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September 12, 2007

Ahhhh! It's the new ballpark! Everyone run!

What to write about ... what to write about ... hmmmm ... I know! I'll write about the new Twins ballpark! Who doesn't like that topic? Nobody!

Let's see, first I shall write about something obvious. Something that most people already know, but maybe haven't really seen before. For example, as Twins Ballpark 2010 has already pointed out, new ballpark renderings show a great deal more outfield seating. See for yourself!

Below you may feast your eyes on the old ballpark rendering that the Twins are still featuring on their website:


Now look at the picture below that I took at the State Fair at the Twins booth:


Do you see the difference?!?!?!? Can you believe what your eyes are telling you? As for me, I am stunned almost to the point of apoplexy. Note the increased seating in left field, the scoreboard now looming directly over the stands, and flags in the right field plaza.

You read and saw that right! Flags! Big ones and little ones. Fat ones and skinny ones. Flags with a fox in a box, and flags with a mouse in a house. And you thought it couldn't get any better! Well, you were wrong!

In addition, If Winnie the Pooh was civilized enough to keep his honey in jars, why did he eat it off his hands? Surely he had spoons? Alas, it is a mystery ...

Ha ha! Now I shall write about something maybe you don't know about. Unfortunately you also may not care, but it is ballpark news so let's make sure we are all kept informed.

I received this note from Aron Kahn, the media spokesperson for Land Partners II (and even though I am in a "mood" tonight, I definitely appreciate being kept in the loop. Thanks Aron! I enjoyed your Pioneer Press articles!). It appears the two sides have again agreed to try mediation:

To the news media:

As a few of you know, the two sides today agreed to mediation of the matter. The mediation, to be conducted by one mediator, will be non-binding and will take place by Oct. 1.

Also, the landowners announced they will appeal the award of the condemnation commissioners. The appeal will be filed next week. The county said it would counter-appeal if the landowners appeal.

A Hennepin jury trial on the appeals will be held Nov. 13, if the mediation is not successful. If the mediation is acceptable to both sides, the long battle will be over.

Earlier today, I sent all of you the landowners' response to the county's Tuesday offer. I also sent you a copy of the landowners' offer of two weeks ago.

If I can be of any help, please call.


Aron Kahn

So, good news indeed, especially if you are like me: sick in the head and wishing that it was 2010 already.

TTFN! Have a spectacular day!

Posted by snackeru at September 12, 2007 8:48 PM


Man, that new ballpark looks flippin' cool! Can't wait to roam the nice soft grass outfield and launch a homer or two into that plaza!!

Posted by: Torii Hunter at September 13, 2007 8:39 AM

Thanks for the note Torii! You are the bestest center fielder in all of the world!

Posted by: Shane at September 13, 2007 8:43 AM

I don't have fingers Shane, how am I supposed to use a spoon?

Posted by: Winnie the Pooh at September 13, 2007 8:47 AM

hey, cool site. I can't believe that the legislature passed this ballpark without a public referendum.

Join my website and sign my petition to have all those dirty politicians thrown out for "taxation without representation."


Posted by: Drake33 at September 13, 2007 8:58 AM

Torii; Can't wait to see you in a Sox uni next spring! and your buddy Santana in '09!

Posted by: T. Epstein at September 13, 2007 9:22 AM

I guess I will add a non-sarcastic post to this discussion. I wonder what the new capacity will be with the added seating. They must have added a thousand seats. There was some talk originally of a 42,000-seat ballpark, but it was determined that this site couldn't accommodate that. Shane, what was eliminated in order to add the seating? What was under that roof? Party suites? A restaurant? I personally wouldn't like them to eliminate some of the unique aspects of our ballpark, just to add a little more seating.

On another note, I saw Rush on Sunday night at XCel. And, despite the fact that it was in a publicly funded arena, I was able to put that out of my mind and enjoy myself. They played for three solid hours and reached back into the archives, playing songs they hadn't played in over 20 years. It was phenomenal. And, if you have a chance to hit Youtube, search for "Lil' Rush". The intro to Tom Sawyer had a clip from South Park, the boys creating a band called "Lil' Rush", which was hilarious.

Posted by: Derek at September 13, 2007 10:23 AM

shame on you Shane! Because of the unfair tax burden you helped to put on my family, I had to skip 5 triple Hazelnut Lattes this month! Five!! I hope you get hit by a foul ball!

Posted by: zooomx at September 13, 2007 10:28 AM

What's the Twins press conference about?

Is Terry Ryan leaving? Is Gardy leaving at the end of the season? Are they putting Carl in hospice care????

Posted by: kevin in az at September 13, 2007 10:46 AM

Derek - I believe they eliminated part of the restaurant in order to add those seats.

Posted by: IowaWigman at September 13, 2007 11:00 AM

The guilt of being associated with this must be tearing him apart....


Posted by: STM at September 13, 2007 11:03 AM

Kevin - Terry Ryan is stepping down and Bill Smith is taking over.

Posted by: IowaWigman at September 13, 2007 11:05 AM

The story says Terry is staying with the organization...I wonder if it's a philosphy difference or if he's having health issues.

Posted by: kevin in az at September 13, 2007 11:15 AM

I can't imagine it's a change of philosphy, Billy Smith has been Terry's right-hand man for years.

Posted by: kevin in az at September 13, 2007 11:16 AM

Maybe Ryan is tired of being hand-cuffed with Pohlad's spending limits. Although if that was the case, you'd think he would be heading to another organization (Astros) to be their GM.

Posted by: IowaWigman at September 13, 2007 11:43 AM

Not only that, you would think that he would have left long ago if that was the case.

Posted by: kevin in az at September 13, 2007 11:47 AM

Do we really know who the cheap one is? Is it Pohlad directing Ryan to be cheap, or is Ryan the one who is cheap?

Curt in Grand Forks

Posted by: Curt Hanson at September 13, 2007 12:24 PM

Let's be realistic... Carl was the working model for C. Montgomery Burns.

As for Ryan... it was time to go... I dont know what lies ahead, but i'm excited for it!

Posted by: CJ at September 13, 2007 12:36 PM

A hypothesis on the Terry Ryan situation:

Terry Ryan told Carl Pohlad that he wanted to be able to re-sign Torii and extend Santana. Pohlad said, "You can only do one." TR figured "screw this" and got out.

--end hypothesis--

I think this is a very bad sign for Twins fans. I think it's a signal that ownership isn't going to increase payroll no matter what is to come in the future. Terry Ryan knew that he was going to have to answer for higher ticket prices without an improvement in the product on the field. He knew he would be forced into making bargain basement moves that have made him the butt of jokes and have diminished respect for what he's done with his severe limitations. He knew that he would be the one blamed when the stars walked away. I fear that the Twins are soon to be the new Royals of the Central division. It will take a few years. But you've already heard the increasing talk and use of unproven, promising young players (does that sound eerily familiar to the Royals season preview EVERY year?) I think Terry Ryan foresaw that the new ballpark was going to be a draw based on the team the Twins were playing against as opposed to the Twins themselves. Why should he take any more crap than he already has for the handcuffs he's lived in?

I could see him going to Baltimore. Andy McPhail is there now, and he knows the value of a good GM. I was anxious to see what Terry Ryan could do with some more money, I suppose I'll have to see him do it somewhere else.

Posted by: Dave MN at September 13, 2007 12:49 PM

I hope you're wrong Dave, but you're probably right. And if that's the way the Twins are going to operate in their new palace, Hennepin County can stop building...re-pave the parking lot and give the land back to LP2 and say April Fool on the Twins.

Posted by: kevin in az at September 13, 2007 1:04 PM

Oh c,mon. Let's at least hear what TR has to say before we toss out dissertations on how bad the Twins are going to be.

No doubt Carl is cheap -- he'll run you down with his wheelchair if he sees a quarter on the floor -- but how many decisions is he really making and how long is he going to be around? I'd be surprised if he even sees the first pitch at the new ballpark.

Second, the Twins payroll has increased, it's about $70 million this year - higher than the Indians. Continued revenue sharing and higher revenues from the ballpark will make ensure that the Twins will have the means to pay for a decent team year in and year out.

If TR was so sick of the Twins cheapness why did he become a senior advisor? Why is his right hand man of 20 plus years going to take his place?

Finally if we are going to stump for a baseless hypothesis why not this one:

TR's relationship with Santana and Torii has become so estranged that he cannot get a deal done with those two, even though the Twins' Guccis are pressuring him to do so before they even become more expensive. TR couldn't get the job done so he quit and will become a senior advisor.

Posted by: Freealonzo at September 13, 2007 1:35 PM

When I suggested that you all get your outdoor fix by watching the Saints, I meant literally. I wasn't predicting that the Twins would envy the Saints roster. Pohlad is laughing at you.

Posted by: Buck Faseball at September 13, 2007 1:43 PM

Freealonzo, I hope you're right and I'm wrong. I don't want to be right. I love watching the Twins. I hope that this is a decision made in the hopes of getting things done that just weren't going to happen under TR.

I'm a little skeptical that TR will stay as a senior advisor for long. I could see him leaving sooner rather than later.

Posted by: Dave MN at September 13, 2007 1:48 PM

Dave MN, you said "But you've already heard the increasing talk and use of unproven, promising young players (does that sound eerily familiar to the Royals season preview EVERY year?) I think Terry Ryan foresaw that the new ballpark was going to be a draw based on the team the Twins were playing against as opposed to the Twins themselves."

Personally, I would rather see us play "unproven, promising young players" than washed-up, has-been (or never-been), old players like Rondell White, Sidney Ponson, Ramon Ortiz, Tony Bautista, Juan Castro, etc. Add in young guys with no promise like Tyner, Punto, L-Rod and Ford... and you can see why Ryan stepped down. There's room for one guy of the Tyner, Punto, L-Rod and Ford on the roster, but certainly not all four, and certainly not at the DH spot.

Now, as to Pohlad being cheap and bootstrapping Ryan to where Ryan could only bring in washed-up old vets, that I understand. However, if given the choice, I'd rather play "unproven, promising young players" over the washed-up vets anyday.

Posted by: The Rational Actor at September 13, 2007 3:13 PM

The Rational Actor: I also wouldn't mind seeing more use of unproven, promising young players if it's an exchange for washed up veteran players. However, I worry, in the vein of the Royals, it will be in exchange for the stars and leaders of the team.

Posted by: Dave MN at September 13, 2007 3:40 PM

Love the cantilevered left field seats. Did you take any more pics from different angles?

Posted by: Lafferty at September 13, 2007 3:47 PM

I didn't hear the news conference or read the whole story yet, but to be fair: Pohlad has changed his miserly ways somewhat in recent years. We are now 18th in MLB in payroll, coming up from about dead last in 2000. We will be pushing $81M this year. I don't think they would have told TR that there is room "just for one" wish a new ballpark coming. Not that Carl or Jim have worried about public sentiment before, but they might be now. Once the new ballpark opens, we better be in the top half every year and creep up higher from time to time.

I imagine there is something else that won't be mentioned, like health as was mentioned above, or loss of his passion, or whatever. We will be fine with his replacement, and will continue to find a way to be a solid team.

By the way, I think I would rather have Aaron Roward or Mike Cameron for about half of what Torii will be asking. But, that's just me. I like Torii, but he wants a five year deal, and I can see him hitting .248, with 19 homers, and 81 rbi for the last two years of a deal where he is making $16M-plus each year. Get Santana signed and let's chase one of those other two.

Posted by: Derek at September 13, 2007 4:41 PM

I did take some other pictures. Do you think they'd be worth showing? The one I picked was the best in that it actually showed a difference.

What about this: Don't sign Johan, but trade him for A-Rod next year. I'd pull the trigger.

Posted by: Shane at September 13, 2007 8:20 PM

I say sign Torii and trade Johan to NY but for David Wright and Carlos Delgado (to fill the DH spot). Johan as a Yankee is depressing and A-Rod is going to opt out after this year and become a free agent anyway.

Posted by: Snyder at September 13, 2007 8:33 PM

I'd like to see more pics Shane :)

This is a "bad" season for Johan, yet he'll still likely lead the league in strikeouts and ERA.

Delgado is way too expensive and way past his prime.

Posted by: Lafferty at September 13, 2007 11:25 PM

Hey Shane, did you hear the Chuck Foreman interview yesterday on KFAN (Barriero)? I'm sure it is on-line, check out the Barriero page and you'll find it there.

Posted by: Freealonzo at September 14, 2007 7:31 AM

Just hearing his voice makes me want to dig out my old betamax machine and watch the 1976 NFC Championship game.

Posted by: kevin in az at September 14, 2007 10:07 AM

I really thought the Gophers would at least beat Northwestern this year....On second thought.

Posted by: kevin in az at September 15, 2007 4:49 PM

I don't care what anybody says, Mason wasn't a good coach which is why he was fired, but he was an ESTABLISHED coach, recruiting in the BIG 10. HE DID NOT LEAVE THE CUPBOARD BARE! The Gophers were a perenial .500 ball club under Mason. They'll be lucky to win more than 1 game this year with the same personnel.

Brewster is a imbocile!

Posted by: db at September 16, 2007 9:28 AM

Yeah! Go Twins! Oh, wait, there's no way this new stadium is gonna get more people to come to Twins' Games because they just traded our two best players, Torii Hunter and Johan Santana, for no good reason. Good lick at the new ballpark Twins! But really who am I kidding.

Posted by: chris at February 1, 2008 9:20 PM

Just wondering, is it too far out there to say "Kirby Puckett Field", because I love the idea myself.

Posted by: chris at February 1, 2008 9:24 PM

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