Just Like 163, Only Better!

Last night the Twins clinched the AL Central division with a huge win
and with some help from the Oakland A’s! The Twins rallied in the 7th
inning and came back from a 2-0 deficit to beat the Indians 6-2.

Beer soaked…everything…at Target Field

Earlier
in the day, the Twins had tweeted that they wouldn’t be showing the
White Sux game and that fans couldn’t stick around after, they planned
for no celebration after a possible clinch. A bunch of us figured what
the hell, let’s try and stick around.  The worse that can happen is
they kick us out. We made our way over to the Twins dugout (where we
could see the out of town scoreboard).  It wasn’t long before they
turned that and the main lights off. We thought for sure that meant
we’d have to leave. Nope. We had plenty of people checking mlb.tv on their phones and calling people to find out the progress.

Drew capturing photos/video of the crowd still at the field

Two
outs came in the 9th and when the final batter for the White Sux had
two strikes the crowd began getting rowdy. A few of the players poked
their heads out during the last inning, taking pictures and getting the
crowd riled up. Once they knew they had the division, they kept us in
suspense for another 15 minutes and then finally live sprung out from
the dugout bringing beer and buckets full of liquid (I assume a sort of
beer/champagne-water)…thankfully Jon Rauch missed me and my friends
by about a foot, but Drew Butera didn’t miss with the abundance of beer
he drenched us with.  It was cold during the game, but adrenaline had
us so riled up we didn’t feel the cold anymore. Only excitement coursed
through our systems and kept us wanting more beer to be thrown on us.

Drew drenching us in beer!

 It
was incredible and I felt like I was part of the team for the night! I
now officially know how the players feel when alcohol is thrown about
and gets in your eyes, hair and all over your clothes. Do you care or
feel any kind of pain? Nope! You feel the need for more!

yes it’s a little blurry…but it’s the “F@&king Fifth” when some of the guys do the most damage, according to Plouffe.

I’d
have to say that being able to stick around and celebrate with the team
with a few thousand people was 100 times better than game 163 last
year. If I had the chance to do it again, I’d take the opportunity in a
heartbeat!

Span
Justin Morneau getting interviewed

I
also made a tv appearance toward the end of the night! I tried ducking
out of the way but was not quick enough! Oh well, guess it’s just proof
that I was there! Can I have seconds?

The team out celebrating with the fans!

Don’t Mess With Texas

These
last few games have been tough to stomach.  It’s been hard watching a
contending team take on another one and lose 3 games in a row. 
Thankfully we haven’t lost all the ground we gained on Chicago because
Kansas City and Baltimore have been helping our cause.  I think they
secretly like the underdog team and just hate the White Sux too.  Who
can really blame them for that?

It’s been tough this year watching players get hurt and go on the DL
for extended periods of time.  The latest victims, Kevin Slowey (which
probably makes me the most saddened) and Ron Mahay.  Both were lost in
the same game, during another tough pill to swallow.  I don’t think the
Twins have been a team this year that should lose to the Angels. 
They’re not the same threat they were a year ago, but the Twins played
them like they were.  These and other teams like Texas are ones that we
have to stand up and fight to win.

Karlee and I fighting over TC.

Maybe the Twins need to take a page from Karlee and
fight tooth and nail over what’s important.  If they want to stay in
first place, they need to win games and win big games.  Win games when
Chicago loses and gain more ground than a mere 3.5 games.  Sooner or
later that small lead will be nothing if they don’t capitalize on it
early.  I know, I don’t really want to see yet another game 163, for
the third year in a row.  The regular season is long enough and
stressful enough.  Who needs a game chalk full of stress??

Joe Mauer checking his swing

Last weekend, I explored the option of Standing Room
Only tickets.  I’ll put it this way, they were not my favorite.  I like
keeping score and I’m short, so I have to stand in front in order to
see over people.  With that being said, we had to get their super early
in order to get what we considered to be a “good” spot (just to the
third base side behind home plate on the lower level)…and we waited
and waited some more for the game to start.  In the whole day (which we
opted for seats by the 6th inning, granted in the hot sun but seats
nonetheless) we spent probably 6 hours standing.  The game was around 4
hours long, and we were there when gates opened.  It was a long day for
sure.  If you don’t mind standing, those kind of tickets are fine, and
cheap.

Kevin Slowey pitching

One of the perks of being there so early on a
Saturday?  I got to watch the Twins take batting practice.  Not that
it’s terribly exciting, but it’s fun being able to stand down right by
the dug out and watch them.

Jim Thome is such a bad ***, he doesn’t need a glove!
Timmy (Scott Baker) and his not so good looking facial hair.
Jason Repko

We also got to check out TC take on a couple of the
Minnesota Wild hockey players in the home run contest.  (Josh Harding
and Clayton Stoner).  To put it nicely, Clayton Stoner should stick to
playing hockey.

All
in all, despite the heat, it was a nice day and tons of fun.  I’m
looking forward to when the Twins are at home again, and I can see them
live at Target Field (my second home) some more!  26 games hasn’t been
enough yet this season!  (For those who care and seem to ask every now
and then, my record is 21-5).  Bring on the Tigers and bring on some
more winning!

Hopefully the Twins can take on Texas tonight, deep in the heart of
Texas and beat the heat of Cliff Lee.  Cliff Lee (knock on wood) has
not won since his trade.  Let’s hope that lucky streak he’s got going,
continues and the Twins benefit from it tonight.  We’ve seem to have
good success against him so far this season (and in years’ past).  I’m
hoping for another L in Cliff Lee’s stats (even though he’s on my
fantasy team).

That’s it for now!  GO TWINS!

Road Woes Away

Now
I know, beating the Orioles isn’t a huge feat, but it’s a start to help
balance the Twins and get out of the funk when on the road.  There have
been a lot of “road woes” the Twins have faced this year and their
record has been less than stellar while on the road.  The Twins came up
with some huge run support and killed the competition over this weekend
(Thursday – Sunday).
It
was wonderful to see pitchers that are hanging in the balance having
great games.  Kevin Slowey and Scott Baker both looked good on the
mound.  I do think that Kevin Slowey looked a little sluggish and was
missing a lot of the marks that Drew Butera had for him, but he was
fooling the Orioles and getting the big outs that he needed!  The Twins
also gave him a lot of support, landing 10 runs in the course of the
strung out game that had a rain delay in the mix.  The downfall of that
game was watching Nick Blackburn be Nick Blackburn in the 9th inning. 
If he was trying to show improvement in that performance, he failed.
This
series was a great series to see Delmon Young show his true potential. 
He has been on fire, racking up RBI’s, home runs, and sky rocketing his
batting average to come close to having one comparable to Justin
Morneau.  I’m fine with him batting higher up in the line up the rest
of the year.
Brian
Duensing also looked great in his 5 innings of work on Friday night. 
It was too bad for him that Anthony Slama had to give up a 2-run shot
to Luke Scott to spoil the lead for the Twins and ultimately lose the
game.  Pornvano was his usual self and gave a very solid performance,
pitching once again another shut out.  Even though I’m not a fan of his
mustache, or the fact that he can convince his fellow teammates to
follow suit, I like it when the Twins win games…and the mustache
seems to help him win.  (Or at least his superstition is telling him
that.)
Baseball
seems to have a huge history of mustaches and they never seem to go
away.  From guys like Rollie Fingers to Dave Winfield.  There are
plenty of well known players that have been spotted over the years
sporting the ‘stache.  Here’s a list (and the picture above) of some of
those famous ‘staches.  Enjoy.
  • Greg Maddux
  • Rollie Fingers
  • Dennis Eckersley
  • Goose Gossage
  • Rod Beck
  • Keith Hernandez
  • Wade Boggs
  • Barry Bonds
  • Dave Chalk
  • Clay Zavada
  • Reggie Jackson
  • Andre Dawson
  • Dale Berra
  • Don Baylor
  • Gorman Thomas
  • Dave Winfield
  • Lloyd Moresby
  • Rick Dempsey
  • Jim Leyland
  • Pete Vukovich
  • Bobby Grinch
  • Fred McGriff
  • Doug Glanville
  • Jeff Kent
  • Randy Johnson
  • Catfish Hunter
  • Bob Molinaro
  • Tom Selleck
  • Rick Bosetti
  • Robin Yount
  • Carl Pavano
    (note: this is not a complete list.  There were a lot of players with ‘staches)

Stop, Slama Time!

Okay, I just need to start by saying, losing to Cleveland is
unacceptable.  They are the last place team in our division, and we now
have lost two games to them.  It makes me ill.  I don’t think tonight
that our starting pitching was bad.  Sure, I would have like Slowey to
go further into the game, but he was looking tired at the end of his
5.2 innings, and 99 pitches.  After having a short outing of only 3
innings last time, I’m not surprised that he looked tired toward the
end tonight.  Overall, I’m quite pleased with how he did, and
ultimately it was in fact our bullpen that lost this game for us.  (No, I’m not saying anything bad about Jesse Crain and that fluke of a hit that scored 2 runs)

I’m quite happy about the roster move the Twins made yesterday after
the game.  I think all of us fans have been waiting for Slama to get a
nod this whole season!  He deserves it, and really, can he do any worse
than the rest of the ‘pen has?  I know that he’s gotta step up and be
outstanding, or else he is going to get ripped apart by the fans. 
That’s a lot of pressure for him, so hopefully he is oblivious to all
of this pressure and just is the bad *** that he’s been in Triple-A
this season.

So during the torturous game that was last night’s game, I got bored
and started thinking about what the Twins players would be doing if
they weren’t baseball players.  Here’s the jobs that I’ve came up with
so far for the boys:

Carl Pavano - Porn star (this one is pretty obvious, I mean look at this picture.)

Michael Cuddyer - Magician (if you haven’t seen his card trick, check out my video of it on You Tube here: Cuddy The Magician.
Kevin Slowey - Motivational Speaker
Timmy (Scott) Baker – Angel (check out his head shot for this, with me in the pic)

Orlando Hudson – Actor.  He acts a lot when he’s playing baseball, so I think he’d be good at it.
JJ Hardy – Country Singer.  For some reason, I can see him being good at this.
Nick Punto – Stripper.
Denard Span - Televangelist.  He already thanks Jesus when he gets on base.
Matty Guerrier and Nick Blackburn – Semi Truck drivers.  It’s a toss up who’s ‘stache puts them in the lead for this job.

Joe Mauer - Chippendale Dancer.  I think he’s got the white boy dance moves down, plus a lot of ladies think he’s pretty.
Jeff Manship – Superman/Clark Kent.  Come on, he looks like him, right??
Jon Rauch - Basketball Player (I know, this is kind of lame)
Justin Morneau – Canadian Mountie

As talks about trades continue, I wonder if the Twins will make any
moves that will make any of us fans happy.  In the past, Bill Smith and
co. do not have the highest track record with making moves that
everyone else seems to think are the most obvious issues that need to
be addressed.  I guess this year, I’m hoping for help in the bullpen. 
Yes, I know our starting pitchers have left something to be desired,
but I think and have faith that there is still some hope for them.  I
know that this means it’ll come with some hard times and some losses,
but I know the Twins and their love to come from behind late in the
season and surprise the hell out of all of the competitors.

Were We On A Break?!

A four game losing streak was hard to take.  Being swept by the Brewers
was even harder.  The Twins are a team that can beat the Brewers as
well as crush the Brewers!  So why couldn’t the do just that in
Milwaukee?  Well it didn’t entirely seem like their bats were up to
par, nor did our pitching stand up and give the Brewers anything to
fear.

Friday night against the Mets, out pitching seemed to be back in the
swing of things, until Kevin Slowey had a few hiccups in the middle
innings.  Our offense couldn’t seem to piece together enough hits to
come back and win it.  It seemed like every time they got a couple
hits, the rest of the lineup would fail and leave the few on base. 
This isn’t how teams are going to win.  I’m not sure entirely what the
answer is to get the Twins out of these funks, but there is something
missing, something needed to win (tougher games) and the Twins need to
find it.  They need to find it soon.

With the All-Star break coming in just a few weeks, Detroit and Chicago
are closing the gap in the AL Central race.  In order to stay on top,
the Twins need to at least match, and hopefully exceed what Detroit and
Chicago are doing. (Chicago is on an 11-game winning streak)  It also
means that the games coming up against those teams (Detroit, Mon – Wed
at Target Field, and July 9-10 in Detroit; Chicago July 15-17th at
Target Field) mean do or die for the top spot in the AL Central.

Today Timmy goes for his 50th win and the series win against the Mets.

The Big Hits

It
was hard watching the Twins two of the three games in Philly.  I wasn’t
too happy that our starting pitching couldn’t go into the 3rd inning in
either game.  I was ripped off!  I wanted to watch the pitchers
awkwardly swing at the ball over and over, and only got to see it once
each game.  IT SUCKED.
I
watch most of Saturday’s game at Park Tavern in St. Louis Park with a
bunch of other Twins bloggers!  It was the Twins Centric viewing party
and it was fun!  Seth was mean and teased me with Kevin Slowey’s email
address, ultimately deciding that he wasn’t going to give it to me.  (I swear I’d behave if I had it.  I’d probably look at it more than actually use it.  I’d be too scared to do anything about it! HINT HINT, Seth.
It was hard listening to pretty much what turned out to be the second
half of the game on the radio while driving to my home town of Austin
for Father’s Day.  I think people would have thought I was nuts if they
would’ve been in the car with me, or even seen me from their car.  I
was screaming at the top of my lungs when Joe Mauer hit his home run to
tie the game.

Of
course, the game didn’t end there for the Twins, that was just the
start of the battle. I thought for sure that Drew Butera’s first ever
MLB home run was what was going to win it for the Twins.  Then Jon
Rauch gave up a home run, blowing the save.  Thankfully the Twins came
back in the 11th with 3 more runs to edge out ahead and win the game!

Two games out of 3 in Philly, the reigning NL Division champs of 2009,
I’ll take it!  Sunday, Carl was outstanding going the distance and
pitching a complete game!  He even got a hit to try and help his
cause.  It was too bad that Carl put no effort into his running the
base line.  He made Jim Thome and Jason Kubel look like fast runners
with how slow he trotted to the bases.

Thanks,
Carl for being a bada$$!  I’m still not sure I like the mustache, but
if you keep pitching like that, I’ll let ya keep it! Even if I do think
it’s gross.

Going For the Sweep

Last
night was by far the best game I’ve been to in my 14 games!  I managed
to score some fantastic seats 3 rows from the field (in section 3, which is right next to the Twins’ dugout!!). 
I was so close to the field and the players I was having heart
palpitations! It was a great game otherwise too.  The Twins were
trailing 2-0 in the first three innings (2nd run scored in the 3rd for Colorado) and it wasn’t looking the best.  We got Cuddy to third, but couldn’t seem to bring anyone home to give Carl any run support.

These are the times that I fear my record will take a hit (it’s first loss). 
I started getting worried at the start of the 4th, but Joe Mauer pulled
through with a great base hit that started a HUGE inning for the Twins,
scoring 5 runs on 6 hits (2 walks and 1 fielder’s choice).  The
Twins batted around and Joe Mauer grounded into a double play to end
the inning that he started.  It was one of those games that throws my
scorecard off cause I have to continue an inning into another column. 
I didn’t mind though.

The Twins had 14 hits in the game and won the easy battle 9-3.  I guess
Carl finally got the run support he’s been craving all season long!  It
was nice the Twins could finally provide him with some runs.

I did enjoy seeing some guys who have needed to step up (the rookies and Punto) really step up last night.  Valencia went 2 for 3 (2 singles, walk and hit into a fielder’s choice). 
Punto went 2 for 3 as well with a walk, and Matt Tolbert…he shocked
the hell out of me going 1 for 3 with 2 walks and a HOME RUN.  I didn’t
know Matt Tolbert could hit homers!  I figured maybe that would give
Joe Mauer some ammo to hit his first at Target Field (minus the one he blasted during the exhibition game), but nope.

Tonight: It was great watching Timmy dominate the Rockies!  He had a career high of 12 K’s (strike outs)
and looked like the leader of the pack that he was supposed to be all
along.  It was great seeing him excel out there and also pitch 108
total pitches.  It’s not too often that Rick Anderson will let the
pitcher go more than 102-105.  I wish his pitch count hadn’t been at
that in the 7th so he would have been able to come back out for the
8th, but the outcome tonight still turned out in the Twins’ favor.

Tomorrow the Twins will go for the sweep against the Rockies (day game).  I’m not sure if I’ll be able to catch the game or not.

Now: Enjoy some more pictures from my section 3, row 3 seats.

Punto (for Karlee)
 I think Drew knew I was taking his picture. Oh well!
 Trevor Plouffe
 TC!
 View from my seat (which got me on TV a lot last night, and thankfully my camera covered me most of the time!)
Joe Mauer up to bat
infielders
 Mr. Morneau
  Mauer
 My Cuddy picture that looks like a baseball card.
inside the first base lounge…

On A Good Pace

Right
now all of the Twins pitchers all have at least 5 wins setting their
paces for a great season, full of wins.  As of last night, the Twins
are 31-20, which is 11 games over .500 (.608), and they are 4.5
games ahead of the second place team in the AL Central, Detroit
Tigers.  There is only one team in the AL better than the Twins, the
Tampa Bay Rays, and in the NL, only the San Diego Padres sit atop with
the same record as the Twins.


If the playoffs were today here’s how the AL would stand:
1. Tampa Bay Rays
2. Minnesota Twins
3. Oakland A’s
Wild Card: New York Yankees

I’m hoping before the playoffs happen, that the New York Yankees fall
out of any of the spots that have a post season.  I know there is still
a lot of season left before post season happens, but as we only have a
little over a month until the All-Star Break (about 1/2 way thru the
season), one has to look at the standings to see what kind of a chance
their team will have of making it further than just the regular season.

I don’t think any team is necessarily out of the running, it’s too
early to determine something like that.  However, there are teams that
are sitting much better than the rest of their division.  The AL
Central is one of the toughest divisions in the American League.  In
the last few years, the winner of the division has come down to one of
the final games in the regular season.  I think this year it should be
a close race as well, but I think that the Twins will still shine about
the rest of the AL Central counterparts.

I
was happy that the Twins pulled off another series sweep.  I wish it
would have been at the hands of a team like Boston or the Yankees
rather than the Rangers (I have a soft spot for them and really admire and respect a lot of their players). 
I was somewhat nervous on Saturday when Carl Pavano was pitching.  Most
games that Carl has pitched this season, he has seen little run
support.  When Carl is starting, the Twins only have averaged 3.8 runs
in these games.  This is the lowest for average of run support a
starting pitcher gets.  Francisco Liriano has the next lowest,
averaging 3.9 runs per game he starts, Timmy (Scott Baker) 4.55, Kevin (Slowey)
5.5 runs, and Nick Blackburn gets the most with an average of 7 runs
every game he starts.  I’m wondering if I should go see more games Carl
Pavano pitches, or a game Liriano pitches, since I’m 11-0 and have seen
Kevin 5 times, and Nick Blackburn 4 times.  Maybe that’d help these
others do better.

This week the Twins are on West Coast time (7 game road trip to Seattle and Oakland).  They started their 4-game series with Seattle last night (winning 5-4) and then onto Oakland for a 3-game series.  Only one of these games is a day game (Sunday 3:10pm)
so be prepared to stay up until all hours of the night watching the
Twins win!  I’m not sure how much of these games I’ll make it through
considering I fell asleep during last nights’ game, but I’m going to do
my best!

Yup, that’s Drew Butera popping his gum
Twins return home a week from
today!  I prefer when they are at home vs. away.  There is just
something about watching games at Target Field that is much more
enjoyable to the other stadiums.  I wouldn’t mind if the Twins played
at Petco Park again (this is the only other ballpark I’ve been to besides the Metrodome and Target Field).  Petco is a lot like Target Field and quite beautiful.  Some day, I’ll make trips to other ballparks to see all for myself!
Now,
I’m going to wait for the rain to come in and enjoy some more baseball
tonight!  Nick Blackburn faces Jason Vargas starting at 9:05pm (CST)!

An Unusual Kind of Day

So while trying to come up with something to write about with the past
two game (neither of which I watched much of, one due to the fact
that it was a day game and I was working, the other because I was just
peeved about how the game went.
)  I was trying to think of something
else to refer to the Yankees as other than the Evil Empire (which I
do like that name, but it’s not becoming to frequently used and I like
to be different.
).  I came across wikipedia and saw that they had a list
of nicknames
for the different teams’ players.  Here’s what they
had for the Twins (I eliminated the past Twins players and only kept
current ones
).
Wikipedia’s Twins Nickname list (it’s short, but wacky):

  • Francisco LirianoFranchise” “F-Bomb
  • Joe
    Mauer
    : “Chairman Mauer” or “Baby Jesus
  • Dr. Neau
  • Anthony Swarzak: “The Smokestack
  • Peanuts From Heaven)
    that call Joe “Chairman Mauer”…though a lot of people that call him
    “Baby Jesus”.  The others I don’t know that I here used…well…ever. 
    Whoever decided to write that list of nicknames for current players is
    sitting on that island alone.

    Tonight, I think the Twins need to really step things up and show the
    Yankees that they really are in it to win it this year.  They didn’t win
    a single game last years against them, they more or less just let the
    Yankees walk all over them and the Twins were the Yankees *******.  I
    think this is a good year for redemption and to show the whole major
    league that we are in fact competitors and want to go all the way.  I
    think they have the capability and the potential this year.  Plus I
    think if the Tigers can beat the Yankees (more than one game)
    that the Twins can do that too, and do it bigger and better than the
    Tigers.

    Did you know that the Yankees (still the
    highest paid team in MLB
    ) have an average salary that is
    $108,774,222 more than the Twins (this current season 2010.)? 
    The Twins are ranked #11 (which I would wager is high for a
    “small-market team”
    , but I’m sure signing Mauer to the deal he
    got bumped the Twins up a bit higher
    ).  On the note of high payed
    players, I find it kind of funny that Justin Morneau in the ad for
    Continental Diamonds (I believe) says “Because I don’t make as
    much as my buddy Joe”.  Hate to break it to Justin, but this year, he
    does make more than Joe.

    Tonight’s Match-up: Scott Baker (4-2; 4.57 ERA) vs. A.J. Burnett (4-1;
    3.40 ERA).  Here’s hoping for a successful night for Twins players in
    our line up.  More after this weekend’s series.  I hope to give out 3
    Stars of the Series again since the haven’t WON the last two, merely
    split both of those series (yes, I know the one is slightly jaded and
    either was a sweep, split or swept series
    ).  GO TWINS and Go
    Timmy!!

Target Field Preparations

 
Now I know today is “Delmon Young Day”, but I really
don’t know what to write about Delmon Young, because I’m more just
indifferent towards him.  I also don’t really want to talk about the
game last night, because quite honestly the commentary and comments made
about Kevin Slowey and how bad he was (cause don’t you know that a
pitcher is the only one playing in the defensive side of the game?
),
so I turned off the game to watch repeats of The Office, because it
made me less crabby than the game was making me.  So today, I’ve decided
that for those who haven’t been to Target Field, that I would put
together sort of a “what to expect/bring with” guide for Target Field to
help better prepare others (given that I have been to 8 games so far
there
).
What
will you need to bring with you to Target Field?
Well quite
honestly, it depends on what mother nature decides to do on that given
day, but I would suggest regardless if it is raining, to bring with: 
1. A poncho
(the come in packs of 2 and are small to carry with you.  They fit
easily in a bag that for the men out there, could be a backpack
).
2. A
sweatshirt
(or other long sleeved item.)  If you haven’t ever
sat in the seats you will be sitting you, you may not know if you are
underneath the overhang or not.  If you are under the overhang on a
sunny (50-60 degree day), you will be cold and want sleeves.  A
lady who sat next to Katie on Sunday learned this quickly (she
complained the entire game
).
3. A blanket.  The night
games tend to cool off a lot more than the day games, and considering we
are in Minnesota, it can get quite cool at night.  It makes it easier
to be more comfortable while sitting in the hard plastic seats for the
entirety of the game.  Plus, if the chair gets too uncomfortable, you
can always use your blanket as a cushion to sit on.
4. An
umbrella.
  Sure this goes along with the poncho, but my theory is to
always be safe, rather than sorry and miserable.
5. Mittens
I’m a freeze baby, and those games that I’ve sat in the shade, or it’s
dipped down low enough to be a tad bit cold, mittens (just the cheap
1.49 light-weight mittens) were my best friend and kept my hands oh so
warm.
6.
Good shoes to walk/stand in.
  You will do some walking from parking
spots/light rail to the new stadium, and also once you get inside. 
There are so many things to see once inside Target Field, that you want
to be comfortable.
Where do I park/what’s the best way to get to
Target Field?
I prefer to drive downtown myself, because I don’t
want to have to wait for a long period of time after the game to get
back on the lightrail (I’ve been told that the line moves quickly,
but when the game doesn’t get over with until around 10pm for night
games, I want to get home as quickly as I can
).  I wouldn’t suggest
parking in any lot that is more than $7.  There are PLENTY of lots
around the field that range from $3-$7 for parking, all within a couple
blocks of Target Field.  Don’t waste your money at the places that try
to rip you off and make you pay $10-$20.  It’s nuts.  Day games during
the week, however, are a different story.  Most ramps and surface lots
are used for people who work downtown, and a lot of them also fill up
before 10am, so it will make it more difficult to find a cheap,
affordable parking spot.  Expect to pay more on these games (however,
don’t settle on the first lot you find, there may be a cheaper option
only a block or two further away.
).
What
are the best things to see at the new field?
My favorite
place at the new stadium, inside the gates, is quite possibly Hrbek’s. 
It’s so incredible (there are tiles on the ceiling that you really
have to see in order to know how neat they really are.
).  Kent
Hrbeck has all of the jersey he has worn in his baseball career (high
school included
) displayed on the wall, along with some really neat
artwork.
 
Be
sure to notice the wind wall (alongside the ABC Parking Ramp B).  It’s
the largest piece of artwork in the Twin Cities.  It’s a wall of small
stainless steel plates that moves with the wind.  It almost looks like
smoke when it gets moving.
I think the statues outside of the field are neat to see too. 
Two of them (Kirby Puckett and Harmon Killebrew) are right by each other
(near the ABC Parking Ramp B (the one you see behind the right-center
field), but it takes a little searching to find Rod Crew (he’s near the
ABC Parking Ramp A, near 7th street), he’s off a little ways, but worth
the walk to see.  The Golden Glove is also really neat (and huge), and
worth the wait in line to get your picture sitting/standing in the
glove.  The line moves fairly fast, and as long as you have some time to
kill, you might as well do it.
What’s
the best food to try at the new field?
Quite honestly, I’ve only had the
french fries, and some ice cream at the new stadium.  I’m too frugal to
spend $9.50 on a burger and fries.  The prices of the food have
increased this year, so bring more money with you if you plan to eat
there.  I’ve noticed that for plain nachos (like they had at the Dome
last year) have stayed relatively the same price, as I’ve been told,
have hotdogs.  I don’t really care for hotdogs, much less Schweigert’s
hotdogs.  Those just gross me out even more, so I tend to steer clear
from hotdogs all together.

Is there a spot the players come out after
the games to sign autographs like at the Dome?
Sadly, the
parking for the Twins players is now under the new stadium.  It’s a
player/personnel only lot, so you’re chances of getting there are slim. 
Plus I doubt any of the players will be signing post games this season.
If
anyone has other questions that they would like to know answers to, feel
free to post a comment and ask.  I’ll respond to them quickly.  If I
don’t know the answer for you, I’ll try to find out the answer.
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