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TwinsFest Fun

February 22, 2012 11:45 PM

On their way to the sunshine and green grass of Florida, the Boys of Next Summer stopped at a decidedly less-dreary Metrodome to meet with the fans.

TwinsFest, which we missed last year because of its relocation, certainly felt familiar but freshened from past years. I think that the absence of a year, for many folks, made the heart grow a little bit fonder toward this old stalwart. And despite coming off a lousy season, everybody seemed so gosh darn happy.

And that new Metrodome roof was so much more cheery than the old one. It probably would be tougher on baseball players, but every time the sun came out, it caused a dramatic change in the mood of the place. Why couldn't they have done that 20 years ago?

We had a great time, and I took some photos.

Slideshow Play/Pause Play/Pause Play/Pause Image 1 of 19
Slideshow: twinsfest12
The new roof shines 

Everyone who was there must admit it: We love baseball. Even when our team isn't at its top form, baseball remains the promise of a summer which just keeps on giving. Why else would we plunk down real money (my total for the event was $70, admittedly maybe not your definition of "real" money) to walk around and just look at some baseball stuff -- some of which we've seen before?

Well, there's the chance that we'll bump into a player or two. OK, that doesn't really happen anymore, at least not in an uncontrolled situation. But you can run into the ballpark organist, which is its own thrill.

The nearest I could tell, Sue was just attending the event. I happened to turn around after taking a picture of my kids by a World Series trophy to find her standing behind me, trying to get close to the trophy case.

As always, she was gracious in being recognized, and happy to explain to the kids what she does: "I'm the one who goes dum-dum-dum-dum-da-dum on the organ." After we took a picture with her, she moved back toward the exhibit and didn't get recognized again in the whole time we hovered nearby looking at the various artifacts.

The bane of this TwinsFest, like all others, is those autograph lines. They are impossibly long, snaking throughout the floor, and tying up people who appeared to all wish they were doing something else. In a couple of cases, I didn't even recognize the Twins they were waiting for.

The addition of colored wristbands appears to have helped somewhat for the bigger names. But I talked to one fan who had arrived at the crack of dawn just to get in line for a wristband to give her the chance of getting Joe Mauer's autograph. In the end, she got the wrong color. But she was philosophical, saying that the process had actually had saved her a lot of time.

Could this be fixed? Absolutely. Here's how:

1. Sell tickets for autographs only in advance, either online or at the Target Field box office.
2. Put a time on each ticket just like they do at museums.
3. No one can get in line before their time, and there are just enough tickets sold for each window of time.

This is not rocket science, though there is some experimentation and projection involved, and it would require finding a provider for the software if it's not available in house. But one call to the Minnesota History Center or the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and you've got that covered. They do that sort of thing all the time.

So, as an autograph-seeker, you have to do some virtual waiting, but then your ticket will show you exactly when to arrive in order to get your autograph. Max wait time: 15 minutes. And all the money is handled securely, no player needs to feel like he's disappointing anybody left standing in line when his time is up, and everybody is happy.

And the lines would take up so much less space and be so much less annoying and soul-deadening! Just saying.

We ate some hot dogs and cotton candy (they were out of pizza, imagine that). We hit some whiffle balls. Ninjas taught us how to swing (don't ask; I don't know the answer). There was much jumping and bouncing, plus a bit of climbing and sliding. I said, "stay together" about 500 times, and still had to chase after the younger one a couple of times as he wandered absentmindedly into the crowd.

Mostly, we just soaked it all in.

Outside, it barely felt like January. Inside, it felt like a baseball season about to begin.

I can't wait.

Comments


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New Post!! Woo Hoo! Thanks Rick!

Posted on February 23, 2012 at 12:14 AM by TK Highlight this comment 1

Nice recap, Rick. I took my son and one of his friends. They're old enough to be able to wander around on their own now, but to deal with autograph lines in the past, I've usually brought a book and waited in line while the kids and my wife (or other adult) walk around with them. Line starts moving, get close, call the kids, they come over. Not that difficult, really, and once the lines start moving, they go pretty quickly.

The wristbands worked fairly well, I thought. We did NOT get there early to get a Mauer wristband. We showed up at the table about half-way through the desingate dpick-up time period and there were still 75 or so wristbands available, in each of the 3 colors. We each picked a different color. My son's friend didn't want to pay for Mauer's autograph but took a wristband anyway, which meant that we were certain to get one picked (turned out, it was his). We thought we were being clever, going to the actual autograph line 5-10 minutesd before they were going to announce the winning color, only to find about 500 people already in line!

But it worked out fine. Most of the people in line did not have a winning wristband, so the line immediately thinned out. The kids got Mauer's auto fairly easily.

this was far better than past years, when the memorabilia dealers all were able to get in the popular lines before the rest of the crowd and made it extremely difficult to get to Mauer or Morneau unless you did camp out for hours (not 1 or 2 hours - 4+ hours) in advance. The wristbands fixed that problem.

Your solution could work, although you'd need to figure out a way to limit the # of tickets a person could buy. The key to the wristbands was that one person could get just one wristband, and had to put it on right there (so, no swapping/selling wristbands). If you don't limit it, you'll just end up with the same problems you see for other ticketd events - dealers/scalpers will set up multiple computers and buy up all the stock, shutting most others out.

Autos aside, it's fun to walk around, give an occasional high five to a HoFer walking by (Carew, in our case), browse the HoF displays, etc. A welcome diversion in January.

Posted on February 23, 2012 at 09:37 AM by BR Highlight this comment 2

I haven't been to Twins Fest in many years. Has it changed much? I went a few times and eventually came away with the feeling that once you'd seen it, you'd seen it; autographs, cards and memorabilia, some stuff for kids, some historical displays. The clubhouse tours are obviously out the window. I'd give Twins Fest another chance if there was something new and different about it.

Posted on February 23, 2012 at 10:33 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 3

What is the deal with autographs anyway? Why do people want them? I guess I have a few, but when I meet a player the last thing I expect or want is a signature, and I'm sure it's a pain for them to always be signing things.

Isn't the fun in just meeting the player, particularly for the kids? The hysteria about autographs just kind of bogs down the process and cheapens what could be a friendly interaction into a transaction.

What if instead of autograph sessions, these were just "meet the player" sessions - you'd go through a line, shake hands, take a pic, and be done with it - no autographs allowed. Or what if small groups of people got to meet with a player for 5 or 10 minutes, ask questions, have a conversation. Isn't that more fun than focusing on the piece of paper.

I get that kids like autographs but the reason I don't go to Twins Fest is that it seems like a big autograph market driven more by adults, and that sounds really dull and a little pathetic.

Posted on February 23, 2012 at 10:39 AM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 4

I wouldn't say "new and different". I'd say "freshened" a bit.

A couple of years ago I argued for a reboot of the whole thing, and still think it could use something like that. Whether it would be worth it to attend in its current form depends wholly on how much you want to get a little taste of baseball in the winter.

This year, in addition to looking for something to do on a Saturday morning with the kids, I was missing the game and ready for things to get going again. So it was worth it.

That wouldn't work for everybody.

Posted on February 23, 2012 at 10:43 AM by Rick 5

I'm with you, ClarkAddison. Autographs do nothing for me.

When I thanked Harmon Killebrew for putting so much joy in my childhood and he put his arm around my shoulder and told me how much he loved playing the game, that meant something.

The next day, when I stood in line for three hours to get him to sign a picture, we had no conversation at all, and it meant nothing.

Posted on February 23, 2012 at 10:46 AM by Rick 6

Funny you should mention Harmon Killebrew. My feelings about autographs come from an encounter with him at a predecessor to Twins Fest back in the 1980s. There were several current and ex players around, but no organized autograph lines. A big mob surrounded him and, being Harmon, he just stood there patiently signing until the last person was gone (so big a mob that there was a picture of it in the Strib the next day). My turn came, he signed my program, and then I had the nerve to ask him to sign one more thing for my sister, because it was her birthday! He sighed, ever so slightly, but being Harmon he signed again without complaint.

That was almost 30 years ago, and I still feel guilty about it! It just seemed so ridiculous a way to treat someone who everyone in the mob certainly admired. And most of us were adults, and I'm sure most of those autographs are long lost (except mine - I also got Jim Perry, Bob Allison, Tony O, and a few others on the same program that day...more guilt).

Posted on February 23, 2012 at 11:02 AM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 7

I love getting autographs. I don't sell them, nor do I ever plan to, its just a neat reminder of the day I met them and something to look at for memories, instead of just in my head, and it's special to me.

I have many Minnesota athlete autographs hanging throughout my basement. Randy Moss, Cris Carter, Kirby Puckett, Torii Hunter etc..

Posted on February 23, 2012 at 11:13 AM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 8

Human beings like to collect things. It's particularly noticeable in American culture. Autographs are one of those things. That people are willing to pay large amounts of money for certain autographs isn't all that surprising (in the context of beanie babies, comic books, etc.), and that simply drives interest all the more.

I collected autographs as a kid and have had fun helping my son collect them. I didn't seek them as a childless adult, but preferred to just shake hands and chat a bit if possible.

I like the idea of small group meet-and-talk sessions. They sort of do that with the kid Q&A sessions, but the groups are larger and not very personal. They do have the photo lines, which used to be free but now involve a $5 charge (ugh).

If you're an adult, and you're not a collector, and you've been to Twinsfest before, and you're not going with kids... don't bother. But getting in the baseball spirit (in January) and helping to instill it in a child - that's worth the admission price.

Posted on February 23, 2012 at 11:15 AM by BR Highlight this comment 9

Years ago a good friend of mine had the chance to get a photo taken with Harmon at one event or another. He took the photo to the next Twins Fest and presented it to Harmon for an autograph. Harmon not only gladly signed, but wanted to talk about the picture, warmly asking about when it was taken and, when told, then discussing the event in question. Harmon was so chatty that the Twins employee manning the station had to politely ask him to wrap things up since there was a huge line of people still waiting.

My own experience of this sort of thing was road tripping to Kansas City in the summer of 1993 to watch the Twins and Royals. One of the games was camera day. Every fan with a camera could enter the field to take pictures from the warning track of Royals players at different stations. My party bought disposable cameras at a drug store just for the sake of walking on a Major League ball field. Anyway, Greg Gagne was pretty new to the Royals and wasn't attracting much of a crowd, so we went over to say hi. He saw our Twins caps and spent some time chatting with us. He was as nice as could be.

So it's possible to have good encounters at these mass events, but I agree that it's usually pretty clinical, robbing the autograph of some of the magic.

Posted on February 23, 2012 at 11:37 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 10

In early 1984, right after Harmon had been elected to the HOP, he signed autographs at a show at the Dome. My wife and I mentioned we would be going to Cooperstown for the induction. He wanted to know where we would be staying and for how long and told us to have a good time. He spoke with everyone. A wonderful memory. Not like the fans of a certain east coast team who might be expected to stand at the rail and yell things like "Hey, toity-tree! Gimme an autograph! Toity-tree, you suck!"

Posted on February 23, 2012 at 12:41 PM by terry Highlight this comment 11

Correction: "HOF"

Posted on February 23, 2012 at 12:48 PM by terry Highlight this comment 12

I thought maybe you meant the IHOP.

Posted on February 23, 2012 at 1:02 PM by Rick 13

Harmon set the bar so high (in his dealing with fans) that I doubt another player will ever even get close.

What a completely classy man!

On a somewhat related note, anyone know if Target Field will still have his signature on the right field wall? Or was that just for 2011?

Posted on February 23, 2012 at 1:47 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 14

I agree with most everyone above. Autographs are somewhat meaningless to me if the plyer just grabbed the piece of paper or picture, signed it, and then moved on to the next person. Those players I've interacted with AND gotten an autograph are far more memorable.

I had one of those memorable experiences with, arguably, the greatest human to play professional sports (and easily the greatest running back in NFL history) Walter Payton. I met him the summer after their SB victory, when they were still having training camp in Platteville. All the players were lined up behind one of those orange mesh fences. EVERYONE was hovering around The Fridge, McMahon, Hampton, etc. At the very end of the line was Sweetness with nobody even around him. I walked up there with my Aunt and ended up having a 5 minute convo with him. i remember he had the biggest smile. He was talking to me about school and football (I was 6). He gave off that same aura that people mention Harmon had. I could tell he was a quality human being (even at my youtful age).

Those are the type of memories that stick with you for a lifetime....not some faded piece of paper.

Posted on February 23, 2012 at 2:01 PM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 15

I really doubt Harmon's name will be on the wall this year. Wouldn't be fair to leave it there. Have to have the other Twins greats there as well IMO.

Posted on February 23, 2012 at 2:41 PM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 16

My son enjoys getting autographs - in 2011 Nathan was going to be signing at a sport's store table at Twinsfest (not through the Twins - so $s weren't going to charity.) My son had an 8 1/2 x 11 picture of Nathan and him he was trying to get signed. Nathan was almost ready to sign it when the owner of the table (store) said no you have to buy a t-shirt to get an autograph. So we bought a t-shirt and got the t-shirt signed, but when he tried to get Nathan to sign the picture, the owner of the store/table told Joe no again. Joe was ready and willing to sign but this guy wouldn't let him. I was just watching off to the side. It wasn't like my son would try to resell the picture. (Insert Nathan jokes.) It was hard to try and explain to a 10 year old. Needless to say, we haven't been to the actual sports store in the western suburbs.

Posted on February 23, 2012 at 3:02 PM by gogotwins Highlight this comment 17

Vike - I finally remembered where I read it...
From DSP's twitter thing on Dec 28:
"Is Harmon's autograph still going to be on the outfield wall this season?"
"No, the autograph was a 2011 tribute"

Posted on February 23, 2012 at 9:09 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 18

yeah Schweady, just wouldn't be fair to the other Twins greats who have died.

Posted on February 23, 2012 at 9:15 PM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 19

That's one thing I don't get. Why do players who make the money Nathan makes (just as one example) enter into contracts for autograph dealers? They don't get paid that much. Is it really worth the extra $50k to someone who's already making millions to get stuck in the position of having to tell a kid, "No, I can't sign your picture. Sorry..."? David Ortiz was getting sued by a dealer who claimed that Papi didn't live up to his contractual agreements. Who needs that kind of hassle? There are other ways to supplement their income if they really want to...

Posted on February 23, 2012 at 11:22 PM by BR Highlight this comment 20

You need to remember that a great many pro athletes are not terribly bright.

Posted on February 23, 2012 at 11:26 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 21

Anyone else see in the paper that the Twins plan to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of their 2002 AL Central Division Championship at the home opener on April 9?

Pretty sad it has come to this...celebrating a 10-year anniversary of an AL Central Division championship...

In all due respect, 2002 was a special year and it was the first time the Twins were in the postseason since 1991 and ironically, it was the also last time the Twins actually won a playoff series by defeating Oakland in 5 games. We have not had a taste of postseason success since that Sunday afternoon in Oakland in October 2002 as sad as that may be, especially considering they were in the postseason six times in nine years.

Posted on February 24, 2012 at 09:17 AM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 22

Someone had mentioned about the picture on the box that the season tickets are in. We received ours the other day - ours is a 20 game - the box is only 6in. x 7in. Just wondering what we are supposed to notice in the picture.

Posted on February 24, 2012 at 09:32 AM by gogotwins Highlight this comment 23

It seems a bit soon to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the 2002 team, especially since there are still active players from that team on various clubs. However, without that team reigniting interest in the Twins, it's possible they're still playing at the Dome or wound up in a less attractive new stadium (relocation was never really in the cards and contraction was an utter sham). So I'll give them their due.

Posted on February 24, 2012 at 10:17 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 24

GoGo Twins, I scanned in the picture and sent it to the e-mail address to have it posted, but again, I must be doing something wrong.

To the picture.

It appears that The Twins are in the outfield in the photograph. The line-up on the big screen shows that Mauer is currently up, and has the Joe Mauer signature shot on the other screen.

I am not sure if there are multiple pictures put together for this photo, as some of the players seem to be out of place for the play taking place, but I just thought it was interesting.

A's are obviously batting, but the Twins make sure the hometown hero is shown on the screens on the STH Box Cover.

Posted on February 24, 2012 at 12:23 PM by tk Highlight this comment 25

tk,

I saw your email, but the picture didn't extract properly. Just attache it to and email directly to me (rick at...) and I'll post it here.

Posted on February 24, 2012 at 12:27 PM by Rick 26

How were the hot dogs?

Posted on February 24, 2012 at 1:28 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 27

Here's the picture. (I'm linking instead of embedding so that you can see it in full resolution)

It very definitely looks like the scoreboard thinks the Twins are on offense, while the field shows them on defense. (The defenders are in white, while the hitter/runner and coaches are wearing gray and black. White Sox maybe?)

Posted on February 24, 2012 at 1:29 PM by Rick 28

Duffman, not gonna lie, I kinda miss those 1/2# dogs from Brats&Brews

Posted on February 24, 2012 at 1:30 PM by tk Highlight this comment 29

Oh, and the on-deck hitter is standing in front of the visitor's dugout...

Posted on February 24, 2012 at 1:30 PM by Rick 30

Whatever kind of hot dog they served at TwinsFest was ten times more flavorful than anything you can buy at Target Field.

Posted on February 24, 2012 at 1:31 PM by Rick 31

Rick, noticed that too. And the only game against the A's that started with the A's scoring in the top of 9 was April 8, game time started at 3:10pm and the sun is no where close to where it should be for that time.

Posted on February 24, 2012 at 1:35 PM by tk Highlight this comment 32

*Top of 1st...

Posted on February 24, 2012 at 1:36 PM by tk Highlight this comment 33

This is a fun game. The scoreboard also says that the Athletics are leading 1-0 with one out in the bottom of the first.

Posted on February 24, 2012 at 1:38 PM by Rick 34

Oh, yeah, It is the top of the first.

Posted on February 24, 2012 at 1:39 PM by Rick 35

If there exists a highly successful book about a team that accomplished nothing more than winning a division championship, and that book is subsequently made into a highly successful film starring Brad Pitt, I don't have a problem with a little local celebration of the group that sent that team home in the Wild Card round.

Posted on February 24, 2012 at 1:43 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 36

er... I mean the divisional series

Posted on February 24, 2012 at 1:56 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 37

Mike - I see in that same article that they aren't unveiling the Hrbek statue until April 14th, to tie in with his uniform number. I'm disappointed, but probably only because -- uh, have I mentioned this already? -- I'm attending my first Home Opener in 52 years of Twins fandom! I know that this provides them another opportunity to attract additional interest (and $$) on a separate day, but I thought it would have been a perfect tie-in with all of the other hoopla happening on the plaza, players/families opening their respective gates, etc. on the 9th.

To me, it makes more sense to have scheduled the "Hey, Remember When We Could Win a Playoff Series?" Anniversary Celebration for September's Fan Appreciation festivities.

Posted on February 24, 2012 at 2:04 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 38

"er... I mean the divisional series"

Seems OK to call it the Wild Card round - it's the only series in which the Wild Card is guaranteed to play.

Posted on February 24, 2012 at 2:09 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 39

Best part of that image: Grandstands look to be about 1/2 full while the plaza and main concourse look packed. Describes the typical game perfectly.

Posted on February 24, 2012 at 2:17 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 40

Regarding the Metrodome hotdogs, after the Twins left the Dome, so did Hormel. The new dogs come from an outfit called Sheboygan Sausage. That a Minnesota company got flipped for a Wisconsin one caused a few people to get upset for about five minutes, but there have been few complaints at Vikings games since. The Quarterback Dog, the de facto replacement for the Dome Dog (minus the chips), is hands down better than anything Hormel sold previously and is better than any dog at Target Field except for the Hebrew National dogs at the specialty stand.

Posted on February 24, 2012 at 2:35 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 41

I'm getting a little worried about congestion on either side of TF's gates. It's already a cramped footprint and I can only imagine that a statue of Hrbek's size will only make matters worse and probably violate some ADA requirements. Perhaps in the interests of elbow room the Twins should rename it Gate 4 and erect a Lombo statue that will still leave us with plenty of space.

Posted on February 24, 2012 at 2:50 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 42

I only buy Kramarczuk's Brats and sausage at Target Field. They are buy far the best tasting of any of the dogs and brats! Buns are great also!

Posted on February 24, 2012 at 3:43 PM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 43

I forgot about Kramarczuk's. Good call. Was only thinking about hot dogs, not about the other sausages. Have the Twins mentioned any possible concession changes for 2012?

Posted on February 24, 2012 at 4:01 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 44

LOL! Good one Expectorate! I just got back from an appointment at Mayo and I had that book with me. Anyone who has ever been to Mayo knows that you should always bring a book - if not an entire library - with you to appointments. And Billy Beane once played briefly - and poorly - for the Twins; maybe he should be invited to the reunion.

Posted on February 24, 2012 at 4:35 PM by terry Highlight this comment 45

Maybe it'll be a statue of a very young Hrbek, and fans will still be able to squeeze past it.

Posted on February 24, 2012 at 6:13 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 46

Announcements regarding food & beverage at the ballpark this year are to be made in March according to DSP. He also said he picked up the 2012 Media Guide. Hope that there will be a voucher for one included in the STH package.

Posted on February 24, 2012 at 8:35 PM by NotMendoza Highlight this comment 47

"Hope that there will be a voucher for one included in the STH package."

Hope away.

Posted on February 24, 2012 at 9:15 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 48

A couple of things I noticed about the picture:

No opening day logo painted on the field so it was obviously not from the opening series vs Oakland

The grass pattern -- they opened the season both in 2010 and 2011 with the "checkerboard" pattern than changing the pattern in mid-April both seasons.

I see they just showed some Twins fans on the 10pm news lined up outside the ticket office for tickets...All I can say is wow! Twins tickets are not going to be very hard to get a hold of this year and definitely not worth camping out overnight in February. The only exception would be Cubs, Phillies and Brewers and possibly Angels, Yankees and Red Sox. That's just my opinion, not to mention, time is money as well. I would rather pay $10 extra down the road and save myself the 12+ hours of waiting in line but that is just me.

Posted on February 24, 2012 at 10:41 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 49

After two years of "patiently" waiting to buy tickets online, I'm more than happy to buy tickets on Stub Hub for a meager markup. Though, I still have fond memories of the Price Is Right "Cliffhanger" references from last year.

It will be interesting to see if the scalpers learned their lesson from last year. Winning kinda has an effect on demand.

Posted on February 25, 2012 at 09:16 AM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 50

I have looked at tickets on stubhub and they are still unreasonably high for some reason. Maybe that will go down as the games get closer, but if the Twins get off to a good start, ticket demand will go crazy again.

Also, I think the Twins are going to be better than expected this year, especially if Mauer and Morneau can stay on the field. A BIG IF I know, but I think we will see a lot of improvement!

Posted on February 25, 2012 at 09:23 AM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 51

I'm in a virtual waiting room. It'll be interesting to see if the team beefed up the online ticket system after last year's debacle, not to mention whether a poor 2011, expected poor 2012, some of the new park shine starting to wear off, poor on sale experiences last year, and the lack of potential StubHub mark ups will ward some people off.

Since starting to type, I've moved to the electronic line. This didn't work out well last year, so we'll see what happens.

Posted on February 25, 2012 at 09:58 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 52

I'm at the 'front' of the virtual line, hopefully I won't be moving backwards like I did last year!

Posted on February 25, 2012 at 10:08 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 53

Just start yodeling. I've heard that helps you move forward in the line.

Posted on February 25, 2012 at 10:10 AM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 54

There are signs. There appears to have been a significant drop-off in ST renewals which was not covered by waiting list folks - which in turn means that a lot of "On Deck" people ate their deposit rather than purchasing whatever they were in for. If the Twins were telling the story straight they would not be pushing STs hard as they are as we speak. So --- was it speculators who bailed or bandwagoners? Either way I think StubHub is going to be the best bet for the guy who just wants to go see the occasional game, as long as he is flexible day, time, and opponent-wise.

How the team fares will also factor in, of course, but it is very difficult to be wildly optimistic with so many loose ends lying about. I'm just hoping to see improvement over last year, which is not asking much. Watching a team make a good account of themselves at reasonable prices is all many fans ask for.

Posted on February 25, 2012 at 10:15 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 55

I got tickets to half a dozen games, including Cubs and Red Sox, in good seat locations with a minimal wait. This was a completely opposite experience in comparison to last year.

Posted on February 25, 2012 at 10:27 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 56

What's with the limit of 4 tickets on the Brewers and Cubs games??? I was going to buy 6 (3 couples) but now I am stuck trying to call the ticket office instead. 4 just seems like a LOW number to set a limit.

Posted on February 25, 2012 at 10:41 AM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 57

Has anyone made it through trying to call?

Posted on February 25, 2012 at 10:50 AM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 58

Received STH package and no voucher for Record and Information Book, aka media guide. Vouchers for yearbook, magazines, pro shop, and one time use clubhouse store. Ticket holder card to be mailed later.

Posted on February 25, 2012 at 11:05 AM by NotMendoza Highlight this comment 59

It's kind of a mixed bag on Twitter. Some success stories mixed with some upset people still stuck in the virtual waiting room. On the whole it seems like the overall experience has been better this year than last, but not as good as in 2010.

Lots of people are complaining about the Twins putting a four ticket per order cap on the Cubs games. Even if you accept the principles of keeping visiting fans to a minimum while hampering scalpers and speculators, the one area where the Twins appeared to fall down was by not alerting people about the cap in advance as far as anyone can tell. Plenty of fans who had parties of five and above are upset about not knowing, preventing them from planning accordingly by calling in or going to Target Field in person.

Posted on February 25, 2012 at 11:09 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 60

"Received STH package and no voucher for Record and Information Book, aka media guide."

Media Guides were subtracted from packages as of last year in the team's on-going effort to reduce value and increase profit as many ways as possible. The line is that most STH did not care about the guides anyway and this was a good place for the Twins to "go green". Contact your rep directly and ask nice for one.

Posted on February 25, 2012 at 11:35 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 61

Joel Zumaya left his throwing session today with an undisclosed elbow injury. He will have an MRI tomorrow.

Posted on February 25, 2012 at 11:54 AM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 62

I called the ticket office at 10 a.m. Took about 10 tries and I got through. No home opener tix available but had no problem for other games.

Just ended up buying for three games -- figure it won't be hard to score tickets this year with this motley crew. Though Morneau has to look at the up-side: Every time he sees his wife naked, she's got four boobs.

Posted on February 25, 2012 at 2:05 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 63

This information has been posted on the ticket site for a little while...

Fans can buy up to 4 tickets to games against the Cubs & Brewers. All other games have a limit of 24 tickets.

Posted on February 25, 2012 at 2:09 PM by tk Highlight this comment 64

Too bad on Zumaya. Maybe we won't get to see that one last amazing pitch after all...

Posted on February 25, 2012 at 2:21 PM by Rick 65

Zumaya has undisclosed elbow injury. And so it begins. Let's hope no one gets seriously injured in the stampede to the trainer's room.

Posted on February 25, 2012 at 2:26 PM by terry Highlight this comment 66

reports are that Zumaya felt pain on the inside of his elbow, that usually means bad news. Probably Tommy John surgery in his near future! :(

Posted on February 25, 2012 at 3:35 PM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 67

That's it...the season's over!

Posted on February 25, 2012 at 7:26 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 68

Many of the MLB teams had their single game purchase begin yesterday. I went to the Red's site and purchased a couple of games when the Twin's visit in June. The Red's website had the option of individually selecting your seat, similar to what we had during the relocation process. I have noticed that a number of teams such as the Red Sox, have the same ticket selection process for single games.
Does anyone know who determines this? Is it a choice by the individual team? I don't want to start another the "The Twin's are Cheap" discussion, but it is a much nicer process to select your seats rather than rely on the "best seat available" button.
I would think that would require additional computer capacity or the system would become that much slower because of the demands put on the system. All teams system the same basic ticketing system, but do the individual organizations have the option to upgrade certain features?

Posted on February 26, 2012 at 11:43 AM by minn55441 Highlight this comment 69

Joel Zumaya's MRI revealed a torn UCL

That was a short career with the Twins. Does he even bother with the surgery and the rehab at this point, or is his career over?

Posted on February 26, 2012 at 12:15 PM by minn55441 Highlight this comment 70

The Twins have the individual seat selection, revealed late last year. I am guessing when they anticipate less traffic, it will be back.

Posted on February 26, 2012 at 12:43 PM by tk Highlight this comment 71

thanks for figuring out what I was trying to say TK.

Posted on February 26, 2012 at 1:29 PM by minn55441 Highlight this comment 72

Does anyone know when standing room only tickets go on sale? As near as I can tell, those go on sale at a later date (as I believe was the case last season as well).

Posted on February 27, 2012 at 01:16 AM by FPM2K Highlight this comment 73

SRO tickets go on sale in mid to late March according to Twins President Dave St Peter.

Also, not a surprise, but the Home Opener, Cubs and Brewers games are all sold out. I am sure there will be a plethora of Cubs and Brewers fans in Minneapolis in June.

Posted on February 27, 2012 at 07:50 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 74

Six weeks!! But who's counting?

Posted on February 27, 2012 at 11:51 AM by terry Highlight this comment 75

I just did my season ticket draft yesterday with my season ticket group. I was amazed at how back-loaded the season is. The Twins better hope to be in a playoff chase in September otherwise Target Field is going to be a ghost town for 16 games. Even with the Yankees in town.

Posted on February 27, 2012 at 3:02 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 76

Duffmam, I noticed that too. And only 3 games outside the division in September. Not sure if I ever recall such a scenario?

Posted on February 27, 2012 at 3:22 PM by tk Highlight this comment 77

In going back to 2000, this will be the first time we have had only 1 series scheduled outside of our division in September. Most times, having at least 2. In 2000, we had 6; and 5 in 2006.

Posted on February 27, 2012 at 3:30 PM by tk Highlight this comment 78

Are they going to get rid of the unbalanced schedule when Houston joins the American League next year?

This will also mean Interleague play will be occurring throughout the entire season rather than May-June.

This is from one report I read on mlb.com:

Under one concrete proposal, teams would play 18 games against each of the other four teams in their division (for a total of 72 games), plus 60 games against teams from their league's other two divisions and 30 Interleague games.

Posted on February 27, 2012 at 4:18 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 79

What is the difference in fees from ordering tickets on-line as opposed to at the twins ticket office?

Posted on February 28, 2012 at 11:10 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 80

Twinkfan, no fees at the Box Office. At the Electronic Kiosk (ATM style) it is $1/ticket, as well as at the Twins Pro Shops.

Posted on February 28, 2012 at 1:26 PM by tk Highlight this comment 81

"convenience fees" as they are so aptly called.
41 days until the iron gates of TF open for season III.
Can't wait.

Posted on February 28, 2012 at 1:50 PM by luke Highlight this comment 82

So has anyone heard what the Twins plan for DH is?

I know a hallmark of Terry Ryan GM'ed teams to not have a set DH. Are they planning on DH by committee with Mauer, Morneau, Doumit, and Willingham? Granted that is better than Ryan's normal stable at DH, but is it really that hard to go out and find one person to be full time DH? There are still some acceptable canidates out there. (Depending on the price I guess)

Personally I would like to see them move Morneau strickly to DH, hopefully this would help subside some of his, at this point let's call it fear, of playing. Of course that leaves 1B to Mauer Doumit and Parmelee. I would love for the Twins to extend a minor league deal or an incentive laden contract towards Derrek Lee. I know he is old, but was still productive last year in 113 games, and could really fill the veteran void that the Twins now have since Thome and Cuddyer left and Mauer refuses to stand up and fill.

If Morneau was to retire or not be able to play, who fills his spot? I say retire, because if you read Souhan's piece on him, this seems more likely than him playing. That could just be because Souhan is a shitty columnist.

Sorry that was somewhat rambling, but with now knowing what games I will be attending this year, including trips to Miami and to watch the Twins at Cincinnati, the baseball itch has really started.

Posted on February 28, 2012 at 2:50 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 83

Duffman,

I read that Gardy plans to use Doumit as the primary DH, then move M&M through as they need days off. I've never heard Willingham mentioned in the DH spot. Of course like you mention one injury and the house of cards falls apart.

Posted on February 28, 2012 at 3:32 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 84

Question for iPad users:

Can anyone recommend a good MLB scorecard app? Just bought my iPad 2 (I know, I know, the iPad 3 will be coming soon) and would like to use it for scoring games. I know that there are some apps available for this, but am wondering if anyone around here could recommend a good one.

Posted on February 28, 2012 at 3:43 PM by Fred Highlight this comment 85

Tickets arrived in the mail today from the OD sale and Saturday's single game sale. Few things...

1. I was so rushed on the OD sale I didn't realize my tickets were split row 20-21, seats 19-20 (in both rows). Damn it. Now I look at the email confirmation and they are the correct tickets.

2. I ordered 6 tickets on the phone for the 6/15 Brewers game. He DID tell me that they would be split between row 3 and 4. What he did NOT tell me was that they are not the same seats. Row 3, seats 7-9. Row 4, seats 11-13. WTF?!? I'm hoping there are some people who will be willing to slide a few seats over so we can all sit together.

Has anyone else had good or bad experiences with seats split up like this even though they are in the same order? I'm kinda pissed the guy on the phone did not tell me they were not the seats directly behind/in front of each other.

Posted on February 28, 2012 at 6:37 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 86

CSG Mike,

Must be a new rep, or someone unfortunately didn't ask the right question. :( I have made similar mistakes.

In regards to the tickets, they seemed smaller this year, but I compared and they are the same size.

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 12:41 AM by TK Highlight this comment 87

"Under one concrete proposal, teams would play 18 games against each of the other four teams in their division (for a total of 72 games), plus 60 games against teams from their league's other two divisions and 30 Interleague games. "

This actually doesn't sound like an unreasonable proposal. I like having more games in the division actually -- that is how you get to know and hate the Sox and Tigers, for example. I like the idea of everyone having a 3 game home and home series within the league, and then you play 3 game series against 10 National League teams each year, 5 home and 5 away. In your home ballpark, you see every American League team every year, and every National League team every 3 years.

I actually wouldn't mind a few less interleague, so I wouldn't mind a little NFL style jiggering with 18 games within the division = 72, 6 games against everyone else in the league = 60, one bonus 3 game series against each of the teams in the league that finished the same place as you did last year (so the Twins would play the 5th place team in the West and East as an extra series this year, for example), and 24 games against the National League. It imbalances the schedule a little bit and gives top teams a little harder schedule.

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 06:43 AM by Lincster Highlight this comment 88

My Home Opener tickets arrived in the mail today. I specifically requested them by mail rather than print-your-own because I thought they might be a little bit special, Opening Day, and all. Nope. Just your standard (small) size computer printed ticket. They make such a big deal about the trinkets available to fans, mostly junk. You would at least think that printing special OD tickets could be done as a simple and traditional souvenir. Cheap Twins.

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 09:30 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 89

Just looking at the Marlins site. My goodness does this look to be everything that Target Field is not. Beyond playing in a space pod, It looks like the stadium has two huge parking ramps, and then sits in the middle of a neighborhood. I would hate to live near there for 81 home games a year. Can you imagine how hard it is going to be to get out of there?

http://miami.marlins.mlb.com/photos/gallery.jsp?content_id=26117728&c_id=mia

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 10:11 AM by Lincster Highlight this comment 90

I guess "special" OD tix can be added to the list of nice little things the Twins used to do.

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 10:26 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 91

Looking at the new Miami ballpark makes me wonder about the amount of time fans will be forced to spend in their car coming to, and leaving the ballpark. Traffic will be a bear!! People who don't think Arden Hills would be a good site, should take a look at the Miami location!!

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 10:35 AM by Fred Highlight this comment 92

Oh yeah, that was the other thing I was gonna say. I also picked the "mail" option over print at home in hopes of special ticket stock. I can't imagine why OPENING DAY doesn't have special larger tickets. If I recall correctly only the season tickets have had special sizes in the past.

As far as my ticket situation for the Brewers, I am hoping there are some "nice" people around us that are ok shifting a few seats so that our group can be together.

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 10:37 AM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 93

So, what's next? My guess is that the "complimentary" yearbook and the Twins magazines will soon join the list (note that the scorecard inserts have already vanished). My rep said the media guide was discontinued as a "going green" measure so why stop there? There was also always some sort of "gift" for STH (construction hard hat, countdown timer, etc.) that seems to be a thing of the past.

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 11:02 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 94

I don't think any team prints special tickets to their home opener, do they?

The Twins had special oversized tickets for the April 12, 2010 Inaugural Game at Target Field but every other year, they have been the standard tickets. I was also at the St. Louis Cardinals home opener a couple of years ago and those were standard tickets as well. Does anyone know if any team has special tickets for their home openers? I am only a partial season ticket holder so do not have the full 81 games, but have the full season ticket holders received special home opener tickets in the past?? For the past 3 years, I have had to go through the "registration/opportunity" since I am not a full season holder and prior to that I would always buy my home opener tickets when they first went on sale as single games.

As a memorabilia collector, I am happy to just have hard copy tickets available to me these days in an age of electronic tickets. Also, at least the Twins still have their own ticket design unlike the generic Ticketmaster tickets we see when we buy single game tickets for the Wild and Wolves and other events.

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 11:23 AM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 95

Be thankful the Twins still have an attractive ticket stub, with images of the fans/field. The cubs, white sox, giants, and just about every other road team i've ever bought tickets from have just the game info and the logo of whoever prints their tickets.

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 11:54 AM by jp Highlight this comment 96

I am quiet impressed with the full color option the Twins provide. That is one nice thing about the Twins, as mentioned above that other teams just do not do.

In regards to the large tickets. I believe those were only done in 2009 for the HO and "Final Game," and in 2010 for the HO.

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 12:56 PM by tk Highlight this comment 97

The OD tickets for the final year in the dome were also oversized. The final "Dome Opener," I think they called it. I personally don't care if tickets for a "special game" look different - as long as the date, time, and opponent are listed, you may prove to any doubters that you were, in fact, at the game in question.

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 12:57 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 98

That's right Expect! I saved my September 22, 1998 Twins vs. Royals ticket just for that reason. No one is going to tell me I wasn't there! I'm ready to prove it to the doubters. I know it'll come up in conversation any day now....

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 1:26 PM by Lincster Highlight this comment 99

Linc - I don't believe you! Scan and post a picture of that ticket.

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 1:35 PM by oneoverpar Highlight this comment 100

Not sure if oneoverpar is being serious or not, but I too would like to see that ticket, as you must have bought a fake, as they played the Sox that day. Ah the days of getting into the game without a scanner.

What happened on Sept. 22 of '98?

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 1:41 PM by tk Highlight this comment 101

The Twins hosted the White Sox on Sept. 22, 1998. A crowd of 7,300 thronged the dome. Ron Coomer was the cleanup hitter for the Twins, but the intersting person in the Twins' lineup was the dh - David Ortiz in pre "Big Pappi" days. Ticket stubs to that game must be as valuable as a Honus Wagner T-206 card!

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 1:45 PM by terry Highlight this comment 102

Ah, I bit the bait I see, Lincster, you were likely being facetious

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 1:45 PM by tk Highlight this comment 103

No offense intended here, but just how does having a ticket stub prove that you were at the game? Stubs for famous games trade on eBay all day every day. (Although, the bigger the game, the harder and more expensive a stub is to find. The stub for September 22, 1998 at the Metrodome is darn near impossible to come by. Must have been a helluva game!)

For me, I cherish:

A) The photo that I took myself of the first pitch at Target Field.

Admittedly, only I and my brother can actually prove that I took it, which is why I also cherish:

B) Those monstrous panoramas of the entire ballpark on opening day. There I am, shooting that photo, from just under the right edge of the grandstand:


(I'm not exactly sure where my ticket stub is for that day. Probably scotch-taped inside my scorecard -- another priceless keepsake which could have been faked using data readily available off the web!)

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 2:07 PM by Rick 104

Ken Rosenthal reporting announcement tomorrow of wild cars expansion this season.

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 2:12 PM by tk Highlight this comment 105

Heh...I was just ribbing Expectorate that he would want to prove to "doubters" that he was at a game :). I'm pretty sure I know which interesting games I've been to, and don't know why someone would lie about it or want to prove it if someone thinks otherwise. But that's just me.

I thought about going to baseball reference to find a good 1998 game, but I got lazy and just posted :).

I will say I went to a number of "game 2" of the regular season in the dome, and there was usually around 15,000 people there, even when they were doing ok.

I did look it up and that 1998 September attendance was a bit week. From August 31 through the end of the season they had 16 home games, and only one of them was above 12,050. I wonder what the give-away was on September 26? Oh yeah, it was the Bob Tewksbury lapel pin day! I've got that around here somewhere....I must have been at that game too! I can prove it!

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 2:25 PM by Lincster Highlight this comment 106

I do have -- somewhere -- an official certificate of attendance at the last Metrodome game ever.

Well, unless you count the game 163 the following day.

Or the playoff drubbing which took place there a few days later. I was at that game too. I can prove it!

Wait, there are no gigantic panoramas available, so I guess I can't really prove it unless I let you into my brain so you can rummage around and see if there are actual memories there. But most memories are false anyway (memory being what it is), so that won't work.

Did anybody see me there? I was in the Kirby Puckett Golden Seat. Really, I was! I think.

Wait, I'm not so sure now. How do I know that these aren't all just false memories? Have I ever been to a baseball game? Have I ever even left the house? Do I even have a house?

What site is this anyway?

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 2:36 PM by Rick 107

"wild cars expansion"

Daytona crossover? Explosions and crashes added to baseball? This oughta be interesting.

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 2:41 PM by Rick 108

^I guess that is what I get for voice to text when running to a meeting.

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 2:55 PM by tk Highlight this comment 109

I love the mental picture I get of someone posting to BPM by speaking into their phone while walking to a meeting. Awesome.

Technologically speaking, this is truly a great time to be alive.

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 2:59 PM by Rick 110

I have final game at the Dump and game 163 --- as well as first exhib. game at TF (I raised the flag) and first real game. Lots of other stuff - triple plays, hits for cycle, etc. When you collect everything some of it becomes memorable.

Bobblehead collectors are big on ticket stubs even though they do not prove attendance. A proper bobblehead archive includes the bobblehead itself with original box and packing, coa, game ticket, and pocket sked. with promo listed.

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 3:00 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 111

All kidding aside, collecting is really something you do for yourself anyway -- not to prove anything to anybody. (I suppose some do it for money, but then attendance at an event isn't even a tiny slice of the equation.)

The other day Victoria and I were having a conversation about old baseball programs and scorecards, and she started the following sentence, "When you die..."

I finished it for her: "...you'll bring out all this stuff and set it up at my funeral so people (who probably won't care about it) will have something to flip through while waiting for the service to begin. Then you can throw it all away."

That's collecting to me. And it doesn't change what or how much I save.

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 3:09 PM by Rick 112

We all know about the famous golden seat at the Dome. Does anyone know what happened to the actual blue seat that was in place the night of Game 6? Did it go to Kirby or somewhere else of note, or is it sitting around collecting dust in a store room deep within the Metrodome's bowels? That seat is more significant than the gold one it replaced.

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 3:11 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 113

I bet it just got taken out and used later to repair another broken seat somewhere else in the stadium.

I think the dude caught the ball on the fly anyway. I don't think it actually hit the seat. Though I agree that it's a more historically significant artifact.

I heard that they never found the ball Gene Larkin hit to win the 91 Series. The fielder didn't go after it, and now they think it just got scooped up when the field was cleaned later and probably ended up in a bucket of balls somewhere.

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 3:15 PM by Rick 114

I love that "true" bobblehead collectors want all of that corroborating material - the box, coa, etc. It's necessary, of course, to prove that the bobblehead isn't just some cheaply made imitation.

Oh, wait a second...

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 3:17 PM by BR Highlight this comment 115

I have spent some money on game used materials over the years, and I have been known to spend money on it to celebrate in my shrine to Twins baseball.

I was hoping to get one of the bases used in the Target Field Opener in 2010, but was about an hour late, due to other commitments. I ended up settling for the game 2, but it still had the Target Field 2010 logo painted on the top, making it a really nice display, cost $300 at the time (not a bad price I thought).

The Home Opener was going for $500, and I would have paid as high as $800. Not that it is going to be worth lots of money later on, but for the simple fact that I knew I was at that game and can look to it and say, that was a fun season.

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 3:32 PM by tk Highlight this comment 116

For me, a nice collectible from a game is a scorecard which my wife and I have scored ourselves, with the ticket attached and maybe a photo or two I have taken at that game. Oh and be sure to record the attendance!

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 3:46 PM by terry Highlight this comment 117

My god - certainly didn't intend to open that ticket stub vein - I was being a tad facetious myself!

I happen to have the stub from the first game at TF, but like Rick, I place higher value on the panorama I took from my seat that day (which Rick used at the top of one of his posts - click), and my scorecard from that game.

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 3:49 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 118

I, too love the collectability of ticket stubs to games. As far as I know, most teams don't do the oversized ticket thing for their OD's unless they're opening a new place or POSSIBLY coming off a WS victory. I still have my basic, run of the mill ST tickets from the "final" Twins game at the Dump (October 4, 2009). I've been wanting to find a "Dome Opener" or "Final Game at the Dome" ticket from that year. If anyone has one, please email me (clicky).

I know at TwinsFest, there is a booth that has old, unused Twins tickets from various games, I wonder if their overstock from that September 1998 game is in there...lol.

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 4:00 PM by luke Highlight this comment 119

And to be clear, I was just ribbing. I have my TF opening day ticket as well, and I look at it occasionally and smile. I was at the Tigers game 163 and own nothing from that day, but it is still the best game I've ever seen live.

I'm not a collector at all, but I did buy one of the Jack Morris baseballs he signed for the Twins Community fund this past year. It has his signature, and his inscription "10/27/01, ATL - 0, MINN 1, 10 Innings, CG Shutout". I bought it because it reminds me of the best baseball game I ever saw period. Whatever makes people happy works for me!

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 4:17 PM by Lincster Highlight this comment 120

Sorry, of course that is 10/27/91. He got it right :)

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 4:19 PM by Lincster Highlight this comment 121

I, too, have saved ticket stubs over the years. Most are all compressed into a '91 WS souvenir soda cup (along with the replica WS ring given out opening weekend '92). Since I had group tix for the 2010 home opener, those did not get supersized...just regular ticket stock.

I do have the tickets from the final series at Cleveland Stadium and Jacobs Field inaugural home opener framed with 8x10 aerials that had been published in the Plain Dealer. Like someone mentioned above: they aren't saved for any commercial endeavors, but solely for the good memories they represent. (And, for the record, the Tribe lost the entire "final series" at the Stadium, but won the Jake opener in 10 innings.)

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 4:51 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 122

A nice touch with Cleveland's final series tix: If you had tickets to the entire series, they were not torn apart, so the block of three games are together. Secondly, rather than rip the tickets (in the days before scanners), the ushers at the gates had a "Final Series" embosser and embossed the end of the stub instead.

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 4:53 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 123

Fiesta -- that is really cool, especially the stamp. I wish I had seen a game in the old stadium. I tell my son that Cleveland played in a 70,000 seat stadium with sadly 6000 people in attendance on an occasional basis. He can't get his head around that. Then I tell him about the Oakland attendance issues in the late 70s to really screw with him.

I also tell him that the Indians sold out every game in a really cool new stadium for FIVE years (better than the Twins did), but they had games this year with 11,000 fans. He knows the dome crowds so he gets it, but he can't believe people wouldn't want to come out to TF. I think that is great. I know in the great cycle we will have crowds under 10K again on a cold April Wednesday, but I hope those are still several years off.

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 6:42 PM by Lincster Highlight this comment 124

I was at game 163 and have video of me screaming at Casilla to get on the base when Punto hit what should have been a game winner.

Posted on March 1, 2012 at 05:03 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 125

I was at game 163 and took a crappy video of 54,000 people singing Don't Stop Believing. That was some ball game, very nice memory.

Click on link.

Posted on March 1, 2012 at 08:52 AM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 126

Star Tribune is reporting that a Vikings stadium deal is done. I'm sure we'll hear much more as the day goes on.

Posted on March 1, 2012 at 09:26 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 127

F_T_B-

The deal really isn't "done". What they have is a bill that can be presented to the Legislature for a vote. The Minneapolis City Council also needs to vote on this. Quite a ways to go before anyone can claim a victory.

Posted on March 1, 2012 at 09:41 AM by Fred Highlight this comment 128

Fred is right -- lots of committees to go through before it even sees any chance at a vote in the house and senate.

Not to mention the votes that will be needed on the Minneapolis City Council.

And I am sure this bill will get twisted and turned in several different directions before it does see a final vote and the final bill will more than likely be quite different than what we see today.

Posted on March 1, 2012 at 09:56 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 129

This deal won't result in a stadium, but it is a game-changer in some very good ways. Best of those is that the Vikings crack the 50% mark in contributions up front, which is really what needed to happen in this part of the process.

The state is still deluding themselves if they think that gambling revenues of any sort will work. Even if they could get them passed (doubtful), the bond houses either won't accept that or will charge an arm and a leg in interest.

And the city is still deluding themselves if they think they can do any part of that without a referendum. And they would be making a generational mistake by staying on the east side of downtown. The larger forces won't let them do that.

BUT...if you take the Vikings portion, and add to it what Hennepin County might be able to offer, you find a much smaller sliver which would have to be covered by the state.

Now THERE is some real potential for a deal which actually could get a stadium built.

Posted on March 1, 2012 at 10:00 AM by Rick 130

Pure insanity:


Oh, and what happened to the soccer field? And the amphitheater?

This site plan isn't just inelegant. It's downright dumb.

Posted on March 1, 2012 at 10:18 AM by Rick 131

Well, at least the plan shows that the stadium just about fits, physically, into the site. It's got that going for it! What's the green colored "open space gameday tailgating" block in the NW corner? Is that astroturf they're gonna lay down there? Maybe that can double as your soccer field.

As an actual plan, I sorta hate this. The Dome covers about 40% of the new stadium, so I can't believe they can continue to play there and then just move out for a half season or so while they finish the construction. Looks to me like the Dome is smack dab in the way.

I also agree with the concerns about location, etc.

Posted on March 1, 2012 at 10:33 AM by BR Highlight this comment 132

My favorite part about this diagram above is that it will force 90 percent of fans to enter/exit through the same side of the stadium. Brilliant!!

Posted on March 1, 2012 at 11:07 AM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 133

My favorite part about this diagram above is that it will force 90 percent of fans to enter/exit through the same side of the stadium. Brilliant!!

Yea, Target Field should be teaching them about the issues with that idea.

Posted on March 1, 2012 at 11:24 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 134

Rick what are you going to do if you are wrong about this? No offense man but you are so heels dug in that it seems like you would be let down if it gets done. Now I trust your ability to forecast the winds but at the same time things happen that we don't always see beforehand. I'm thinking this is a pretty close to done deal. Which I didn't' think would be the case.

Posted on March 1, 2012 at 11:44 AM by moda Highlight this comment 135

I have to say, I don't mind this plan on the East Side. The main reason being that I don't want a big behemoth of a stadium taking away from the beauty of Target Field on the north side. At the dome site you can still take advantage of multimodal transportation, and the mill district neighborhood continues to grow and could be incorporated nicely as a gateway if things are done right as far as developing around the dome site. Granted I'm not a huge football fan which is why I read this site, I'm a baseball fan, but I'm very interested in urban planning and live and work in downtown mpls. I also could give a crap about tailgaiting, but a nice plaza can add very nicely to a gameday experience as Target Field has proved. I know die hard tailgaters will disagree and I'm perfectly fine with that.

Posted on March 1, 2012 at 11:57 AM by Jon (aka Hops) Highlight this comment 136

moda~
I'm not so sure this is a done deal but don't have anything to back that up. The best on the record sourcing I've found thus far is via Karen Boros over at Minn Post. She has been contacting the City Council members to get them on the record for their positions. The link I've included points to all of her articles on Minn Post. The first one was published on 2/15 and included 2 council member interviews. There have been several published since. This is a summary what she has found so far:

Ward Council Member Stance
1 Kevin Reich Response Not Published Yet
2 Cam Gordon OPPOSED
3 Diane Hofstede Undecided - Leans yes?
4 Barbara Johnson Response Not Published Yet
5 Don Samuels Supports
6 Robert Lilligren Response Not Published Yet
7 Lisa Goodman Response Not Published Yet
8 Elizabeth Glidden OPPOSED
9 Gary Schiff OPPOSED
10 Meg Tuthill Response Not Published Yet
11 John Quincy Undecided - Leans no?
12 Sandy Colvin Roy Response Not Published Yet
13 Betsy Hodges OPPOSED

Totals are:
Supporters = 1
Opposed = 4
Undecided = 2
Response Not Published Yet = 6

So far, not a positive breakdown. Especially since those opposed seem very opposed to the basic idea of public funding regardless of how it is put together. One undecided also said that he felt that way previously (John Quincy).

Posted on March 1, 2012 at 12:18 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 137

Oh I don't think it's a done deal either. But it sure seems like there is this foregone conclusion that it is absolutely a no go. Which I don't believe can be taken as true either.

Posted on March 1, 2012 at 12:51 PM by moda Highlight this comment 138

I'm not worried about being wrong. If I am, I am. I can deal with it. This sport -- stadium watching -- is a little like meteorology. Being wrong on a regular basis is just part of the deal.

And remember that, even when you may think otherwise, I'm not actually lobbying for anything. I'm just watching the parties and trying to discern what's really going on, and where this is really heading. In that regard it's kind of like watching poker on TV. You can't change the cards or influence the betting, but sometimes you can see pretty clearly what's going to happen. (Zygi has ace high. Dayton has junk. Rybak has a jack and a seven, but thinks he's playing Blackjack. Mike Opat has pocket kings.)

Today's plan doesn't actually change anything in the bigger forces, all of which want the Vikings to end up next to Target Field, paid for, in part, by a modest expansion of the Hennepin sales tax. What we got today actually sets the table beautifully for that deal, which is just waiting for the right moment to emerge.

The right moment, however, is going to require the state to find something more reliable than gambling to fund its portion. That probably can't happen until next year.

Posted on March 1, 2012 at 12:56 PM by Rick 139

Let me amend something: If I am lobbying for anything, it's a quick resolution to the issue. That saves real money.

In that sense, you could say that I'm lobbying for the Target Field site, but only because I think that the larger forces want that and it could get done the most quickly of any available possibilities.

We could debate whether that's the best spot, but there's no doubt among people in the know that it is the most politically viable, despite what you may hear in the press.

Posted on March 1, 2012 at 1:02 PM by Rick 140

Also, take note that the site next to Target Field can't really be called the "Farmers Market" site anymore. It no longer includes the land where the Farmers Market is currently located, and would probably not impact them at all (unless they want that).

Posted on March 1, 2012 at 1:06 PM by Rick 141

Rybak has a jack and a seven, but thinks he's playing Blackjack.

Well played sir! =)

Posted on March 1, 2012 at 1:07 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 142

For those interested...Media Tour of the new Marlins ballpark. Click my name for pictures and video.

Posted on March 1, 2012 at 1:27 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 143

This circus that is happening right now is just trying to help public opinion.

Posted on March 1, 2012 at 1:39 PM by tk Highlight this comment 144

^Giving the appearance that something is about done and seeing how the public reacts.

Posted on March 1, 2012 at 1:40 PM by tk Highlight this comment 145

BTW, ClarkAddison, that video gave me chills.

Posted on March 1, 2012 at 1:40 PM by tk Highlight this comment 146

Also why would 90% of fans have to leave through one entrance? You can't walk around it? Hell Target Field has a worse experience trying to get around it than this likely would.

Posted on March 1, 2012 at 1:43 PM by moda Highlight this comment 147

We will know if a bill is put to the legislature. If it is then it's probably a reality. If not hen it's just pushing public support.

Posted on March 1, 2012 at 1:45 PM by moda Highlight this comment 148

I still do not get why they are using the Metrodome site, it seems like this would mean short term financial losses for Zigi while playing at the Bank. If you build elsewhere, your profits on a new stadium will likely remain the same no matter location (minus AH)

Posted on March 1, 2012 at 1:47 PM by tk Highlight this comment 149

Because it is the only site that anyone is pushing right now. Zygi is finally playing the game of working with the city and state.

Posted on March 1, 2012 at 2:07 PM by moda Highlight this comment 150

I'll flesh this out a little more in my next post, but today's events are all about that financial plan, and not about the site -- or anything else.

It's all about setting new anchors for the key financial parameters. Frankly, this may be the shrewdest move we've seen yet by the Governor.

Everyone knows that gambling won't work for the state's portion, and nothing in the Minneapolis portion has even the slightest chance. But to get the Vikings on paper in Minneapolis at $427M now and $327M over 30 years, plus accepting all cost overruns, is a major accomplishment.

These numbers may still be a shell game, but they will work nicely in a plan that looks like this:

$427M Vikings + $350M Hennepin + $77M Minnesota = $854M total project (team pays all cost overruns)

These are napkin numbers, of course. But I get to a project price of $854M by simply doubling the Vikings contribution. We can do this because now they are on paper at 50% of the project cost, and it can probably be done in that neighborhood, with the team just picking up whatever else they want in niceties.

Then I assume Hennepin at $350M and back into what the state would need. $77M is spare change in St. Paul. That's actually a dollar amount which might work with gambling.

Today is a major turning point, but not necessarily for the reasons the media will highlight.

Posted on March 1, 2012 at 2:10 PM by Rick 151

I think that taking one look at today's site plan should be enough to convince anybody that the Metrodome site really isn't a serious contender. It's just a placeholder which is being used while the financials are being worked out.

Of course, all of the stories you'll hear or see or read in the media will lead with something like "Deal Made to Rebuild on Metrodome Site". That's because the media isn't looking to delve into any complexities, but only to find the most simple angle that will catch your attention.

It's a very sick game that they play (mostly unconsciously).

Posted on March 1, 2012 at 2:21 PM by Rick 152

I get your overall point, Rick, but I think you are too light on the state's share and the overall up front cost, by $100M. Also, one other key point in this deal - the state's not on the hook for any operating cost or overruns.

Posted on March 1, 2012 at 2:28 PM by BR Highlight this comment 153

Yes, BR, but keep in mind that I said "anchors". Today's numbers will be the starting point for all further negotiations, and that's all they are intended -- or need -- to be.

It puts the state in a very good position, to say the least.

Posted on March 1, 2012 at 2:33 PM by Rick 154

I should add that I'm highly skeptical of most of the numbers which get thrown around about how much a new football stadium will cost. You often get totals without details, or maybe broken down (as they are in today's documents) into three broad categories which don't really reveal much about how they were calculated.

Even when you get the occasional details, supporting documentation is not available. It becomes a game of "trust me, it's going to cost this much."

I choose not to be that trusting.

A fixed-roof football stadium seating 65,000 (in 2016) will certainly cost more than an open air baseball stadium seating 40,000 (in 2010). But just how much more is hard to know.

Those estimates are pretty slushy, and pushing against them is something we should absolutely require from our representatives at the negotiating table (the Governor, Legislature and local partner).

Posted on March 1, 2012 at 2:45 PM by Rick 155

The People's Stadium, but Zygi you can go ahead and get the naming rights and funding from that. I wish they would call a spade a spade. Vikings Fund, Counties Fund, States Fund, Naming Fund.

Posted on March 1, 2012 at 4:01 PM by tk Highlight this comment 156

People's stadium? What a joke!

Posted on March 1, 2012 at 4:52 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 157

The Strib is reporting on some of the nuggets found in today's deal.

Posted on March 1, 2012 at 4:57 PM by Rick 158

Oh no! That Strib article mentions a Viking's owned parking ramp. Rick is going to have a Cow.

Posted on March 1, 2012 at 5:39 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 159

Funny.

The parking ramp is another anchor, you know. I wouldn't be a bit surprised to learn that at least some of that ongoing contribution is contingent on the building of a team-owned ramp. No ramp? Reduced contribution.

It's just another piece of the dance.

Posted on March 1, 2012 at 5:56 PM by Rick 160

Guess I won't be parking in a Vikings-owned parking ramp.

LOL - Marlins Park...what a boring, empty place that's going to be this spring. I hope the Marlins aren't on the Twins inter-league schedule this year. Well, on the other hand, maybe I do - cause the Marlins can come here and see what a REAL ballpark should look like.

Posted on March 1, 2012 at 6:53 PM by luke Highlight this comment 161

I still think the FM site will be the final resting place.

Just look at that site plan: "plazas", "parking ramps", "skyways" "future development"...reminds me of Target Field's early days.

Posted on March 1, 2012 at 7:45 PM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 162

There was always going to be at least some Viking owned parking b/c it's an NFL requirement for the high rollers. It's been mentioned in a couple articles before now I believe.

Posted on March 2, 2012 at 07:50 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 163

Sounds like the city might not have a say in the convention center funds. God I would love to see the look on Schiff's face if that comes to be true.

Posted on March 2, 2012 at 09:29 AM by moda Highlight this comment 164

If anybody -- city council or Legislature -- tries to do what is outlined in this proposal (what the Mayor has been trying to sell) without a city-wide referendum, there will be an instant lawsuit that will tie the project up for years.

They all know that.

Posted on March 2, 2012 at 10:38 AM by Rick 165

Why would there be a lawsuit? It's state imposed taxes and not new taxes. The money isn't spent by the city and it wasn't imposed by the city. So by that measure what grounds does the city have to make claims that they get to decide on what to do with that money?

Posted on March 2, 2012 at 10:49 AM by moda Highlight this comment 166

I'm assuming that all have seen this article on the subject.

Clearly, some see it as state money being repurposed by the state, while others see it as a city asset being redirected toward a new sports facility -- which would be in direct violation of the charter amendment.

I'm not a lawyer, so I can't weigh in on the merits of either argument. But that's exactly what lawyers and judges get paid to sort through. And that takes time. Lots of it.

All that opponents have to do is craft a coherent argument (which seems like a slam dunk) and the issue will be tied up in courts for the foreseeable future.

Frankly, and speaking now as just a citizen of Minneapolis, I think this plan does violate the spirit of the charter amendment (which, as you may remember, was passed to specifically prevent what they are now trying to do). I would personally side with the pro-referendum folks, and would vote against the plan if it came to that.

In fact, I'd vote against this type of financing even if it were not attached to the Metrodome site. And remember, I am a stadium supporter! Just imagine how vocal those who oppose public financing of stadiums would be.

Posted on March 2, 2012 at 11:20 AM by Rick 167

Screw football, WE HAVE A LINEUP FOR THE 1ST ST GAME!!! Joe Christensen just tweeted it.

Span 8, Carroll 6, Mauer 2, Morneau 3, Willingham 9, Doumit DH, Valencia 5, Plouffe 7, Casilla 4 (Pavano)

Posted on March 2, 2012 at 11:37 AM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 168

^Where's Ben?

Posted on March 2, 2012 at 11:39 AM by tk Highlight this comment 169

If I'm following the bouncing ball correctly, under this clever reading of the city taxes/charter amendments, it really isn;t "city money" that's going to be used - it's state mone, since the state law imposes, and the state would collect, that tax money, to be used for the stadium. Right? Wouldn;t it behoove them to start talking in those terms, then, and avoid characterzing the city as a funder entirely? And under that theory/scheme, what is it that the City Council would be voting on?

Posted on March 2, 2012 at 12:14 PM by BR Highlight this comment 170

"Span 8, Carroll 6, Mauer 2, Morneau 3, Willingham 9, Doumit DH, Valencia 5, Plouffe 7, Casilla 4 (Pavano)"

It's going to be a loooooong summer.

Posted on March 2, 2012 at 12:20 PM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 171

I thought the same thing, BR, after reading MPR's article on the subject.

Basically, if it's city money, then the charter amendment applies.

But if it's state money, then the city is not the local partner after all, doesn't have to give approval to anything, and can just wash their hands of the whole thing. In that case, it's the state that is funding over half of the stadium construction.

A process like this will always be filled with little absurdities, but this one is bigger than usual. I think this plan is fatally flawed (but, as I said yesterday, a serious step in the right direction).

Posted on March 2, 2012 at 12:26 PM by Rick 172

Yes, that line-up is...um...depressing.

Posted on March 2, 2012 at 12:28 PM by Rick 173

I meant to comment on this:

"There was always going to be at least some Viking owned parking b/c it's an NFL requirement for the high rollers."

The Twins have their VIP parking in the A ramp, and the Vikings could do the same.

But I agree that it's likely the Vikings will be angling to get some sort of parking ramp built adjacent to their stadium, no matter what site they end up with.

Posted on March 2, 2012 at 12:39 PM by Rick 174

Why would there be a lawsuit? It's state imposed taxes and not new taxes.

I know this is a necessary spin from Minneapolis' perspective, but "state imposed taxes" isn't a phrase that's going to win a lot of votes in the legislature.

Also, where does convention center money come from, if/when the stadium takes this funding source?

Posted on March 2, 2012 at 12:42 PM by spycake Highlight this comment 175

Basically, if it's city money, then the charter amendment applies.

But if it's state money, then the city is not the local partner after all, doesn't have to give approval to anything, and can just wash their hands of the whole thing. In that case, it's the state that is funding over half of the stadium construction.

Then why is everyone reporting that the city council has to approve the deal? And why has Rybak been front-and-center in the financial plan negotiations? Minneapolis sure isn't acting like they're going to use this argument, or maybe their actions to date have precluded it from being used.

And as I hinted in my previous post, the legislature wouldn't look too keenly on this either, if it means there is no local partner and over half the project is technically state-funded.

Posted on March 2, 2012 at 12:49 PM by spycake Highlight this comment 176

I am not too depressed with that line-up.

Now when Mauer gets his (What seems like) contract mandated every third day off, or Morneau get a headache it can get real ugly real quick. This team truly has no depth.

Also even if Morneau stays healthy this year, do we have one player capable of hitting 30 home runs?

Posted on March 2, 2012 at 12:49 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 177

Duffman, I'm not sure if the entire Twins team can hit 30 home runs if Morneau is out...

Posted on March 2, 2012 at 12:59 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 178

The city is being pretty ridiculous. They would get to be shown as contributors without actually contributing anything. Oh but the real deal is they want to use that money for some other project. Probably more bike paths. I hear we are 2nd behind Portland.

Posted on March 2, 2012 at 1:19 PM by moda Highlight this comment 179

I'm trying to figure out just what bums me out with this lineup.

Let's set aside Mauer, Span and Morneau. We all know why we might be skeptical there.

The other three returnees, Valencia, Plouffe and Casilla are not exactly high on anybody's "exciting" list. (Why is Casilla even still on this team? He seems to screw up every chance he gets, then somehow gets another.)

Of the three new guys, Carroll, Willingham and Doumit, only one is cause for real optimism (Willingham should be an improvement over Cuddyer). Carroll seems, well, kind of old. And wasn't Doumit going to be a backup catcher? He doesn't exactly fit the profile of your everyday DH.

I'm willing to wait and see what they can do, but nothing there screams out excitement. It also doesn't really scream out rebuilding either. It sort of screams out, "We've got nine guys! Can we play now?"

At this moment, I'm OK with that, but only because it means somebody will be playing the Great Sport again.

Posted on March 2, 2012 at 2:04 PM by Rick 180

So any guesses as to why the Hennepin County thing has been left to die on the vine by the media? Is it just laziness or is something else at play?

KSTP-5 dug into a bit late last year, but has let it drop. WCCO-4, KARE-11, and KMSP-9 have done nothing. KFAN and KSTP-1500 will talk stadium stuff, but are not interested in driving the discussion in any way, shape or form, so they won't dig in. Chad Hartman had Mike Opat on WCCO-830 and it looked like he was willing to get involved if the Vikes came to him, but has Chad even mentioned this possibility again? The Star Tribune as an institution obviously has an interest in the Dome site, but what about individual reporters? What about the Pioneer Press or even MinnPost and City Pages?

It just seems odd that most people took the grading issue excuse at face value and dropped the site when even Opat himself has dismissed it publicly as a sham to cover a desire by the Vikes to get parking revenue. Vikings fans at other websites almost angrily dismiss the Farmers Market site as a possibility, as if somehow talking about it would have hurt AH, Linden, and now the Dome as possibilities. Why are we the only ones talking about it, at least publicly? You'd think someone would have an interest.

Posted on March 2, 2012 at 2:15 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 181

It's all about timing, Jorge. These other plans have to rise and fall, and the North Loop location will be waiting when every other option has failed.

People who understand how these things work already know what's going to happen, and they are just biding their time.

As for the fans, I don't think most people have any idea how this process really works, even having been through it twice already within the past decade. People just don't care that much. They tend to take headlines at face value and read nothing further.

Some people hate the idea of the "Farmers Market site" just because they mistakenly think it would mean the end of the Farmers Market -- which was never the case, even when that little parcel of land was included. People just don't care enough to dig anywhere beyond the headline. Subtlety? Political cunning? Careful negotiation? Who wants to talk about those? (Bless your hearts, one and all, for coming here to talk about it.)

And the media has no interest in actually educating a public which does not want to be educated. They are there to sell soap.

Posted on March 2, 2012 at 2:25 PM by Rick 183

Why is Casilla still on the team? Because Jamey Carroll is the best depth they've got, and he's a starter.

Posted on March 2, 2012 at 2:28 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 184

Did anybody else see that in order to make the expanded playoffs work for this years playoffs they changed the schedule from 2-2-1 starting in the higher seeds home ballpark to 2-3 starting with the lower seed? This will only be a one year quirk but 2 home games to start the Division Series seems like a pretty big advantage for the team with an inferior record.

Posted on March 2, 2012 at 2:39 PM by jp Highlight this comment 185

But it does guarantee that any clincher would be played in the best team's ballpark. That may be why it was allowed.

Posted on March 2, 2012 at 2:47 PM by Rick 186

I didn't like the expanded playoffs at first, but am liking it now. It simply puts more emphasis on winning the division and more importantly, it eliminates that quirk that the wild card winner cannot play a team in its own division, meaning Red Sox-Yankees could be playing in the first round ALDS rather than shafting some other team like the Angels, A's or the Twins and forcing them to play the Yankees in the ALDS regardless of their record. But again, the Twins are pretty much the only team that has not been able to beat the Yankees in the postseason in recent years.

It will also be very beneficial to a team like Toronto that plays in a very tough division, but would win in another division such as the AL Central or NL West.

Posted on March 2, 2012 at 2:48 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 187

I still wish the Wild Card was 3-game series. 95-67 Red Sox can have a bad game, not complaining, against a 84-78 Twins...

Posted on March 2, 2012 at 3:51 PM by tk Highlight this comment 188

Rick-

Just to clarify, I only said it did not depress me. I am hardly excited for the prospects of this team. I am excited for the beginning the season, and for summer nights at the ballpark.

I too am astounded by the fact Alexi Casilla is still on a major league roster.

Anyone notice the "interim" has quietly disappeared from infornt of Terry Ryan's GM status. This guarantees Twins mediocrity until he is replaced. Say what you want about Bill Smith, he at least tried to improve the team, he just sucked at it. Ryan is fine with the status quo.

Posted on March 2, 2012 at 3:57 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 189

What happened to Nishi thats an awful lot of money to spend on a player to not play him or send him to the minors.

Posted on March 2, 2012 at 4:39 PM by Leroy Highlight this comment 190

If anyone is looking for Twins tickets for HO, check it out, select best available and 3.

Posted on March 2, 2012 at 5:04 PM by tk Highlight this comment 191

In regards to my last post, I was a little vague.

The Twins website has released more Home Opener tickets. Go to the schedule, select April 9, go to best available or grand stand and select 3 tickets. If you select 2 or 4, you will not find anything. 3 is the number to request.

Thanks for the PM Jared.

Posted on March 2, 2012 at 6:57 PM by tk Highlight this comment 192

37 days can't come fast enough for me. I'm tired of hearing lies about "flurries" and getting white-out conditions. I miss when my sidewalk was grey and my grass was brown and if I lit a match my yard would go up in smoke.

Praying for a hot, humid, rainless spring and summer at TF this season.

Posted on March 3, 2012 at 10:21 AM by luke Highlight this comment 193

For those of you wondering, the Marlins une the same ticket service as the Twins and it sucks too.

Posted on March 3, 2012 at 11:15 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 194

Duff - is that Tickets.com or whatever that monkey outfit is?
Can it really be worse than Ticketdisaster??

Posted on March 3, 2012 at 12:52 PM by luke Highlight this comment 195

On first listen, I'm liking Cory Provus. Very clean delivery. Now if only a ballclub would offer dazzleman a coaching job to get him out of the booth.

Posted on March 3, 2012 at 3:01 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 196

Twins win 7-3 over Rays. Nice afternoon of baseball!

Posted on March 3, 2012 at 3:24 PM by Buzz Highlight this comment 197

Photos of the Marlins new ballpark from their recent FanFest event.

Posted on March 4, 2012 at 5:51 PM by Wanda Phillips Highlight this comment 198

Wow - the blue seats and the light green fence do not work well together at all. Looks pretty awful really.

Posted on March 4, 2012 at 7:13 PM by IowaWigman Highlight this comment 199

Other than the aesthetic difficulties that go with the retractable roof, I like the look of the Marlins' park. Much better than throwing up another retro facade. Also - it appears TF isn't the only new stadium with obstructed views in the left field seating.

Posted on March 4, 2012 at 8:03 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 200

Did I miss something, but what are the upgrades for TF this year? Also, have they announced the new food options? I want PepsiMax!

Posted on March 4, 2012 at 8:26 PM by tk Highlight this comment 201

....obstructed views in the right field seating.

Posted on March 4, 2012 at 8:57 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 202

The Marlins fencing looks the perfect shade of green for FOX to plaster the entire stadium with computer-generated advertising during their broadcasts.

Posted on March 4, 2012 at 9:37 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 203

Oh...seeing the new Marlins park pictures remind me of a more innocent time...back in the spring of 2010...before we were left with a AAA team.

Posted on March 4, 2012 at 10:08 PM by twinswschamps2055 (aka twinswschamps2011) Highlight this comment 204

A sign of the times...weekend game tickets already on Stubhub for below face value. The reselling glory day are over, unless M&M has a 30-10 start up their sleeves.

Posted on March 4, 2012 at 10:09 PM by twinswschamps2055 (aka twinswschamps2011) Highlight this comment 205

@IowaWigman - I've long thought the place looks just awful. The seventh picture down, out in the promenade area, first thing I thought of was Tomorrowland at Disney World. And a couple pics below that, of the concourses...I got a Metrodome-esque vibe: the concrete everywhere (at least they covered up the seating pylons with ceiling tile in the concourses at TF), looks very cramped, even the lighting looks similar.

And I don't know what to say about the thing in center field. Looks like it's a reject from Mardi Gras or something. Of course, the sea of blue seats brought back bad memories too...

Posted on March 4, 2012 at 10:23 PM by luke Highlight this comment 206

I'm really sort of speechless on the new Marlins park. I'm sure they will love it, and I'm sure that collections of pictures aren't sufficient to create an informed opinion, but I'm having to try really hard not to...just...totally...hate it. It makes me a little sick to my stomach.

From the shots I've seen, it looks like a most unfortunate collection of all the bad design ideas that most other new ballparks managed to avoid, coupled with a sort of Velvet-Elvis-Meets-Logan's-Run-Meets-Miami-Vice sense of style. "Overwrought" doesn't really do it justice.

In fact, calling it "post-retro" is about the nicest thing I can think of to say. Even so, the context is just dismal:


At the very least, it seems like a cautionary example of how "new ballpark" does not necessarily equal "great ballpark".

Posted on March 4, 2012 at 11:07 PM by Rick 207


Posted on March 4, 2012 at 11:22 PM by Rick 208

Except for the color scheme, Marlin Park looked ok to me. They may have went a little overboard with the ocean/marine theme. But I guess it makes sense for Miami.

Posted on March 5, 2012 at 12:48 AM by Dave Highlight this comment 209

That looks very good with the power poles in plain view. Couldnt they at least bury them underground heheh.

Posted on March 5, 2012 at 01:46 AM by Leroy Highlight this comment 210

Viewing the one exterior pic of the neighborhood, it looks like just getting there will be half of the experience.

Posted on March 5, 2012 at 06:26 AM by bphj Highlight this comment 211

What is that garish thing in center field?

Posted on March 5, 2012 at 07:03 AM by terry Highlight this comment 212

Batter's eye, Miami-style.

Posted on March 5, 2012 at 08:02 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 213

Anybody else surprised the the Marlins have a "Legends Level?" Who qualifies as a legend for that team?

And just how is Michael Cuddyer supposed to hit with that batters eye back there? He will be begging for pine trees on his first trip there.

Posted on March 5, 2012 at 08:19 AM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 214

I also have not heard of any upgrades at Target Field for the coming season. I really thought the video board in Right along with the clock tower were great additions. Interested to see what is new this year.

Posted on March 5, 2012 at 08:41 AM by Ole Highlight this comment 215

I think Marlins Park will be great for the fans of Miami.

Obviously, the stadium sticks out like a sore thumb due to its terrible location and retractable roof, but the fans will enjoy the retractable roof and the A/C. It's not very fun in the summertime in Miami with the humidity and frequent thunderstorms/rain showers and the attendance at Joe Robbie/Pro Player/Dolphins/Dolphin/Landshark/ Sun Life Stadium reflected that regardless of how good or bad the Marlins were.

I like the fact they were not afraid to be different with their design and concepts. You will know it's Miami when you see a game on TV and that's what I like as a fan.

Posted on March 5, 2012 at 10:02 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 216

Let's see, Marlins legends - Edgar Renteria, Moises Alou, Bobby Bonilla, Steve Bartman . . .

That's not you, is it Stevie B?!?

Posted on March 5, 2012 at 10:29 AM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 217

Well played Expectorate. Although you did forget Livan Hernandez.

I'm not that Stevie B though - I was home watching that play unfold on tv. On my first visit to Wrigley I did visit the Bartman seat.

Posted on March 5, 2012 at 10:56 AM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 218

The Marlins' new stadium is on the site of the now demolished Orange Bowl. The Dolphins moved to their current home after the 1986 season and were joined by the University of Miami after the 2007 season. Once the Hurricanes departed, spurning an offer by the city to spend more than $200,000,000 on renovations, the stadium had no reason to exist and the site became the focus of efforts to build a new home for the Marlins. I don't recall any other sites gaining much momentum.

The motivation for choosing the Orange Bowl site was the fact that it had long been home to a stadium, so it was easy for people to get their heads around the location, even if it didn't really make much long term sense (sound familiar?). However, the neighborhood around the park is neither attractive nor likely to be elevated to any great degree. The new ramps will alleviate parking concerns, but freeway access is still limited. It will be interesting to see how the city and neighborhood cope with the traffic, especially with all the big crowds due in year one. The park seems intended to be more of a self contained universe than one that meshes with its surroundings.

Ultimately, saving Major League Baseball in South Florida motivated the club and politicians with things like design and location left to the side.

Posted on March 5, 2012 at 11:20 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 219

Jorge,

SO... The Orange Bowl/Marlins Park is the Metrodome/People's Stadium? I feel like almost everything you said about the park down in South Florida applies to what we're looking at in Minneapolis.

1. long been home to a stadium... easy for people to get their heads around the location, even if it didn't really make much long term sense

2. neighborhood around the park is neither attractive nor likely to be elevated

3. new ramps will alleviate parking concerns

4. freeway access is still limited

5. saving [NFL football] in [Minnesota] motivated the club and politicians with things like design and location left to the side

Check - Check - Check - Check - Check

Posted on March 5, 2012 at 11:45 AM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 220

I Hate the Marlins new stadium. But that being said, if you're going to go all in, go all in. They have all of this crazy decor and colors, and then they decide to put in the most boring looking "metrodome" blue seats. Talk about contrast. Atleast make the seats multicolored. Maybe some orange, red, baby blue, light purple, yellow.... I mean C'mon, if your going to go crazy, go crazy!

Posted on March 5, 2012 at 12:07 PM by Jon (aka Hops) Highlight this comment 221

Ole, click my name for the link to the enhancements for this year at Target Field.

Posted on March 5, 2012 at 12:40 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 222

Multi-colored seats make a place look like an instant crap hole. That is unless there is a design in it like at Target Center with the trees, Mariucci and TCF Bank with the lettering, or new Mile High with the Broncos logo.

I wish the Twins would have said screw the stigma we all have with blue seats and put in a dark almost navy blue seat, and a big TC logo in red and white behind home plate. It would have made the place unmistakably the Twins home.

With Marlins park, I like they are not following the current trends in ballpark builing and built something unique. Although those green walls look ripe for use on tv as a green screen for digital advertisement. The home run sign thing is ugly as hell though, hopefully it works better than the Minny/Paul sign, what a bust that turned out to be.

I am going to reserve me full opinion and try to keep an open mind, until I get down there and see it first hand.

Posted on March 5, 2012 at 1:34 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 223

Also, the Colts have a white horseshoe within dark blue seats in the end zone Terrace Level seats at LOS. Can't remember if it's both endzones or just one.

Posted on March 5, 2012 at 4:43 PM by luke Highlight this comment 224

Ah Steve Bartman. Alex Gonzalez and Mark Prior should be saying prayers for him each night. Calvin Schiraldi and Bob Stanley should do the same for Bill Buckner. Nothing like a high profile scapegoat to deflect attention away from your own screw ups.

Posted on March 5, 2012 at 5:01 PM by terry Highlight this comment 225

Marquis looks to be in mid-season form.

Posted on March 5, 2012 at 8:06 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 226

I still hold out hope they will figure out a way to fix the Minny & Paul sign.

Posted on March 5, 2012 at 8:13 PM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 227

I do have to say, one of the new features listed in the article I link to seems pretty sweet:

In addition to having a Wi-Fi connection available all over the stadium (including restrooms), fans who order food from the concession stands on their phone will receive a notification to pick it up when it’s ready. “You won’t have to wait in long lines anymore,” Loria said.

Smartphone concession orders? Yes please.

Posted on March 6, 2012 at 12:05 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 228

Will that mean I can get my overpriced hot dog lukewarm instead of tepid?

Posted on March 6, 2012 at 12:39 AM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 229

I was only able to see two innings but one of Marquis' "Wild Pitches" was clearly a past ball that was Mauer's fault. He shyed away from it like a little girl and it bounced off his glove instead of dropping to his knees and blocking it. Of course Bremer immediately called it a wild pitch.

Posted on March 6, 2012 at 02:16 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 230

Why does Mauer always try to backhand balls in the dirt, rather than slide over, get on his knees, and try to block it with his chest like most catchers do.

I have seen this more and more over the past few years. It's like he has gotten lazy behind the plate. He is far from the best defensive catcher in baseball.

Posted on March 6, 2012 at 07:14 AM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 231

Dang! "lukewarm," not "luke." My heart skipped a beat, there. With all of this talk about Miami's ugly home, couldn't he honor us with a few words?

Posted on March 6, 2012 at 07:31 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 232

Ah Spring! The Robins return - the trees bud out - and the Twins ST voucher coupon books begin to show up on eBay!

Posted on March 6, 2012 at 10:14 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 233

MLB 12 The Show is out for the Playstation 3. What a great game! Anyone else pick it up yet?

Posted on March 6, 2012 at 11:32 AM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 234

The enhancements aren't quite as exciting as last year, eh?

Opening Day only a month away!!

Posted on March 6, 2012 at 11:46 AM by Ole Highlight this comment 235

They are snow blowing Target Field tarp now.

Posted on March 6, 2012 at 11:47 AM by Buzz Highlight this comment 236

So much for that "HUGE" Vikings stadium today. Maybe they should move to Los Angeles.

Posted on March 6, 2012 at 11:50 AM by Buffalo Nichols Highlight this comment 237

BTW are the trees coming back or not? It was stupid that the Pohlads got rid of the because of Baby Jesus Mauer's crying! :angry:

Posted on March 6, 2012 at 11:54 AM by Buffalo Nichols Highlight this comment 238

So nice to listen to Twins baseball on the radio again at work!

Cory Provus was a great hire by the way. His delivery and voice are perfect for baseball and I hope the Twins can keep him behind the microphone for many years to come. He actually reminds me a lot of Bob Uecker.

Posted on March 6, 2012 at 12:09 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 239

We will never forget #34....03/06/2006

Posted on March 6, 2012 at 12:32 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 240

Wow 6 years since Kirby passed.

Posted on March 6, 2012 at 1:06 PM by jp Highlight this comment 241

Glad the Vikings stadium is where it will be. Imagine if it were in Arden Hills, that would suck, tailgating is overrated. We need o water it down.

Posted on March 6, 2012 at 1:07 PM by Blurch Highlight this comment 242

Uh oh Miami..... and we thought the trees were a problem.....

Posted on March 6, 2012 at 3:55 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 243

That thing looks like Beatles album art.

Posted on March 6, 2012 at 4:00 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 244

Expectorate - my mind was sorting through album cover art from Jimi Hendrix, to the Stones to Journey...lol.

Someone posted it on here a while back, but the site StadiumPage.com is really neat. Some old conceptual drawings and "unrealized" concepts for ballparks are highlighted there.

In looking at it today, I never realized the White Sox wanted a Miller Park carbon copy. I don't know when they proposed it, but on the site it's called the "Sox Dome." Looks about as bad as the thing they're building in Miami.

Posted on March 6, 2012 at 5:18 PM by luke Highlight this comment 245

It wasn't Mauer crying about the trees in the batter's eye, it was primarily Cuddyer. C'mon people give the best catcher in the League some credit.

Posted on March 6, 2012 at 6:09 PM by jcm-baseball Highlight this comment 246

Building a ballpark is a very complicated endeavor. So it's easy to see how you might overlook a little detail like making sure your homerun celebration sculpture isn't a major nuisance...to everyone...especially left-handed hitters...

Posted on March 6, 2012 at 6:28 PM by Rick 247

“Multi-colored seats make a place look like an instant crap hole. That is unless there is a design in it like at Target Center with the trees, Mariucci and TCF Bank with the lettering, or new Mile High with the Broncos logo.
I wish the Twins would have said screw the stigma we all have with blue seats and put in a dark almost navy blue seat, and a big TC logo in red and white behind home plate. It would have made the place unmistakably the Twins home.”

Do you think Dodger Stadium looks like a crap hole? I’ve resigned myself to the fact that no one seems willing to stray too far from the dark green/dark blue color palate anymore, but I think putting a logo in the seats in contrasting colors is an aesthetic no-no. Lettering in the seats is suitable for a college football stadium, but baseball stadiums should shy away from such things.
The Twins’ illuminated word mark appears above the scoreboard, Minnie & Paul loom over center field, the team logo can be seen at the end of every row of seats, there’s a huge “TC” painted on the field behind home plate, and the Twins’ logo and word mark are LITERALLY ETCHED IN STONE on the dugout roofs. That all seems to be pretty unmistakable to me. The only time a TC in the seats would be seen by TV viewers is when the attendance is pitifully low.

Posted on March 6, 2012 at 6:40 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 248

“Multi-colored seats make a place look like an instant crap hole. That is unless there is a design in it like at Target Center with the trees, Mariucci and TCF Bank with the lettering, or new Mile High with the Broncos logo."

I disagree as well. If you recall, the Met Center for much of its tenure had multi-colored seats (white, black, green, gold) and it looked awesome. Of course, the owners would tell you they did it that way to create the illusion of a more full arena on nights when it wasn't sold out (i.e. much of the late 80s and the 89-90 season in particular). Still, it looked unique and awesome. And there was no design...just multi-colored seats.

I still remember - all these years later, on opening night of the 1991-92 season, Tom Ryther and Randy Shaver were previewing the game on the number 11's 6pm sportscast. The last thing Randy said "No more multi-colored seats at the Met Center." The goons had changed them to a universal maroon and it looked awful. It was a sad day indeed.

Posted on March 6, 2012 at 10:18 PM by luke Highlight this comment 249

Who gives a squirt? when people are in the seats guess what... you don't see the seats. And if people aren't going to the games. well then obviously nobody cares about the team, much less the color of the seats.

Posted on March 7, 2012 at 09:36 AM by moda Highlight this comment 250

Yes, the multicolored seats in Dodger stadium make it look like a crap-hole, the tin roofs in the outfield don't help either.

All of those things you mentioned about Target Field are easily removable. Which leaves you with a limestone and green seat stadium which is very generic.

I do not believe designs in seats are an aesthetic no-no, and I do not get why you think teams should shy away from it. I will give you that yes, no one will see it when the game is played but when the stadium is empty, or sparse populated like before a game, which the majority of time it is, that logo would be seen. In early spring, or fall when the dugouts are covered and the grass has yet to be painted, that logo would still be there.

JCM- Mauer is clearly not the best catcher in the league. He may be the best hitting catcher (maybe), but his defense is sub-par and his throw-out percentage has dropped in the last three years.

Posted on March 7, 2012 at 12:07 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 251

I do not believe designs in seats are an aesthetic no-no, and I do not get why you think teams should shy away from it. I will give you that yes, no one will see it when the game is played but when the stadium is empty, or sparse populated like before a game, which the majority of time it is, that logo would be seen. In early spring, or fall when the dugouts are covered and the grass has yet to be painted, that logo would still be there.

I have to agree. I know it's a "college thing" here in the US that's not true elsewhere. It's very common to see the seats used to spell out things in professional soccer stadiums in England and elsewhere. Personally, I think it would have been neat to see the Twins logo put into the seats.

Posted on March 7, 2012 at 12:31 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 252

True; none of the features I mentioned are permanent, but then neither are contrasting colored seats. A couple of hand tools can get them removed. And I couldn’t give a damn what they do in soccer stadiums in Europe.

Posted on March 7, 2012 at 2:43 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 253

So you are saying that the logo here does not add to the character of the football stadium?

Posted on March 7, 2012 at 3:17 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 254

I personally enjoyed the sporadic, random three shades of blue seats in the Metrodome. Classy.

Posted on March 7, 2012 at 4:46 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 255

As long as they honored the old Met Stadium in so many parts of Target Field, maybe they should also have honored another long-departed Bloomington sports venue with the seat colors - imagine what this would look like at TF - click on link.

Posted on March 7, 2012 at 5:13 PM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 256

There were three shades? Far as I know, there were only two - and it was not "sporadically throughout the Metrodome". It was Sections 119-131 only...and there were only two shades of blue back there.

Posted on March 7, 2012 at 9:19 PM by luke Highlight this comment 257

I just wouldn't like to see it at Target Field. You have your definate ideas about what a ball park should or could look like, and I have mine. Mine doesn't include using contrasting colors in the seats to form a logo.

Posted on March 7, 2012 at 10:06 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 258

Has anyone seen the latest Target Field 3-D seat animator?

They have enhanced it quite a bit and it looks exactly like the real deal! Very cool stuff!

Posted on March 8, 2012 at 09:44 AM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 259

Thanks for sharing Mike. I like the multiple view option.

Posted on March 8, 2012 at 10:12 AM by tk Highlight this comment 260

Question for STHs: Not that it's likely to be relevant this year, but if you have a consortium that splits season tix, do you also split potential postseason games as well? How do you do it?

Posted on March 8, 2012 at 11:41 AM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 261

Anyone else think this is a little soon for this? It was just the year before last that he showed K. Slowey how to throw a hissy-fit and quit on the team. Shouldn't they have waited until at least mid-season, just to make sure last year wasn't a fluke?

Posted on March 8, 2012 at 1:22 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 262

ClarkAddison,

We have 4 partners in each our 40 and 81 game packages. We go ahead and draw for position 1-4. The first person gets their first choice of the first round, 2 second choice, etc. Once we have all chosen a game, we draw the next 4 potential games.

In all the years, we have only have at max the first 2 people selected get to go to a game.

It has worked for us so far.

Posted on March 8, 2012 at 2:20 PM by tk Highlight this comment 263

When we had more partners, we added names based on the percentage of games, the more games purchased, more chances to be drawn.

Posted on March 8, 2012 at 2:21 PM by tk Highlight this comment 264

Mike are you sure the link isn't broken? Nothing's coming up when I click on it.

Posted on March 8, 2012 at 3:23 PM by luke Highlight this comment 265

Duffman:
Yes, I think it's too early. They controlled him through 2013, and unless he were to become the closer this year, he wouldn't likely have earned more than $3M through arb next year. Especially since the contract has an escalator clause "protecting" Perkins if he DOES become the closer, I think the Twins could/should have waited to be sure that last year wasn't a fluke. (Hello? Nick Blackburn ring any bells??)

Posted on March 8, 2012 at 3:53 PM by BR Highlight this comment 266

Interesting blog on the Star Tribune about the Vikings/NFL wanting control of having the ability to play no more than 2 Exhibition games and 4 regular season games (no more than 1 year) "off-site" in a 10-year period.

Posted on March 8, 2012 at 4:19 PM by tk Highlight this comment 267

In order to have the ability to expand the league to other countries, Europe, etc.

I am guessing they would have the same luck as trying to get soccer big here in the US.

Posted on March 8, 2012 at 4:20 PM by tk Highlight this comment 268

Gasp!!! Stop the presses!!!!

For a second, thought I was reading The Onion.

Posted on March 8, 2012 at 4:24 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 269

Twins shut-out again, this time 1-0, losing in the top of the 9th. Liriano was strong again.

Can someone explain to me why they called today a Split Squad game, as it appears there was only one game, and I do not see anything about a b squad game.

Posted on March 8, 2012 at 4:38 PM by tk Highlight this comment 270

Interesting blog on the Star Tribune about the Vikings/NFL wanting control of having the ability to play no more than 2 Exhibition games and 4 regular season games (no more than 1 year) "off-site" in a 10-year period.

This is basically a clause allowing the Vikings to possibly have a home game played in London as part of the NFL's annual Wembley Stadium game. The league may also revive its Tokyo and Mexico City preseason games. A Beijing game made the schedule a few years ago, but got squashed for reasons I can't recall. There's really nothing here for anyone to get too excited about.

It probably came up because the Rams announced they were playing games in London over the next few seasons only for the city of St. Louis to claim such a move would violate the team's lease. That matter still hasn't been resolved to my knowledge and ties into the Rams own stadium troubles.

Posted on March 8, 2012 at 6:00 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 271

Interesting article about Ramsey County crying sour grapes... or are they? Maybe they have a point. If the government's job is to be wise with our money, why is the Metrodome site the best option in their minds?

Posted on March 8, 2012 at 7:49 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 272

That letter does illuminate some -- but just some -- of the absurdities in the current proposal.

When all is said and done, the list of "why not Arden Hills?" is still longer than the list of "why not the Metrodome?"

But I still have to smile that anyone thinks this current financing scheme has any chance at all of becoming reality.

Posted on March 8, 2012 at 10:12 PM by Rick 273

Rick have you ever thought of doing a "prediction contest" similar to your playoff contest? Give points for picking the division winners and wild cards, and also predict MVP's, Cy Youngs, ROYs, etc. It's always fun to see how wrong we were when we post our preposterous predictions and this will save the hassle of digging through 5 month old posts.

Just a thought

Posted on March 9, 2012 at 10:44 AM by jp Highlight this comment 274

Ground crew is removing sandbags off of tarp now.

Posted on March 9, 2012 at 10:52 AM by Buzz Highlight this comment 275

jp,

Yes, and more! (Coming before opening day.)

Posted on March 9, 2012 at 11:37 AM by Rick 276

For all Twins fan fathers, from The Onion:

New Father Remembers Time When Baseball Wasn't So Goddamn Meaningful

"I was looking over the Twins’ possible starting rotations while holding Jordy in my lap, wondering if being a dad would give me time to do the office fantasy baseball team this year, and I found myself telling him all about how life gives you new chances all the time, how it’s important to persist and keep trying, and suddenly I was moved to my soul," Henderson said. "It was really annoying, let me tell you. One little baseball article in the Star Tribune and I turned into Billy fucking Crystal."

Posted on March 9, 2012 at 12:55 PM by Rick 277

Anyone have a link to the ballpark cam?

Posted on March 9, 2012 at 12:57 PM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 278

I think Buzz has a view of TF from his office window.

Posted on March 9, 2012 at 1:27 PM by Rick 279

Pictures were posted on Twitter from the TC Grounds Crew

Posted on March 9, 2012 at 1:43 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 280

Can someone with Twitter (I don't) and follows the grounds crew, ask them why the field looks like crap by mid-April and doesn't get any better through-out the year?

Posted on March 9, 2012 at 3:13 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 281

I would like to see them actually mow the field in a different pattern...through two full seasons, we have seen the same old design in about 90% of the games, with the exception of the first homestand in both 2010 and 2011 when we saw the checkerboard design.

Posted on March 9, 2012 at 3:45 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 282

I still want to see a large TC in Centerfield like every damn cartoon photo of TF has.

Posted on March 9, 2012 at 3:47 PM by tk Highlight this comment 283

i just heard the minnesota stars soccer might be interested at some point to use the new vikes stadium..they said they have a chance in the near future to be promotes to the mls ....does anyone who follow mls soccer know if all the teams play on natureal grass or do some of them play on field turf too??

Posted on March 9, 2012 at 6:21 PM by hansrolo Highlight this comment 284

italicCan someone with Twitter (I don't) and follows the grounds crew, ask them why the field looks like crap by mid-April and doesn't get any better through-out the year?italic

+1. This is a great question.

Posted on March 9, 2012 at 7:12 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 285

I think the field looks pretty good all year long, besides a few spots that get worn out.

Also, i asked the grounds crew on twitter a few weeks ago and they said they will be mowing the field a different pattern this year

Posted on March 9, 2012 at 7:29 PM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 286

Vike is right as usual - the field looks just fine, except for the parts that don't.

Posted on March 9, 2012 at 8:33 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 287

hansrolo - I believe any of the MLS teams that did play on SporTurf have had it removed. The only one I'm not sure about is Whatever-the-hell-its-called-this-month Field in Seattle. I think they still have an artificial surface. Toronto FC did have an artificial surface, but a couple players wouldn't even sign with the team unless they got rid of the artificial surface. Toronto FC acquiesced and now has a natural surface.

FIFA on the other hand is very strict about playing its games on natural turf. I remember when the FIFA World Cup was in the US in 1994, the Silverdome actually had trays of natural turf brought in to put over the stadium's artificial surface so the games would be "legal" in accordance with FIFA rules.

Posted on March 9, 2012 at 9:53 PM by luke Highlight this comment 288

The grass looked beautifully green today as they peeled off the blankets (as I learned they are called). I know they keep the grass above a freezing temperature, but it is amazing how green it stays.  My view from City Center suddenly has spring color!  Gray winter feelings are about to go away.

I went to a Gopher v Nebraska game last weekend. I recommend going to a baseball game at the Metrodome again. Nice new roof and always 70 degrees, but TF makes the dome feel like a really odd place to watch baseball. 

Posted on March 9, 2012 at 9:59 PM by Buzz Highlight this comment 289

I don't think the field looks worse than any other MLB park, with the possible exception of US Cellular (we can't all have a Bossard at the helm). You can find similar patches of wear and tear at most other parks, if you look at them with the same scrutiny as we all look at ours.

Posted on March 9, 2012 at 10:56 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 290

The K has the best grass

Posted on March 10, 2012 at 12:40 AM by tk Highlight this comment 291

Ah, The grass is always greener...

Posted on March 10, 2012 at 01:16 AM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 292

Very excited for the new contest Rick. Keep up the good work.

Posted on March 10, 2012 at 1:31 PM by jp Highlight this comment 293

Ricky Rubio out for the season with a torn ACL ugggh. Can Minnesota sports teams catch a break? Are we cursed?

Posted on March 10, 2012 at 3:18 PM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 294

Vikeologist,

You should know the obvious answer to that question, you're a Vikings fan.

Posted on March 10, 2012 at 4:56 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 295

Some would say, "snake bit," but usually the wounds are self-inflicted.

Posted on March 10, 2012 at 7:20 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 296

My main issue with the grass at Target Field is when they put in patches that look like a completely different mixture of grass. It looks awful when they put those patches in front of the mound and in RF (where Cuddy used to stand).

Posted on March 10, 2012 at 7:22 PM by IowaWigman Highlight this comment 297

Saw 2 games in Ft. Meyers. 80 degrees, sunshine and no hitting. Well, two outta three ain't bad.

Posted on March 11, 2012 at 10:21 AM by terry Highlight this comment 298

Well sure...When the games don't matter, they beat the Yankees.

Posted on March 11, 2012 at 2:49 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 299

That was the Yankees?

Posted on March 11, 2012 at 3:13 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 300

I biked by Target Field yesterday and the field looked green enough to host a game tomorrow. The selection at the Majestic store was a bit disappointing however. I'm hoping the new 2012 merchandise is still on its way.

Posted on March 11, 2012 at 6:34 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 301

We could have played ball at TF all winter practically. Hell, the Twins wouldn't have even had to go to Fort Meyers, they could have trained here.
If every Minnesota winter was like the one we just had, I would never want to leave.

Posted on March 11, 2012 at 9:16 PM by luke Highlight this comment 302

Has anyone noticed any changes with the ticket pricing since dynamic pricing went into affect last week?

I am assuming we won't see the affect of the dynamic pricing until the season starts but figured someone may have checked this weekend.

Posted on March 12, 2012 at 1:02 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 303

$1-2 swings on the lower priced tickets, $5-7 on higher priced tickets. Saw Skyline priced at $13, that is STH pricing.

Posted on March 12, 2012 at 1:08 PM by tk Highlight this comment 304

April 11 (low pricing) and June 15 (high pricing) are two good examples:

April 11
*( ) = normal value price
Home Plate Box$60.00 ($60)
Diamond Box$41.00 ($45) -$4
Field Box$32.00 ($34) -$2
Overlook$25.00 ($25) $0
Right Field Bleachers $19.00 ($19) $0
Skyline Deck $26.00 ($29)-$3
Home Plate Terrace$31.00 ($33) -$2
Field Terrace $21.00 ($23) -$2
Home Plate View $21.00 ($23) -$2
Skyline View $13.00 ($14) -$1
Field View $11.00 ($12) -$1
U.S. Bank Home Run Porch Terr $22.00 ($22) $0
U.S. Bank Home Run Porch View $19.00 ($19) $0
Grandstand $19.00 ($19) $0

June 15
*( ) = normal premium price
Dugout Box$93.00 ($88)+$5
Home Plate Box$72.00 ($68) +$4
Diamond Box$56.00 ($53) +$3
Field Box$45.00 ($42) +$3
Home Plate View $33.00 ($31) +$2
Skyline View $24.00 ($22) +$2
U.S. Bank Home Run Porch Terr $32.00 ($30)+$2
Grandstand $29.00 ($27) +$2

Posted on March 12, 2012 at 1:33 PM by tk Highlight this comment 305

Thanks tk! Very interesting!

I still think the Twins should mark-up the premium prices even more in future years. The Brewers mark up their tickets at least $10 for their premium games with the Cubs and Twins.

It would also be a better incentive to season-ticket holders.

Posted on March 12, 2012 at 2:37 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 306

Let's face it the dynamic pricing is a complete joke. It is really an attempt by the team to control prices (and this simply isn't possible). The dynamic price is guaranteed by the team to never drop below the season ticket holder paid price. However, who in their right mind would purchase from the team when the tickets are $1 on the secondary market (very common for all April, May, September, and when they fall out of the race).

Even when the team raises prices for the few high demand series' it is grossly MORE than someone with half a brain would pay via any number of alternate ticket sources (eBay, Craigslist, scalpers, other STHs, etc).

Dynamic pricing is basically just another way for the team to scalp their own tickets. Hold back a few thousand with a "pretend sellout" when tickets go on sale and then magically they appear when the dynamic pricing kicks in (or a few weeks before the Cubs, Phillies, Brewers this summer). If someone were to want proof that teams scalps their own tickets via Stubhub, check out ticket sales on that site before ANY tickets are in the hands of the STHs. Amazing!

Posted on March 12, 2012 at 7:31 PM by Max Highlight this comment 307

Max, in regards to tickets on StubHub, we are still not able to enter barcodes, so no one has technically purchased and received tickets from StubHub. They have to wait until March 21 for that to occur. People can list tickets as soon as they know they will have tickets and can put a delivery date.

For instance, as a STH, as soon as I know the schedule and it is posted online, I can list (Back in December), but the person buying the tickets won't have them delivered until the March 21 date.

Posted on March 12, 2012 at 8:25 PM by TK Highlight this comment 308

There are plenty of risk-averse people who would rather pay more to buy the "sure thing" from the team than risk buying on the secondary market (especially e-tickets, when you don't know if the hard tickets were detroyed or if more than one e-ticekt was printed, etc.) StubHub takes some of that risk away, but for really high demand games, and even for lesser games in advance, SH prices are still pretty high. I can see a legit role for demand pricing. It's imperfect, but it creates some flexibility for the team to better respond to market realities.

Posted on March 13, 2012 at 09:32 AM by BR Highlight this comment 309

With the 2011 season's ticket on sale fiasco and the Twins' rather nonchalant reaction to something that infuriated so many fans, the linked article from the Los Angeles Times ought to interest some people around these parts.

Long story short, the Angels sold 7,000 ticket packages that required fans to redeem vouchers in order to obtain prime seats at big discounts in selected locations. The first date on which the vouchers could be redeemed was Tuesday. Critically, and amazingly given it's 2012, the vouchers could only be redeemed in person. The result was about 2,000 people showing up at the Big A with the team woefully underprepared for the crowd. No more than 50% of the ticket office windows were open at any one time, the lines moved painfully slow, and some fans who took off work waited all day without reaching the head of the line by the time the office closed at 5:30 PM.

Needless to say, a lot of people went home unhappy, even those who obtained seats. The Angels added insult to injury by largely taking a "don't blame us" approach to complaints and questions even though the team designed a system that was clearly flawed from the beginning.

Posted on March 13, 2012 at 10:48 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 310

In fairness, how could the Angels have anticipated such problems? It's not like they made any big moves this offseason...

Posted on March 13, 2012 at 2:59 PM by BR Highlight this comment 311

Twins' minor leaguers busted for banned substances.

Posted on March 13, 2012 at 9:10 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 312

If I knew who Florentino/ Zarzuela or what nandrolone/stanozolol were, I might care about that story.

Posted on March 13, 2012 at 9:29 PM by ace Highlight this comment 313

There is something completely mesmerizing about this sentence:

"Florentino tested positive for metabolites of Nandrolone and Zarzuela tested positive for metabolites of Stanozolol."

Is it a pasta dish?

I'll have the Florentino with metabolites of Nandrolone, please.

Is it a beverage?

Just bring me a glass of your house Zarzuela with Stanozolol.

Is it a band?

Yeah, my kid is begging me to buy him tickets to see Florentino and the Metabolites of Nandrolone...

Is it a science fiction film?

The film features a memorable new villain, Zarzuela, and his band of henchmen known as the Metabolites of Stanozolol...

Is it the work of an undiscovered beat poet?

Florentino tested positive
Metabolites of Nandrolone
Zarzuela tested positive
Metabolites of Stanozolol

I must stop or my head may explode.

Posted on March 13, 2012 at 9:42 PM by Rick 314

"If I knew who Florentino/ Zarzuela or what nandrolone/stanozolol were, I might care about that story."

And that, sadly, is where the MLB fan now stands on cheating, thanks to steroids. If it's not a big name, then it doesn't matter. Unfortunate.

Posted on March 13, 2012 at 10:26 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 315

VERY unfortunate.

Posted on March 13, 2012 at 11:33 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 316

The one about those being a rock band is the best onw, with the science fiction film a close second.

Posted on March 14, 2012 at 09:41 AM by gone buggy Highlight this comment 317

Here's a very coherent look at the financing proposed in the current Vikings stadium legislation.

These problems are not new, but they are sometimes complicated enough that people's eyes sort of glaze over.

Basically, it comes down to the unreliability of gambling revenue and the especially shaky projections of how it might increase with electronic pulltabs. Basically, the whole thing is just this side of wishful thinking.

Meanwhile, City Pages has some interesting analysis of some of the "myths" surrounding a new stadium.

Posted on March 14, 2012 at 12:03 PM by Rick 318

Great city pages article! They backed up the "myths" with real facts and numbers.

I always get a good laugh at the "creates jobs" argument for building a stadium. That city pages article breaks down the numbers very good and shows you just how much these numbers are budged. Not to mention the jobs are temporary.

Posted on March 14, 2012 at 12:33 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 319

All construction jobs are temporary, so it's not really fair to denounce the job's created angle by saying those aren't permanent positions. I'm not saying this current plan doesn't have the potential to be an enormous boondoggle but the job creations benefit is legit.

Posted on March 14, 2012 at 2:16 PM by jp Highlight this comment 320

Yeah I've never really heard of a permanent construction job.

Posted on March 14, 2012 at 2:59 PM by moda Highlight this comment 321

TTH- I don't think it is where the Fan stands on cheating, I think it is more about two no name guys got caught. If they were suspended for something other than steroids would any of us even care? Or heard about it for that matter? I think we heard about it because they were caught using steroids.

My point is if I am really going to worry about the players on the Twins Dominican Summer team, I have way too much time on my hands.

Posted on March 14, 2012 at 3:11 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 322

I saw the City Pages article and have a few bones to pick.

- The author misunderstands both the present day costs of the early 2000s stadiums he cites , the specifications to which they were built, and how those specs compare to now. If the Patriots and Steelers were doing it over again, they wouldn't build what they ended up with. Even in just a decade, the standard for what is expected from an NFL stadium in terms of comfort, convenience, and technology has expanded. Looking at stadiums from the beginning of the wave and comparing them to those coming now at the end is increasingly an apples to oranges comparison. By encouraging the Vikings and law makers to think smaller, the City Pages effectively shoots for the Metrodome solution of building just good enough with no thought for the near, let alone far, future.

- Because the Vikings are getting a loan from the NFL, to be repaid with interest it must be noted, and plan to raise funds from the sale of parking and naming rights, "the team isn't really making as big of a contribution". I don't understand why so many people, the author included, view Zygi Wilf as living like Uncle Scrooge with a big money vault in the middle of town. People like Wilf and sports teams like the Vikings don't keep massive amounts of cash just sitting around.

The money for the team's share, apart from the substantial amount being borrowed from the NFL, is going to largely be borrowed from banks. Very little will come directly from the team's accounts just as most people make a down payment and then borrow the lion's share of the money when purchasing a house. However, the author seems to either be oblivious to the fact that the Vikes will be borrowing all this money and fails to see that there is little distinction between the two primary funding sources, NFL loan and bank loans. Take the interest payments into account and the Vikings will spend far more than $407,000,000 in the long run.

- While the NFL certainly has gained leverage for other markets by not having a team in Los Angeles, all the teams possibly bound for that city (Chargers, Vikings, Rams, Bills, Raiders) would be exponentially more valuable there than in their present homes both as an investment by their owners and to the league itself. The NFL's TV contracts would gain value because local fans, like clock work, watch the home team's games in vastly greater numbers than neutral games. An LA team means higher ratings in the #2 market and that adds value to all future TV contracts not to mention other sponsorship and marketing deals.

The Farmers Field financing plan the author dismissed, which the NFL admittedly hasn't signed off on as being right for a tenant team without dismissing it either, is pretty much the exact same financing model AEG used to construct Staples Center. AEG fronted the construction costs for that arena and gets repaid by siphoning off a set share of the revenues from the Lakers, Clippers, and Kings while taking the lion's share from other events. Those three teams have registered nary a complaint and all bank far more money than at their previous arenas.

Posted on March 14, 2012 at 4:40 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 323

Um, the stadium actually WOULD create jobs. Yes, you have the construction jobs which are temporary, but you have to hire people to maintain the place, don't you? People to clean it up, security guards, ticket sellers, ticket takers, concession people (which technically belong to an umbrella company, like Centerplate), the sound guy, the scoreboard guy, the grounds crew, the suite attendants, the bartenders, the chefs, the waiters, the waitresses, various hospitality people and so forth.

Once the stadium is built, the jobs won't just magically disappear. They'll be there.

Posted on March 14, 2012 at 6:09 PM by luke Highlight this comment 324

Jorge is right. The Vikings can only contribute as much as they can borrow. If the team is still leveraged from the purchase from Red McCombs (I’m sure the team was used as collateral in that sale), their value as collateral for any loan for a new stadium is probably very limited.

On another matter, I got an e-mail today opposing House Bill 657 and Senate Bill 425, which is characterized, at least by Target Center interests, as a scalping bill. I don’t have the time or inclination to delve too deeply into this, but if someone can shed some light on the pros and cons of this bill, a quick overview would be appreciated.

Posted on March 14, 2012 at 6:18 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 325

Jorge,

I see your points. A couple of things.

Like the author of that piece (Goldstein), I am troubled by the way the price for this facility keeps going up and up with almost no explanation of why. Goldstein's characterization of the process ("The team simply gives the prospective host community a price, then sits back and watches the elected officials scramble to find the money.") is completely accurate. No one outside of the team and their architect knows where those numbers come from or what you will get for that much. That's a pretty big problem, if you ask me.

The "Metrodome solution" was to build as cheaply as possible. I don't think anybody is talking about that, especially after seeing TCFBS and TF. But this process will need to include more transparency from the team before a deal can get done next year. (My preferred approach would be for the public partners to say, "We'll put together and clean up the site, upgrade the infrastructure, and pay for $X of the labor costs as stimulus. The rest is up to you. Go to town -- if you want.")

Next, I think the part about the financing was to demonstrate that the Vikings could actually probably build a cheaper outdoor facility in Arden Hills all on their own based on the revenue streams they are already committing to the project. And Zygi could then make a fortune by developing all the nearby land. Sure, there's risk, but it's manageable. That is an interesting point, well worth pondering.

Finally, I think Goldstein was spot on about why LA is still without a team. It's way more valuable as leverage than it would be by placing a team there (where history says franchises go to languish). That leverage will continue working its magic as long as the available deals are fiscal suicide for existing owners -- which they are and likely will remain. (I think you know more about these deals than I do, but the general consensus is that any current owner would have to give up way too much to make entering that market worthwhile.)

Posted on March 14, 2012 at 11:27 PM by Rick 326

Jorge, good thoughts. But I think you're confusion over people's concerns about the Vikings' contribution is in making the wrong comparison. People get that the Vikings are taking out loans that need to be paid back. However, unlike my house, the Vikings are getting a massive subsidy to develop and practically guarantee the paymewnt steam from which those loans will be repaid. There's very little risk involved for them, whereas if I lose my job, I'm screwed and my house investment is gone.

More to the point, people get irked that the Vikings' contribution will get repaid with those "extra" proceeds from the stadium (dedicated parking, naming rights, etc.) but the public's contribution will not be similarly repaid. Why not take parking and naming rights and use them to cover some of the public's contributions and force the team to repay its loans through PSLs, ticket sales and TV revenues? Because that's not as a good a deal for Wilf? Well, exactly.

Posted on March 15, 2012 at 09:13 AM by BR Highlight this comment 327

That's the deal. The team rolls in dough immediately via increased value, PSLs, naming rights, etc., etc. while the marks (taxpayers) are on the hook for thirty years or more. We get played - every time. The real issue is why we are so stupid.

Posted on March 15, 2012 at 10:19 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 328

Winona - it's basically a regurgitated attempt to stop ticket brokers from using automated computer programs to buy up piles of tickets so they can sell them at a higher price. Last I checked, ticket scalping of any sort was legal in this state and that's perfectly fine with me. The Twins, Wild, T-Wolves, TicketDisaster all have means in place to prevent "auto-buying" anyway (image technology).

The site CLAIMS that artists like Springsteen, Britney Spaz, Motley Cyrus and others would not bring their shows to Minnesota if we didn't allow this bill to pass, because it isn't fair to the fans. The site also claims that artists like Springsteen, Spaz and Cyrus now buy out certain blocks of seats and use paperless ticketing and/or what's called Real ID at the will call window so they can be "assured that tickets are being purchased by a real fan." IMHE, ticket scalping is a victimless crime and is basically Free Enterprise 101 using the tactic of supply and demand, and the principle of he who is willing to pony up the cash and gets there first gets the seat.

That's my understanding of the bill. Anyone who disagrees, I'm all ears.

Posted on March 15, 2012 at 12:25 PM by luke Highlight this comment 329

Winona Mike,

The bills you reference are the so-called "paperless ticket" bills, and are actually designed to protect consumers by making paperless tickets illegal in Minnesota. Paperless tickets are tied to you by way of your credit card, which must be presented for entry to an event. But that potentially causes a whole host of problems for ticket buyers.

Anybody who has ever bought a ticket to an event but later been unable to use it should support this legislation. Without it, teams and concert promoters can tie a ticket to a person, thereby making it impossible to resell your unused tickets except by some method set up by the original ticket seller (with corresponding minimum prices, fees and "convenience" charges).

As an example, say you bought a ticket to a Twins game then found out you couldn't go for some reason. Nowadays, you simply hand your ticket to a friend and you're done.

Under the paperless ticket scam, the only way you would be able to transfer your ticket to someone else would be to put it up for sale on a site set up and controlled by the Twins (or their agent), charge a minimum price set by the team, and pay all of the fees.

Who wants that?

It's true that street scalpers would completely disappear because there would be no way for them to transfer tickets on the spot. Some may think that's a good thing, but tickets moved by scalpers are a tiny number compared to those casually exchanged by friends, coworkers, or companies. (As you know, StubHub has already made a pretty serious dent in the secondary ticket market. But "paperless tickets" would kill it outright.)

For most people here, paperless ticketing would effectively kill your season ticket group. No longer would one of you be able to buy the tickets and distribute them throughout your group. All of those transactions would have to go through the team.

Naturally, the Twins and all of the pro teams and concert promoters oppose this legislation because it would take away a potentially lucrative ticketing model.

You should support this legislation wholeheartedly, and hope to God that it passes (which apparently looks likely).

More info:

http://www.fanfreedom.org/the-issue/

http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2012/01/30/ticketmaster-taking-heat-for-paperless-tickets/

Posted on March 15, 2012 at 1:09 PM by Rick 330

One more downside to paperless tickets which I almost forgot:

Say you bought four tickets to a Twins game. Three of you get to the ballpark in time, but the fourth is stuck in traffic.

Well, since those tickets are all tied to one credit card, the three of you have to choose: A) stand outside the ballpark and wait for your friend, or B) abandon your friend and go in without him (meaning he will not get in to the game at all).

Technically, a third option would be for the three of you to go in and have the guy with the credit card hang out by the gate to help the fourth guy when he finally arrives. But that's an insane way to have to manage tickets.

The potential issues for the general ticket buyer are off the charts.

Posted on March 15, 2012 at 1:19 PM by Rick 331

Regarding the NFL and Los Angeles, it was never the league's intention to leave the market dark. When the Rams departed after the 1994 season, the idea was the Raiders would stay and, hopefully, prosper by having the market to itself. Then the Raiders unexpectedly returned to Oakland, waiting until practially the last minute to do so. The 1995 schedule had already been released on the basis the team was staying in LA.

The NFL had a round of expansion in 1998, with the team starting in 2002, designed to even out the league at 32 teams and return the NFL to Los Angeles. The franchise was awarded to LA with two separate groups bidding. One proposed a stadium in the Dodger Stadium parking lot, the other in the parking lot of Hollywood Park, the horse track. The then mayor was trying to get approval for Staples Center and wanted to curry favor with city council members who had ties to the Coliseum and its surrounding area. So he put the city's weight behind that location at the expense of all others. The NFL didn't want the site, and there were other issues with the bidders, so it withdrew LA's team and the Houston Texans were born instead. The Texans' owner had basically submitted an uninvited bid that the NFL accepted as both a back up and to prevent any antitrust lawsuits.

As good as LA is a bargaining chip, it's still worth vastly more to the NFL as a market, especially if the team wins. Look at the NBA's bottom line with a succesful Lakers team and compare it how things would stand if LA was an open market. The Vikings are indeed not the first choice of the two competing stadium projects. Both really want the Chargers with the Rams running behind. That said, neither would turn down the Vikings if it came to it.

Regarding the somewhat arbitrary cost of the stadium, I agree that the Vikings have been too vague in justifying that cost. My take is they saw what most recent new stadiums cost and pegged a world class NFL stadium to that price, world class absolutely being what the team and state should want and aspire to. As an aside, the 49ers are about to break ground on a new $1,000,000,000 plus stadium in Santa Clara. At least $50,000,000 of those costs are being set aside for installing future technology, some of which hasn't been invented yet.

Posted on March 15, 2012 at 3:01 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 332

Hey Rick - thanks for straightening that out for me. Perhaps I didn't understand it very well. Seems like it's totally opposite of the way I understood it...lol.

Well, that's why you're here, right?

Posted on March 15, 2012 at 4:09 PM by luke Highlight this comment 333

Thanks Rick. After your explanation, I realize this has been discussed here before. Yes, I see nothing but problems with paperless ticketing, and teams should as well. There are thousands of companies who purchase various season ticket packages each year to use as gifts to clients, customers, and employees as incentives. I’m betting most private suite and club seat accounts are held by corporations to use in this manner. Teams would be cutting their biggest dollar customers out with the passage of these bills. Will the revenue they anticipate from brokering paperless tickets make up for it? I’d doubt it.

Posted on March 15, 2012 at 5:47 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 334

But Ben, what would we talk about if the Twins, Vikes, etc. weren’t around? Love ‘em or hate ‘em, it gives us something to watch, read about, cuss about, and laugh about. Even passively, these teams provide us with a past-time, and for everything you have to pay to play.

Posted on March 15, 2012 at 5:51 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 335

Those concerns about paperless ticketing are valid, but make me think it won't actually operate to that extreme in practice. There will possibly be a lot of exceptions and they might be limited to certain seating areas in certain venues. I'm guessing it might not apply in practice to season ticket holders. It would seem foolish to actually implement it in a way that would dent the season ticket base.

Posted on March 15, 2012 at 6:24 PM by robin Highlight this comment 336

i think zigi wylf should just ante up and build a stadium with there own financing outdoors in arden hills...they can negotiate with the state to help the construction costs with the freeways around the site..

Posted on March 15, 2012 at 7:50 PM by hansrolo Highlight this comment 337

A while back, I read a piece by Michael Silver (I think) at SI.com that said that the NFL really doesn’t suffer without a team or teams in LA. When the Raiders and Rams were there, attendance was high when they were successful, but suffered when they stunk. Unlike a lot of markets, there’s still much more to do outside there than in other markets in November thru January. And TV ratings remained fairly static, no matter whether they were winning or losing. Winning teams didn’t goose the ratings there like winners do in other markets. I recall Silver saying ratings really haven’t suffered greatly with the departure of both teams. Of course, having the Rams playing in Anaheim and the Raiders playing in the dodgy neighborhood around the Coliseum (and the Coliseum, for that matter) didn’t help to bolster enthusiasm for either team. The author’s conclusion was that the LA market was just as valuable to the NFL as a threat than it is as an active team location.

Posted on March 15, 2012 at 6:07 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 338

A Los Angeles based NFL team would be able to command local sponsorship, marketing, and media rights deals that would dwarf all but a few clubs while also enhancing the league's value to the networks. Ratings for the home team's games as much as triple those of neutral games.

Silver's use of the Raiders' and Rams' issues to justify Los Angeles as a dead market for the NFL is riddled with holes. The Rams moved to Orange County and effectively chased away their Westside base which the Raiders then cannibalized before chasing them away with a thug problem in the stands that the team seemed to encourage rather than confront. The Raiders played in a dangerous neighborhood at a stadium with atrocious sightlines and so many seats the supply/demand ratio was badly distorted. The Rams were in an enlarged baseball stadium with atrocious sightlines far from their core fans who considered themselves abandoned.

Both teams used antiquated marketing approaches even by the standards of the day. Even by the late 1980s the "print tickets, announce game, open doors on Sunday" method was out of date. Neither had the ticket selling advantages the internet currently provides and neither had a stadium with the modern comforts and conveniences. The Raiders didn't even have luxury boxes. Comparing the NFL's Los Angeles experience back then to a future one in a modern stadium with competent owners is another apples and oranges situation.

Posted on March 15, 2012 at 11:13 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 339

Paperless Tickets

I would not support the way the bill is currently written. The bill is too broad in scope. It gives protections to the average ticket purchaser which is good, but also to speculators and brokers which is bad. On top of that it prohibits any control an artist may want over their ticket sales.

If a hot act comes to the Xcel I believe they should have the right to determine how much control they want to have over their ticket sales. They could totally lock them down and not allow any type of transfers or have no restrictions at all. As long as the restrictions are known in advance we as consumers can decide if we wish to proceed with a purchase or not.

I guarantee you the Twins will always have some free way for corporations and STH groups to transfer tickets. Now what kind of scheme they may come up with to combat speculators and brokers is yet to be seen. But I like the idea that they have the option if they wish to try. If the bill passes their options become very restricted to nonexistent.

Posted on March 16, 2012 at 03:29 AM by Dave Highlight this comment 340

Temps right now on March 16...

Minneapolis, MN 77
Fort Myers, FL 84

Posted on March 16, 2012 at 2:43 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 341

just received an email from the Twins, which many else may have as well. Promoting the availability of season tickets. If no once bites, you can certainly expect more tickets to be released for public sale with Dynamic pricing.

Posted on March 16, 2012 at 3:26 PM by tk Highlight this comment 342

I got the same e-mail. It's amazing what 99 losses and a one-way door for free agents will do to ticket demand. It was a buyer's market at Hammond Stadium last Friday even though the WS champs were in town along with a huge contingent of their fans from Jupiter - Jupiter, Florida - not the planet.

Posted on March 16, 2012 at 3:35 PM by terry Highlight this comment 343

Baker could open the season on the DL

Some things just never change...

Posted on March 16, 2012 at 4:17 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 344

Thankfully we have the new and improved Twins training staff to make sure Baker recovers quickly and completely from elbow pain and trouble "getting loose."

Posted on March 17, 2012 at 10:36 AM by jctwins Highlight this comment 345

Nishioka optioned to AAA. I think his time with the Twins is near the end. His defense is terrible!

Posted on March 19, 2012 at 08:25 AM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 346

A Gold Glove winning middle infielder who could switch-hit and was the defending Japanese League batting champion. Now he can't even earn a spot as a utility player on a team that lost 99 games last year! Has Japanese baseball gone that far downhill or was Nishi's great 2010 season just a fluke?

Posted on March 19, 2012 at 12:18 PM by terry Highlight this comment 347

It's a damn shame...Just when Sid was starting to pronounce his name correctly.

Posted on March 19, 2012 at 12:19 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 348

He'll be back - for no good reason, but he'll be back.

Posted on March 19, 2012 at 12:58 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 349

Terry, we all know what happens with the Twins contracts based on one good season...

Posted on March 19, 2012 at 1:49 PM by tk Highlight this comment 350

So now they are down to Jamey Carroll and Luke Hughes as their infielders. (Casilla doesn't count) One is 38 and the other is unproven.

There are two free-agent infielders Aaron Miles and Edgar Renteria, Miles seems to be very Denny Hocking-like, of little use except for his flexibility in the infield. According to ESPN Renteria is planning on retiring.

That leaves two rookies, which means unless these two prove to be stellar, our infield sucks.

Posted on March 20, 2012 at 03:45 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 351

from the looks and sound of it, Brian Dozier is ready to play in the majors. Might as well see what he's got!

Posted on March 20, 2012 at 07:45 AM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 352

apparently they are planting grass in the batter's eye area...this is the first I have heard of this.

Posted on March 20, 2012 at 2:29 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 353

I guess if trees don't work, then flowers don't work, just go with boring grass.

Posted on March 20, 2012 at 10:44 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 354

Anyone else see this select-a-seat event at Target Field on March 29?

Is the On Deck Circle waiting list no more??? That lasted an entire one season...But that's what 99 losses will do.

And why have this event on a Thursday?? They would do much better if they held it on a Saturday or Sunday in my opinion. Not to mention the parking is much better downtown on the weekends.

Posted on March 21, 2012 at 10:23 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 355

Wow. That's a pretty steep fall in STH demand.

Long ago, I remember writing about what could kill the fiscal benefits of a new ballpark:

A new ballpark only opens new revenue streams if the paying customers believe the team will be competitive. It only retains those revenue streams if the team actually remains competitive.

Before the ballpark opens, it's all about convincing the fans that you really want to win. Once it's open, that shifts to being about actually winning.

Basically, there could not have been a worse moment to have a 99-loss season. And there couldn't have been a worse time to audition a new GM.

Last year at this time, a good friend of mine called the team about becoming a STH. He was putting together a group with his brother and son, but was basically laughed off the phone.

This year? None of them have any interest in it anymore.

What an insane sort of business.

Posted on March 21, 2012 at 11:16 AM by Rick 356

So, call me an idiot (many people have, do and will), but how can they plant grass on a vertical wall?

Posted on March 21, 2012 at 11:43 AM by Ole Highlight this comment 357

Ole,

I think they are planting grass in place of the little flowers they had there last year. I'm guessing the slanted honeycomb thing will stay in place.

Posted on March 21, 2012 at 11:52 AM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 358

I'm sure they'll plant the grass in a way where it isn't visible from home plate, so the batter's eye stays a solid color.

Posted on March 21, 2012 at 1:56 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 359

I don't think it helps our GM is content with mediocrity doesn't help with tickets sales. I was for this before Billy Smith and am again for it....Fire Terry Ryan.

Posted on March 21, 2012 at 4:20 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 360

The attrition of the season ticket holder list is partly due to a lot of people finding out just how long an 81 game home schedule is. Everyone thinks about the July weekend games and not the Wednesday night in April or the Thursday 12:15 PM getaway game in mid September. Some people suddenly found themselves going from half a dozen games per year to that many in a week. At this time last year, even before the 63-99 season killed StubHub speculators, I recall hearing of people having trouble getting partners for their seats or interest in selling or even giving away less attractive games. If you have seats in 114 you're probably bullet proof, but people who got seats in sections 204 or 326 are probably jumping off the boat.

Posted on March 21, 2012 at 4:51 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 361

I live an hour and three quarters away from TF and the issue Jorge mentions has always been a concern, i.e. how many games can I realistically and comfortably get to? I am in section 204 by the way and I love the seats, but there are some of my 20 games that I simply can't get to. I didn't become a STH to make a profit, but it was nice in 2010 when I knew I could recoup the cost of any ticket I couldn't use. Ahh I sound like an old curmudgeon, longing for "the good old days".

Posted on March 21, 2012 at 6:20 PM by terry Highlight this comment 362

At some point, it becomes another job.

Posted on March 21, 2012 at 6:25 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 363

Cowboy Jack's opening a new location in downtown Minneapolis in the never-opened Ahern's Irish Pub building (5th street and 2nd ave).

Should be a nice addition to the entertainment district near Target Field.

Posted on March 22, 2012 at 07:25 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 364

Be interesting to see how Cowboy Jack's does. I just peeked inside this morning. There is work being done, but lots left to do. May sounds about right.

It's a complicated location. Great for Twins games, but I wonder how well they'll cater to that crowd. The roof top bar could be a nice attraction - if they could put a fire pit up there and extend into the shoulder seasons, it'd be even better.

But they're tucked out of view and away from the main foot traffic of the Warehouse District in non-baseball season. They're not on the skyway. I could see the winter months being a little lean...

Posted on March 22, 2012 at 09:29 AM by BR Highlight this comment 365

Thanks for the link about Aherns. As I'd suspected, they bit off more than they could chew. They were a big Gopher sports sponsor before their planned opening came and went with no action.

Great point about Cowboy Jack's possibly facing some tough winters due to the location. I was always skeptical of tha spot for Aherns in part because most of the foot traffic from Target Field is funneling through the plaza from which they're physically cut off. At least something's taking the space.

Posted on March 22, 2012 at 2:05 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 366

I will definitely be visiting CJs after Twins games, especially if they run the same specials as other locations. However, non-Twins games, I will still likely go to Plymouth or St. Cloud.

Posted on March 22, 2012 at 4:50 PM by tk Highlight this comment 367

"I guess if trees don't work, then flowers don't work, just go with boring grass"; how about they paint the whole damn thing royal blue and plaster a big-ass ad on it (Dodge and Stanley come to mind). Oh wait, we've done that too :).

Posted on March 22, 2012 at 6:45 PM by luke Highlight this comment 368

Tacky glued on faux "cowboy" decor, mediocre (at best) food, and Budweiser/Coors - just the sort of place we need another one of.

Posted on March 23, 2012 at 10:16 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 369

Ben, the wings and jalapeno cheese curds aren't bad...

Posted on March 23, 2012 at 10:29 AM by TK Highlight this comment 370

Better than an empty storefront.

Posted on March 23, 2012 at 12:05 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 371

Ben is just a grumpy old contrarian. I find the blog much nicer now that I have found the little ignore button next to his name.

Posted on March 23, 2012 at 12:20 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 372

Has anyone heard or read how some of our favorite former Twins (Cuddy, Kubel) are doing this spring with their new teams?

Posted on March 23, 2012 at 12:27 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 373

Just received a email from the Twins about the opprotunity to be an on field flag holder for opening day. The guy in my ticket group with those tickets declinded. Anyone going want to do it? I can contact them and see if I can make that work.

Posted on March 23, 2012 at 12:32 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 374

Duff ---

Now that you have found it I suppose the next step would be to learn how to use it. Maybe ask your mommy for help?

Posted on March 23, 2012 at 2:12 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 375

Duff - heck yeah, might spoil my picture taking but not everyday you get to do that!

Posted on March 23, 2012 at 2:13 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 376

Last year the "flag holders" were a bunch of servicemen/women who were shown the door as soon as they were through. I wonder if they were asked to come back?

Posted on March 23, 2012 at 2:47 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 377

Jared send me an email and I will send it on to the Twins, and I can forward the email I received to you.

Posted on March 23, 2012 at 2:49 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 378

The home opener weather forecast from Accuweather is not too promising at the moment, a high of 48 and showers. The next day isn't looking much better. Hopefully things will take a turn for the better as the date approaches.

Posted on March 23, 2012 at 3:30 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 379

Twins still have tix available for opener!

Posted on March 23, 2012 at 3:40 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 380

Jorge, how believable is a forecast more than two weeks away?

Posted on March 23, 2012 at 6:07 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 381

@fiesta - agreed. I think they were even hinting at upper 40s for the end of THIS week, and I don't think that happened.

Rain for the opener would be fine - it's baseball, we're outdoors and we love it.

Posted on March 23, 2012 at 6:19 PM by luke Highlight this comment 382

The best you can say about Cowboy Jack's is that the wings and jalapeno cheese curds "aren't bad?" Does anyone else have a stronger recommendation?

Posted on March 23, 2012 at 6:58 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 383

Received a survey email from the Twins about concessions. Essentially it asked about the quality of food vs the speed of receiving food. It also asked for a dollar value on three items: Chicago Hot Dog (looked like the 1/4 pound beef dog from the dome) Fish and Chips (like the chicken fingers only with fish) and the Food Network Pulled Pork Sandwich (slaw with pulled pork in a bun laying on top of potato strings). The pulled pork looked damn good! I commented to add some natural lemonade with real lemons and sugar to improve the beverage selection. Earlier today DSP tweeted pictures of some Food Network Buffalo Mac & Cheese as well as bacon sloppy joe. A food & beverage announcement regarding 2012 ballpark concessions is to commence on April 3rd.

Posted on March 23, 2012 at 8:39 PM by NotMendoza Highlight this comment 384

Didn't know I was being critiqued as a recommendation. I was responding to Ben saying it was "mediocre at best." I love Jacks, especially the wings and curds. The wings are among the best, especially at the cost of 24 wings for $5 during Vikings games, etc. $2 you call its 10p-Midnight.

Posted on March 23, 2012 at 9:57 PM by tk Highlight this comment 385

Perhaps " --- the wings and jalapeno cheese curds aren't bad... " was not taken by some as a ringing endorsement?

Posted on March 23, 2012 at 10:57 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 386

You're right, but I was mearly answering to you saying that the curds and wings aren't bad. Whatever, I have more important things to worry about, how to pick a better NCAA hockey bracket. :(

Posted on March 23, 2012 at 11:12 PM by tk Highlight this comment 387

Have you had the pan-fried sunnies? Are they any good?

Posted on March 23, 2012 at 11:13 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 388

Winona Mike,

I have not had the sunnies, nor do I know anyone who has tried.

Wednesday Burger $2 are great, and the pizza is really good. I think it will be a nice place that may not be terribly crowded to get a really good value for your $1, given they adopt the same options of other locations.

Posted on March 24, 2012 at 12:25 AM by tk Highlight this comment 389

With ground beef prices so high, what kind of burger can you get for only $2? Pink Slime Slammers maybe?

Sorry, I couldn't resist!

Posted on March 24, 2012 at 01:59 AM by Dave Highlight this comment 390

Nail down the furniture kiddos, and be prepared to scream with child-like glee: Schweigert has apparently put the Twins hot dogs back on the consumer market. I was at Cub today and noticed that two of the three were on the shelves. The Big Dog and the Original Twins Dog are back! I did not see the Dugout Dog - either it's still a discontinued product, or people like myself were so excited, they bought them all out.

In honour of this momentous occasion, clicky for Rick's story "Early Dog Days" for a refresher course.

Peace out.

Posted on March 25, 2012 at 6:19 PM by luke Highlight this comment 391

This article gives me some hope for the season. Especially since Morneau has been excelling in the DH role. Sadly still need to solve the middle infield problem.

But a line up such as this, not too bad:

Span, CF
Mauer, C
Willingham, LF
Morneau, DH
Parmelee, 1B
Valencia, 3B
Casilla, 2B
Carroll, SS
Revere, RF

Posted on March 26, 2012 at 04:12 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 392

One good game isn't exactly excelling. I think he was hitting something like .091 with no extra base hits before the 2 HR game.

Posted on March 26, 2012 at 09:27 AM by FD Highlight this comment 393

The TwinsGeek forecasts a very different lineup for opening day.

The Twins in '12 may not be cause for optimism quite yet, but I'm definitely curious about what they'll look like.

Posted on March 26, 2012 at 10:16 AM by Rick 394

Revere in RF is the dumbest, most preposterous, and illogical outfield alignment possible. Why put the guy with the most range and the least arm in the area with the least ground to cover? If Gardy is dead set on Willingham in LF then Revere's role should be nothing more than a pinch runner/defensive replacement, with the occasional start in CF or LF.

1. Span CF
2. Carrol SS
3. Mauer C
4. Willingham LF
5. Morneau DH
6. Doumit/Plouff RF
7. Parmalee 1B
8. Valencia 3B
9. Casilla 2B

Bench
Plouff/Doumit
Revere
Hughes
Butera

God help our flyball heavy rotation with Doumit and Willingham patrolling the corners.

Posted on March 26, 2012 at 11:15 AM by jp Highlight this comment 395

I like the idea of offering a Chicago dog on three conditions. One, it must be a beef dog, whether by Vienna or some other maker. Two, it can't be implemented at the expense of the Hebrew National dog they brought in last year which was the best dog in the park by about a million miles. Three, it can't be made by Schweigert with whom the Twins made a major mistake in partnering. Their dogs are awful. For the record, I never thought much of the Hormel dogs either.

When I biked past Target Field last weekend and looked through the gates, the much underused Frankie V and Senor Smokes stands still had their signage. The Twins merely introducing a few new signature food items isn't enough. Those stands either need their offerings overhauled to increase traffic or should be eliminated. When the pizza stand has one or two customers while a Hennepin Grill stand has several lines of 15 people each, it's time to make a change.

Posted on March 26, 2012 at 11:46 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 396

I heard some rumblings of a new sign going up on the outside of Target Center where the Sanford Health sign was. Can anyone confirm this?

Posted on March 26, 2012 at 12:11 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 397

Confirmed. There have already been some changes, and more are about to happen... (I have some pictures.)

Posted on March 26, 2012 at 12:20 PM by Rick 398

It's funny how so many fans wanted a variety of options for food, but yet, it's the same concession stands that are always busy such as the Hennepin Grill and Taste of Twins Territory - both offering the traditional ballpark fare.

Unless the Senor Smokes and Frankie V's Italian are simply not very popular? If that is the case, than the Twins should consider moving some of the popular fare to those stands. Another good idea would be to replace the Halsey's Sausage Haus stands with Kramarczuk's.

I just think there are too many "temporary" stands throughout the concourse and it only creates to the congestion problem. Some of those hot dog stands could be consolidated with the Kramarczuk's/Halsey Sausage Haus stands.

Posted on March 26, 2012 at 1:01 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 399

Here are some of your 2012 prices...things continue to get more and more expensive. I will continue bringing in my $0.33 bottles of water and my $2.00 bag of peanuts

Kramarczuk's $7.00
Big Dog w/chips $5.50
Burger/Fries $9.50
Murray's Steak Sandwich $11.50
Pulled Pork Sandwich $6.50
Turkey To Go Sandwich $7.00
Chicken Tenders/Fries $8.25

Domestic Beer $7.25/$8.25
Premium Beer $7.75/$8.75

Posted on March 26, 2012 at 1:11 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 400

Yeah, I think I will do the same, Mike.

And, now that the Twins hot dogs are back at Cub, you can whip them up at home, wrap them in tin foil and bring those too...lol.

Posted on March 26, 2012 at 1:44 PM by luke Highlight this comment 401

Yep, I say stop by the Holiday gas station a block from the park and load up! Clear rum works well as replacement for water in your bottles. I think the scalpers are gonna get killed again this year. I look forward to going down about the 2nd inning and seeing what they wanna sell real cheap.

Posted on March 26, 2012 at 1:50 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 402

Big news for the Vikings stadium today. Improbably, the stadium now seems to have the required majority in the Minneapolis City Council needed to extend the convention center taxes to cover the new stadium. I never expected that to happen. Not long ago those in favor of a referendum or more overtly against the stadium seemed to be near a majority. Rybak said the city attorney believes they can extend the current tax without needing a referendum. Councilman Gary Schiff said that the city had better be ready for a lawsuit on that one. Governor Dayton wanted this display of willingness from Minneapolis in order to get momentum for the E-Tab bill at the capitol. How will all this turn out? Who really knows? The Vikes are happy, needless to say. However, I don't think this is as done as some people might think.

Posted on March 26, 2012 at 1:57 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 403

I also have our boys going 70-92 this year. Thats a 7 game improvement from last year. Battling the whitties for the bottom.

Posted on March 26, 2012 at 2:03 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 404

That supposed "majority" on the Minneapolis City Council hasn't yet been actually enumerated, so I don't know exactly who is supposed to have changed their minds. I'll be watching for that.

And even if it's true, it's only a symbolic victory. Under the current financing plan, a lawsuit is a virtual certainty if they try to go forward without a referendum. And that says nothing about the state portion (electronic pulltabs), which has also been left for dead on the floor of some committee room.

In other words, I still think we're done for this year.

If, on the other hand, there's life left in the old girl, then we can start talking about just how big a mistake they would be making, and I have no doubt that inflaming the fears of legislators would be like shooting fish in a barrel...

Posted on March 26, 2012 at 2:19 PM by Rick 405

You know, those "Frankie V" pizza slices are just so terrible that I can't believe they didn't try to find some replacement over the offseason.

Of course, it's a mathematical decision. It doesn't matter how terrible they are if they make the necessary profit.

Posted on March 26, 2012 at 2:22 PM by Rick 406

They can try and pull a lawsuit but it's not going to get very far. it's not a city tax and it never touches the city's hands. If they want to put forth a lawsuit just for the effort of saving face they are just going to end up costing the taxpayer even more money.

Not sure if in the end this will pass either but a lawsuit seems like a bunch of chest puffing to me. In fact they would be better off making a big show about being outraged at this point only to let it die down and roll on through.

But they need the backup plan for funding at the state level in case pull tabs doesn't float the bill which I have my doubts about as well.

What is the terrible mistake? Either way we are building a billion dollar football stadium. Calling it a mistake if it's done one way or another is just a matter of preference of stupidity. Not that I don't think we should build it. After all we just built a new stadium for a team that lost 99 games so a bunch of people could go watch a bunch of losers play. Right?

Posted on March 26, 2012 at 3:45 PM by moda Highlight this comment 407

I can't comment on the merits of a lawsuit. I just know that if somebody files a lawsuit, it will bring the whole project to a grinding halt.

Instantaneously.

For a long time.

And that's the point.

And the list of mistakes in the current plan is long and pretty depressing. Building a football stadium isn't one of them, of course. But pretty much every piece of the financing would be a mistake in one form or another, as would the location and size of the site. Even the facility ownership model is pretty weak, as is the clause about recapturing increase in the franchise value if it is ever sold (which contains significant differences from the one signed by the Twins).

This plan is a turkey which is best left to gobble around for a while and then die a quiet death and be made into sandwiches.

Then, if the elections go the right way, a much better plan can emerge next year. Trust me, it will be worth the wait.

Posted on March 26, 2012 at 3:58 PM by Rick 408

What is the terrible mistake? Either way we are building a billion dollar football stadium. Calling it a mistake if it's done one way or another is just a matter of preference of stupidity.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I think Rick was referring to the location as a mistake. And there are some pretty persuasive cases to be made for why that would be a good take.

Posted on March 26, 2012 at 4:00 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 409

The only big mistake would be not building a new stadium at all. Where it's located and how's it's financed in the end really isn't going to matter all that much. Part of the financing will come from tax payers one way or another. No matter it's location or type of infrastructure around it there will always be delays when 65,000 people try to leave at the same time.

Posted on March 26, 2012 at 4:38 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 410

The potential mistake comes from not taking a longer view at what could happen on each of the potential sites. Depending on your opinion of those future options, you can easily see the Dome site as a mistake. That's all opinion though and folks could easily see things differently.

Saying "the only mistake is not to build" seems shortsighted. That's the sort of logic that got Minnesota the original Metrodome. Plus, it also assumes that not passing a bill this session means the Vikings are gone (something that doesn't seem correct) or that a bill will never pass unless passed now.

Posted on March 26, 2012 at 4:52 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 411

We poo poo the Dome when in reality it served its purpose throughout the years rather well. Other than it's roof collapsing all the negatives in the end were almost all convenience based rather than terrible mistakes.

Posted on March 26, 2012 at 5:24 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 412

I think the Vikings could continue to live with the mistakes of convenience in the dome. It’s the short-sightedness in the design as it pertains to possible revenue streams – both current and future - that have them pining for a new home. There’s little or no opportunity to create club seating or stadium clubs inside the building, and having all the suites empty out into the main concourse doesn’t give high-rollers as much exclusivity as the Vikings would love to charge them for. There’s also not a lot of room in the building for brew pubs and the like, which would enhance the game day experience for many, which would also increase the value – and price - of tickets.

Posted on March 26, 2012 at 6:05 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 413

The dome only "served its purpose" in the sense that it provided three teams with a place to play. That's no small feat, I'll grant, but it's a far cry from what was possible even at the time of its construction. Remember that the Astrodome predated our dome by 25 years, and many of the problems inherent to multi-sport venues were well-known at the time and still went unsolved.

Further, the "Industry Square" site (where the Dome now sits) was billed as ripe for renewal, and the stadium was sold as a catalyst which would bring about that renewal. Technically, it's not the fault of the facility that the area remained unrenewed for 25 years after it was built, but as a catalyst it was an utter failure.

And let us not forget that the facility was an abject failure on just about every level for at least one of the sports it housed, and a deep psychological drag on another (by moving the team beyond the psychological edge of the campus).

The only team the Dome was any good for was the Vikings. So, to the Metrodome I would say (in the immortal words of J. Peterman):

"Congratulations on a job...done."

Posted on March 26, 2012 at 6:40 PM by Rick 414

While I hated the dome as much as anyone for baseball, for $60M to get three teams a home (plus things we didn't even know we needed like the prep bowl), the dome was a financial steal. For that $60M in 1980 we will spend, what, a total of nearly $2 billion to make sure everyone has their proper place to play 30 years later?

Does anyone else think that the Star Tribune being unwilling to sell parking lots really hurt the development around industry square? If 200 events a year and new light rail didn't spur development a new football stadium sure won't either, but I always wondered if more could have been done down there but the opportunities just weren't available.

Posted on March 26, 2012 at 7:38 PM by Lincster Highlight this comment 415

There's another way in which the Metrodome must be considered a failure, albeit in a less direct way. I didn't fully comprehend this until I went back to the place for TwinsFest this year.

Basically, by belonging to three teams, it belonged to no one.

Not many people realize this but, whenever the Dome had to be converted from one sport/organization to another, the playing field was only the most obvious change. In addition, every single banner had to be replaced, every single souvenir stand had to be emptied and restocked, all of the scoreboard presets had to be adjusted, and every bit of color in the place had to be switched. And this list only scratches the surface.

No team could actually call the place "home" in any real sense. It was, at best, their home for the current game in progress and nothing else.

You can argue that this is just part of the cost of doing business, but I think it affects a franchise (and the local sporting scene) at its core. One can only imagine the relief the Twins felt at finally getting a place where they could put out extensive displays of their historical memorabilia and know that it would not have to be removed before the next football game.

Likewise, painting the Dome purple has actually improved it a great deal, as has putting up large permanent banners at the gates and permanent displays in the concourses.

There's something intangible but critical in knowing that your playing field is actually yours.

I don't suppose it's possible to measure exactly how much this former itinerance cost these teams over the past 30 years, but I think it has been significant. Just knowing that you'll need to empty your souvenir stands on a regular basis must have some impact on what souvenirs you select to sell, which, in turn, affects the flexibility and creativity of your marketing.

Really, the Metrodome's only unqualified success was that it was completed on schedule and under budget.

Posted on March 26, 2012 at 7:41 PM by Rick 416

Oh, and I got to watch my first Twins spring game on tape delay over the weekend. Is Willingham really that slow? I mean, not Thome slow, but pretty damn close. He was really chugging in to home on the play I saw.

His bat might be equal to Cuddy's, but not his defense. Of course, he only has to be better the Delmon in left, so the comparison is now easier out there.

Posted on March 26, 2012 at 8:08 PM by Lincster Highlight this comment 417

One more for tonight....demand pricing is out! Click my name to see what the market is setting....

Posted on March 26, 2012 at 8:36 PM by Lincster Highlight this comment 418

Sorry, one more....do we get demand-based pricing at the ticket window, or is this internet only? The Twins now have a "convenience" fee per ticket (mine was $3.50), plus a $3.50 order fee. So two $11 tickets has a 50% markup? Anyone that can shed light on fees that the window would be very helpful.

Posted on March 26, 2012 at 8:45 PM by Lincster Highlight this comment 419

Twins pocket schedules have a section with a seating chart and the color-coding key titled, “Pricing and Seating Chart.” However, there are no prices listed; only a line that says to visit the team’s web site for TODAY’S prices. How are advance sales handled? Do they have set prices for advance sales, and if, say, the Royals surprise everybody and are contending in late August, do they jack the prices, leaving those who have purchased tickets for that series in advance thinking they’ve got a real bargain?

Also, regarding Rick’s comments about three teams sharing the dome, I have a couple questions. I know the Vikings and Twins each had their own locker rooms at the dome, but did the Gophers as well? How many locker rooms are in the dome? Did the Gophers and Vikings have to schlep their equipment back and forth from the dome to their respective practice facilities before and after every game? If so, the Vikings certainly would have been used to doing so since they also had to do that at the Met. Most of their practices took place at old Midway Stadium, and if memory serves, they used it for equipment storage. Also, did the Twins and Vikings have to share a locker room at Met Stadium?

Posted on March 26, 2012 at 9:22 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 420

Sounds like the Lowertown Saints are a lot closer to having a new stadium than the Vikes. I'm actually more excited about this project. It doesn't reek of ... well, it just doesn't reek.

Posted on March 27, 2012 at 07:46 AM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 421

That Mpls charter provision is an example of really bad public policy. A charter is to a city what a constitution is to a state or the nation. It should set out broad parameters under which government operates, not narrow directives on specific issues. The Mpls charter amendment requires a referendum for any project costing more than $10M, but ONLY if that project is a sports stadium. That is a narrow directive on a specific issue.

Posted on March 27, 2012 at 08:56 AM by terry Highlight this comment 422

I've never been a big fan of the Dome, but I'll quibble with a few points. It was a lousy place to watch baseball but most certainly not an abject failure for the Twins during their playoff runs in '87 and '91. Rather, it provided a massive home field advantage, from the enclosed noise to the where's-the-ball teflon roof. (I'll add that when I moved out ehre in '87, my rental house did not have AC and it was a blisteringly hot summer. We spent many evenings in the $3 cheap seats of the AC-filled dome. Much appreciated, that.)

As for it being no one's home, that's true, but only to a point. Historicaly, many fields and arenas have been shared. The Boston Garden certainly didn't hold the Celtics and Bruins back from being competitive throughout the 60s to early 80s. Nor did the community refuse to accept it as "home" for both franchises, although I'll concede that the crumbling rafters and extraordinarily large rat inhabitants did lead to its demise, but that's a different matter.

Posted on March 27, 2012 at 09:27 AM by BR Highlight this comment 423

My favorite part about this whole thing is watching people that are so sure that it won't happen even though it continues to get closer and closer to reality. Hilarious. And as it does their comments shift to what a mistake it would be. Absolutely hilarious. The EXACT same conversations were happening surrounding that little tiny plot of land over between a couple of bridges, over an underground creek, beside a railroad line that needed to be moved, and next to a garbage incinerator.......And of course lets not forget that it was going to end up looking like some odd glass spaceship with no life or feeling to it.

The taxpayers of Minneapolis got saddled with the bill fairly or unfairly depending on how you look at it. there would be lawsuits. residents were angry that they didn't have to have a referendum. People had yard signs decrying the whole project. But this time it will be different. Right? no it won't. If and it's still a big IF the legislature can get the funding settled at the state level and it passes..... you will hear a little grumbling but not a damn thing will be done. The city will get to claim being the ones that saved baseball without ever spending a dime of money that was theirs or on their tax rolls. The political posturing that you are hearing right now is just that. Remind me again how many people lost their political seat based on supporting or not supporting Target Field? TCF Bank Stadium? Xcel Energy center? Target Center? I think it was a big fat zero if memory serves.

Posted on March 27, 2012 at 09:29 AM by moda Highlight this comment 424

Sorry I meant to say the city will get to be the ones that saved Football.

Posted on March 27, 2012 at 09:31 AM by moda Highlight this comment 425

moda,

You've listed some reasonable similarities between the two situations, but I'm sorry to say that they are entirely superficial.

There are some awfully big differences beneath the surface between what happened in the run-up to Target Field and what is happening now. The biggest is that eventually all of the powerful interests lined up behind Rapid Park and Hennepin County. What happened behind the scenes was an awesome display of civic will that is unlikely to be matched any time soon. (If you think that it "just squeaked by" in the Legislature, you are wrong. Everything was lined up to make sure that as many people as possible got to vote against it -- for political reasons -- while still making sure it got passed. That's how things work in St. Paul.)

Right now, only a very small slice of politicos are behind the Metrodome site and the associated mish-mash of funding sources. They are trying to harness labor's support, and have done well, but labor doesn't really care about this particular plan, only that this new construction project get off the ground sooner rather than later. There is no such sense of urgency in any other corner (the Governor and Mayor and Owner notwithstanding).

Were this plan to ever get to the brink of passage, there are forces (think loosely-organized groups, not individuals) who would step in to stop it, and primarily for financial reasons. Chief among these would probably be the bond houses, who know the difference between a funding source built on stone versus one built on sand. They control whether the money needed would be affordable, and there is widespread agreement that they will charge through the nose for loans backed by gambling revenue. It's just too risky, despite what supporters claim.

Further, there is deep distaste for two parts of the Minneapolis portion. Taking future money away from the Convention Center is seen as short-term gain for significant long-term loss. And doing anything for Target Center is viewed as mixing apples and oranges (despite the real benefits it would provide to Minneapolis property tax payers like me).

As usual, objection to the geographic location is something of a footnote. Despite widespread acknowledgement that rebuilding at Fifth and Chicago runs counter to what is best for downtown Minneapolis, if the money pieces fell into place, that location might not be a deal-breaker.

But there is also the "smell test" which damns this plan. It's just not good for any party except the Vikings (and it's not even ideal for them). It comes at too large of a cost when better options for each piece are available.

I used to get very impatient with the process during the years that the Twins were the team of the moment. Not anymore. These wheels grind slowly, but they grind.

Posted on March 27, 2012 at 10:10 AM by Rick 426

For anyone with a fishy curiosity, there is now some video of the home run celebration sign in the new Marlins' ballpark.

I think the word 'ridiculous' comes to mind, but I'm sure some people will love it.

(click the linky!)

Posted on March 27, 2012 at 10:44 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 427

Rough road for RA Dickey...cliky the link.

Posted on March 27, 2012 at 11:04 AM by Jared Highlight this comment 428

We'll see Rick. I'm shocked at how much headway they are making. I never thought it would even be this close. It would be hilarious if they did pass it and then we get to listen to people piss and moan just because it didn't get done the way/in the location/or how they would have preferred. Just like Target Field.

Posted on March 27, 2012 at 11:09 AM by moda Highlight this comment 429

F_T_K that Marlins' Monstrosity is a combination of Salvador Dali and Disney! Even Las Vegas would consider that thing tacky.

Posted on March 27, 2012 at 11:23 AM by terry Highlight this comment 430

Thanks for sharing that F_T_K, my goodness. It reminds me of the animation sequences you'd see in the old Monty Python shows. Hideous as it is, I'm not sure it's all that worse than a fake train (Houston) or steamboat (Cincy) or water slide or pool. So glad we got what we got.

Posted on March 27, 2012 at 12:55 PM by gone buggy Highlight this comment 431

luke, tell us what you think.

Posted on March 27, 2012 at 3:25 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 432

Well Schweady - I could say something, but as usual, it would probably go ignored anyway.

I've already made it known that the "ballpark" looks like an airplane hangar with 40,000 seats. As for that "thing" in center field - I am embarrassed spitless that it's even in an MLB park. Of course, it is Miami, and it IS the Marlins...and as for low-key - what did you expect?

Posted on March 27, 2012 at 3:49 PM by luke Highlight this comment 433

At least it actually does something that can be seen, unlike minnie/paul.

Posted on March 27, 2012 at 5:42 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 434

True Duff...you can barely see Minnie and Paul during the day games. But, the other problem is, in order to ACTIVATE Minnie and Paul, the boys actually have to HIT homeruns.

Posted on March 27, 2012 at 5:56 PM by luke Highlight this comment 435

Hell you can barely see it during night games.....They should try actual neon instead of the led lights.

Posted on March 27, 2012 at 7:24 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 436

Agree with Duffman -- one year the ballpark improvement should be putting real neon in the celebration sign. That would be a good upgrade.

Different topic -- need a good place to watch the 4/6 season opener in the afternoon. Looking for something different than Buffalo Wild Wings and other chain sports bars. I'm not against Kierans, but what are some other ideas? Big screens and reasonable food would be great.

Posted on March 27, 2012 at 7:28 PM by Lincster Highlight this comment 437

Linc - well...I do have a suggestion. It's a watering hole on Hennipen that I found last year. If you thought Matt's was the master of the Jucy Lucy burger, give The Ugly Mug a try. TF is just a stone's throw away.

As for "reasonable"...I'd have to say Ugly Mug is not. It is on the higher scale of bar food. I had a Jucy Lucy there, with some damn good natural cut fries which ran about 10 bucks. BUT, it is well worth the money, and as for the Jucy Lucy with the cheese in the middle, Ugly Mug has that, plus a couple other unconventional Jucy Lucy options.

Posted on March 27, 2012 at 8:01 PM by luke Highlight this comment 438

If you have cable or satellite, you could watch it at home and eat anything you want. I could never understand the desire to go to a bar to watch games on TV. Too many loudmouths drown out the sound.

Posted on March 27, 2012 at 10:07 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 439

Anyone following the whole "electronic ticketing" legislation going on right now in St. Paul?

I like the idea behind the bill, but I also think a person who has a "ticket" should be entitled to do what they want with it. As a STH for the Twins and a former Vikings STH, I like having the ability to post my tickets for sale on the secondary market such as eBay and StubHub or sell them to a friends/family or co-workers.

You would think there would be a way for these sports teams/venues/concert promoters to put a stop to these "bots" that scoop up all of the seats as soon as they are on sale.

Posted on March 28, 2012 at 08:05 AM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 440

Mike - there's a bruin-sized article about it in today's Star Tribune.

And, I already thought there were measures in place to stop the RoboCop style of ticket buying - the image recognition thing where you have to enter a certain line of digits or letters so that the site knows it is in fact a human purchasing the ticket.

But, yes - you are correct. It is Free Enterprise 101...you should be able to buy a ticket and have the freedom to use/sell/transfer it as you please. From what I gathered from the article, it sounded like this bill would put the kabash on ticket-sharing groups, i.e. with co-workers or friends or TCTraders.

Clicky for the article.

Posted on March 28, 2012 at 10:46 AM by luke Highlight this comment 441

luke, old sport!... Maybe I've missed your recent posts. Seems like you took a year off. Nice to see you actually are still here for another season. I just remembered how openly and often you had expressed your distaste for the Miami Project. Quite prophetic. The HR display was just the icing, and I knew you would have to have something on that one. You'll need to give it a nickname, tho. Good having the original 'clicky' guy around...

Posted on March 28, 2012 at 1:01 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 442

I said it before so I guess I'll say it again. The "electronic ticketing" bill in it's current form is too broad in scope. Until they add language that limits brokers/scalpers I will not support it. It is those very brokers and their outlet providers that are lobbying for the bill, not your average joe ticket buyer.

What they need is to make scalping illegal again. You are free to give away or sell a ticket at face value + service fee. Where the service fee is by law limited to a certain percentage.

Posted on March 28, 2012 at 2:16 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 443

Luke, The Ugly Mug is closed. (or closing) It will reopen as Jackson's Hole. clicky

Posted on March 28, 2012 at 3:19 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 444

It's nice to see that baseball is back, eventhough one has to stay up fairly late to see it from Japan.

Posted on March 28, 2012 at 4:36 PM by tk Highlight this comment 445

Schweady, my friend, I'm happy to be back for another season...lol. I've been looking at this site for six years, I couldn't possibly leave. Of course, when StadiuMagic goes online, I'll be switching back and forth :).

As for a nickname, I could think of several. Some which would be rather inappropriate. I know they aren't the only MLB team to be without a corporate name; but you'd think they'd be able to find some crazy company to put their name on a place like that. "The Pain on The Biscayne" came to me, and I had a good laugh about it, but it's nowhere near Biscayne Bay. "The Cabana in Little Havana" sounds good, but doesn't really work...lol.

I've just referred to it as "The Hangar". The other building with that moniker (Air Canada Centre in Toronto) isn't in the US, so I say it still applies.

CSG Mike, thank you - I hadn't heard that until you posted the article. It seems to me they weren't there very long. I was just there last August.

Posted on March 28, 2012 at 9:34 PM by luke Highlight this comment 446

Luke, it looks like a huge George Foreman Grill, so why not simply, "The Foreman Grill," since calling it "The Lean, Mean, Fat-Reducing, Grilling Machine Ballpark" is just a tad cumbersome.

Posted on March 28, 2012 at 10:12 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 447

Happy "Select-A-Seat Day" to all!

Posted on March 29, 2012 at 10:21 AM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 448

this from the Twins:

New for the 2012 season, Target's Race to Target Field has evolved by bringing the current cast of characters to life in an on-field mascot race, which will take place every game in between the 4th and 5th innings. Throughout the season, Louie (the kooky loon), Wanda (the flirty fish), Skeeta (the mischievous mosquito), Babe (the schmoozing ox) and Bullseye (man's best friend) will take the field with unexpected twists that keep the race engaging and fun, game-after-game. Each character will be assigned to represent a large section of Target Field with a row of seats randomly selected within the winning mascot's section to receive a prize.

Why do so many teams do this? You can't possibly copy the sausage races in Milwaukee! Atlanta does it with the tools (Home Depot), Washington does it with the Presidents. Tampa Bay, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Houston, Oakland and Texas also have races like this.

At least the new version beats the video board version from the last two years. But we all remember the Tires Plus races at the Dome in the early 90's with Tuffy, Sporty and Classy...

Posted on March 29, 2012 at 10:32 AM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 449

To me, the updated Target's Race to Target Field doesn't bother me. Its all about trying to entertain the people who paid to come see the game, even when they are four and five years old.

My child would know who won the race over who won the actually baseball game.

Posted on March 29, 2012 at 11:27 AM by Jeff Highlight this comment 450

Winona - I almost did a spit take with my morning coffee after reading that. That's a good one.

aka Mike - I agree, you just can't duplicate the Milwaukee sausage races, so why try. I do miss those Tires Plus races though. They were fun. Tuffy was always my favorite.

Posted on March 29, 2012 at 11:34 AM by luke Highlight this comment 451

It appears there are red helium balloons attached to the available seats at TF today. Here is what it looks like from City Center building (key: Section - # of seats together):
109 - 4 seats together
110 - 2
111 - 3
115 - 4
117 - 2 and 4
118 - 2
119 - 4
120 - 3 and 4
16 - 3
L - 2
P - 3
R - 2 and 3
None in the upper decks, I assume they did not mark any. I cannot see down the first base side.

Posted on March 29, 2012 at 12:07 PM by Buzz Highlight this comment 452

I'm not exactly a purist, but I really don't like the sideline attractions that don't augment the game in any real way. The get-to-know-your-favorite-Twins stuff is fine. Bloopers and highlights are great. History stuff, cool. Do more of that. Incorporate more fantasy/roto baseball, updating stats, etc.

But loon races and sumo wrestling, etc.? Smacks of minor league stunts to me.

Posted on March 29, 2012 at 12:08 PM by BR Highlight this comment 453

Yeah, luke, I had seen some of those stadium names. I was just referring to the HR celebration sign. I just thought it was unique enough to warrant putting your naming magic to work there...

Posted on March 29, 2012 at 12:28 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 454

A live race can't possibly be worse than the kiss-cam (please, I really don't want to see some of this stuff), the Pentair aqua-cam (or whatever it's called), sing along with the pantless bear, and the marriage proposals. Can we all just agree to not get engaged at a ballgame? I feel bad for these women...

Posted on March 29, 2012 at 3:31 PM by gone buggy Highlight this comment 455

One does sometimes wonder whether the show is during the innings or between them.

Sometimes in the summer I just go down to Powderhorn Park and watch people that I don't know play baseball. It's a beautiful game.

Posted on March 29, 2012 at 3:44 PM by Rick 456

Re: the Kiss-Cam. I attended a game last year with a couple women with whom I work. The thought occurred to me that if they put me on Kiss-Cam with either of those women, we would shake hands and 40,000 people would boo.

Posted on March 29, 2012 at 4:12 PM by terry Highlight this comment 457

Buzz thanks for posting those open seats. Interesting that they are still available, when I'm sure there are people with worse seats at the same price point.

It makes me optimistic for some really good seats being available next year when more weak souls get exhausted.

Posted on March 29, 2012 at 5:07 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 458

Well I guess it's different strokes for different folks. I could do without the race, live or animated. I confess a fondness for Kiss-Cam. I like it when they just play music and show fans dancing. The player trivia can be fun but Treasure Island Bingo is pretty dull. I wish they would just let Sue Nelson play the organ through more of the breaks. Liked the Sinatra/Harmon tribute last year. Generally wish they would get rid of most of the between-inning diversions, or at least mix it up a bit so it's not the same damn thing game after game.

And yes, I agree, there should be a ban on public marriage proposals.

Posted on March 29, 2012 at 5:55 PM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 459

Here is the definitive between innings approved/non approved list for between inning entertainment :) :

APPROVED

Kiss Cam -- come on, the best are when the camera focuses on the clueless older gent or the college kids that probably did it at one time but now are in no way kissing each other. Fabulous stuff.

Kids dancing and singing in the late innings -- they're still there and having fun. That makes me happy.

Great plays -- I love the great catches from around the leagues.

Engagements -- just so you can yell "NOOOOOO...DON'T DO IT!"

LIVE mascot races -- this is going to be so hokey that it is going to work. I totally agree that it is lame compared to Milwaukee, but if they do stupid mascot things like trip each other or do the tricky tap on the shoulder trick, this is so bad it will be good.

Twins history stuff (like the Harmon things last year) -- really nice.

NOT APPROVED

Animated races -- boring

Treasure Island bingo -- boring

"What kind of soup does Joe Mauer like to get into the Delta Legends Club" -- who cares, they always get in anyway.

Aquacam -- one kid every 5 games actually knows how to make that funny, so usually it is not.

Split faces cam -- ditto.

I get those that want the purist game, but I'm really not that bothered by it. I can believe those that go to A LOT of games every year get bored/annoyed by it all, but even as someone that makes 20 or so a year I'm personally ok with it. If I don't want to watch it I just go wander between innings.

Posted on March 29, 2012 at 6:24 PM by Lincster Highlight this comment 460

Oh, and Buzz -- great info! Thanks for sharing!

Posted on March 29, 2012 at 6:26 PM by Lincster Highlight this comment 461

Clark - I think some teams won't take marriage proposals for like scoreboard announcements and stuff. I believe the Timberwolves are one of them. I'm not sure about now, but in the final years at the Dome, the Twins were strict about it as well.

Posted on March 29, 2012 at 9:16 PM by luke Highlight this comment 462

With the Twins' weak-hitting lineup, a lot of players will be "outted" this year.

Posted on March 30, 2012 at 09:11 AM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 463

Even before Tuffy & Sporty Tire, I remember the Dome having an awful "dot" race on the dot matrix boards. You can also add Cleveland to the list of "live races." Hot Dogs race: Mustard v. Ketchup v. Onions v. Relish. Must say, I like the idea of the racing Pierogies in Pittsburgh.

Interesting in the PR that the Target mascot gets the most positive spin (as opposed to kooky, mischievous, flirty and schmoozing.) As a friend pointed out: the brand always wins.

Posted on March 30, 2012 at 11:20 AM by fiesta Highlight this comment 464

I do wish there was just one inning where all would be said was this inning intermission is brought to you by Best Buy, and then the old lady would go on a 5 minute organ solo.

Posted on March 30, 2012 at 12:45 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 465

Either that or for the "throw-back" games, eliminate all modern music.

Posted on March 30, 2012 at 12:46 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 466

I long for rotary telephones

Posted on March 30, 2012 at 12:57 PM by moda Highlight this comment 467

Friendly as she is, I don't think the Twins' current organist is capable of the 5-minute solo. She sometimes has trouble keeping up with her drum machine as it is.

I think I've posted this before, but we can always look to The Onion if we're looking for ways to spice up the between-innings entertainment. Click.

Posted on March 30, 2012 at 1:09 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 468

Was anyone at the game in the dome where they were doing the kiss cam and the guy grabbed his girl by the back of the head and slammed it down into his lap and made her do a bobbing motion? The fans went nuts. Then they only showed the old folks after that.

Posted on March 30, 2012 at 1:19 PM by moda Highlight this comment 469

Rotary phone?? Purists surely must demand telegraph!

Posted on March 30, 2012 at 1:46 PM by Rick 470

Moda, was at that game!

Posted on March 30, 2012 at 1:48 PM by tk Highlight this comment 471

I also was there that night. Hopefully she dumped him by the bottom of the 7th.

Posted on March 30, 2012 at 2:35 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 472

I have a rotary phone in the basement, an older no dial phone too, not that they are hooked up to anything.....they came with the house.

Posted on March 30, 2012 at 2:37 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 473

Hopefully she capitulated after the game (or dome bathroom, which seemed to be a lot more common than I would have thought), and gave him the real deal.

Posted on March 30, 2012 at 2:39 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 474

Moda- I was at that game too. My favorite kiss cam story.

Posted on March 30, 2012 at 4:22 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 475

Twins must be really getting desperate. They called me today trying to sell me season tickets. Laughed at them and told them no.

Posted on March 30, 2012 at 7:05 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 476

My favorite kiss cam story is when it was on an older couple. People start cheering, and she waves her hands for them to stop then mouths the words "HE'S MY BROTHER!"

Posted on March 31, 2012 at 07:43 AM by fiesta Highlight this comment 477

Butera was optioned to AAA? Maybe this season won't be so bad after all...

Posted on March 31, 2012 at 10:11 AM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 478

This will look much better! Spot keeping an eye on the game and some tail waging fun.
Click name for strib story

Posted on March 31, 2012 at 2:08 PM by Dust Highlight this comment 479

Opps, Bullseye not spot... sorry

Posted on March 31, 2012 at 2:11 PM by Dust Highlight this comment 480

What are the odds that the Target/Bullseye ad is neon and shines brighter and better than the Minnie and Paul sign? I'm thinking pretty good.

Posted on March 31, 2012 at 4:52 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 481

Where's all the uproar over this sign!!! I mean, way to give the hitters another excuse!

Posted on March 31, 2012 at 5:05 PM by tk Highlight this comment 482

You know what? I actually like that sign.

It reminds me of those distinctive ads that used to adorn the top of the scoreboard at Met Stadium -- specifically the Money Tree. It even feels a little like "Hit Sign Win Suit".

That's the kind of thing that really does have the potential to become iconic (though it's a little premature to expect that it will).

All it needs is a little sign showing the distance from home plate.

Some will remember that I didn't really mind the Sanford sign all that much (though I could explain and understand the objections of those who did). But this is a vast improvement. The biggest problem I could see with the Sanford sign was that is was pretty mercenary while also being unimaginative and ugly. It was just a sign.

This is certainly not that. This is just the kind of thing that you expect and hope will pop up to give ballparks local flavor.

You are forgiven if you want to object that it's "too much Target". I understand that objection. My official take would be that it was too much Target the minute they added the "Target red" to all of the signage at the ballpark. Since it's already way over the line, this doesn't make me hate it any more. I think, in fact, it might actually make me hate it all just a shade less.

Posted on March 31, 2012 at 6:51 PM by Rick 483

Victoria just saw the picture and said, "Well, now it's fully Target-ized."

Posted on March 31, 2012 at 7:16 PM by Rick 484

If someone can get a photo of the sign when it's lit up this summer, please post it. Thanks.

Posted on March 31, 2012 at 7:31 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 485

Was down there earlier today and it is better in person, not dark enough to taker a good night time picture, but it was lit up.

Posted on March 31, 2012 at 7:40 PM by tk Highlight this comment 486

Anyone else watching the Final Four and thinking we could see that here in several years if we get a new football stadium?

Posted on March 31, 2012 at 10:33 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 487

F_T_K, nope, I was just thinking about how bad the Gophers basketball team is...

Posted on March 31, 2012 at 11:05 PM by TK Highlight this comment 488

Is it just me, or is the Strib Twins coverage really boring and tired?

I've come to rely on the TwinsDaily (TwinsCentric) guys and Aaron Gleeman to get anything approximating interesting coverage. These guys actually seem to still get excited by the game...

Posted on March 31, 2012 at 11:09 PM by Rick 489

Oh, I mention this because I just clicked on what I thought might be an interesting link (Retooling the Twins: 2012 Star Tribune baseball preview), and got totally bored after reading just two lousy stories...

Posted on March 31, 2012 at 11:11 PM by Rick 490

Rick, I completely agree. Not sure if you follow twitter, but there was a recent twitter battle about beat writers for organizations versus bloggers. I would have to say the bloggers win, even though the beat writers have greater access. Also, no one can touch Seth Stohs coverage on the minors.

Posted on March 31, 2012 at 11:12 PM by TK Highlight this comment 491

Not everyone gets that intelligent, skilled bloggers trump hacks with access.

Posted on April 1, 2012 at 11:47 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 492

Rick - as for the iconic status potential of the new TC sign, I agree. It could be thought of as our version of the Citgo sign that hangs over the Green Monster at Fenway.

F_T_K, I suppose it's possible. But at the same time, Detroit built a new palace in 2002, and saw the Final Four in 2006. Detroit was passed up in the latest round of bidding, so Ford Field isn't eligible until at least 2017. And, then there's UOP Stadium in Glendale. That one opened several years ago, and has now been passed up TWICE during Final Four bidding.

Posted on April 1, 2012 at 12:32 PM by luke Highlight this comment 493

I don't really care, like I didn't care about the Sanford sign, but that thing is ten times worse than the Sanford sign. It would have been better had they just done a cartoonish version of the dog strictly in neon.

I am surprised that we haven't heard complaining of the ad encroaching on the sacred place that is TARGET plaza. Or is it ok because it is Target?

Posted on April 1, 2012 at 1:22 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 494

Believe it or not...Home Opener is just one week from today!!

I am not expecting big things from the Twins this year, but Opening Week is always a fun time for baseball fans when every team starts out 0-0.

Right now I am thinking the Twins will finish 75-87 but will save my official prediction for Wednesday or Thursday. I would like to bump them up to around 80-84 wins, but just don't see it with the lack of pitching on the team. I fully expect Joe Mauer to recover and have a great year and return to the All-Star game as the lone Minnesota Twins player.

Posted on April 2, 2012 at 07:56 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 495

Take it to the bank. I think they will be a little better on offense. But no pitching and weak bullpen and so so on D. I say 70-92 and another last place finish.

Posted on April 2, 2012 at 08:19 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 496

Twins have a bounce back year and with luck catch some strong teams slumping and finish 83-79

Posted on April 2, 2012 at 09:20 AM by tk Highlight this comment 497

I watched some of the game from the new Miami "ballpark" on MLB Network this weekend. Definitely a blimp hangar with tacky furnishings. No velvet art painting of Elvis, but with that HR celebration thing, they didn't need it.

Posted on April 2, 2012 at 12:52 PM by terry Highlight this comment 498

terry - I was looking at the latest issue of ESPN the magazine today, it's their baseball issue and there are some tidbits about Marlins Park in there.

And I quote "We've never seen anything as dazzling...or disorienting, as Marlins Park."

Posted on April 2, 2012 at 3:12 PM by luke Highlight this comment 499

New photo album of the new stadium from the Vikings on their FB page. Looks like they envision building a hotel right next to the LRT station (something that wasn't called out in the image of the site released on 3/1).

All 3 photos at the linky. Photo highlighting the hotel (you can just make out the words Stadium Plaza Hotel on the building) and the 3/1 plans below:




Posted on April 2, 2012 at 3:40 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 500

Ugh, sorry, this post actually includes the link.

Posted on April 2, 2012 at 3:41 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 501

Sheer lunacy, just like all the financing options on the table.

Posted on April 2, 2012 at 3:57 PM by Rick 502

I assumed it was timed to generate excitement in advance of tonight's hearings (see link). Also looks like the revised gambling plan has a fan in Mike Opat: /sarcasm

The following revenue sources would kick in if needed, in the following order:
-- a tax on luxury boxes;
-- a sports-themed lottery game;
-- excess revenue from Hennepin County taxes;
-- an admissions tax.

Lester Bagley, the Vikings' vice president of public affairs and stadium development, said Sunday the team opposes the luxury-box and admissions taxes. "We don't agree with the principle that the Vikings should backstop the state's contribution," Bagley said.

Mike Opat, chair of the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners, said there are other uses specified in statute for Hennepin County tax revenue beyond what's needed for financing and support of Target Field. He said those funds shouldn't be in the state's mix.

Posted on April 2, 2012 at 4:05 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 503

Sonofa...

Sorry, link included this time (I seriously suck at life right now)

Posted on April 2, 2012 at 4:06 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 504

Why would they put a soccer field next to a football stadium? Wouldn't a football field make more sense?

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 02:17 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 505

That's a funny question, Duffman. The site maps show that block as tailgating and event space. And verbal descriptions have made it sound like a major event space where another 30,000 or so people might watch a separate outdoor event (such as a soccer game). They've even gone so far as to mention an amphitheater -- although it shifts around. Sometimes it's built where the Metrodome is now. Other times it's somewhere else.

I checked and, while it's possible to put a full-size, 300-foot soccer field there, it's just barely possible. That block is about 330 feet long if you exclude the sidewalks. The most standing room you have at each end is thus about 15 feet. That's not much room for a crowd. (The renderings show one of those tiny sets of bleachers you see at parks.)

But in a rebuilt Industry Square stadium scenario that land is far too valuable for any of those purposes. The Vikings are being blatantly manipulative, deceitful and pandering. In fact, those are the three adjectives I'd apply to the whole set of renderings released today. Then I'd also add "insane".

One could reasonably ask just who in city government or the Minneapolis business community would want to build anything like what's shown in these images. They are the height of unimaginative, and basically show the intentional creation of a new gigantic chasm between the downtown core and the stadium. They actually illustrate tearing down buildings to put in surface parking lots! That kind of urban planning went out with the Human League.

It's just too crazy for words.

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 03:03 AM by Rick 506

They actually illustrate tearing down buildings to put in surface parking lots!

That caught my eye too. I'm going to assume it's being done to appease those fans who still think the Vikings should just "build the damn thing in Arden Hills themselves" (seriously, the comments on the FB album make for a fun read).

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 07:38 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 507

Ha. I think they are going to pass this thing. Going to be fun theater in here for a long while.

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 09:06 AM by moda Highlight this comment 508

Good point GoAUpher; if you go back and read the comments that were made right after Rick posted that piece about Arden Hills last fall, you will find them hilariously entertaining.

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 09:22 AM by terry Highlight this comment 509

Look the position was that it had to be in downtown right? Well now it's downtown. they are going after what can make it work for downtown. Whether that be financing or development.You who cried for it to be downtown got what you wished for. Did you think you were going to get to pick the location and get the exact funding that you wanted and have it developed exactly like you wanted and that the window treatments, the fixtures, and the crown molding were going to be exactly how you wanted it to be? Ha! Be careful what you wish for because it might not end up being exactly what you want in the end.

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 10:02 AM by moda Highlight this comment 510

moda,

Passing a bill does not necessarily mean it will result in a stadium. There were several times that bills got passed for the Twins which didn't result in anything other than more wrangling. It's a very old story.

And all that happened over this past weekend is that the list of people who can sue to stop this particular plan got longer. And now it includes the federal government! Way to go, Zellers!

By the way, this whole tip board thing is basically a poke in Dayton's eye. "You want gambling revenue?" asked Zellers. "OK, I'll give you some real gambling." I'm surprised he didn't make a deal with the racino people, too.

Basically, these low-rent politicians are just playing games with the stadium issue instead of trying to actually solve the problem. No real surprise there, because that's what politicians like to do. They are the ultimate gamblers and game-players, albeit with other people's problems and other people's money.

This may be hard to understand, but if I thought this plan might actually result in a new stadium, I'd be all gung-ho for it -- even if I didn't agree with all of the particulars. But even if they do pass some version of this legislative Limburger, it's going to basically guarantee that the project gets delayed even further while all the fetid tendrils get pruned.

It's naive to think that any old plan or any old bill will get the job done here. History shows that bad plans set everything back far more than they advance it. Stadium supporters should be calling their legislators and begging them to start over now rather than waste even one more hearing on this nonsense.

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 10:19 AM by Rick 511

terry~
Pretty much what I thought of too.

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 10:29 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 512

NEW FOOD AT TARGET FIELD!!! Woo Hoo! Most of these sound good. The question will be how available will they be? My highlights are:

Deep Fried Pickle Chips, Bacon Sloppy Joe and Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese, the Big Ginger

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 10:36 AM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 513

Surly also just announced via Facebook that they'll be serving a rotating variety of Surly at Twins games this year. At least now I can overpay for something I can't get in Wisconsin!

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 10:51 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 514

I saw that they released info on new food/beverages at Target Field. I am curious to see which foods have been eliminated from last year, as there is no mention of this in the press release.

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 11:49 AM by muld0023 Highlight this comment 515

Awesome! Now I can sneak in cans of Surly and not have to pour them into a cup I stole out of a garbage can behind the Pavilion.

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 12:01 PM by Chad Highlight this comment 516

I agree w/ sentiment that soccer field is on a plat too valuable for such use. I also got a kick out of how they show a crowd hanging out on the tracks in front of the Armory at a street side vendor while a northbound Light Rail train rolls by. I am sure MTC officials would something to say about that illlustration! I guess it isnt any different than 5th St/Hennepin at bar close but pic just didnt look right w/ that. Also 5th St I guess is being eliminated in Vikings view. WOnder what city officials/local businesses thing of that?

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 12:34 PM by Uffda Highlight this comment 517

I'm not taking the artist renderings of the Metrodome site and its surroundings seriously. Doing so would mean I'd then have to get angry with the Twins over those renderings of what became Target Field which showed geographically and geometrically impossible views of the downtown skyline. In the end, manipulative or not, the renderings are meant to show what could go there, even if those things won't. Close to 100% of all stadiums and their environs look nothing in actuality like when they were proposed.

As for the funding, tip boards aren't happening. New Jersey, with its large casino gambling industry and connected lobby, hasn't been able to get them despite plenty of effort. The idea that tip boards could or would happen here is ridiculous. It makes me want to give Zellers a swift kick to shin for wasting valuable time and energy on the matter.

As for Target Field's new food items, does anyone know if the team cut some items to make way for the new? As for the offerings, I'm sure they will find some fans, but nothing really grabbed me. Surly is great beer without a doubt, but when it's 80 degrees out with high humidity, a Surly doesn't do the trick for me. It's just to heavy. I bought a Summit EPA at a game last summer and almost immediately regretted it. The beer itself is great, but the environment was all wrong. Baseball in the heat calls for something lighter. Just my opinion.

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 1:01 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 518

Where the heck does SuperAmerica and SuperMoms have mini donuts?

Really not looking forward to smelling the Garlic in the ballpark.

Where is the PepsiMax??????

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 1:48 PM by tk Highlight this comment 519

My tickets to the Home Opener are staring at me from across my desk...

Intellicast forecast for Monday is mostly sunny and 57 degrees. :-)

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 1:51 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 520

The images of Fifth Street made me laugh out loud. It looks so simple: just turn it into a long plaza with two sets of light rail tracks running at grade down the middle.

On the one hand, Metro Transit might love the idea of taming the current complicated streetscape at that spot. But they would quickly realize the need to use most of the width of the street to do so. And they'd also quickly realize the disruption and gigantic expense involved in the reconstruction.

And the city would quickly have to scramble to find another place to put all that traffic, likely having to turn one or both of Fourth and Sixth into two-way streets, while also paying to create new connections to 94 and 35W.

I agree, Jorge, that concept drawings are just to stoke the imagination. Reality doesn't play much of a part. But you gotta at least make an effort to avoid the most ridiculous things. Clearly, nothing like that happened in the process of creating these. They aren't even consistent with one another, let alone any serious plan for revitalizing that end of town by way of stadium construction.

I called out the Twins on the skyline view and a couple of other things in those early concept drawings. But there's so much to call out in these new drawings. It's kind of like one of those "spot the errors in this picture" things that my kids look at on the back of cereal boxes.

Mostly, the takeaway for me is that the Vikings still have not decided to enter the realm of reality, choosing instead to bluster and over-promise and bully and just make stuff up along the way.

The public won't care, but the rest of the business community is looking at them and (literally) laughing. It was hard to imagine their reputation in the community falling further, but somehow those new renderings managed to make it happen.

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 2:00 PM by Rick 521

Did somebody say "mini-donuts"? Mmmmm.

Let's hope they're out from under the grandstand, where it's easy to forget they even exist.

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 2:01 PM by Rick 522

They aren't even consistent with one another, let alone any serious plan for revitalizing that end of town by way of stadium construction.

You mean like the missing hotel that isn't included in the "fireworks" image? =)

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 2:15 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 523

There are already mini-doughnuts at the ballpark under the grandstand, I smell them every game.

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 2:27 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 524

Pioneer Press did a little preview. Nothing outstanding, but nice to see the occasional summary now and then as one gets familiar with some new names. Dreaming the usual pre-season dreams, I was going to go out on a limb and predict an over .500 season, and then articles like this come along with reminders that jar you awake: "...Matt Capps has had a rough spring, 0-1 with a 5.73 ERA and 14 hits in 11 innings, four of them homers." Oy-vay.

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 4:05 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 525

Yep, that's one, GoAUpher. But there was also the mysterious disappearance of Fourth Street and the gravity-defying elevation of the LRT tracks on that drawing that caught my eye...

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 4:05 PM by Rick 526

That Shipley article actually makes me feel better about this team. But maybe that's a measure of just how low my expectations have fallen...

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 4:12 PM by Rick 527

Well, I love to be optimistic, but make sure you stare at the first 31 games of the schedule. Our series in order are:

Orioles
Angels
Rangers
Yankees
Rays
Red Sox
Royals
Angels
Mariners
Angels

So, 7 of our first 10 series are against the 4 best teams in the league. I don't think 9-22 is out of the question, but I'll optimistically put us at 12-19 as we come out of this. Brutal.

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 4:24 PM by Lincster Highlight this comment 528

I just knew that little flicker of optimism was misplaced...

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 4:27 PM by Rick 529

Also, WTF is with the Marlins scheduling? They have a ONE game series with the Cardinals, then immediately go on the road and go to Cincinnati.

Meanwhile, the Cardinals wrap up Grapefruit League play on Sunday, go back to Missouri for a game in Springfield MO (a minor league affiliate?), then back to Florida for the Wednesday opener with the Marlins, and then off to Milwaukee for a Friday game. I'm sure hope someone gets banged on for treating the defending champions like that.

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 4:35 PM by Lincster Highlight this comment 530

Heh, sorry about that Rick. I was putting my message together while you were typing yours! Here is how I will be optimistic....if we can go 16-15 through the first 31, we will have played our hardest stretch of baseball and are above .500! We can do it.

I won't mention we will still have 19 games against the Tigers...

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 4:39 PM by Lincster Highlight this comment 531

I thought the Miami/St. Louis game was an exhibition, like Twins/Cardinals here. Maybe I'm wrong, though, I didn't look that close.

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 5:53 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 532

OK I'm wrong, it's a real game. That makes no sense. MLB has diluted Opening Day so badly it means nothing anymore.

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 5:54 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 533

I'm sure MLB wanted to get the new ballpark open. It allows them to begin the season with something big to promote. A one-game series isn't all that different from the one-game exhibitions which you see on a lot of schedules. And I bet the Cardinals got something in return.

As for it being the Cards, when the draft schedule came out, the Cards had a 1% chance of even making the playoffs. And the first draft of that schedule was probably done sometime in 2010.

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 6:02 PM by Rick 534

Pic of new sign on Target Center that faces Target Field. Click my name for link.

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 6:52 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 535

Here is a direct link to the image.

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 6:54 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 536

Ya know what....given that Target/Dayton's has such a long lineage and really does a ton for this community, both charitable and providing thousands of jobs, I have absolutely no problem with this. Much better than the dumb Sanford sign.

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 7:01 PM by Lincster Highlight this comment 537

Now, they can blow up that Multifoods tower (or whatever it is called now) on any day they wish!

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 7:02 PM by Lincster Highlight this comment 538

Well, the TC sign should bring some light to that general area during the night games. Watching night games on TV, you can hardly even see the TC (I know, TF lights pretty much dominate everything), but it should offer a little bit more light in that general area.

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 8:00 PM by luke Highlight this comment 539

Re: New Food

"Valentini’s Mega Meatball"

I live five miles from this restaurant and find it's food to be mediocre at best. How does an Iron Range restaurant even get the "honor" of having their lousy food sold at TF.

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 11:28 PM by James1979 Highlight this comment 540

The same way a hot dog company does.

Posted on April 4, 2012 at 10:18 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 541

Reading the Miami Herald this morning, of course there is tons of buzz about The Hangar opening tonight on national TV, I read something that just made me wince.

Clicky for the article, but within it you will read that the Marlins plan on keeping the roof closed an estimated 70 out of 81 games. The worst part? They will have the roof closed even "when rain is not imminent."

If they plan to have the infernal thing closed that much, then why did they put the retractable roof on it in the first place?

Posted on April 4, 2012 at 10:35 AM by luke Highlight this comment 542

^Only $10 of energy to open/close the roof. That's not too shabby.

Posted on April 4, 2012 at 10:53 AM by tk Highlight this comment 543

I'm usually anti retractable roof but in the cases of Miami, Houston and Arizona I think they're a necessity. As much as baseball was meant to be played outside in the elements, it's also a buisness, and it's a much easier sell to the citizens of those cities if you can get them out of unbearable heat they endure. Add in the ridiculous amount of time lost to rain I think Miami, and Tampa are the most justified teams in the league to look for climate control, especially when you consider how finicky those fanbases are.

Posted on April 4, 2012 at 11:20 AM by jp Highlight this comment 544

I think the question may be, why spend the money on making a roof retractable when you know it's going to be closed 85% of the time?

The answer, of course, has two parts. First, because the roof can open, fans can get excited about the slight chance that it will be open for the game they attend. That's potentially marketable.

Secondly, the mechanism by which this particular stadium was funded is chock full of very weird clauses that paid huge sums of money for elements of questionable value. (Insert cheap shot about the home run celebration ...thing... here.) The roof is just one of those questionable items. The citizens of Miami were not very well represented in the process (and there are federal corruption investigations going on about it right now).

(I'm assuming that all have seen this: Miami Marlins Construction Crew Completely Unaware They've Been Building Baseball Stadium.)

Posted on April 4, 2012 at 11:30 AM by Rick 545

I wonder if these souther climate retractable roof stadiums get used by local teams, or hold smaller events with the roof open throughout their milder winters? Kevin in AZ are you aware of any of these events taking place at Chase?

Posted on April 4, 2012 at 11:46 AM by jp Highlight this comment 546

RE: Marlins Park

Put aside the stereotypical Minnesotan provinicialism for a minute. Every beat writer who covered the NY/MIA 2 gamer on Sunday/Monday raved about the place. I'd be hesitant to judge based on just seeing pictures or on TV. I know Erik Boland of Newsday specifically compared it with Target Field (just slightly behind TF). It is Miami. Flashy, bright, flamboyant, hip etc. For instance, the famous South Beach nightclub/hotel The Clevelander has a patio/bar in left field at field level. It has the option to stay open until 3am. This is Miami. Things are different. Not everything has to be better or worse. Not everything has to be from Minnesota to be great.

Additionally there are several astute business reasons for the roof. 1st the summer afternoon rain from 3-6pm. 2nd the unbearable humidity. Closing the roof allows the team to crank the A/C (in fact, it was freezing fans too much against NY) and theoretically keep fans comfortable therefore wanting to come to the ballpark.

I am very skeptical about the actual location of the ballpark, but it was the best option that Jeffrey Loria could get from Miami/Dade County (the numbers will turn into an absolute albatross in the future which has been well documented in the South Fla media). The Orange Bowl location is very much parking and infrastructure challenged. It is also a long painful drive through traffic for most of the fan base driving from Broward & Palm Beach Counties. Getting people with disposable income to drive to Little Havana on a Tuesday night through rush hour traffic will be a big challenge.

Posted on April 4, 2012 at 11:50 AM by Max Highlight this comment 547

The line in "The Onion" article about miniature golf reminds me of Terry Francona's classic line after a blast off the bat of David Ortiz that was headed for the dome's upper deck hit a speaker and dropped to the carpet for a single.

Posted on April 4, 2012 at 12:11 PM by terry Highlight this comment 548

Even the Colosseum in Rome had a retractable roof.

Posted on April 4, 2012 at 12:26 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 549

9-22 Just might happen with that April Schedule. 10 out by the end of this month? Probably! With the Madd Crapper throwing up BP to try and close games it will happen. I see huff n puff Nathan blowing it up in spring training also! 0-3 with about a 13.00 era! He is cooked! First game vs Boston April 24th. Went to 40 games the last 2 years. Looking like 5-10 this year. Scalpers will by crying by the end of the month once again!

Posted on April 4, 2012 at 12:40 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 550

In Miami, that "new ballpark smell" is all that matters now, of course. That's true whenever a new park opens. It will get its moment in the sun and be "best in show" for a while. That's to be expected.

And it's always hard to compare ballparks in different regions to one another. The vast majority of Marlins fans have probably never seen a major league game outside of -- what was that old stadium called again? -- Old Marlins Stadium. To them, it doesn't matter how New Marlins Stadium compares to, say, Nationals Park or Target Field. It could totally suck and it would still be about a billion times better than what they had. (In truth, it was exactly the same effect which had us in love with TF before the gates ever opened.)

There is effectively no way to know which ballpark is "better" or "best". They are just too hard to compare.

"Every beat writer...raved about the place."

I wouldn't put too much stock in what the writers say about the ballparks.

The vast majority of professional baseball writers see ballparks primarily from the press box and the clubhouses. They aren't generally qualified to make sweeping comparisons -- and I don't mean that as a criticism of them, just an acknowledgement that they don't have a vantage point which allows them to accurately assess the overall facilities they visit. I take what they say about the fan experience mostly with a grain of salt because they tend not to go where most fans go (such as the line to the bathroom or the entrance/exit ramps) or do what most fans do (like cheer or grumble or even move around on the crowded concourses).

They park out behind the stadium (for free), take a private elevator to the (usually climate-controlled) press box (bypassing all regular fan entrances) where they have essentially perfect sightlines, and often get their food in an adjacent break room (also for free). After the game, they hit the clubhouse and chat with players. At no point do they have to, say, locate their seat with a ticket stub and available signage, buy a scorecard or program, sit elbow-to-elbow with a stranger in a too-tight seat, produce a ticket stub for an usher, or even listen to the blaring commercials on the big scoreboard. They have a very different gameday experience than you and me.

And I agree completely that you can't make any assessment from seeing photos or watching a game from a new ballpark on TV. In my ballpark travels, I've been shocked to find places people loved that were total dumps (Wrigley Field may be a baseball icon and have a great beauty about it, but it's also a dump), and places that are widely hated which turn out to be really Not So Bad (New Comiskey is one of the most underrated parks I've ever been to).

The point is that you have to go there and experience it as a fan to really know anything about a place.

But I don't have to actually visit New Marlins Stadium to know there are already major problems. These are the systemic problems Max mentions, which can actually be discerned merely by looking at a map. The long-term potential for financial success at this facility is unfortunately dim unless the team makes the playoffs pretty much every year.

In large measure that's because its geographic location forces everyone to work to get there. They could have avoided that problem by locating, well, almost anywhere else.

Air conditioning notwithstanding, it could indeed be very cold in there very soon if the team loses more than it wins.

Posted on April 4, 2012 at 1:01 PM by Rick 551

Regarding New Comiskey being underrated, it's a matter of how you look at it. If you have a lower deck seat, I'm right with you. The sightlines are terrific and the food is arguably the best in the majors. The fans are also in to the team which makes for a great atmosphere. There's also a bar behind the right field fence that affords field level views to the fans lucky enough to get an outdoor table. However, the big renovation, while improving the overall visual appeal of the park, did nothing to erase the fact that the upper deck is too far from the field and frighteningly steep. You might be better off staying home instead of sitting up there.

Posted on April 4, 2012 at 1:15 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 552

2 Days until the season opener. Also, looking forward to seeing the World Champs opening up in Miami. Should be a really good game.

Posted on April 4, 2012 at 1:19 PM by tk Highlight this comment 553

I don't remember the quote --- but in an open stadium that ball would have traveled to the creek.

Posted on April 4, 2012 at 1:40 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 554

I predict our guys go 77-85 this year, much improved over the dismal 2011 season but only good enough for third in the central in 2012.

If Capps starts blowing saves, this team could fade fast.

Posted on April 4, 2012 at 3:50 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 555

Are the White Sox "All In" again this year? Or are they "All rebuilding"? Just like the Twins the Sox will be in for a loooong year. Will it be a 3 team race to the bottom with the Tribe. KC would think has the best chance to say perhaps make it over 500. I see Slowey was sent to the minors for the Tribe.

Posted on April 4, 2012 at 3:53 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 556

Looks like target field is banning smoking on the entire ballpark footprint. Also it sounds like if you leave the stadium during the game for whatever reason you wont be allowed back in what up with that.

Posted on April 4, 2012 at 4:00 PM by Leroy Highlight this comment 557

Some of the new food items have location and price listed. Loaded Potato in Section 101 for $8.50 and SuperMom's Mini Donuts for $5 in Sections 105, 109, 118, 120, 126, 131, 234, 305, 319, 323 seem ok. Food Network Buffalo Chicken Mac N Cheese in Section 114 at $10.75 and Whole Pepperoni/cheese Pizza in Section 122, 319, and Delta SKY 360° Legends Club at $18.00 not so ok.

Posted on April 4, 2012 at 4:09 PM by NotMendoza Highlight this comment 558

Yet another reason not to go Leroy. Glad I did not renew my season tickets this year.

Posted on April 4, 2012 at 4:37 PM by J2K Highlight this comment 559

As far as I know there has never been re-entry allowed at TF. Though they had a smoking area that was outside but considered inside.

The problem is that the smokers did it to themselves. I went with a freind who smoked and even though the security staff was telling people they had to move away from the entrance the people didn't comply. Unfortunately there is a 100 foot from an entrance statute that needs to be observed and well people couldn't observe it. So they've decided to shut it down entirely.

Posted on April 4, 2012 at 4:41 PM by moda Highlight this comment 560

I have to say I'm liking the bobble head museum idea at Marlins Park.

Posted on April 4, 2012 at 7:15 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 561

Thanks for that link NotMend! The find that I didn't see in the announcement is Nordeast being vended in the stands. I'm all for Surly and the rest coming in as well, but on a hot summer day I may have me a can or 3 of Grain Belt! It is a great smooth summer beer.

Also, I curse the fried pickles being $7 and in the State Fair concession, since that is a long ways from my seats. I also think a combo sloppy joe and mac and cheese, regardless of how many additional adjectives you add, can NOT be worth $16.50. I usually withhold judgement until I actually see and taste the product, but I'm calling that one out as unreasonable.

Posted on April 4, 2012 at 7:57 PM by Lincster Highlight this comment 562

As far as smoking is concerned, I have a friend who just lights up inside the ballpark and no one has ever said anything to him.

Posted on April 4, 2012 at 8:30 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 563

Garlic Fries smell better not make it down to my seats. FYI, I may become that obnoxious fan if you bring those damn things near me!

Posted on April 4, 2012 at 8:53 PM by tk Highlight this comment 564

Hey Ozzie -- we won our stadium opener! And we didn't have to wait until the 7th inning for a hit.

Posted on April 4, 2012 at 9:20 PM by Lincster Highlight this comment 565

Reusse:

"Still, you wonder how long baseball can continue to prosper by selling tickets to people more interested in fish tanks and garlic fries than in what's happening on the field?"

Posted on April 4, 2012 at 11:17 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 566

The TF smoking ban is just a part of the Hennepin County smoking ban put in place last year. I believe that the Twins did not have a choice in the matter.

Posted on April 4, 2012 at 11:33 PM by Rick 567

Somebody needs to tell Reusse about the State Fair. They get more than half the number of paying customers in 12 days as the Twins do in 81.

2011 Minnesota Twins: 3,168,107
2011 MN State Fair: 1,769,872

And for some, the fair is a lot like a Twins game (over-priced food and beer, hanging out) just without the baseball.

Posted on April 4, 2012 at 11:51 PM by Rick 568

Watched the Cardinals @ Marlins last night on ESPN. Dang, that Marlins ballpark is ugly on television. Who's idea was it to have the outfield walls be almost the same color as the outfield grass?

Posted on April 5, 2012 at 06:56 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 569

I think Reusse knows about the Fair:

"If the Twins' real goal with Target Field is to create a State Fair-style food festival with inflated prices, they should have the vision to put in a booth for Carl's Gizmo Sandwich."

Posted on April 5, 2012 at 08:07 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 570

Yep, I'm a big Reusee guy, but even if you aren't you have to admit two things he obviously knows are baseball and food

Posted on April 5, 2012 at 09:03 AM by Lincster Highlight this comment 571

Oops. Looks like I was wrong about that. Apparently, the Twins did make a voluntary decision to abolish the smoking corral after all.

It might be a little weird to hear Bob Casey's voice at TF, especially if he says "no smoking at the Metrodome" (across town). Maybe the Twins' audio wizards can mash up a "Target Field" from other archival recordings of Casey's announcements...

Posted on April 5, 2012 at 09:46 AM by Rick 572

I'm an ex-smoker, and most of us know that ex-smokers are about as militant about non-smoking as anyone can be......

But, this ban is ridiculous. Second hand smoke "wafting" back into TF? Give me a break, it's OUTDOORS!! How can anyone smell the cigarette smoke over the smell of cooking brats, popcorn, and all the other foods being prepared within the ballpark? I know that I can't.

And before anyone preaches to me about the dangers of second hand smoke, save your breath (no pun intended). I'm well aware, but let me repeat that we are talking about an OUTDOOR ballpark. The smoke rises and dissipates, it's not like you are trapped inside a building or car with someone smoking.

I think that the Twins ought to cater to ALL their fans and create a small and out of the way place where the smokers can throw back a nail or two if they so desire.

Posted on April 5, 2012 at 09:52 AM by Fred Highlight this comment 573

WOW better pack the winter gear. Looking at Accuweather 25 day forecast. Highs in the 40's starting monday thru wed. Warms up the following weekend. Then 40's and 50's thru the end of the month. I guess we need more March temps.

Posted on April 5, 2012 at 11:40 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 574

"Accu-weather 25 day forecast" is oxymoronic.

Posted on April 5, 2012 at 12:05 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 575

I don't have a problem with the smoking ban. However a possible side effect of the ban might see people try to smoke within Target Field in places like the restrooms, the ramps, and some of the nooks and crannies of the concourse. Yes, people make it through movies and airplane flights without smoking, but the ballpark offers many more locations and opportunities to do so, rules or not. Hopefully the club considered this possibility and has a plan in mind to confront the problem should it arise.

Posted on April 5, 2012 at 12:12 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 576

I like the fact that Marlins park is different and unique. You definitely know it's Miami. So many ballparks copied the Camden Yards concept and its nice to see some different ballparks evolve over the last few years with Nationals Park, Target Field and Marlins Park. Citi Field is nothing special other than another retro cookie cutter.

The colors used throughout Marlins Park are vibrant and bold and they stick out...that is part of what Miami is. The aquarium is a unique feature behind homeplate. Afterall, I remember a lot of Twins fans calling for some type of pond/fish tank at Target Field when the Twins initially started soliciting new ballpark ideas.

In Target Field you have the dark green and limestone, which is more of a northern and Minnesota feeling.

Pittsburgh's PNC Park shows a lot of exposed steel in its design which resembles the industrial culture of Pittsburgh in some ways.

San Diego's Petco Park incorporates a lot of sandstone/limestone with blue seating/accents throughout the ballpark that resemble the sandy beaches and water.

Say what you want about the look of retractable roof stadiums, but its a necessity in cities such as Phoenix, Miami and Houston.

I will say the location of Marlins Park in Little Havana neighborhood is not great. The city of Miami is going to need to do some major investing in some infrastructure and transit improvements. Not to mention, the parking seems to be a mess around Marlins Park as well.

Posted on April 5, 2012 at 12:33 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 577

Mike - never thought that Camden Yards-esque parks would ever be referred to as "cookie cutter"...but it became very true. It's nice that ballparks of late have walked away from the newest version of cookie cutter ballparks and become very unique.

As far as the roof, they had even said last night on ESPN that they were going to close the roof at MP at some point during the game, and I don't think they did. If the Marlins really intend on keeping the roof closed 70 of 81 games, even when rain ISN'T imminent (quote from yesterday's Miami Herald), not sure why they spent $200 million to put one on there...lol.

If they had intended that all along, they should have just built a donut-shaped, domed stadium like the "ballpark" in Tampa.

Posted on April 5, 2012 at 12:44 PM by luke Highlight this comment 578

Speaking of Camden, Damn I wish I was there this week!

Posted on April 5, 2012 at 1:17 PM by tk Highlight this comment 579

Did anyone notice Dave St. Peter take center stage yet again at the food unveiling the other day? Compare his level of exposure to his counterparts with the Vikings, Wild, and Timberwolves. He may step in front of the cameras and microphones more than all of them combined. The only person who really compares is Joel Maturi whom DSP still trumps in the facetime stakes. He's actually a nice guy, but his penchant for putting himself in the spotlight is rather annoying and self serving.

Posted on April 5, 2012 at 3:10 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 580

RE: Opening series weather....it may be a little crisp on Wednesday and Friday night, but the day games look lovely. Just about at normal highs each day (average high for April 9 is 55 degrees).

No rain, looks like we'll get them all in next week! Hooray!

Posted on April 5, 2012 at 5:59 PM by Lincster Highlight this comment 581

In respect of St. Peter, someone has to be the face of the team. The Pohland boys are too inept or don't care enough, and Terry Ryan doesn't have the face of someone you want to be the face of the team, plus he is a croctey old bastard.

Side note, the new radio Updates from Twins Territory commercials are awful and make me wish for the days of when senial old man used to do the commericals. They need a new AD department, this crap was cute when 10 years ago but its old now.

Posted on April 5, 2012 at 8:43 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 582

Smoking allowed at Saint's Midway in sections B, F and J. Great place for a cigar and inexpensive beer with baseball. 

Posted on April 5, 2012 at 9:08 PM by Buzz Highlight this comment 583

I think you meant to write "Crotchety" and Senile," didn't you?

Posted on April 5, 2012 at 9:46 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 584

Yes, but I was one my phone and didn't feel like spell checking so f off.

Posted on April 6, 2012 at 03:11 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 585

Didn't know what the words were. Once known, the meaning of your post became clear, a-hole.

Posted on April 6, 2012 at 04:22 AM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 586

Hey guys, long time no talk! Happy Opening day! Who all is going monday?

Posted on April 6, 2012 at 07:42 AM by The Sooj Highlight this comment 587

I'll be there on Monday. Might have to break out my winter coat again, but I'll be there!

Posted on April 6, 2012 at 07:55 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 588

cool i'm in 308 row 9

Posted on April 6, 2012 at 08:02 AM by The Sooj Highlight this comment 589

Great day for baseball fans!! Happy Opening Day to all!

I must have missed the news but did not know Smalley's 87 Club closed and was re-named The Alley. Anyone know when and why this happened? Did Smalley's 87 struggle with business? They always seemed busy during the Twins season anyway.

I did not know this until a friend recently asked me if I have ever eaten at The Alley as he was there during the boys state basketball tournament. I said I have never heard of it but the place sounds very familiar, sure enough, turns out it was the former Smalley's 87 Club. It must have closed in January or February than?

Posted on April 6, 2012 at 08:04 AM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 590

I'll be there Monday. I recently heard an ad for the Alley, and also thought it sounded like Smalleys, which is where we planned to go pregame Monday.

Posted on April 6, 2012 at 08:08 AM by robin Highlight this comment 591

When i was at guitar center the other day this week. I met a dude i was talking keyboards with..anyway he said he worked at the alley, said Smalley's closed 3 weeks ago

Posted on April 6, 2012 at 08:19 AM by The Sooj Highlight this comment 592

Lets hope we don't get swept and take at least 1 or 2 games vs the O's..Baltimore the easiest team on the shedule in April. Here is to hoping we don't end the month more than 10 games out.

Posted on April 6, 2012 at 09:06 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 593

I've been saying for years that opening day should be an official holiday. C'mon legislature - enough with budgets, photo ID's and gay marriage. Make opening day a holiday!

Posted on April 6, 2012 at 09:23 AM by terry Highlight this comment 594

Terry, I'll second that motion. Can't wait for the high, holy day on Monday.

Posted on April 6, 2012 at 10:17 AM by fiesta Highlight this comment 595

The sad thing is that "Opening Day" doesn't have the meaning it once did and has been diluted in recent years...
In 2012, we have the "Opening Series" in Japan with A's-Mariners, "Opening Night" with Cardinals-Marlins, "Opening Day" Thursday edition and "Opening Day" Friday edition.

Baseball needs to go back to the traditional "Opening Day" and leave it at that.

Than of course we have the home opener on Monday, another great day!

Posted on April 6, 2012 at 11:19 AM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 596

I'm sure Cincinnati wants its tradition back.

Posted on April 6, 2012 at 11:28 AM by badjuggler Highlight this comment 597

I agree Mike. I once heard John Madden bemoan the fact that the NFL's opener was not the special event that baseball's opener was. I'd love to see MLB go back to opening in Cincy and Washington with everyone else opening the next day.

Posted on April 6, 2012 at 11:45 AM by terry Highlight this comment 598

I have generally taken "opening day" off, especially since MN usually hosted the first game of the year with the Dome.

Over the last 2 years, I have also taken Opening Day off to take in the baseball. However, this year I was unable to get the day off. I guess other people wanted to take in my tradition...Dang you Good Friday! :)

Posted on April 6, 2012 at 11:48 AM by tk Highlight this comment 599

Keep weeding those flower beds or stop and watch the game? Go Twins...Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can't wait for Monday..I'll be there..

Posted on April 6, 2012 at 2:10 PM by Steve Highlight this comment 600

I'm watching the Twins on tv. It's a good thing. :-)

Posted on April 6, 2012 at 2:18 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 601

So far, I feel like I am watching a game recorded from last year.

Posted on April 6, 2012 at 3:30 PM by Jeff T. Highlight this comment 602

New year...same ol shit. Not that it wasn't expected.

Posted on April 6, 2012 at 3:37 PM by twinswschamps2874 (aka twinswschamps2011) Highlight this comment 603

First official Mauer at-bat of 2012: 1-6-3 inning-ending double play...some things just never change :) offense with 2 hits through 7-innings, Scott Baker on the DL...

Posted on April 6, 2012 at 3:59 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 604

Steve,

So sorry that you wasted all this good garden-weeding time...

Posted on April 6, 2012 at 4:09 PM by Rick 605

Damn I thought we were going to go 162-0

Posted on April 6, 2012 at 4:11 PM by moda Highlight this comment 606

Is it too early to call for Vavra to be fired?

Posted on April 6, 2012 at 4:31 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 607

Well the boys at least woke up in the 9th with 2 runs and go ahead run at the plate! Did we ever see 500 last year? Will we see it this year?

Posted on April 6, 2012 at 4:53 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 608

Willingham is the only one not to have read last years playbook.

Posted on April 6, 2012 at 5:33 PM by TK Highlight this comment 609

If Willingham keeps pulling the ball, with a runner on first, he might find his butt on the bench. He better learn the Twins way of hitting behind the runner in a hurry or suffer Gardy's wrath. He might also learn something about hitting from watching his team-mates who have mastered Vavra's coaching style.

Posted on April 6, 2012 at 5:43 PM by unknowntwinsfan Highlight this comment 610

If anyone is interested I have tickets for Friday's game vs. the Rangers. Section 103, Row 34, Seats 1-2. Face is $36, but would take best offer at this point. Email me if interested.

Posted on April 6, 2012 at 5:50 PM by antifire Highlight this comment 611

So sad....tickets going for under face on weekends. I miss the days of price-gouging. Of course, I was on the gouger side.

Posted on April 6, 2012 at 8:38 PM by twinswschamps2079 (aka twinswschamps2011) Highlight this comment 612

DickBert says opener is a sellout with only a few standing room tickets available. At the Twins site you can, as I write, get tix in any of eight different sections, some of them pretty good seats. Same old BS.

Posted on April 6, 2012 at 10:46 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 613

And ----- what was the deal with Ulger being introduced as the bullpen coach?

Posted on April 6, 2012 at 10:49 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 614

I signed up for Gameday Audio yesterday and was in my glory listening to radio broadcasts from all over around majors. From Uecker burping bratwurst in Milwaukee(have a Uzinger's sausage)to the Baltimore broadcast of the Twins game. I think I'm going to try my wife's patience this season.

Posted on April 7, 2012 at 09:48 AM by terry Highlight this comment 615

Terry I got mlb.tv a couple of years ago and it made me become a true fan of the game. There's nothing better than being able to turn on the west coast teams at 9 at night, especially listening to Vin Scully do Dodger games, and when the Twins are getting blown out on the big screen I can hunt for extra inning games around the league.

I highly recommend adding the TV for just a few more bucks.

Posted on April 7, 2012 at 10:33 AM by jctwins Highlight this comment 616

Is it possible that the Twins' entire hitting approach has been solved by the rest of the league?

I started to think this at the end of last season, when it began to look like opposing pitchers had read the whole book on the Twins' hitting goals ("opposite field, don't try to do too much, stay within yourself, spray singles") and were throwing specifically against that approach.

That's certainly what it looked like yesterday. And I couldn't help but remember that their shortstop had a few things to say during the offseason about the differences in hitting approach between the Twins and Orioles...

Posted on April 7, 2012 at 10:42 AM by Rick 617

Again Rick, Willingham didn't read the book... Will he be in the lineup tonight?

Posted on April 7, 2012 at 12:11 PM by TK Highlight this comment 618

I'm watching the Cubs and Nats from Wrigley Field and there's a freakin' bullseye painted on one of the doors of the outfield wall!

Is Target now everywhere?

Posted on April 7, 2012 at 3:23 PM by Rick 619

Rick -- can you give us a little more insight on how you saw the pitching to the Twins? If I was going to pitch to a "spray the ball" team, I'd jam them all day long. But the nastiest pitches I saw on Friday were outside on the corner, dropping away.

I just think the guy had good movement on the ball. That is what I worry about more with the Twins philosophy. I don't mind spraying the ball with the hitters, I worry about the obsessive hit to contact with the pitchers. A strikeout or pop out is ok on occasion.

Posted on April 7, 2012 at 3:53 PM by Lincster Highlight this comment 620

and like clock-work, twins front office ass kisser, d-bag dick bremer, starts talking about weather like an obsessive midwesterner. about the same time, i put the tv audio on mute. ahhh.....that's better.

Posted on April 7, 2012 at 6:18 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 621

Seriously, are these just rebroadcasts from last year?

Posted on April 7, 2012 at 6:51 PM by Jeff T. Highlight this comment 622

How is it that Liriano can strike out the side in the first inning, and look completely lost by the third inning?

Posted on April 7, 2012 at 7:15 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 623

It may be lost in the barrage of Baltimore runs tonight, but how about that leadoff double in the top of the 4th ... and stranding him? Now THAT sounds like the 2011 Twins.

Posted on April 7, 2012 at 7:30 PM by terry Highlight this comment 624

Goose-eggs after seven...flirting with being shut-out again. McNally yesterday and Palmer today, must be pitching for the Orioles. Is Mussina scheduled to pitch against the Twinks tomorrow? Also,Baltimore batters are using lumber. While the Twins hitters must be using WHIFFle bats...(Lighter weighing bats should prevent injuries). The Minnesota jinx continues.

Posted on April 7, 2012 at 8:07 PM by unknowntwinsfan Highlight this comment 625

Another O's home run.....GOOD GRIEF Charlie Brown !!!!!

Posted on April 7, 2012 at 8:10 PM by unknowntwinsfan Highlight this comment 626

And tomorrow's scheduled starting pitcher has been scratched due to food poisoning. Tell me that isn't something right out of the script from last year.

Posted on April 7, 2012 at 8:17 PM by terry Highlight this comment 627

I must have food poisoning also....I feel nauseated and my tummy hurts.

Posted on April 7, 2012 at 8:41 PM by unknowntwinsfan Highlight this comment 628

From ESPN game notes: ... Gardenhire started Ben Revere in RF because Ryan Doumit, who started in RF on opening day, will be behind the plate Sunday. Joe Mauer will either DH, play 1B or just get Sunday off. ... Heaven forbid Baby Jesus play on Easter Sunday three games into the regular season.

Posted on April 7, 2012 at 10:35 PM by Raging Peasants Highlight this comment 629

You obviously haven't met Dick Bremer. Very nice, decent guy.

Posted on April 7, 2012 at 10:59 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 630

Someone needs to tell this squad that these games now matter.

Posted on April 8, 2012 at 01:52 AM by TK Highlight this comment 631

Pohlad Strategy:

1. Get local rubes to buy new stadium
2. Turn local kid into poster boy
3. Giggle all the way to the bank

Posted on April 8, 2012 at 08:21 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 632

Two games do not a season make but the similarities to 2011 are unmistakable. One earned run in 18 innings so far. One for seven with RISP yesterday. Errors in the field. Projected 3rd game starter in the hospital with food poisoning; projected 4th game starter in NYC getting a 2nd opinion on his sore elbow. Sigh.

Posted on April 8, 2012 at 08:21 AM by terry Highlight this comment 633

I'm starting to wonder if the Twins will have five wins by the end of April...

Posted on April 8, 2012 at 08:40 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 634

At least the Twins are in good company. Other win-less teams include contenders; Yankees, Red Sox, Giants, and Braves. And win-less non-contenders; Indians, Cubbies, Padres and of course our Twins. Which group's fan base is not worried and which group's fan base is already worried and thinking of next year? If there is a playing pattern from last year...start worrying.

Posted on April 8, 2012 at 09:56 AM by unknowntwinsfan Highlight this comment 635

First Ortiz, then Young and now Hardy. Former Twins sure know how to rub their old team-mates noses in it. Sad they had little power with the Twins way of hitting.

Posted on April 8, 2012 at 1:02 PM by unknowntwinsfan Highlight this comment 636

Those players also seemed to not be healthy with Twins.

Also, it's bad when the President of an organization has to publicly (twitter) make a football analogy two games into a baseball season.

Posted on April 8, 2012 at 1:44 PM by tk Highlight this comment 637

It took Gardenhire all of two games to throw Valencia under the bus.

Posted on April 8, 2012 at 2:33 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 638

By the end of the month, it could get awfully crowded under the bus.

Posted on April 8, 2012 at 2:39 PM by unknowntwinsfan Highlight this comment 639

I'm glad I took my resale profit from the last two seasons and got out while the getting was good. I'll be buying my tix on Stubhub for $1 soon. $2 for weekend games.

Posted on April 8, 2012 at 3:51 PM by twinswschamps2223 (aka twinswschamps2011) Highlight this comment 640

Tip o' the hat to Swarzak. Nice to see a couple ringing doubles off the bat of Morneau. Nothing else good to say about the lads this weekend - especially the hitters. I want to try out to be a starting pitcher for whoever the Twins are playing!

Posted on April 8, 2012 at 5:14 PM by terry Highlight this comment 641

Well, there's 3 hours I'll never get back.

Posted on April 8, 2012 at 6:57 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 642

At least one good thing of being a Twins fan is you have a good chance of seeing a no-hitter, or even perfect game, every game!

Posted on April 8, 2012 at 8:04 PM by antifire Highlight this comment 643

last year I had tons of people asking for home opener tickets. None this year...having problems just trying to get people to accept ask email with the tickets attached.

Posted on April 8, 2012 at 9:59 PM by tk Highlight this comment 644

*accept an email

Posted on April 8, 2012 at 10:00 PM by tk Highlight this comment 645

I'm surprised that anyone here is surprised by this start. This team did nothing to upgrade from last year. NOTHING. They were nearly the worst team in the league, so why should the expectation from fans change going into this season? This will be a long year, so settle in. Meanwhile, I'll be on MLB Extra Innings watching teams that have the ability to intrigue.

Posted on April 8, 2012 at 10:55 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 646

Bring the long johns gonna be a nasty wind chill today. Is today the first W? Lets hope Mr Whipple aka Gardy can fire the lads up today. Could we be 10 out by mid April???

Posted on April 9, 2012 at 09:48 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 647

I expect to see a lot of people get caught off guard by today's weather. The sun is out and it has a way of making people think the temp is higher than it actually is. Plus, if you're inside and step out for a moment, it doesn't feel that bad. Sitting outside for three hours is another matter, especially if you're in the shade or are on the upper tier where the wind can really get going. This is not jeans and sweatshirt weather although we'll see plenty of people wearing just that. Even if the Twins play well today, by the 5th inning there will be plenty of empty seats due to the chill.

Posted on April 9, 2012 at 11:07 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 648

I've got my winter hat, coat, scarf and gloves in the car, and a fleece blanket. I will be ready for today's game.

Fortunately we'll be in the center field bleachers, so at least we'll be in the sun - but also fully exposed to that wind.

Ah, heck - no matter the weather, it's still baseball. :-)

Posted on April 9, 2012 at 11:27 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 649

Is that cold really from teh weatheer or is it that the Twins bats just got in town. We WERE having some nice weather until they got back in town.

Posted on April 9, 2012 at 11:27 AM by moda Highlight this comment 650


This page was last modified on February 22, 2012.



"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.


A sampling of seats at Fenway Park



A closer look at the louvers









(Click to enlarge greatly)






Loading docks to the right, VIP entrances to the left.



Limestone facing and flowers on the right field overhang






"Hey, Ma, it says here we go in at gate 34. Must be all the way around on the other side!" Seriously, though, this is a really inspired idea.






Here's a closer look.



Pillows!



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



This is an angle I have not used very much, from the top of the Fifth Street ramp. Because the wall is so tall (forget about watching a game from here for free -- OK, maybe with a step stool) I have to hold the camera up over my head and just snap, hoping I get something good. Here I did. This view then looks to the southwest.






Click to enlarge greatly.






Click to enlarge.



Fissure dude






Comerica Park main entrance: Tigers, bats, and much (maybe too much) more (Source: LP)












At the other end of the bridge, the configuration of the tracks has become clear.






First Avenue at left, bike parking area at lower right






A look at Gate 34.









Home Run Porch Terrace



The shade of the canopy gives way to a brief shaft of light. It would do the same again a short while later when the sun passed through that tiny open sliver between the View and Terrace levels.



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).



A skyway-level view down Seventh Street.






This was on BPM night. Nice neon, but I'm still waiting to see the homer show.












September 23, 2007



Some baseball legends (and Ron Coomer)



Gate 29 "Carew" is at right.















Flowers and Hall-of-Fame plaques. Very nice.





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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