Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Fox gives me a good look of Target Field by carrying the All Star Game from Minneapolis (where I lived 1997-2003)


Fox carried the All Star Game Tuesday night, and showed off the new Target Field in downtown Minneapolis. 
  
I lived in Minneapolis, in the Churchill Apartments (the outside of which appeared in the broadcast) from 1997-2003.  I would go to games at the Metrodome, got to be a movie extra (“Major League 3”) holding my authored book in 1997 there.  I was called the “homer dome” and in the 1991 World Series fans had their “homer hankies”.   But everyone complains about the new stadium as too hard for hitters to hit homers in, even though the field approximates the Metrodome dimensions.  The 23-foot right field wall extends to the 403-sign.  But it is just 328 down the right field line, and there is a balcony that juts of some the field that would shorten the distance a lot (in a fashion that resembles Polo Grounds). 

In Boston, the left field wall is 37 feet high, and although just 305 feet down the line, but the high wall extends into center field, to about 390 feet.  In old Griffith Stadium in Washington, the right field wall as 31 feet, and 320 down the line, but 438 in right center.
  
A lot of line drives hit the right field wall last night (although none hit the jetty overhang).  Except for Mike Trout, batters had trouble making them doubles.  Cabrera did hit a homer to left (339 feet) off Wainwright in the first inning,
  
Derek Jeter played his last All Star game and opened by rolling an opposite field double into the right field corner. Jeter was interviewed in the second half of the game.
  
There is a lot of talk that MLB run production is down.  There is talk of lowering the pitcher’s mound, or limiting the ability of managers to change pitchers in late innings just to set up hitters. 
  
There is also talk that talent is too thin.  Remember how there was talk of contracting the Twins, and Expos (now the Nationals) in 2001?  A new stadium (outdoors, in Minneapolis) saved the franchise.
Weather was good last night after a “cold front”, 68 degrees and perfectly clear skies at game time. 
Tyler Clippard filled in for the Nats (for the injured Jordan Zimmermann) and retired Cabrera on a fly.
  
The American League won, 5-3, which means the AL champion will have home field advantage in the World Series (which could be Baltimore and Washington). 
  
As for the spreading of talent, I think it’s out there.  MLB’s emphatic policy on ending sexual orientation discrimination may help add to the talent pool;  I do know a couple of people who might have played. 
  
Wikipedia attribution link for picture of Target Field with downtown Minneapolis in background. The Field is in the Industrial warehouse district, about three blocks west of Hennepin Ave (which has the bars and discos like the Gay 90s and Saloon).
    
I also remember the old Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, torn down to make room for the Mall of America.  I went to a game there in 1973 when working for Univac.  Tony Oliva amd Harmon Killebrew played then.  The oldest Washington Senators became the Twins in 1961, the year I graduated from high school – even though the Senators had a decent year in 1960.  

As for ballparks, remember that a critical scene in the ABC series “Flash Forward” was shot in Comerica Park in Detroit.  
Bud Selig talked about the 1994 baseball strike, which resulted in no World Series that year.

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