Thursday, October 29, 2009

Random Thoughts...

...Phrases that Annoy me but Shouldn't because they are so Commonly Used so why Would Anyone Actually Care? Volume I: "Vast Majority." Majority is vast. That is the meaning of the word majority. It means most. Basically you are saying the majority of the majority. Its redundant. I urge everyone to cease. My fragile psyche thanks you.

...Really? The pilots overshot an airport by 150 miles because they were using a laptop? I mean, come on, if you can't multitask while looking at porn, you need to seriously re-evaluate your life.

...Is there a more hit or miss band than the Red Hot Chili Peppers? Their songs are either incredibly good or unbearably bad. There is no in between.

...Shouldn't the NFL change how they set the Monday Night Football schedule? There is no excuse for ever showing a game that involves the Redskins. You're telling me they wouldn't be better off setting the Monday night game a week, or even two weeks in advance? Name one person who would rather watch Redskins vs. Eagles instead of Vikings vs. Steelers. You can't do it. Having adjustable schedules can't be that hard for television.

...If Jimmy Kimmel wasn't on at midnight he would rule the late night talk show scene.

...Would you rather attend a Nickelback concert or stick a fork in an electrical outlet? I think the answer is pretty obvious.

...I have beef with College Humor's Cute College Girl of the day. There is a difference between "cute" and "hot" - as every guy knows. The problem with Cute College Girl is sometimes they have girls that are "cute" and sometimes they have girls that are "hot." (And sometimes neither.) I feel like College Humor should do a better job of distinguishing this. If the girl is actually "cute" then, fine, call her the Cute College Girl. If she is hot then she should be Hot College Girl of the day. If, however, the girl isn't up to standards then it should say "Mildly Attractive College Girl" and I'll know to skip those days.

...What do we have here? A movie this year that may actually be good? That can't be can it? No. Or can it? I'm so bemused...

...What is the appropriate distance when deciding if you should hold the door for someone who is walking behind you? Whenever I'm in that in between stage of should I hold the door for this person or not, and I choose not to, I wonder whether they are thinking "why didn't this ass hole hold the door for me?" And, if you are wondering, I absolutely think that about people who don't do so for me. If I am just a couple steps behind you, and you let to door shut on me, I will immediately judge you as an ass hole. And just remember first impressions tend to stick. I'm not asking for a full on open the door and let me walk in first, but at least give me the extra hard door shove so it stays open for me as I walk through. It's common courtesy.

...Rejection. Metrodome Style.

...I hate when people add letters to words that aren't supposed to be there. It's espresso, not expresso, especially not exspecially, and don't even get me started on supposedly vs. supposebly. The prime example of this was when Dunbar from "Real World: Australia" went on some giant rant about an espresso machine – except he pronounced it "expresso." He probably said "expresso" twenty times in five minutes. This happened like two years ago and it still drives me crazy.

...How can this possibly end well? And how can the Cardinals possibly think it is a good idea to bring more steroid scrutiny upon Albert Pujols? He's the only hope for a clean home run champion right now. You really want to bring in the former king of steroids to teach him? That's a good idea? You might as well just get him a BALCO membership and call it good.

...Interesting piece by Malcolm Gladwell from the New Yorker.

...If I were to say the Twins are going to hold a sale of micellaneous merchandise at the Metrodome, is that something you might be interested in?

...Why is that every TV station decides they need to pimp a terrible show during the playoffs? First it was Frank TV, then it was Lopez Tonight, now it is the Wanda Sykes Show. Frank TV was mercifully cancelled, and Lopez Tonight and the Wanda Sykes show are inevitably headed for the same fate. Please stop pimping shows nobody wants to watch.

...This would be far more hilarious and/or adorable if I wasn't a Twins fan. Stupid nine year olds...

...Halloween is great because as you get older you have all the Halloween parties and girls in slutty costumes. And yet, the best part of Halloween will always remain the fact that everybody gets to dress up and return to their childhood innocence for one night. Ok. That's not true. The best part of Halloween is the slutty costumes.

...This is my last post of the week because of Halloween. I will be spending the weekend dressed as Crash Davis and drinking beer. Happy Halloween to all, and remember don't eat anything with a razor blade in it.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

World Series Preview

The World Series mercifully begins tonight and what better way to prepare than to inundate sports fans with predictions? What kind of sports writer would I be if I didn’t throw my hat into the prediction ring?


So let’s go ahead and compare the Yankees and Phillies position by position to find out who the better team is and, thus, who will win the World Series.

First Base: Mark Teixeira vs. Ryan Howard

It most cases it would be nearly impossible to pick against a switch hitting first baseman who tied for the American League lead in home runs. However, when his competition is a guy who hit 47 home runs, has dominated throughout the playoffs, and doesn’t look like Whitney Port from The Hills, I have to pick against Teixeira.

Plus Teixeira has been an awful hitter this postseason.

Advantage: Phillies

Second Base: Robinson Cano vs. Chase Utley

This matchup is much closer than most people would guess. Phillies fans will likely overrate Utley and underrate Cano, while Yankees fans will overrate Cano and underrate Utley. And, just for good measure, everyone else will underrate both.
What we have this World Series, however, are the two best second basemen in baseball going head-to-head.

Their stats are very similar, and the fact that Cano hits seventh in the Yankees lineup proves how unbelievably deep their team is. Utley, though, has a better career track record, and is the superior fielder to Cano.

Apparently taking Myoplex really does give Utley that extra boost as he edges out Cano.

Advantage: Phillies

Shortstop: Derek Jeter vs. Jimmy Rollins

I hate defensive statistics. Let me just say that right now. I don’t believe in them. I consider myself a baseball stats nerd to a certain degree, but I draw the line at range factor and all that garbage. You know how you can tell how good someone is at defense?

By watching him play.

Derek Jeter is the smartest shortstop in baseball. Period. Nobody knows how to play shortstop better than Derek Jeter. So, please, sabrematricians pass on Jeter for your team because of defensive stats. I will gladly take him on mine. And you know what? My team will win.

Advantage: Yankees

Third Base: Alex Rodriguez vs. Pedro Feliz


Advantage: Yankees

Catcher: Jorge Posada vs. Carlos Ruiz

Yes, Phillies fans, I’m sure Carlos Ruiz calls an immaculate game. I bet he calls the best damn game this side of Crash Davis. But he’s a career .246 hitter with little power. Ruiz does have a higher-than-expected career OBP, but he’s no Jorge Posada. He just isn’t. Sorry.

Advantage: Yankees

Left Field: Johnny Damon vs. Raul Ibanez

Remember how Raul Ibanez was leading the league in home runs for awhile? Remember how he had 22 before the all star break? Remember that? Turns out he, um, fell off the map a little bit since then.

Ibanez ended with a solid season though, one pretty much right on par with his career average, so you can’t really complain.

Johnny Damon, on the flip side, had arguably his best year as a Yankee, and it was still about equal to Ibanez.

They’re both left handed so Yankee stadium will help them equally, and they’re both aging outfielders. Seems like a wash.

Advantage: Even

Center Field: Melky Cabrera vs. Shane Victorino

I can’t decide if Shane Victorino is overrated or underrated. I’m not sure how to feel about that, but I do know that Melky Cabrera is properly rated. And he is rated as average at best.

Advantage: Phillies

Right Field: Nick Swisher vs. Jayson Werth

Few things in life have made me happier than watching Nick Swisher flail around this offseason like me at the site of a bee. He has just been awful.

On the flip side, I kind of think Jayson Werth looks like a serial killer. He has actually been able to get some hits this postseason, though, so I’d say he’s the better option.

Advantage: Phillies

DH/Bench: Matsui, Gardner, Hinske, Hairston, Molina vs. Stairs, Francisco, Dobbs, Bruntlett, Bako

They Yankees’ bench is sneakily bad.

Remember the good old days when they had guys like Chad Curtis, Tim “Rock” Raines, and Daryl Strawberry available on the bench?

Now they have Brett Gardner and one of the Molinas.

Plus, when you have Joe Girardi making the managerial decisions, who knows how those guys will be utilized.

Girardi realizes putting in a pinch runner means that player stays in the game, right? This isn’t Little League. There are no courtesy runners. If you pinch run for Alex Rodriguez, Alex Rodriguez is out of the game. Someone might want to note that in Girardi’s binder…

Advantage: Phillies

Starting Pitching: Sabathia, Burnett, Pettite vs. Lee, Martinez, Hamels, Blanton

I went through this entire spiel, and broke everything down position by position, only to decide starting pitching will decide this World Series.

Both the Yankees and Phillies have great offenses (which will be made abundantly clear by Fox when they continuously mention that the Phillies have “an American League offense”). Neither team should be worried about getting hits, because if someone slumps both teams have three or four guys to pick up the slack.

As for pitching…

A.J. Burnett and Cole Hamels have the talent to dominate any lineup, but I don’t foresee them being consistent throughout a full series. Pettite, Martinez, and Blanton can also be gotten to, especially by great offenses.

There really is one man who will decide this World Series: C.C. Sabathia.

In a three man rotation, Sabathia would throw three games. If he can pitch like he has all postseason, the Yankees will win the World Series. So can Sabathia dominate all three games?

I say yes.

I know the Phillies beat up Sabathia last year, but he just seems unstoppable right now. And with the ridiculous amount of time off between games, he has gotten plenty of rest. Plus, if Girardi tries some stupid bullpen move with Sabathia on the mound, C.C. will literally eat him.

Advantage: Yankees

Bullpen: Rivera, et al vs. Lidge, et al

The Yankees setup guys have struggled this postseason.

The Phillies setup guys struggled down the stretch this regular season.

The Yankees have Mariano Rivera.

Advantage: Yankees

The Yankees and Phillies are surprisingly equal on paper. My first inclination was to pick the Yankees because they have been a juggernaut all season. The Phillies, however, are just as capable of winning as the Yankees are.

Ultimately, however, I think Sabathia will prove to be the deciding factor. I say his pitching proves to be the difference in a World Series that will be mostly driven by offense.

Yankees win in seven.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Joe Nathan Question

Everyone is asking the the question: What to do with Joe Nathan?

Opinions are fairly easy to come by. Trade him. Keep him. Sacrifice him to the baseball gods and hope they reincarnate him into a closer who can beat the Yankees.

There is only one person whose opinion should matter in this question, however. That person is Joe.

No, not Joe Nathan, but Joe Mauer.

I say this, not because of my infatuation with the man, but because who knows better than Mauer if Nathan still has what it takes to close? Who knows pitchers better than their catcher?

I'm not suggesting Mauer should run the organization, or even make any organizational decisions. Ultimately, Bill Smith obviously has to make the decisions. In the matter of Nathan, however, why not at least ask Mauer if he thinks Nathan is still capable of closing?

Maybe Mauer's decision shouldn't be the deciding factor in trading or keeping Nathan, but it should at least weigh in the decision.

Mauer is inarguably the most important player the Twins have. Everybody knows this. He must be signed to a long term contract. Mauer also says he wants to play for a winner. Well, building a winner starts with current personnel.

Yes, asking your star player about personnel decisions can set a dangerous precedent, but isn't ignoring that same star's concerns equally dangerous?

At the very least bringing Mauer in for a one-on-one discussion with Bill Smith about the future of the organization, and the construction of the current roster, seems like a logical step. If the main factor to a long-term Mauer deal is the competitiveness of the Twins moving forward, Mauer should be at least made privy to some of the organizationl plans.

That brings us back to Nathan.

He struggled down the stretch. He antagonized fans. And, maybe worst of all, he single handedly rejuvinated Alex Rodriguez's playoff career.

But do the players still have confidence in him?

One of the most important factors for a dominant closer is confidence. Mariano Rivera is great because he knows you can't hit him. He throws essentially one pitch, but he knows you won't hit it. He knows you can't hit his cutter.

And so do his Yankee teammates.

Do the Twins players have the same confidence in Joe Nathan?

Who better to answer the question than Mauer? The star player, the face of the franchise, the man who needs to be signed to a long term contract.

Everybody has an opinion on Nathan. It is easy to form an opinion. It's hard to figure out whose opinion to take seriously.

Joe Mauer is someone whose opinion should be taken seriously.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Drinking the Kool-Aid

I know the Vikings are 6-1. I know they have the best running back in the league. I know they have a (surprisingly) mistake free quarterback in Brett Favre. I know they have, arguably, a top five defense.

I know all these things.

What I don't know, however, is if I am ready to throw myself into this Vikings team. Unlike, seemingly, most Vikings fans, I don’t know if I am ready to drink the Kool-Aid.

This isn’t simply an overreaction to the Vikings first loss. I don’t think anyone expected the Vikings to even sniff an undefeated season – other than maybe Ron Jaworski and the Monday Nigh Favre Lovers. I’m just choosing to approach this season with a level of cautious optimism, and there is one very simple reason for this.


We all remember the juggernaut that was the 1998 Minnesota Vikings. We all remember their in the conversation of “greatest of all time” offense. We all remember the 15-1season. We all remember the certainty of a Super Bowl.

Everything about that 1998 team made a Super Bowl seem inevitable. Everybody felt it. We were drunk off the Kool-Aid and there was no turning back.

The 1998 Vikings were completely unstoppable – right up until they were stopped.
Unlike some fans, I have no illusions of comparing the 2009 Vikings to the 1998 Vikings. There is no comparison. The 1998 Vikings were better, and it wasn’t all that close. The 1998 offense was vastly superior, and the defense, while hardly dominant, was solid. They even had a resident afraid-he-might-eat-me fat guy in Jerry Ball to rival Pat Williams.

With that said, the 2009 Vikings are still a very good team. It is highly likely they will make the playoffs, and they certainly have the talent to make a title run. I’m not claiming the Vikings can’t win the Super Bowl; a championship certainly seems plausible.

I’m just not ready to throw myself into Super Bowl mode for a team that hardly seems dominant. Let’s remember Brad Childress is still the coach, after all.

The season has been a success so far, and the Vikings are certainly establishing themselves as one of the championship contenders. I, however, will continue to approach this team with cautious optimism.

I remember how quickly the Kool-Aid can turn sour.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Random Thoughts...

Quick intro: Random Thoughts is a feature I conjured up for a weekly post of, well, random thoughts. It will be a combination of links, quips, and things that are too long to tweet. Pretty much anything. It's pretty self explanatory. And, yes, I am well aware I stole everything about this concept from countless other people and sites, so I'm not claiming any credit for the idea. Hopefully, though, you will find my thoughts themselves witty, funny, and possibly thought provoking. Anyhoo, "Random Thoughts" will be featured on Friday's, so enjoy...

...For anybody visiting Minnesota right now I would just like to say the weather usually isn't this bad. Seriously. Falls are usually nice. It doesn't usually snow in October. No, really. Fine. Don't believe me. Just leave our state. We don't want you here anyway.

...Check of this video of Goldy Gopher at the Minnesota vs. Penn State game last Saturday. The fact that what Goldy is a controversy is ridiculous. I'm not promoting blasphemy, but what he did wasn't blasphemous. He was just a mascot trying to entertain the crowd. That is what they do.

...I hate Nick Swisher more than I can hate any man I have never met before. Everything about him annoys me. Alright, yeah, maybe hate is too strong of a word...Naw. I'm sticking with hate.

...Until the Phillies vs. Dodgers decisive game four I had an odd playoff power: Every game I watched was close and/or went into extra innings, and every game I didn't watch ended in a route. In a related story, I missed game four of that Dodgers vs. Phillies series because I was watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. It was one of the worst movies I've ever seen. Even the Megan Fox running-in-slow-motion-in-a-low-cut-top scenes couldn't make up for the other two hours of Michael Bay garbage.

...I know commenting about Lindsay Lohan's demise has become cliche, but seriously how depressing are pictures like this ? She was so freaking hot back then. Now she looks like Gollum. You know, if Gollum did a lot of coke.

...So I've gotten sucked into FLashForward and I can't decide if I'm happy about this. The concept is interesting, and the show has been mostly entertaining so far. I just can't get over the feeling that the show is heading towards a disappointing ending. Although, if nothing else, I can continue to thoroughly enjoy the way everyone on the show speaks in an intense manner that makes it seem like everything they say is the most important sentence ever spoken.

...This story should be about the job Tomlin is doing as Vikings head coach. Yes, I realize the Vikings are 6-0, but Chilly's play calling is still terrible.

...I hate when people call me "big guy." No matter how you use the phrase, it sounds condescending. Even if you don't consciously mean to be condescending (I would argue that you at least mean it subconsciously) that is exactly how it comes off. It bugs me.

...Similarly, don't march into someones place of work and proclaim "breaks over" if the people who work there are sitting at their desk chatting. This happend to me and my co-worker at work today, and while we were, in fact, sitting in a manner that appearned break-like, you don't know us or what we are doing, so back off. Busting through the door and proclaiming "break's over" makes you look like a jackass.

To end I would just like to say this is an abbreviated version of Random Thoughts as I am still in the process of getting everything up and running with this site. From here on out there will be an expanded version of this feature every Friday. Thanks for reading and I certainly hope you make it a habit.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Miguel Angel Sano

Regardless of what happens from here on out this offseason, the most underrated move the Twins make will be the signing of Miguel Angel Sano. I feel confident saying this for two reasons:

1. If the Twins do nothing (or little) else people will say “all they did was sign that foreign amateur guy,” thus, intentionally or not, demeaning Sano and his importance.

2. The Twins will finally (ha) make a splash in the offseason by making a big move, thus causing Sano to get lost in the shuffle.

Regardless of which result comes to fruition, Twins fans need to realize the importance of the Sano signing. Even if he never pans out into the potential star his skill set projects, Sano represents a potential shift in how the Twins sign prospects. Not necessarily the types of players they sign, but at least the talent pool they sign from.

For years the Twins have focused primarily on markets other teams neglect, such as Australia. While this is a good strategy, and obviously allows the team to expand its talent pool, this thinking has yet to truly produce a big time player (with all due respect to Glenn Williams, of course). The Twins foreign strategy, however, has done little to hide their glaring inability to sign top or even middle road talent from Latin American countries.

While other teams are able to corner this market and bring in some of the games biggest stars, the Twins have been left in the dust.

Yes the Twins have seen good to great Latin players on their roster (Johan Santana, Luis Castillo, Orlando Cabrera, etc.) but most of those players have come from other organizations. The Twins have rarely been able to grow Latino players in their own farm system, and, with Latin America proving itself as a talent pool highly influential in the current baseball landscape, this has been problematic for the Twins.

Change can come about very easily, however. Signing a player in Sano who many scouts call one of the top amateur prospects in the world, is a pretty good start for change.

By signing Sano, the Twins have established themselves as a major contender in the Latin American market. When other young players from Latino countries see Sano as a Minnesota Twin, they become more familiar with the organization. The more players become familiar with an organization, the more likely it becomes they will be willing to sign - as they don’t make a trip to Minnesota during the winter months, of course.

The fact is, the Twins have now established a presence in one of the most important baseball markets in the world. What they do with that presence remains to be seen, but signing Sano is certainly a good start.

How Sano’s career plays out will ultimately determine how he is rated as a player, but as for now I am completely confident saying signing him will be the most underrated move of the Twins offseason.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Cuzzi Carfuffle

I was sitting at a sports bar the other day watching game two of the Twins vs. Yankees ALDS. Being in Minnesota, the crowd was naturally pro-Twins, anti-Yankees. Most of the patrons were hanging on every pitch; cheering, booing, cussing, it was as if we were our own little section at Yankee Stadium. And, while Joe Nathan managed to suck the life out of the room by revitalizing Alex Rodriquez’s postseason career, we were able to reenergize for extra innings.

Then came the Cuzzi carfuffle.

When Mauer’s patented looping line drive down the left field line was called foul, we thought nothing of it. The play seemed completely commonplace. Until the replay. When we saw the ball land so obviously inside the foul line, and Phil Cuzzi throwing up the foul ball signal, we knew it was over. We screamed. We protested. We cursed. But we knew nothing would come of it. The dagger was turned. The beer was stale. The game was over.

Had the Twins not squandered a nobody out, bases loaded opportunity because of offensive ineptitude, I would likely still be in a catatonic state rocking back and forth on the floor somewhere cursing Phil Cuzzi. The Twins managing to re-blow the game on their own, however, made that game a little easier to swallow. Not a lot, but enough to avoid catatonics.

But, the Twins ineptitude should not let Cuzzi off the hook. That was the single worse call I have ever seen. It wasn’t a judgment call. It wasn’t questionable rule. It wasn’t even a close play. It was just wrong. Even Chip Caray’s hasn’t made a call that bad.

But the worst part about that call? It arguably wasn’t the worst call of the playoffs. (To me it was, but I’m sure Angels fans could make an argument to the contrary.) The umpiring this postseason has been historically bad, and we haven’t even made it to the World Series yet. It could get worse. We’re on the verge of the first Major League Baseball game where one umpire has to eject another for arguing their own terrible calls.

So what is going on here?

Are the umpires getting worse? Are they just bad at their jobs? Are they all getting drunk before the game they forgot how to make calls?

I don’t know the answer, but I also know umpiring isn’t easy. My first job was as an umpire for nine and ten year old baseball. Granted, that is obviously different than umpiring Major League Baseball (other than the post strikeout crying) but the concept is the same. And the concept is difficult: A split second decision that rests squarely on your shoulders. A split second could decide the game. Yes, it’s hard, but that is why you get paid, and go through extensive training, to make the right call. And, yes, people make mistakes. Nobody is disputing that. What we are disputing, however, is the egregious manner in which these mistakes are made. Obvious plays should not be blown.

So, again, what’s going on here?

It almost seems like these calls are a passive aggressive attempt request to expand instant replay. I don’t believe the umpires we compromise the integrity of the game to do this, so I can only assume the Baseball Gods are in favor of instant replay. Maybe they’re right.

I always have been an anti-instant reply advocate. I didn’t want it for home runs, and, until the Cuzzi carfuffle, I didn’t want it for anything else. I consider myself a baseball purist (at least a modern purist. A 22 year old purist is far different than a 72 year old purist) but I am willing to reconsider replay; with limitations, of course.

If getting calls right in a fair ball/foul ball situation means adding instant replay, then adding replay is exactly what Major League Baseball should do.
Judgment calls should remain judgment calls. Balls and strikes, and calls on the bases should be left up to the umpire without the assistance of replay. Balls down the lines that are obviously and easily overturned with technological assistance, however, should be overturned.

The game can remain pure even while employing the technology to get calls right. And if replay is what it will take to make the right call, it is time for baseball to make that change. Then, maybe we can avoid another Cuzzi carfuffle.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Metrodome Years

Baseball in the Metrodome is dead. Buried and gone. Most people couldn’t be happier, and in many ways I am one of them.

Lost in the cries of Metrodome “good riddance,” however, is a generation of baseball fans who have known no other home. For people under the age 30, who never saw a game at Metropolitan Stadium, the Metrodome was the original Minnesota baseball stadium.

The older generation (people over 30) has memories of outdoor baseball, and seemingly always approached the Metrodome as a temporary home, unworthy of any affection.

A place where baseball was trapped inside, unable to escape.

The dome, of course, was flawed. And quite frankly, from both a technical and purist standpoint, was the worst stadium in baseball. It was cramped, dingy, poorly constructed for baseball, and all around devoid of any nuance. (Unless you count the baggy or Teflon sky as “nuance.”)

For all its flaws, however, it was home. For 28 years (and each of my 22) it was a source of baseball comfort. It was a place where the emotional highs and lows of the game on the field could literally be felt. It mirrored the ups and downs of the fans in the stands. It was a place where 55,000 screaming fans could be deafening; and their silence even louder. A place where you actually knew the players felt your presence, because it was impossible not to.

For me, most Metrodome memories are at least somewhat bittersweet. I was six months old for the Twins first World Series championship, and four years older for their second; ages hardly conducive for baseball memories.

And, while my first Twins game at the dome came in 1991, I have no memory of the event - mostly because I fell asleep. The worst part about this was I dozed off before my favorite player came into pitch. That player was Steve Bedrosian. Why? I’m not really sure, but I think it had something to do with his 1990 Topps baseball card. I can’t be sure what exactly that was, but it was probably his beard. That thing was bitchin.

Really, though, the first thing I remember about the dome is the Plexiglas left field, and my thinking that Dan Gladden looked like one of my uncles (because of the ‘stache, not the mullet). From that point on, all I have is a random reel of Metrodome memories spliced together throughout the Metrodome Years:

- Eddie Murray’s 2,998th and 2,999th hits, but not his 3,000th. I will never forgive Murray for not getting a third hit that day. Especially since my brother went the following day when Murray did, in fact, get number 3,000.

- Kirby Puckett chugging around the bases for an inside the park home run after, I believe, Bernie Williams lost his fly ball in the ceiling.

- Jim Thome clubbing three home runs off the white curtain in right field. (Note: this may not have actually happened. I know he hit three bombs, and it just sounds more impressive if I say they all hit the curtain.)

- Johan Santana dominating the Baltimore Orioles with 14 strikeouts, and the crowd booing when Joe Nathan came in for the 9th because we wanted to see a complete game.

- Shannon Stewart’s walk off home run on opening day 2004. A game which ended in just enough time to get four high school students home around 3 a.m.

- And, of course, game four of the 2009 ALDS, the final of the Metrodome years. Bittersweet yes, but when Joe Mauer got a base hit to give the Twins a 1-0 lead it was the loudest noise I have ever heard in my life.

There is nothing louder than 55,000 screaming Twins fans inside the Metrodome. The sound reverberates so much that you can literally feel it. More than just a noise, the cheers were a feeling. A bonding experience for 55,000 people.

That experience is what I will miss most of all. While it is true baseball belongs outside, nothing can ever match or replace the feeling of full Metrodome house screaming. And that is something Twins fans will never feel again.

After the Twins lost their final dome game, someone asked me if my Metrodome memories were “tarnished” because they never resulted in something truly meaningful, namely a World Series championship. This person expected me to say, “yes,” and justifiably so. But the fact is, they aren’t. They can’t be. Each moment I experienced has its own emotion. Its own feeling. Each memory has its own importance. Whether the moment was joyful, funny, painful, or some odd mixture of all the above that only seemed possible in the Metrodome, those moments will stand out in my mind for a reason.

You can’t undo a feeling. You can’t undo a moment. You can’t undo an emotion. Yes, those feelings and emotions fade over time, but if, like the fans bottled inside the Metrodome, you can hold those emotions within, those memories will never die. The moments will remain special. They will remain part of us forever.

As we move forward to a new, and frankly, better, baseball experience in Target Field, we must remember those Metrodome feelings. While we create new memories, with new moments, in their rightful outdoor home, we must remember the Metrdome served us well.

We can all agree to let the building itself fade away, but let’s remember to keep the memories alive.

Let’s always remember the emotions of the Metrodome years.