The Minnesota Twins defeated the Detroit Tigers 6-5 in 12 innings Tuesday night to win the American League Central title, and I’m not happy.
Not because the Twins won per se. They’ve been a terrific story this season, charging from behind to tie the Tigers and force the one-game playoff for the division title.
What irritates me is the prospect of at least one more baseball game being played in the abomination that is the Metrodome. Although I’ve never set foot in it, I’ve loathed that dome for years.
When the Brewers were in the American League and played there, I hated it on general principles.
When Kirby Puckett and Kent Hrbek and that generation of Twins were in their heyday, I hated it for the homer hankies the fans waved. (I’ve always hated any team whose fans in an act of mass silliness wave hankies or towels or – please, God, no – thundersticks.)
I even hate the dome in football season, as in the past two weeks when the 49ers and Packers lost in succession to the Vikings.
Why do I find the dome so revolting? I don’t begrudge the Twins and Vikings fans a warm place to sit when it’s freezing outside. But the Metrodome is an over-the-top artificial environment, a chamber of Nordic screams designed to rile and rattle the opposing team. The building is a huge advantage for the home squad, and unfairly so.
There are other domes in professional sports. I’ve been in Skydome or whatever it’s now called in Toronto and the old Kingdome in Seattle (inset), for which I had a minimal, grudging tolerance. I’ve also been in Miller Park in Milwaukee, with the roof open and closed. None of those parks approaches the Metrodome in affecting the outcome of a game.
Quirky differences among ballparks parks add to baseball’s appeal — the Green Monster at Fenway Park, the ivy at Wrigley Field, McCovey Cove in San Francisco, the arches at Yankee stadia, old and new. Those features constitute charm and give the home team a bit of a boost. But they don’t loom oppressively over the game as does the Metrodome.
That the Twins are moving to the new Target Field next season is good news. It can’t come soon enough.