Saturday, April 3, 2010

First Target Field Impressions (From 1500 Miles Away)

Finally got the MLB package, just in time for the first-ever Twins game (albeit exhibition) at Target Field. Our friends at Comcast gave me the wrong channel number, and I stumbled upon the game in the 3rd inning, with the Twins down 3-2. Random thoughts on the game and the ballpark, from 6 1/2 innings of standard-definition viewing:
- Ball park is as beautiful as advertised. Dick & Bert talked about there isn't a bad seat in the house. I believe it. What a venue.
- I wonder how many people will go there just to eat! Sounds like the food choices are awesome. Nice touch.
- Ball sure seems to carry out to left field. Considering most of Mauer's 2009 HRs were to left, makes me wonder if 30+ HRs are in store for St. Joe.
- I'm glad they didn't put in some of the stupid "features" like a hill in the outfield or a thin notch in the outfield fence. It's not an endurance contest or a pinball machine.
- I still think they should have installed a retractable roof. For a largely taxpayer-funded facility, who are the ones that suffer from rainouts? The taxpayers. And if it's under 40 degrees, snowing, or raining, wouldn't it be nice to have the roof? It should be rarely used - but it should be there for those times it's really needed
- Thought Slama looked pretty good. The more I think about it, the more I am impressed with the walk he issued to the first batter he faced. 1st base is open, so loading them to create the double-play opportunity is a pretty standard move, but the WAY he pitched was impressive. Around the plate, but nothing great to hit. Almost got the strikeout. The batter was either going to walk or would have to hit a tough pitch to get on. Nice. The nubber he gave up to the next batter could have been the inning-ender if it had been a few feet longer or shorter. Would love to see more from Slama, to see what he can do.
- I didn't see Pavano's first 3 innings, so didn't see the two homers. I thought he looked rock-solid from the 4th through the 7th. I love this guy. Nothing fancy, no rocket-arm. Just 3 runs in 7 innings. He will keep us in games. With our offense, we will win a lot of those. LOVED re-signing him. Can't wait until he sticks it to the Yankees.
- Thought Waldrop looked like a real prospect. He was wild, but had decent velocity and good movement. Now go after the hitters!
- Poor Neshek. 5 runs in 0.1 inning - OUCH! But everyone has days like that. Hope he bounces back strong. Guys that are that fan-friendly deserve to be successful.
- Loved the ovation for Jacque Jones. Minnesota nice.
- And St. Joe got his obligatory double. Honestly, what a treat to have that guy in a Twins uniform for the next several years.
- Did they really say Cuddyer will play CF if Span rests or misses a few games? Here's to hoping D-Span plays 162 games this year.

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