Metrodome, Minneapolis

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View from the airplane as we landed in St. Paul.

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Kara and I did a one-day road trip Minneapolis to see the opener of the last Red Sox series at the Metrodome.  It’s in the middle of the city, but there are wide streets and numerous parking lots surrounding the Metrodome.  The Minneapolis Star Tribune is a block away.

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The original fake field was replaced about five years ago.  The new turf isn’t as bad as the original, but it’s still fake.  The only infield dirt is the cutouts for bases.  Ground balls are faster, and the white ceiling of the dome made it difficult to track fly balls.

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All they have for an out-of-town scoreboard is an electronic led display below the top deck. 

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The Red Sox wore red caps with a blue B with stars – something I’d never seen before.  Okay, they wore red caps with a blue B and a blue bill for three years in the mid-70’s, but these are all red with a blue B, and the B had stars on it, like the blue ones they wore last 4th of July.  No one mentioned it, but it was for doubtless for Memorial Day.  The umpires also wore red hats.  The Twins wore their blue hats with the TC logo. Above you see Jonathan Papelbon warming up. 

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The scoreboard tells you when to clap.  In case you’ve forgotten how, they show you. 

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I’m not sure why no one sits in the corner. The same thing happened in Seattle. Maybe the ticket price is lower past the foul pole.

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There were about 28,000 fans in the Metrdome.  It holds 50,000-something for football, less for baseball because they’d slide back the right field lower deck like it’s a high school gym and cover it with a baggie.  They’d also cover over the top deck in right with a big canvas that had pictures of old Twins…Tony Oliva, Harmon Killebrew, etc.

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I was wearing my #24 Sox road shirt that Caitlin and Kara gave me for Christmas.  At the airport someone asked me if it was a Dewey shirt or a Manny shirt.  I assured him it was a Dewey shirt.

Brad Penny faced Nelson Liriano.  The Sox opened up a 5-1 lead that turned into a 5-3 lead when Penny started to wear out in the 5th.  In the 8th Jeff Bailey homered to left, making it 6-3. Jonathan Papelbon came on to save it in the 9th and after a leadoff single got two quick outs.  Joe Mauer, who was not in the lineup, pinch hit and homered to right, making it 6-5.  This was the second straight appearance where Pap gave up a 2-run homer with two outs in the 9th (on Saturday night it resulted in his first blown save of the year and a Mets win), but the Red Sox held on to win, 6-5.   

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I sat in the Ron Gardenhire seat, Kara sat in the Bear seat.  The bear helps shoot t-shirts into the stands between innings. One of those minor-league tactics that you see increasingly in Major League ballparks. The Metrodome had very long stairs that would take you forever to get up if you had good seats, then you’d hit a really slow line trying to get to the air pressure revolving doors.  It took a half-hour just to get out of the building.

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