The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome was my favorite place in the world. It’s still the stadium where the Minnesota Twins played the longest, and the stadium where they won all of their World Series Championships. I spent an exorbitant amount of time in there watching baseball. I once even read a poem I wrote about how much I loved the Metrodome to an audience of hundreds of very confused people in New York City.
I cried when the Twins played their last game in The Dome, and I cried when it was demolished. I never even got to be in the Hormel Row of Fame.
The Metrodome was demolished, of course, to make way for U.S. Bank Stadium—the new home of the Minnesota Golden Gophers Baseball Team. The Gophers, if you remember, used to share The Dome with the Twins back in the day. The boys in maroon and gold finally got to play their first game at the new place last Friday.
Here’s the field setup:
Season opener at US Bank Field on Monday. Excited for some indoor baseball! #beready #awesome pic.twitter.com/UjKk2vMPp2— Macalester Baseball (@MacalesterBase) February 24, 2017
Basically, it looks similar to the Metrodome, except shittier.
Enjoying some Gopher baseball at US Bank Stadium. pic.twitter.com/e2mcsE54S4— LF Baseball (@LF_Flyers) February 26, 2017
Okay, maybe I’m a little biased. There are actual windows, and maybe some actual sunlight during the day. I guess that’s a good thing? I don’t know.
But let’s take a look at the right field baggie for a second.
First of all, could we make that baggie any longer? I don’t think it’s long enough.
Second of all, what abomination is this?
If you didn’t know, that’s a home run line. Any ball that hits above the line is a home run. That’s right—balls don’t even need to be hit over the baggie to be a home run.
I already feel like I’m developing an ulcer from MLB Commissioner in Poop Rob Manfred’s ridiculous rule changes and rule change proposals. Even the intentional walk thing, which isn’t THAT big of a deal, annoys the hell out of me. Now this? On the holy grounds of the Metrodome? To paraphrase Piers Morgan, I want dead.
It’s not just the unreasonably long baggie with the stupid home run line, either. There are other things lacking at US Bank Stadium—most noticeably, dirt. There’s no dirt anywhere in the infield besides the mound (which is pathetic) and home plate. We spent over $1 billion on this stadium and they can’t even put dirt around the bases? Seriously? It’s dirt. Nick Punto is probably rolling in his grave.
Here’s a shot video of early batting practice:
Getting in some cuts before game 2️⃣ at U.S. Bank Stadium! ⚾️ pic.twitter.com/f9Dq7wuEv7— Minnesota Baseball (@GopherBaseball) February 25, 2017
Yeah, okay, nice windows—but they are practically the same color as the Metrodome roof anyway.
In case you’re wondering: no, I did not use any kind of filter on the above photos to make the windows and the roof look closer to the same color. I wanted to, just to enhance whatever point I’m trying to make here, but I’d already had a rally beer and gave up trying to figure out how to adjust the colors pretty quickly. I’m not a graphic designer.
Anyway, if you ask me, the windows actually look even more annoying than the old roof because they’re too fancy.
Here’s an example of what the place looked like in action:
S/O to @OTownBaseball @jaalstead @bpricetagger & B. Wolfe for coming up to US Bank Stadium to support @R__Thompson13 last night! #bigpoppi pic.twitter.com/WDslPmEY1G— Jason Thompson (@JasonT_54) February 26, 2017
If you were able to focus on anything besides the mismatching colored “dirt,” you probably noticed the complete lack of a giant, inflatable, Land O’ Lakes milk jug in right field. I know the Twins got rid of the milk jug in the later days of the Metrodome, and I’m still planning on starting a letter-writing campaign about that, but it doesn’t make its absence at U.S. Bank Stadium any less salient. And really, who wants to watch indoor baseball without a giant, inflatable milk jug in the corner? Not me.
Another point of contention I have is that, according to this review of the stadium by Tom Froemming—who actually paid ten real, American dollars to see this insult against indoor baseball in person—you aren’t allowed to sit anywhere besides the baselines on the first level. That actually seems perfectly reasonable. I don’t have a problem with that. My problem is with the execution. They didn’t even put up a giant curtain around the off-limit seats to let you know you’re not really supposed to sit there? Again: We paid one. billion. dollars. for this.
Don’t even get me started on the dugouts. They look they were built using an Erector Set and a giant piece of sheet metal that was on sale at Menard’s.
In summary: US Bank Stadium sucks. Too much natural light. Not enough dirt. The Metrodome was way better and we should have never bulldozed it—but maybe the new place would be okay if they put a giant, inflatable milk jug in right field. Or hell, even left field. I’m not that picky. Just as long as it lights up when someone hits a dinger above the stupid home run line.
Damn it, now I’m just mad all over again.