Ghost runner on Third

I asked Justin Morneau for his autograph. Funny, he looks so much older on TV.

Well, last night was our first ever trip to the new ball park, and I have to say I’m impressed. They managed to build a sweet little bandbox of a stadium, and didn’t muck it up with too many little gee gaws, and contrived gingerbread to make it look like something it’s not. It’s a modern park through and through, but with classic lines. The little quirks it does have, like the outfield upper deck shaped left a wedge of cheese, are driven by the available space they had to work with. Which is why those old parks like Ebbets had asymmetrical features in the first place. Only the right field overhang came across as “trying a little to hard” to be different.

Say hello to Minnie and Paul

20 Prospect Jr. and I drove down early to see the Tigers take batting practice. It’s only about a 15 minute drive from our house to the park. We parked about a 10 minute walk away from the park and paid $3. I can tell I’m getting old when this is one of the highlights of going to a game. Before you know it I’ll be writing posts about the cost of a gallon of gasoline, and complaining about my bursitis.

Don't say they didn't warn you.

Alas, no baseballs were hit into our section during bp, and 20 Prospect Jr. was greatly disappointed. But not for long. His school buddies were there for the game too so he got to hang with them during bp calling out in vain for the Tigers players to toss them a ball.  Then there was dinner to be had so we made our rounds of the stadium and checked out the concessions. Despite the ample hype about the food, 90% of the stands still sell the same krep they served at the Metrodome. They do have a lot of little specialty carts, and stands, but the lines for the Kramarczyk sausage was predictably long. So we passed on Hungarian and Polish Sausage and followed a tip from a friend, and bought the natural casing hot dogs from a vendor in a red & white striped shirt. At $4.50, it was a heck of a deal, and I was very happy to find a real hot dog in Minnesota even if it was steamed, and not char broiled as all good hots should be.

Play Ball!

We returned to our seats in plenty of time for the first pitch, and right on cue, the first drops of rain began to fall. It was disorienting. After 20 years in the dome there was this strange liquid falling out of the sky, and we were sore afraid.

What are those strange gray things overhead? It doesn't look like a teflon tarp.

Not to worry though, I’m over 40 now which means I bring rain poncho’s to outdoor events. Fashion be damned, middle age has its privileges. I think the boy was mortified to see his old man pull out the blue hefty bags hoping his friends wouldn’t see him.

and then the clouds parted...

But the rain didn’t last long, and by the end of the 2nd inning the sun had returned and the wind had died down. Time to kick back and enjoy the game. The only trouble I had was actually watching the game. There’s just so much for the eye to take in it was tough to keep focused on the strike count. Funny, I never had that issue in the dome.

Right field concourse, looking out towards the plaza

That brings up another inevitable part of a new ball park. It’s gone from being a game to being a scene. There were a lot of folks there that didn’t quite get the concept of attending a sporting event. Little things like STAY IN YOUR BLEEPING SEAT UNTIL A BREAK IN THE ACTION, and DON”T DECIDE THAT A FULL COUNT WITH THE BASES LOADED IS THE RIGHT TIME TO GET UP AND GO TO THE JOHN.
Not that it bothered me.

If you're over the age of 12 and you don't know who these guys are, you probably shouldn't be here.

Still, that’s a small price to pay, and in 2 years when the novelty has worn off we will be back to the regulars again. Oh, and lest I forget there was a game to be played.

is there any better way to spend a pleasant evening?

Results are here.

Twins – Win – Twins – Win – Twins – Win

The plaza at night

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