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June 3, 2010 10:50 AM

Everybody's talking about blown calls today. The high profile one in Detroit is drawing the most scrutiny, but here in Twins Territory, we've got our own to consider.

Before we go any further, we must admit (as always) that blown calls do not win or lose games. Leaving runners on base, giving up key hits, and other such things win and lose ballgames.

But sometimes it feels like a game was lost on a blown call, and that's just unacceptable. How many times does this sort of thing have to happen before the commissioner's office gets tired of having to explain yet again why they've chosen to limit the use of a simple technology which can make things better?

I've said it before: Limiting the use of instant replay is like saying, "Well, I could use my cell phone, but I'd rather send a telegram because it's so much more pure." And limiting instant replay's use to specific calls is like saying, "Well, OK, I'm going to use my cell phone now, but only for dialing numbers containing 9's and 1's."

It's beyond absurd.

You all know that I am, in fact, a baseball purist at heart. But there comes a time in every purist's life when you have to either acknowledge the realities of the world around you, or buy an orange triangle sign for the back of your buggy.

Of course, this morning everybody is again floating their ideas for fixing instant replay in baseball. And while I'm not really a bandwagon-jumper, I think that last fall I described the solution baseball needs to -- and will ultimately -- implement. So, here it is again, preceded and followed by some more nifty TF snaps (in part thanks to BPM ninja Jared).

Awesome seat. Awesome sun. Awesome hitter. (Photo by Tony Voda, courtesy Jared Wieseler)


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


Oh no! Beach ball! But click to enlarge so you can see the wide range of expressions on people's faces. (Photo by Jared Wieseler)

Umpires, Schmumpires
Originally published October 23, 2009

As you know, this post-season has been filled with more umpire gaffes than I can begin to list. (Really, I tried, and the list got too long to be practical to include here. You've seen them all.)

Before instant replay became part of the game, I was against it. Baseball is a human game, filled with human mistakes, and how managers manage umpires (and vice versa) is part of the game. Blow a call now, and you owe me a close one later. I want you to eject me to fire up my team. That sort of thing.

blowncall.jpg

Um, I think that guy is out.

But now that instant replay is part of the game, it's time to get it right -- especially for the playoffs, but not only for the playoffs.

There is absolutely no reason why instant replay should be limited to home runs, other than the potential for it to slow down the game. In other words, MLB knows that it could help in many other situations, but they have chosen to place an arbitrary limit on its use for marketing purposes (slower games = potential loss of TV viewers -- though one could argue that Scott Kazmir is a human casual-fan-repellent in that regard).

And the mechanism for deciding what to review is completely screwed up. Frankly, I don't know how it works. It seems like the umps get together, ask each other who saw what, and then realize that nobody saw what they needed to see. That's a pretty embarrassing moment. For a major league umpire in the current environment, walking to the review booth is an admission that you failed at your job.

Not so with the NFL because each play is a chaotic battle where any player can be visible one moment and invisible the next. Bodies pile up, knees hit the ground, receivers turn away from where the ref is standing. There's no failure associated with missing something in football.

So we need to forget how the NFL does things. That model is wrong for MLB from the first moment.

What is right for MLB is already in plain view, though people seem not to see it.

Think about the check swing. The ump behind the plate makes an initial call. Down the line, another ump has observed the play and made a decision on how he might rule, but says nothing. The catcher gestures down to the other ump. The home plate guy decides whether to allow the appeal. If allowed, the other ump renders his opinion which is final.

Think about the appeal on a tag up. Long after the play is dead, the pitcher throws the ball to the base where he presumes a runner left early. The ump has already seen the play and formed his opinion on what happened. But he does not give his opinion until the appeal is officially made. Once appealed, he renders a decision which is final.

Each of these is beautiful because it preserves the pecking order perfectly and is utterly unobtrusive to the game. It's just a natural part of the rhythm of the game.

The right way to do instant replay draws on each of these. The biggest change it would require is an additional man on each umpiring team. While this is certainly not a small change, it is more than justified.

Here's how it would work:

The replay ump watches a monitor constantly, most likely in one of the camera wells or in another place adjacent to the field designated for this purpose. He sees replays of everything, much like the viewers at home. He is concentrating on the game constantly just like all the other umps, only by watching the camera coverage instead of the direct action. He has access to every camera angle (home, visitor, Fox, TBS, scoreboard, etc.), though he probably doesn't need all of them. One good angle is usually enough.

After a controversial play, if there's an argument, the manager has the right to ask for a review of the play (politely, of course). The umpire on the field decides whether to allow the appeal. If not allowed, there's no recourse. If allowed, the replay ump's decision is final.

That's it, end of story (well, almost). Some details:

There should be no arbitrary limit on how many times a manager could do that. Practically, they would not do it on every close call. They would do it on the same calls where now they come out of the dugout to argue.

Maybe they would come out more frequently at first, but umps can manage that just like they do other sorts of manager tantrums. If a manager does it too much, the request gets denied. Period. It would always be within an ump's right to say, "That was not close. I saw it. No review."

Realistically, however, I think umps would be happy to yield to that, thus saving time on tantrums. I think we would probably find that calls would get overturned rather infrequently, which in turn would discourage managers from overusing it. Having the back-up doesn't have to change the dynamic on the field one bit.

A key thing to remember here is that, unlike football, a review cannot stop a clock and is thus of little or no strategic advantage beyond getting a call right. The time-out-style advantage in football (where asking for a review has the added benefit of giving the team more time to figure out their next play) is enough to need that type of control mechanism. Remember, again, that baseball is not football.

(If you really feel like there has to be a limit on managers, make it at least a baseball-compatible method -- no flags or anything. Just give him three misses before he's out. That is, if he appeals and is right, it doesn't count against him. But the third time he wrongly appeals, he's ejected from the game. I don't think it's necessary, but football may have set the anchor on this one.)

Further, because the replay ump has already formed an opinion, he can just give a simple hand signal from right where he stands, just like on a check swing. There is no delay. Presumably, if a manager has come out to argue, the replay ump has used that extra time to watch extra angles if necessary and will be ready.

Now, I would take this one step further to avoid the obviously blown calls we've seen:

If the replay ump sees a potentially game-changing error (like the Mauer foul call or the non-double-play in Anaheim), he would have the responsibility to alert the crew chief immediately that the call was blown and needed to be fixed.

The mechanism for this would have to be worked out, but it could be as simple as a flashing light above his position to catch the other ump's attention (adding the crowd to the process, which could be fun, albeit looking a little like a price check at our favorite upscale discount retailer), or more unobtrusive, like a wireless connection to an earphone worn by the crew chief.

I'm sure somebody somewhere would object to the added expense of a fifth ump for each game, but that should be disregarded. To protect the integrity of the game, it's worth every penny.

And it does protect the integrity of the game by creating a tool for getting calls right, and removing any embarrassment for the umps on the field. Is a home plate ump embarrassed to ask for the first base ump's help on a check swing? Not in the least. The other ump is not an adversary, just a resource, and nobody has to admit that they screwed up, just decide whether the play was close enough to justify getting an outside opinion -- which is immediately available.

The integrity of the game is damaged much more by the blown calls than it would be by adding a sensible replay procedure. The ultimate results of the playoffs might not have been impacted by all these errors, but then again they very well might have been. That is simply unacceptable.

Now I can see that instant replay, done right, is essential to integrity of the game in our technological era.

More Pix

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Ye Olde Tyme Vegetable Cart (and its modern cousin)


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I have no idea what this is or does, but as gear goes, it's totally boss, man. (Attached to a railing just off of the Trap)


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B ramp improvements are finally becoming usable. The doors lead to the plaza beneath the skyway steps.


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Wayfinding within the B ramp is still a work in progress.


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Love the red flowers -- just like the original concept drawings. That NEVER happens.


Photo by Jared Wieseler


Photo by Jared Wieseler

Many thanks to Jared and Tony. If you'd like to be our official BPM photographer for a game during the next homestand, send me a sample image (rick at this site) and the list of games you're going to.

Comments


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Nicely done gentleman, all three of you!

Posted on June 3, 2010 at 11:08 AM by tk Highlight this comment 1

Is that a remote control camera mount, perhaps?

Posted on June 3, 2010 at 11:33 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 2

Rick, that "totally boss" contraption off the Trap now holds a remote camera that FSN uses. Kubel's HR against the Yankees last week nearly hit that camera.

Posted on June 3, 2010 at 11:36 AM by Faber College Alum Highlight this comment 3

Your replay proposal is entirely logical and reasonable. Therefore MLB will never be able to accept it.

Posted on June 3, 2010 at 11:49 AM by Badjuggler Highlight this comment 4

Great pictures, everyone! Jared - did you use a star filter for the 'glare' shot, and the last one with the sun peeking through the canopy, or did they just come out that way? Either way - great shots!

GBR

Posted on June 3, 2010 at 11:51 AM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 5

Thanks Rick, tk.
Good, well thought out article. I see some holes potentially but I am going to re-read it and then post those ideas to make sure they make sense. Is it just me or has the appeal of a check swing become more and more prevalent? Seems like it happens once a batter now. I know thats not what actually happens but it just seems like it.

One thing I want to point out is, "with great power comes great responsibility" (thanks spiderman). While I think instant replay is a great way to get the call right, it could be taken too far. Some of these ideas i will divulge when I have better time to re-evaluate but the biggest I see here could be the potential coup of the strike zone and the call for the implementation of a Fox-trax type balls and strikes system. This would be totally rediculous but considering the tidal wave of chatter after a game where replay would help get the call right, I can see the overwhelming chatter/support of even more rediculous ideas. The focus is changing from playing the game and learning the mistakes to how can technology change that one call and the perception of the outcome of the game. Its taking the accountability off the players and putting it elsewhere which doesn't make sense.

As I re-read this, it seems a little disorganized and irrational but hopefully I can clear up my thoughts later.

Posted on June 3, 2010 at 12:24 PM by jared Highlight this comment 6

Expectorate,
No star filter, I wish though, they can add some cool effects. Canon XSI, 18-55mm lens, polarizing filter (which in direct sunlight usually has no effect, but i am often too lazy to remove it) and a typical lens hood.

Posted on June 3, 2010 at 12:27 PM by jared Highlight this comment 7

Detroit opening up a can of whoop ass on the tribe up 12-7 in the 7th inning! Lets get that split tonight!!!

Posted on June 3, 2010 at 2:46 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 8

Twins scored 2 runs over last 23 innings! FCOL!

Posted on June 3, 2010 at 2:55 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 9

As I was watching the twenty minutes or so of analysis and commentary about last night's Detroit blown call, one of the thoughts that ran through my mind was this: Selig and the Mlb owners must love all this controversy (whether they admit it or not is another story). Think about all of the TV time, water-cooler talk, and newsprint this kind of story gets. If there was replay, the call would have fixed on the spot, you'd hear about it for a few minutes how the historical game was almost spoiled by the human factor, and everyone would have moved on.
As much as I hate to say it, this kind of controversy is "good for business." Do I think we should have replay? Yes, because like Rick's article alludes to, "We aught to get the calls right."

Posted on June 3, 2010 at 3:04 PM by lindywig Highlight this comment 10

We gotta jump on this guy tonight! Leftys need to crush this guy! FCOL!

Hernandez is 2-1 with a 1.91 ERA in five starts at home versus the Twins.

Posted on June 3, 2010 at 3:09 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 11

An orange triangle sign. Lawl! That's fantastic!

But like I said yesterday, I'm with you Rick. I never thought I would be, and I always have and still consider myself a "purist" and "preservationist" at heart too, but it's like you said: there comes a time when you must wake up and accept the realities of the present, or become irrelevant and forever be stuck in the past.

My guess is that the people who still oppose instant replay are mainly afraid of two things:

1) That it will affect the flow and speed of the game, a la horrible, anticipation-filled, and seemingly endless instant-replay reviews in the NFL that sometimes aren't even able to get the call right (thank God there are no hogpiles in play in baseball), and

2) The familiar refrain we've all heard hundreds of times in regards to implementation of replay, and that's the popular declinist narrative juncture, that it's a "slippery slope" to using it for balls and strikes. "One year it's just homers, then it's just homers and fouls/ground rule doubles, then plays at the bases too, and before you know it we're going to the camera for that third called strike."

Solution to concern #1 is straightforward and simple and Rick has clearly articulated the governing principle for solving this concern. After a controversial play, if there's an argument, the manager has the right to ask for a review of the play (politely, of course). The umpire on the field decides whether to allow the appeal. If not allowed, there's no recourse. If allowed, the replay ump's decision is final. It wouldn't happen on every close call. Presumably, they would do it on the same calls where they now come out of the dugout to argue. End of story. It's how we already solve some argued close plays or blown calls, we'd just be making the process more objective to get the blown call right. 

As for concern #2, the "slippery slope" argument is a fear mongerer's argument. It will never come to that. Baseball will never allow replay to be used in the decision making of balls and strikes. Why? A foul ball is a foul ball. A homerun is a homerun. A runner who's safe is always safe, and an out is always an out. Umpires want to get everyone of those calls exactly right. They're not subjective plays - they either are or they aren't. Foul or fair. Homerun or base hit. Safe or out. But balls and strikes? Now those are subjective, and we want them to be. It's those subjective balls and strikes that are baseball's essence that we are worried about. They affect the game as much as anything, and in a good, non-robotic, artistic, and human way. Knowledge of a certain umpire's strike zone, whether it's consistently slightly bigger than average or vice versa, informs a pitcher's decisions on how to pitch his game that day, e.g. to try to "get the call" on the outside, etc. It affects a batter's decisions about which pitches to swing at and which to let go. The fact that the strike zone is not an infallible digital box, that it's not an entirely objective thing, these are the good things, the "essence" of the game we so deeply want to protect from replay. And we should. But I don't think anyone in baseball, not least the fans, but nor the batters, pitchers, managers, officials, commissioners, or umpires want replay to ever get anywhere near the strike zone in an official capacity. And it never will. Those of you who are worried about a foxtrax-type replay implementation on balls and strikes - I think you can relax. Baseball owns the system, but it's because umpires want an objective way to evaluate themselves and the job that they're doing behind the plate, not because they would want to use it during the game.

Posted on June 3, 2010 at 4:40 PM by theloniousjoe Highlight this comment 12

Rick, I really like your replay solution, with the exception of the additional "game-changing error" part. If the two examples you cite would be game-changing errors, then you could say that all errors are game changing. Neither of those errors directly resulted in a win or loss. I would consider the bad call at second base the other night to be "game changing", as the rendered call ended the game. I think that the ump in the replay booth should only make a call when the umps on the field allow the appeal, period.

Also, what calls should not be reviewable? I don't think balls and strikes sould be reviewed, but what about the recent balk fiasco?

Posted on June 3, 2010 at 4:47 PM by Brent Highlight this comment 13

I like your idea for replay, but there should be some way to limit how often appeals are made if a manager can initiate it.

I saw something very similar when I lived overseas: every pro rugby match had a TV referee. If there is a questionable play or call on the field, the in-game ref has a wireless mic to the booth, tells him exactly what he wants to verify about the play, and the TV ref gives him an answer. It rarely takes more than a minute and while not perfect, worked very well. I think something like that would work for baseball. Ump keeps control of the game and these calls get made correctly more often.

Posted on June 3, 2010 at 5:16 PM by joeythelemur Highlight this comment 14

Love the replay ideas Rick. An idea that I always liked to throw around too was a pitch clock. Like a play clock or a shot clock. 30-40 seconds for each pitch. Probably too bizarre of an idea, but would limit how many times a guy can throw to first or hold the ball looking for signs etc. allowing for better timed stolen bases.. but, as Bert would say "EVERYTHING FOR THE HITTERS!" haha..

Posted on June 3, 2010 at 5:33 PM by Jcm-Baseball Highlight this comment 15

Yes that was totally random, but thought since on the subject of changes to improve the quality of the game, thought i'd pick my own brain for a bit :)

Posted on June 3, 2010 at 5:34 PM by Jcm-Baseball Highlight this comment 16

Well, when I was growing up, we walked 3 miles up hill both ways to school, in the 8 feet of snow every day including Labor Day, and we ENJOYED IT!

Ok, so you know where I'm coming from. One joy of baseball is that calls are missed. I feel bad for the pitcher that didn't get the (now seemingly common) perfect game, and I feel bad for the umpire that blew it. However, the sun came out again this morning, there are still 100 games left in the race, and even if a missed call determines a world championship it only adds to the lore of both teams. The NFL takes itself way too seriously.

We of course don't need umpires at all. FoxBox calls the balls and strikes, sensors in bases and gloves gives us an instant "green light - red light" for outs, laser beams tell us if a ball is fair or foul. Ok, one ump in the press box to signal for an infield fly rule. That may take more computer power than MLB is willing to spend.

Ah, the DH sucks, why don't we just have two 15 team leagues with no divisions, games were ruined when they introduced lights and night games, blah blah blah. I get Rick's point, and I know things change, so maybe I'll just go try to find a Western Union office and see if I can send Rick a telegram to express my concerns. This is all mostly in jest, but I will note one paragraph from above:

*******
The integrity of the game is damaged much more by the blown calls than it would be by adding a sensible replay procedure. The ultimate results of the playoffs might not have been impacted by all these errors, but then again they very well might have been. That is simply unacceptable.
*******

I would say that the integrity of the game rests in its 110 years of history and 2000+ games a year, and it is completely acceptable for humans to make mistakes. Especially if they keep the game under 3 hours :).

Posted on June 3, 2010 at 5:37 PM by Linc Highlight this comment 17

To assert that MLB will "never" allow any sort of mechanical balls and strikes machinery is absurd. It is probably still some years out, but with the amazing developments in optical and sensory technologies I have no doubt that day will come eventually. Obviously baseball will not rush into it (they don't know the meaning of the word) but "never" is a mighty long time.

Posted on June 3, 2010 at 6:12 PM by Badjuggler Highlight this comment 18

Witty and amusing to be sure Linc, and you make some very good points as well. But I must point out that neither Rick, nor anyone else is saying that it's unacceptable for people to make mistakes. What is unacceptable is to behave as though it's the year 1912. To make a mistake, shrug, throw up your hands and say, "oh well, there's nothing we can do about that, it's just part of the game I guess, blowing that 27th out call..." What's unacceptable is for MLB to sit around with their thumbs up their butts and act like there is nothing they can do about it. Mistakes are just fine. Umpires have no shame in admitting them when it comes to meeting with the other umpires on the field and overturning a call if one of the other ones had a more definitive view of the play. So why the big issue when it comes to occasionally consulting the video and if it had a more definitive view, overturning the play?

Posted on June 3, 2010 at 6:20 PM by theloniousjoe Highlight this comment 19

TLJ -- I actually have no problem with the current replay rule for home runs (since the play is over regardless), and I guess I fall into your fear monger's argument really. I just think they will not be able to control themselves in an ESPN/Hi Def world, and I don't know how we place players on base correctly when a call is overturned (though certainly rules can be created to solve that problem). Mostly, I'm just a fan of a game that has withstood 110 years pretty much intact (unlike any sport but soccer), and I don't mind the controversy. I'd rather have 100 marginally wrong calls and one HUGE wrong call, rather than 101 totally right calls that break the rhythm of the game. That is just a personal opinion.

I think the ideas presented are reasonable, but in the end we can't have 3.5-4 hour games on a regular basis, as baseball's biggest enemy long term is attention span of the populous. Any review of plays just slows us down.

And, I do believe what I said...some of the charm is human error.

Posted on June 3, 2010 at 8:06 PM by Linc Highlight this comment 20

I agree with Linc.

Posted on June 3, 2010 at 8:21 PM by luckylager Highlight this comment 21

I really don't think strikes and balls will ever be reviewed on instant replay. I certainly hope not too. Part of the great thing about baseball is the umpire element. It adds a bit of strategy and skill because the pitcher and catcher have to be able to figure what the umpire is calling that night, same with the hitters. If we start reviewing balls and strikes, the game will become far too mechanized as someone mentioned earlier.

Posted on June 3, 2010 at 8:58 PM by deenels Highlight this comment 22

I said it before and i'll say it again, Rick- i think your replay idea is great. Also nice pictures Jared and everyone else too!

Posted on June 3, 2010 at 9:21 PM by The Sooj Highlight this comment 23

The Twins are so predictable, 1-3 in Seattle, I saw that coming a mile away. Maybe 1 win in Oakland and they will be lucky to have a 2-5 road trip against 2 garbage teams. Good thing we are in the AL central and we get to beat up on the Royals and Indians.

Posted on June 3, 2010 at 10:08 PM by firedog Highlight this comment 24

My two cents - the missed call in the '85 World Series game 7 was way bigger than what happened last night in Detroit.(many news outlets are calling it the worst ever. I hate the 24 hour news media/twitter/everyone has a blog/etc.) This missed call, while it did prevent history (3 perfect games in 3 weeks! WOW!) did not effect the OUTCOME of the game. The Tigers won.

I consider myself a purist. I didn't like the wild card at first. Now I love it! I didn't like realignment at first, now I like it. So, replay? If they came up with a system that did not slow the pace of the game, I'd probably be against it still, but end up liking it. Rick's ideas are solid.

Here's the bottom line - get the call right. You can't review everything (balls and strikes) and sometimes there still has to be human judgement (there still is plenty in the NFL).

Posted on June 3, 2010 at 10:10 PM by Ole (aka ole) Highlight this comment 25

That call by Don Denkinger was in Game 6 of the 85 World Series. I'm pretty sure.
Don Denkinger at first base that night I believe.
There was an ESPN thing about him a few years ago. He says he still gets death threats.

Posted on June 3, 2010 at 10:17 PM by luke Highlight this comment 26

firedog - I am right there with you.

As I mentioned the other day, what have the Twins showed us this year other than their 15-8 record against the lackluster AL Central?

Yes, they have one of the better records in baseball and are in first place, but the main reason is because of their 15-8 division record.

But than again, all that matters to a majority of Twins fans is that "we are in first place" and are simply happy with winning AL Central Division titles and nothing more.

Posted on June 3, 2010 at 11:45 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 27

Hear hear Mike. You're gonna get blasted for that post but there is more truth to that than most people want to admit...

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 12:41 AM by Max Highlight this comment 28

three runs in the last three games. absolutely pathetic and inexcusable (even with cuddyer and hudson missing from the lineup).

personally, i think there is a real problem on this team and i believe it stems from the clubhouse. specifically, there is a lack of true player leadership on this team from a fiery, competitive offensive standpoint. perhaps we don't see it on t.v. but you rarely, if ever, see anyone get in another guy's face in the dugout to get him going. it is just "oh we are just doing our business out there, blah, blah, blah". and you hear the same thing most of the time in their comments to the media. mauer and morneau are the obvious best players on the team, but i have a hard time believing that either of them get too worked up in the clubhouse when other guys aren't pulling their weight.

i would like to see this team be more emotional and more fiery when they play. even borderline mean with a bit of an attitude towards other teams. enough of this midwestern, church boy, everybody be the perfect gentleman and professional crap. bump into a few guys.....knock some short stops on their ass as you are sliding into second base......drop some f-bombs at the opposing pitched.

said another way: somebody on this team please get even a little emotional from time to time!

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 01:44 AM by Betaband Highlight this comment 29

The Twins have scored a measly 3 runs now in the last 32 innings, your right Beta that is unacceptable and watching the Twins body language its like they lost interest and mailed it in before the start of the game. Nobody ever rides Mauer cause he is the golden boy, but he needs to start producing we are the 1/3 point of the season and he is projecting to hit .318 6 HR 72 RBI that is unacceaptable for the 2nd highest paid player in baseball. I am thinking we grossly overpaid him based on 1 good year.

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 07:15 AM by firedog Highlight this comment 30

There is no way that an organization like the Twins should've signed Mauer for that much money. But, he's the local kid. There would not be $100 million+ difference between his output and Ramos' output on a daily basis. He didn't give a home team discount either. Not even close. The Cardinals are in the same situation with Pujols, and haven't panicked yet, and I think are willing to let him go if need be.

But, there are bigger problems on this team. Not with the pitching either. The starters have been decent, if not great. The relievers generally are doing their job. Rausch has equalled Nathan.

Harris and Punto need to be in the minors. Thome is old and completely ineffective and should not be playing. Hardy is a bust. Hudson and Morneau are solid. I'm giving Kubel some time as he hopefully will continue to work out of a disastrous beginning of the season. Sometimes, I think Gardy is too focused on the righty/lefty thing...putting players in that hit .210 doesn't help, even if they hit from the "good" side.

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 08:26 AM by twinswschamps2010 Highlight this comment 31

The most confusing thing about all this is that the Twins are, what, 3-5 against two of the worst teams in MLB, right? Ugh.

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 08:27 AM by Chad Highlight this comment 32

Can we let Mauer get out of his current contract before calling him a bust? Jesus.

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 08:30 AM by Chad Highlight this comment 33

Regarding replay. Rick, I think your proposal for how to replay calls is dead-on. I think to most reasonable people, this is fairly obvious. You have certainly articulated it better than most, and for that I give you credit. Implimenting this procedure for replaying calls is a no brainer, and needs to be done to protect the integrity of the game. If they had the technology we have now when the game was invented, I guarantee replay would have been part of baseball.

The tricky part of replay, and the part of the discussion that you didn't address, is what to deem as reviewable. It's easy to say that "anything except balls and strikes" is reviewable. Sounds good in theory, but when you think about it, it's a bit more complicated than that.

Some situations are obvious. The perfect game call, reversing the call would end the inning, and the game. Easy to see that one being reviewable. The call on the final play of the Twins/Mariners game. reversing the call ends the inning. Absolutely reviewable. Mauer's "foul" ball in the playoffs last year. After hitting fair, the ball left the field, ground rule double, easy call.

However, if you tweak a few of these situations just slightly, the waters get much, much murkier. Take the call in the Seattle game. Let's say instead of the runner being called safe, the original call had been that he was out, but replay shows him to have been safe. What do you do with the other runners? How can you say what would have happened if the call been correct? Can you say for certain the runner would have scored? Probably, but you can't say for sure. Mauer's hit in the playoffs. What if instead of leaving the field of play, it bounced around in the outfield? As soon as the ball was called foul, the fielders let up. Had the call been correctly made, who is to say where the runners would have ended up. Replay doesn't work when it requires a replay official to determine where he thinks the runners would have ended up had the call been correct.

I know there already a few situations that require umps to make that decision, and I'm uncomfortable with that, as it is.

Don't get me wrong, I am 100% for the expansion of replay. But I think any call that would require the umpire to make a judgement about where runners would have ended up can't be reviewed. It can only be used in circumstances where the end result of reversing a call is absolutely clear, with no judgement needing to be made. Even if you can say that 99.99% of the time, you know what would have happened, who is to say that the runners moving wouldn't have caused someone to rush a throw, and miss the target, or fumble with the ball in the field.

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 08:53 AM by ajax Highlight this comment 34

Man 1-3 vs freaking Seattle? We make a stiff like Lopez the second coming of A Rod!!!!!! As I said yesterday we are stinking it up on the road! Are Hardy and O Dog the next coming of Crede??? We need to get our swagger back in a hurry or we might be coming back home 1/2 game out! We come back 1-6 and all bets are off!!!!!!FCOL! Lets gets some freaking runs man!

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 08:54 AM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 35

I say there will come a point in time where the homeplate and all umps will be wired up and get there calls sent to them. We already have the pitch tracker in place. Home plate ump has a head set on and gets the calls for balls and strikes from the tracker. They will still be on the field but will get any assistance from some guy in a booth. Will happen sooner or later!

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 08:59 AM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 36

The tracker is there and its cool scifi. What happens then when the strike zone is exactly the same for everyone everyday? I think we'd start seeing 20 run 6 hour games because no body could get out. The tracker would have to be programmed to vary "randomly". That would take AI. Basically then you're just back to human umps adjusting the zone.
Part of the home plate umps job I think is to be consistent but yet at the same time make the strike zone challenging. The tracker is set up to scan the theoretical knees to chest, corner to corner zone. Not many umps have that exact size zone.

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 09:10 AM by j2eepgmr Highlight this comment 37

J2 you may have a point there. I would like them to try this out in like spring training to see how it would work and maybe go from there. I do think that more and more of this technology will be incorporated into the game at some time!

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 09:22 AM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 38

...Next thing you know, we'll be using a Juggs Machine instead of pitchers...

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 09:29 AM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 39

Beta - are you suggesting the Twins trade for Milton Bradley to fire up the dugout? ;)

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 09:33 AM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 40

TTH-

Not. Funny. :|

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 09:57 AM by Chad Highlight this comment 41

I find it interesting how so many fans reference the Joe Mauer blown call by Phil Cuzzi in the ALDS but what about the Brandon Inge hit-by-pitch that was never called by Randy Marsh in game 163?

If they call the HBP, a run scores and Detroit very likely wins that game and goes to the ALDS instead of your Minnesota Twins. Should a hit-by-pitch call like that be reviewed?

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 10:01 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 42

Keep it the ways it is. The calls even out in the end.

I wonder if Drew Coble's call on Hrbek's tag would have been reversed?

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 10:04 AM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 43

Mike-

I think they're both in the same category, in that they both could be game changers, but slightly different...

...this is going to turn into a weird argument that I won't be able to explain. They both lead to what-ifs and what should have beens.

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 10:07 AM by Chad Highlight this comment 44

Yes as upset as I was about the missed call at 2nd base on Wednesday night in Seattle by Dale Scott, I couldn't be too mad because the Twins were the beneficiary of an almost identical call at 2nd base in Kansas City in April.

Watch Gardy's postgame pressers. He is getting more and more agitated by the questions from reporters. They are softball questions too. I mean the other night he flat out said a question was "stupid". Ron, you haven't seen a pressure cooker!! It is only early June. How many reporters from MSP actually follow the team on road trips? Let's count...Joe Christensen or LaVelle Neal, Kelly Theiser, Robby Incmikowski, the Pioneer Press reporter, anyone else? Bueller??

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 10:43 AM by Max Highlight this comment 45

For the heck of it I would like to see a game without umps during a spring training game! Have some guy behind the curtain up in the booth run the whole freaking game and put it all on the scoreboard! Could be a hoot!

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 11:20 AM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 46

Course I guess you need somebody to throw balls into the game. Let a ballboy do it er something!

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 11:21 AM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 47

"Hardy is a bust". I love it. It's June 4 and Twinswschamp already labeling him a bust. He missed most of May with an injury and has 133 ABs. Give him some breathing room, for crying out loud!

I laugh reading this board and the sheer panic because the Twins went 1-3 vs. Seattle.

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 12:45 PM by Faber College Alum Highlight this comment 48

I don't think I would call it "sheer panic" but there does seem to be the kernel of a trend developing here which is less than wonderful.

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 12:52 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 49

Faber - its not the "sheer panic" of going 1-3 in Seattle but rather a FACT that the Twins are just a .500 team (14-14) outside of their 15-8 division record and 2-1 interleague record.

We all know the Twins can win in the AL Central (15-8) and can play extremely well against NL teams (2-1), its that 14-14 record against the rest of the AL that disturbs me.

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 1:34 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 50

Maybe we could swap with the Brewers and go to the National League since we have the best record in MLB in interleague play tied with the Yankees at 134-97. Hopefully we can get 2 out of 3 this weekend and have a 3-4 road trip and get back to TF where we are 18-9 on the season.

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 2:37 PM by firedog Highlight this comment 51

Couple of stats at the 1/3 season Mark 27 Home 27 Road games

Home Wins 18
Road Wins 13

Home Losses 9
Road Losses 14

Road 33 Homers
Home 13 Homers

Road Batting Average .285
Away Batting Average .256

Road On Base % .328
Home On Base % .374

Road Runs Scored 114
Home Runs Scored 140

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 2:47 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 52

As long as we don't get swept! FCOL!

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 2:52 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 53

oops had road and away batting averages flipped!

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 2:53 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 54

boldRoad Batting Average .285
Away Batting Average .256 bold

eeeeeeeeer???

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 2:57 PM by Jcm-Baseball Highlight this comment 55

Um, road and away would be the same.

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 3:12 PM by Badjuggler Highlight this comment 56

FCOL I meant Road and Home!!!!! It's been a long week!

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 3:14 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 57

Over the past week this place had morphed into another KFAN Rube Chat and the Strib's comments section. Kind of sad.

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 3:28 PM by Buffalo Highlight this comment 58

Buffalo,

Could. Not. Agree. More.

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 3:44 PM by Faber College Alum Highlight this comment 59

twinfan - man, you sure do "cry out loud" a lot. that must get tiring.

do you speak in abbreviations in person as well? that would be something to see.

i mean......FCOL!

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 3:58 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 60

Indeed Beta indeed!!!! Everytime Herman Munster heads to the mound to try and get a save I'm crying out loud!!!

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 4:02 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 61

Beta did you see the stock market today? Tears!!!!!

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 4:05 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 62

So now the stock market depends on the Twins?

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 4:35 PM by Badjuggler Highlight this comment 63

FCOL!

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 4:51 PM by Buffalo Highlight this comment 64

whadda you talkin' about?! FCOL!

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 6:00 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 65

Bad - sort of. Remember the Market Mondays promotion from last year?

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 6:11 PM by luke Highlight this comment 66

FIRST POINT:

a godfather reference for you. think about it.

i have always viewed ron gardenhire as the "tom hagen" of the minnesota twins. unlike tom kelly (vito andolini corleone), ron gardenhire (tom hagen), is "not a war time consigliere" when it comes to the playoffs, world series and taking that next step.

is ron gardenhire our robert duvall? i think we need a marlon brando as our manager. and throw in a richard bright (al neri) as caporegime/bench coach for good measure......just to keep everyone in line during the season/playoffs.

SECOND POINT:

this is not a reaction to the recent three game skid, as i was thinking this before the season even started. but shouldn't it be possible that if ron gardenhire and his coaching team are not able to get to AT LEAST the ALCS this season that twins ownership looks in another direction as far as managing/coaching? i mean if i was spending over $100 million on payroll this year (in a pretty average AL) i would expect this team to at least get to the ALCS this year. i certainly wouldn't blame there or be disappointed if they did.

thoughts?

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 6:12 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 67

Uh oh, is it new filter time again? So soon? Pretty soon we're only going to be able to say "Twins4Life!" on this site. FCOL-LOL!

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 6:12 PM by Chad Highlight this comment 68

Well ballpark magic has gone the way of every other sports team message board in the world.... the constant battle between the "cool-ade drinkers" and the "chicken little/sky is falling" crowds... *sigh* we just don't have any ballpark construction updates to distract us and our 12-year old ADD attention spans anymore.....

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 6:30 PM by MattW Highlight this comment 69

As to your second point Beta - I think you might be on to something.
Could very well be possible.
Tonight in Oakland should be interesting. Another perfect game for Dallas Braden?

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 6:33 PM by luke Highlight this comment 70

luke - personally, i really wanted people's thoughts on my first point.....i put a whole 2 minutes of thought and reflection into that masterpiece!

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 7:47 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 71



7 buck seats at the K tonight!

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 8:10 PM by Mazaratirick Highlight this comment 72

Golden Gophers vs. Cal State Fullerton on ESPNU (614 DirecTV) @ 10:00 central for NCAA Regional.

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 8:50 PM by Buzz Highlight this comment 73

Also,
Maz,
Let's go Royals!

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 8:54 PM by Buzz Highlight this comment 74

Oh. Marlon Brando, for sure.

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 9:13 PM by luke Highlight this comment 75

Man the supporting cast on this team sucks. Its Morneau and Mauer and then a bunch of garbarge. We haven's scored a run on anything other than a home run in 40 innings. So much for manufacturing runs.

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 10:09 PM by firedog Highlight this comment 76

Finally!!!

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 10:25 PM by firedog Highlight this comment 77

eeeeeeeeffffffffffffffffff AGHH

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 11:16 PM by MattW Highlight this comment 78

Gophers on 729 on Comcast Minneapolis

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 11:22 PM by Chad Highlight this comment 79

At least I have a game to switch to after this game. Yay extra innings!

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 11:39 PM by Chad Highlight this comment 80

Nice to see Delmon deliver the big hit in the clutch and knock in the winning run.

Memo to Gardy: Delmon needs to be in the lineup and playing every day!!

Posted on June 5, 2010 at 12:29 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 81

Beta,
are you serious? You think a team should just up and clean house of their management when they spend $100 mil in payroll and don't make the ALCS? (The Twins payroll is $90 mil, by the way.) The ALCS, the championship of the stronger league in baseball, the one that includes 12 whole teams with a higher payroll (should those teams do the same if they have no ALCS appearance?), the league that includes the Yankees, Red Sox, Rays, Angels, Tigers. Really? You're telling me that a $90 million payroll should guarantee 1 of 2 spots in the AL's championship series, with 5 other dominant teams, and several others that can compete as well?

I'm sick to death of all the Gardy hatin' in MN. That guy and that coaching staff have taken peanuts, year after year, and turned it into a contending team, winning the damn division 5 times in 8 years.

Rick said it several months ago - these are golden years for the Twins. It's like you guys forgot that our boys were basement dwellers for most of the '90s. Cheer up and enjoy some premium professional baseball played by your team...who knows how long it may last.

Posted on June 5, 2010 at 12:32 AM by theloniousjoe Highlight this comment 82

HUGE victory for the university of minnesota tonight! the #4 seed gophers beat #1 seed cal-state fullerton (also ranked #7 in the country) by a final score of 3-1 in the cal-state fullerton regional. a great pitching performance by gophers ace seth rosin.

the gophers will play new mexico tomorrow in the winner's bracket at 10pm CST/11pm EST/8pm PST on ESPN-U.

Posted on June 5, 2010 at 01:06 AM by Betaband Highlight this comment 83

I'm a little worried about staff sergeant Oscar Brown. Seems a little unhinged.

Posted on June 5, 2010 at 01:25 AM by Chad Highlight this comment 84

I zapped the Spamming Sergeant!

Posted on June 5, 2010 at 01:27 AM by Rick 85

Who was the Spamming Sergeant Rick? Twinkfan? :P

Posted on June 5, 2010 at 02:03 AM by theloniousjoe Highlight this comment 86

Some variation on the Nigerian scam?

Posted on June 5, 2010 at 08:19 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 87

Watching the game last night, I was a little confused.
I didn't know if a) I was listening to a high-school basketball game (you could hear rumblings of junior-varsity cheerleaders in the outfield singing "let's go oakland clap, clap, clap, clap, clap") or b) a damn soccer game in London (those ridiculous whistles and noisemakers).

God, Oakland is a dull town.

Posted on June 5, 2010 at 08:22 AM by luke Highlight this comment 88

Hmm, don't know how those spam messages are getting through, but I'll stop 'em!

Posted on June 5, 2010 at 09:25 AM by Rick 89

I would have absolutely no problem if Twins management demanded that Gardenhire improve on his 6-18 career playoff record (2-12 since his first season) before signing him to another extension. Especially with a vastly increased payroll this year. To use a basketball analogy, the Bulls with Michael Jordan never did much in the playoffs while Doug Collins was their coach, but when they plugged Phil Jackson in they won the championship his second year (and six championships in a row in years in which MJ played). Nobody seems to deny the talent on this team, so the expectations need to be raised accordingly.

Posted on June 5, 2010 at 10:39 AM by Badjuggler Highlight this comment 90

I like "Let's go SQUIRREL" [clap clap clapclapclap] more.

Posted on June 5, 2010 at 11:50 AM by Chad Highlight this comment 91

OMG - we've gone 10 hours without ONE comment?
How is this possible?

Posted on June 5, 2010 at 9:06 PM by luke Highlight this comment 92

twins are winning. there's nothing to complain about

Posted on June 5, 2010 at 10:24 PM by MattW Highlight this comment 93

Me first - Jessie Crain SUCKS. Why pull Liariano for CRAIN?

Posted on June 5, 2010 at 10:26 PM by JCTwins Highlight this comment 94

damnit i jinxed it....

Posted on June 5, 2010 at 10:27 PM by MattW Highlight this comment 95

Thanks Jesse crainwreck! Why is he still in the majors.

Posted on June 5, 2010 at 10:27 PM by firedog Highlight this comment 96

I think the negative waves coming from this site ie what did it. Think beautiful thoughts, people. Think beautiful thoughts.

Posted on June 5, 2010 at 10:29 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 97

How many chances will Crain get this season? Gardy must now know that he can no longer trust Crain! I want to see what Slama can do.

Posted on June 5, 2010 at 10:32 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 98

First beautiful thought - Crain being moved to bat boy.

Posted on June 5, 2010 at 10:32 PM by JCTwins Highlight this comment 99

Why didnt he use Burnett at the beginning of the inning. Gardy is an idiot, my 7 year old could manage better than him.

Posted on June 5, 2010 at 10:36 PM by firedog Highlight this comment 100

Still with the negative waves. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

Posted on June 5, 2010 at 10:38 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 101

See what happens when you send a little positivity their way? They're back on top.

Posted on June 5, 2010 at 10:45 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 102

weeeeee i love the twins! they can do no wrong!!! I LOVE KOOL-ADE!!!

Posted on June 5, 2010 at 10:47 PM by MattW Highlight this comment 103

See...It worked. The Twins won.

Posted on June 5, 2010 at 10:59 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 104

The Twins defied all the "experts" on this site and won! Rauch is now tied for the league lead in saves. Who'da thunk it?

Posted on June 5, 2010 at 11:03 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 105

Good win with a make-shift infield lineup!

Nice to see Delmon Young heating up, too. If he starts hitting it makes the bottom of the lineup much more potent.

Posted on June 5, 2010 at 11:26 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 106

Damn, too bad that Rauch's been "exposed," huh?

Posted on June 5, 2010 at 11:35 PM by Buffalo Highlight this comment 107

A three legged iguana with heart problems would make the bottom of the line-up more potent.

Posted on June 5, 2010 at 11:37 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 108

Crain has got to go! At least the twins still came back to win, even with the makeshift infield! Now to go for the sweep, GO TWINKIES!

Posted on June 6, 2010 at 12:13 AM by The Sooj Highlight this comment 109

Would like to make a trade: Jesse Crain to Milwaukee for a twelve pack of milwaukee's best. Ok six pack..

Posted on June 6, 2010 at 12:29 AM by Jcm-Baseball Highlight this comment 110

Gardy was saying yesterday Neshek has to go down and earn his spot just like anyone else...Ummmm..Ok,What about Crainwreck? Enough is enough...

Posted on June 6, 2010 at 07:38 AM by Steve Highlight this comment 111

Retaining a spot on the line-up is not the same as earning a return to it. And no, I'm not defending Crain.

Posted on June 6, 2010 at 10:59 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 112

You're asking a guy to throw a ball over sixty feet, as hard as he can, and hit a precise spot that changes from batter to batter and umpire to umpire. With so much of the job reliant upon muscle memory, we should expect a guy to have some ups and downs. Sure, he's paid a king's ransom the throw a baseball, but how many of us perform at a peak level at work every single day? You might be trying as hard as you can, but you'll never acheive machine-like consistency. How many of us hit the perfect golf shot with every swing of the club?
If Crain reels off a few good outings in a row, I hope that folks here will acknowledge that effort in accordance with how much abuse they've heaped on him.

Posted on June 6, 2010 at 1:07 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 113

I was wondering if anyone here has three tickets for the July 21 game against the Indians.
Please email me (click my name).
Thanks.

Posted on June 6, 2010 at 1:44 PM by luke Highlight this comment 114

Batting practice Blackburn is back at it getting shelled by another mediocre offense, he reminds me of Joe Mays.

Posted on June 6, 2010 at 4:13 PM by firedog Highlight this comment 115

THE SKY IS FALLING
THE SKY IS FALLING
THE SKY IS FALLING

Posted on June 6, 2010 at 4:14 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 116

Good thing Blackburn is locked up until 2014 we would hate to lose him.

Posted on June 6, 2010 at 4:18 PM by firedog Highlight this comment 117

Anybody want to lay bets when the next game is that Harris and Punto will combine for 3+ hits?

Posted on June 6, 2010 at 5:05 PM by twins2010wschamps Highlight this comment 118

Young-Span-Cuddy
Valencia-Hardy-Young-Morneau-Mauer
Kubel

This should be our lineup every day with each player getting 1 in 10 games off, except Morneau.

Gardy insists on getting AAA players major league time. I seriously think the above lineup, day in, day out, can get us home field advantage this year. And yes, Valencia is a stretch, but I think there is only one direction at 3rd base, and that is up.

Posted on June 6, 2010 at 5:09 PM by twins2010wschamps Highlight this comment 119

3 hits for Punto! He is in the zone!

Posted on June 6, 2010 at 5:13 PM by twins2010wschamps Highlight this comment 120

Make that "Hudson" in my lineup. He's awesome.

Posted on June 6, 2010 at 5:14 PM by twins2010wschamps Highlight this comment 121

Pass the koolade someone! I'm thristy!!!!

Posted on June 6, 2010 at 6:11 PM by MattW Highlight this comment 122

Pick a side, everybody. Either you're completely down on the Twins or you drank the Kool-Ade. There's no in-between for any wishy-washy types.

Posted on June 6, 2010 at 7:09 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 123

How many times do the Twins win the first two games of a three game series than fall flat during the third game?

@ Chicago
Kansas City
Cleveland
@ Kansas City
Milwaukee
@ Oakland

This road trip continued to prove the fact that the Twins are pretty much a .500 team outside the division in the AL (16-15 to be exact). Yes, they were short-handed without Cuddyer, Hudson, Hardy and Morneau but they still proved to be nothing much better than a .500 team against the AL East and AL West.

Obviously they play well within the division and against the NL so an expectation of a 6-3 or 7-2 record for the next 9 games at home should be reasonable, but who knows at this point with Hudson and Hardy's injuries.

On to some positive news, it's nice to see Delmon swinging the bat well. He needs to be playing every day.

Posted on June 6, 2010 at 7:52 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 124

But if they win the first two games of every series only to drop the third, they'll wind up with 108 wins. Traditionally, it has been said that if you take two of three at home and play .500 on the road (approximately 95-96 wins), you can win a championship.
Maybe we need to take our fingers off the panic button.

Posted on June 6, 2010 at 9:32 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 125

You make a good point Dr. X, but the Twins have not shown me they can consistently beat teams outside of their division, where they have a 15-8 AL Central record.

They are 16-15 against the rest of the AL...

Toronto 1-1
Boston 2-3
NY Yankees 2-4
Baltimore 2-2
Seattle 1-3
Oakland 2-1
LA Angels 3-1 (season opening series)
Texas 3-0

While that 3 out of 4 in Anaheim was impressive, I would not look too much into that considering it was the first series of the year. Not to mention Anaheim was a below .500 team for the first two months of the season as well.

Other than the 3 of 4 in Anaheim, the only other impressive series was Texas last weekend at Target Field.

Jim Souhan was correct when he said this team lacks a "killer instinct"...They also lack depth and true leadership. Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau are great players, but they don't seem to provide that emotion and leadership that players such as AJ Pierzynski, Johan Santana and Torii Hunter provided. You never see any players in the dugout get in the face of another player like Hunter and Santana did.

The only time the Twins seem to show any emotion is when they get called out on a third strike while their bat sits on their shoulder.

Way too much inconsistency on this current Twins team as well.

Posted on June 6, 2010 at 11:04 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 126

*yawn*

Posted on June 7, 2010 at 12:52 AM by Buffalo Highlight this comment 127

FCOL! Is it finally time to send Brendon Harris packing along with train wreck crain????

Posted on June 7, 2010 at 10:32 AM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 128

*yawn*

Posted on June 7, 2010 at 10:37 AM by Buffalo Highlight this comment 129

I love the pics. Keep em coming, boys.

Posted on June 7, 2010 at 10:45 AM by OG Jeff Highlight this comment 130

We have designated photographers for 6/8, 6/10, and 6/12. Still looking for folks for the other games of the homestand.

Posted on June 7, 2010 at 10:51 AM by Rick 131

this will be my last post; i can't stand reading the bickering and negativity/ignorance of most of the comments on here nowadays.

rick,
thanks for putting this blog up. i've enjoyed reading the analysis and insight over the last couple of year.

au revoir...

Posted on June 7, 2010 at 11:15 AM by annoyingcustomer Highlight this comment 132

this will more than likely be my last post as well...too many whiners/sky is falling...

it's a long season, and you cant have all-star hitters at every spot in the lineup, especially when 4 of your good hitters are out...

Posted on June 7, 2010 at 11:52 AM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 133

It is insane the amount of whining, even after taking two of three in Oakland. You would think that would quiet some of it, but instead it started all anew after Sunday's loss. People need to get a grip. I still don't get why some of them even follow the Twins or baseball since all it seems to do is get them worked up, upset and sullen.

Posted on June 7, 2010 at 1:42 PM by Buffalo Highlight this comment 134

I will take another 6-3 homestand! That would be our 4th this year. Very strange how everyone of our homestands have been 9 games!!! That would get us to 11 games over 500. Will 90 games win the central?

Posted on June 7, 2010 at 2:13 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 135

Whoops make that 12 games over if we continue the 6-3 homestand tradition to date! Anybody know what they are charging for standing room tickets? Do they vary? Or are they all $25 a pop?

Posted on June 7, 2010 at 2:21 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 136

I'm out too. Thank you very much Rick for giving us a place to follow the construction of Target Field. It sure made the time pass from inception to completion. Unfortunately, the site has deteriorated into a collection of mindless posts from a bunch of negative idiots who don't understand the game. If I want to read about how much Harris, Punto or Crain suck or how the Twins should trade Delmon Young for Tim Lincecum or who's got dirty pics of Gardy, I will read the Strib blogs.
Baseball isn't NFL football - its a long season with many ups and downs. If you can't come to grips with that go follow the World Cup you have a much happier summer.

Posted on June 7, 2010 at 2:45 PM by luckylager Highlight this comment 137

Wow...I was simply stating some facts and making a point that the Twins are essentially a .500 team outside of the AL Central and several of the kool-aid drinkers get defensive and threaten to leave the site. Yes, the Twins are in first place and have one of the best records but if you do a little research and look into the numbers, this team is just 16-15 against the rest of the AL. Why is stating that fact so negative??

I still support the team and have been a season ticket holder for seven years, but its a matter of fact that this team is pretty much a .500 team outside of the division.

To me, it sounds like its the kool-aid drinkers who are the whiners and, now apparently, the "quitters" on this site.

The fans in general, along with the media, are very soft in this market. What's wrong with being held accountable and facing some criticism??

Posted on June 7, 2010 at 3:07 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 138

I'm not leaving. I like this place. :-)

Next game for me is Thursday night against the Royals. /fingers crossed/ the rain stays away.

Posted on June 7, 2010 at 3:14 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 139

I think it is sad to see people leave because of not liking the commentary that some provide. Simple fix, ignore those comments then. I still think Rick has a lot more to provide for people who are truly still intrigued with this ballpark or baseball in general. I personally enjoy Rick's posts and hope that he continues to provide insight on all things Target Field/Baseball/Twins/Transit/Neighborhood Developments. Thanks Rick for all you have done and I will keep coming back to this site to check out your well thought out posts!!

Posted on June 7, 2010 at 3:17 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 140

Ballpark fans, take heart!

Our first impressions may be over, but there's lots more to say about Target Field. If I'm not mistaken, a new homestand starts tomorrow!

Posted on June 7, 2010 at 3:26 PM by Rick 141

I'm here man!!!!!! Be at the game Wed for game 7 to try and break above my 3-3 mark. Tickets also Sat for the Braves. No tickets for the Rockies but have em for my first $1.00 dog nite on June 28th! Might have to even pass on my Holiday station dog stop. Anybody been to a monday dog nite yet? Are they sold out by the 1st inning? I see there are only 6 monday home games the entire schedule. The first one for Boston they did not offer the $1.00 dogs!! FCOL!!!!!

Posted on June 7, 2010 at 3:41 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 142

Target Field a bull's-eye for downtown nightlife. Click my name for the entire article.

From the article...
"It's as if the design and feel of this particular stadium was for it to be perfectly connected to the rest of the downtown," said Kieran Folliard, the Irish pub kingpin who relocated his 16-year-old namesake bar Kieran's into the floundering Block E mall in time for the Twins season.

Leave it to a bleeding-hearted Irishman to poetically sum up the stadium's impact: "You go to the game, and you can see and feel downtown from the stadium," Folliard continued. "There are no big gaps. The energy between the ballpark and the rest of downtown is interconnected now."

Posted on June 7, 2010 at 3:43 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 143

Twinkfan - I went to the first Dollar Dog night on May 3 and there were still hot dogs available until at least the 2nd inning. They could have been going even longer, not sure.

The only drawback (but well worth it) is that the lines are longer since the dogs are grilled fresh rather than pre-wrapped and placed in warmers.

Posted on June 7, 2010 at 3:47 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 144

One area I have wanted to discussion on this blog for a while, and I think would draw more interest in the ballpark discussion is more comparison to other ballparks. I can say before Target Field was being built and finding this blog I never thought much about the intricacies and unique features of different ballparks. Now I've become fascinated in learning about every ballpark and how they compare. I have told my wife on many occasions now how much of a fantasy it would be for me to visit every ballpark. I know people have done their ballpark rankings on this blog, but I would love more in depth discussion on the different ballparks and how they compare and contrast with our new Target Field in both the positive and negative. For one thing I love how much MN is incorporated in the ballpark both from a historical standpoint as well as food options, and where everything came from. I would love to hear what other ballparks were successful in incorporating their state and it's history. Just a thought, and one of many discussions that could be generated.

Posted on June 7, 2010 at 3:48 PM by HebrewHammer16 Highlight this comment 145

Target Field review from Stadium Journey. Click my name for the complete review.

Posted on June 7, 2010 at 3:51 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 146

Thanks Mike, I may have to pull my standby and bring in some Holiday station dogs just in case. I will sometimes put those in the microwave at the store to steam the buns so to speak. Then wrap em up and head right up the block or so to gate 6! Best deal in town man! So far no problem bringing the clear rum in the water bottle either!

Posted on June 7, 2010 at 3:52 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 147

OK I wanna see a new grass cutting design already!

Posted on June 7, 2010 at 4:00 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 148

I am gonna take my ball and go home. If you dont like somebody's post dont read it.

Posted on June 7, 2010 at 4:48 PM by firedog Highlight this comment 149

I participated in the "Heart Walk" on Saturday. The gathering area for our group was section 106. I measured the seat in that section and came up with 19" inside of one armrest to outside of the next armrest - so I was sitting in a seat that was at the small end of the advertised range (19 - 23 if I recall correctly). The seat was a good inch or two wider than my ST seat (in 204) and much more comfortable than other seats I have checked out. Negative perhaps, but the tape measure does not lie.

Posted on June 7, 2010 at 5:28 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 150

If they go, they go. It's their decision. Eventually, everybody has to move on; maybe this is the reason or impetus they need to make that move. Good luck to them all.

Posted on June 7, 2010 at 5:32 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 151

Awesome pictures man. I had the opportunity to see one of the opening series games against Boston, and what I was most impressed with was that there were no major flaws, and the fans just seemed unbelievably happy. Like they just got out of a domed prison and into the fresh air and sunshine for the first time in 30 years...Hmmm...

Posted on June 7, 2010 at 5:32 PM by Paul Swaney Highlight this comment 152

My nine-year-old is going to her first game at Target Field on Wednesday and her fourth-grade choir will be singing the National Anthem. There's a once in a lifetime memory for you. Give 'em a big cheer if you're there.

Posted on June 7, 2010 at 5:45 PM by me262 Highlight this comment 153

I'd hate to see Vikes, and lucky and annoying leave.
However, I think we can come up with a little better commentary than wanting to see a new lawn mowing design.

How about, get excited, the Twins are coming home tomorrow!

Posted on June 7, 2010 at 6:24 PM by luke Highlight this comment 154

Wow, really no comments about comparing Target Field to other ballparks in more intimate detail. That holds no appeal to anyone?

Posted on June 7, 2010 at 6:34 PM by HebrewHammer16 Highlight this comment 155

Well Hebrew that subject has been discussed here in pretty good detail since April...

Posted on June 7, 2010 at 7:33 PM by Faber College Alum Highlight this comment 156

I always think the best part about people announcing they are leaving an online forum is when they come back at some point in the future. They always do.

Posted on June 7, 2010 at 7:53 PM by JCTwins Highlight this comment 157

I'm not gonna leave, if someone wants to state their opinion they can, and if i don't like i just don't read them. I'm happy for them to come home again. my next game is gonna be in philly!

Posted on June 7, 2010 at 8:04 PM by The Sooj Highlight this comment 158

Good news!

Justin Morneau has now overtaken Mark Teixeira in the third set of American League balloting figures for the All-Star Game. Bidding for his first fan-elected starting assignment, Morneau has jumped atop a deep field at first base with 973,563 votes, slightly ahead of 931,405 cast for Teixeira.

Make sure to keep on voting for Morneau and his fellow Twins, so they rightfully START in the All-Star game.

Click on my name for a link to vote.

Posted on June 7, 2010 at 8:06 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 159

Anybody know anything about the Twins' first round draft pick, other than his name is Alex Wimmers, and he's a pitcher from Ohio St.?

Posted on June 7, 2010 at 8:13 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 160

I disagree Faber College Alum. When comparisons and rankings have been discussed in the past, it has, at least in my opinion been very broad sweeping statements. There are so many cool unique features about Target Field from the Mankato limestone, the history of the Met Pole, the old basketball floor in TownBall Tavern, the devotion to Twins History, the MN food options, etc. etc. I would love to discuss more and compare what other ballparks have done to incorporate their state and history, what unique features the builders came up with that is unique to just that ballpark, etc. There has not been an extensive comparison done on the little details that make each ballpark special. I feel for the most part only the obvious features known to everyone, or broad top 10 rankings have discussed at any great length on this blog.

Posted on June 7, 2010 at 8:13 PM by HebrewHammer16 Highlight this comment 161

twinkfan - you certainly are a "unique" dude to say the least. i mean that in a good way. i have never heard of someone so pleased with themselves when it comes to the art of stashing convenience stores hog dogs and drinking warm rum out of a water bottle.

contrary to some other's overly dramatic stances, i could never leave this site as i would certainly miss twinkfan's almost comedic overuse of exclamation points and acronyms/abbreviations way too much.

i mean FCOL!

okay......i am going to go and buy a holiday station store hot dog now........

Posted on June 7, 2010 at 8:20 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 162

expectorate - i do know that alex wimmers threw either a no-hitter or perfect game against michigan during the 2009 season.

Posted on June 7, 2010 at 8:23 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 163

I think the wrong guys left the site.

Posted on June 7, 2010 at 8:55 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 164

Interesting article from Joe C regarding some problems at Target Field, specifically some glare issues the players are facing.

click link

Posted on June 7, 2010 at 10:06 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 165

what a bunch of whiners (especially hitting coach joe vavra) in that article. no other teams seem to have an issue hitting the ball at target field. sounds to me like a bunch of twins making excuses for poor play. stupid.

Posted on June 8, 2010 at 12:48 AM by Betaband Highlight this comment 166

Beta, have to totally disagree with you. They aren't being whiners, they're being honest about some of the things they're experiencing at TF.

Vavra isn't whining at all, he's just relaying what he's hearing from his players. Why is that whining? And I don't think they're making excuses for poor play because let's be honest, they haven't been playing poorly at home, 18-9 record, averaging a run a game better than on the road.

A great follow-up question would have been, "why do you think the you all have been averaging more runs and have such a better record at home if there are such issues with glare at certain times of the day?"

Posted on June 8, 2010 at 07:32 AM by Faber College Alum Highlight this comment 167

In defense of the people who are leaving this site, it hasn't been as simple as ignoring some people's posts. Especially during the last road trip it was nonstop. At times it seemed like every post was senseless negativity and if you dared to say something positive or disagree, you got something with the words "Kool-Aid" thrown back at you. Just saying.

Posted on June 8, 2010 at 08:48 AM by Buffalo Highlight this comment 168

I agree Buffalo. I'm not a "kool-aid" drinking, "Twins can never do any wrong" kind of guy but I'm also not a doom-sayer, every move the Twins make sucks, Bill Smith is a clown, Gardy is a moron, Punto is a AAA player, Hardy is a bust and you're too soft if you don't see it my way kind of guy either.

My life is too busy and hectic to worry a lot about "holding the Twins accountable." I love baseball, I love the Twins. I chose to spend my entertainment dollars at Target Field, etc. I get ticked when they screw up or if Bill Smith gets snookered in a trade, but I don't lose sleep over it. I'm psyched when they sweep the Rangers and we see someone like Delmon start to come into his own. In short, this is my diversion. I'll save the accountability to elected officials and my work. If that means I'm drinking the "kool-aid" so be it.

Posted on June 8, 2010 at 10:01 AM by Faber College Alum Highlight this comment 169

Pretty thoughtful comment. But using "accountability" and "elected officials" in the same sentence?

Posted on June 8, 2010 at 11:49 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 170

Beta I mix that rum with a refreshing Diet pepsi bought at the ballpark! Warm rum out a water bottle? Now that would be hardcore man! Need to go at least 6-3 on this homestand! Greinke should be beatable! Wow 1-7 this year! OUCH!!

Posted on June 8, 2010 at 12:38 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 171

Greinke is almost always a treat to watch whether beatable or not. Hoping to see a great game tonight!

Posted on June 8, 2010 at 12:46 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 172

Lets hope it drys out a little! I see they are calling for showers most of the afternoon anyways! I've been to 3 games that had rain already so looking forward to some good weather tommorow!

Posted on June 8, 2010 at 2:13 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 173

Going to my first game as a fan tonight! What rain? Might spend a bit of time in the Twins Pubs!!

Posted on June 8, 2010 at 2:14 PM by j2eepgmr Highlight this comment 174

Where you gonna be sitting J2?

Posted on June 8, 2010 at 2:47 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 175

I have no plans to go the game tonight but it's interesting to see prices crater on StubHub this afternoon. You can get some really good seats right now for well under face value. I'm sure the weather has a lot to do with it...

Posted on June 8, 2010 at 2:55 PM by Faber College Alum Highlight this comment 176

I'm going to have to partially agree with Beta on this one. (Is that a first)

While T don't think the players came off complaining, I took it as the players saying some things they would like to see changed in their ballpark.

Vavra on the otherhand comes off sounding like a whiny little child. Complaining about the relections off of the glass behind center field. Look at the picture above from the Champions Club, what glass is he talking about.?

I do like Gardy's idea of painting the railings. That has always seemed like it was a forgotten detail. Another thing I would like to see them do in the park, and it would be expensive, but it would add a lot in terms of the look of the park, is to put limestone on the facing of the upper decks, where it is concrete right now. I cheaper soulution would be to paint it the same color as lime stone. I've just always found the bear concrete matched with the galvanized steel railings to be very industrial.

Posted on June 8, 2010 at 2:56 PM by duffman Highlight this comment 177

The weather is supposed to clear up tonight as well. I might pounce on some tickets if the price gets low enough, although I wouldn't be able to go tomorrow during the day. I've got tickets for the last 2 games of this series but it would be more fun to go to all 3.

Posted on June 8, 2010 at 3:17 PM by CoomDawg Highlight this comment 178

Wrong call Dahl says should be ok in another hour or so as this last batch moves through! Raining down here in bloomington! Lets light up Grienke man!!!All lefty lineup tonight me thinks!!!

Posted on June 8, 2010 at 3:46 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 179


This page was last modified on June 3, 2010.



"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 3045 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.





These stairs will go up to the centerfield pavilion.



Note the speakers hanging beneath that deck












Clyde Doeppner proudly displays colored bricks he scavenged from the Met during its demolition. These are the colors in question!






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









This is the actual entrance for Gate 6. Notice how close the seating will be. The back row of the lower deck will be mere inches beyond that inner support post.















Detail showing clubhouse and home dugout (click to see the entire drawing)



These outfield stands will likely remain visible to passersby.



Looking back toward the doorway into the club



Lots of work has gone into detailing the fronts of these decks. That is a little thing, but a NICE little thing. (HRP View)



Photo by Tom Sweeney, Star Tribune









Open concourses do mean that you can glimpse the field no matter where you are, but not really the game.






That's Fifth Street (and a tattooed arm) in the foreground.






Handshakes all around (there's gonna be a lot of that over the next few weeks)



Photo by Tyler Wycoff



This is a slightly blurry view of the pavilion in center. It has a quirky shape, but one which is completely consistent with the overall ballpark design. Nice work there. You can also get a glimpse of the greenery which will rise above the fences.



This is where the plaza meets First Avenue



Met Stadium seat colors (click for the complete image)



Here's a first view of the surprisingly spacious walkway on Fifth between the ballpark and the LRT platform.



573 Club



Party deck






Final Metrodome baseball sight






They can put a camera just about anywhere. (Photo by Jeff Ewer)












Dave St. Peter introducing the first physical models of the ballpark in June 2007






Gate 6 Oliva, with the 573 Club looming large over it (I wonder how Tony feels about that)



Perched welder on the top of the canopy.



Nicely-cushioned seats, lots of room, great sightlines






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



Locations for ticket machines near the Hrbek outdoor plaza


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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