Friday, February 26, 2010

The first game at Target Field (well sort of..)

Earlier this week I wrote about how fast the tickets sold out for the Twins exhibition games at Target Field (Frigid fans to flock to Target Field). Fans are excited to get inside to see the new stadium and watch the Twins play outdoor baseball. News came out yesterday that this won't even be the first baseball games to be played at Target Field. The Minnesota Gophers will play a game at Target Field the weekend before the Twins (Gophers get to christen Target Field).

I got calls and Facebook posts from fans that are upset that the first home team at Target Field won't get to be the Twins. My first reaction to the story was, "Oh well, it's no big deal." But the more I thought about it, the more I was a little irked. The Twins have worked hard to get this stadium and instead of them being the first team to step out on the field the local college team gets to give the field a test run. Instead of Joe Mauer and Denard Span running out onto the field there will be Billy Williams and Frank Johnson (fictitious Gopher players, cause nobody really knows who plays baseball for the Gophers).

One of my other biases might be the fact that I don't really like the Gophers all that much (GO SIOUX!). I understand that all the tickets are being sold for charity so that is great. It will also give the Target Field staff a dry run at taking tickets, selling concessions, etc. There are just a lot of season ticket holders that were excited to see the Twins play on Easter Weekend and now some of the luster of that weekend might be gone. Here's hoping for a snow out for the Gophers!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The death of the Dome Dog (2000-2010)


There was sad news yesterday coming from the Twins new home at Target Field. The Twins have ended their decade long relationship with Hormel, the Austin, MN based company that was the official supplier of Dome Dogs at the Metrodome. The news articles (Doggone:Dome Dogs out at Target Field) make it sound like it was a mutual breakup but in all breakups there is a "dumper" and a "dumpee". In this situation, it seems that the Twins wanted too much from Hormel so the Twins had to dump them and move on with their lives.

With this news there will be many other memories of fond hot dog eating that won't make the trip across downtown. The Hormel Dollar a Dog night was one of the best reasons to go watch a game on a Wednesday night. The other thing that will be sad to see go is the famous Hormel Row of Fame and the jingle that went along with it.

So one last time, sing along if you know the words.

Now that you are at the game
Are you in the Hormel Row of Fame?
If you're in a lucky seat
You'll win a Hormel hot dog treat
Great for lunch, great for dinner
You will be a wiener winner
In the Hormel Row of Fame!

Thank you Hormel for all of your memories at the HHH Metrodome. You will always be a wiener winner in my heart.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Frigid fans to flock to Target Field

Who knew there were so many excited Twins fans to watch outdoor baseball in 30 degree weather? The Twins released tickets for their first two games at Target Field yesterday. Both of the games sold out in 15-20 minutes. These are only exhibition games and the teams best players will probably only get a sniff of the field, but fans are clamoring to get through the gates. They long to catch a glimpse of the sites and sounds of Target Field for the first time.

Fans will be planning their Easter Weekend around the inaugural trip to the frigid confines of Target Field. The Twins have added many amenities that should help fans stay out of the elements. There are heated areas on the concourse, restaurants to sit in, and even covered concession stands to order food from. Between the new foods to taste and the new beverages to drink there will be a plethora of items to keep fans warm to the heart and soul.

The onslaught of fans interested in exploring every nook and cranny of Target Field might have to wear every piece of winter apparel they can find. The experience will be memorable. I'm just glad that I get to be one of those frigid fans.

~~~Another exciting event for North Dakota fans during the same Easter weekend is the renewal of the Sioux-Bison rivalry. These teams will play two baseball double-headers on Easter Sunday and Monday at the Twins old home, the Metrodome. This will be the first time that the two biggest universities in North Dakota have played against each other since 2005. The weather should be a little more bearable under the Teflon roof.~~~

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Where's Jose Mijares?

As the Twins pitcher and catchers had their first workout on Monday there was only one player that was a no-show. Imagine that it would be the same player, Jose Mijares, that showed up to last Spring Training overweight and out of shape. He has caused numerous problems for the Twins last season. The most memorable was when he chucked a fastball behind the head of Adam Everett. The Tigers retaliated by plunking Delmon Young. Young exploded and had to be held back from attacking Mijares, his own teammate.

If Mijares doesn't show up, the Twins locker room might be in a better state of affairs. There is no room for a young hot head on a team that is trying to make a push for the World Series. He has performed decently on the field but one bad egg in a locker room can push a contending team out of contention. Just look at Milton Bradley with the Cubs last season. Hopefully he has a good excuse for being late. If not, there might be a few veterans that have a choice word or two for the young Mijares.

In honor everyone's favorite search and find book, Where's Waldo?, here is a new version: Where's Jose Mijares? Can you find him in the department store?

There has been an overwhelming response to my post yesterday (No Contract, No Shave Campaign). There has even been a Facebook Event, Beards for Mauer: No Contract, No Shave Campaign, created for the Campaign. Try to get all of your friends to join the fight. Hope to see everyone starting to grow out those beards in support of the push for Mauer's new contract.

Monday, February 22, 2010

No Contract, No Shave Campaign

The biggest sporting news over the weekend wasn't the US upsetting Canada in hockey or that Tiger Woods came out to publicly apologize. The biggest news out of the world of sports was the fact that Joe Mauer reported to Twins Camp with a full beard. Finally, Mauer found a way to silently protest the fact that he doesn't have a contract extension yet. Mauer's sideburns have been one of the most marketable items for the Twins since he entered the league. The Twins have had Mauer sideburn day at the Dome and a Twins Territory commercial about his famous facial hair. So take that slap in the face Twins. Give Mauer a contract or there won't be any sideburns to market at Target Field.

Thank you Mauer, for finally standing up for the contract that you deserve. All of Twins Territory should start the "No Contract, No Shave Campaign." Everyone should help Mauer protest until his new contract is signed on the dotted line. An added bonus is the extra facial hair will help with the blustery weather at Target Field. It sounds like Mauer is going to shave off the beard this morning, but Twins Fans can help to push the Twins to sign him. I hope to see Target Field full of beards for Opening Day, unless a new contract is signed for Mr. Mauer.

Here is a look at some of the best facial hair in the history of MLB:

Johnny Damon (Maybe his Jesus look will be grown back now that he is not a Yankee)











Jeff Bagwell











Rollie Fingers











Scott Spiezio










Bruce Sutter

Friday, February 19, 2010

Twins 2010 Spring Training Preview

There are a few questions that are left to be answered for the Twins as pitchers and catchers report to Fort Myers this weekend. There are holes to fill in the line-up, rotation, and bullpen. The performances of players over the coming weeks will go a long way to deciding how successful the Twins will be in 2010.

Pitchers
The biggest question surrounding the rotation is which pitcher will step up and earn the fifth spot in the rotation. The battle for the final spot will be between Fransisco Liriano, Brian Duensing, and Glen Perkins. The edge right now goes to Fransisco Liriano. For my full run-down of the starting rotation, check out my 2010 Starting Rotation Preview.

Once again the bullpen is solid and led by ace closer Joe Nathan. The return of Pat Neshek should also help the team. One of the candidates for the fifth spot in the rotation will end up in the bullpen to start the year.

Catchers
When you have the defending AL MVP behind the plate there are few questions that need to be asked entering spring training. The only question might be will Joe Mauer be able to repeat his power numbers from '09. The other lingering question is who the backup catcher will be. Mike Redmond has left the team and Jose Morales had wrist surgery in the off season. It looks like Wilson Ramos has the edge to get the back up job out of Spring Training.

1st Base
There is nothing like having two MVP's batting back to back in the same line-up. Hopefully Justin Morneau has fully recovered from the back injury that he suffered towards the end of last season. Michael Cuddyer proved he can be a very reliable replacement at first. Jim Thome also has experience at this position but his defensive skills have been declining.

2nd Base
With the recent signing of Orlando Hudson the Twins now have a reliable veteran that can bat in the number two spot in the lineup. Off of the bench the Twins will have a couple of options to fill in when Hudson needs an off day. Alexi Casilla had an up and down season last year. Nick Punto is also a strong defensive player that can play here when needed.

3rd Base
This position is the one spot on the Opening Day roster that is still up for grabs. The leading candidates are Nick Punto, Brendon Harris, and Matt Tolbert. It's Punto's job to lose entering Spring Training. Besides Punto's baserunning error in the ALDS, he was one of the most reliable bats in the postseason. If Brendon Harris has an above average Spring Training, he could steal the job away from Punto.

Shortstop
With the acquisition of JJ Hardy from the Brewers the Twins looked to sure up a position that has been lacking since the team traded Jason Bartlett. The change of scenery should help Hardy as well as the chance to bat in the same lineup as Mauer and Morneau.

Outfield
The outfield should be very straight forward coming out of Spring Training. Delmon Young will start in Left, Denard Span in Center, and Michael Cuddyer in right. Jason Kubel will primarily be a DH but he will see time in the outfield. If there is a rash of injuries in the outfield Kubel could become a staple in the outfield and Thome would move to perminant DH.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Guide to Spring Training Travels: Fort Myers

The city of Fort Myers provides the perfect atmosphere for teams as they train for the upcoming season. The weather is perfect, the beaches are pristine, and the atmosphere is electric. One of the best things about Fort Myers is that there are two of baseballs best teams training right next to each other. The Minnesota Twins and the Boston Red Sox train on opposite ends of the city. If you plan on going down to Fort Myers for Spring Training the following should give you an idea of what you should spend your time on.

The Twins

Practices
The best thing to go to on any given day is the morning practices. This will give you an entirely new perspective on the team. You get to see the players in a more natural setting and they are a little bit more carefree. This is also the best time to get autographs from the players. The team moves back and forth from their weight training facility at one end of the complex to the main field at Hammond Stadium. I have had one on one conversations with Tony Olivia, Harmon Killebrew, and many others. Practices happen every morning, even if the team has a game, so get there early and enjoy.

Games
Wear your sunscreen!!! There is nothing like watching baseball in the hot Florida sun while everyone else at home is freezing. One of my favorite places to sit is in the grass along the first-base line. Bring a blanket to lay on and bask in the sun. It is really hard to get autographs on game days. The players have a special area that they park in. If you wait by the gate where they come out you can catch a few players, but this doesn't happen often. If you go and watch the Twins play at Boston's field on the other side of town, it is much easier to get autographs there.

Fort Myers Sites and Sounds

Beaches
The beaches of Fort Myers offer a wide range of activities during the day or night. There are a wide variety of restaurants and hotels that line the beach front. You will find everything from cheap burgers and fries all the way to steak and lobster. The best restaurant to eat at on the waterfront is called "The Parrot Key Caribbean Grill." It offers a great menu and great prices. If you are traveling with your family make sure that you check out Sanibel Island. It provides a family friendly atmosphere that will be fun for all.

If you have time to travel up the coast of Florida, the beaches of Sarasota are some of the nicest in Florida. There are many different dinning options including "The Daiquiri Deck." Make sure that you check out "The Daiquiri Deck" during happy hour for the best specials on their signature drinks.

Other Dining
Besides the beach front dinning there are many other options in the city of Fort Myers. If you are looking for the perfect sports bar then check out "Shoeless Joe's Sports Cafe." There are multiple TVs and a great menu to pick from at reasonable prices. If you are looking for a great place to eat then check out "The Hops Grill and Brewery." There are wonderful steaks at Hops and they brew their own beers in house. This was my favorite restaurant in Fort Myers.

Museums

There are a lot of different options for things to do in Fort Myers. Henry Ford and Thomas Edison have homes that you can tour. The price is a little steep though. On Sanibel Island you will find many different things. One stop worth taking is the National Wildlife Refuge. There are many things to see that you won't have access to anywhere else. In Sarasota, there are multiple world renowned aquariums. These are worth a visit if you have time on your journey.

Enjoy your time in Florida! It will be an experience that you never forget.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

On the Road (Back) With Pat Neshek

From Lew Ford, Doug Mientkiewicz, all the way back to Juan Berenguer with the 1987 World Series team, there always seems to be that character player on the Twins that the fan base falls in love with. The current player that fits the mold of fan favorite is Pat Neshek. Neshek has missed part or all of the last two seasons after having to undergo elbow surgery. His road back to the major league team has been filled with its' share of bumps and bruises but recent news makes it sounds like he is ready to once again become a fan favorite.

There are many things that draw fans to Pat Neshek. He stays close to his fans by keeping his own blog (On the Road With Pat Neshek) and he does this in a way that makes you feel like he is just a regular guy that happens to be playing in the major leagues. Another things that makes the fans feel more connected to Neshek is the fact that he grew up in the Twins Cities area. Anytime that you have a player that succeeds with his hometown team, it becomes a feel good story. The way that Neshek pitches also draws a fan base across Twins Territory. As it has with many side-arm pitchers in the past, his side-winding hurls of the baseball draw a cult following.

Pat has been rehabbing and training in Florida since his surgery on his arm was complete. The post that he wrote on his website yesterday sounds very promising. His fastball was hitting close to 90 mph and his slider had some of the bite back that he had been missing. The bullpen for the Twins is already strong but with the return of Neshek the Twins will have a fan favorite back in fold. His first run from the outfield bullpen at Target Field will be something to remember after his long road back.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Mystique of Mauer


There is something about Joe Mauer that separates him from the rest of the players in baseball. Is it his ability to hit the ball to all parts of the field? Is it his capacity to control a young up-and-coming pitching staff? Is it his defensive prowess behind the plate? Is it his mid-west background that gives him such a humble personality? The answer to all of these questions and more is a resounding YES! Mauer has brought a new dimension to a small market club. He is a legitimate superstar in a market that is not suppose to be able to keep superstars. Mauer's mystique has been growing since he was the first pick in the 2001 amateur draft and it will continue to grow as the Twins enter Target Field.

The storm gathering for the Minnesota Twins is whether or not the team will be able to afford Mr. MVP for the long-term. The news of this story has been swirling around all of baseball this off season. The larger market teams in New York and Boston have aging catchers that are in need of replacement. But the best thing for all of baseball will be if Joe Mauer stays in the market that he is currently located in.

The Twins have increased their revenue as they move across town to their new outdoor stadium. Having one of baseball's best players in a small market means that baseball is moving in the right direction. If the Twins are able to keep their superstars around and not break the bank, then why can't other teams follow in their footsteps? His contract situation with the Twins might be something that baseball historians look back on for years to come. This could be the turning point that allows future small market teams to stay competitive in a sport that greatly needs competitive balance between the weak and the strong. Mauer lasting impact might be as the best catcher to ever play the game or he may be remembered for the player that allowed small market teams to make it in the big market world. What will be the mystique of Mauer? Only time will tell...

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Top 5 Twins Prospects

One of the strengths for the Minnesota Twins is their ability to produce homegrown talent. The farm system of the Twins has been producing quality products over the past decade. This ability to groom young talent has led them to be the envy of many of the other teams in the majors. The biggest key to the Twins success has been their ability to rebound when their big name stars move on to higher paying markets. Even though this might be changing for the team as they move into Target Field.

1. Aaron Hicks OF- Hicks (see picture above) has quickly been moving his way up the Twins' minor league farm system since he was team's first round pick in 2008. He is a great athlete and plays gold-glove caliber defense. His hitting has been slowly improving and his ability to hit the ball to both gaps has been on the rise.

2. Wilson Ramos C- Ramos has been on the way up the prospect chain for the Twins over the past half of a decade. The one problem is that he plays a position that is currently held by the reigning AL MVP. If the Twins lock up Mauer to a long term deal, Ramos may become trade bait or he would have to change positions. With the injury to Jose Morales, Ramos might get the chance to make the trip to Target Field for Opening Day.

3. Kyle Gibson RHP- Gibson was the 22nd overall pick in the 2009 Draft. Experts had him placed in the top 10 prospects in the draft but he had an injury in his throwing arm that dropped him into the Twins' lap. Gibson has a lot of experience from the college level and hopefully this will translate into him become a big-time player on the major league stage.

4. Miguel Sano SS/3B- Sano was a highly sought after player this past season. Since he was coming from the international market, he was a free agent and the Twins did not have to draft him. The Twins did end up paying a hefty price ($3.15 million) but his talent level should be worth this amount in the end.

5. Ben Revere OF- Revere was the Twins' 2007 first round pick and he has been making his way towards the major league squad. The one problem is that there has been a log-jam on the major league team in the outfield. Revere still has a few years left that he will play in the minors to iron out all of his kinks. He needs a more time in the minor league system. He will begin the year at AA New Britain.

Other notable prospects: Danny Valencia 3B- Valencia has been touted the 3rd baseman of the future for the Twins. Depending on how the Twins are doing this season, he might make his major league debut with the team. He bats for power at a position that has been lackluster for the Twins since Corey Koskie left the team. He most likely will begin the season at AAA Rochester but every season he has worked his way to the next level.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Little Superhero of the Twins

He flies through the air with the greatest of ease. He dives into first base head first not caring about life or limb. He soars towards the ball as a defensive puma pouncing on his prey. He was one of the original members of the little piranhas that have been attacking the AL Central. Nick Punto is truly a little superhero for the Minnesota Twins.

Nick Punto has done a variety of things over the course of his playing career. His defensive prowess makes him a continuous highlight reel for ESPN's Baseball Tonight. The plays that he makes are far from the ordinary. The manager of the Twins has used him to play almost every infield position and he plays those positions with excellence.

The kryptonite for the superhero of the Twins has been his up and down batting for the past few seasons. He seemed to be able to fight off the effects of his kryptonite during the ALDS last season. Punto was able to raise his batting average while becoming more confident at the plate. Down the stretch last season, he was the one player on the Twins that seemed to be up to bat with the game on the line. During those situations he was able to come through in big ways and save the Twins from the evils that were fighting against them.

Nick Punto continues to amaze with his defensive ability and his superhero-like talents across the field. Hopefully he continues the changes that he showed down the stretch last season. If he can do this, he might become more than a little superhero for the Twins this season.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

2010 Twins Starting Rotation Preview


One of the presumed strengths for the Twins entering the 2009 season was their young starting rotation that was backed by an even stronger bullpen. The problem with this was that it was all preseason speculation. The injury bug hit the Twins starting five and so the team had to look deep into its farm system to survive the season as Central Division Champions. The outlook for the 2010 season is filled with renewed optimism. The Twins found out last season that their farm system is deep with adequate pitching prospects, but the team is still looking for someone to step up as their true number one. The real battle this Spring Training will be for who will get the final spot in the rotation. Another intriguing aspect will be how long the team sticks with the starters that make the team out of Spring Training, if they are struggling.

2010 Twins Starting Rotation

1. Carl Pavano (RH) The only true veteran that appears on the staff. He should provide veteran leadership for the younger pitchers. Pavano came over late in the year and pitched well enough to earn a return trip with the Twins for the 2010 Season. He pitch very well against the Central Division last season. There are still questions about whether or not he will be able to stay healthy for a full season.

2. Nick Blackburn (RH) Blackburn has pitched great in two of the highest pressure games that the Twins have been in the past two seasons, even though the Twins lost both of these contests (Game 163 in 2008 and ALDS Game 2 in 2009). He led the team in ERA, Innings Pitched, and Complete Games during the 2009 campaign. His biggest weakness may be his tendency to over think his pitch selection.

3. Scott Baker (RH) Baker has been emerging as a viable starter for the Twins over the course of the last half decade. He always seems close to becoming a top end of the rotation stater but this has yet to come to fruition. In 2009, he led the team in wins, strikeouts, and shutouts (tied). The main fault that has haunted him during his career is his inclination to give up home-runs.

4. Kevin Slowey (RH) Slowey was on pace for a breakout season in 2009 but wrist surgery cost him and the Twins a monster year last season. Slowey had a chance to make the AL All-Star Team last season and hopefully his wrist won't impact him this season. His health might be the biggest injury concern for the Twins this season.

5. The Lefties (Francisco Liriano, Brian Duensing, Glen Perkins) The fight for the fifth spot in the starting rotation is going to be one of the highly contested battles during Spring Training. Entering Spring Training the advantage would have to go to Liriano and the progress that he made during the off season. Perkins would be the next choice for the Twins because of the experience that he offers over Duensing. Perkins is also coming off an elbow injury last season so his performance in Spring Training could prove a lot about him. Perkins most likely will come out of the bullpen at the beginning of the season, but if there is any questions about the other starters he would be the first to step into the rotation. Duensing pitched well in a lot of big games last season but he needs some more work. He will start the season at Rochester but has a chance to be called up if the team needs him.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Return of Mr. Jones


Many fond memories were brought back with the signing of free agent Jacque Jones yesterday. Jones was one of the core players that brought the Twins back from the brink of contraction to a team that has won 5 of the last 8 Central Division Titles in the American League. Since Jones left the Twins following the 2005 season he has made various stops with the Twins, Cubs, Tigers, and Marlins. His best season was the 2002 season in which he hit .300 with 27 home runs and 85 RBIs. During that season the Twins made a surprising run to the American League Championship Series. The previous off season the Commissioner of Baseball, Bud Selig, had threatened that two teams were facing the chance of being contracted, the Twins and the Expos. Spurned by this threat from baseball's elite the Twins bonded together with their core of young talent to save baseball for the Land of 10,000 Lakes. This 2002 season may fully be the reason that baseball continues to thrive in the the Upper Midwest.

The role that Jacque Jones will play this season is yet to be determined. The Twins already have their outfield filled to the brim with Denard Span, Michael Cuddyer, Delmon Young, and Jason Kubel. Looking at Jones' numbers over the past few seasons, it is most likely that he will end up playing a role in the Twins minor league system. Who knows what will happen if he can figure out some of the issues he has with his swing? Maybe he will play a role with the team as a September call-up but that is far in the future. For now it is fun to reminisce about the team that helped to keep baseball in Minnesota and that allowed for a beautiful new stadium to be built in down town Minneapolis.

Thank you Mr. Jones...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The hope of "The Franchise"

The ball may still be traveling or it may have begun to orbit the fifth moon of Jupiter. In my many games at the Metrodome, I had never and will never see a home run that traveled further. A hotshot rookie for the Twins had just been taken deep in his first big league appearance by the not so famous long ball threat, Gary Matthews Jr. The city had been abuzz for days about the new prospect that had just arrived from Rochester. He was a tall south paw with a Randy Johnson-like fastball and a slider that dropped off the face of the planet. Over the course of the next year, Fransisco Liriano would take Major League Baseball by storm and gain a new nickname along the way, "The Franchise." Liriano has gone through many ups and downs since that day against the Texas Rangers. From American League All-Star in 2006 to having career threatening elbow surgery a few seasons ago, the career of "The Franchise" has been tumultuous.

There is new hope on the horizon as the 2010 season is underway. News from the off-season has "The Franchise" placed back on track to make a big splash for the Twins as they enter Target Field. Reports from the Dominican Winter League place Liriano's fastball in the mid-90s and his slider regaining the form that it had in 2006. This is great news for a franchise that has lacked a true number one starter since the departure Johan Santana. Liriano has to fight for the fifth spot in the Twins Starting Rotation or find himself in Rochester once again. Hopefully his competitive drive will push him to regain the ace form of 2006 and he can truly become the pitcher of the franchise.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Goodbye NFL.... Welcome Back MLB

The day after the Super Bowl there is always a feeling that the MLB Season is right around the corner. The confetti has barely hit the ground, Drew Brees is on his way to Disney World, and yet that first hint of Spring Training is lurking on the horizon. It will take ESPN a week or two to realize that the NFL season is over, especially with the story that the Saints provided over the past few seasons. But the crowning of a new NFL Champion always turns the page onto a new baseball season.

The Saints and their underdog role in this Super Bowl provides a spark to the thought that underdogs everywhere may have a shot in their perspective sports. The David vs. Goliath syndrome has played its way into competitions throughout the ages. For the Twins, in their role as David, their path this season will mostly cross with the Goliath of MLB, the NY Yankees. So thank you to the Saints for giving hope to the perennial underdog.

Congratulations Saints, Goodbye NFL... And Welcome Back Major League Baseball.

~Rob Neyer, of ESPN.com, wrote over the weekend about the Twins and the great off season that they are having ("Twins have great winter, quietly" http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot).

Friday, February 5, 2010

Twins 2010 Projected Lineup (with Orlando Hudson)

With the late addition of Orlando Hudson to the Twins for the 2010 season. The lineup seems to really be shaping up. Here is the current projected lineup for the first season at Target Field.

1. Denard Span CF
2. Orlando Hudson 2B
3. Joe Mauer C
4. Justin Morneau 1B
5. Jason Kubel DH
6. Michael Cuddyer RF
7. Delmon Young LF
8. JJ Hardy SS
9. Nick Punto 3rd

With the addition of Orlando Hudson the Twins payroll will increase to an Opening Day value of $96 million. That amount far surpasses their 2009 Opening Day payroll value of $65 million. This new lineup should be much more of a threat offensively and defensively.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Life of a Twins Fan in North Dakota

Life as a Minnesota Twins Fan in North Dakota can be full of reward and fulfillment. It can also be full of hardships and sorrow. The driving to and from the Twin Cities until 3AM in the morning can be grueling. As a team, they are something I can rely on. Every spring the Twins give me hope for the new season. The hope of a small market team slaying the bigger markets across the baseball universe. Does this always happen? Well no....but the hope of new beginnings brings other fans and myself back to the team every year.

The 50th year of professional baseball in Minnesota (see logo above) will be a new beginning for the small market team that could. Twins Fans have been chomping at the bit to enter the the new hallowed grounds of Target Field. Excitement has been building with Twins Fans as the annual winter caravans and TwinsFest were wrapping up over the past few weeks. And in a few short weeks these fans will get to fight the cold and blustery weather of Easter Weekend to see their beloved Twins play in their new outdoor home; even if these are only exhibition games. Fans will come from far and wide (even from North Dakota) to get a glimpse of outdoor baseball.

North Dakota Twins fans might have to endure a few rain outs this season, but it will be well worth it to be able to keep baseball in Minnesota for years to come. The amount of revenue that the team is bringing in is allowing them to increase their payroll and this continues to be a positive for Twins Fans and Fans across baseball. These new beginnings allow for new hopes in Twins Territory and hope is never a bad thing.