A Quick Word about the Minnesota Twins’ Empty Stadium

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This is not a picture of today’s game between the Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers, played at Target Field. I don’t have one because I didn’t go. I did not see Brian Dozier’s record-setting home run, and I did not see the Twins lose (checks score) woof, 9-2. Instead, here’s me sitting on a Midway Stadium billboard making America great again.

Below is a picture of people who may have taken pictures, may have seen the home run, and may have stuck around for that David Twohy flick of a score.

Are you surprised? Shocked? Awed? Why?

No, really: why?

There was quite the hullabaloo on social media surrounding today’s attendance (if that’s what you want to call it) and I briefly argued that nobody should be surprised in the least. Let’s discuss why. Just for funsies, I’ll even leave out the whole “Twins are going to lose 100 games” tidbit.

From now on, I mean.

I forgot baseball was even happening. I just checked the standings. Do you realize some teams still have 11 games yet to play, then we have the single-elimination wild-card games, then we have that first round, then we’ve got the League Championship Series, then we’ve got the World Series. When is that happening, by the way?

(Checks calendar)

It begins at the end of October; and, if the World Series goes more than five games, will stretch into November. By this time, the NHL and NBA seasons will have begun and the NFL season will be about halfway through.

Didn’t they used to call them “the boys of summer”? Today was the first day of fall. Most of us are tired of baseball, so it becomes an afterthought unless our team is dynamic. When the NFL regular season starts, it needs to be playoff time in Major League Baseball. One way or another, that’s how it has to be.

We’re back to hating the Pohlads. Surprise, right?

The weather was “Meh”, but that could be glued onto the end of the first reason. Let’s talk about a Thursday mid-day game, though.

A Thursday mid-day game. Okay. You’ve seen “Moneyball,” right, or at least are even acutely aware of what “Moneyball” meant, or who the main character was inspired by, or who — YES I KNOW HE’S GETTING DIVORCED. Sheesh.

Baseball is now a game driven, and I mean driven, by advanced statistics. In a simpler time, we browsed the backs of our baseball cards for home run totals, RBIs, runs scored, batting average, steals, and strikeouts. Now, baseball is a weird spreadsheet stew filled with noodles like “BAPIP,” “uZR,” and a bunch of dorked-up tallies based on theoreticals that mean NOTHING in the scope of an actual baseball game.

Look at baseball-reference.com quick. You don’t want to? Fine. Here’s what I wanted to show you:

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What the deuce does that even mean? And “assumes an average fielder”? I thought statistics weren’t supposed to assume. If I wanted to make an assumption, I can do that with no information at all. My no-fact assumption would be infinitely simpler to drum up and just as valuable as a theoretical stat that’s nine word long.

There’s one more, hold on.

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They call this “simple rating system.” Notice how the Twins are rated higher than a team with 14 more wins than them. What is this even for? Why do we need it? There is already a simple rating system in place and it’s their win-loss record. Do you honestly think anyone in Twins upper management sees this and says, “Huh, we’re actually simple-rated 25th. That’s not so bad“?

With all the resources this community is putting into calculating how many more wins Mike Trout is worth to the Angels over a replacement-level player (the answer: about 40 less than they need), you’d think someone could devise a better system for scheduling games.

Wouldn’t it make more sense to bake in space for double-headers based on a team’s history of being rained/snowed/hurricane-d out, and brew up flexible schedules that strengthen the odds of double-headers being played on weekends or something?

It’s kind of like how the NFL could easily schedule a team’s Thursday night game after their bye week so they didn’t have to get their brains bashed in twice in five days, but the NFL doesn’t acutally care about its players. That’s another story.

I mean, hey: the Yankees have 25 million people living in their vicinity. Do they even sell out weekday afternoon games? That’s the best a team could hope for. On the other end of pole, this is far from the first field photo I’ve seen like this; but, if it’s cool with Major League Baseball, I guess it’s cool with me.

STILL GOT TIME? Here’s a timeline of Sunday’s Vikings-Packers game, and a timeline of Minnesota’s playoff loss back in January.