April 1, 2007
The obligatory post about the Twins on Opening Day
Welcome to the obligatory post about the Twins on Opening Day! I am of the opinion that you haven't quite read enough about the Twins or their prospects for the season, so I'm here to pontificate on that plus a myriad of other topics. So, let's begin.
For three years you have come here for stadium related information so we should talk about that first. I have been writing to some of my contacts about just where we are at and I received a pretty optimistic sounding response:
Sid's got it about right. All of these things -- agreement with the Team on land acquisition; agreement with the railroad on moving some track and building the park near some existing track; planning and rolling out the schematic design -- they all travel together. It's impossible to do one without the others, so the County has to button up absolutely everything before going ahead on just one of them.
So, there you have it. It sounds like the agreement between the team and the County is set, but that the negotiations with the railroad companies is now a sticking point. Once that is worked out I would think the designs would be released and we can all officially breathe a sigh of relief. Actually, I took care of that about two weeks ago, but I think it was MOJO who said he won't be convinced until they start digging. That is probably a good policy.
Secondly, the death of Herb Carneal came as quite a surprise, especially considering it is just a day before the home opener. I will miss Herb. I will miss his dedication and work ethic, and as many people have already mentioned I will miss his smooth baritone. With Bob Casey and Herb gone, it flat out isn't the same. Hopefully there are a couple of people with the same dedication of these two that my kids will listen to as they grow up.
Also, I like John Gordon. I know a lot of people have a problem with him, but I like him. A lot. I think he is a great announcer. I could listen to him read the phone book. I also like Dan Gladden when he provides the color. Less so when he provides the play-by-play. But all in all, I like the Twins radio broadcast team of John Gordon and the Dazzle Man. I think they'll do fine.
A few of you have written in asking me to ban STM from posting here. Well, I can assure you that will never happen. I have only banned a commenter a couple of times (and quite frankly it is difficult to do). I have banned a commenter once for using my site as a means to advertise his product or idea. So, for "spamming" if you will. I have also erased comments that were blatantly off topic or so disruptive that they were pointless. For example, I have had to erase comments when the commenter just writes "NO NEW STADIUM" 500 times. That is neither intelligent nor thought provoking.
So, having said that, STM is both intelligent and thought provoking, even though he is straying off topic. However, even then I found the discussion interesting.
It would also appear, though, that STM may think he is the only person ever to write into this site with an anti-stadium bent. As many of the long-time readers know, that is far from the truth. My all time arch-rival and arch-nemesis on this site will always be David Wintheiser. Man did that guy give me fits. I would write a wonderful pro-stadium piece and David would just rip my argument to shreds. It was brutal.
And the nice thing about David was that he wrote as himself. Like me, there was no anonymity. David did not hide from his opinion but was proud of it. I have all the respect in the world for that. It is easy to create a moniker and start laying into people and ideas as an anonymous contributor, but to write as yourself for all the world to see and critique takes some guts especially when it comes to writing about stadiums in Minnesota. Believe me, I know. I've had a few people contact my superiors (including the president of the U) asking for my head on a platter. That is no fun.
But STM is right, ideas should not be silenced no matter how much you disagree with them. I am just adding to that by saying ideas have a lot more merit when you have the guts to stand behind them as yourself. Like David. I don't know where David is now, but we came to a grudging respect for each other after a while. He even asked me to be a reference for a job he applied to here at the U. Anyway, if you are out there David, I think I owe you a steak dinner. Let me know if you still want it!
PS. -- If you all want to read when David first made his appearance, check out this post from October 2004. Read on from there for some epic battles, the bulk of which I'm not too sure I fared so well.
And please, don't think I am knocking you if you have an identity other than your own on the great big world wide web. Please still write in and contribute and do so anonymously if it makes you feel more safe. I understand that is just the way it is and that, quite frankly, people are encouraged to be anonymous. I just think it is sad that this is the case.
To wrap it up, this is how I think the AL Central will shake out this year:
4. White Sox
I wish it were different, but I think the Twins starting rotation in April and May will kill the Twins' chances come October. The combination of Ponson, Silva, Ortiz, and Bonser is not a formula for success. And while we all think Silva will stink it up out there, I'm not so sure about the rest of them either. SBG is right when he suggests that this is more a move to stop certain players from being free agents sooner (Garza for one). I really hope I am wrong, but we'll see. If not, I hope Gardy and Ryan decide it is worth winning right now and bring up some of these new pitchers like Garza, Perkins, and Slowey before it is too late.
Oh man, bring on Opening Day! I am pumped to watch some real-life baseball!
Posted by snackeru at April 1, 2007 5:44 PM
Sweet! I get the first comment. I love this time of year and the positivity the hope of a new season brings. Here's to another great year of Twins baseball.
Posted by: kms at April 1, 2007 7:55 PM
banning someone isn't the solution, but encouraging disrepect of other posters and the hi-jack of the site is a recipe for the slow death of the blog. the site's been virtually unreadable the last week. have any arguments really been advanced or is this the same ole same ole from the past ten years of stadium debate, but done by someone obviously in need of attention? just my two cents. enjoy the baseball season! it's been fun!
Posted by: mullen at April 1, 2007 8:42 PM
I would like to hear some takes on the site itself, other than garbade-burner talk. I think too many people don't realize how cool this site will be. A skyway entrance from the outfield, a light rail/commuter rail station either under the stands or right next to the stands, an open outfield bringing in a great view of the skyline, condos looking into the field, this site forces a small upper deck (like the X in St. Paul) assuring every seat of being great, and the list goes on. I have seen many great ballparks, and even though I am biased, I am really liking this site.
My predicted order of finish, with a little creative poetry.
1. Twins (we'll find a way)
2. Indians (they'll finally play)
3. Tigers (90-plus wins? no way)
4. Sox (pitching in disarray)
5. Royals (in the cellar they'll stay)
Posted by: Derek at April 1, 2007 8:51 PM
I agree you can't ban commenters but Mullen is also right disrespectful and off topic, provactive posts will kill a blog. How many people checked out Greet Machine last week and decided they're not coming back. The best thing to do is to ignore the provacative posts, responding only gives them more oxygen.
Derek's rigt Twins win again, their offense is going to be awesome. and will get them through the Silva's and Ponsons. Tigers got magic in a bottle last year and will hover around .500. Whine Sox and Cleveland Native Americans battle it out for 2nd.
Posted by: freealonzo at April 1, 2007 10:14 PM
Right, freealonzo, just ignore the posts you don't like. Believe me, people come and go on this site. Let's talk about what we want and ignore the rest.
I hope you are right, Derek and Free. Another Twins Central Division title would be fantastic.
Posted by: Shane at April 1, 2007 10:19 PM
And kms, yes there is definitely a positive feel in the air. Go Twins!
Posted by: Shane at April 1, 2007 10:19 PM
Go Twins! Except when they play the Brewers :)
Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at April 2, 2007 8:41 AM
Let's not start hating on the rotation just yet. I really like Ortiz, and while I wasn't thrilled to see Garza go down to the minors, I buy the argument that it is best to go with Plan B a little later in the season, rather than going to the opener with it. I am most interested to see whether or not Kubel can be a solid DH and what White will do playing every day in left field.
I agree that you shouldn't go around banning people from commenting on the blog. Your "library cred" would suffer, after all!
Curt in Grand Forks
Posted by: Curt Hanson at April 2, 2007 9:05 AM
My only objective was to fill the void between the oft delayed stadium progress reports and the beginning of the season by â€śprovokingâ€? some tax policy discussion to shed some light on whatâ€™s being imposed on us citizens. I realize this issue will never be more than â€śgetting a stadium at any costâ€? for some of you. But, when the next special interest comes about maybe you will think of the consequences of supporting a specific tax policy beyond just getting what you want.
Free â€“ if your blog were more â€śprovocativeâ€? you might get more readers and more comments. Otherwise, whatâ€™s the point? A like minded love fest?
â€śGovernment is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live
at the expense of everybody else.â€? -Frederic Bastiat
â€śIn general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as
possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other.â€? -Voltaire
â€śJust because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics
won't take an interest in you!â€? -Pericles (430 B.C.)
â€śA government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to
take everything you have.â€? -Thomas Jefferson
Posted by: STM at April 2, 2007 9:25 AM
"A child of five could understand this. Fetch me a child of five." -Groucho Marx
Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at April 2, 2007 9:41 AM
Not to change this from a Twins discussion, but I have heard that there actually is a little buzz from Milwaukee about the Brew Crew in 2007. Much like the Bucks, the Brewers have never elicited much hate from me because neither team has really posed much of a threat in their respective league in recent memory. However, many publications are predicting the first winning season since 1992 in Milwaukee. I knew that it was only a matter of time once they got rid of Selig as their owner.
Okay, that sounded like a back-handed compliment to the Brewers, but it wasn't meant to be negative, just pragmatic.
Posted by: Derek at April 2, 2007 10:26 AM
Not to threadjack too much here...
It wasn't Bud really that ruined the Brewers as it was his daughter. She was flippin' horrific in her reign of terror (long-winded topic for another time). Attanasio was a much needed breath of fresh air. Best thing he did was keep Doug Melvin as GM and gave the man some money to get some upgrades and keep the talent.
I'm predicting a 91-71 record for the Brewers this year (assuming they are pretty healthy). The Blue and Gold Kool-Aid is wonderful this time of year.
Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at April 2, 2007 10:55 AM
Isn't it cute when fans of other small market teams like the Brewers or Rockies get excited about their club's chances? They get all giddy, sip the kool-aid and chow on some Gouda and think their team actually has a chance. That's why we love baseball, it signifies the return of Spring, of rebirth, of new chances. Later in the dog days of August, those hopes seem quaint as the reality of a lousy pitching rotation and Prince Fielder's strike-outs pile up like so many empty cans of Old Style at a UW-Stout Tuesday night party. So go ahead Craig, dream away, you deserve it as right now the Brewers are tied for first place but when the Brewers end up with 83-85 wins, don't take it too hard.
Posted by: Freealonzo at April 2, 2007 11:28 AM
In response to derek's encouragement about the site:
I actually think it's going to be one of the top 5 ballpark sites in MLB. You can't beat Pittsburgh, Baltimore's is still amazing 15 years on, Wrigley is still that charming neighborhood park, ATT Park (in San Fran) is sited so well... it's amazing. I think the Twins park settles in at #5.
There are others that are very well sited, but the small site, combined with the view of downtown "right there" will be something I want to look at 81 times a year.
I toured the Nationals stadium site when I was out there (as much as I could) and it should be nice... but the neighborhood is damn dangerous (we have nothing to compare it to in the Twin Cities). It also is farther from the Metro than it should be, the Twins are getting this part right.
A lot has been made over the small footprint, etc. I would encourage people to look at the classic stadia, the best ballparks are all built on small (some TINY) footprints. Look at Fenway, Wrigley, ATT Park, PNC, Ebbets Field, Jacobs Field, etc... all small footprints. With the exception of Dodger Stadium and Kaufman Stadium I can't think of another legendary "big site" with a great park. I can rattle off terrible one's by the truckload. Miller Park, RogersCenter (nee SkyDome), Shea Stadium (I know some may like it... not I)
Small sites require innovation, and leads to quirky design features (when they are contrived, like in Houston or even San Diego, it feels faked. (that said, I like PETCO for other reasons)
I LOVE the skyway access idea though... it's fairly unique to the Twin Cities, and would be a great calling card for the park. And once they remodel the outside of the Target Center, it'll be a perfect view.
Posted by: CJ at April 2, 2007 11:33 AM
Remember the heady days in 2000 when Twins fans were in that boat? (maybe you don't, you could be a johnny-come-lately for all i know)
Let me say that I think the Brewers have 82-86 wins written all over them. They'll contend in the Central, and for fans in Milwaukee... that's more than they've had to cheer for in years. For all the terrible seasons they've had to put up with, they deserve it.
I guess my point is that as a Twins fan, I remember the rotten years... and I'll be damned if I'm going to tempt fate with a "pull the rope up" catcall like that.
I pull for teams like the Brewers, Pirates, and Rangers. With long suffering fan bases (not the Cubs though... they're the new Red Sox nation with their whining)
Posted by: CJ at April 2, 2007 11:38 AM
Thanks for the well wishes CJ.
Free - as for a 83-85 win season, it's over .500 so that's good. Weak pitching rotation... that's just funny stuff there.
To get this back on track with the Twins. I'll make you this wager Free:
I believe the Brewers starting pitching rotation as set today will overall have a lower ERA than the Twins one will come the end of the season. I'm willing to bet a Chipotle burrito on it. You up for the challenge?
Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at April 2, 2007 12:07 PM
Did somebody say burrito?
Posted by: SBG at April 2, 2007 12:13 PM
No chance Craig. I'll say this about the Crew, with Ben Sheets healthy, I'd say they'll push toward 90 wins. But my favorite pitcher on the team is Chris Capuano. I wish the Twins had him as a #2 starter. I just love his consistancy.
I'm a die hard Twins fan, and I say this without hesitation, the Brewers are better 1-5 in pitching than the Hometown Team. That said, the Twins Bullpen is the best in baseball.
Posted by: CJ at April 2, 2007 12:23 PM
So stadium supporters are all the way down to quoting Sid Fartman?
Nothing is happening on this stadium and you would have to be very blind to not see that.
Posted by: keken at April 2, 2007 12:55 PM
Ummm ... I didn't quote Sid Hartman.
But if you think this stadium isn't happening then you have your head much further in the sand than I do. Whatever works for you.
Posted by: Shane at April 2, 2007 12:58 PM
Freealonzo said: ". . . Prince Fielder's strike-outs pile up like so many empty cans of Old Style at a UW-Stout Tuesday night party."
Or pile up like underage citations at Sig Tau.
I think that maybe Silva and Ponson might be this year's Batista and Lohse. I hope that I'm wrong.
Posted by: kup at April 2, 2007 12:58 PM
Is Butch Huskey still in the farm system?
Posted by: Derek at April 2, 2007 1:18 PM
CJ, in defense of my Twins fan bona fides, check #3 on this link:
Also if a Twins fan can't good naturely rub a 96 win season into a delusional Brewers fan face once in a while, what's the point?
Cheesy, admitting I probably should have said pitching staff, not rotation, I'll be a man, step up to the plate and take your bet. Now please Terry Ryan let's not go to June with the Carlos Silva experiment :o)
Posted by: Freealonzo at April 2, 2007 1:26 PM
Only 25 days 'till the NFL Draft!!!!!
Who are the Vikes going to take in round 4?
Posted by: Kaz at April 2, 2007 1:32 PM
do you work for KFAN? are you in any way affilliated with KFAN? you're on their talking points... i just figured you might be on their payroll too. ;)
freealonzo, fair enough.
Posted by: CJ at April 2, 2007 1:45 PM
Twins starter ERA: 4.50
Brewers starter ERA: 4.73
Twins lose Radke/Liriano/Baker/Lohse, gain Ortiz, Ponson, full season of Boof, and hopefully Garza
Brewers lose Doug Davis and Tomo Ohka, gain Jeff Suppan, Claudio Vargas, and (hopefully) full season of Ben Sheets
It should be an interesting wager. If it's close, I could see the DH becoming a point of controversy...
Posted by: spycake at April 2, 2007 2:02 PM
Free - It is pretty easy to get kicked around for being a Brewers fan. We have a bet however, and if Shane and SBG wish to come along when the bet is resolved, that's fine with me.
Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at April 2, 2007 2:02 PM
I will be there! Finally a bet where I can sit back and relax.
Good stats spycake. By the way, you gave me fits too. Just wanted to give you your props.
Posted by: Shane at April 2, 2007 2:04 PM
Ha! Vikings draft. That's a good one.
Call me a snooty baseball guy, but I just can't imagine having a "party" over a draft. Some organizations (*cough* T-Wolves *cough*) seemingly attempt to rely solely on draft hype to maintain fan interest over multiple seasons.
I like my drafts to last at least 50 rounds and to occur mid-season, making them virtually impossible for the major media to cover ad nauseam.
Or, they have to involve failed/extraneous prospects who are already signed professionals (Rule 5). That works too.
Posted by: spycake at April 2, 2007 2:13 PM
Spycake, did you see Mark McCahill is leaving the U?
Posted by: Shane at April 2, 2007 2:13 PM
He's leaving the U? Oh dear.
I can't tell you how much it warms my heart to see all the Brewer chatter on here. So very happy to see the Brewer passion. (P.S. They're winning over the Dodgers 6-1 right now!)
Posted by: Vicki at April 2, 2007 2:38 PM
What league has a 50 round draft?!?! what are they drafting? 6th graders? I thought Hockey was bad. How much more proof do you need that this is just a competition, like golf or bowling. No way can a credible sport with athletes go more than 7 deep in a draft.
Posted by: Kaz at April 2, 2007 3:06 PM
Do you think Brooks Bollinger will be fired up to play his old club the 'Jets' on August 17th?
Posted by: Kaz at April 2, 2007 3:15 PM
Um, MLB has a 50 round draft because they're stocking a minor league system that has some six or seven affiliates per major league franchise whereas NFL and NBA are only drafting for their major league franchises. How many rounds does the NHL have?
Also, keep in mind the fact that many draftees will not sign with the team that drafts them because they go to college for baseball or some other sport.
Anyway, my division prediction:
4. White Sox
Posted by: Snyder at April 2, 2007 3:59 PM
I want to see for myself what all the hype was about and how baseball brings the community together etc....seeing as how this is the season opener and all; what channel is the game on?
Posted by: STM at April 2, 2007 8:12 PM
Nice game... Mauer gets a hit in his first at bat, Morneau defends his MVP with a huge game. Santana starts off dominant, then struggles, but still keeps his home winning streak alive. Once again the bullpen looks dominant.
Life is grand, ain't it?
Posted by: zooomx at April 3, 2007 7:36 AM
Wow, I just had a chance to read the McCahill piece. I remember growing up with POPmail and Gopher... it seems crazy to think of this stuff as pioneering now, but it really was.
I dislike the way higher education has become such a competition between schools. It's tough for a public university, even (especially?) such a huge one like the U, to compete with the likes of Duke in the areas of technology and specialized research dollars. And any efforts to address those issues inevitably raise the tuition costs and all of a sudden the U looks less "public."
Sorry for the tangent. Thanks for the link.
Posted by: spycake at April 3, 2007 8:53 AM