I know that baseball is considered a leisurely sport. However, baseball at Target Field has been an intensely leisurely sport. The excitement of the new ballpark and the play of the Twins, combined with being outdoors, have left me exhausted after games.
The Twins just completed their first home stand in Target Field and it was glorious in every way. Not only was the weather perfect, the Twins won six of their nine games and are having one of their best starts in franchise history.
Other than some small problems with the concession stands, Target Field passed every test that was presented. The fans’ reaction to the ballpark was overwhelmingly positive. I went to three games and sat in three different sections. Last Saturday I was in Row 2 of the left field bleachers. I was in the sun for the whole time and uncomfortably warm. Until fans figure out if they are going to have sun or shade we just have to layer clothes, bring blankets and pack the sunscreen. What an amazing problem to have. The temperature averaged 62 degrees at game start over the entire homestand. That is 10 degrees above normal and only the third times that the Twins have had weather this warm and dry in their history for the opening games—and one of those years was 1987, when the Twins were warmly tucked into the Metrodome. I was at the game against Boston when we had the only rain of the two weeks. It was fun because the fans actually cheered the rain, which was proof that they have embraced Target Field and outdoor baseball, come rain or shine. Game play continued through the rain, although many of the fans headed up to the concourses to keep dry. I was in my regular seats on the terrace level, and we stayed dry. It looked like just the first few rows on the upper level were exposed to the rain.
The traffic does not seem to be the problem that was feared. I have had no problem parking for games and walking to Target Field. The Twins were obviously so concerned about the traffic that their Destination: Target Field web pages recommended leaving the game early, “Your route is dependent upon which direction you are heading. Regardless, you’ll want to leave just before the game is over to avoid traffic.” That statement has since been removed from the Web site, which makes me very happy. Can you imagine a baseball team encouraging fans to leave a game early?
Almost lost in all this excitement is that the Twins are off to a very good start this year. They are currently 11-5, third best in the major leagues. We have won all five series that we have played in this year, besting the previous franchise record of three winning series to start a season. Francisco Liriano has pitched 15 scoreless innings and the lineup is producing runs. However, we are also leaving too many runners on base. Despite that, we are winning games.
As I said earlier, the baseball season is long, so we can just sit back and enjoy the thrills of the Twins in April 2010.