Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Ballpark Traditions and Target Field

There are certain aspects of the ballpark experience that will change during our transition from the Metrodome to Target Field. Some things will certainly stay the same, like the unmistakable organ music. But other things will be a lot different; you'll have to get used to shirtless sweat monsters in the bleachers, terrible Schweigert hot dogs, and bird shit.

Let's take a look at some common stadium experience issues.

- - Twinkies. How do you feel about that Twins nickname? One only needs to look at some Twins blogs titles to find the differing opinions on the subject: One is called TwinkieTown, another is named Twins, not Twinkies. The Twins have never officially endorsed it, but maybe they would if it wasn't trademarked. Personally, I've never really used the nickname. It seems contrived, like when Gardenhire calls Brendan Harris Harry and Justin Morneau, Mourny and on down the line. Is this the only reason he's known as a players manager?

Anyway, the reason I bring this up is this: During 'Take me out to the ballgame,' do you sing,

A) For it's root, root, root for the home team.

B) For it's root, root, root for the Twinkies.

I think the overwhelming majority sings the former. And I'm fine with that. We don't need to specify our allegiance any further. We know who our home team is. Heck, it's actually more descriptive than specifying Twins or Twinkies. It's the home team. The team from our home.
- - Beach ball activity will surely increase. And because the outfield upper deck sections practically hang over the warning track, we'll see a bunch fall onto the field. Anyway, we've discussed this before, so I'll just offer these links:

- Soup's funny article from last year

- K-Bro's blog post from a couple weeks ago

- and her anti-beach ball facebook group

- - The Wave has to die. Right? RIGHT? Despite the fact that Target Field's seating bowl isn't at all wave-friendly, there were rumors that some dumb fans were trying to get it started last weekend. Next time you see this happening, boo them mercilessly. This will cause them to feel even dumber as they slink back to their seat after failing.

- - Throwing Opponents Home Run Balls Back onto the field is another hot-button issue in Twins Territory. Most of us Lake Wobegon-type Scandinavians would never throw away a perfectly good (free) baseball. And we'd especially hate to be accused of copying anything the Cubs do. Still, it sends the fun message that, "we don't even want your home run ball because we dislike you so hard." And the momentary distraction from the crushing disappointment of seeing our Twins give up a homer is certainly welcome.

- - Do we like the old music at the new ballpark? Hearing that same cheesy 80's version of Win Twins while they take the field and Beautiful Day after a win reminds me of the dome. Is that bad? I don't know, but this sure seems like a good opportunity to mix it up a bit. Howard Sinker suggested that someone update the Twins Anthem. I'll work on it.

Until then, let's try to think of a signature 7th inning song, to be played after singing Take Me Out to the Ballgame. One rule: No more Sweet Caroline. Ever.

- - Possible stupid new tradition: Raising the Twins Territory flag. I have a bad feeling that the Twins are going to take a page out of the Minnesota Wild playbook and have some big-shot do or say something extremely cheesy. (ala Let's Play Hockey!) Baseball already has the ceremonial first pitch; they really don't need more pre-game silliness. If, at the home opener, I see some so-called dignitary raise a flag and then say, "This is Twins Territory!!!" I'm just going to lose it.

- - Awesome new tradition: shaking hands after a Twins home run. Do as Minne and Paul did before you. Pretend you're at church and shake the hands of those around you. High fives are for cavemen and bro-dudes. Let's class it up a bit.

Hands, touching hands. Reaching out. Touching me, touching you. Go Twins.


Daymonster said...

A) I like throwing opposing teams home run balls back. I know it's wrigley-esque but I think it's pretty awesome.

B) I really don't like take me out to the ball game during the seventh inning stretch. I realize that sounds like blasphemy but unless everyone is into it its pretty dumb. My vote is for a prince song.

Scot said...

So tell me this - a yahoo from the outfield throws a malt cup cover onto the field and he is quickly escorted from the building.

The same yahoo throws a much more dangerous baseball and that is a fun tradition.

Keep the ball.

I agree with you on just about every other point.

Topper said...

No issue with baseballs being thrown back onto the field. It's a sign of solidarity.

Definitely booing the wave and sticking pins in beachballs that drift near me though

Greg said...

No more "God Bless the USA," please. Or "God Bless America," for that matter. Except on patriotic holidays, the time to honor America comes before the game. After that, I'm at a ballgame, not at school or church.

MN songs I'd love to hear at a game. Over the PA, if not necessarily stretch anthems:

Husker Du: New Day Rising
Prince: Baby I'm A Star
The Hold Steady: Constructive Summer, Party Pit.

Daymonster said...

you're wrong scott.

keep it if you want. I am not booing anyone if they don't throw it back but if someone wants to you shouldn't get booted.

also, when i went to wrigley i always brought a spare. I never caught a ball to use it but I did give it to another guy a few rows down who didnt want to throw back his new souvenir. and I got a free beer out of it.

Scot said...

It's all fun and games until you knock out your own team's right fielder with an errant throw.

brex said...

Agreed on all of Haasertime points. Sadly I'm sure we will have to live with silly fan traditions that have nothing to do with actual baseball.

I like the idea of shaking hands after a twins HR though.

Anonymous said...

Long-time Red Sox blogger Basegirl mentions the stupidity of the wave at (sorry I don't know how to embed a link in a Blogger comment). She also takes a nice subtle shot at Jeter and drunken fans. Good stuff.

I like the idea of shaking hands after a Twins home run. I hope there will be lots of them. J. J. Hardy with some power!


TwinsWin83 said...

For some reason I feel like the nickname "Twinkies" was given to the Twins during the 87' World Series by Cardinals fans. Or I might be way off.

Speaking of nicknames, does anyone else think its a bit awkward when Blyleven calls Nick Blackburn "Blacky"?

That was one of my very first thoughts when I was sitting in Target Field last friday, "There's no way the wave can be done here."

I have always contended that the cheaper the seats the more likely it is that the wave will start there. Its possibly a connection with the income level of the fans that sit in that section combined with the likelyhood that more alcohol is being consumed in such sections. Some day Im going to write a thesis for grad school based on this theory.

Im against putting a stop to throwing visiting homeruns back, because if that stops then there will be no chance that someone someday will pull a Henry Rowengartner and unleash a 400 ft. laser nearly throwing out the homerun hitter as he crosses homeplate.

carl said...

Good to read AH! decided to not stop swearing!

People were trying to start the wave during last Fri's. game (which I may add, I was able to sneak into ticketless). The wave is dumb.

During said game, I heard a lot of the bullshit that so called "country music" stations apparently feel is country music now-a-days. Merle Haggard it is not.

I like the handshaking idea too.

haasertime said...

Totally agree about god bless america. They just do that on Sundays, right? I'm not taking my hat off for that.

Baby I'm a Star is an excellent, I don't know if that would work perfectly though. It has to be something everyone knows and sounds cool when 40,000 sing it together. That's why they usually play The Beatles 'I saw her standing there'

Instead of stupid Van Hagar, "right now" they should absolutely play Prince's "Let's go Crazy." If they could find a way to play replacements, husker du or hold steady that would just be a bonus.

I've got a new nickname for the Twins: The Home Team.

Anonymous said...

Hate the Twinkies nickname. I don't think of the junkfood when I hear that name.

Throwing balls back on the field is dumber than the wave. It's dangerous(kinda), you lose a souvenier, and it seems disrespectful to your pitcher who gave up the home run.

soup said...

I like the idea of shaking hands all the way back when I first came up with it on Oct 15, 2009

But I'm not the type to take credit. It's all about the team.

On opposing team HRs: If you don't want the souvenir, give it to a kid nearby.

Daymonster said...

Do you guys really think throwing a baseball back is dangerous? I feel like you guys are all messing with me. Show me one time where a player got hurt.

I think we should all do more than shake hands. Have you seen the commercial where Paul and Minnie do the elaborate hand shake? I don't know why but it cracks me up when they swing around like they are using baseball bats. Those dudes are crazy!!!

Jason said...

I agree that the wave is annoying, but when it's done right, in the right place (a bowl shaped football stadium) it looks pretty damn awesome. I would also throw balls back from certain teams... White Sox, Yankees etc. but to be honest I wouldn't throw back a Jeter/ARod ball, it's a piece of history. If you can't throw a ball into a massive outfield without hitting a fielder you are too drunk to be in public. That's just plain silly.

Karin said...

I wouldn't throw back a HR ball at, say, an exhibition game, generally speaking. I don't usually boo people--what if you're booing a poor little kid? I would definitely throw back a Rodriguez/Jeter ball, and I'd spit on it first. Piece of history!
They're singing God Bless America at the home opener, I hear. At least it's not "Proud to be an American" that was in vogue just after 9/11. Didn't hear y'all complaining then, though.

Greg said...

This might be a bit obscure, and I think it'd take several games of Jumbotron coaching to really catch on, but "Cool" by The Time has local cred, good crowd participation bits, braggadocio, and hand motions. Ain't nobody bad like me!