No, today’s announcement from the Twins about new upgrades has nothing to do with adding a new “ace” to their rotation, but it’s kind of fun all the same. The Twins issued a press release announcing a series of enhancements to Target Field that should be in place by the time the stadium’s sophomore season rolls around.
Here are a few of the improvements:
- A new 50′ x 28′ video display will be perched atop the right field grandstands, giving a view to most of those fans with seats that didn’t allow a view of the large video board in LF.
- A 100′ “Twins Tower” will be erected adjacent to the new RF video board. This new LED tower that will flash messages, graphics, (and one would assume, advertising), etc.
- Free WiFi (or “TwiFi”, in this case… clever, eh?) throughout the stadium and improved cell phone signal coverage.
- Additional radiant heat elements for the Home Run Porch and Terrace Level of the stadium.
- Additional “Kasata Stone” from the Vetter Quary installed below the Metropolitan Club.
- An additional bronze statue honoring another former Twins star, as well as additional artwork around the ballpark celebrating Twins history.
- Installation of Phase II of the “Tradition Wall” on Target Plaza.
The Star Tribune posted an online article about the enhancements, of course, and as I glanced through some of the reader comments that were posted at the end, I was struck by a couple of things. First, if you think some of the comments on the Strib Twins blogs are idiotic, you really don’t want to read the comments that get posted following their regular “news” articles. I try not to be too judgemental about others, because I’ve been known to make less than well-thought-out comments at times, but some of these people are absolute morons. Nevertheless, some of the comments were a bit interesting. Or maybe I just think so because some of them were consistent with my own ideas and impressions from the games I attended.
First, the new video board is a great idea. This was one of the most frequent complaints I heard/read about the new ballpark last season and, frankly, one reason I avoided buying seats in left field for any of the ten or so games I attended. I did read some comments about how the Twins didn’t show enough replays on the board anyway and a couple of people pointed out that MLB doesn’t want teams to show controversial plays. But I just have to say I agree that more replays should be shown. I often would look at the board after a play I wanted to see again, only to be disappointed by the lack of a replay being shown. It was not just on controversial plays. The Twins seemed more intent on using the video board to show advertising or some other graphic than to show us replays. This could be improved substantially.
I’m not sure what the “Twins Tower” thing is all about. They’re going to have the time shown at the top of the tower, which is nice, but several Strib commenters mentioned it would be even better to have the current temperature shown. I agree. It’s not something the Twins ever gave a thought to in the Dome, but outside… yeah… I know the Cardinals show the temperature at their ballpark (because I remember seeing it top 100 degrees at a game I attended there in 2009).
Some people complained that the radiant heat wasn’t turned on when it should have been last season. I can’t really comment on that since the only game I attended in the cold was an Oriole game that I had Legends Club seats for… so we just slipped indoors when it got cold. Regardless, if there were parts of the upper reaches of the ballpark that lacked the radiant heat elements, it certainly makes sense to add more. I also think the stone used for the ballpark was a terrific choice, so if they’re adding more of it, that’s great.
Now about that bronze statue. That has my curiosity piqued. They have already erected statues of the Killer, Carew, Kirby, the Pohlads and Calvin Griffith. So who’s next? I would think the obvious choices would come down to just a few possibilities, Tony Oliva, Kent Hrbek and Bert Blyleven are probably at the top of my list. The first two, Tony O and Hrbie, are the two remaining Twins who have had their numbers retired by the team, but neither was elected to MLB’s Hall of Fame. Blyleven has one more year of HoF voter eligibility and you have to figure he’s got a good shot at getting elected this year. And, of course, there are other HoF’ers that have played here, like Paul Molitor and Dave Winfield. Or maybe you think Tom Kelly is worthy of being bronzed?
I’m an old timer and my vote goes to Tony O, but let us know what you think! Also, what do you think of the announced stadium enhancements? Which are the most important to you and what would you still like to see them improve on at Target Field?