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July 16, 2014 1:47 AM

Yes, Jeter. Of course. It was his night, and deservedly so. Even I, whose mother hates Derek Jeter, cheered for him. It was only the second time I've ever done so (the other being when I visited the original Yankee Stadium and pretended to be a Bomber fan for exactly one game). And tonight it felt weird and wrong and right and inevitable and necessary and splendid all at the same time.

Yes, Jeter. Of course.

But when I remember the 2014 All-Star game, here's the image that will probably always mean the most to me:

Now, I'll admit that this looks like a picture which could have been taken under a variety of different circumstances on any number of nights during this season. But that's only because I've removed the context. Let me rewind and zoom out.

Moments before I took that picture, I took this one, which shows the context in all its glory:

That's what I'll remember. That's the memory I'll cherish. Our boys. Doing it on the Big Stage. Right here at home. In that beautiful ballpark. Making it look easy. Saying, in effect, "Hey, we hope you like our city and our ballpark, but we've got some real players here, too. We play real baseball here."

When Perkins and Suzuki stepped onto the field, I was standing next to an usher who was simply bursting with pride. With each pitch, she grabbed my arm and gushed. Her smile was broad and genuine, like that of someone seeing something for the first time, though she was clearly past retirement age.

Her smile was contagious, but it didn't matter. Everybody wearing a TC logo was smiling already.

At least for this night, let the win-loss record be damned. This was a Twins Win moment not to be forgotten. True ballpark magic.


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Right on, Rick! All in all, a perfect night at our ballpark!

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 05:57 AM by fiesta Highlight this comment 1

Yes, an awesome night at the ballpark! I was one of the lucky ones to help with the huge flag. After our over 3 hour practice in the morning, we made it happen. (It helped that it wasn't windy.). A memory I will treasure. My only question is with all of the security around, how did someone get a sign put up on the right field score board? (Love water not oil). Did they show it on TV?

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 08:23 AM by gogotwins Highlight this comment 2

It was so nice to see Target Field and Minneapolis showcased in the National/International spotlight. Reminded me so much of the 1991 World Series with all of the media attention and aerial shots during the coverage. Seemed that most people I listened to and watched (MLB network, ESPN Radio Mike&Mike, ESPN, FOX and FOX Sports 1) raved quite a bit about Target Field and the whole Twin Cities experience.

If you thought the All Star Game was exciting for the Twin Cities and Minnesota, bring on Super Bowl LII in 2018!!

Two weeks of hype, media frenzy in the middle of winter!

If the Super Bowl goes over as well as the 2014 All Star Game, then maybe, just maybe we could host another Super Bowl or two down the road. Unlike the MLB All Star Game which won't be here for at least another 20+ years.

Up next for the AL will probably be Camden Yards in Baltimore in 2016.

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 09:07 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 3

The saddest thing of all is that the Twins have not been able to showcase Target Field much because they have not been very good on the field. Aside from the All Star Game, ballparks get their big-time exposure during the postseason, in particular, the World Series.

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 09:10 AM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 4

One thing that really bothered me was there was no tribute to honor Tony Gwynn. I know it was a Derek Jeter lovefest and they also honored 30 teachers but they couldn't even take 1 minute to have a moment of silence for Tony Gwynn who passed away just one month ago and made 15 All Star appearances???

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 09:17 AM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 5


I couldn't agree more, the lack of Gwynn acknowledgement bugged me too. I am not saying they needed a 10 minute tribute video, but a mention and moment of silence would of been nice.

The game it self was fun, I am glad i attended. Note to self for next time, if i have full strips and someone wants to buy them early for twice face value SELL THEM. Since i will be able to buy back in at near face value... right before the game.

I assumed secondary market prices would drop, but was shocked how the Derby and game came crashing down.

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 09:59 AM by Thrillhouse Highlight this comment 6

I swallowed hard and set my personal limit at $199 last night, and then started hitting refresh on Stubhub at about 5:15.

So it felt like a steal when a single popped up in section 334 for $139 at 5:35. It was the fastest checkout on record! The next lowest price stayed stubbornly at $287, which it had been for weeks (that was for the MLB-sold SRO tickets).

Did anybody see anything cheaper?

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 3:25 PM by Rick 7

Out on the street, they were still asking $200 and up. I decided to opt out :(. I thought maybe I could find a deal, but I just couldnt. I was sort of hoping to find a deal like Monday night. I heard some tix were going as low as $125.

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 3:33 PM by luke Highlight this comment 8

I saw the attendance was announced at 41,300 or so? Record is around 42,500. That makes me wonder why the SRO was set as it was, below record level. I didn't look up when the record was. Does anyone remember?

I will also say I really enjoyed the ASG as a whole. It was fun to be in a nationally watched atmosphere, and of course topped off by a great night of weather, and a fairly close and well played game.

It was also a lot of fun to see the diversity of fan-hood at Target Field, without the "anti-opponent" atmosphere that usually goes with it. (The "I hate the Yankees/White Sox/Red Sox, etc. mantra").

It was also fun to look around and see a full ballpark, which brought back memories of 2010, and the fun season that was. I truly wonder when we will see similar crowds again, and whether the Twins will begin announcing priority for the 2044 ASG as a reason to buy Season Tickets.

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 4:12 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 9

Attendance was announced at 41,048. Yes, positive vibe all around was great. My brother and I saw jerseys from all but a couple teams (though the Strib reporters saw all 30). The only misses for us were Cincinnati and maybe the Rangers.

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 4:28 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 10

I may be able to explain part of the reason for lower SRO sales: Some areas were blocked off for official use.

For example, one half of one of the Two Gingers bars was closed off for media use. Also, right behind home plate on the main concourse was a very large area covered with black curtains, where standing room would usually be (I think there were TV cameras behind the curtains).

That said, I spent most of the game trolling my favorite SRO spots and never had any trouble getting to the front. I remember times in 2010 when all of those areas were three-deep with people and I couldn't see a thing.

So, we might ask whether the SRO pricing was part of that control structure (all of the SRO tickets you saw on Stubhub were listed by MLB, at least initially). If so, it worked for managing flow, despite certainly leaving some money on the table -- which seems like a distinctly un-MLB thing to happen.

That's why I'm wondering whether there weren't maybe some people who got really good deals on SRO tickets at, say, 6:00 or 6:15 last night.

Also, Luke, if you had waited, you probably could have picked up a ticket on the street for $20 by the 4th or 5th inning -- at least if what I've heard has happened elsewhere actually happened here.

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 4:33 PM by Rick 11


I saw both CIN and TEX logos at various times. I started out with a goal of getting pictures of all 30 logos on hats, but quickly gave up when I realized I hadn't devised a way to keep track for myself of which ones I needed.

Such is the fate of the late ticket buyer...

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 4:34 PM by Rick 12

Channel 9 reporter post game in describing the T-Birds flyover gushed that they "barely" cleared the light standards. T-Birds say they were at 1,000 feet. Wonder who was correct?

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 4:55 PM by ben Highlight this comment 13

Yeah, Rick, I thought about that too - halfway through the game, they would be giving away tickets practically. But then, I'd miss half the game standing outside waiting...

I think it got lost in the last post, so I'll post them again. These are the pictures I took on Sunday and yesterday at FanFest and the Red Carpet Show:

All Star Sunday

Red Carpet Show and FanFest

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 5:54 PM by luke Highlight this comment 14

I am guessing the channel 9 reporter used to work for Channel 5 when they had breaking news during the "Love Boat" scandal for Vikes that they had gone dumpster diving at Al and Almas and retrieved discarded alcohol bottles, birthday hats and party balloons and may have also been the one that broke news to ESPN about Randy Moss "assaulting a police officer with a deadly weapon" which promptly went as quoted onto theier news scroller (also CNN) when it was really a security officer at a parking ramp not wanting Moss to go thru an intersection he was already halfway through w/ his SUV so he nudged foward. I'm going to go w/ the T-Birds on this one. I watched them head straight towards my building off 394 and they were more than barely clearing but dont let facts get in the way of a good news story by channel 9!

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 6:31 PM by uffda Highlight this comment 15

On an additional note my dad continued to give escort rides to former players, celebs, etc. -the current players on All Star teams he gave rides to were Josh Donaldson (3b -A's) and Felix Hernandez. Those were the only current players he gave rides to but also gave rides for John Smoltz, Idina Menzel (singer of national anthem), Zach Parise, a celebrity judge from Top Chef (forgot name but she is from Miami and asked my dad how to cook Walleye lol). He also previousley gave rides to Hank Aaron and Tony Oliva (had lunch w/ him) but the person I think would be rewarding to talk to who he gave a ride to was Mrs Jackie Robinson who is 91 years young. That woulda been something to talk to her. Cant believe my dad gave a ride to her and Hank Aaron. wow!

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 6:52 PM by uffda Highlight this comment 16

Thought some of you may enjoy reading this. Seat Poaching: A Poor Man’s Guide to a Better View

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 6:55 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 17

I am not caught up on everyone's posts yet, in the meantime I wanted to share my shot from the national anthem/flyover from the ASG game.

See it bigger here.

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 07:43 AM by Jared Highlight this comment 18

That channel 9 reporter is just exaggerating when saying the T-birds "barely" cleared the light standards. Typical media hyping things.

I will say they were definitely flying low but those pilots are well trained and know what they are doing. I heard on the news they are only doing 4 of those flyovers this year. Daytona 500, MLB All Star Game, Las Vegas 400 and the Rose Bowl Parade. Only took them 15 minutes to get from Duluth to Target that would be a nice quick ride!

As far as SRO, Rick nailed it, there were a lot of SRO areas blocked off throughout the stadium for TV Cameras, Media Staging, Corporate Sponsors (Pepsi seats in LF corner along the drink rail) and those things that you normally don't see in the regular season.

I had two friends get SRO tickets on the street for $50 each between 7:30-8pm They said they missed the first 3 innings but still heard the anthem and saw the flyover outside the ballpark. So if you were willing to wait it out you could have got in the door for less then $100.

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 08:02 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 19

Ben (#13), if the Thunderbirds say they were at 1000 feet, they were between 999 feet at 1001 feet. Those pilots are incredibly talented.

I didn't get to see them in person, but they looked good on TV!

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 08:40 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 20

Great work on the photo Jared.

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 09:10 AM by jctwins Highlight this comment 21

Re-watching the game on the TV broadcast yesterday. I found it interesting when asked if Bud Selig had any regrets, he failed to mention the theatrics of contracting the host team to orchestrate a new ballpark in the early 2000's.

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 09:16 AM by jctwins Highlight this comment 22

"Those pilots are incredibly talented."

They do nothing that is not standard for Air Force tactical pilots.

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 10:31 AM by ben Highlight this comment 23

In regard to Selig --- I found it disturbing (perhaps not the right word) that the media pukes would be handing this feckless shill softball questions while a true gentleman and baseball legend, sitting next to him, went unmentioned even.

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 10:36 AM by ben Highlight this comment 24

Ben, the Strib's media columnist also commented on the reporter fawning over Alvin Selig while failing to even acknowledge the man sitting next to him, Hank Aaron. As for the channel 9 report, just be glad July is not a sweeps month. If it were, the reporter would have had those planes flying between the light standard and the top row of the upper deck!

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 11:33 AM by terry Highlight this comment 25

I thought about shooting everything documentarian style like Luke did but recently I have been bringing the camera along yet leaving it in the bag a lot to be able to be in the moment more. I figured I spent the money, might as well, right?

Luke, quick photo tip. Looks like you are kinda doing "flyby" shots (basically just shooting quick and moving on)...whether its a point and shoot or cellphone camera (especially indoors), make sure that you are as still as possible otherwise that motion blur will render nearly all of your images useless. Figured I would throw that out there since I know you like to shoot a bunch.

My thoughts:

I am glad I saved up and got great seats and then took PTO on Monday and Tuesday. I was basically downtown All Day Sunday-Tuesday and while no event was "the greatest thing ever" on it's own, the whole experience collectively was awesome.

The scope of the event was larger than I originally thought. There was stuff going on all over. This is half the reason I was glad I took the days off. It gave me more time to experience more.

I have never seen more media in one location. They occupied a number (at least a pair) of the handicap sections on each baseline, some behind home plate on both levels, in each of the outfield corners and on the field. And oh on the field...Larry Devito must have been having a panic attack. I thought the sardine-like on field media was bad before the home run derby, it was 10 fold worse before the actual game tuesday. I don't know if it was noticeable on tv, but the grass in foul territory was severely trampled. You can sorta tell on the flyover image I posted. Other than that the field looked FANTASTIC.

We met a ton of people (including some media ending up in national news articles and photos)and father/son pair from San Fancisco while in line and basically hung out with them all weekend. They had been to the last 5/6 ASGs, were totally awesome, shared some awesome stories and we worked together to get prime spots for lines, autographs and such. Everyone we met from out of town, players included, was raving about TF and MPLS in general. I got Jeter's autograph twice, one on a ball for my dad and the other ball for me. I also got mine signed by about 18 others at the Red Carpet.

The futures game was outstanding and boy can those boys hit the ball a ton. In BP one of them hit one just short of the video board above the grandstand AND hit/shattered the windshield of the truck Chevy put behind the flagpoles in right field.

As mentioned, FanFest is just a larger version of TwinsFest. It was cool to see the extras that TwinsFest doesnt' have trophies, historical memorabilia, fun kiddie things. It was (naturally) way better planned out. I even saw a game worn Derek Jeter jersey priced at $15k in the Steiner (i think) memorabilia section of the shop. You know, just in case I wanted to drop 15k right there. My buddy follows that stuff and said they tend to way over price their memorabilia. I could have ripped it off the stand and ran.

The Celebrity game was a lot of fun, although you could tell James Denton meant business. LOL. January Jones (who is tiny by the way) and the MTV host on the NL team were pretty worthless to their respective teams. AP is a monster but can't play softball worth a lick. He was having a lot of fun though and it was entertaining watching him try to hit off of Jenny Finch.

The rain before the home run derby wasn't too bad, i sat in my seat through it and the delay wasn't too bad either. There was plenty of entertainment between batters and during commercial breaks but I feel like they could make it go faster. I don't know if they showed the two 17 year old kids hit on TV but they were hitting some BOMBS. I had seats in section 15 row 2, courtesy JCTwins. For a game they would be awesome but for the derby it was pretty rough. It helped that I was tall and could see a bit more. The media was allowed on field in areas right in front of us and NL team stood most of the time blocking everyone's view in the lower level. So, many in dugout box stood and many others complained about the standing. A pair of guys next to us hated it so much the left not even half way through. So for future reference, its probably better to be 10-20 rows up for the best view and preferably behind a moat in the event the close seats have to stand. That is...unless the guys on field are nice and sit, good luck. JCTwins was messing around and even texted that Stadium Security number to see if they could help, we're not sure if it was them but at some point late in the derby all the players did mostly sit, giving a much better view.

The game itself was interesting. My buddy and I both felt a little weird about the game. It felt weird to be watching it in person and not on TV. It also really felt like "just any other game" other than the fact that the leagues best were in every position. I said that would make sense to a large degree because its not like the NBA ASG where there is a lot of scoring and potential for showboating or the NFL game where there requires a lot of on field coordination. Baseball is one of those games you can show up with anyone and have a pretty good game.

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 12:59 PM by jared Highlight this comment 26

Also, I am kicking myself for two MAJOR failures during the events. In case you didn't read my last few flickr posts...

The first is that I was trying to post an image to flickr and it didn't work right and in the process of correcting, I accidentally deleted my last 4 months worth of posts, which is like going on Facebook and deleting your last two or three years worth of posts. It's heartbreaking to lose all that interaction in such a dumb way.

The other is that I missed that rainbow pic. Yes me, the photog with the weather degree who had basically been waiting for that VERY MOMENT and that VERY SHOT and it just so happened to be at the All Star game... like trying to find the holy grail. I blew it. From my seat it didn't look that good but there were plenty of clues that should have told me otherwise and if I hadn't been swept up in the excitement, I wouldn't have needed the clues because I would have been in ready position at the right part of the ballpark waiting for it.


Posted on July 17, 2014 at 1:05 PM by jared Highlight this comment 27

The Grounds Crew just posted and instagram photo of them re-sodding pretty much all foul territory due to the ASG wear and tear. Linky.

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 1:17 PM by jared Highlight this comment 28

To the point about the blocked view in HPB, apparently a seat rep told my seat neighbor that they were considering a refund. I would be highly surprised if that were the case, but I might think a case could be made that MLB owes the buyer a "view may be obstructed" disclosure at point of sale.

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 1:19 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 29

Interesting. I would be surprised too but I agree, the league has seen enough HR Derby events to know that this likely was going to be an issue for people that a disclosure would have been beneficial. Considering the number of people standing around us and the number of people around us complaining, I wouldn't be surprised if someone in the Twins office was getting a major earful.

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 1:40 PM by jared Highlight this comment 30

That's a great flyover picture, Jared. It kills mine (though I'm still going to include mine in my next post anyway).

And I am also kicking myself for missing the rainbow photo opportunity, although for a very different reason: I was at my kid's soccer practice when it happened. The Home Run Derby is the only major event that I missed, and that was due to unavoidable schedule conflicts.

And for the next All-Star game that comes to Minneapolis, my kids are taking me!

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 2:01 PM by Rick 31

Jared, thanks for the tip. Yeah, I see what ya mean.

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 3:14 PM by luke Highlight this comment 32

Great shot, jared! Is that a stitched panorama, or did you use a fisheye?

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 6:21 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 33

Sorry if I rehash some stuff. I've been away forever and haven't taken the time yet to look back at older posts regarding All-Star Week. I will try to find the time soon.

We had standing room tickets for all three days. I was worried that it was going to add up to a less-than-ideal attempt at saving money, but it all worked out for us. Much better than I had originally hoped, actually. The fellow manning Gate 29 as we waited for it to open on Tuesday (yes, we were first in line on both Mon and Tues) said that 1,500-2,000 SRO tickets were sold, depending upon the day. We found superb standing spots with counters, but when we would occasionally turn around to take in some concourse people watching, the looks on those faces told us that no more than 10% of that number could have enjoyed a decent, comfortable view of the field while standing.

I love baseball, and Target Field is gorgeous, but it sometimes allows itself to fall well short of what it could really be. Yeah, it's a given that folks are going to enjoy themselves during something like this. I sure did. Some of it probably comes from folks convincing themselves that it's worth the princely sums that you hear they're spending, but a bunch of it probably comes from hometown leadership and media hyping their supposed recreation of Utopia.

Being there for three days of baseball was a terrific experience, but one thing really stuck out: it was incredibly maddening to see how much space inside the ballpark was given over to big media at the expense of the live experience for the average fan. You expect extra coverage from around the nation, of course, but the scales seemed tipped way too far in favor of TV. It was simply crazy to walk around and see at least a dozen areas given over to staging and equipment, media seating, extra seats for sponsors and VIPs, etc... areas which are usually superb spots for standing to catch some of the game while getting something to eat or -- at the very least -- allow for more elbow room as the crowd makes its way around the concourse. It was especially packed on the night of the HR Derby. Rainy conditions contributed, sure, but blocking off excessively large areas around your set all night so that no fans could possibly foul the background during your 30-minute pregame show? Really?? (Are you listening, MLB Network?)

With Buxton and Sano out, I wasn’t sure that Sunday’s Futures game would hold a lot of my interest, but the day was much more entertaining than I had expected. We were fortunate enough to sit during all of the day’s activity: Futures game from Section 108 and celebrity softball from Section 124; both times somewhere around Row 10-15 or so. Really looking forward to seeing Kennys Vargas come up. We need a first baseman who can hit like that from the left side. Trouble is, I hear him saying in a radio interview that the organization is telling him that he could come up sooner if he would lose 15 lbs and play outfield. What? Let Joe play RF. Then, there was the truck windshield in right that Joey Gallo smashed with a bomb during batting practice. Memories.

For the HR Derby, we camped out in LF, under the retired numbers. A little farther foul than we had hoped for, but still a nice spot with a counter and protected from those rains that came often. The major flaw: not being able to see the larger video board or the majority of the landings of HR balls... but really no biggie. Between the rain delay and long commercial timeouts, it got long. Very long. A good time, but by far the least entertaining night of the bunch. I suppose it plays out better on TV, where you can pick up on the clowning around between players near the plate. For us, it started to become more balls hit over the fence. Yawn.

On Tuesday, we took in a couple of hours of FanFest (pretty cool talking with Mudcat Grant for a long while, and my son-in-law now has a neat Roy Smalley story, but really just TwinsFest on steroids), then walked the parade route rather than wasting time standing behind 6-8 others for a partial view of a truck. It was much easier to just turn around for a look when the occasional player rode by, and it only took 40-45 minutes to get to TF while weaving through that mob. We got to the Plaza a little after 2:00 and the majority of folks there were parade-watching autograph-seeking non-ticket-holding fans. That was entertaining for a while, and when the players were done arriving, most of the crowd dispersed. Around 3:00 they pulled up the carpet and we walked up to our spot at the gate. I didn't think that it was supposed to be that easy, but here we are and who's to argue? So we were the first to arrive at the only counter space on the entire right side of the field that wasn't clogged up with media equipment or barricaded by VIP ropes: behind Section 105. Our only small blunder was taking the left side of the counter, just to the right of the 105/106 aisle, meaning there were times that we dealt with a bit of foot traffic in our field of view, but again no major problem. Thanks, Mike the Usher, for being such a strict ticket enforcer and a strong no-movement-during-an-at-bat traffic gate. (I swear one or two guys may still have chest bruises.) Precious.

I sure hope my kids can manage shepherding this old man through the new ballpark when the show comes back to Minnesota in another 25-30 years. But they better buy me a real seat.

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 9:04 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 34

Thanks guys. This is definitely the fisheye. I am not entirely done stitching but even though Photoshop by far and a way does a phenomenal job, the best of any program I have seen, it still takes a LOT of work at times. Having that fisheye saves me a lot of time and effort and can still achieve that same output.

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 9:09 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 35

Speaking of the tv media takeover and the need for a disclosure about obstructed view potential...

I noticed that only for the night of the home run derby there were extra tv camera wells/stands added for the broadcast. The ones that I mainly noticed were the ones behind home plate. It was pretty ridiculous and here is why:

Normally there is a camera well at the top of the 100 level sections on either base line of about even with the base. For All Star weekend there were camera wells added on each side that can shoot down the baseline, likely Fox cameras, (Think like: trying to determine if a ball is fair or foul). I am not sure if the original camera wells up the baseline were also used as I didn't pay attention to that but I imagine they used nearly all available locations.

What made this weird was that for the home run derby only they added camera wells within those same seating sections in front of the cameras that were already added to shoot down the lines. This blocked at least four, if not more, rows worth of people behind AND the cameras way the top of those sections. So there were definitely people there with obstructed views and I am wondering how many people bought strips for those specific seats that may have had to been relocated due to that camera being there for the one event.

Such is the nature of multiple networks broadcasting the many events. I noticed they were also using many of the outfield camera locations that don't normally get used either but didn't really pay attention to how much real estate they claimed or any issues for similar camera locations in the upper levels behind the plate.

I realize now too that my description is probably confusing. Would probably help if I drew a picture. I will make one upon request.

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 9:49 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 36

I noticed that they moved half of the new trees back behind Minnie & Paul, and their space was taken by 3 or 4 different cameras in CF.

Another observation was how impressed I was with how quickly we got through the bag check/metal detectors. It didn't seem there were that many more people working the 29/34 gates, but it wasn't bad at all.

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 11:02 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 37

Crowds at events like the ASG are just potential camera shots for the media. The networks and sponsors don't give a damn if the fans can see or not.

Huge kudos to the Twins for standing up to MLB and keeping CC and LC seats for their owners (and from what I heard most of the prime HPB and DB seats).

MLB owns EVERYTHING for the ASG and that includes the views.

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 11:07 PM by Jfh Highlight this comment 38

Just to be clear, I didn't really take note of the extra camera angle setups. My main beef was with the elaborate staging and sets for the talking heads to sit at. Like the ones on both sides of the Great Clips area. Gigantic structures with fancy sports desks for 2-3 guys to be seen for 30 minutes which blocked off some nice standing room for several dozens of fans, not to mention the breathing room it stole from the average concourse cruiser.

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 11:09 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 39

It was certainly clear that, at least for big events like this one, the stadium is considered a TV studio by all but the paying attendees -- whose concerns are mostly irrelevant, and who essentially serve as a studio audience.

As I continued hitting refresh on Stubhub Tuesday afternoon, I seriously contemplated whether I actually wanted to go to the game rather than watch it on TV. I have no regrets about going, but the fact that I might even ask the question is a sad sign of what baseball -- and all professional sports, really -- has become: big money "reality" TV.

Currently, that money is keeping the monopolistic cable companies in business, which will certainly change over the next decade. But the effect on the experience of attending games is worthy of consideration. There's a fine line between an event which exists for its own purpose but is covered by the media, and an event which doesn't exist for any other purpose than the media needs. The NFL has given themselves over to the latter, but MLB has always shown some resistance -- events like the Home Run Derby being notable exceptions.

This is the kind of subject that it's a little hard to contemplate because of my great love of the game. To me, it's most definitely not just a TV show, but a communal expression of something akin to joy, which is why I was delighted to be able to be there in person, have that usher clutch my arm, and check out the TV coverage on DVR later (even though I only got the first seven innings).

If professional sports cease to be actual gatherings, they risk losing what makes them great in the first place (the XFL comes to mind). That would be a bitter pill, and all of the money which now aggregates around them -- and is doing so because of what they provide to society even without TV cameras present -- might move on to greener pastures.

That would be quite a day.

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 11:30 PM by Rick 40

Almost every game I've been too at TF has been obstructed views. The overhang blocks high hits and video boards. And there's always people standing blocking views and entry/exit. Along with Garbage/Recycling cans blocking entry/exit. Ushers are getting pretty lax at keeping areas clear. Half the time the ushers themselves are blocking entry/exit areas while watching the game or chatting with other fans.

Most the good seats that mitigate these issues are unavailable. Can't get Dugout Box seats, can't get Legend Club seats, can't get Champion Club seats, can't get Home Plate Terrace seats. Can sometimes get Home Plate Box seats but these have to be the worse value tickets in the entire stadium. Which pretty much leaves corners and outfield as the only viable options.

Posted on July 18, 2014 at 02:02 AM by Dave Highlight this comment 41

Dave - why do you consider HPB seats a bad value?

Posted on July 18, 2014 at 08:00 AM by Jfh Highlight this comment 42

When do y'all think MN might have another shot at an ASG? 25 years? Selig is on his way out, maybe the new commish will have different ideas for handing them out.

Sounds like the reception was a good one from fans. One guy KMSP talked to said he's been to like 15 ASGs, and Minner polis was by far the best. People applauded the weather. And we do know how to do big events, and do them well.
Pittsburgh did host in 1994 and again in 2006. But, two different ballparks (well, Three Rivers wasn't a ballpark).

How fitting was it though, for Selig's last ASG as commissioner to be in Minneapolis? It may never have happened if things turned out differently in 2002.

Posted on July 18, 2014 at 12:45 PM by luke Highlight this comment 43

Since the Twins are in the AL, I can see them hosting again in as soon as 20 years but more than likely it will be another 25+ years ...MLB will continue the trend of awarding teams with new/renovated stadiums with future All Star Games.

Baltimore's Camden Yards is starting the cycle all over again as the likely host in 2016, having previously hosted in 1993.

You can bet cities like Arlington, Cleveland, Houston, Detroit, and Seattle will follow. New Yankee stadium will more then certainly get a game in the next 10-12 years too I am sure.

Unless they get new stadiums, cities like Anaheim, Oakland, Toronto, Tampa/St Petersburg and Chicago will probably not get an All Star Game. Even though Anaheim and Chicago hosted recently (2010 and 2003) those venues have had numerous renovations and are aging facilities.

The NL is a whole different story with so many new ballparks not yet to have hosted...San Diego, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Miami, Atlanta (opening 2017), Chicago's Wrigley Field renovation coming up as well. After this list, I can see cities like Denver, St. Louis and San Francisco going for their second games in their ballparks, similar to Baltimore in the AL.

Given the Twins are in the AL and assuming MLB continues to alternate between leagues, it would not surprise me if they are hosting again in 20 years. However, it will probably be 24-28 years. Depends on the stadium situations in cities like Anaheim, Oakland, Tampa, and Toronto. Anaheim is in the early talks of a building a new stadium. Oakland and Tampa are each working on stadiums too. Chicago could be the next Atlanta and build a replacement to US Cellular in 10-20 years.

As of today, I would put these AL cities in front of Minneapolis. Baltimore, Arlington, Cleveland, Seattle, Houston, Detroit, New York, Anaheim (assuming new stadium eventually built) and Kansas City.

Posted on July 18, 2014 at 1:37 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 44

Now that MLB doesn't have to beg teams to host the ASG, I suspect it'll pretty much be a rotation through the 30 cites with some preference given to those with new/upgraded stadiums.

Posted on July 18, 2014 at 2:10 PM by Jfh Highlight this comment 45

Good synopsis Mike. I feel pretty much the same, 20+ years. Just hopeful that it might be sooner. Of course, Oakland just signed a ten year extension at O.Co, and being it's not the greatest ballpark in the world, I can't see another ASG there anytime soon. Guess time will tell.

Posted on July 18, 2014 at 3:14 PM by luke Highlight this comment 46

Dave, thanks for the "seat poaching" link.

Sometimes when I go to the park, I sit in my assigned seat for the whole game. This is especially true when I take my kids.

But whenever I go by myself, I don't like to sit in the same spot for very long. In fact, I usually don't even want to sit down at all. On Tuesday night I didn't even make it to my assigned seat in section 334 until the 6th inning. And I only stayed until the end of the (entirely horrible) rendition of "God Bless America" at the 7th inning stretch.

The rest of the time I moved around, mixing SRO spots with seats on the aisle in a variety of places, not planning to stay anywhere for very long, and always ready to move at a moment's notice.

The reality for me is that poaching seats is often more trouble than it's worth. You have to pay attention to things which distract from watching the game. So I don't really do it in the way he describes. It's just that I like to get in as many different angles as possible in each ballpark. I've even added a section to my scorecard to indicate where I was in the park for each half inning.

So when I do it, I don't go for the prime seats (except when it's really easy). I stay close to the concourse, and pick spots where there are lots of empty seats -- like a whole row, which happens all the time, even in sold out games.

And one of the reasons Target Field is great is that you don't really ever need to fool an usher to get into a reasonable spot. There are easy ways to get to just about anywhere in the ballpark if you just pay attention. It's great to have a home ballpark where that is the case. It certainly wasn't back at the Metrodome...

And since the ushers at TF are so friendly, it just wouldn't feel right taking advantage of them. (Other parks, not so much...)

Posted on July 18, 2014 at 3:37 PM by Rick 47

The next ASG? This is not rocket science, and it's not like the Super Bowl (where only certain facilities are actually qualified).

There are 30 teams, and each one gets a chance to host the ASG if they want it. All of them do. (This wasn't always the case, but certainly is now.) With only one ASG per year, the math is pretty easy.

So it will be approximately 30 years before it's here again. Maybe a little longer if Target Field hasn't been replaced by then, or if the league expands, and maybe a little less if the vagaries of scheduling work in our favor (such as the required alternation between AL and NL parks -- which is a lot more clear now that each league has the same number of teams).

There was a time when there were two ASGs per year. That could happen again, I suppose. But it was pretty widely hated, so I don't think it's very likely to happen again. Maybe if they were doing a total reboot of the event...

So don't bother looking for it to come here again until sometime between '42 and '47.

Posted on July 18, 2014 at 3:59 PM by Rick 48

Jfh, I should be a bit more clear. Not all HPB seats are a bad value. The top few rows in that section are a bad value. They are obstructed view seats from both a fly ball perspective and from a video board perspective. There are monitors you can watch, but those monitors do not always show what is on the main video board. Many times they just show advertising.

Also, you can pay say $80 for a top row seat behind home plate or you can buy the cheapest ticket available, say for $10, and stand right behind that same seat.

Posted on July 18, 2014 at 5:37 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 49

What happened to "not a bad seat in the house"?

Posted on July 18, 2014 at 5:49 PM by ben Highlight this comment 50

As far as the ushers at TF, I agree, don't take advantage. I was at a game in June, my assigned seat was in 307. But I noticed 207 was totally empty. So, about halfway through the 3rd, I went down and asked the usher if I could move to the Terrace Level.
He said, jokingly, "only if you ask 'Tom, may I please move down?'"
Of course, I obliged.
And I got to sit in the Terrace Level for the first time.

Posted on July 18, 2014 at 6:00 PM by luke Highlight this comment 51

What happened to "not a bad seat in the house"?

The seats up under the LC overhang have always been a problem. If I recall, in a past post Rick even had some disparaging words for them.

These seats really should have a discounted price compared to the other non-obstructed HPB seats.

Posted on July 18, 2014 at 7:57 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 52

The ASG is gone, but the MN cutout is still on the grass, via a FB photo from a friend. It looks nice. Maybe, eventually, he will get the TC logo carved into the MN cutout??

Posted on July 18, 2014 at 9:05 PM by luke Highlight this comment 53

Dave - thanks for the clarification. I agree 100%

Posted on July 19, 2014 at 01:36 AM by Jfh Highlight this comment 54

Soooooo, what are the odds that an animated .gif will work on this page?

Otherwise, click gere I uploaded two sizes. Above is 320x480, linked is 480x720.

Posted on July 19, 2014 at 10:07 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 55

YES! It works!

Sorry if it kills the page load Rick.

**Sidenote: Apparently my typing is horrid tonight. Click "gere", wow.

Posted on July 19, 2014 at 10:09 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 56

Jared, that looks %&$*ing awesome.
Puts my photos to shame.

Posted on July 20, 2014 at 10:23 AM by luke Highlight this comment 57

It is disconcerting to see how many hitters in the Twins' lineup have batting averages that start with the digit one.

Posted on July 20, 2014 at 1:24 PM by terry Highlight this comment 58

Has anyone received any calls yet from the Twins to sign up for season tickets to secure 2044 All Star Game priority???

All kidding aside, with the 2014 All Star Game now in the rear view mirror and the new ballpark novelty clearly wearing off, it will be interesting to see how many STH's renew for 2015 with another losing season on the horizon. The numbers have declined over recent years with most STH's renewing for the sole purpose of the All Star Game.

I know a group of 4 people dropping their Legend's Club tickets after this season. Another friend of mine is dropping his 40 games/two seats in the field box.

I just know the Twins usually send out renewals in August so they can get that deposit money in the doors. The ticketing sales staff and marketing departments have some tough work ahead in the next six months.

2010 seems so long ago...

Posted on July 21, 2014 at 12:37 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 59

I will be dropping my second pair of seats in favor of keeping only a pair of seats in LC. There is just no need to keep season tickets for financial reasons anymore.

I keep my LC seats because I am addicted to the location, and hate to give it up, as well as having the "forced vacation" of having tickets to a bunch of games. I am guessin gI am in the minority, and agree that it will be an ugly year for renewals.

Posted on July 21, 2014 at 12:55 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 60

The Twins have, for at least the last few years, relied on marketing hype and spin, rather than quality baseball, to sell tickets. It would be nice to be buying baseball rather than stadium and utter BS but that seems to be all they know how to do.

Posted on July 21, 2014 at 12:56 PM by ben Highlight this comment 61

Mike, for certain, all selling points are gone. Anyone who has wanted to partake in the novelty of TF has partaken by now. And no more All Star priority. The guy I have relied on for tickets since TF opened is giving up his 10-pack at the end of this season. Of course, I now expect tickets to be available in more than adequate supply for the forseeable future. I wonder if they'll turn the Grandstand and/or Powerball Pavillion seats into GA, just to get people in the door. Years ago, the Braves had two sections they sold, day of game, for $1 apiece.

Posted on July 21, 2014 at 1:12 PM by luke Highlight this comment 62

*giving up his 20-game package, rather. Not 10.

Posted on July 21, 2014 at 1:13 PM by luke Highlight this comment 63

I like the general admission idea. I would make sections 333-334 out in LF general admission. Those seats are overrated and overpriced because you are ALWAYS in the sun and it gets very hot out there regardless of whether or not you like the sun. Even the evening games you get the sun directly in your eyes. And if you ever noticed, sections 333 and 334 are usually rather empty.

Ironically, it was due to fan demand that the Twins added more seating in left field. They originally had plans for a Met Stadium-like double deck in LF.

I also think they need to re-introduce some type of "flex plans", mini plans (5 or 10 games) or even introduce some type of weekend plan.

The Twins need to be realistic and realize they are not worthy of charging "premium" and "elite" prices for some of these games. Eliminate one or two of those price tiers and get it back to 3 or 4. With the exception of Opening Day and Memorial Day/Labor Day, no games should be considered "premium" or "elite" during the months of April, May and September.

They talk about flex-pricing but yet the prices don't seem to fall when the team struggles. Yesterday's game was considered a "premium" game, seriously? I know its a Sunday in July, but your team stinks and your opponent (Tampa) is not very popular. Yesterday's attendance proved that exact point...announced at 26,821.

Posted on July 21, 2014 at 1:39 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 64

I like the Flex Plan idea. I don't know how long it lasted, but back in the Dome days, I took advantage of a deal the Twins had: buy four games in the same seating area, get the fifth free. Obviously that was by no means considered a season ticket package, but a nice idea. If I recall, I bought Lower GA (before they turned that section into reserved seating).
I believe the Wild are now offering five game packs on a more general level. For a while, they were exclusively marketed to those in line for further season tickets. We will have to see what the Twins come up with for next season.

Posted on July 21, 2014 at 3:29 PM by luke Highlight this comment 65

Sadly, I think this fall is going to be a bloodbath when it comes to renewal. I agree that the last few years have been hype over substance. I've said it before, but the Twins squandered the goodwill of the new ballpark effect faster than any team in recent history and they are going to have to get creative. They have already lost the jump ons from 2008, 2009, 2010; probably lost a lot of FSE STHs to partial plans and are probably beginning to lose some long term STHs. I spoke to a number of folks that are either going to downgrade from DB or HPB plans by moving to cheaper seats. That isn't good.

The Twins need to:
- drop STH prices next year (they won't)
- have a far better ticket exchange program
- provide incentives to existing STHs (like concession credits, not just % discounts)
- bring back the FlexPlan
- drop tiered pricing. (It just doesn't work for loosing teams)
- do something unique like offer a guarantee - get some % of your season ticket cost back as a rebate depending on the team's record.

I'm not holding my breath that we will see any of those implemented.

As long as my ST partners want to renew, I will. But if people want to drop out, I'm far more likely to drop seats rather than work to find new partners.

I'll almost certainly go to fewer games myself next year. As hard as it is to watch the Twins play poorly, it stings even more when you fly in and rent a hotel room to watch them play poorly. :(

Posted on July 21, 2014 at 5:54 PM by Jfh Highlight this comment 66

Another factor against the Twins is the Vikings' new stadium. I'm going to drop my season tickets to the Twins in order to help finance my SBL in the new stadium.

Posted on July 21, 2014 at 8:26 PM by antifire Highlight this comment 67

the Twins squandered the goodwill of the new ballpark effect faster than any team in recent history

I disagree with this. I think they hardly top that list. Miami Marlins being Peoples Exhibit A. They can't pay people enough to go to a ballgame down there.

Sure you could argue baseball there is a tough draw but it doesn't matter. They sold the city on a new ballpark and sellout crowds and all the same hype, smoke and mirrors as any other team. They have had what 1 sellout? (exaggeration of course) They had the worst inaugural season attendance for any stadium that has opened since 2001 and haven't done much better since. How's that for new stadium goodwill? Although one could argue that it's hard to squander goodwill when really, there probably wasn't really any for that new marlin's ballpark in the first place.

I would also argue that the Mets have to be at least on the same level, if not worse. What they have going for them is a giant city with plenty of dedicated Mets fans, a la Twins fans (well maybe up till this point).

The Nationals were pretty close as well. How they managed for two sub-60 win seasons (one being the inaugural season) and then followed by on a sub-70 win season is beyond me. Apparently they can thank Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg. I suppose a Werth and a pair of Zimmermans helped bail them out too.

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 09:21 AM by jared Highlight this comment 68

I don't count the Marlins. Their fans did not want nor support the new stadium and were never excited about the team's future.

I'll give you the Nats, but at least they righted the ship and worked to get a good team on the field. I don't really know enough about what happened to the Mets, but suspect their problems were more a result of the Madoff link.

The a Twins signed Mauer to the albatross, no-win contract, picked Willingham over Cuddy and did nothing but rely on the draw of Target Field and the ASG while the team had 3 (and now 4) wasted years on the field with no turnaround in sight (unlike Washington)

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 10:00 AM by Jfh Highlight this comment 69

and Target Field is much nicer than the stadiums in DC, Florida and NY, which makes it even worse.

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 10:02 AM by Jfh Highlight this comment 70

Arguing over which of two or three professional baseball teams is the most inept is damning enough.

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 10:38 AM by ben Highlight this comment 71

Target Field nicer than DC? From the inside, DC felt like a TF clone to did much of the San Francisco park (bay view notwithstanding).

In Miami, people seemed to think that the Orange Bowl site was the only option, or that it was at least "good enough". But that was a pretty big mistake which they'll be paying for for a long time. They'll be fine there if the team gets good again, but location alone will likely mean they will do especially terribly in the (potentially many) off-years.

I haven't been inside Citi Field yet (I saw it under construction), but the Mets made some significant design mistakes. HOK/Populous is only as good as their partners, and the Mets were lousy partners, exhibiting a level of hubris that made them believe that the details didn't really matter. Fans then were left to complain loud and long about the ballpark's many deficiencies (largely in sight lines -- the easiest problem to overcome if you give it any type of priority).

Even so, New York fans are a much bigger factor than ballpark design. If the team is lousy, the fans there will make management pay. One would not even expect a "new ballpark effect" in New York. They are way beyond being impressed by a team's surroundings if they suck.

In some ways, the Mets' biggest mistake may have been building their new stadium at the same time as Yankee Stadium was being replaced. They might have had more of a chance at a bump if they'd waited a few years and then been the only new stadium in town.

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 12:29 PM by Rick 72

As for the Twins squandering TF's new ballpark bump, it's a matter of perspective. The team's finances, which were already very good at the Metrodome (don't let anyone tell you otherwise), got significantly better when TF opened. Even this year, with attendance down, they will likely do much better than their best years at the Dome.

As such, they can easily afford attrition in the STH base and still come out in pretty good shape financially. Owning a major league sports franchise is a license to print money, and the only question is whether winning is worth the extra expense. From a numbers standpoint alone, it sometimes isn't.

Those are the kinds of numbers that the Twins ownership is really good at. I don't want to accuse them of not wanting to win -- because I don't think that's the case -- but from their perspective, and in this particular market, winning isn't always a requirement in order to have a successful business.

The Twins at TF are a wildly successful business, and they will continue to be even if they drop a bunch of STHs. From the fan point of view, as I'm sure Ben will quickly point out, this is maddening.

What the fan base needs now is a strategy to make their disappointment visceral. That's probably the only way to get the attention of an ownership group which already has lots of money to count.

Any ideas?

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 12:42 PM by Rick 73

And when they profess to be in it for the fans ("Your Minnesota Twins"!) are they being truthful?

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 1:05 PM by ben Highlight this comment 74

As far as Miami, they are so bad getting people to go, that the Upper Level of the ballpark is cordoned off 95% of the games. A new ballpark. That sure didn't take long. I've seen Marlins games on Extra Innings, no joke, the seats are all empty up there.
I believe they do the same at O.Co Coiseum, but that being with good reason. O.Co seats 34,000 I believe with the upper level cordoned off. They get people closer to the field that way, instead of having a few folks way up in the nosebleeds in a 60 + thousand seat stadium.

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 1:11 PM by luke Highlight this comment 75

Well, "fan" equals "customer." So, yes.

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 1:12 PM by Rick 76

I have none. This is nothing unique to Twins although I do believe in places like NY, Boston, Philly fans and media are going to put much more pressure on mgmt for change. When I go to games yes there are die hard fans here but look around the ballpark- the bars are filled w/ fans not paying attention to the game, there are kids gettign face paintings and families taking pix w/ TC Bear, the merchandise stores/kiosks are full, the Metropolitan Club is filled w/ STH's fine dining, there are contestsand games being played, food concession lines....I mean the game is more of a backdrop as opposed to primary reason for being there. It's like the State Fair- a great place to people watch (oh and btw there is a game going on). Of course attendence drops some but I dont see any organized boycott working- Its like those people who use mass social media and try to organize boycott of big oil by not filling up cars w/ gas on a given day. Peopel still do it.

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 1:25 PM by Uffda Highlight this comment 77

We went to the game last Saturday night. In the middle innings, Victoria went out looking for a particular food, and wound up taking an impromptu tour of the concourses.

When she got back, she was completely confused. Why, she asked, would anybody buy a ticket to the game and then just hang out at a bar inside the park? (She was referring to Two Gingers, and whatever-it's-called-now outside the Townball Tavern. But she might as well have been talking about the Bud Deck, Hrbek's, etc.

The answer, I had to tell her, is that Target Field isn't all about the game. It's about the experience, which may or may not include actual baseball for some people.

This is one of the great "breakthroughs" of the modern era of ballpark design. Services which were once provided by businesses clustered outside the park but in the adjacent neighborhood have been moved inside, to the benefit of the home team. It was certainly inevitable, and isn't entirely lamentable. (She would probably disagree on the "lamentable" part, just as she does at the thought of the Twins "selling high" in the coming days.)

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 2:48 PM by Rick 78

Does the experience value have a limited life as well, to where people would say "been there done that" in regards to the Roof Deck, Town Ball, etc, to the point that can't even draw fans in? Or is the experience good enough that, it'll continue to be the draw, regardless of the teams play?

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 3:29 PM by luke Highlight this comment 79

I guess I just don't know why people would pay ballpark prices to not watch a game. Maybe the world has passed me by --- I go to the ballpark to watch baseball being played.

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 3:30 PM by ben Highlight this comment 80

I'd be curious to know how many games STH's actually go to. My guess would be not all that many, say on average maybe 10? And if this is true, STH's dropping wouldn't have much effect. They probably would still go to some individual games themselves and the people they sold tickets to would just buy them from the Twins or from someone else. In the end the Twins may make even more since they wouldn't be selling as many tickets below face value and with no additional perks.

I agree Target Field definitely has entered into the era of fairground rather than ballpark. The only thing there missing is the midway rides. The players are the livestock, the food is the food, the concourses/hallways the arts/craft areas, the bars/kiosks the beer stands, the video boards the shows/acts, the giveaways the giveaways, and the slow meandering around people watching is the same.

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 4:17 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 81

"I go to the ballpark to watch baseball being played."

I do, too, Ben. It completely mystifies me that people would pay for the privilege of spending more money -- and just to drink!

But I'm not into the bar scene, and I might feel differently if I were. Bars have cover charges, and it's likely that some people think of the ticket price as just a cover charge. And bars often charge outrageous mark-ups for alcohol, so TF isn't really all that much worse in that regard.

If drinking in a fun atmosphere is what you're looking for, and money isn't really a consideration, then TF probably can match the best bars in town.

If, on the other hand, you love baseball, don't care about the alcohol, or the party, and do want some value for the money, it's a very different story.

I've resisted saying this for some time, but I have come to realize that Target Field is largely a really outrageously expensive restaurant, with dinner entertainment provided in the form of a game of baseball. In some parts of the park (the Metropolitan Club, the Champions Club, and the Legends Club, just to name the most obvious) this is literally true. But even in the upper deck, where the seats cost less but the food costs the same, it's effectively also true.

When I compare a family trip to Target Field with all of the other options we have, I find it to be the most expensive, and generally least satisfying option available to us (that's as a whole family, my own personal experience counting for only 1/4 of the total). It's to the point where we go a couple of times a year as a family just because I love baseball and hope that my kids will too, someday. But for real fun, at a reasonable price, we wouldn't even consider it. For a spontaneous family outing? Never.

The All Star game was a sort of extreme example, but there was never any consideration of taking my kids (who are 9 and 6) because we would have had to spend at least $2000 for lousy seats, plus parking, food, and other what-not. I would have loved to give them that once-in-a-lifetime experience, but -- and here's the sad truth -- I can give them a whole bunch of way better once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for that same amount of money. We took a four-day trip to Florida in February which cost only a little more than that! We can spend a weekend on the North Shore for the cost of one of those tickets -- with waterpark time included!

I'm not going to criticize anyone who spent that kind of money. We all set our priorities, and everyone's entitled to do that for themselves. But when I measure the value for my family, Target Field and the Twins rank pretty low on the totem pole.

Frankly, I wouldn't take them at all if it weren't the Great Game, in which can be found so many metaphors for life -- so much poetry, and music, and drama, and aspirations, and lessons, and beauty, and ideals for the human spirit. I like to think that, even with limited exposure in person, my kids will come to appreciate the game over time, remember the times we spent there together, how I score the game, love to take pictures, look for interesting things to happen both on and off the field, talk about the players and situations and strategies, and that some of it will rub off on them so that they can become the next generation of baseball fan.

But there is a limit to how much I'm willing to pay for that, and TF is way over it. We're going to have to find most of that down at Powderhorn Park, where baseball is always affordable.

What is sad, and what I think is at the heart of Ben's disdain for the current state of the game (correct me if I'm wrong, Ben), is that Target Field has completed the transition of the Twins from a baseball club to a corporate entertainment behemoth. The value of the game itself, once the product they were selling, now seems like only the loss-leader to get us in the door so they can sell us expensive food and booze.

It's been a long, slippery slope since someone first started selling beer across the street from Sportsman's Park in St. Louis 150 years ago, but it is now complete.

Because when the team sucks, the entertainment crowd doesn't care. They still go. They still pay. They still eat and drink.

They don't know what they are missing. And it's hard for a baseball fan to accept what has been lost.

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 4:27 PM by Rick 82

And we note our place with bookmarkers ------------------

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 5:14 PM by ben Highlight this comment 83

And your latest post, Rick, is nothing short of excellent.

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 5:24 PM by ben Highlight this comment 84

Great post Rick. Sad, but true.

I go to ballparks to watch baseball. With few exceptions, the better the game on the field the more often I'm in the park.

Every MLB city has better entertainment and food options than the best at any park.

However, I shouldn't complain too much, as those that come to the park for anything but baseball keep the experience affordable for me.

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 8:56 PM by Jfh Highlight this comment 85

I can't tell you the last time my friends and I sat through an entire 9 innings. Most of the time we are standing in one of TF's bar areas "watching" the game. We consider not a bad deal to pay a $20 cover charge to get into Target Field and absorb some atmosphere along with our alcohol - and I'm approaching 40. Where else are you going to find 25,000 people to engage with or look at on a Sunday afternoon? The downtown bars are practically empty -- spending some extra coin at TF for a fun afternoon is worth it. ... I guess I'm part of the reason the Twins will continue to suck harder and the Pohlads will get richer.

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 9:48 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 86

If you want to watch baseball, turn on the television or open your laptop; there's plenty to be seen. You go to the ballpark for atmosphere. You go there for the smell of the grass, the smell of the hot dogs and popcorn, and you go there to be surrounded by other people. And even then, there are plenty of college, high school, and legion games in the area that can provide enough sensory input for the purists out there.

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 04:57 AM by Spud (aka Winona Mike) Highlight this comment 87

In the five games since the break, the Twins are hitting less than .100 with RISP. How bad is it when the number is less than half of the number that constitutes the dreaded "Mendoza Line"? Nevertheless, I will be at the ballpark this afternoon enjoying the sunshine, the park and those special moments on the field that occur even when a bad team is playing.

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 07:38 AM by terry Highlight this comment 88

I was surprised last Tuesday at how many kids were at the ASG. I said to my brother that unlike the playoff games I saw at TF, there were many more kids at the ASG than I expected. One other ASG note: while they did not honor the Sweet Spot STH discount cards over the ASG events, they did not jack up concession prices, either.

As for paying the cover charge to see potentially bad baseball live, [I'm adding the "potentially" just to hold out an iota of hope for the Local Nine] I'll keep doing it because of my love of the game. Which, of course, was born in watching another bad team in the '70s and '80s in Cleveland. Since I can't see any baseball on TV (no cable), instead of paying comcast I'll pay the Twins directly for the baseball-watching...good or bad.

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 08:05 AM by fiesta Highlight this comment 89

I go to baseball games to see baseball. I was at Target Field on Monday (happy birthday to me!), I spent a grand total of $8 on other stuff - one Kramarczuk's bratwurst for dinner. I brought in an empty bottle for water (since it was quite warm and muggy), I got to the park early, watched some Cleveland batting practice, was in my seat for the National Anthem and didn't move until the game was over - except for one 60 second run to refill that water bottle.

I would look around the park (first row seats in section 215 are great!), and I'd see people more interested in their beer than in the game. I just don't get it. But, I also recognize that they probably don't "get" me either.

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 08:25 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 90

Interesting and somewhat maddening article (imo) about the All Star Game cost in the Strib. See link. As a sports and baseball fan, I don't see MLB really being out of line here. The entire event can basically be seen as an advertisement for the city and the state and can be looked at as any other ad campaign, e.g. "Explore Minnesota." Having not been able to attend any of the events in person, the city, state, and Target Field all looked incredible as always on TV. The long-term dividends gained from the event are not something that show up right away.

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 09:13 AM by DeePee Highlight this comment 91

I agree with F_T_K. If your truly going to TF to watch the game there wouldn't be much that would pull you from your seat. Whatever does pull you from your seat your giving a higher priority to then watching baseball.

My guess is the average person is being pulled from their seat more often at TF than they were at the Dome. An inning of baseball is typically less than 20 minutes, so it doesn't take too much pulling to miss 2-3 innings of a game.

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 09:23 AM by Dave Highlight this comment 92

I like the fact that I can now enjoy outdoor MLB baseball which I could not do from 1982 to 2009, unless I drove to Milwaukee or elsewhere. It makes me mad that I missed out for so long, but now I am happy I can now again do what I enjoy- going to watch baseball outdoors like I used to at the Old Met. I sure am glad that Target Field turned out to be such a great venue for baseball.

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 09:51 AM by Tom D. Highlight this comment 93

I think the salient point of late is that the Twins could easily provide an even better "experience", especially to those who come to see the game. That would entail putting a better, more competitive product on the field. Let's all try to remember that was exactly what the team promised back when they had their hand out.

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 10:18 AM by ben Highlight this comment 94

It's been a very disappointing last three years as far as the team's performance on the field. And what reason is there to believe that 2015 will be any better? Do guys like Arcia, Parmelee, Plouffe, Fuld, really get anyone excited?? Arcia can be fun to watch at times, but his bat is very inconsistent and his defense is not very good. Mauer has wore out his welcome.

I have enjoyed watching Kurt Suzuki this year and think the Twins need to consider trading him while his value is as high as its ever been. Willingham also needs to be dealt because this team is going nowhere anytime soon.

Remember the days when the Twins' attendance would spike when Johan Santanta or Francisco Liriano were pitching? Would be nice to have a top-notch pitcher again.

Regardless of how good or bad the Twins are, I still enjoy the game of baseball and going to Twins games just as much as I did in some of those lean years in the mid to late 1990's. However, I will say the experience is much better now being outdoors in a great ballpark compared to being in the Metrodome with 5,000-7,000 fans at times.

September games can be very enjoyable. Perfect weather, smaller crowds. Just a good opportunity to soak in some outdoor baseball before the long winter months ahead. I must admit I get a little sad when I leave my final Twins game each season.

Our winters are too long to not enjoy baseball season. Would just be nice to get a taste of October baseball again and shorten our winters a bit. Can you even imagine how electric the Twin Cities would be if the Twins could make a deep run into the postseason? 2002 was so much fun and we have not won a single postseason series since. In other words, the Twins have won just one postseason series in the last 23 years (Oakland, 2002). Even game 1 of the 2002 ALCS was electric when Joe Mays pitched and the Twins won.

Too many times during the winter months I will sit and think about Target Field and baseball season and wait for Opening Day to roll around.

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 11:03 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 95

Apparently I am oblivious to Gatorade prices at the ballpark or some prices were jacked up during the ASG.

I infrequently buy Gatorade at the ballpark (over the free water, which is good, free and often very cold from the various orange jugs) and I swear it costs $4 from the mobile stand above my section in 229. I went to the stand in the Dugout Box section during the Home Run derby, ordered the big dog + Gatorade (that i typically get at said mobile stand above 229) and was surprised to find out the Gatorade was $6.

Yuck, I need to pay more attention or never ever buy food at the ballpark again.

I too was surprised to see so many kids at the ASG festivities, while some events were less surprising than others. Not that it's a bad thing, I thought it was great. Just wasn't expecting that many kids.

Also, even though there were signs in most places saying the sweet spot discount didn't apply during the ASG, I apparently had a few unaware people ringing me up because I was able to utilize it a few times.

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 11:06 AM by jared Highlight this comment 96

My experience at ballpark is similar to The Truth Hurts. Typically we hit a patio nearby and then get $5 singles from scaplers (not seated together which sometimes confuses them as to why we not want to sit together) to pay our "cover charge" and then go in for national anthem (which we NEVER skip out on) and then stand and watch the first inning standing from over outfield wall, then hit Town ball Tavern and people watch. Middle innings we bar/food hop/maybe buy a ballcap (we are what Twins Mgmt love right now) all around stadium and usually sit in upper deck behind plate for last couple innings. Then while crowd leaves we get 1 last beer at Hrbeks/TBT. If I go w/ my dad I will sit w/ him whole game and watch but he gets bored by 7th inning watching this poor excuse of a team using the BUT WAIT TILL NEXT YEAR WE GOT SOME GREAT PROSPECTS! hope machine. It is to eac their own- some people dont understand what I (and alot of others) do I dont understand people paying more than $5 to sit and watch (and some use the scorecards) a team that has lost 95 plus games past 3 years running -thats not baseball to me- for the love of the game you can watch town ball teams or the Saints and be outside w/ peanuts and cracker jacks. But again to each their own. There is no right or wrong way to enjoy a day at the ballpark.

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 12:17 PM by Uffda Highlight this comment 97

Look at these batting averages for today's lineup...

Fuld -- .263
Dozier -- .239
Plouffe -- .243
Morales -- .240
Colabello -- .239
Arcia -- .216
Nunez -- .273
Fryer -- .174
Santana -- .311

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 12:29 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 98

Tom Hamilton on Cleveland radio is currently gushing about how great the Twins still draw and all of the amazing new facilities we've spent money on in the past 5 years. Of course, Cleveland has had trouble drawing even in pennant races lately.

And now he's discussing the size of mosquitoes at Metropolitan Stadium and the amusement park at Mall of America. Pitchers must be working REALLY slow today.

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 12:40 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 99

DeePee, I agree, I don't see the MLB out of line either. In looking at the list in the article and the waivers and stuff given, I believe that is a small fraction compared to the demands the NFL had for SB LII. That list was lengthy, and IMO, some of the items on the NFLs list seemed somewhat unreasonable and maybe even frivolous. BUT, if you want to host the SB, these are things you just have to do.

If you're wanting to score big events, and showcase your new venues with stuff like that, you have to give a little. The ASG as an event has changed significantly since we last had it in 1985. You have to roll with the times, Star Tribune, they have changed.

But, as you mentioned, the dividends will pay off. I heard one person interviewed on KMSP, said he's been to like 13 ASGs...Minneapolis was by far the best he had been to.

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 12:59 PM by luke Highlight this comment 100

There is no right or wrong way to enjoy a day at the ballpark.

This is completely true and very important. My intent was not to imply otherwise. Nor was it to sit in judgment on anyone for how they enjoy the ballpark or game.

But there are consequences for the die-hard baseball fans in the current environment which must be acknowledged.

The unfortunate thing is that ownership has minimal incentive to improve the team as long as revenues are healthy. And since TF allows revenues to essentially ALWAYS be healthy (or even grotesque) regardless of the team's quality, we probably have to get used to seeing mediocre play on the field.

This runs directly contrary to what was promised during the stadium battle, but that really shouldn't be a surprise. Did we get "taken"? Well, yes. But we also got a beautiful ballpark which really does make watching games a thing of joy, especially on a day like today.

Full disclosure: I'm writing this from the ballpark, on a spontaneous trip with my kids. Do I contradict myself? Very well then... (See: Walt Whitman. I will tally the costs later. For now, it's about getting some fresh air into my lungs.)

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 1:39 PM by Rick 101

We didn't "get" a beautiful ballpark, we BOUGHT a beautiful ballpark. The Twins took us for suckers.

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 3:07 PM by ben Highlight this comment 102

It's amazing how much traffic there's been over the last few days. It's good to see.

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 3:09 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 103

Let's go with "acquired."

Maybe the question is whether we got what we paid for. Clearly, we did, though it may not have been what some thought we were buying.

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 3:19 PM by Rick 104

Yeah, Rick, that post wasnt meant towards you or anyone else nor did I take anything you said as judgement-was just observations. I agree of course we got taken based on what was promised (to be more competitive) but the result was same as in other cities that built new ballparks. The irony in all of this is that some of the league's most successful and popular teams look where they play? Yankees played in a 1970's renovated Yankee Stadium until recently, Red Sox play in a tiny bandbox called Fenway, Dodgers play in 50 plus year old stadium, Angels are playing in a renovated Big A. I love Target Field and how the dumpy area around it has been revitalized-I mean the transformation in just 5 years is incredible and is ongoing-but I did look at the stadiums succesful teams were playing in at the time and didnt think a new stadium would instantly mean World Series Championships forthcoming. On the flip side those werent promise-what WAS promised was that we would be able to compete w/ "the big boys" for talent and to be successful. One playoff season routed by Yanks and 3 mid plus 90 loss season losses later I dont see anything different than in the past as far as off season moves go. Yes we did sign Nolasco and Pavano but the wy things done are status quo for most part-and the results show it.

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 3:30 PM by Uffda Highlight this comment 105

And btw last sentence I wrote in prev post I tried to take back as soon as I hot "post"- Nolasco's season has been a train wreck and Pavano I believe had 1 decent year-the point I was making was that we attempted to sign bigger name free agents-not the biggest names but at least FA's w/ promise. We did also sign Hughes who has been admiral (dont remember what we signed him for) -Willingham we got dirt cheap. I do realize that you cant build a winner on FA's alone but what we are doing now is toting these hot prospects just as we have done since 1992. We are constantly talking about next year or 2 years from now and it keeps getting pushed back. I feel like it must be to be a Royals fan right now. They are always told how great their farm system is. What has it gotten them? Ok-end of rant. Thanks. This is a good forum to air things out!

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 4:33 PM by Uffda Highlight this comment 106

Oh and lastly the poinst of BOTH previous posts before I went on a tangent rant was that w/ the new stadium we would be attempting to go after some of the bigger fish FA's to help compliment and balance out our younger players. What has ended up happening is we have fielded a lineup of mostly utilty players/back up catchers who can play other positions as starters and picking up castoff role players from other teams.

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 4:37 PM by Uffda Highlight this comment 107

I saw a few things above to which I wanted to respond...

"...those that come to the park for anything but baseball keep the experience affordable for me."

I'm trying to understand how that would be so. It seems to me like the Twins never let up on their pricing, regardless of whether the park is full or empty. They seem to have mastered the "don't blink" approach, something Carl likely instilled in the organization.

"I guess I'm part of the reason the Twins will continue to suck harder and the Pohlads will get richer."

We are all part of that reason, regardless of why we go to the ballpark, o what type of experience we seek. In other words, my intent was not to blame anyone specifically -- and to accept culpability myself. Every time anyone spends money at the ballpark, they are essentially giving approval to what Twins, LLC is selling. If we want a better team, the most effective way to send a message is to not spend as much money.

As we've seen in the past, that happens somewhat naturally when the team sucks. But we've never seen how TF affects it. My sense is that it will take a whole lot more suckitude before the crowds dwindle, and people don't even want to go there to drink anymore.

"If you want to watch baseball, turn on the television or open your laptop; there's plenty to be seen. You go to the ballpark for atmosphere."

For me, the ballpark is a chance to experience the entire game, and not just what the TV people want to show me. It always shocks me a little bit to come home from a game, spin up the Roku to rewatch one of the innings I most enjoyed, and find the commentators talking about something that was never even on my radar.

I know that's what commentators are supposed to do, and our boys do that pretty well, but I go to the ballpark (at least in part) to remove that filter.

"You go there for the smell of the grass, the smell of the hot dogs and popcorn, and you go there to be surrounded by other people."

This is a bit mystifying, but I have never smelled the grass at TF -- not even when we've gone down to the field to run the bases after Sunday games. I agree that's one of the reasons to go to the park, but TF has always been a disappointment in that regard.

On the other hand, today we sat at the very top of section 311, with a breeze coming in behind us, and bringing the smells from the grills below. It was spectacular.

As for being around people, I'm sort of an introvert, but I've discovered in recent years the joys of striking up a baseball conversation with a stranger. I can see now that it really is one of the great reasons to go to the park.

"...there were many more kids at the ASG than I expected."

I thought the same thing, and wondered how these people have so much money to spend on such a thing. The park was clearly filled with the "haves" on that particular night, as it is on most nights, if the truth be told.

"One other ASG note: while they did not honor the Sweet Spot STH discount cards over the ASG events, they did not jack up concession prices, either."

This was a great surprise to me as well, and I bet the team wishes that had gone for the electronic menu boards when the park was built. Those things allow you to change prices much more easily and often, and certainly would have yielded more revenue if they had been available.

I tried to use my Sweet Spot card, but it was rejected every time.

"Since I can't see any baseball on TV (no cable), instead of paying comcast I'll pay the Twins directly for the baseball-watching...good or bad."

It galls me greatly that baseball fans have to pay so much to Fox and the cable companies for the opportunity to watch a game. This really should be illegal because it represents monopolistic and predatory pricing. These exclusive deals should really open the discussion in Congress about the anti-trust exemption, though they probably never will.

I subscribe to MLB.TV, and at least pay my TV money directly to the league for exactly what I want to watch. (After having antenna-replacement-level service from Comcast for a couple of years, I told them where to stick it when they tried to get me to install a digital converter box on each TV. Now I have this great antenna on my house, get perfect signal for all the local stations, and watch tons of baseball, including the Twins, on the Roku.)

"I spent a grand total of $8 on other stuff."

Last summer I went to a game for the cost of bus fare and nothing else. That's all but impossible with kids, but going by myself, on a free ticket, and not being hungry made it remarkably easy.

"Interesting and somewhat maddening article (imo) about the All Star Game cost in the Strib.

The most interesting part of that article was that they were to give away a bunch of tickets to Fanfest to low income kids. First, leave it to MLB to give away the absolutely least desirable thing to people who can't really appreciate large portions of it (the souvenir sales).

But secondly, I think my kids benefited from that. Their summer program (Minneapolis Kids), which is not a low-income program by any means, and has tons of kids with sufficient means to go to the game itself, got to go to Fanfest for free. I'm going to check tomorrow and see if that's what was meant by a "low income" giveaway, but if it was, well, it may not have been as altruistic as it sounded.

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 4:49 PM by Rick 108

"Too many times during the winter months I will sit and think about Target Field and baseball season and wait for Opening Day to roll around."

That's why, when days like today come around, we wind up out at the ballpark regardless of everything else.

Here's the financial report for my spontaneity:

$42.05 tickets (Stubhub, 3 tix)
$5.50 bus fare (one kid rode free)
$1.00 scorecard
$32.85 food and beverage ($3.65 saved with Sweet Spot card)

Total: $81.40 ($27.13 per person)

How many times per summer can I do that? Well, there will probably come at least one more day before school starts when I won't be able to resist. But that's nearing the cost of a week's worth of groceries...

"Cleveland has had trouble drawing even in pennant races lately."

What's going on with the Cleveland fans? For more than a decade you couldn't get a seat in their ballpark, even when they weren't winning. Now it's all changed. What happened?

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 5:14 PM by Rick 109

I just decided to rewatch Arcia's homer from today's game, and see that there was no local TV today. How weird is that?

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 5:20 PM by Rick 110

Great responses, Rick. My #1 question: How do you watch the Twins via Isn't there the big home territory blackout?

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 5:45 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 111

And a quick followup:
Sitting next to us at the ASG in 332 was a dad and his son. The dad, in his mid- to late-30s, I'd guess, plays on a town ball team in Gilroy, MN (and says that he's in a large photo/mural in the Town Ball Tavern, wearing #35). He said that it was important to him to take his son to the game...and that his wife and girls either did/or would have to understand. Maybe a lot of those difficult decisions of who gets to go were made.

But, yes, a lot of money was involved. As for Sweet Spot, I tried it once and after the first NO on Sunday, I left it at home, figuring it was universal.

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 6:00 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 112

Well, you can always watch the game later, or...

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 6:23 PM by Rick 113

I always record the games so I can blow through the ads. Watching several minutes of commercials every few minutes drives me nuts, especially when you see the same ones over and over.

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 6:31 PM by ben Highlight this comment 114

It was a great afternoon at the ballpark. Yes the Twins are in last place and deservedly so. Yes, many players in the starting lineup would be lucky to have a job at AA in other organizations. Yes, the two top prospects in the Twins system have spent most of the season on the dl, where the Twins career .320 hitter now resides as well. But the sun was out, the crowd enthusiastic and there was some exciting baseball. Watch Nunez spectacular diving catch to save two runs. I got to the park early, had lunch at the Town Ball and was in my seat for the National Anthem and stayed there throughout. A wonderful day.

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 8:09 PM by terry Highlight this comment 115

Well the Twins have completed the hat trick...First it was Bartlett, then Kubel and now Guerrier has been designated for release or assignment.

And another former Twin, AJ Pierzynski, whom the Twins offered a 2-year deal to in December was released by the Red Sox earlier this month. Can you imagaine if AJ would have signed with the Twins rather than Red Sox?? Especially considering the great year Kurt Suzuki has had.

"It's a very tough moment here," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Matty Guerrier means a lot to us in this organization and this clubhouse. He's a first-class guy. So it's a real tough moment here."

Quotes like that are what drives me crazy about the Twins organization. He might be a first class guy, but he is well beyond his prime and not an effective player anymore at the major league level. But yet the Twins think he brings so much to the organization. It's decisions like this that contribute to 3 consecutive 90+ loss seasons with a fourth consecutive losing on the horizon this year.

Would be nice if the Twins organization would once put an emphasis on being able to compete at the major league level rather then insisting on always doing things the "Twins Way" and caring about former players well beyond their primes. I am sorry but that is all on Gardenhire and Ryan and more reason to believe things will never change in the Twins organization until their is a major front office overhaul.

No accountability whatsoever in the Twins organization. Your GM gets "fired" but then gets "reassigned" to a new role within the organization? Then to replace your GM with his predecessor? Your manager survives 3 consecutive 90+ loss seasons to only get a 2 year contract extension following those 3 consecutive 90+ loss seasons. Only in Minnesota.

Posted on July 24, 2014 at 09:11 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 116

This is a bit mystifying, but I have never smelled the grass at TF -- not even when we've gone down to the field to run the bases after Sunday games. I agree that's one of the reasons to go to the park, but TF has always been a disappointment in that regard.

I have on quite a few occasions. Yes, the smell is mostly blocked out with the food smells but on occasion I get a good couple whiffs in before a new smell (good or bad) overcomes the grass smell. Although, I will say it likely has more to do with the fact that I like to get to the ballpark as early as possible meaning less "other" know, food, sweat, hot garbage (hot garbage burner), leather gloves/baseballs.

I love going into empty stadiums and arenas and hearing them silent or nearly silent. It's a wild experience especially if you can relive great plays in your head and imagine the roar. It makes the days (Like the ASG) with a buzz all that much more special.

On another point that Terry made, I think many, if not all, of this roster should at some point be on a major league roster just not as soon as they were. Now I am not going to research how much time each player spent in lower levels but it has always been my mentality that across sports players aren't getting the development they need.

It is more obvious in some leagues over others ::cough:: NBA ::cough:: but the almighty dollar is tempting and leading "kids" to try to force owners hands to play earlier/younger. Leagues like the NBA are getting terrible and watered down with the raw talent. t's my opinion that if you hear on draft night that any of the top 20 picks are "projects", they are not ready. It's obvious that most of these guys needed more time to develop before being brought up. Trevor Plouffe and Brian Dozier are great examples. I believe that both were called up too early (maybe a year or so) and they are not top tier talent at the moment but they are decent and look how long it took them to get where they are now. Obviously there is an adjustment to the majors as well.

It's also obvious that it's the "Twins way" or the highway. The Twins force all player types into their mold instead of developing them as individuals. Look at how much more successful ex-Twins players are when they aren't a square peg forced into a round hole.

For instance, hitting. Guys as big and strong as the Justin Morneau's and Joe Mauer's shouldn't be hitting on the ground the other way as much as they do. If the ball is in, you gotta do what you gotta do. But the Twins Way kills any power these guys have. I think we all will gladly sacrifice 20, maybe even 30 points from mauer's career .320 average if that means more fly balls down the right field line that theoretically lead to what 20 hrs a year. Hell, with a more upward swing he theoretically would hit into less double plays right? LOL.

It's frustrating to see the Twins get shifted on so much and I believe the Twins Way is the culprit. The shift is becoming more prevalent, clearly. Most other teams don't give a damn though. They walk the big sticks up there and dare them to pitch to them. All the twins do is bet pitchers they can't get the strikeout in 7 or less pitches. We don't have feared hitters and without those kinda guys, everyone's average will suffer.

Lastly, it's even more obvious the Twins will do anything for their bottom line, which means placing less value on quality leadership and thus letting those players walk. And keeping these guys in the lineup (injuries not withstanding), forces the young guys to the bench (or AA, AAA) and have to watch and learn and grow in the game. Gives them more time to develop.

As much as I am for giving young guys their looks (you never know when the next Jeter could pop up), their success rate is ridiculously low when coming in so young. Quite honestly if we are going to tank for a few seasons, I would rather do it with a bunch of veteran players and let the vaunted prospects work their way up the ranks more naturally.

I understand the need to play to the numbers but it appears to me this is about as far right conservative as a baseball team can get with their strategy. Maybe not Radical right, but pretty darn close. And that is just on the hitting side.


Posted on July 24, 2014 at 10:03 AM by jared Highlight this comment 117


that is hilarious, the guy you chatted with was from GIBBON, MN. he is a high school friend of mine, and i got him those strips through my group sales oppurtunities. He sold off the other events and paid face value for those two seats.

and yes, it is true, when you walk into townball tavern, to the left, the wall is a mural of a shot of Gibbon, MN field, and he is pitching, #35.

i was at the game as well, with my wife, we are certainly not well off, but we both really wanted to go to this. I ended up paying for it with the profits from my buying and selling of HR Derby tickets, but even before that, we were going, and the money was counted as our weekend getaway we try to do every year. My son is only 5, and he doesnt make it more than like 5 innings, but if he was older, i could certainly see wanting to make it work to bring him

Posted on July 24, 2014 at 11:32 AM by Thrillhouse Highlight this comment 118


in regards to specialty areas, we had a group that did Bud Deck for 3 years, and the last 2 we have now done the Great Clips Right Field. I can honestly say, we are done with the Bud Deck. it is kinda cool up there, but you have no view, and the prices are outrageous.

The Right Field Section is very cool, reasonably priced bar stool seats with backs, and a shelf for your drink and food, lots of room to move around, and a very nice view of the field. Not to mention, $10 food and bev credit on your ticket... so, when we went on a Friday in June, cost of ticket was $35, and i know i spend at least $10 for beer and food anyhow, so a $25 game, on a Friday in June, with a big group of friends, good times. We will use the Right Field Section as long as we do a group!

Posted on July 24, 2014 at 11:37 AM by Thrillhouse Highlight this comment 119

You see teams like Detroit, with Nathan struggling as their closer, they went out and traded for Soria. Giving up two pitching prospects in exchange. They are just that, prospects.

Why does it seem like the Twins always wait too long to make moves? Unless they can lock up Suzuki to an affordable contract extension in the next 7 days, they need to trade him. He signed a one-year deal in December and is having a career year. His value will not get any higher for the Twins. The season is a lost cause so you might as well give guys like Pinto, Fryer and Hermann some playing time over the final two months.

Willingham should also be on the block.

Anyone else think the Twins will be conservative and not make any moves?

Posted on July 24, 2014 at 11:41 AM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 120

Thrillhouse, I was on the Bud Roof Deck once, during the Open House in 2010. I too, was not impressed. As you and others here have said, it's cool, if you have no intent of keeping any attention on the game. It would be a great spot for a networking/mingling event, but that's about it. Maybe a cool spot for a wedding reception. I know there are like two rows of bar style seating up there, and I don't even know if they have a great view.
I would love to try the Great Clips seats.

Posted on July 24, 2014 at 1:08 PM by luke Highlight this comment 121

What, exactly, is "cool" (at least "awesome" wasn't used) about a place which has "no view" and outrageous prices?

I think folks are rationalizing - which is just what the Twins want.

Posted on July 24, 2014 at 1:37 PM by ben Highlight this comment 122


Gibbon! That's it! Too funny! I knew Wade was #35 as he was wearing a 1994 game-used Gardy jersey.

Posted on July 24, 2014 at 1:52 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 123

Chuck Knoblauch arrested last night in Houston, accused of assaulting his ex-wife...
The Twins are apparently canceling his 2014 HOF Induction scheduled for Sat 8/23

Posted on July 24, 2014 at 2:31 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 124

What was your favorite Kendrys Morales Twins moment? Traded to Seattle for (injured) 25 yr old relief pitcher Stephen Pryor. Ticket office phone must be ringing off the hook after that move...

Posted on July 24, 2014 at 2:50 PM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 125


I have the same years #13 Jerry White Jersey (our high school numbers), got them at Twins Fest in 1999, $50 for a college kid is a lot, but it was well worth it!

Posted on July 24, 2014 at 3:01 PM by Thrillhouse Highlight this comment 126


I considered the bud deck cool because myself and another guy organized a big enough group to use all 250 tickets and hang out up there for 3 different years (last year was a little slim, demand was falling). It was almost like a reunion, people who had not seen each other mingling and such...

The private bar was nice too.

BUT, that is about the level of coolness in my mind. We will not be going back up there.

Another great thing about the Great Clips Section, i can return unused tickets up until 3 weeks before, so if our turn out is low, i dont have to sell all tickets, and they go back to the Twins who put them on the general sale.. it is really much nicer

I will be sure to post her next year before i set my final number in case anyone wants to check it out.

Posted on July 24, 2014 at 3:06 PM by Thrillhouse Highlight this comment 127

"...Chuck Knoblauch arrested last night in Houston, accused of assaulting his ex-wife...The Twins are apparently canceling his 2014 HOF Induction scheduled for Sat 8/23..."

...and offering him a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training 2015.

Posted on July 24, 2014 at 3:19 PM by Rick 128

I'm glad they built the Bud Deck. If they hadn't, fans would be perpetually looking at the empty roof and wondering why there wasn't something up there.

But because it was an afterthought, they didn't quite get the height right. Were it even a half story closer to the field, the view might make it a worthwhile place to watch the game. As it is, you can certainly track what's going on, if you want, but large swaths of the field are not visible at all. The focus is on the social interactions, to be sure.

So unless you are there for that reason, you'll probably be a bit disappointed. It's not a spot for the die-hards, that's for sure.

I really like the fire pit, and the fact that they have an open grill up there. It really has the feel of a rooftop bar, not unlike all of the others which have sprung up in recent years.

I can certainly imagine a renovated version that would be a little more game-focused: Cantilevered glass floors extending out toward the playing field on both sides -- sort of a sky suite, inside which it feels like you're floating over the playing field.

Posted on July 24, 2014 at 3:34 PM by Rick 129

The "cool" factor is just that it looks like a neat spot, until you go up there. Its that skybox mentality. Get a birds eye view of the game. It was a neat part of the design I think.
I remember way back in a Rick post, one of the ones where he was analyzing the virtual flythrough. On the flythrough, it was just a plain roof atop the Admin Building, and Rick made the suggestion the Twins should capitalize by putting a party deck up there.

Posted on July 24, 2014 at 3:49 PM by luke Highlight this comment 130

He mentioned it in Model Details part 5. Click for link.

Posted on July 24, 2014 at 3:53 PM by luke Highlight this comment 131

I wonder if the Twins will be offering refunds for the 8/23 game. Believe it or not, there are people who buy tickets for the promo - the HOF pins are a collector's item.

Posted on July 24, 2014 at 4:24 PM by ben Highlight this comment 132

For those going to the game tonight (which includes me!), there is a new statue over by the Northstar station. It looks, from a distance, like Bullseye, the Target mascot.

Posted on July 24, 2014 at 4:33 PM by Rick 133

Ben - let me guess, you are one of those people.

Posted on July 24, 2014 at 7:43 PM by antifire Highlight this comment 134

"Ben - let me guess, you are one of those people." No, but it is one of my "regular" games. I was referring to those who bought tickets specifically to attend the promo. Is that clear enough for you now?

Posted on July 25, 2014 at 12:03 AM by ben Highlight this comment 135

It is a statue of Bullseye. I kind of thought T.C. would be the first non-human memorialized (aside from the oversized glove) but money talks, and T.C. Bear is broke due to his gambling and drinking problems. I've seen him on many Thursday nights hunched over the blackjack table at Canterbury Downs belligerently yelling at the dealer and inappropriately touching the waitstaff. Just awful.


Posted on July 25, 2014 at 01:11 AM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 136

TTH - there is a TC statue already, on the plaza. I can't confirm or deny the alleged behavior of TC. He does seem a bit sketchy, never answering direct questions.

Posted on July 25, 2014 at 08:04 AM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 137

testing 1234

Posted on July 25, 2014 at 09:36 AM by Twinkfan Highlight this comment 138

Went to 1st game of the year last night. Course was at the Cowboy till the bottom of the 3rd and decided to get some tickets to go. Went to the ticket window and told them I wanted the cheap $14 seats. They said they didn't have any left. What? The whole upper deck was maybe a 1/3 full. So I walked about 100 ft to the ticket kiosk and bingo lots of $14 seats left! What a scam! By the way had the 2lb bucket of dry rub wings at Cowboy Jacks! Very tasty! And the $2.00 beers are needed to sit thru a game! Great scenery up on that outdoor deck. Next time I think I will enjoy watching the game from out there. Was bored to death inside. Ended up sitting behind home plate about 10 rows in anyways. 1 hit thru 7 innings for our sad sacks! LOL! No Holiday dogs sadly were consumed last night!

Posted on July 25, 2014 at 09:37 AM by Twinkfan Highlight this comment 139

Anyone else see the little drama taking place between Arcia and Santana playing catch?

Posted on July 25, 2014 at 10:11 AM by ben Highlight this comment 140

Coming up from Mankato tonight and would like to park to the West of the stadium. Any suggestions?

Posted on July 25, 2014 at 10:24 AM by Eric Highlight this comment 141

To avoid getting hit, some women carry pepper spray. Others carry a gun. Women dating Chuck Knoblauch should carry first base.

Posted on July 25, 2014 at 10:32 AM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 142

Arcia and Santana?

Eric, you can try parking meters on the streets, but that is hit or miss. For the simplest option, park in the A ramp. Easy access to any direction after the game.

Posted on July 25, 2014 at 11:22 AM by Rick 143

The Knoblauch story was a little vague about the women. It described an assault against a "common law wife" a few years ago, but didn't give her name. Then it said that this time it's an actual wife, though it didn't say whether she's the same woman as before.

Not that it matters, I guess. Regardless of the details, it would he hard to cheer for him right now. The Twins did the right thing.

Posted on July 25, 2014 at 11:30 AM by Rick 144

I hear chuck does not like Hot Dogs. That might keep him at bay!

Posted on July 25, 2014 at 12:02 PM by Twinkfan Highlight this comment 145

Knobs has been in pretty rough shape for a while now. I read this Deadspin article a few years ago and it changed my perspective on him entirely. See link. The guy really needs some help.

Posted on July 25, 2014 at 12:45 PM by DeePee Highlight this comment 146

"Fans holding tickets to the second game of a day-night doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers on Aug. 23 may contact the Twins ticket office to work out an adjustment, up to and including a full refund."

Posted on July 25, 2014 at 1:08 PM by ben Highlight this comment 147

"Coming up from Mankato tonight and would like to park to the West of the stadium. Any suggestions?"

Pull into the park and ride at 394 & Hopkins Crossroad. $7.50 gets a family to and fro. In and out quick and easy. Maybe a bit further west than you want but a no brainer.

Posted on July 25, 2014 at 1:11 PM by ben Highlight this comment 148

ben - is the family rate on the bus a new thing? I have used the bus in the past when going by myself and sometimes with 1 of my kids, but once it got past 2 of us it was less $ to park. I always thought it would be nice to have a family rate and they might increase the number of users. I couldn't find anything on the website about pricing though.

Thanks for the tip. The bus is definitely the easiest in/out trip from the west metro.

Posted on July 25, 2014 at 2:30 PM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 149

I always park west of the stadium. My trip consists of a starting point in Eden prairie, up 100, east on 55 all the way to the ballpark. go through the stoplight at 6th Ave and 5th Street, make a left at 4th Street and park underneath the bridge. $6 bucks, short-ish and easy walk, Holiday right there for cheap snacks...easy in and usually very easy out.

Posted on July 25, 2014 at 3:31 PM by jared Highlight this comment 150

Stevie B ----- new this year. $8.50 weekdays, $7.50 weekends.

Posted on July 25, 2014 at 4:10 PM by ben Highlight this comment 151

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July 13, 2014 1:38 AM

There were times, in the past week, when I started to get the feeling that the Convention Center would be a very empty place this weekend. Simply put, it seemed like everyone wanted to give away their Fanfest tickets.

Continue reading this article

Starshine MPLS

July 12, 2014 1:46 AM

On September 10, 2008, the Twins called the media (including yours truly) to the roof of Target Center to announce their pipe dream of starshine at their nearby, gradually-materializing new home.

It was a very cheery event, with tons of back-slapping and gleams in the eyes of politicians and other notables. There were hot dogs and Cracker Jack, bats and balls festooned with prototype All-Star logos, and lots of posing after the requisite speech-making. In the near distance cranes soared and silently twirled, and orange safety fencing adorned construction edges which would one day be actual places.

Continue reading this article

Anything Is Possible

March 31, 2014 1:46 PM

It is rainy in the Twins Cities today. The sky is as grey as it gets, and the chances of actual sunshine are around zero percent. There is more cold, and more snow, in the forecast.

My yard is still partially covered with snow, the top of which now sports a crust thick enough that my kids can walk across it without leaving footprints or, thankfully, getting their socks and shoes wet. The remaining cover is thickest out in the middle of the yard, about where home plate generally gets placed, right in front of the garden bed that my mom will fill with hostas in a few weeks. Those plants will be mined over and over all summer long for balls which got by someone's bat, but my mom doesn't seem to care. She's a fan.

Continue reading this article

New-Look TwinsFest 2014

January 29, 2014 12:03 AM

Reports in the media have been generally favorable toward this year's TwinsFest reboot. I didn't get to go, but here are some highlights as reported by BPMers who did.

First, from CSG Mike:

The crowds were not bad on Saturday afternoon from 1-3pm, considering it was "sold out." I think they probably limited it to the right number of tickets. I would compare it to a full game scenario in the LC. Make sense? Overall the spaces seemed rather disjointed. Unlike previous TF where it was all held in one giant space... They used the Suite level, LC, and service level (-2)...

Continue reading this article

Earlier Articles

"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 3042 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.

The view from the Penn Ave entrance to 394 (and all the way into town! Click to enlarge)

Fabulous Fantasy

5:45 PM, section 327, row 9, sitting: shade.

A view straight on of the Pro Shop area and ticket windows (just barely visible). The piers you see beneath the plaza are already almost completed (see final photo).

Here's the entrance from the seating bowl. It's down the outer moat, just beyond the last of the Dugout Box sections.

These are the outside tracks which go under the promenade

Here you can see the real beauty of the Seventh Street side, and get a solid sense of why the overall design really works. The building's purpose is clearly visible, there are numerous connections from inside to outside, scale is nicely mitigated, the stone is attractively used, materials are pleasantly mixed and truly complementary. It's just a winner in so many ways.

Main Concourse

The images on that wall appear to be of great Twins moments in history.

Limestone facing and flowers on the right field overhang

No arches. No brick. No girders. Classic.

The brown grass was left over from the first attempt at groundbreaking (canceled after the 35W bridge collapse)

Yes, TC is smiling.

The model still shows the Batters Eye Club, which is no longer part of the design.

Signage for the concession stand which is available from the plaza (plaques are up on the fencing)

The saddest event

Signature trees?

Bench seating just off the plaza

Train. (What is it about baseball and trains?)

Future station?

Yep, that's real grass down there, son.

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

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

Gate 6 is quite large

Skywalk over Seventh

This area will supposedly show the Twins chronology. Will it stretch back to 1901?

Clyde Doepner's Met Stadium Memorabilia (Source: LP)

Dugout Dog


BPM - Ballpark Magic

BRT - Bus Rapid Transit

DSP - Dave St. Peter

FSE - Full Season Equivalent

FYS - Fake Yankee Stadium (see also: NYS)

HERC - Hennepin Energy Resource Company (aka the Garbage Burner)

HPB - Home Plate Box

HRP - Home Run Porch

LC - Legends Club

LRT - Light Rail Transit

MBA - Minnesota Ballpark Authority (will own Target Field)

MOA - Mall of America

MSFC - Minnesota Sports Facilities Commission (owns the Metrodome)

NYS - New Yankee Stadium

SRO - Standing Room Only

STH - Season Ticket Holder

TCFBS - TCF Bank Stadium

TF - Target Field

Selected Bibliography - Analysis


First Edition (1992)

Second Edition (2006)


Selected Bibliography - Surveys


Second Edition (1987)

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

(2000, large coffee table)

Original edition (2000, round)

Revised edition (2006, round)

(2001, medium coffee table)

(2002, small coffee table)

(2003, medium coffee table)

(2004, very large coffee table)

(2006, very large coffee table)

Combines the previous two titles
(2007, medium coffee table)

Selected Bibliography - Nostalgia


Book and six ballpark miniatures

Complete Bibliography

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