September 22, 2009
I just played my last regular-season game and series at the Metrodome last weekend. There are so many different opinions about not having to play there anymore that I figured I would discuss some of the pros and cons of playing there since we are finally done with that building forever. (I think.)
Everyone mentions the bad, so I'll start with the good. The inside temperature is always 68 to 72 degrees. That might not seem like an important thing, but keep in mind that the season is from April to September and the temperature during the season can range from 40 degrees to 100. So when you play in the Twin Cities, you never have to worry about cramping from dehydration or overheating because of heat. You never have to worry about being immobile from wearing layers and layers of clothes to warm up. We also never have to worry about a rainout or rain delay, so we know our games will always start on time. This doesn't seem like much, but it eliminates double-headers and delayed games that don't start until 9 or 10 at night. Everything goes off as planned and it's easier to be prepared and ready for that night's game.
Of course, there are some obvious things that I and other players will be happy to see go when the Twins move to Target Field. The Metrodome roof is the first thing. It's a difficult thing to have to deal with, especially knowing that it can become an issue during games. Most stadiums have the sun to deal with, and we will have that issue at the new stadium, but that dome causes its own special brand of problems. The ball is the same color as the roof, which obviously causes a lot of errors in the outfield. Yes, the Twins also have to deal with it, but when you play half your season there and can adjust to it, it presents a distinct advantage.
Another issue with playing inside a building is the old air. It seems that every time we go there to play, at least a few players seem to have some sinus issues and get sick. It could be mold, bacteria or something else, but it was always an issue.
Finally, the Twins will get a lot of benefits from moving to their new home, but I'm not sure they'll be able to simulate the Metrodome noise from the fans. In that dome, 20,000 people can easily sound like 40,000. In football, they talk about the 12th man being the fans and Minnesota is the only place in baseball that I really feel they have a 10th man advantage. We certainly won't miss giving that edge to the Twins.
All in all, I'm glad I got a chance to play in the dome, but I'm also excited to see what the new stadium will have to offer next season.
Oh, and one more thing: I want to also congratulate Jake Herbert, who won a silver medal today at the wrestling World Championships. I met Jake a couple months back when I was home in Chicago. He is a Northwestern grad. His road to an Olympic gold medal in 2012 started today. Congrats Jake!
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Curtis Granderson plays center field for the Detroit Tigers and his blog will appear regularly on Yahoo! Sports' Big League Stew during the 2009 season. Make sure to check out and support his Grand Kids Foundation. All of his previous posts can be read here.