Thursday, August 21, 2008

Color Me (Un)Impressed

First off, let me say that I wasn't expecting much of the Metrodome. But, I figured maybe it would exceed my expectations. It didn't. On the other hand, it certainly wasn't worse than I imagined. In fact, there were a few things I was actually kind of impressed with. So, I'm presenting this write-up on my visit to the Metrodome for yesterday's game as two separate lists of what impressed me and what didn't.

Metrodome
    Impressed

  • Heard on loudspeaker in bathroom that it was Robert Plant’s 60th birthday.

  • Mango hand soap in men’s rest room.

  • $1 Hot Dog Wednesdays promotion for first 20,000 fans (limit 2 per person).

  • Noticed several fans sitting around me playing Twingo (Scorecard Bingo). I didn't play, because at that point I didn't feel like searching for a card, but it seemed like a fun idea.

  • The managing job Ron Gardenhire has done with this team that has a no-name starting rotation and only two hitters (Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau) that potentially strike fear in opponents.

  • Justin Morneau’s MVP caliber season, with essentially no lineup protection. Mauer hits 3rd and Morneau 4th. Yesterday, Delmon Young batted 5th, behind Morneau. Other days it’s Michael Cuddyer, who’s having a terrible year, or Jason Kubel, who’s pretty good, but far from an intimidating presence.

  • Summit Extra Pale Ale: brewed by St. Paul's own Summit Brewing Company, $10 for a 22oz. bottle. A little pricey, but the best beer of the trip so far. On the lighter bodied side, but nicely hopped, providing just the right amount of bitterness. As an added note, the day before, in Madison, I had two pints of Capital Pale Ale, which was pretty good, but nothing special.

  • Wide selection of player shirts at souvenir stands. Besides the obvious (Mauer, Morneau, Joe Nathan), there are many non-stars, such as Mike Redmond, Nick Punto, Alexi Casilla, Carlos Gomez, Denard Span.

  • The "Kiss Cam" inspired some interesting reactions: one 50+ year old guy practically mauled his wife when the camera focused on them, while another guy leaned over the woman sitting next to him to kiss a different woman.

  • The Hold Steady’s “Constructive Summer” played over the P.A. for one of Randy Ruiz’s at bats. I doubt he chose the song, but I was pleased, especially since I was wearing my Hold Steady t-shirt.

  • No sign of Chuck Knoblauch t-shirts.

    Unimpressed

  • Twins lineup is pathetic. With Joe Mauer sitting for a day game following a night game, Redmond (.635 OPS) bats 3rd and Ruiz hits 6th.

  • Very congested concession areas, with many of them closed. I understand this is an old stadium, and I realize that these areas are very congested at places like Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park, but at least it’s generally because those games are sold out. Today's attendance was 30,888, 68% of capacity.

  • Trough style men’s bathroom reminds me of my days at Penn State.

  • Crammed pretty tightly in seat, and had to look through people walking up and down the aisles to view the game. I'm aware this is another issue common to older stadiums. I should have known better, and have spent either more money or less money than my mid-range priced seat. I ended up watching most of the game from cheaper seats, where I was further away, but could see the game unobstructed and sit more comfortably.

  • Minor league-esque promotions: T-shirt slingshot, Grounds Crew Buddies, Twins mascott, T.C.

  • For the 7th inning stretch, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” was followed by that trite country anthem to post-9/11 America, Lee Greenwood's “Proud to Be an American”.

  • Urban stadium, but not much going on in the surrounding neighborhood.

  • Complete lack of Chuck Knoblauch t-shirts.

The Twins won 3-1, but I have to say it was a pretty boring game. Francisco Liriano labored through 5 innings, throwing 107 pitches, but managed to give up only one run to earn the win. Huston Street pitched an impressive 1 1/3 innings in relief. I'm not sure if he's lost the closer's role, but Brad Ziegler has saved three of their last four wins. It was also a pleasure seeing Joe Nathan's one inning, for his 34th save. He's having by far the best year among closers, despite Francisco Rodriguez's record-setting saves pace.

2 comments:

  1. I think troughs would be fun! Ah, to be a man....

    But how could they have troughs and mango hand soap?? Mixed messages.

    ReplyDelete