Scene of tranquility couldn't last forever

  • Article by: PATRICK REUSSE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 27, 2011 - 11:27 PM

Much is in play as weather weighs in at Target Field.

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The Twins were a bundled-up bunch for Wednesday night’s cold, wet game against Tampa Bay at Target Field.

Photo: Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune

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The Twins returned to an outdoor home last season after 28 years in the Metrodome. They made it through the 81-game home schedule with one postponement and one suspension after five innings. They also played 81 games on the road without a rainout.

The weather magic has disappeared in Season 2 of the outdoor return. The Twins were rained out in New York on April 6, and they have been postponed twice on this second homestand of the season.

In the process, they have left the civilians confused. Friday's game was called at 6:40 p.m. By the time many fans made it home, the rain had stopped. Tuesday's game vs. Tampa Bay was called early in the afternoon. The heavy rain stopped and the game could have been played in a cold drizzle.

"One thing we're trying to figure in as we make these decisions is the 'misery' factor for the fans and players," Twins President Dave St. Peter said Wednesday. "And it would've been miserable for everyone if we had played last night."

The problem with choosing not to play on Tuesday was that it put the Twins, the Rays and the fans in a position of being required to play in conditions as cold -- with rain and snow -- on Wednesday.

"No matter how you try to adjust, we are going to play games on nights like this," St. Peter said. "That is no different than in Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, New York or Boston.

"We had unbelievable weather in our first season at Target Field. And the first homestand, the weather was fine. In a way, that makes tonight the official return of outdoor baseball for the Twins and our fans."

The decision to postpone Tuesday's game was less of a surprise than what accompanied the announcement: The postponement would be made up as the night portion of a split doubleheader on Thursday.

This puts the Rays in the position of playing day and night games on a getaway day, flying home to St. Petersburg, playing Friday night and then a 1 p.m. game Saturday. That adds up to four games and a three-hour flight in roughly 51 hours.

The Rays were confused as to why the game wasn't rescheduled for a split doubleheader when they return to Target Field on July 4-6.

"I would like the other way, but whatever we have to do," Rays manager Joe Maddon said, referring to the July option for a makeup game.

Split doubleheaders must be approved by players from both teams. The Rays initially said no. The commissioner's office gave the Twins' reasoning to the MLB Players Association, the union called the Rays, and they gave approval.

And why were the Twins determined to play Thursday, rather than a split doubleheader in what promised to be a more baseball-friendly atmosphere on the occasion of our nation's birthday?

The Twins' decision- making process on when to postpone and when to play starts with the weather, obviously, and then moves to baseball and business.

The Twins had played only twice in five days. General Manager Bill Smith and manager Ron Gardenhire wanted games now -- not stacking up with doubleheaders in July. Already, there's a split doubleheader coming vs. Cleveland on July 18-20.

Business? The first reaction would be, "Tickets would be in much greater demand for a night game on July 4 than for a night game on Thursday."

That's correct, but the Twins had 120 groups holding 5,000-6,000 tickets for Tuesday night's rainout. Many of these were school groups.

Make up the game on Thursday and it takes only a minor adjustment for the school groups. Make it up on Independence Day and the students and families will be scattered in lake cabins from Elysian to Ely.

Back in the Met Stadium days, ticket inventory wasn't a problem for the Twins. In the second season at Target Field, the Twins have no place for 6,000 ticket-holders, other than for the exact makeup game.

The largest group signed up for Tuesday night was 1,000 students, family and acquaintances from Sunset Hill Elementary in Plymouth. They will provide the choir for the national anthem.

And, while this split doubleheader might be an inconvenience for the Rays, it does give my niece Ellie and her pals their shot at singing about "rockets' red glare," which is Oh Snap!

Patrick Reusse can be heard noon-4 weekdays on 1500ESPN. preusse@startribune.com

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Tampa Bay - WP: J. McGee 6 FINAL
Toronto - LP: B. Morrow 5
Cleveland - LP: B. Shaw 4 FINAL
Detroit - WP: P. Coke 6
Washington - WP: J. Zimmermann 3 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: J. Niese 0
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Turner 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: E. Volquez 7
Miami - WP: A. DeSclafani 5 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: J. Papelbon 4
Cincinnati - LP: M. Leake 2 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: M. Garza 9
Boston - WP: J. Kelly 8 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Vargas 4
Minnesota - WP: T. May 6 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: H. Noesi 4
Colorado - LP: J. Lyles 1 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: M. Gonzales 4
Atlanta - LP: M. Minor 3 FINAL
Texas - WP: C. Lewis 10
Houston - WP: D. Keuchel 6 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: H. Santiago 1
Los Angeles - WP: C. Kershaw 4 FINAL
San Francisco - LP: Y. Petit 2
San Diego - LP: O. Despaigne 6 FINAL
Arizona - WP: Z. Spruill 8
Oakland - WP: J. Lester 4 FINAL
Seattle - LP: C. Young 0
NY Yankees 1 Bottom 8th Inning
Baltimore 1
Miami 10 FINAL
Buffalo 29
Jacksonville 10 FINAL
Washington 41
Dallas 26 FINAL
Tennessee 10
Arizona 25 FINAL
NY Giants 14
New England 30 FINAL
Minnesota 7
New Orleans 24 FINAL
Cleveland 26
Atlanta 10 FINAL
Cincinnati 24
Detroit 7 FINAL
Carolina 24
St. Louis 19 FINAL
Tampa Bay 17
Seattle 21 FINAL
San Diego 30
NY Jets 24 FINAL
Green Bay 31
Kansas City 17 FINAL
Denver 24
Houston 30 FINAL
Oakland 14
Chicago 7 3rd Qtr 6:31
San Francisco 17
Philadelphia 9/15/14 7:30 PM
Indianapolis
Tampa Bay 9/18/14 7:25 PM
Atlanta
Boise State 38 FINAL
Connecticut 21
Indiana 42 FINAL
Bowling Green 45
Ga Southern 38 FINAL
Georgia Tech 42
Syracuse 40 FINAL
Central Mich 3
UCF 10 FINAL
(18) Missouri 38
Massachusetts 31 FINAL
Vanderbilt 34
Ohio U 14 FINAL
Marshall 44
West Virginia 40 FINAL
Maryland 37
Kent State 0 FINAL
(23) Ohio State 66
Pittsburgh 42 FINAL
FIU 25
East Carolina 28 FINAL
Virginia Tech 21
Louisville 21 FINAL
Virginia 23
Wyoming 14 FINAL
(2) Oregon 48
Air Force 48 FINAL
Georgia State 38
(13) Georgia 35 FINAL
(14) So Carolina 38
Arkansas 49 FINAL
Texas Tech 28
Iowa State 20 FINAL
Iowa 17
Miami-Ohio 10 FINAL
Michigan 34
Kansas 3 FINAL
Duke 41
NC State 49 FINAL
So Florida 17
Arkansas State 20 FINAL
Miami-Florida 41
Miss State 35 FINAL
South Alabama 3
Louisiana 15 FINAL
(10) Ole Miss 56
Minnesota 7 FINAL
TCU 30
Illinois 19 FINAL
Washington 44
Army 0 FINAL
(16) Stanford 35
Western Mich 45 FINAL
Idaho 33
Eastern Mich 3 FINAL
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Southern Miss 12 FINAL
(3) Alabama 52
Northern Ill 48 FINAL
UNLV 34
Tulsa 21 FINAL
Fla Atlantic 50
ULM 0 FINAL
(8) LSU 31
Wake Forest 24 FINAL
Utah State 36
Western Ky 47 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 50
TX-San Antonio 13 FINAL
(25) Oklahoma State 43
Purdue 14 FINAL
(9) Notre Dame 30
Kentucky 30 FINAL
Florida 36
New Mexico St 24 FINAL
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Tennessee 10 FINAL
(4) Oklahoma 34
(17) USC 31 FINAL
Boston College 37
Navy 35 FINAL
Texas State 21
(12) UCLA 20 FINAL
Texas 17
Penn State 13 FINAL
Rutgers 10
Rice 10 FINAL
(6) Texas A&M 38
(15) Arizona State 38 FINAL
Colorado 24
(24) Nebraska 55 FINAL
Fresno State 19
Nevada 28 FINAL
Arizona 35
(5) Auburn 9/18/14 6:30 PM
(20) Kansas State
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
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(24) Nebraska
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New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Los Angeles 1 FINAL
San Jose 1
Montreal 16 FINAL
Edmonton 33
Toronto 33 FINAL
Calgary 40
Winnipeg 9 FINAL
Brt Columbia 26
Saskatchewan 3 FINAL
Hamilton 28
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