Three weeks ago this was a patch of scruffy trees. Now it's a patio. In case you were wondering, that's where I've been...
Where have the boys been for the past 10 days? I hate these stretches when the game gets all distant and, well, unpleasant. Why isn't it here, on that stretch of grass we put up just for them to play on? Why can't they play all 162 within earshot? And win them all?
It's not a reasonable stance, I know, but that's how I feel. OK, not really.
My past 10 days have included, among other things (see photo), trying to explain to a very skeptical five-year-old why we should root for Derek Jeter on this one particular day, when we root against him for the whole rest of the season. It's definitely more absurd than you might at first think.
Not nearly as absurd, however, as the 49-minute monstrosity which passes for a pregame show to the All Star Game. The cast of some f-ing Fox show was singing some f-ing weepy slow song that, at the very least, wasn't the f-ing Star Spangled Banner, and should have been penalized for delay of game start.
And then, when we finally get to the SSB, we get this insanity:
As a baseball fan, I don't really care. But as a musician, I'm embarrassed. That's beyond ridiculous. Unless you are a songwriter, and it's your song, you have no business messing with the melody. Just sing the damn thing.
Speaking of being a musician (I have no theme again today, just a collection of stuff), if you're at the game Friday night, listen carefully for this song on the PA:
OK, I'm biased because I produced/recorded/mixed it, and my brother, Scott, is the drummer. Mike plays and sings everything else, and wrote all the songs. Click here to see a video we did for one of the other songs, and here to see us playing something completely different live at the Fine Line (I'm on bass, and we were all younger). As an aside, if you know Mischke, you know Mike's work.
We're told that the song will be played about 40 minutes before the game, and again somewhere around the 3rd/4th innings.
Both Scott and I will be in attendance, since tonight night is BallparkMagic Night at Target Field II, courtesy Mike Menner, whose 20th annual Fiesta de Beisbol takes place this weekend in south Minneapolis. Mike describes the weekend as one "which celebrates all that is good in the game...or something like that."
The party starts with Friday's game, but continues all through Saturday, including games actually played by attendees at Sibley Park in south Minneapolis, followed by a feast of homemade brats and a fabulous Hootenanny back at Mike's house.
Lest you think this is a small affair, Mike prints up a brochure every year, puts a group of 100 together to attend the Twins game, and hosts potentially many more for the rest of the festivities. It sounds very cool.
Unfortunately, I cannot attend because I'll be hosting birthday parties all day Saturday for Noah, who is turning five. He will also be at the game Friday night -- a special birthday treat. For those who'd like to offer their well-wishes (or cotton candy -- all he really wants), look for us in section 316, row 10.
Here are a couple of bits more closely related to the ballpark.
First, I was browsing through a collection of photos on Facebook which were posted by the youth group at Holy Trinity (where I conduct the adult choirs). Much to my surprise, they got a tour of Target Field, and the only photo I've seen yet of the visitor's clubhouse!
The visitor's clubhouse at Target Field. (Photo by Javen Swanson)
Pretty spartan compared to the home clubhouse, eh?
Next, I was out at the Mall of America this afternoon (shopping for birthday presents, you know) and caught this out of the corner of my eye in the Ikea parking lot:
I haven't been able to confirm it yet, but this looks to me like it's been there since the days when I sat in a sweaty Ford Galaxie 500 trying to inch our way out of that lot after a Twins game. Can anybody confirm this?
Fire Gardy? Trade Delmon? Bench Mauer? Say tsk tsk to the rotation? Commit ritual harakiri after dropping out of first?
Aren't we all just a little bit on edge these days? The Twins are only 3 1/2 games out of first, for crying out loud (EDIT: 4 1/2 games, ouch) on July 15.
Five years ago today, the day my son was born, the Twins were nine games over .500 at 49-40, and in 2nd place in the AL Central. And we all know full well that they went on to -- um -- uh oh, I probably should have checked my facts before starting this sentence, because it seems they went on to finish, oh I hate to even mention it, they finished the 2005 season in 3rd place.
Just a game, people.
Photo by Jared Wieseler
A damn beautiful game at that.
(But while we're on the subject, Bill, we need pitching. And a third baseman.)
"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.
Here's what they do in April at Comerica Park
Hubert's remains the only sports bar within site of the Dome after 28 years of its existence. It's a cautionary tale.
"I've never seen them do that before," said a Metropolitan Club waiter as I snapped this picture.
Site of the proposed new Atlanta Braves ballpark. Look familiar?
Killebrew taught, "Always make your autograph legible, boys."
I know you've seen these, but is there a better finishing touch anywhere else in baseball? I know not one.
Greatest spot in the city for cooking up some hot dogs. And would you kill for that grill?
Puckett atrium menu part 2 (Those prices match elsewhere in the ballpark.)
A little more imaginative is the circulation building for Northstar.
Killebrew's mammoth shot on June 3, 1967 is currently memorialized on a wall at the Mall of America
This is the LRT bridge under construction as viewed from the east looking west. The ballpark facade would be at the left in this photo.
The rendering which excited a fan base! (Inset is an enlargement of the pictured neon sculpture.)
Looking out from under Gate 34
Here's the view of the entrance ramp to 394. Looks like they are painting...
Finished product (Field Terrace)
Gate 34 Puckett
I will take a picture of just about anything.
The heretofore unseen north facade (click to enlarge). Does it look like a ballpark? And what's with the bamboo?
Stepping inside the circulation building
The east wall of the building looks like it will be the first part completed. These are probably supports for the plaza, and they hug the very edge of the site.
The Lincoln Saltdogs (and a promotional Nerd)
This mural is behind the staircase. The window looks onto the promenade, and the door goes to a kitchen.
The back row of seats in straight-away center. Note that, beyond those seats, you can see the planters (for flowers) on the front of the Left Field Bleachers.(Batters Eye)
Footings for the Seventh Street walkway from the A ramp.
Clyde Doeppner proudly displays colored bricks he scavenged from the Met during its demolition. These are the colors in question!
Did you know that the out-of-town scoreboard is covered by a black chain 1ink fence?
Here's the field of posts which will support the third base side of the grandstand. Some walls have started to appear about where the Northstar riders will enter the park.
A very unique space
All three seating mounds
I don't think this will remain a knothole, but the view is pretty cool.
Because of the scale, it's sometimes hard to realize that there are actual guys down there doing the tough work! Here they are getting ready to pour a footing.
Nathan greeting the other pitchers on the all-Metrodome team (October 4, 2009)