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November 15, 2004

Interview with Dave St. Peter

Well you are reading the headline correct here. This is my big surprise I was torturing Shane about all last week. On a lark, I just sent an email to the Twins with some stadium and general questions for this site. Lo and behold, Dave St. Peter, president of the Twins contacts me willing to talk. We had a very brief discussion, but Dave was quite pleasant and put up with my pathetic interviewing skills. You think you are going to get this type of interview on TwinsGeek? Batgirl? Aaron's Baseball Blog? Bah, not a chance. Only the Greet Machine can bring you this type of baseball and Twins stadium insight. Those bloggers may have been smart enough to score a hand-held recorder instead of writing furiously to keep up, but we believe that we need to do things old school here.

Given I had no recording device, I will put a disclaimer on this interview. I did my best to get his exact quotes on here, but I had to paraphrase and edit. So Mr. St. Peter, hopefully this is an accurate representation of our conversation. That said, here's the discussion we had, and again sir, thank you very much for your time.

1 - How much, either in a percentage or in dollar figures, would the ownership be willing to contribute to a new stadium?

Legislation that has been proposed has the owner’s contribution at approximately 1/3. Other proposals have less but in MN the threshold has been 1/3. Any deal that is done in MN will be very favorable to the public versus other markets.

2 – How likely is contraction, given the success of the Twins in the last 3 years and the fact they seem well poised for the next 5-6 years?

Contraction has nothing to do with the product on the field. It has to do with the long-term viability of the club. Currently the collective bargaining agreement bars this through the 2006 season. Bud Selig has said that it is not a necessary alternative. That said, the situation here is murky at best. Relocation can be an option down the road, but not with this ownership.

3 - What exactly does the Twins ownership do to attempt to get new legislation passed to help with public stadium financing?

Over the years, we have employed a number of lobbyists to converse with legislators and also have had direct meetings with them as well, whether it is a member of the Pohlad family or a representative from the ball club. We have also done a fair amount of advertising in years past. Currently the team is in a holding pattern to see how this new legislature is heading. Given that the entire House has been through elections, need to see what the stance is.

4 – On to the team itself, what are the main points of emphasis this off season for the Twins, from a team standpoint? Now that Johan is a Cy Young winner, is a rather hefty extension in the works to keep him a Twin for the next decade?

Obviously right now Brad Radke is the main player we are going after, given we have just offered him a 2 year contract. Guzman and Koskie are free agents and Jones is up for arbitration. It’s a great day here that Johan has won the Cy Young award. He is eligible for arbitration come January-February and we will deal with him as that comes up. Right now the outfield is deep, we have the best bullpen in the division and the starting pitching could be the best as well. The obvious questions are if Justin Morneau can play a whole season at first, and Joe Mauer’s health. However, the team is very well poised for a 4th title for the upcoming season. Certainly Terry Ryan and Ron Gardenhire have done a great job with this team as well.

Posted by snackeru at November 15, 2004 10:43 PM | Cheesehead Craig

Comments

Not bad for a Brewers fan! Very nice work on this scoop!!

Curt in Grand Forks

Posted by: Curt Hanson at November 16, 2004 8:27 AM

I never told him I was a Cheesehead, figured he might hang up on me! I like the Twins and root for them, except when they play the Brewers.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at November 16, 2004 10:24 AM

Craig--

I am impressed! A very worthy addition to the Greet Machine. 1/3 of the price of a new stadium would be an increase over other offers if the Twins are committed to providing that. A stadium with a roof is $450 - $500 million. The $12o million the Twins have offered in the past is certainly not 1/3 of that. It also sounds like that both contraction and relocation are both off the table for now, but that relocation is the more likely scenario in the long term.

Much to ponder here, Craig, much to ponder. Very, very nice work. I guess I never got an interview because I never bothered to ask! I am humbled.

Shane

PS -- I give my presentation in an hour and a half. Should be fun.

Posted by: Shane at November 16, 2004 1:47 PM

Good luck with the presentation! See, told you you had nothing to worry about. I'm having some problems with Super G, otherwise there would be some very fun stuff there.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at November 16, 2004 2:21 PM

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