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  • Twins Fans Ride Out Severe Weather at Wednesday's Suspended Game


    Melissa Berman

    Wednesday's game vs the Houston Astros will no doubt be a memorable one for the fans and staff who were in attendance- even though they only saw 3 innings.

    Image courtesy of Melissa Berman

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    Under a fittingly dark and foreboding sky, the Twins took the field alongside Darth Vader and a gaggle of stormtroopers in honor of Star Wars Night.
     
    From the moment "Obi-wan Kepleroni" and "Buck Skywalker" took the field, the wind was already whipping. Napkins and trash swirled across the field and fans chased hats ripped from their heads. As the first couple innings passed, the sky continued to darken until finally the rain opened up during the bottom of the second inning and sent fans scattering for the overhang and concourse.
     
    "It's watering down my beer!" a guy with a beer near me exclaimed as we both bolted for shelter.
     
    The Astros jumped all over Chris Archer and quickly took a 5-1 lead. The teams continued to play on through the rain and even some lightning (no comment on that one), but once reports of a tornado warning in nearby Eden Prairie came through, it seemed like only a matter of time until the rain and severe weather would continue its eastward march, reach downtown Minneapolis and bring the game to a halt. It was not lost on me that there was a tornado confirmed in Hutchinson, a mere hour west of Minneapolis, and my family and friends in the west metro were sheltered in basements, yet here we were at a baseball game completely exposed to the elements and in the storm's path. 
     
    Sure enough, as the Twins took the field to begin the 4th inning, the grounds crew came out to tidy up the infield dirt (a fool's errand with the incoming rain, I thought to myself) and rookie reliever Yennier Cano warmed up on the mound, out came the tarp and into a rain delay the game went- before Cano could throw his first MLB pitch. Interestingly, it will go down as the date of his MLB debut
     
    The Target Field Grounds Crew visibly struggled in the high winds to get the tarp down on the ground, and it was so windy that they had to weigh down the tarp with nine golf carts parked along its corners and sides.
     
    The Twins PA announcer and the outfield big screen instructed fans to seek shelter on the concourse and displayed an ominous radar graphic showing a giant mass of dark colors headed directly our way.
     
     
    At first, fans on the 300 level were allowed to stay on the upper concourse, where they mostly mingled and took videos of the torrential rain being blown across the field. I was doing exactly that when a concession worker walked up. 
     
    "Do you want to see a really great view of the sky?" he asked. 
     
    He motioned me to follow him, and we walked past a concession stand over to a beautiful view of North Loop overlooking the lightrail station. Lighting radiated across the sky and I snapped some pictures as a young man next to me profusely apologized to his date for the terrible game experience. You know the saying, you can't control the weather, but you can check the forecast. Actually, I just made that up. 
     
    The concession stand worker stopped by about five minutes later to take another look at the sky.
     
    "You're still here?" he asked me.
     
    Sirens began wailing, and the ushers shepherded us to the lower concourse, which was jam-packed with soggy fans. I found a spot overlooking the field above the first base dugout and watched. I have truly never seen anything like it: the rain was coming down in such thick sheets that you could barely see the outfield video boards. The National Weather Service Twin Cities tweeted that the storm was expecting to bring Minneapolis wind gusts of up to 80 mph. A damage survey conducted the next day on Thursday May 12 concluded that an EF0 tornado touched down in Coon Rapids 15 miles north of Target Field. 
     
    Despite the torrential downpour, I was awestruck with how well the Target Field drainage system seemed to be keeping up. While there was rain pooled on top of the tarp, the water on the infield dirt and surrounding grass was largely dissipating. 
     
     
    As time ticked by, Target Field tried to find ways to keep fans entertained. With their tongue in cheek, they played "Rain Is A Good Thing" by Luke Bryan, which fans gleefully sang along to, and the Twins alternated between showing a Marney Gellner interview with Justin Morneau and an apocalyptic warning to stay sheltered. Unfortunately for those looking to dance, Club Rayne did not open today because the Twins cleared fans out of all seats. 
     
    Fans appeared to be in good spirits during the delay, though some outwardly questioned why the Twins decided to play the game at all given the evening's forecast. 
     
    At one point, a guy took advantage of there being no security on the field and ran onto the field. He ran across the tarp (without slipping, somehow) before he was apprehended near the third base dugout in a somewhat anticlimactic fashion- no tackling or chasing, he simply stopped running and walked into the loving, open arms of Target Field security. 
     
    Though the severe weather had blown through by about 8:40 p.m., it continued to rain steadily, and it looked like it would continue until midnight. The concourse started to empty out. 
     
    Then at 9:17 p.m., 1 hour and 20 minutes after they first rolled out the tarp, the Twins officially announced they were suspending the game until the following day, Thursday May 12 at 12:10 p.m. The Twins would pick up in the top of the 4th inning down 5-1.
     
    After being almost no-hit by Justin Verlander the day before, it was not the start of the game the Twins were hoping for. Can we get a do-over?
     
    Regardless, to me, Wednesday's game was one of those sporting events that is so bizarre that it rises to the level of being fun.
     
    The remaining fans in the stadium trickled out as "Have You Ever Seen The Rain?" by Creedence Clearwater Revival played overhead. I sloshed back to my car dreaming of sunnier days ahead- both in the forecast and on the baseball diamond. 
     
    ***
    Were you at the game yesterday or watching from somewhere else that got hit by severe weather? What was your experience like? Leave your comments, thoughts, and stories below. 

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    Wow - you were able to really get a big story out of a 4 inning game suspension!  Good job.

    I look forward to Cano getting able to throw a pitch.

    I am concerned that Archer, like Bundy is showing the bad side of his pitching - both of them have two clunkers in a row.  Is this reality or a little slump.  With Paddack down, our team better turn back to the younger arms.  Archer ERA jumps to 4.43.  Bundy 5.76. Paddack 4.03.  When does Ober come back?  

    Gray, Ryan, Winder, Ober, and ???  I know Bundy and Archer will get more starts, but if they continue this pattern I hope the leash is short.

    Despite the fact that the Twins would rather start over, I think the new idea of suspended games that resume is a good thing.  

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    Was there with the fam, fully aware that it was going to be a 'hang with kids' and 'watch the radar' game rather than a 'kick back and watch baseball' sort of game. Started heading to the car before things got crazy because sleep for kids is more important that potentially waiting out a rain delay....

    Loved all that the Twins did to lean in to the theme - the player images/names on the scoreboard (Poloncao's surprised face on C-3P0's body was awesome), thematic branding throughout. Great experience for my Star Wars obsessed kids (and myself).

    Any idea if the Star Wars themed intro video will be available anywhere online? Lightsabers instead of bats and blaster bolts instead of thrown balls was great.....but Anakin holding 2 lightsabers to Orbit's neck with Palpatine saying 'Do it' was classic.

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    I purchased tickets to yesterday's game for my daughter and her family (close to $300) for 4 tickets.  Main reason was Correa would be playing against Houston.  I bought a Correa jersey for my 10 year old grandson when he first signed so thought it would be a fun game to attend.  Star Wars night was a plus and the fact that the ownership seems to be investing in the team weighed into my decision.  Well it didn't turn out to be a good night first because Correa didn't play, and then the weather (spent a lot of time in the underground shelter).  They can't go to today's game so hoping getting replacement tickets to another game will be a possibility.  That is a lot of money to pay for a family of 4 to attend less than 1/2 of a baseball game.

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    some outwardly questioned why the Twins decided to play the game at all given the evening's forecast.” Twins management showed a lack of good judgement last night. Forecast was clear. Thumbs down on them.

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    Melissa Berman
  • Twins Daily Contributor
  • Posted (edited)

    1 hour ago, dvaupel said:

    Was there with the fam, fully aware that it was going to be a 'hang with kids' and 'watch the radar' game rather than a 'kick back and watch baseball' sort of game. Started heading to the car before things got crazy because sleep for kids is more important that potentially waiting out a rain delay....

    Loved all that the Twins did to lean in to the theme - the player images/names on the scoreboard (Poloncao's surprised face on C-3P0's body was awesome), thematic branding throughout. Great experience for my Star Wars obsessed kids (and myself).

    Any idea if the Star Wars themed intro video will be available anywhere online? Lightsabers instead of bats and blaster bolts instead of thrown balls was great.....but Anakin holding 2 lightsabers to Orbit's neck with Palpatine saying 'Do it' was classic.

    I was really impressed with how much they did for Star Wars Night- excellent points from you. I've been to sporting events where they barely mentioned the theme, but the Twins did a ton in just the small sample size we saw! They had an entire intro video like the Star Wars opening credit scenes, photoshop graphics and unique names for every player, they played Star Wars music, had Star Wars characters on the field and TC was costumes, and giveaway shirts, They probably had a lot more planned too. Really well done by them.

    Edited by Melissa Berman
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    21 minutes ago, Doctor Gast said:

    IMO playing the red hot Astros under these conditions were far from ideal, it should have called much sooner.

    I can't imagine how hard it must've been trying to pitch and hit your spots in high winds. I'm willing to cut Archer some slack here 

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    1 hour ago, MABB1959 said:

    I purchased tickets to yesterday's game for my daughter and her family (close to $300) for 4 tickets.  Main reason was Correa would be playing against Houston.  I bought a Correa jersey for my 10 year old grandson when he first signed so thought it would be a fun game to attend.  Star Wars night was a plus and the fact that the ownership seems to be investing in the team weighed into my decision.  Well it didn't turn out to be a good night first because Correa didn't play, and then the weather (spent a lot of time in the underground shelter).  They can't go to today's game so hoping getting replacement tickets to another game will be a possibility.  That is a lot of money to pay for a family of 4 to attend less than 1/2 of a baseball game.

    Holy cow, sorry it ended up being so costly and such a bummer. Looks like you will get credit for any future 2022 home game if you bought the tickets from the Twins, so hopefully you can all make it out! Luckily lots more chances to wear that Correa jersey! 😄 I bought one for this season too! 

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    Melissa Berman
  • Twins Daily Contributor
  • Posted (edited)

    3 hours ago, mikelink45 said:

    Wow - you were able to really get a big story out of a 4 inning game suspension!  Good job.

    I look forward to Cano getting able to throw a pitch.

    I am concerned that Archer, like Bundy is showing the bad side of his pitching - both of them have two clunkers in a row.  Is this reality or a little slump.  With Paddack down, our team better turn back to the younger arms.  Archer ERA jumps to 4.43.  Bundy 5.76. Paddack 4.03.  When does Ober come back?  

    Gray, Ryan, Winder, Ober, and ???  I know Bundy and Archer will get more starts, but if they continue this pattern I hope the leash is short.

    Despite the fact that the Twins would rather start over, I think the new idea of suspended games that resume is a good thing.  

    Thanks for the kind words! It was so windy yesterday and must've been so difficult to hit spots that I'm willing to cut Archer sIack, but short leash indeed. Ober threw a practice bullpen yesterday, so hopefully that's a good sign. As long as we have Ryan and a couple other solid starters I feel pretty good about where the starting pitching is at. 

    I'm glad they just pick up the game where they left off too. Even though it would be beneficial for the Twins in this case to start over, it's nice for the players that they won't have a true doubleheader. Might as well just pick up where we left and save some time. Hoping for a split today!

    Edited by Melissa Berman
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    I was surprised the game started as it was totally clear by 7pm that the front was large (cover half the state large), involved very severe weather, and was going to hit well before the 5th inning.

    I'm guessing management (probably including the Astros) knew it wouldn't finish, but figured however many innings they got in was that many less played in finishing the game today. With a regular rainstorm that might be a decent move, but the severity made it pretty sketchy (3 innings gained against exposing their fans to intense winds, rain, lightning, and threat of tornado).

    Can't help thinking this is a bit of fallout from the stupid lockout (teams have fewer off-days for makeups), and getting rid of the 7-inning doubleheaders (a d/h today would be 14 innings compared to the 15 they will play finishing the suspended game and then a full regulation game). Good thing the fallout was tragedy free this time.

    Edited by PatPfund
    'Cause I'm a bad writer and left a word out
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    Is that a new rule that the game is continued today?    I was hoping for a rainout so they would get a do over today?    Is there a point where it would be a do over?   If it was rained out after 5 innings would it be counted as a game or continued?

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    1 hour ago, RpR said:

    Well Sixty miles or so North of the Stadium, the sky is now dark and thunder in the distance so I really doubt there will be a game today.

    So far so good out here!! Looks like staying north for now. 

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