Sox depart from Dome with dignity

After watching the Sox make the most unlikeliest of comebacks against the Twins on Wednesday afternoon, I almost don’t want to see the Metrodome go.
On one hand, it could very well spell the end of the Twins’ extraordinary home-field advantage, diminishing their speed-based antics and forcing them to rely more on power that traditionally hasn’t been there.
On the other, it would’ve been nice to see if Wednesday’s win could’ve been the start of destroying the Great Minnesota Myth.
After all, the Twins let the Sox back into two games, which is something they never do.  They held Carlos Gomez to one single in six at-bats, and he always kills the Sox.  Add in the Twins using the solo homer to get ahead on Tuesday, and the seeds were planted to change the shape of the rivalry to a much less annoying version on both teams’ parts.
That might be unfortunate, because in many ways, the Twins-Sox rivalry is the best in baseball.  It lacks the history of Red Sox-Yankees and Cubs-Cardinals, but its roots are compelling in a unique way.  They’re two teams using vastly different approaches from the top down to maximize the benefits of vastly different stadiums, and it has resulted in roughly equivalent results for an entire decade.
The Sox never came close to taming the Metrodome, but on Tuesday and Wednesday, they looked like a team capable of holding their own. Hell, Gordon Beckham might’ve been capable of transforming the series by himself.  He came up with a big extra-base hit in all three games, and he finishes his Metrodome career hitting 15-for-34 in the air conditioning, good for a line of .441/.486/.791.
Instead, the move to Target Field will probably make the divide between the teams much more ordinary — especially if you count on the new stadium increasing the Twins’ revenues. And that’s fine, I suppose, but there’s something to be said for changing a reputation by hand.
At least they went out with a bang.  It was arguably their finest performance of the season.  And if the Twins happen to fall a game short of the postseason, it’ll be fun to think that it was because the team that always seals the deal couldn’t conquer a team that could never come back.
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Minor league roundup:

  • Durham 9, Charlotte 0
    • Jack Egbert was nicked up for runs in every inning but the second, finishing with five runs on eight hits and three walks over five innings. One strikeout.
    • Taylor Thompson threw two shutout innings in his first Triple-A outing, making an emergency jump from Bristol.
    • Stefan Gartrell doubled; Brady Shoemaker doubled and struck out twice.
  • Salem 9, Winston-Salem 5
    • Brent Morel went 0-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts.
    • Justin Greene, singled, walked, drove in a run and struck out twice.
    • Tyler Kuhn went 0-for-5 with a strikeout.
    • Wander Perez struck out four over 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. He allowed just a walk and a hit.
    • Hector Santiago threw two shutout innings.
  • Kannapolis 5, West Virginia 1
    • Josh Phegley went 4-for-4 with four singles during a 16-hit day for Kannapolis.
    • Daniel Black singled twice, walked and drove in a run.
    • Jon Gilmore doubled and drove in a run.
    • Nevin Griffith allowed a run over seven innings — five hits, two walks, two strikeouts.
    • Dan Remenowsky picked up save No. 23 with two shutout innings, allowing a hit and two walks while striking out two.
  • Great Falls 10, Billings 5
    • Jose Vargas went 2-for-5 with a double and four RBI.
    • Nick Ciolli singled, walked and scored two runs.
    • Kyle Colligan went 1-for-4 with two RBI.
    • Jesus Avila doubled, walked, struck out once and scored two runs.
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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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Shinons

Joe Nathan may have completely imploded, but did you see how fundamentally correct his implosion was? Gotta hand it to the Twins, they really know how to develop their guys the right way!

eddystankysghost

It was fascinating to watch how the master closer coped with his inability to command his wipeout slider.
Credit to Beckham for a pitch selection. It’s looking like that’s going to be his strong suit.

knoxfire30

I think the twins revenue may be hurt long term by an outdoor stadium. Sure its bright and new and immediately people are going to come out in the first couple years to check it out but…. have you ever been in minnesota during april and may or even late september at times??? Its going to be god awful weather and Im not sure how that will effect their already mediocre fan base.
Either way, Im thrilled the cheater dome is gone. Gone are the days of beating balls into the ground with the hope of a high hop and running down the line to manage to get what in the book is a single. Thats not baseball in my world!
Taking nothing away from the twins, they scouted, drafted, and signed guys to their ballpark the same way the sox do but its nice to see a more “normal” playing field established in Minny.

iowaoaks

You could not be more right with the weather in Minnesota and their “fair weather” fans. You mentioned the cold of April and September, I’ll throw the unbearable heat of August as well.
I know they struggled to get the stadium in the first place, but they really need a retractable dome like Milwaukee.

striker

Is it an open stadium? No retractable roof?

815sox

There is about a two degree difference between Chicago and Minneapolis in the spring, summer and start of fall. Minneapolis gets more snow in the early spring, but it was snowing in April in Rockford this year.

knoxfire30

Yea but chicago is a huge city with millions of people use to going to outdoor baseball and football games. Minny has a much smaller popular and the “fair weather” type fans that arent going to take well to the climate shock of rain, sleet, snow, and extreme cold and hot weather. Remember this was a tear nearing contraction! I just dont think this type of stadium was a good idea and I think LONG TERM, it will hurt their already limited fan base.

815sox

The fanbase seems pretty solid every time I am up in Minneapolis.. I don’t think its fair to just write them off as “fair weather fans”. What evidence do you have for this?
You could be right though, only time will tell.
By the way, supposedly the seats are going to be heated. I’m actually planning on going up there when the Sox are in town..

conor

A fellow Rockfordian on the blog? How long you been here?

815sox

Not long, I just lurked. I’m on SSS though. Do you go out to any bars or anything around the area?

chisoxt

“And if the Twins happen to fall a game short of the postseason, it’ll be fun to think that it was because the team that always seals the deal couldn’t conquer a team that could never come back”..
I envision that the end of the season will come down to a tie between MN and Det that will necessitate a makeup game to be payed in Detroit between the Tigers and the Sox due to a rainout that will occur in Detroit in a couple of weeks..The game will be played on a Monday afternoon and Freddy Garcia will get the start for us.
Sound familiar?

K8T

Do me a favor, check your email, and keep what I said in mind. Thanks

winningugly

Wondrous home field advantage not huge this year. Almost the same home record as our beloved Sox.