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Clearance Clarence: Mauer, Final Five and more

  • Blog Post by: Michael Rand
  • March 23, 2010 - 11:29 AM

Commenter Clarence Swamptown is back with his increasingly popular feature "Clearance Clarence," which is basically an unfiltered plunge into his soul. It's a terrifying place, but there are sweet rewards. This week he talks about the Twins, Target Field and the WCHA Final Five. He even provides shaky pictures! As usual, the opinions expressed on Clearance Clarence don't necessarily represent those of RandBall or the Star Tribune. Clarence?

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*I attended the WCHA Final Five tournament last weekend.   I wore a Gophers sweatshirt and endured my share of Gopher-bashing taunts.  As of Saturday morning I had not yet decided who I wanted to win the championship game between St. Cloud State and North Dakota.  Then I had a few drinks for lunch, and some beers during the third place game.  Then I had some drinks with supper, and a few more beers at the championship game (pictured, horribly).    During the game I found myself cheering for St. Cloud and exchanging awkward high-fives with Husky fans in our section.  Subconsciously I am a Huskies fan.  In vino veritas.
 
 
 
 
*Now that the Frozen Four bracket has been announced, I ask for those who remain unaffiliated to pull for the Beavers
 
*We stayed in St. Paul on Saturday night and then went to the Target Field Open House on Sunday morning.  Please allow me to repeat what everyone else is saying:  Target Field is very nice.  I am sure you have seen a billion pictures from a billion different people who have toured the stadium.  So I will offer something unique.  Here is the worst picture (from the worst camera phone) that has ever been taken of Target Field.  The picture does offer an accurate reflection of how I felt at the time.  What you cannot see is that the grass is currently covered with a tarp to protect it from the cold.  If they used real Minnesota grass, instead of that weak-sister Colorado grass, they would not need a tarp.  Just saying.
 
 
 *Many people, far more intelligent than I, have already commented on the Joe Mauer contract extension.  I believe that  Joe did not sign for a hometown discount, but this deal had to be done.     I will be interested to see how the contract impacts the Minnesota Twins’ farm system.  Mauer will consume a large percentage of the Twins’ annual payroll, so obviously they will continue to rely on a number of low-cost prospects each year.   If the Twins believe that Joe will remain a catcher for the life of the contract, what will they do with Wilson Ramos?  If you trade Wilson Ramos, when do you make the  trade to maximize his value?  Will Mauer’s contract accelerate the advancement of guys like Aaron Hicks and Ben Revere to replace a highly paid player like Michael Cuddyer?  I enjoy following Twins prospects, so I will be interested to see what kind of ripple effect Mauer’s contract has on the rest of the Twins’ farm system. 
 
*Country & Western Song of the Week: Portland, Oregon by Jack White and Loretta Lynn. 
 
*The Minnesota State Senate is considering a proposal to lift the total alcohol ban at TCF Bank Stadium.  Generally I would fully support a proposal like this.  I helped pay for the stadium, so I should be able to legally drink a beer there as long as I do it responsibly.  Individual liberty, backed by personal responsibility, are the fundamental values of America.  Unfortunately we all know who is supporting the proposal and what their intentions are.  If the proposal is passed, alcohol sales and service will be limited to the “premium” seats in TCF Bank Stadium and the proletariat will remain dry.  I cannot support that.  Flat overpriced beer for all, or for none.
 
Your thoughts on the Beavers, Target Field, how the Mauer contract affects the farm system, Portland Oregon, and the TCF Bank Stadium proposal are welcome in the comments.

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