter train platform will be built, and where Twins fans will apparently NOT be able to get a train after night games. (For reference, that's the Fifth Street bridge, with the ballpark site just beyond it. The east corner of Ford Centre is just visible at the right edge of the picture.)
A very early vision for TF's main concourse
Also viewed from the B ramp, that's the upper deck in left field.