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May 30, 2006

Life is good

• What the heck people!?!?!? What the heck am I supposed to write about? For the past three nights I have sat down at my computer ready to lay into those morons at the legislature only to realize they have actually passed a workable stadium bill! Can you believe it? Who am I supposed to lay into now? This recent development has changed my life. You remember the Seinfeld episode where George stops having sex and becomes more intelligent? That is now happening to me. Not thinking about stadiums has freed up oodles of time and brain waves. I can feel myself getting smarter, healthier, happier. Needless to say, I am a better person because the legislature passed a workable stadium bill. In fact, the Minnesota legislature may have actually saved my life (if not my marriage). It is a strange feeling not having to think about stadiums. I kinda like it.

• So, Cheesehead Craig and I were watching the Twins game on Sunday when we started talking about the players on the current Twins roster that will be around when the new stadium opens in 2010. Specifically, we asked the question, what 5 players do you want to see on the Twins roster when the new stadium opens in 2010? What five players do you want to still see in a Twins uniform in 2010? Anyway, here is the list I came up with:

Johnan Santana
Francisco Liriano
Joe Mauer
Justin Moreneau
Torii Hunter

Yep, that is my list and I'm sticking to it. Santana and Liriano are no brainers, Mauer is a must have, and Moreneau ... I just really like him. But more than anything, I want to see Torii Hunter in a Twins uniform in 2010. I think he has given enough of himself and his body to stick around 4 more years. Pohlad has already said he wants Torii to stick around. Torii himself has said he wants to stick around. And this isn't because I think he is the best player, or because I don't think Denard Span will be ready, it is only because seeing Torii Hunter in center field on opening day 2010 will make me feel good. It will give me the warm fuzzies all over. It will make me happy. And I like to be happy. If you've got a list of your own, put it in the comments.

• So, I got an email from Jiminstpaul today. Jiminstpaul has been reading this blog almost as long as Cheesehead Craig, and more importantly Jiminstpaul is putting together the big New Ballpark Celebration going on this Thursday at the Summit Brewery Rathskellar (you are invited). Anyway, when Jim first came up with this idea last year to hold a "ballpark celebration" it was going to be just for "Greet Machiners" ... maybe 20-30 people who read this blog and who would be interested in getting together to quaff a few brews in the company of friends. Well, Jim now tells me that his little party has been advertised in the Star Tribune and on Cities 97. What was originally going to be 20-30 people may now actually be hundreds of people. So, are you coming? I'll remind you again tomorrow.

• So, I got a comment today from long time reader, and stadium opponent, David Wintheiser that was just too good to not highlight:

Betty Crocker Park. Come on.

General Mills has long been a supporter of pro sports in the Cities - they had a long-standing agreement with the Vikings to purchase unsold tickets so that Vikes games wouldn't be blacked out on local TV, though that agreement finally ended some time around the start of the Red McCombs era. It's a well-known Minnesota company with strong ties, would make a nice family-friendly image, and opens up some interesting cross-marketing opportunities, since food is a big reason to go to a game (and Hormel will still be there regardless).

And those of us who aren't quite classy enough to get behind the ballpark now that it's a fait accompli can refer to the place as 'The Crock'. It's a win-win!

I'm sorry, but that is funny. "The Crock!" Genius! David! Where the heck have you been all this time? By the way, I think some Summit Brewery fans/employees have made my little poll on the ballpark's potential name a little less than "scientific." For shame! I'm of half a mind to declare Land O'Lakes Park the winner and start the negotiations for naming rights! Don't mess with the Greet Machine!

• Finally, back to my opening point. What the heck am I supposed to write about now that the legislature has passed a ballpark bill? I'm sure I'll write about more ballpark stuff as the news comes out, but 2010 is four years away, and as I said above, I don't want to think about this anymore. It isn't healthy.

So, after the big New Ballpark Celebration, I may take a little break. I've got to regroup and "reinvent" this little site. I may talk more about music, or religion, or books, or libraires (I am a librarian), or maybe all of the above, including new ballparks. We'll see. Whatever the case, I am looking forward to a little vacation. Hopefully I'll see you on Thursday!

Posted by snackeru at May 30, 2006 8:26 PM | Cheesehead Craig | Life | Stadiums 2006 | Twins


Before naming rights, we should apply a similar focus to architect selection. If HOK really isn't a sure thing yet, I think it behooves us to get a local architect, or at least find out who locally might be bidding on the project. The design is going to be a lot more important than the name, and just as we don't want a generic national corporate name, we shouldn't want a generic national corporate architect designing this thing!

As for the blog, Shane, you've weathered plenty of stadium down-time before -- you'll be fine. And if all else fails, just post an expanded list of the top rock and roll guitarists or something... remember, this is only the Internet. It's not rocket surgery.

Posted by: spycake at May 30, 2006 9:55 PM

Nope, not rocket science (surgery?), but it still takes work. I want it to be worth it.

You're right, I'll be fine. But a vacation sure sounds nice!

Posted by: Shane at May 30, 2006 10:10 PM

A well deserved break, Shane. Enjoy it.

Posted by: bjhess at May 30, 2006 10:47 PM

The guys I want to see still around in 2010:

Johnan Santana
Francisco Liriano
Joe Mauer
Torii Hunter
Michael Cuddyer
Lew Ford
(Justin Moreneau)

Cuddy's my guy, and I just can't see Lew playing for anybody else but us.

Posted by: ss at May 30, 2006 11:36 PM

Well, if it helps you pass the time, you can lay into me if you want to, because I think the way this stadium bill came to pass was scandalous (tax dollars paying for private stadiums in general is scandalous, but that's another debate). And I think that it is entirely likely that a fair number of politicians will lose their jobs over it. There are plenty of people like me who still disagree with this stadium deal. I'd even venture to guess that there are more people opposed to the current stadium package than in agreement with it. But, of course, that's the real reason why it wasn't put to a popular referendum.

Posted by: Jim at May 31, 2006 12:44 AM

Guys I want to see off this this current team in 2010.

Joe Mauer
Justin Morneau
Francisco Liriano
Johan Santana
Michael Cuddyer (maybe)

Posted by: SBG at May 31, 2006 5:41 AM

Mine is the same list as Shane, with Cuddyer replacing Hunter on the list. Although if Nathan can keep it up, a good closer is always helpful.

I know something that Shane can write about, the Backyard Border Battle! Time to crank this puppy back up Shane. In honor of the new ballpark, the HR derby has to be the next event!

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at May 31, 2006 8:35 AM

Shane, one thing that would be interesting, at least for the next 5 months, is to track if any legislators pay a price for their votes on the Twins (or Gophers) ballpark. Eva seems to think some politicians will lose their job, as does a commenter above. I tend to think not.

Posted by: freealonzo at May 31, 2006 9:24 AM

Shane....Thanks for all your hardwork. I saw you on the news and I have been obsessed with your site ever since.

I'm not sure if anyone here is also a Vikings fan. Not only am I a huge Twins fan, but I am also a huge Vikings fan. I think Shane made an impact on the Twins bill and I think it would be fun to do what we can for the Viks. Next year is going to be a big year for them and they may need our help.

Also as far as the arc's go........I would like to see the Twins look at designs from several firms. This way they have different options. They should gather all of their ideas (along with the fans ideas) and have several firms put together proposals.

As far as the name goes........."Summit Field" has the best ring. I know it's not realistic, but it sounds the coolest. I keep looking at the Summit sign and thinking it would look pretty damn cool hanging out in center field. Plus they are looking for an earthy stadium and the Summit Logo has green colors, leaves and grains. I think it would be perfect!! I attached a link to my name for those who would like to look. Picture the Logo hanging above center field with "Field" under the logo.

Pretty Sweet!!

Thanks again Shane....I saw that the blogger from Vikings Underground is retiring.

Posted by: MOJO at May 31, 2006 10:16 AM

Thanks, Shane. A few quick (OK, it's me, so not quite that quick) comments:

- Who would I like to see on the Twins roster in 2010? That's probably a silly question - I'd like to see the Twins go bring Luis Rivas back, and I know how unpopular a move that would be among the general blognoscenti.

One thing I don't want, though, is for Mauer and Hunter to be on the roster together. Not because I think Hunter is a bad player, but because I've said as far back as TT.com that at some point the leadership role on the Twins has to pass from Hunter's to Mauer's hands, and I don't see that happening while Hunter remains on the roster. Mauer should certainly be able to lead a big league roster by 2010, if he's ever going to be able to.

- What to do with the Greet Machine going forward? I think freealonzo's point is a good one - there's interest in the question of 'what happens to those folks who supported the stadium', and it keeps a toe in the political waters that this blog has been delving deeper and deeper into over the past few months. Still, if you're burned out on keeping up with Minnesota politics, I can understand not wanting to keep pushing the concept.

On the other hand, the first casualty of the stadium bill might come as soon as two weeks from now, when Senator Steve Kelley tries to win the DFL endorsement for Governor at the state convention in Rochester. Right now, Kelley claims to be running second behind Hatch in delegates, and believes he can pick up more in the next two weeks as 'early committers' to Hatch become disillusioned with him. If Kelley instead ends up being steamrollered at the convention, it's not going to be a good sign for openly pro-stadium legislators come November (or even come September, if any of them have serious primary opposition). [Britt Robson has a good story in the City Pages about this.]

And of course, by the time the political backlash plays out, one way or another, it'll be time to start cheerleading for the Vikings/Anoka County plan. *grin*

- Where have I been? I commented about my own situation on TwinsGeek (in the May 25th 'daily links' thread) and will leave it at that. Short summary for those who don't want to go hunting for that comment: I've had some personal and financial things to deal with, and I'm still trying to deal with them, so I'm not going to be around much until those are resolved (or at least gotten under some degree of managability).

Keep up the good work, Shane!

Posted by: David Wintheiser at May 31, 2006 12:39 PM

Hundreds of people Thursday night? I'm not so good in crowds but by 2010 I'll be better...

Shane, regarding your plans to consider continuing writing, I would like to read more of your stuff on socio-political-religion-baseball-books type musings, not necessarily in that order.

And don't forget a little writings on history (cause if we don't know it we're bound to repeat it).

Posted by: mpls1934 at May 31, 2006 1:06 PM

I'm not sure if Steve Kelley's plight at next weekend's DFL convention is quite the bellwether David W thinks it might be. From what I've heard Sen. Kelley is in 3rd place, not 2nd in delegate counts and doesn't seem like he's anyone's 2nd choice.

Also since when would you expect the DFL to nominate a centrist candidate from the suburbs who would be highly regarded state-side?!?? If the DFL wasn't smart enough to nominate Judy Dutcher 4 years ago, they aren't smart enough to nominate Steve Kelley today. No, if you want to see any fallout from the Twins ballpark, look to the September primaries or general election.

Posted by: freealonzo at May 31, 2006 1:57 PM

Sucks what happened David W. (to say the least) and I sincerely hope things work out for you.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at May 31, 2006 2:23 PM

I agree that Shane deserves a vacation. But I think this would be a good site to keep tabs on the state-wide elections this year among other things. Both in general and for stadium-related fall-out or lack thereof. I've always thought this site was more about politics then baseball.

But if you want to take it in a sport direction that would be fine too. It would be nice to have somewhere to talk about the Twins other then the ESPN, etc. message boards whose posters don't seem to have the same level of intellengence as people on here. :-)

Posted by: David Howe at June 1, 2006 7:24 PM

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