I love ballparks. After the radio show this morning, I took a half-hour to wander around Yankee Stadium.
As the Twins try to break a 12-game losing streak in the Bronx today, I can offer this solace to Twins fans:
Your ballpark is a lot better than this stadium.
New Yankee Stadium is stately. It's grand. But it lacks the attention to detail and sense of fun that Target Field offers.
There is nothing special about new Yankee Stadium, other than the fact that the Yankees play here. When you walk around the main concourse, if you want to walk behind the outfield bleachers, you can't see the field, as you can at Target Field. Instead, you enter into a dank concourse that feels like a subway station.
Target Field has seemingly dozens of cool places, evocative of baseball and Minnesota history, to eat and drink and stand. Yankee Stadium is very spartan and predictable in terms of such amenities. Basically, what the Yankees did was build a new Yankee Stadium so they could have better infrastructure, better concessions, and charge more for seats.
This is a battle Minnesotans actually win with the Yankees. Our ballpark is much better.
-I'm sensing that Jesse Crain is near the end of his tenure as a Twin. On the Ron Gardenhire show this morning on 1500ESPN, Gardy intimated as much.
I wrote earlier this season that Crain, who pitched well late last season and in spring training, might have turned a corner, but he's been awful this season. I like the guy, but this is a results business, and a reliever who pitches as poorly as Crain has at this stage of his career isn't going to get many more chances.
-I agree that Gardy shouldn't have used Matt Guerrier against A-Rod on Friday. But the idea that the manager is somehow keeping the Twins from winning in the Bronx in general is laughable. The idea that he should be fired is crazy.
But, for argument's sake, let's say that somehow Gardy's presence hurts the Twins in The Bronx. Who would you replace him with as a manager? Who else has won five division titles in eight years and is available for hire? Who else would work so well with Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer, both of whom Gardenhire has nurtured toward stardom?
Trey Hillman? Bobby Valentine? Who?
Sometimes Gardenhire makes strategical moves that make me scratch my head, but you have to have some sense of perspective. Helping Morneau develop into an MVP and annual All-Star is more important to the franchise than any individual strategic move.
And let's not forget that a lot of his moves work out just fine.
-Prediction: The Twins win today. Blackburn is better than Sergio Mitre. Mauer is catching. Jeter is out of the lineup. The Twins are driven. The Twins are due. Guerrier, Rauch and Duensing are rested. Picking individual baseball games is silly, but so are blogs, so: Twins 8-3.
-You can follow me on Twitter at Souhanstrib. Our gig, following Steve Rushin's book signing, is 7 p.m. on Thursday at O'Gara's. Me on vocals and guitar, John Heidt on lead guitar and vocals, G.R. Anderson on drums, Curt Warolin on bass, Tommy Mischke on piano, harmonica and vocals.
-This week I'll be covering the draft party Tuesday night. My regular appearances on 1500ESPN are at 2:40 p.m. daily, and a couple of times a week with Joe Anderson in the 6 p.m. hour.