By La Velle
I flew in yesterday and was driving in from Lambert Airport when I switched on the radio to some sports show called, `The Men’s Room.’
The host talked about how he compared the careers of Chris Carpenter and Johan Santana, who squared off against each other the night before. On Friday, he decided to compare the Cardinals’ Yadier Molina and the Twins’ Joe Mauer – the two Gold Glove winners from last season.
So I’m listening to this, and the host is reeling off career stats. Mauer has Molina beat across the board and blows him away in doubles, walks, batting average, etc.
The host then concludes, “Mauer gets the nod here.”
He later adds, “I’d take either one of them but the edge goes to Mauer.”
It ain’t just an edge, buddy.
I’m impressed with Busch Stadium. Love the color scheme. Twins players like how the clubhouse is laid out. The pressbox stinks. It’s at the top of the stadium and it’s a journey to get to the clubhouse. I was told the original plan was to put the pressbox behind the right field wall. Right Field. Someone, fortunately, stepped in and stopped that.
The first year the park opened, there were no windows installed. The heat was oppressive during the summer. Then the Cardinals reached the World Series and it was freezing. There was a rain storm that blew water on a bunch of laptops and ruined them. Some of the insulation was visible. The league was ticked off and ordered the Cardinals to make adjustments.
But that’s not my main beef – believe it or not. The railing in front of the first row on most levels is too short. When fans are seated, their knees are almost even with the top of the railing. Not safe. If someone stumbles, jumps out of their seat to cheer or catch a ball – or has their .15 on - it could get ugly.
And it did on Friday, when a fan fell out of the top level of Busch Stadium and onto the level below him – during the national anthem. He was a bloody mess. The female with him was blubbering. I guess other than cuts and bruises, he was fine. But they need to look at these railings again.
Getting back to this right field thing. Other pro sports are moving the press areas out of the areas where they can make money. Soldier Field has its pressbox in the corner of the stadium. I’ve heard the pressbox at FedEx Field in Washington is in the end zone. NBA teams are moving some media off of midcourt.
The Twins, while designing Target Field, asked for our input on how the pressbox should be designed. It will be located on the club level, a little bit toward first base but that’s no big deal. There will be places to store our bags so they won’t be in the way. They’ll hold an elevator for us after games. And they have taken us twice on tours of the construction site.
I can’t thank club president Dave St. Peter, GM Bill Smith, the baseball communications department and other members of the organization enough for allowing us to have some input. After sitting in the St. Louis pressbox and hearing the stories, I appreciate what the Twins have done for its media even more.
I’ll post the lineups and updates when they become available.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire hinted before the game that Nick Punto has a couple more days to prove he’s healthy or he will land on the disabled list. Start your Steven Tolleson speculation now.
Joe Mauer is getting the day off. Day game after night game thing. Mike Redmond will start to today. When asked about starting Jose Morales, Gardenhire admitted that it’s a sensitive situation and that Redmond remains his No. 2 catcher. He said Morales will enter the game if (when?) Redmond wilts from the heat or of he needs a pinch runner late in the game. Gardy said he’s not adverse to putting Morales behind the plate, but Redmond is his No. 2.
I think the offseason will solve this problem. Morales is a better hitter and deserves to play. And I write that with the utmost respect for what Redmond does with the pitchers and in the clubhouse.
Kevin Slowey’s last named is spelled, “Slowley” on the lineup sheet.
Just heard that yesterday’s accident was the second time this year a fan had tumbled out of one of the decks here. Here’s a link to a story about yesterday’s accident.
A woman already has succumbed to the heat here and has been stretchered out. The high might hit 100 today.
FSN’s Ron Coomer on Justin Morneau, “he’s breaking out today,” Coomer said. Coomer pointed out that Morneau has gone to a no stride approach to keep himself balanced and hit the ball hard yesterday.
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Brendan Harris, 2B
3. Justin Morneau, 1B
4. Jason Kubel, LF
5. Michael Cuddyer, RF
6. Joe Crede, RF
7. Mike Redmond, C
8. Matt Tolbert. 2B
9. Kevin Slowey, RHP
1. Skip Schumaker, 2B
2. Colby Rasmus, CF
3. Albert Pujols, 1B
4. Chris Duncan, LF
5. Yadier Molina, C
6. Rick Ankiel, RF
7. Tyler Greene, SS
8. Todd Wellemeyer, RHP
9. Joe Thurston, 3B