Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Minnesota

Long story short, we’ve won 10 of 12. And the two we lost were the two we flew two hours for – in Minneapolis. So coupled with our 8-0 romp in Philadelphia in June, we’re 1-2 on the year. The question we were asking ourselves all weekend: For what reason did we choose Minneapolis?

Impressions:

- Minneapolis is gorgeous and surprisingly cosmo, and the people are great. They love their Twinkies (in more ways than one).
- Word on the street is that this year they’re only filling up the Dome for Sox and Yankees games. One guy who drives up from Iowa for all weekend home games said that at a recent A’s game, “you could hear crickets.”
- We talked to people from Iowa, both Dakotas, Nebraska and Wisconsin. The Twins own the hearts of – I kid you not – the crucial demographic region they call “the upper midwest.” We had to keep reminding ourselves we were in a blue state.
- Red Sox Nation represented, but no where near on the scale with which they descend on Baltimore or Philadelphia. Enough to freak out the Minnesota fans though.
- BTW, our banner said: "30 HR 100 RBI IS MANNY BEING MANNY." 8^)
- The Homerdome is a foul, gloomy, dirty, charmless, characterless CATASTROPHE. It doesn’t go with the rest of the city, and every single person we talked to HATES it. They’re about to break ground on a new stadium, so everyone is relieved.
- They call it the Homerdome, but the Tripledome would be more apt. Singles skip through the gaps and roll all the way to the wall. Fly balls are lost in the white roof. Bad hops carom off of seams around the bases. A giant RUBBER Dodge ad stretches from right-center to right field and is, inexplicably, in play. When the ball hits it, the rubber absorbs all the energy and it bounces straight down. Real exciting! NOT. We saw several examples of each. It didn’t seem like baseball, more like a weird variation that you play on a pinball machine.
- The echo in the stadium is overwhelming. When the 10 boy scouts in the row in front of us tried to start the wave it sounded like the Mongols were invading.
- This is football country, so they were disappointing baseball fans. They didn't cheer nice plays by the Sox, and cheered - loudly - when a batted ball hit one of their baserunners.
- Without Torii Hunter, the team, like the stadium, is also a characterless catastrophe. Santana, Nathan and Lew Ford (Loooooooo) are by far the fan favorites.
- The Sox were EMBARRASSING in the field, but we're going to chalk it up to the Dirt Dome and move on. Bill Mill and ER: all I have to say is AAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!!
- My new favorite Red Sox: David Wells. We saw him signing autographs before breakfast on Sunday. Plus it's a blast watching him pitch. He knows what he's doing! He gave up only one seeing eye single until the 6th when he inexplicably lost it. No more donut jokes, STARTING NOW.
- Manny, Ortiz and ER all piled into a Hummer while the rest of the team got on a bus. We saw Arroyo, Wells, Schilling (in a huge hurry), Johnny, and Bill Mill. Wells and Millar were the most friendly (even though Wells was robbed of a win the night before). The highlight was Kevin Millar. He signed a little boy’s MILLAR 15 jersey and talked to people gathered around the bus for 6 or 8 minutes. I have some pix, maybe I'll post them.

Sox up: Manny Manny Manny, Welcome Back Kapler, Graffanino
Sox down: Petegine (quoi?), Mirabelli, and those darn Millers

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