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April 10, 2006

Should be an interesting day

• Just as a reminder, there will be a Ballpark Rally today from 4:30 to 6:30 at the Rapid Park ballpark site in downtown Minneapolis. I've heard there will be speeches, and games, and just a flat out good time for everyone. I will be there and I hope you can make it too. Also, for those of you that can't make it, I will be bringing my camera and I'll have a full report tomorrow.

• I just got an email from freealonzo that should also put a little bounce in everyones' step today. Freealonzo has forwarded me a note he acquired written by Mike Opat that says Hennepin County has officially begun negotiations with the Twins. Some of the text reads:

As you know, on April 3 the Senate's State and Local Government Operations Committee heard Senator Steve Kelley's ballpark bill, Senate File 2297. The legislation was recommended to pass and re-referred to the Senate Tax Committee.

At the hearing, the Committee's Chair, Senator Linda Higgins, requested that Hennepin County and the Minnesota Twins renew negotiations and if successful, put together a 2006 ballpark agreement in advance of the Tax Committee hearing.

Consistent with County Board Resolution 06-2-98S4R1, County staff has been directed to renew discussions with the Minnesota Twins to comply with this legislative request. The County will utilize the same team of negotiators that developed the 2005 agreement ...

We are optimistic that by using last year's proposal as the general framework, a new agreement can be negotiated in time for the April 11 Committee Meetings, and a 2006 ballpark proposal can be considered at the April 18 County Board meeting.

April 11, obviously, is tomorrow. So, we may be reading about a new agreement between Hennepin County and the Twins in the Strib and PiPress today or tomorrow. That should be very interesting and I look forward to it.

• I got a chance to listen to the Sports Huddle with Sid and Dave yesterday and early on in the show one of the callers was Steve Sviggum himself. Mr. Sviggum didn't say anything too earth shattering except that he reiterated his support for the Hennepin County plan and he said that the bill will be heard at the April 18th or 19th House Taxes Committee meeting.

What I found interesting about his comments, though, was that I suddenly got the feeling, the impression, that Sviggum is working behind the scenes to get this bill to the House floor, and he is working hard at it. I don't know why, but I am getting the feeling that he is pushing hard to get the Taxes Committee to pass this bill so that it can finally be voted on by the full house, up or down.

I certainly hope that is the case, but I'm not going to get my hopes up yet. We'll see what kinds of reactions the new agreement gets from our illustrious legislative leaders. I hope the Twins pony up enough to swing some votes in the Taxes Committee.

• Finally, and this is not stadium related, I watched the movie Crash last night. What a phenomenal movie. I was totally blown away by it. Definitely one of the best movies about racism and prejudice I have ever seen. I was riveted to the screen. I know there was some controversy as to whether or not this should have beaten out Brokeback Mountain for best picture, but I can't imagine a movie about gay cowboys was more thought provoking than this one. Someone correct me if I am wrong. Crash does a great job of showing you the subtleties of racism along side the more pronounced displays, and it challenges the viewer to realize his or her own prejudices. We all probably watch this movie thinking, "I'm nothing like these people." But when push comes to shove, what are we really like? Deep down inside? Very, very thought provoking.

• See you all later.

Posted by snackeru at April 10, 2006 8:37 AM | Stadiums 2006


Just to be clear, Mike Opat didn't e-mail me with the information, it was just intrepid investigative reporting in the service of Greet Machine...

Put me in the category of favoring Brokeback over Crash. Crash was a good movie, too many coincidences for my part, but decent. However Brokeback, especially that last line, was devastating. Well acted, great script, wonderful scenery, believable, sympathetic characters -- shoulda won the prize.

Posted by: freealonzo at April 10, 2006 9:51 AM

Thanks freealonzo. I will watch Brokeback and see if I agree.

And thanks for your "intrepid" reporting!

Posted by: Shane at April 10, 2006 9:53 AM

Mr. Sviggum was once a member of the Dundas Dukes, a twon ball team with a long tradition of winning (and drinking!). Maybe he is recalling how much fun it was to play in a lovely outdoor venue.

I once played floor hockey and basketball against Mr. Opat. He is an intense competitor, but also one of the funniest guys on the court. I hope he and ex-Duke Sviggum can get the deal done.

Posted by: Jim H. at April 10, 2006 11:26 AM

Check out this opening paragraph from the St. Louis Post Gazette's article on Busch Stadium II's first day:

"The blocks around the new Busch Stadium were a sea of red and white as fans and businesses celebrated Opening Day. Outside the new ballpark, fans with tickets eagerly awaited the opening, while those without made last-minute efforts to find seats or simply enjoyed the carnival atmosphere surrounding the stadium."

One day maybe the Strib will have a similar article about our new ballpark. I'm sure it will be countered by a companion piece focusing on how many children went hungry that night.

Posted by: freealonzo at April 10, 2006 3:05 PM

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