Coming up with an all-time Metrodome team is fun. Kirby Puckett. Johan Santana. The names roll right off the tongue, bringing about happy memories. But what about the all-time Metrodome opponent team? The one full of guys that you just KNOW have killed the Twins time after time under the Teflon sky? Who would be on that team? Well, with the help of a few folks in the office last night, we started to compile a list. We only have hitters so far, and they aren't exactly position-by-position. We're hoping you can help add onto it as well. So far:
*Jim Thome: Probably the first guy that springs to a lot of people's minds, and the numbers bear it out. Thome is a .321 career hitter in 346 Metrodome at bats. Moreover, he has 28 HR, 71 RBI and a 1.039 OPS. We remain convinced that if Jim Thome had played for the Twins, he might have challenged the all-time home run record -- that is, unless the concrete turf of yesteryear turned his delicate back into a pile of dust. But it would have been fun trying! Think about how great 2006-08 would have been with Thome bashing 40 HR a year after a trade from the Phillies. Guess we'll never know what that would have been like. Too bad the Twins didn't have someone as dynamic as Aaron Rowand to offer in return. (Yes, we realize Rowand has had a couple nice seasons in the majors. Just sayin'.)
*Edgar Martinez: One of the most under-appreciated batters of our time, this .312 career hitter bolstered that number with a .371 lifetime average at the Dome. That included 14 HR, 54 RBI and a ridiculous 1.064 OPS. It didn't matter that any time he played third base, he would miss a ball hit two steps to his right by three steps. This man wore out every nook and cranny of the Metrodome.
*Ken Griffey Jr.: The sweet swinger has 279 career at bats in the Dome. And 26 home runs. For his career, he has 9,681 at bats. Put him on that Metrodome HR pace, and he would have 902 career home runs right now, despite all those games missed with injury.
*Dean Palmer: This .251 caeer hitter turned into an HOFer at the Dome. In just 205 ABs, Palmer had 16 HR and 41 RBI, with a .327 batting average at the Dome. His middle initial is W., but to Twins fans it often was F. To be fair, his best years in the bigs were 1993, 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000. Nobody would confuse those years with the heyday of Twins pitching.
*Kenny Lofton: He was to the Twins what Curtis Granderson is now. A .320 BA, 23 stolen bases and 47 runs scored in just 66 Metrodome games.
We have a few more names jotted down -- Mike Sweeney originally made the list, but he's ONLY a .300 hitter at the Dome compared to .330 overall against the Twins, meaning he's done most of his Twin-killing in his home ballpark -- but we want to leave some fun for the comments. Try to back up your assertions with facts. That makes them so much more valuable.