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  • Notebook: Fans in the Stands at Target Field?


    Andrew Luedtke

    With the Twins Home Opener exactly one month from today, it looks optimistic that fans might be able to return to Target Field! Plus, some other news and notes from around the AL Central.

    Image courtesy of © Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

    Fans back at Target Field this Spring?

    The Twins were off today Monday, but there were still some meaningful updates for fans who have been patiently (OK, impatiently) waiting for news on if they can return to Target Field this Spring. News Talk 830 WCCO reported this morning the Twins have “quietly gotten the OK” from the state to host 26% capacity.

    https://twitter.com/wccoradio/status/1368906506557677572

    It should be noted that the team nor the State have commented on this report. Either way, with the Twins needing enough lead time to get the stadium ready safely, there should be further clarity on this topic later in the week.

    How many fans is 26% capacity you ask? Well, Target Field holds just over 39,500 - so 10,271 could be in attendance when the Twins host the Mariners on Thursday, April 8 at 3:10 pm CST.

    It’s too early to tell what Target Field could look like with fans and safety measures in place, but John Bonnes detailed his account of how Hammond Stadium has been operating in Fort Myers this Spring.

    KSTP reported tonight that “guidance” will be coming this week on the decision to allow fans. The Twins have even disclosed info on how they would attempt to make Target Field a “contactless” experience for food and drink. In any case, some optimism for the fans looking to get back to watching the Twins in person this year.

    https://twitter.com/thauserkstp/status/1369077597930483712

    Does Lewis Thorpe have a fourth Option?

    It was reported in mid-February (subscription required) that MLB had ruled Lewis Thorpe would receive a fourth option this year. However, Phill Miller of the Star Tribune reported today that may not necessarily be the case. According to this report, the fourth option is not yet official and will be determined by an arbitrator “in the next 10 days or so”.

    https://twitter.com/StribSports/status/1368919934265221126

    Thorpe has been very impressive in his outings so far this Spring. He struck out the side in his start yesterday vs. the Rays on 13 pitches. But, knowing if Thorpe receives a fourth option or not is essential for how the Twins build their roster for Opening Day and beyond. Cody Pirkl details the options (no pun intended) the Twins face.

    https://twitter.com/CodyPirkl/status/1368965733905018890

    News and Notes from around the AL Central

    With the Twins off today, I wanted to point out a couple of interesting stories that happened during Spring Training play today that are worth mentioning as it pertains to the Twins AL Central foes.

    Royals top prospect continues to impress

    If you haven’t heard the name Bobby Witt Jr. yet, you may want to get familiar. The #2 overall pick in the 2019 draft figures to be a thorn in the Twins side for many years to come. Today, he hit a 484 ft homer off Oakland A’s reliever, Yusmeiro Petit. He is now hitting .353 with 2 HR this Spring.

    https://twitter.com/JeffPassan/status/1369069528148279298

    Do the White Sox have a Kelly Leak problem?

    Ok, I know it's somewhat of a slow news day in Twins Territory but I did think this was at least interesting. White Sox fans have frequently complained on Twitter about Eloy Jimenez’s outfield ability. They’re worried his ineptitude defensively may cause him to get injured, which has happened already.

    There have been numerous times where center fielder Luis Robert and Jimenez have collided (or nearly collided). Robert, who is a potential superstar in the making, can cover as much ground as anyone. Maybe someone in the White Sox front office told him to get any ball that he can reach, a la Kelly Leak in Bad News Bears.

    https://twitter.com/ChicagoDugout/status/1369019092800258061

    Cleveland Players violate COVID Protocol

    Cleveland will be without a few key players for the foreseeable future as the team announced they have violated health & safety protocol over the weekend.

    https://twitter.com/BNightengale/status/1368601474763165697

    Minnesota Twins Home Opener Countdown is ON!

    We’ve nearly made it, baseball fans. Many Twins players took to social media today to share their excitement for the season kicking off on April 1 in Milwaukee. After a two series road trip to play the Brewers and Tigers on the road, the Twins will return home to host the Mariners on April 8.

    Be sure to check out Twins Daily everyday for news and notes from Fort Myers leading up to the start of the season!

    https://twitter.com/Twins/status/1368927679471321088

    You can follow Andrew Luedtke on Twitter here.

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    So if things work out this summer, my dad and I are planning on a "double header" where we get a game in ST Paul and Target Field. Also hoping to catch the Kernals at some point. And living here in Omaha, really Excited to catch the Saints here as well. So fans in general is kind of a big deal. But so is number of fans.

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    So if things work out this summer, my dad and I are planning on a "double header" where we get a game in ST Paul and Target Field. Also hoping to catch the Kernals at some point. And living here in Omaha, really Excited to catch the Saints here as well. So fans in general is kind of a big deal. But so is number of fans.

     

    if you want a triple header week, the weeks of May 25 and July 6 can get the Saints at Iowa and Cedar Rapids and Wichita at home.

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    That is so incredibly kind and generous of the State.

    I agree. It has been shown that there are far too many people who have no regard for the safety of themselves and others when it comes to the pandemic, yet even though we have not achieved control of the situation the State is apparently relenting and allowing those people to attend games. I just hope the State's kindness and generosity don't backfire. Even though I have been vaccinated I'm staying away until the vaccination rate is much higher and the incidence of infection is much lower.

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    That is so incredibly kind and generous of the State.

    That or they want to start collecting the taxes that are associated with everything surrounding the Twins...

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    Good. I'm not sure what numbers we should be opening up in or how quickly, but it's time to start moving that direction. At some point, we need to tear the band-aid off and live our lives again. I don't know if that should start to happen in April or June but it's going to happen soon.

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    Good. I'm not sure what numbers we should be opening up in or how quickly, but it's time to start moving that direction. At some point, we need to tear the band-aid off and live our lives again. I don't know if that should start to happen in April or June but it's going to happen soon.

     

    Yeah ... I say open up to the point that people are vaccinated. If 50% are vaccinated by mid-April, open to 50%; if by end of May it's 70%+, that's herd immunity number (right?), so, by end of May, open it all up, with incremental increases until then. But ... April 1 ... we'll see where we are at. And I don't think it will matter that much as attendance is usually lower in April anyway. But my point about Tampa remains. :)

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    Yesterday’s new CDC guidelines don’t seem to make much sense for this fully vaccinated person. Apparently, the vaccinated can “let it rip” maskless in private, We can even go out in pubic with a mask after exposure to people (even massive numbers of people) infected with the virus (no quarantine). However, somehow we become a danger sitting outside at a Twins Game with a mask but not socially distanced. Maybe, some don’t like the idea of a “vaccine passport” (“It isn’t fair to the unvaxxed”) but it would help our team put more fannies (albeit mostly old fannies for now) in the stands and selling a few more hot dogs and overpriced glasses of beer.

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    Yesterday’s new CDC guidelines don’t seem to make much sense for this fully vaccinated person. Apparently, the vaccinated can “let it rip” maskless in private, We can even go out in pubic with a mask after exposure to people (even massive numbers of people) infected with the virus (no quarantine). However, somehow we become a danger sitting outside at a Twins Game with a mask but not socially distanced. Maybe, some don’t like the idea of a “vaccine passport” (“It isn’t fair to the unvaxxed”) but it would help our team put more fannies (albeit mostly old fannies for now) in the stands and selling a few more hot dogs and overpriced glasses of beer.

     

    Yeah, I see no issue with a vaccine passport, in fact I think it's a smart way to go, especially for large events like this. But I suppose some could 'fake' it. And by the time they would put something in place, maybe enough will be vaccinated anyway. Because once more and more are vaccinated I think things will open up pretty quickly. 

     

    Hey, and I think old fannies paid the biggest price in all of this, so they should get the pleasure of being first to get to the games.

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    I’m looking at the CDC “Covid-19 Vaccination Record” card I received. It has two official looking stickers for my first and second doses of the Pfizer Vaccine. Looks harder to duplicate than the fake IDs I bought from NIPCO in my college daze (sic).

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    So if things work out this summer, my dad and I are planning on a "double header" where we get a game in ST Paul and Target Field. Also hoping to catch the Kernals at some point. And living here in Omaha, really Excited to catch the Saints here as well. So fans in general is kind of a big deal. But so is number of fans.

    That's a bit of an underrated topic in my view. The ability to simply hop on the light rail and catch a game in each end of the Green Line sounds like a great way spend a day. 

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    Sucks to be under 50 and hearing about all of these vaccinations everyone's getting - waiting in line down here in Florida and there are tons of seniors ahead of me! It's all good though, they deserve it and I'll wait my turn. At least it should be soonish, down at my other place in Guatemala it's probably not even going to happen until late 2021 or early 2022 for most.

     

    Agree with most here, understand why MN is playing it safe and I totally get it....but at some point, c'mon man. We've been on this rodeo ride for a year. I can see restrictions in the beginning because nobody knew how to handle themselves, but at this point we know what we're doing.

     

    I'm not playing politics - I'm just a baseball fan speaking from a baseball fan perspective (that's what I do on Twins Daily!) At some point soon let's just rip this damn band-aid off and get life back to normal. Gimme a foot-long hot dog, large coke and an upper deck seat - I'm ready!

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    Yeah, I see no issue with a vaccine passport, in fact I think it's a smart way to go, especially for large events like this. But I suppose some could 'fake' it. And by the time they would put something in place, maybe enough will be vaccinated anyway. Because once more and more are vaccinated I think things will open up pretty quickly. 

     

    Hey, and I think old fannies paid the biggest price in all of this, so they should get the pleasure of being first to get to the games.

    I really don't think a vaccine passport is going to be viable. There are some really interesting privacy/personal health information issues there that will no doubt be brought up in a court somewhere. By the time that is adjudicated, we'll be at herd immunity anyway. In the end I think a passport is going to be more trouble than not. 

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    Yeah ... I say open up to the point that people are vaccinated. If 50% are vaccinated by mid-April, open to 50%; if by end of May it's 70%+, that's herd immunity number (right?), so, by end of May, open it all up, with incremental increases until then. But ... April 1 ... we'll see where we are at. And I don't think it will matter that much as attendance is usually lower in April anyway. But my point about Tampa remains. :)

     

    The percentage vaccinated to this point is 10%. What are the chances anywhere near 1/2 the population vaccinated by mid-April? That would be roughly 4X the number of people vaccinated in half the time. I think we need to get a bit more realistic in how this is going to unfold.

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    The percentage vaccinated to this point is 10%. What are the chances anywhere near 1/2 the population vaccinated by mid-April? That would be roughly 4X the number of people vaccinated in half the time. I think we need to get a bit more realistic in how this is going to unfold.

     

    I was just using it as an 'if' scenario to give an example. If we are vaccinated at 30% mid-April, then open to 30% and incrementally increase. I also said once April hits, we will have to see where we are at. In no way did I suggest these to be actual or realistic ... was just trying to give an example of how we could start opening up bit by bit by maybe correlating it to vaccination percentage. When we hit 70%, we should be able to completely open, whenever that is ... maybe it's not until the All-Star break. It was just a methodology I was suggesting. I don't know where you are, but in Chicago, they are setting up mass vaccination centers and have lots of people getting ready to go whole hog as soon as supplies hit. We are already getting people in the 1c group, which wasn't originally planned for for another 2 weeks. So, imo, I think we can maybe start a plan. Again, it was just a suggestion, not me saying 'This is how it will be.'

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    I really don't think a vaccine passport is going to be viable. There are some really interesting privacy/personal health information issues there that will no doubt be brought up in a court somewhere. By the time that is adjudicated, we'll be at herd immunity anyway. In the end I think a passport is going to be more trouble than not. 

     

    As I said, by the time we could put something in place, we would probably already reach herd immunity. I, too, don't think it's practical. I like the idea of it in theory, though, but ... for all the reasons you said, it would take too long to get something like that working.

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    The percentage vaccinated to this point is 10%. What are the chances anywhere near 1/2 the population vaccinated by mid-April? That would be roughly 4X the number of people vaccinated in half the time. I think we need to get a bit more realistic in how this is going to unfold.

    Right now, roughly 20% of Minnesotans have had at least one vaccine shot (which, while not 100% effective, one shot is a big immunization in itself).

    It's the ninth of March. And the scale is only ramping up, there's a good chance we're at 30%+ of the entire population getting at least one shot by Opening Day.

    Instead of arguing about numbers, maybe take a moment to realize how much we've all done (well, some of us) to get to this point and how close we are to the end zone.

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    Right now, roughly 20% of Minnesotans have had at least one vaccine shot (which, while not 100% effective, one shot is a big immunization in itself).

    It's the ninth of March. And the scale is only ramping up, there's a good chance we're at 30%+ of the entire population getting at least one shot by Opening Day.

    Instead of arguing about numbers, maybe take a moment to realize how much we've all done (well, some of us) to get to this point and how close we are to the end zone.

     

    The effort and sacrifice is very commendable. I think most of us have a very high level of gratitude to those directly involved. That effort is not being ignored and the accomplishment is not even remotely being questioned.

     

    The effort and time required is underestimated in every source of baseball discussion I have seen or heard. That's the only point I was making. Everyone seems to take a very optimistic view. Just as you have using a number based on people who have received one shot. That's an optimistic interpretation of how many people have been vaccinated.

     

    BTW ... The 1st source I checked estimated a low number. Checking the MN Dept of Health, it would appear we are further along. I just think it's unrealistic to think attendance is going to be unrestricted until late into the baseball season.

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    I just think it's unrealistic to think attendance is going to be unrestricted until late into the baseball season.

    Almost certainly. I'm not even convinced it will happen at all this season.

     

    Which is really unfortunate because I'm super excited to take the family to at least one, hopefully more, Saints games this season.

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    I double mask ... it's called underwear, then pants

     

    (And now this thread has officially taken a very weird turn)

     

    Apologies for derailing the thread! Leaving the "l" out of public is a surprisingly common typo, which spell checkers always miss. My colleagues and I have had countless chuckles over the years when reading essays and theses referring to "pubic goods" or "pubic policy." :)

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    The effort and sacrifice is very commendable. I think most of us have a very high level of gratitude to those directly involved. That effort is not being ignored and the accomplishment is not even remotely being questioned.

     

    The effort and time required is underestimated in every source of baseball discussion I have seen or heard. That's the only point I was making. Everyone seems to take a very optimistic view. Just as you have using a number based on people who have received one shot. That's an optimistic interpretation of how many people have been vaccinated.

     

    BTW ... The 1st source I checked estimated a low number. Checking the MN Dept of Health, it would appear we are further along. I just think it's unrealistic to think attendance is going to be unrestricted until late into the baseball season.

     

    Since I kind of started this with my '50% by mid-April', let me clarify. I was just pulling an 'easy' number out to illustrate what I was suggesting. It wasn't meant to be realistic, unrealistic or anything ... was just trying to illustrate that perhaps we could use the population vaccination percentage toward reopening Target Field. If 20%, 30%, 50% are vaccinated by whatever date, that could be a corresponding percentage of how open TF could become. I stated it poorly, but never meant for anyone to take it so literally as that I was saying over all of society would be 50% vaccinated by mid-April. But I am hopeful that at some point in the season, we could go full at TF ... and maybe that is too optimistic ... but at the very least I think we are heading in the right direction.

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    Since I kind of started this with my '50% by mid-April', let me clarify. I was just pulling an 'easy' number out to illustrate what I was suggesting. It wasn't meant to be realistic, unrealistic or anything ... was just trying to illustrate that perhaps we could use the population vaccination percentage toward reopening Target Field. If 20%, 30%, 50% are vaccinated by whatever date, that could be a corresponding percentage of how open TF could become. I stated it poorly, but never meant for anyone to take it so literally as that I was saying over all of society would be 50% vaccinated by mid-April. But I am hopeful that at some point in the season, we could go full at TF ... and maybe that is too optimistic ... but at the very least I think we are heading in the right direction.

     

    I should have prefaced my statement better. I was commenting more generally as this topic has been discussed on satellite radio quite a bit.as well as many other platforms. In general, the discussion has been quite unrealistic and that's what I was pointing toward.

     

    Here is an example. On one of the radio shows, a former GM was determining what percentage of the population in his state would be vaccinated by a given date. His method was simple. He came up with the number of people he felt could be vaccinated per day. Problem is he did not take into account that the vast majority of those people would be getting vaccines that required two shots thereby doubling the amount of time to complete the process. 

     

    We all want baseball and everything else back to normal. I just think being realistic might help reduce the frustration.

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