Way back in the day, there was a ballpark called the Polo Grounds that played host to the New York Giants of John McGraw and Christy Mathewson fame. The park, pictured above, was shaped like an emormous horseshoe and was roughly 500 feet from home plate to the center field “garage” (imagine sitting out there!). Though batters could hit lazy pop flies that would easily clear the 250 ft. lengths down both lines, the power alleys (aptly named for where the big drives go) were nearly impossible to clear.
During the current Twins homestand at Target Field, its looking more and more (at least in the soggy weather) that our new digs will play pretty big as well. In today’s game, Michael Cuddyer hit a blast off of John Danks that looked as if it were so far gone that centerfielder Alex Rios wouldn’t even have a shot at it. Somewhere, though, the cold air kept the ball in the air long enough to allow Rios, on a dead sprint, to extend his glove over the top of the wall and come down with ball in hand. Cuddyer (as well as the announcers and all watching fans) was incredulous that the ball didn’t leave the stadium by a mile.
Luckily, the Twins got another solid performance from Pavano (7 IP, 2 ER) and managed not to waste it this time, slapping together a few runs in the early innings to counter a rough first inning and hanging on the rest of the way. Without the baserunning daring of Juan Pierre, the Sox wouldn’t have had anything going for them today.
Preview (22-12, 1st, 3.0 GA DET): Francisco Liriano (4-1, 2.36) vs. AJ Burnett (4-1, 3.40). Travel day Thursday in preperation for the big Yankee showdown over the weekend.