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Thinking Baseball

March 3, 2013 1:14 AM

Blink, blink. S t r e t c h . . . yawn . . . What? Really?

It's a little abstract, but I hear that there are people actually playing baseball somewhere again. The gloves, bats and balls are out, the jerseys, caps and spikes are on, and the great hibernating bear known as Major League Baseball is gradually awakening once again.

Since TwinsFest, I've had several persistent thoughts about the 2013 Minnesota Twins. The first is that I don't know half of these guys -- including most of the pitchers. This is becoming less unusual, but it does make it hard to connect with the grand past when every year you start with a bunch of unfamiliar faces.

At the same time, since the old faces largely disappointed us, change must be viewed as potential progress -- at least until somebody starts keeping official stats again. Then we'll see.

Second, I'm remembering spring of 1987, but not because of any specific parallels between this year's squad and that one (though they both feature a couple of long-term home-grown stars and only, um, modest expectations of being better than the previous year). No, I'm thinking of that year because this year's team, like that one, will begin the season 22 years removed from the franchise's last World Series appearance.

Somehow the length between 1965 and 1987 seems longer than that between 1991 and 2013 -- a function of my age, no doubt. But 1987 ultimately proved that you never know on opening day who will be left standing at the end of October. The '87 Twins shocked everybody. Could the '13 Twins do the same?

This is the time of year when such questions, even tons of contrary analysis notwithstanding, must be asked and fantasy miracles must be allowed to motivate us as fans.

Getting Serious

Of course, I know what everyone out there is saying. So, let's really think about this.

The Twins front office has only made moves that are likely to benefit the team a couple of years down the road. Any remaining moves between now and opening day -- just a few weeks away (!!) -- aren't exactly going to change the make-up of this club in any fundamental way. Even adding back a HOFer for the bench isn't going to change that much. Right now, we pretty much know who we're going to be watching this summer.

But where does that leave us? And by 'us', I mean people like you and me who see the Game as the thing much more than the Win. This is not to say we don't like to win. We certainly like to win more than we like to lose. But we can enjoy -- and have enjoyed/endured -- watching the game being played even when the hometown team isn't all that good. One thing that will certainly still be true on April 1 is that, on any given day any major league team can beat -- or even trounce -- any other major league team.

So, the questions: How much do we watch? How much do we care? How much do we pay? And, just because we're all ballpark geeks here: How much does just being able to go out to a beautiful ballpark figure in to the equation?

When I get depressed about the Twins roster, I think about these things. And right now, I'm depressed about the Twins roster.

My wife became a Twins fan while we were dating in 2001. Her fandom was sealed about the time we got married in 2002. Pretty good place to start, eh? She really has no idea what the 70s, 80s, and 90s were like for Twins fans. I tell her that, with history as a guide, it could be a decade before we get the opportunity to lose to the Yankees again in the playoffs, and our kids may have kids before the TCs bring home another World (Series) Championship.

But she doesn't believe me because that hasn't been her experience. She always thinks, when the new season starts, that the team has a chance, that the Twins will figure out a way to win. And her "has a chance" isn't like yours and mine (meaning, mathematical), but she thinks they really have a chance and will figure out a way to win -- much more like little kids imagine it -- with a mental image of Drew Butera catching strike three of the last out in the ninth inning of game seven and then running and jumping into the arms of Kevin Correia, all on a beautiful, warm October evening at Target Field.

Truthfully, she's in a better position than you and me.

We know that we have to temper our expectations. If we don't want to be crestfallen come Jun-- er, September, we won't set our expectations above those of the professional forecasters. We'll expect the Twins to lose 95 games and pull up last in the AL Central. Anything better than that will be a welcome relief. (For her part, Victoria doesn't get too wrapped up in all the losing. When they don't win, even though she thought they might have, she basically just shrugs and smiles. It's just baseball, she might as well say. Did I mention that she's in a much better place about this than most of us?)

But we also have to make decisions about our attendance and ticket purchases (she really does not; she'll probably only go to one game all season, and only if she has the free time to spare). So there's really something at stake for us.

I'm not going to drag out the suspense here. I'll be attending games at roughly the same pace as recent years, and it'll be based way more on my availability than on the team's performance. I've worked my way up to about a dozen games per season, and I'll probably get to that many this year. And I'll probably sit in roughly the same sections and spend roughly the same amount on concessions and souvenirs.

I bet the Twins are counting on a few fans like me, and I'm confident that they'll have more than a few. Despite our reputation as bandwagon fans, I think the reality is that we're way more loyal -- as a whole -- than some other places. Dave St. Peter has widely stated that the team experienced an 80% renewal rate on season tickets (19K FTEs) and the advertisers reupped at something approaching 90%. These types of numbers are almost unheard of in professional sports franchises with two terrible seasons in a row. (Things are not like this in Miami.)

It seems that fans in other markets are far more willing to punish teams for lackluster performance than we are around these parts. So we look good, right?

Well, it turns out (see Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played and Games Are Won) that punishing teams financially is actually one of the best ways to motivate them to get better. When wins don't directly and dramatically affect the bottom line, the incentives to improve are short-circuited. Do you wonder why the Cubs haven't won a World Series since the Harding administration? It's at least partly because fans still go out to Wrigley Field even when the team stinks. (Note to the Ricketts family: Don't use this argument when lobbying for funds to renovate the dump! "We want to fix up Wrigley so fans keep coming even when we suck.")

That's part of what makes the new cable TV deals so scary. This is nothing new, but it appears that overall market size is now going to have a much greater affect on each team's bottom line than anything as parochial as success on the field. We could see a new era of competitive imbalance which puts the 90s to shame.

But now, in the first week of March, is not the time to obsess about such things. Now is the time to get ready for some baseball.

To that end, Vic and I have been rewatching the Ken Burns mini-series, I've picked up a few new books about ballparks (imagine that!), and I've printed out my 2013 Twins schedule and started marking in the dates. (You can print out your very own BallparkMagic 2013 Schedule here.)

It looks like I'm not buying the 2013 Baseball Prospectus because it appears, from its online preview, to be a pale and stiff descendant of the snarkier and vastly more entertaining editions of years gone by (the last really good one was, I think, 2005). If you can recommend an alternative, I'd sure appreciate it. (I'm not looking for printed stats or fantasy projections. More the narrative descriptions of what happened within each franchise and division.)

I'd be lying if I said that I feel the same giddy-up about the Twins that I did a couple of years ago, but they're still my team. They still promise to provide me with some sort of awesome narrative this summer, and will still suck up a fair amount of my disposable income.

After all, Joe Mauer is going to need a good nanny, and I feel like I must do my small part.

C'mon! Let's play already!


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Truman looks like a tiny right-handed Justin Morneau.

Posted on March 3, 2013 at 07:30 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 1

Nice article Rick. Speaking TwinsFest, since the Dumpy is having a state funeral on December 28, where do you think TwinsFest will be held the next two years? Do you think they will still do it? I wouldnt mind a two year hiatus, only if they revamp it a little, get some new stuff for it and relaunch in 2016 at USBank Field.

I know they have done other venues from time to time, MOA, NSC...but those were disasters.

Posted on March 3, 2013 at 07:51 AM by luke Highlight this comment 2

I'm actually pretty excited about this season. The influx of young talent that should be coming up this year, Hicks, Gibson, Benson and possibly Arcia, will be really fun to watch develop. Also I absolutely love going to games in a game with 25k fans or less. Plenty of elbow room, shorter lines, etc. In the end I just love watching baseball, and April 1st can't come soon enough.

Posted on March 3, 2013 at 10:32 PM by Jp Highlight this comment 3

I wonder...with avg attendance well under 20k p/g this season, if TF staff will let folks move around in the seating bowl...try different seats?

Posted on March 4, 2013 at 05:44 AM by luke Highlight this comment 4

Back to the good old days of buying the cheapest seat and sit anywhere you want.

Posted on March 4, 2013 at 1:31 PM by twinfan Highlight this comment 5

Great new post Rick. The photo of your son reminds me of my son's first trip to Twins Fest 4 or 5 years ago, except he swings left handed. We seemingly waited in that whiffle ball line forever, but he got to take his hacks at home plate of the Metrodome.

Posted on March 4, 2013 at 2:01 PM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 6

does anyone see the possible return of the Cheap Seats general admission - perhaps in LF Bleachers or Grandstand, or because of the smaller capacity than The Other Place - is there too much money to be lost by doing that?

Posted on March 4, 2013 at 5:17 PM by luke Highlight this comment 7

Another fail by the weather terrorists today.

Posted on March 4, 2013 at 5:40 PM by badjuggler Highlight this comment 8

Let's not start that again...

Posted on March 4, 2013 at 7:11 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 9

I can't help but notice that it has started to snow -- at least where I am -- and the weather radar makes it look like this will continue for quite some time...

Do you suppose that Larry and crew wish they had waited until after the storm to start removing snow? Or will the fact that they've already removed the earlier covering make it easier to remove what we're getting now?

(That's the same question I always ask myself: Is it better to shovel once halfway through the big storm to get rid of half of it, or just wait until it's all over and do it all in one big marathon?)

Posted on March 4, 2013 at 8:18 PM by Rick 10

Thats a question that has plagued Minnesotans since the Big Bang put us here. I think a "marathon" shovel is best, you only have to put your gear on

Posted on March 4, 2013 at 9:21 PM by luke Highlight this comment 11

Nope, breaking the shoveling into smaller parts is much easier on the're not lifting it all at once. Then again, the TF grounds crew likely isn't shoveling the field clear...not like when the freak hailstorm hit in May 2010 and they were mostly raking the outfield clear.

Posted on March 4, 2013 at 9:54 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 12

Considering the twins know ahead of time im guessing twins fest would be at the convention center if available.

Posted on March 5, 2013 at 12:13 AM by Leroy Highlight this comment 13

Its beginning to look alot like Christmas!!!! LOL! Poor Larry! Bend and scoup Larry! Why these guys want to open up at home on April 1st is just plain crazy!

Posted on March 5, 2013 at 08:17 AM by twinfan Highlight this comment 14

Definitely break the shoveling up. Avoid throwing out the back or having a heart attack. Also, others will use your sidewalk even if you're at work. If you want the mail delivered, you shouldn't leave 8 inches of unshovelled snow out there.

Posted on March 5, 2013 at 09:21 AM by BR Highlight this comment 15

I break up the shoveling into multiple shifts whenever possible. Easier to push around a lesser amount instead of having to lift and throw the deep stuff.

And as far as the forecast, I think they nailed this one pretty good - they told us it would hit the Twin Cities early Mon am, snow for a bit and taper off before firing up again in the afternoon/evening and getting us good. Does the media overplay it? Sure, it's their job and if they didn't talk about the storms they would hype something else. Would you have rather they didn't mention this was coming?

Posted on March 5, 2013 at 10:21 AM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 16

And they've been telling us about this storm since Saturday, so it's not like we were caught unaware.

Less than four weeks until Opening Day! (I really hope our team doesn't suck this year...)

Posted on March 5, 2013 at 11:04 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 17

Noon spring training game on 96.3. That should take my mind of snow and all that other stuff for a while.

Posted on March 5, 2013 at 11:33 AM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 18

If you're concerned that weather events are over-hyped on TV,be glad ... be VERY glad ... March is not a "sweeps month".

Posted on March 5, 2013 at 12:34 PM by terry Highlight this comment 19

Click my name for an odd juxtaposition. Twins tix arrived the same day as 7 inches of snow. Thank goodness for those heating coils underneath TF turf.

Posted on March 5, 2013 at 4:19 PM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 20

Bel on the number 11 was saying tonight that the models are hinting at 50 degree temps in 10 days. Yes, it's a long way out, but hope springs eternal, yes?

Posted on March 6, 2013 at 7:19 PM by luke Highlight this comment 21

The Marlins are having such a hard time selling opening day tickets that they have begun offering free tix to a later Apr or May game for buying OD seats. Click name for more.

Posted on March 7, 2013 at 1:40 PM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 22

Sounds like we found our Center Fielder for the future.

Posted on March 7, 2013 at 2:49 PM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 23

Well, looks like we don't have to worry about him having a weak arm, just a need to be accurate.

Posted on March 7, 2013 at 2:56 PM by tk Highlight this comment 24

One game does not make a career, especially in a split squad game. That being said, it is encouraging. At least we know he won't be screwed up by Joe Vavra.

Posted on March 7, 2013 at 6:15 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 25

LOL - oh good golly, the Marlins have "Brewers syndrome". Reason number 1,293,584,283,094 why I am so glad we didn't put a roof on TF.

The damn Brewers did so well the first year (2001) at Miller Park and drew 2.8 million fans, then in year 2 (incidentally their All Star Game year) attendance plummeted and they only attracted 1.9 million and their per game avg. attendance dropped by 10,000.

The Marlins really have always had attendance woes. I remember hearing about one game they played at the Whatever-the-Hell-Its-Called-This-Week Stadium back in the 90s sometime, and at opening pitch they had like 140 people in a 62,000 seat stadium.

Posted on March 7, 2013 at 7:31 PM by luke Highlight this comment 26

I don't think the roof is the problem and the Brewers are not comparable. Marlins ownership stripped the team of all the talent and went back on the cheap (a cycle they have repeated time and again in Miami).

The roof is hurting the Brewers so much that they are experiencing steady growth in attendance since that two year drop and have over 3M the past two years. The Brewers finished that first season at 68-94 and had a predictable drop, regardless of new ballpark. Had the Twins not been winning regularly in the first TF season, the absence of a roof would more than likely not have saved them from a somewhat similar fate.

None of that to say that I wanted a roof on TF - I am glad they didn't go with one and the first three seasons have shown pretty well that we can get along without one.

Posted on March 8, 2013 at 08:10 AM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 27

The fate of any kind of retractable roof was pretty much settled in the spring of 2006 by the state legislature,so talking about a roof for our ballpark is not going to change the fact that this awesome park will never have a roof,thank god. Just imagine for a second the awesome ambiance and experience of a twins game and then imagine how wrecked it would be with any kind of roof overhead. By the way I am not commenting on anything anyone posted just reiterating that I agree,too with Stevie B's assessment 100 percent.

Posted on March 8, 2013 at 08:21 AM by Tom D. Highlight this comment 28

If I were permitted one more comment about the great "To Roof or Not to Roof" question of several years ago (with apologies to The Bard), it would be this: check the history of the Twins twenty-one years at Met Stadium. They did not have an inordinate number of weather cancellations. My recollection is that they were in the middle of the pack in that category.

Posted on March 8, 2013 at 09:56 AM by terry Highlight this comment 29

Click for picture of optimistic grounds crew hard at work today.

Posted on March 8, 2013 at 10:31 AM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 30

Good view of the new section in the right field corner, too.

Posted on March 8, 2013 at 10:32 AM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 31

Looks like there is going to be some more restricted view seats in the upper rows of section 101

Posted on March 8, 2013 at 11:03 AM by trebor651 Highlight this comment 32

exactly terry.
And yes, I know the Brew Crew's gate receipts have gone up in recent years, but it was just the fact that it was such a dramatic drop in the second year of a new park.
Matter of fact, I think the Brew has one of MLB's worst percentage drops in attendance for a second year in a new park.

Posted on March 8, 2013 at 4:23 PM by luke Highlight this comment 33

"Matter of fact, I think the Brew has one of MLB's worst percentage drops in attendance for a second year in a new park."

Can we have a moratorium on Luke posts in which he makes up facts with the hope that, for once, one of them proves correct? This seems to have become his M.O.

Posted on March 8, 2013 at 7:23 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 34



And for a little measure, for God's Sake, READ (go to Admiral's comment, WHICH INCLUDES A PICTURE of the Marlins game I was talking about)

I wonder if TTH is one of the jackals Jesse Ventura hated?

Posted on March 8, 2013 at 9:42 PM by luke Highlight this comment 35

Official attendence for that double header (May 20, 2009) is listed as 14,426. The secod game lasted into the 13th inning, so by the time that picture was taken, fans who remained had been sitting through 22 innings of baseball.

Posted on March 9, 2013 at 04:06 AM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 36

Tu che

Posted on March 9, 2013 at 07:35 AM by luke Highlight this comment 37

It's touché, but that would involve looking up facts. Let me help you out.

Posted on March 9, 2013 at 5:20 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 38

adversus solem ne loquitor, TTH.
I didn't take a French spelling class.

Posted on March 9, 2013 at 7:32 PM by luke Highlight this comment 39

I don't know if anybody else here has been watching the WBC but I have a hard time understanding why the baseball public hasn't gotten behind the awesomeness that is this tournament. It's a ton of fun to watch these national teams, a couple of which are legitimate all star clubs, play meaningful games in the middle of March. My dvr is set for Cuba/Netherlands tomorrow and I cannot wait to watch that game with my morning coffee.

Posted on March 11, 2013 at 12:59 AM by jp Highlight this comment 40

I cant really get behind the WBC. Its just like an Olympic competition. Of course there is no more baseball in the Olympics, unless it is reinstated in 2016.
I am just not that interested in it.

Got tickets for two premium games this year. Looking forward to my timeshare at TF in 2013.

Posted on March 11, 2013 at 06:52 AM by luke Highlight this comment 41

WBC - I'm getting into it this year for the first time a little bit more! I think the pitch count rules are needed and add a lot to the strategy, but I can't remember what they are!

This winter - I know, I know, why bitch about the weather, but enough snow already!! I dug out from another 8 inches this morning, after digging out of 10 last weekend! The only positive is that my school has now had SIX snow days, which is pretty unbelievable. Of course, my co-workers and I are trying to figure out if/when we have have to make these up!

Opening Day is EXACTLY THREE WEEKS AWAY!! Accuweather projects cludy and 56 degrees. If it is 56 degrees with little or no wind, that would be totally acceptable to me! Any ideas of that opening day lineup yet?? (Hicks, Dozier, Mauer, Willingham, Morneau, Doumit, Plouffe, Parmelee, Carroll - not an awful lineup?!?!)

I start coaching 8th grade baseball a week from today - looks like I better get creative with my indoor practice plans. Ick!!

Posted on March 11, 2013 at 12:47 PM by ole Highlight this comment 42

On opening day, will Prince Fielder be able to pull the cuffs of his uniform pants over snow shoes the way he does over his spikes? And no, despite the recent weather, I do not want a roof on TF. Just having a little fun with Fielder's sartorial taste - or lack thereof.

Posted on March 11, 2013 at 2:35 PM by terry Highlight this comment 43

The WBC has been a pleasant surprise. Seems many of the teams' players have a passion for playing for their country. That really makes a difference to me as a fan. Sadly, I see that least in the American team - though they did what they needed to get to the next round. I can't see them getting past the Dominicans or Puerto Ricans though.

It's been a pleasant diversion from an otherwise boring spring training.

Posted on March 11, 2013 at 4:35 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 44

lol...cuffs over snow shoes. The visual alone...

Posted on March 11, 2013 at 4:46 PM by luke Highlight this comment 45

I thought I saw A twins ad that says there are tickets as low as eight bucks was that just A dream. I dont remember there being tickets that low.

Posted on March 12, 2013 at 08:14 AM by Leroy Highlight this comment 46

You can probably hit up a scalper after the 1st inning for $5.00 to get in. Once there sit where you want. Don't forget to load up on the Holiday dogs and peanuts to bring in also! Gee I might just grab a couple for lunch today! Also bring in 2 bottles of water. Empty one pour clear rum and put the cap on it and bring it on in! No worry the usher won't open it up and smell it. Might need a buzz to watch the boys this year! The STRIVE for 75!!!!

Posted on March 12, 2013 at 11:09 AM by twinfan Highlight this comment 47

Leroy, Field view tix are $8 for an "extra value" game. Monday April 15 vs Angels, for example. But you'd likely be able to do better than that on the street. You prob wouldn't be able to do better than that on Stubhub, because of their $3 minimum plus their fees.


Posted on March 12, 2013 at 12:20 PM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 48

Oh and by the way, the $8 ticket is actually $15 if you buy online because there is a $3.50 convenience fee and a $3.50 order fee. Not sure what the fees are for in-person purchase.

Posted on March 12, 2013 at 12:25 PM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 49

This is an interesting point, ClarkAddison. The StubHub fee restructuring does appear as if it will move some sales back to street vendors, especially when the prices are low. The question will be whether the street brokers can still make money that way, and if the effect on more expensive seats will be similar.

I think it's fair to say that there will be no such thing as a really cheap ticket on StubHub anymore. The entry point in fees will prevent that -- and that is by design, of course.

Posted on March 12, 2013 at 12:31 PM by Rick 50

Sweet spot ID cards came today. Back to a prior question: They clearly DO apply to alcoholic beverages, at least in some locations. For example, it explicitly applies to "bar service" in the Metropolitan Club and to "spirits and premium bar sevice" in the Champions Club. It refers to "food & beverages" in other locations, with no specified restrictions, but without clearly saying "beer," either. I'm guessing it will apply to beer at the main food stands, though...

Posted on March 12, 2013 at 6:53 PM by br Highlight this comment 51

Sidenote from Twins talk for a second:

Anyone have/know of a good vikings site like this one? I am thinking of going all ninja on the new stadium construction and while I am sure Rick would love posting the images to his baseball site, a football site would be more appropriate to share the construction update images with.

Posted on March 13, 2013 at 10:28 AM by jared Highlight this comment 52

Clearly the leagues and teams were concerned about getting undercut by StubHub when they had significant available inventory. Why pay full price for a seat in the 300 level when you can sit in a decent lower deck seat for the same or less? StubHub's relationship with MLB and other leagues was a blessing for it in gaining a commanding market share. However, there have been and are other similar services that could benefit by undercutting StubHub's new fee structure. THe key would be getting enough traffic and inventory to be a viable player

Posted on March 13, 2013 at 10:33 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 53

Jared cehck out

Posted on March 13, 2013 at 1:21 PM by moda Highlight this comment 54

Thanks Moda. VikesFan lead me to PurplePride and Before I sign up and start posting, does anyone have any preferences over which or all I should frequent?

Posted on March 13, 2013 at 2:00 PM by jared Highlight this comment 55

Blanket coming off TF! Left and center are exposed and looking great.

Posted on March 13, 2013 at 2:55 PM by buzz Highlight this comment 56

Well lets hope old Larry boy has the plows ready 4-8 coming in Sunday night. Might want to put the blankie back on! Lets hope Larry has a better year than last years epic fail! And put the checkerboard pattern back. FCOL! Now that we have traded all our former outfielders no more crying about the bounce. Accuweather has 44 and rain for the opener! Ouch! I'm sure wrong call Dahl going with fair skies mid 70's! Please do not sign Thome again!

Posted on March 13, 2013 at 3:30 PM by twinfan Highlight this comment 57

You can feel the anticipation building. Twinkfan has already started in about the pattern of lawn mowing at Target Field, can the start of the season be far behind?

Posted on March 13, 2013 at 3:47 PM by terry Highlight this comment 58

Hey where did my K go man?? FCOL!

Posted on March 13, 2013 at 3:54 PM by twinfan Highlight this comment 59

I'm sure the folks over at The Daily Norseman might appreciate "ninja" photo work too. And yes, I'll admit a SB Nation bias from my time over at TDG.

Posted on March 13, 2013 at 4:10 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 60

The world makes sense again: blanket coming off the field at TF, and the world now has a Leader in Pope Francis.

Posted on March 13, 2013 at 5:36 PM by luke Highlight this comment 61

Only the Catholic world.

Posted on March 13, 2013 at 6:32 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 62

which is about 1/3 of the world as it is.

Posted on March 13, 2013 at 7:11 PM by luke Highlight this comment 63

Will white smoke come out of 1 Twins Way when an opening day starter has been selected?

Posted on March 13, 2013 at 8:35 PM by terry Highlight this comment 64

we'll need to get the Cardinals (STL) here to vote. lol

Posted on March 13, 2013 at 9:27 PM by luke Highlight this comment 65

1/3 isn't enough to convince me that that the Pope is the leader of the world. I'm awfully sick of having the pope forced on me by Catholics who assume he has universal significance.

Posted on March 13, 2013 at 9:36 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 66

Will white smoke come out of 1 Twins Way when an opening day starter has been selected?

I admit, I laughed at that. :-)

Anyone else been watching the WBC? I've enjoyed watching some games that mean something, here in early March. But dang, that Miami ballpark is ugly. With all that green screen color, I keep waiting for some movie special effects to happen.

Posted on March 14, 2013 at 08:39 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 67

Jared not vikesfan but vikefans

Posted on March 14, 2013 at 09:19 AM by moda Highlight this comment 68

I went to AZ last week for ST and WBC games. My first vacation in AZ and got to enjoy seven ballparks. WBC is a lot of fun. It was great to see Justin, Joe, Glen and Drew representing their countries. Play off baseball in March is a great mix with the more relaxed ST games. Fans and ushers were pleasant and happy. Highly recommend the trip in 2017!

Posted on March 14, 2013 at 09:31 AM by buzz Highlight this comment 69

So question on the new FM home of the Twins (KTWN). I've only really ever listened to AM and the occasional online broadcast so I was used to a bit of compression/audio artifacts in the broadcast. It seems that the transition to FM has still left in a lot of artifacts (hissing and pops). Is that just a spring training thing? Will the audio quality be a bit better come regular season? Will it be good at Target Field and crappy on the road? Just kinda wondering. Hard to believe that Opening Day is so close.

Posted on March 14, 2013 at 11:09 AM by schda Highlight this comment 70

Only about 1/7 of the world are Catholics. There's a little over 7 billion people on earth. Of which a little over 1 billion are Catholics according to the Vatican. And of those 1 billion, not all of them are actually practicing Catholics.

I still wish there was a well designed retractable roof on TF. Preventing weather related cancellations is only one of the many benefits. And we wouldn't of had all this baseball field crammed into a Vikings stadium talk.

Posted on March 14, 2013 at 11:30 AM by Dave Highlight this comment 71

Yeah moda, just a typo on my part. :)

Posted on March 14, 2013 at 11:30 AM by jared Highlight this comment 72

I thought I read somewhere that 96.3 was broadcasting Twins games in mono.

Posted on March 14, 2013 at 11:36 AM by FD Highlight this comment 73

Somewhere out there, I KNOW there's a version of Terry Cashman's Talkin' Baseball that was done specifically for the Twinkies (I used to have the .48 vinyl of it), and I can't find it.
Clicky for the closest thing to it, last year's marketing campaign.

Won't be long now, the snow will be gone and the bat will be crackin'.

Posted on March 14, 2013 at 9:28 PM by luke Highlight this comment 74

I use to have the .48 Vinyl of it, but I can't find it

Check your closet, next to your 9mm home movie camera and your 7-gauge shotgun.

Posted on March 14, 2013 at 10:51 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 75

If I had a shotgun, I would not have a seven gauge.
i would have one with a sawed barrel.

Posted on March 15, 2013 at 06:03 AM by luke Highlight this comment 76

After following luke's link to I came across this pre-opening tour of the ballpark - click on link. Got a little weepy-eyed at the 1:09 mark.


Posted on March 15, 2013 at 10:44 AM by Clark Addison Highlight this comment 77

LOL at 1:09. Kevin Smith comes across as such an arrogant prick. No idea if he is one, but he comes across as one.

Posted on March 15, 2013 at 12:41 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 78

Ah, good memories. My God TF is a great park.
And soon, we'll be seeing those same kinds of videos previewing US Bank Stadium (or Rick Prescott Stadium, whichever you like), minus Kevin Smith of course :)

Posted on March 17, 2013 at 8:16 PM by luke Highlight this comment 79

With only two weeks to the opener and more snow on the way, I think that I've resigned myself to wearing long johns to the home opener. Probably not a parka...but we'll see. All I hope is that we don't get a repeat of Cleveland's "opener" being moved to Milwaukee a few years ago.

Posted on March 17, 2013 at 8:45 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 80

On that note, here's a video clip of DSP this morning presenting the idea of using the Metrodome for the opening series to a STH, if in fact, the snow just doesn't leave.
The STH, as you can understand, was pissed off.

Posted on March 17, 2013 at 8:53 PM by luke Highlight this comment 81

This page was last modified on March 3, 2013.

"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 3046 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.

Now, THIS is just some guy who appears to be hanging out on the LRT tracks talking to himself.

These two sections are within a few feet of one another.

Glare from the IDS never looked this sweet. (Photo by Jared Wieseler)

Knothole non-view #2

Go get 'em, boys!

Looking north (toward Fifth Street and the LRT station).

Artist at (very painstaking) work

The bases for the player statues have been recently upgraded.

Bassett Creek's original path (Source: Metropolitan Design Center)

Terrace Level

Also viewed from the B ramp, that's the upper deck in left field.

Looking up toward Seventh Street.

You write the caption...

Delmon Young getting warmed up

Harmon is visible (barely) at the very center of the crowd.

Also from the same lobby, other window, a view which will clearly disappear before too long...

Bassett Creek's path through the ballpark site (Source: Minneapolis Public Library)

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

Photo by Tyler Wycoff


The base of the old Met Stadium flagpole. (The plaque refers to the "Flame of Freedom" and not the origin of the pole.)

Love the lighted, translucent panel

There's the opening through which the groundskeeping equipment will emerge (and disappear).

The entrances are all the way around on the other side.

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).

Skyline to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am, stuck in the outfield with you... (click to enlarge)

I was surprised at how close those upper deck seats seem. From the plaza, you feel like you can reach out and touch them. It really adds to the impression of overall compactness.

Looking from the middle of the third base side back toward the entry door

TCF Bank Stadium (click to enlarge)

A sharp-eyed reader caught me trying to make the best of a bad situation with my SP-570UZ on Sunday afternoon

New Downtown Minneapolis Public Library (Source: RP)

Mauer steps in for the first time.


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


First Edition (1992)

Second Edition (2006)


Selected Bibliography - Surveys


Second Edition (1987)

Not a "Third Edition" exactly,
but it replaced the above title

(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


Book and six ballpark miniatures

Complete Bibliography

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