March 24, 2010
The Target Field page has been updated with a slightly revised diagram and two photos taken by an anonymous donor (I won't tell!) during a recent public "open house" tour of the Twins' sparkling new home. Of great use in doing the detailed touchups were other photos posted at baseball-fever.com; hat tip to Mike Zurawski. As somewhat of a surprise, there are distance markers in the corners on either side of center field: it says 411 feet to the far end of the bullpens, and 403 feet on the left side of the scoreboard on the high right-center field wall. Those distances are not consistent with the supposed 404 feet distance to dead center field, however, and it may be that it's more like 408 feet to center. In addition, there is a 365 ft marker in right center, rather than a 367 marker as previously indicated. So, even though I'm confident that the diagram as it stands is very accurate, a few more touchups may be required as the facts become more clear.
Many more photos from that tour, as well as some lyrical commentary, can be found at ballparkmagic.com.
The first official game at Target Field will be April 12, when the Twins host the Red Sox on a Monday afternoon.
Just in time for the regular season, the Twins and All-Star catcher Joe Mauer reached an agreement to extend his contract by eight years, with total compensation of $184 million. The deal includes a no-trade clause. Mauer is about to turn 27, and this contract means he will stay with the Twins through the 2018 season. He is a pretty amazing player, and it seems like he is on the road to Cooperstown: "Mauer is coming off a season in which he batted .365 with 28 home runs and 96 RBIs despite missing all of April due to a back injury." See MLB.com. They are already calling Target Field "the house that Mauer built."
Mike also reminded me that only one section of the upper deck remains at Old Yankee Stadium, and it is scheduled to be pulled down tomorrow (Thursday) morning. See baseball-fever.com.