Monday, July 4, 2011

Interleague rivalries can offer fun for fans

The last two weekends the Twins and the Brewers have met up in both team's cities for the Minnesota and Wisconsin Border Battle. Fans of both teams make the trek to the oppositions field to see this AL vs. NL rivalry played out to the fullest. During this stretch of Interleague play, I have been fortunate enough to attend five out of the six games between these two ball clubs.

Here are some of the lessons I learned following all of these battles between the Twins and Brewers:

1. No roof was the right decision for Target Field
After visiting Miller Park for the first time, I am convinced the Twins made the right decision when they decided against having a retractable roof attached to the top of Target Field. The sky is above the fans at Miller Park and it still has the feeling of being in a domed stadium. The excess of cement surrounding the upper level is an eye sore and it still seems very artificial. I will take a two hour rain delay over the feeling that I got from being in Miller Park. It's a quaint ballpark but it is nothing close to atmosphere and design of Target Field.

2. Traveling fans offer a unique atmosphere
During the past two weekends, the fans of both teams traveled very well to the opponents city. Twins fans were left with very little to cheer about during their trip to Milwaukee. Despite a few roars here and there, the Twins fan base was relegated to being quiet onlookers. Brewers fans found their voice at Target Field on Saturday night during the middle of their team's comeback. Chants could be heard over the humbled Twins fans as Matt Capps surrendered the the victory. In an interview with 1500 ESPN Radio, Michael Cuddyer said, "It was a lot of fun. You got bantering back and forth between Brewers fans and Twins fans... It's an exciting series and that's what's great about Interleague play... It makes it a lot of fun in the ballpark."

3. Braun/Fielder are what a healthy Mauer/Morneau could be
Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder would be formidable foes in any line-up but to put them back-to-back in the same line-up is a tough task for any pitching staff. Both of these players combined to have a very decent six game set against the Twins. These two All-Stars batted .270 with 2 HR, 12 RBI, 7 R, and 4 DBL. The 2008 season was the last time the Twins saw Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau together in the line-up down the stretch. As a Twins fan, it made me long for a healthy version of the M&M Boys playing at the top of their game.

The overall experience of the last two weekends was something I will remember for the rest of my life as a fan of the game of baseball. I was given a much wider view of the intricacies of Interleague play and the fun that can accompany these border crossing rivalries.

1 comment:

JimCrikket said...

Totally agree on the open-air stadium. I live almost 5 hours from Target Field and I've dealt with inclement weather on some of my trips up there for games.

I've always said that anyone who claims a stadium with retractable roof is the same as an outdoor stadium would also claim a car with a sunroof is the same as a convertible. Only a person who's never experienced the latter would consider them to be even remotely related.