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June 9, 2004

Every fan counts

Good game tonight vs. the Mets. Radke was spectacular and I thought Gardy pinch hitting Cuddyer for Rivas in the ninth was a good move. Cuddyer is hitting .351 over the last 10 games and deserves to play more, especially considering the anemic batting average of Rivas. Could we be seeing the last days of Rivas as an everday player?

If you didn't see the article about the Detroit Tigers complaining about the Metrodome vents working against them in the ninth last Sunday you should definitely check it out. I gotta admit it gave me quite a laugh. According to another article (PDF) from the Star Tribune, Ivan Marusic, a professor of fluid dynamics with expertise in aerodynamics at the University of Minnesota, conducted a couple of experiments last year to see if the vents could really affect the distance traveled of the ball. In the first test he found that the vents could affect the distance by as much as 3.5 feet depending on if they were blowing in from the outfield or out from the diamond. That would be fairly substantial. However in his second test he found that the vents had no affect at all. He concluded that based on these two tests it is unlikely that the vents have much of an impact, unless someone could relplicate the exact conditions of the first test. There obviously was a little more to these tests, so check out the article above if you are interested.

So, here is the way I see it. Really, there isn't much the Twins can do regarding the airflow during the games. According to Gardy, the Metrodome vents are controlled by the same system that controls the nearby hospital and prison. This fact, coupled with the inconclusive experiments from above, means the Twins should have a field day with this. They should use it to their complete advantage. In a way they already are with their "Every fan counts" ad campaign, but I think they should take it a step further now and totally try to psych the other team out by coming out and saying they will manipulate the fans during games. I'm not saying they should do it, I'm only saying that they should use this little bit of "Metrodome mystique" to their advantage more. I mean, what if before a big series in September Gardy was talking to some reporters and he let something like "the fans will be blowing our way tonight" slip out? Or what if he said, "We've asked the fan operators to blow out during our at-bats for this series." Again, none of this would be true, but it would really get under the other teams' skin. The fireworks from the opposing manager would be fun to watch, I would think, and the other team would be more worried about air flow then the game itself.

Anyway, the Twins play in arguably the suckiest baseball stadium to ever host a baseball game. I'm just trying to think of ways to make the experience more enjoyable.

Posted by snackeru at June 9, 2004 7:38 AM | Twins


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