Michael Rand started RandBall with hopes that he could convince the world to love jumpsuits as much as he does. So far, he's only succeeded in using the word "redacted" a lot. He welcomes suggestions, news tips, links of pure genius, and pictures of pets in Halloween costumes here, though he already knows he will regret that last part.

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Posts about Target Field

Let's play two: Farewell, Blue Jays, after frigid doubleheader at Target Field

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated: April 17, 2014 - 11:40 AM

The temperature should be around 34 degrees at first pitch of the day-night doubleheader beginning at 12:10 p.m. today at Target Field between the Twins and Blue Jays. There is a good chance it will be right around that mark -- two degrees above freezing -- when the last pitch is thrown somewhere around 9 or 9:30 tonight in Game 2.

In between, it might get as warm as 40.

We were over at Target Field for an announcement this morning on members of the Twins organization being named ambassadors for the All-Star Game, which is being held in a few months at Target Field when it will hopefully be a few dozen degrees warmer.

We went outside near field level right afterwards, around 10 a.m., and not long after manager Ron Gardenhire popped into the dugout, looked around and simply mouthed the word, "wow." Pitching coach Rick Anderson did the same thing. The field itself looked great; at that point, though, there was snow on top of both dugouts and plenty of wet spots along the edges and warning track.

It's somewhere between impressive and crazy that the Twins will likely pull this off today and get both games in. The unbalanced schedule means this is Toronto's only visit to Minnesota this year, so the Blue Jays clearly have an interest in getting in all three games and not having to wedge in an extra game somewhere later in the year. But we have to imagine actual butts in seats will be hard to find.

TFD: Apathy in full force now that Twins' roster appears set

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated: March 27, 2014 - 5:07 PM

Is the sky falling? The sky is falling

Is the sky falling? The sky is falling

Barring any late developments, the Twins' 25-man opening day roster is set. The 12-man pitching staff should be decent, with upgrades among the starting staff and holdovers in a functional bullpen.

The 13 position players? Well, as we've discussed at length, this is where the real problem begins. And now that the team has pretty much decided on the 13 it will keep, apathy is reaching record levels.

Granted, the battles for spots were not between Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. Any 13 they would have kept probably would have generated this very same post.

But a typical starting lineup of Brian Dozier, Joe Mauer, Jason Kubel, Josh Willingham, Oswaldo Arcia, Trevor Plouffe, Aaron Hicks, Kurt Suzuki and Pedro Florimon (or something like that), with Josmil Pinto, Chris Colabello, Jason Bartlett and Eduardo Escobar off the bench ... well, we really have no idea how that lineup is going to score runs. No clue. And neither, do we imagine. does Ron Gardenhire know what to do with them.

This is perhaps the most pessimism we have detected over a recent Twins team, which is hard to do when you lose 95 games three years in a row. At the very least, it's the most apathy.

There will still be nice crowds on warm summer nights. But there will be many long, gray days at Target Field as well.

Friday (No shame in Twins trying to re-sign Pelfrey) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated: December 13, 2013 - 9:34 AM


The Twins have already committed $20 million per season over the next three years to pitchers Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes. This is a clear sign of progress and attention being paid to the starting rotation, even if there are still gobs of Twins fans out there who will never be satisfied with any offseason unless it includes landing the 10 best free agents.


Nolasco and Hughes were definitely among the top 10-15 starters available on the market this offseason. So are Bronson Arroyo and Matt Garza -- the former being around the same slot as Nolasco, perhaps, and the latter being above all of them because of his potential.

That said, even if the Twins have been linked to Arroyo and Garza, this offseason is not a sudden failure if they can't land another top-of-the-rotation pitcher. That leads us to Mike Pelfrey, who pitched here last season in his first year off of Tommy John surgery.

Most Twins fans are treating a possible two-year deal for Pelfrey as some sort of crime.

Listen: Pelfrey is only 29 years old. Pitchers generally get better the further removed they are from that major elbow surgery, and there were even signs last year that Pelfrey was improving as the year went along. Batters had an .837 OPS against him in the first half of the season; it was .731 in the second half. Before getting hurt, he threw at least 184 innings in four consecutive seasons. Two of those years were quite good -- ERA around 3.70 and at least 200 innings in both.

Bottom line: don't get caught up in 2013 Pelfrey when thinking about the Twins possibly re-signing him. As a mid-to-bottom of the rotation starter, he would be more than fine.

Wednesday (The Twins, Garza and TV money) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated: December 11, 2013 - 9:38 AM

At the news conference to announce the Twins had signed free agent pitcher Ricky Nolasco to a four-year deal at $12 million per season, GM Terry Ryan said the move likely wouldn't have been possible if the team was still playing in the Metrodome.

We'll buy that. Revenues at Target Field are giant compared to what they were in the Dome, and the team's payroll at Target Field has generally reflected that.

But if Nolasco and the subsequent Phil Hughes signing for $8 million a season were products of that increased internal money, the Twins' pursuit of even more high-priced free agents in an attempt to shore up their pitching staff and other holes is presumably fueled by the sneaky asset all teams have in 2014: a massive increase in TV revenues.

Each team is projected to get about $25 million more in 2014 than in 2013 from national TV money.

Our guy La Velle E. Neal III reports that the Twins are looking at Matt Garza, one of the highest-priced free agents on the market. They have also made runs at A.J. Pierzynski and are looking at some other pitchers and possibly position players, too.

Thanks, TV money.

TFD: Ron Gardenhire ranks 28th among MLB managers in handsomeness, site says

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated: December 10, 2013 - 4:54 PM

This doesn't exactly count as hot stove talk, but Craig Calcaterra at Hardball Talk has taken it upon himself to rank all 30 current MLB managers in terms of ... handsomeness.

Yes, he really did this. Our guess would have been Aaron Gleeman if any Hardball Talk writer was going to tackle this burning question, but that's just not true.

In any event, he has Brad Ausmus and Mike Matheny 1-2 in his rankings.

But that's not really what you care about. Where did he have poor Ron Gardenhire, who would have at least scored in the top 50 percent if the RandBall Better Half was judging?

Ouch. 28th.

Ron Gardenhire: The jowls of Rick Renteria, the facial hair issues of Fredi Gonzalez and the troubling inner rumblings of Terry Collins. Just a bad combination.

And now, let us never speak of this again.

h/t to e-mailer Nathan for the link.


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