Let's All Go Ask Some Tough Questions Tonight
As I wrote in my City Pages A-List entry, tonight is the official groundbreaking of the forthcoming Twins Stadium. Needless to say, it's only going to remain "Twins Stadium" until old Carl gets his many millions from whatever corporation showers him and his minions with more cash. Target Field? General Mills Stadium? Taxpayer Park?
It behooves Twins fans to attend this silly little bread-and-circuses gathering, if only to express rampant disbelief at the Twins handling of the thing. First they rammed it through the legislature, using political slight of hand like I've never seen in this state (including getting a no taxes Governor to approve), and then didn't even bother to buy the damned land. Now that there's a stadium definitely on its way, they're upset that the landowners want more money? You think?
Wonder, too, whether there will even be a decent team on the field when it opens in two-and-a-quarter seasons. The Twins made so many promises and threats in the long journey to the new digs, promises that were outright lies and that are proving to be outright lies. Such as that they'll be contracted (no evidence ever existed that that would happen), that they were going to move (where?), and that the stadium would generate enough income to finally make the Twins competitive (which flies in the face of recent years' performance). Today's program, which will highlight the history of the team, will no doubt ignore or gloss over the fact that the Twins already pulled the plug once, jerking themselves from Washington, D.C. because their owner thought there were way too many African-Americans fouling up his stadium (this is also repeated in numerous baseball histories outside of Wikipedia, including Brad Snyder's magnificent Beyond the Shadow of the Senators).
The stadium's a done deal, but it is using public funds, and as such is a part of public policy, which therefore makes tonight's soiree both a celebration and a forum for protest and debate. The Save the Met guys are going to be there, marching with a banner that asks us to, well, save the Met, as well as proclaiming that "We Was Right All Along". More importantly, however, is the rest of us asking for accountability, at the very least (the very least) to a management team that has been handed this golden calf but has done very little this year to put a competitive team on the field this year. How many of today's players are even going to be around when this thing is finished? And what kind of team are we going to see in three years? Will the stadium open with the warm glow of the '08 or '09 champion? Or will it open under the dark cloud of a program that never met its full potential, and is struggling to rebuild?