February 22, 2005
Not much today...
... but I'll give you what I got. Jim in St. Paul wrote an interesting comment yesterday concerning a two picture spread in the Pioneer Press touting the site across from the Xcel Energy Center as opposed to the Warehouse district site in Minneapolis for a new Twins stadium. Unfortunately, although I saw the article yesterday in the online version of the PiPress, they failed to show any pictures! So, being in a library, I retrieved the print version this morning to have a look see myself. I must say, I agree with Jim that the two views, one of the the X and the St. Paul skyline, and the other of the Covanta-Hennepin Energy Resource Co. incinerator, definitely demonstrate how much more aesthetically pleasing the St. Paul site would be. However, and I'm sure Jim would agree, I am also concerned with any site's ability to get a deal done.
There were also some interesting captions around the pictures. Around the St. Paul picture the PiPress said:
"Something else for state officials to keep in mind as they consider sites for a proposed Twins ballpark: Baseball fans at a St. Paul Twins stadium would be treated to visions of the Xcel Energy Center and the St. Paul skyline ...
This was followed by an ugly picture of the Minneapolis incinerator and this caption:
... while baseball fans at a new Minneapolis ballpark would look out on -- shudder -- the Covanta-Hennepin Energy Resoure Co. incinerator, which burns garbage to make electricity. Fans will be reassured to know that emissions from the garbage burner are well within state limits, so we suppose there's no need really to cover your beer with your game program to keep the particulates out."
Ouch! Touche, St. Paul, touche. I tell you what, I like, no love, the idea of a ballpark in St. Paul. St. Paul has a lot going on downtown including the X, RiverCentre, the Science Museum, the Childrens museum, the History Center, etc. And while I agree with Jim that it would be nice to get the capitol and Cathedral domes into the view, anything St. Paul has to offer is better than what Minneapolis is offering right now. Jim also writes:
"I hope the editorial board is running those pictures in preparation for a legistlative debate. Maybe they have heard that the issue might be taken up soon. At least they are being proactive."
Yes, I wonder what is going on. Could a new stadium bill be approaching? I say let the games/battle begin. Hopefully Sviggum is still guaranteeing that a Twins stadium bill can be passed this session.
On the way into work today the radio station we were listening to proclaimed that a deal between the Nets and the T-Wolves for Jason Kidd was practically a done deal if not already a done deal. According to the station (and I can't remember which one we were listening to), the T-Wolves are offering Spree, Wally, and I didn't catch the last guy but I wouldn't be surprised if it was Cassell. Has anyone else heard anything about this? I checked ESPN when I got into work and all they are reporting are rumors, including this deal:
The Wolves could send Wally Szczerbiak and the expiring contracts of Latrell Sprewell and Ervin Johnson to the Blazers. The Blazers would send Darius Miles and Ruben Patterson to the Wolves and Shareef Abdur-Rahim (also an expiring contract) to the Nets. New Jersey then would move Kidd on to Minnesota. Despite the fact Miles is a base-year player, that deal works, with the addition of a minimum-salaried player or two, under trade rules.
Wow. We would lose Wally and Spree to get Kidd. Is Kidd too old? Too selfish? Truthfully, I like the deal. Wally is a good guy, but he has just not panned out. And Spree is a shell of his former self. Getting Kidd would definitely shake things up, and help define the roles of the remaining T-Wolves players a little better. I am in favor of the deal, but I would be surprised to see something happen.
That's all for now.
Wally and Spree to get Kidd and Miles and (gulp!) Patterson. I had heard a rumor not so long ago that Portland and the Wolves were in trade talks for the three named Portland players. The Kidd thing has been talked about forever. I wouldn't be surprised if the Wolves pull the trigger if this deal is on the table. They want to ship out Spree in the worst possible way, I'm pretty sure.
Posted by: Stick and Ball Guy at February 22, 2005 9:10 AM
I don't know. Seeing this deal go through would be a shock to me. I know Kidd wants to play with KG, but I've also heard that the Nets don't want to trade him. I'd love to see this deal happen, don't get me wrong, but I have a feeling the Wolves desperation is causing other teams to ask more than McHale is willing to give up. We'll see.
Posted by: Shane at February 22, 2005 10:03 AM
Should Kidd come to MN, I believe that the T-Wolves will thrive under him. Kidd knows that the ball has to go into KG. Kidd can drive the lane and make good decisions. With Cassell, Hoiberg and Griffin waiting on the perimeter, prepare for the Wolves to be raining the 3's.
Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at February 22, 2005 10:30 AM
Any chance anyone would be willing to scan the Pi Press' editorial page into an adobe or PDF so that us out-of-towners could view it. I'd be much obliged if at all possible. Also, concerning locations, am I now to believe that the two alternatives pitched by the Twins on their website (you know with the two cities' skylines in the outfield) are incorrect due to major league regulations. Would the former Twinsville pitch not be able to really get the Mpls skyline in view as well? Thanks gang.
Posted by: Vince at February 22, 2005 1:02 PM
The pictures aren't really that impressive. If they were believe me I would have scanned them in. The St. Paul picture is just a black and white picture of the X with the skyline behind it, and the Minneapolis picture is just a black and white picture of a parking lot with the incinerator belching its filth into the sky. Really, they were nothing special. The captions were the best part of the piece.
Posted by: Shane at February 22, 2005 1:54 PM
In Shane I trust, thanks man. Did you catch Kelly Guest's chat with Swiggum on KFAN yesterday morning? My internet was down.
Posted by: Anonymous at February 22, 2005 2:05 PM
Q: Where is the prospective site for the new ballpark in St. Paul in relationship to Midway Stadium?
Q#2: How would this effect the existance of the St. Paul Saints?
(I know #3 - does anyone care? But frankly, we've knocked about cross marketing the teams for a while -- I.E. See Jake bat today and Joe catch tonight -- a Mauer Double Header in the Twin Cities...)
Posted by: Dianna at February 22, 2005 9:24 PM
Why won't the state allow some gambling rake-off to fund a large chunk of the stadiums? Why not take the voluntary profits from gambling? If ownership put up 50% maybe something could get done. The Dome was lousy in 1982.
Posted by: tim at February 26, 2005 6:42 PM
Tim, gambling is definitely a solution that continues to get some play. However, up until this point nothing has ever passed through the legislature to make this happen. Back in '97 when the Twins were threatening to move to NC, there was a plan to put slots at Canterbury Park to pay for a ballpark, but it didn't pass. Last year the Native American casinos offered to help pay for stadiums, but Pawlenty is now asking for much more than that. Pawlenty either wants approx. $200 a year from the tribes or he is going to push for a state run metro area casino. He has promised to create a "Community Assets Account" that would be fed by the revenue from this casino and that could help pay for stadiums. But he is taking a lot of heat for this idea (and rightly so). I would much rather this money comes from the tribes than have the state go down the slippery slope of running its own casino.
So, long story short, it is a good idea, but no one seems to be able to agree how to get it done.
Posted by: Shane at February 28, 2005 1:59 PM