It had to happen sooner or later, I suppose: going to a game that didn’t excite me. I really don’t care either way about either the Minnesota Twins or the Arizona Diamondbacks, and, from all I’ve read about it, and seen on telly, I wasn’t expecting much from the Twins’ home, the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. Guess what? It completely lived up to my expectations.
It’s a multi-purpose stadium, used for baseball and (American) football. To be fair to the Twins, they are moving to a new stadium of their own in 2010, but that’s two years away, and I’m here now, and their stadium is shit. Although the roof does look quite cool. But the place is all echo-y. The nice sound of a baseball hitting a bat sounds different in the Humpydome.
Still, the afternoon began with Rod Carew – Hall of Famer who played a chunk of his career for the Twins, and whom the Beastie Boys got mad hits like there were him – coming out onto the field to promote some charity stuff. So that was nice.
That was swiftly followed by the ceremonial first pitch. I’ve not seen any properly famous people doing this; so far I’ve mostly seen kids or corporate drones who are sponsoring the game do it. The Twins game, though, began with a line up of people and some talking over the PA about the soldiers from Minnesota who have died in Iraq. Lots of clapping and stuff for them, as you’d expect. Then they brought out a guy who either a colleague or family member of the first Minnesotan to die in Iraq back in 2003. It just seems weird to me that they do this nice thing of saluting the soldiers, then make his mate throw the ball to some guy in a bloody bear suit.
Anyway, the game happened. Aside from two half innings where, first, the visitors scored three runs, then the Twins scored five, it was a fairly average game. Still, it was live baseball, and when I get back to Europe I’ll be craving it, so mustn’t grumble. I suppose the one thing that was markedly different here was the friendliness of people. Or lack of. I’m not judging the whole of Minnesota by this one afternoon, but I just didn’t find people very friendly here. In fact, the only people in my whole time in Minneapolis (all of 28 hours) who’ve shown any willingness to chatter have been foreigners; a Kenyan taxi driver, and two Canadians at the game. Oh, I tell a lie, there was a guy in the Wendy’s restaurant across the street from the hotel (I’m not really staying with Prince), he was nice. He was an old fella with a dodgy knee, and when I asked for a Dr Pepper, he beamed a big smile and said, “That’s my drink, too!” and shook my hand.
Oh, one good thing that the Hubert H Humps My Humps My Lovely Lady Lumphrey Metrodome did have was, when you enter, you go in through revolving doors, because of the air pressure needed inside to keep the roof up; when you leave, people just go out of the emergency doors, which are your bog-standard doors. At that point, there’s a really fun rushing of air, like you’ve suddenly stepped into a cartoon hurricane. So, y’know: go Twins! On that note, I’d better get going to the airport. Got me a new city to see later today.