The Minnesota Twins broke in their brand new stadium Target Field on Monday with a 5-2 win over the Red Sox. I'm thrilled for the Twins. This was a team in contraction talks less than a decade ago, and now they have a beautiful, new stadium and the reigning AL MVP in Joe Mauer.
No one saw this coming 2002.
As far as I can tell, Target Field is a beautiful facility. Major League Baseball has made a lot of mistakes in the last couple of decades, but the influx of new stadiums has not been among them. While I'll admit places like Fenway and Wrigley remain the true cathedrals of baseball, no one can deny how nice this new generation of stadium is.
Beginning with Baltimore's Camden Yards in 1992, baseball has given us a wonderful influx of sweet, new stadiums. Highlights have included San Francisco's AT&T Park (or PacBell or SBC), Milwaukee's Miller Park and, yes, the new Yankee Stadium.
I'm also glad to see the demise of spaceship stadiums like Riverfront in Cincinnati, (the original) Busch in St. Louis, Olympic in Montreal and Shea in New York. That was some ugly architecture.
I've seen Detroit's Comerica Park and Cincinnati's Great American Ballpark personally, and they have a great way of making going to a game about a lot more than just the game.
I'm sure this is the case with Target Field as well. My only question is, though, have they really thought this one through? The ultimate goal of any team on any given year is to win the World Series. It's something the Twins themselves have done twice.
But two things were different in 1991, the last time the twins played in the Fall Classic. The first was that the Series actually ended in October. The second was that the Twins played in the Metrodome. That is, they played inside.
Now, I'm the biggest proponent of outdoor sports actually being played outdoors. It's one of many reasons I hate the Vikings (There are lost of others, though.) and the reason I will never really embrace the Colts, no matter where I live.
But baseball + autumn + Minnesota = the distinct possibility of unplayable conditions.
Does anyone else remember the 2008 World Series and how it was delayed several days because of bad weather? That was in Philadelphia, where the weather is a lot like it is here. It's cold in late October and early November, but you can stand to be outside.
What about Minnesota? I'm pretty sure the winter begins in October and ends sometime in May. It's a terribly cold place. I can just see it being pretty miserable.
On the other hand, it could be a distinct homefield advantage for the Twins as time moves along. Perhaps they'll get used to the late season temperature drops and become known as the Boys of Winter. That would be a nice twist.
But I'm not sure anyone has an advantage if there are 8 inches of snow on the ground.
I guess all I can say to you, Twins, is God speed. Your new park looks beautiful and you are a team that's hard for anyone to dislike. I just hope you don't have any World Series fiascos in your future.