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September 8, 2005

Things are not looking good

Reading this blog is like watching a tennis match. Back and forth, back and forth I go from optimism back to pessimism back to optimism. Well, I'm back to pessimism. People, it was fun while it lasted, but let's call it like we see it: a special session will not be called. A new Twins stadium will not be built.

Let's look at the news. First of all we have Charley Walters reporting today:

A senior member of the state Legislature said Wednesday he feels there is "zero" chance of a special session to be called by Gov. Tom Pawlenty, especially in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

This can only be expected. Hurricanes and other natural disasters have a tendency of showing us what is really important, especially after the devestation of Katrina. Plus, it does not surprise me at all that a "senior" member of the legislature would say this since, as I've said before, they don't want to come back to the state capitol to deal with these issues. Our legislators want to stay home. So, if you think you are punishing our fine legislators by refusing to make them do their jobs, well, that is exactly what they want.

So, we have Katrina and the fact that our legislators don't want to come back anyway. But those two aren't really the reasons I am so pessimistic. No, we have another reason that pretty much squashes any chance we have to finally put this issue to rest.

At the State Fair, fairgoers filled out the annual Senate (PDF) and House questionnaires. And as you might expect the results were pretty much against the current Twins stadium proposal. The House survey shows almost 70% of the almost 9,000 people surveyed are against a special session being called for stadium issues. Is this a representative sample, or scientific in anyway? No. Could this even be considered a good sample of the over 1.6 million people that attended the fair? No. But will it impact Pawlenty's decision on whether or not to call a special session? You better believe it.

Other interesting statistics come from the Senate survey. According to this survey, a little over 50% of the people polled are actually in favor of a new Twins stadium, but only 23.2% of the people are in favor of the current proposal without a referendum.

The Senate survey also gives away just who these people are that took the survey. Almost 80% of the people surveyed are either from Minneapolis/St. Paul or a Twin Cities suburb. Typically, Twin Cities residents are usually the most anti-stadium, so I suppose these statistics should come as no surprise.

In summary, we have Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath (which is definitely a worthy distraction). We have our legislative body's own laziness. And we have these stupid surveys. 1 + 1 + 1 = no Twins stadium. 3 strikes you're out. Pick your cliche.

If anyone can think of anything to be positive about concerning this I am all ears, but I am not optimistic. Another year, another disappointment. Stadium costs continue to rise and the CBA expires next year which means contraction becomes an option again. Your guess is as good as mine concerning what happens next, but I can feel myself becoming more and more of a Gophers fan.

Posted by snackeru at September 8, 2005 8:53 AM | Stadiums


Here's my spin:

Would it be so bad if the Twin Cities had no baseball? What if we just had the Queens, Gophers, Wild and Timberwolves? That is 4 of the 5 major leagues represented in one city. Not too shabby at all.

Would you let the Twins go to give the Queens a better shot at a new stadium? I know we have said that it will take either the Twins or the Queens to leave to make a stadium for the other happen. But would you let them go for that end? You have said that MN is more a football state anyway, why not have great stadiums for the Goophs and Queens at the price of baseball? Baseball has so many economic issues and disparities, why add to it?

How about following the Saints and going to their games instead? Cheaper seats, better atmosphere, outdoor seating...

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at September 8, 2005 9:44 AM

Bite your tongue, Cheesepuff.

Posted by: SBG at September 8, 2005 12:36 PM

I will quote (edited) Tenacious D in response to Cheeseburger's "contract the Twins" support:

Lots of times when me and KG are watchin' All the eff'in S that goes down at City Hall, We get the feeling we should eff S up, Yeah we should eff'in start a riot. A Riot!

We have 'em screaming in the streets,
we have 'em tippin' over S and breakin' eff'in windows of small businesses,
and settin' eff'in fires!
and settin' eff'in fires!
and settin' eff'in fires!

(Feel free to edit further or delete if you wish, Shane.)

Posted by: bjhess at September 8, 2005 12:47 PM

Shoot, I wish that would have formated better.

Posted by: bjhess at September 8, 2005 12:50 PM

You know you won an argument when all you get in response are personal attacks.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at September 8, 2005 2:31 PM

I have said it before, and I will say it again. Contraction is not an option. It simply won't happen. The Twins may move to Vegas or some other town that doesn't have a major league team (like Milwaukee), but MLB simply doesn't have the political or social capital to contract the league. This is especially true of the Twins which have won the league 3 of the last four years. They can move the team, but they won't and can't illiminate it.

Posted by: DouglasG at September 8, 2005 2:33 PM

Cheese Doodle, you know my ad hominem "attack" is code for "I know you are just trying to ruffle feathers with your pontifications in your own clever way." In fact, your brilliance cannot be overstated. Every post of yours, whether at your site or in response to the efforts of your less worthy fellow bloggers should be appreciated for what it is: nothing less than genius. I laugh, I cry, I sing Hallelujah! If you know what I mean.

Posted by: SBG at September 8, 2005 3:01 PM

First of all, regarding Cheesy-poof's comment, I of course would rather not the Twins leave. I do agree with the sentiment, though, that a Twins departure would make it easier for the Vikings to get a new stadium. Is it worth it? No, not really, but it is a reality.

Secondly, if the Twins do leave I also feel strongly that we would have a new baseball stadium and new MLB team within 10-15 years. I think that is a given. So, what anti-stadium people hope to gain by all of this is beyond me.

Finally, if the Twins ever left this state I would be so rabidly anti-baseball it would make your head spin. And while I would appreciate the Saints and the fact they exist, they wouldn't interest me at all. So, I suppose a benefit of the Twins leaving is more summer days to spend doing anything besides watching/listening to baseball.

And bjhess, I thought your comment formatted fine and was very appropriate. "City Hall" ... man I love that song. I believe the point of your comment though is that people around here would finally realize what they have lost and they would be angry. Agreed. I think it is hilarious that politicians in Minnesota think they could weather the storm of the Twins leaving. The public will turn on them so fast it will be just painful to watch.

And Douglas, you may be right. Contraction is not possible. Las Vegas certainly is. Whatever the case, I'm almost of the opinion now that we don't deserve the Twins. If they ever decided to leave, given that this is a capitalistic country we live in, they will be free to do so as far as I'm concerned. If they can get a better deal somewhere else then by all means go for it. I'm just flat out sick of all of this.

Posted by: Shane at September 8, 2005 3:03 PM

And SBG you are right. There is always some clever, devious reasoning behind CC's madness. He is a treasure.

Oh, and before I forget, good dig on Milwaukee, Douglas. Made me chuckle (which is hard to do today).

Posted by: Shane at September 8, 2005 3:05 PM

Thanks for interpreting my comment, Shane. I did not intend it to be a personal attack on Head Cheese.

Posted by: bjhess at September 8, 2005 3:33 PM

Shane, there were some hidden meanings in my (proper) extolling of Chuck E. Cheese's virtues. He's the best! There is none like him!

Posted by: SBG at September 8, 2005 5:09 PM

I am glad you didn't miss the dig on Milwaukee. However, I think there are very few suitable cities for major league baseball. (That don't already have teams.) Other than Las Vegas, I don't really know of a city that can support a team. At one time, I thought possibly New Orleans. If the Twin Cities cannot support a team, how can Charlotte? Or Raleigh? Or...

The Twins aren't going to draw any better than they do now in any of those cities. Thus, Pohlad will probably not move the team, but sell to some other interest who would move the team. The question is does anyone in the Pohlad family want to keep the team? If they do, that hurts their position...

Posted by: DouglasG at September 8, 2005 9:32 PM

Shane: I think the pithy comments from CC are nothing more than his acceptance and realization that he will awake in eight weeks time and find his beloved football team fighting with the 49ers for the worst record in the NFL.

Posted by: Brian Maas at September 9, 2005 8:03 AM

I don't get it. The Twin Cities are an otherwise vibrant, prosperous area, Minnesota is the only place in the Midwest that continues to grow, while replacing a stadium no one likes anyway, the Twins would move from small-market status to more mid-level. (And would be rid of the small-market excuses) Baseball knows this and wants baseball to succeed in Minnesota.

For what it's worth, if the Twins move, my allegiance moves with them. By now I can't blame them for looking to re-locate.

Yes, Minnesota maybe would get an expansion team, but with our luck the new team would go 13 years without a winning record and at least a quarter of a Century without hosting a playoff game.

Posted by: stiff at September 9, 2005 10:20 AM

Thanks for the comment, stiff. Who knows what is going to happen next. Contraction may not even be possible as Douglas suggests, and also there really may not be anywhere for them to move to. I almost welcome something to happen at this point, though. I can't take the threats anymore, velied and otherwise.

Minnesota does not want to pay for the Twins. Plain and simple. So, like you say, if they try to relocate more power to 'em.

Posted by: Shane at September 9, 2005 2:06 PM

SBG, I can never repay your genius and how it shines throughout the land as a beacon of truth and clarity of thought.

Douglas, I still stand by my prediction of the Brewers having a better record than the Twins at the end of the season. If that happens, per your logic, where does that leave Minneapolis? Hmmmm

Bjhess, no offense taken.

And Shane, you are welcome that I caused such a stir and outcry on your site. Glad I could get everyone's creative juices going.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at September 9, 2005 10:00 PM

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