Thursday, April 09, 2009

GameDay Chatter: Learning from Tithonus

During the 2009 season, the Twins Radio Network is going extend their broadcasting after each Sunday game to include a couple of hours or Twins sports talk with Jack Morris and Chris Atteberry. And yes, this means your Sunday's are completely shot to hell.

This show is going to include a weekly 'rant' by a GameDay writer/blogger called 'GameDay Chatter'. You'll find this week's below. If you're interested in hearing the audio, or talking with Morris or Atteberry about it, be sure to tune in on Sunday.

You would think we woulda learned something from Tithonus.

Tithonus is the greek dude who was granted immortality. Turns out he shoulda asked for perpetual youth. Important difference. Instead, he grew older and older, but couldn't die. Eventually he was turned into a cicada, constantly shrieking for the sweet release of death. Fun story.

For a more upbeat version we could turn to the movie Groundhog Day. The one where Bill Murray is trapped within the same day over and over, awakening to Sonny and Cher, dealing with the overly friendly insurance salesman who sure as heckfire remembers him, and getting snowbound in Puxatawny. That one ended happier, as the gods granted Murray his release.

And the gods have similarly favored us in our imminent release from the Metrodome. Where it's always 70 and - teflon. Where it never rains, but we never see the sun. A climate-controlled mausoleum, where, you'll recall, baseball nearly went to die. From a disease called "contraction".

So can somebody PLEASE explain to me why, on the verge of gaining our outdoor stadium, so many of us have an obsessive need to point out how cold the weather can be in the first week of April? As if they figured out something the rest of us don't know? We're Minnesotans. We get it. It gets cold and hot and cold again. They're called "seasons". Some of us actually embrace them.

Listen, if we wanted the weather to always be 70 and drab, why the heckfire would we live here? If you miss the dome's "weather", I've got the perfect remedy for you - stay home. And since you won't need those tickets to the new ballpark, send them my way. You can even slide them under the door, lest opening it subject you to carcinogenic sun rays that might compromise your quest for immortality.

I'll be outside. Acting like a perpetual youth.


MN said...

Hey, I was against this from the start for that reason. No retractable roof means no out door stadium but you babies whined so loudly you got the government to cave. Congratulations but hey, I'm going to continue pointing out how you were so hot to get a new stadium you settled for one that will suck 2 months out of the year.

h. said...

I disagree with MN. I went and saw the Twins at Crapular Field in Chicago two years ago for the snow game. The poor jones trying to sell frozen margaritas had a poor day, but the guy selling hot chocolate was a hero to the crowd. I'm kind of stoked for cold weather baseball. At least there will be two months out of the year we'll be able to afford to go to the new ballpark.

Jake said...

Sorry MN but I'm with John on this one. It's Minnesota, we revel in the cold, we delight in telling all those other schmucks how cold it is, we're happy to relate that there are two seasons in MN: winter and road construction. Sure people are going to whine about it but I think ti will breed comradeship and think of the home field advantage! you think the Rays are going to want to come up here in October to play a playoff game!?

Anonymous said...

Next time you plan an outdoor event, I'll bet dollars to Dome dogs you will think about the weather and how it might affect your event. Trash it all you want, but the Dome relieved that anxiety.

bluewater said...

Bravo, Bravo! True, baseball in the elements will probably suck many early Aprils. But baseball in the Dome sucks EVERY May, June, July, August, and September. And a few Aprils, even. This pining over the few days of April baseball where it may be cold and rainy - I just don't get. Everyone worries about cancellations in April - well guess what!? Those turn into day-night doubleheaders in the summer!

Anonymous said...

Having been to Skydome & Miller Park I am glad the Twins DON'T have a retractable roof. If you have ever been in a convertable you know it's better than having a sunroof.

Miller Park is not a outdoor ballpark, it is a airplane hanger with a afterthought of a ball field in it. Ever notice the notch in centerfield? The supports of the roof caused the geometry of the field to change, who wants that?

Skydome was nice in the infield on a sunny day, but the outfield was still partially covered and there was no airflow to effect the ball. Thats not a outdoor ball park, it's a sandbox with the lid removed.

Luckily I own a few jackets of different weights, they're even removable too and don't effect the playing field. I think April will be just fine.

By the way I was in Chicago last sunday and it was a full on blizzard when we left, I've yet to hear anyone petition to put a roof on Wrigley....


scotharr said...

I'm old, 55. I spent some of my youth skipping school on opening day to see the Twins at that beautiful Erector Set of a park, Metropolitan Stadium (the early season games were always day games). Cloudy or sunny, it was always freezing......I went anyway, and loved every one of them.

James said...

Any comments which are for a dome/retractable roof stadium place a higher value on their own comfort and convenience vs. the aesthetic beauty of Baseball played on grass under the sun. If it rains, then lets play two!

David Wintheiser said...

Technically speaking, it wasn't Tithonus who forgot to ask for eternal youth, or even he who asked for immortality; it was his lover Eos, an immortal titan, who made the slip-up.

Which means that if the fans are cast in the role of Tithonus, then the real 'blame', so to speak, falls on those who pushed the stadium, who forgot to ask for those things that would make it servicable to the fans.

The reason, of course, is that those who lobbied to get the stadium built weren't interested in getting the best possible stadium built, regardless of their rhetoric. As time went on, and the seeming likelihood of building anything with public money got less and less likely, those in charge of the process eventually got to the point where they were willing to do or say anything just to get what they wanted, regardless of how badly it hurt the ones they say they were doing it for.

And of course, like Tithonus, we won't feel the effects immediately -- even if there are some cold Aprils (and Mays -- and sweltering Julys and Augusts), it takes some time for time to catch up to us.

Yes, I know that the folks who got the stadium built said that they've got a plan to keep up the maintenance. They also said the garbage burner wouldn't be an issue, and that development around the site would boom. They were wrong about the first (, and given the current economic downturn, will likely end up being wrong about the second as well. Why? Because they weren't saying these things as wise councilors who had the best interests of both fans and citizens at heart -- they just wanted their nearly-free ballpark, and they promised anything they could think of to get it.

Tithonus was in love, so maybe he can be forgiven for not looking out for his own best interest. Loving the Twins isn't anywhere near the same ballpark, though.

Anonymous said...

Yes, John, they *are* called "seasons." We have four of them here, only one of which works for outdoor baseball. You insulted my intelligence with that silly remark, and now I'll insult yours: Why do you think they built the Dome in the first place?

Harmon said...

To Anonymous - Only one season works for outdoor baseball? What? Every season works for outdoor baseball. Ya know why? Because it's outdoor baseball! Y'know, the way it was meant to be played?

Seriously folks, if you want a dome or a retractable roof that makes it feel like a mausoleum than nothing much can be done for you. Sorry, it's just not the way it was meant to be done.

Go outdoors. Live a little. Swat at mosquitos. Sweat in the sunshine. That's what it's about. Uncertainty is a beautiful thing. That's why you attend sporting events to begin with. So settle down and enjoy it.

jeff said...

@ Jake: Well, Perkins and Mauer are the only "true Minnesotans" on the roster. Many come from south of the border. Not sure there will be this notion of "we revel in the cold, we delight in telling all those other schmucks how cold it is".

I am willing to bet that in 20 years, there will be plenty of nostalgia about the Dome. Many many many significant events took place there and many of us fans grew up with the Dome as the only place to watch pro baseball.

I've been to Fenway during a cold rainy May game vs the Twins. It was fun no doubt, but not because of the elements. That part sucked.

Miller Park allows plenty of sun and wind, even with the high walls. I love how the concourse areas still open up to a good view of the game.