Monday, March 10, 2008

That bittersweet light at the end of the winter tunnel must be April. Play ball Pay taxes - baseball existed decades before the Constitution was altered in 1913 introducing Americans to the internal revenue service (yes, service) so I suspect the first time citizens were told "you have until April 15th to come up with the money or else" preoccupation with the beginning of the season accompanied by the springtime imperative to plant seeds distracted them from questioning a yearly payoff to the same bully who needs daily bread. Last years tax deadline fell on a sunday i know this because in a panic, not realizing we had been graciously granted a 24 hour extension to postmark the payment, i rushed downtown and crossed paths near the mailbox with Twins manager Ron Gardenhire who I hadnt seen since the time he cut in line in front of me at the bank. I ended up following (not stalking) him to the construction site of the future ballpark where the team was holding an unveiling ceremony featuring the design specifications and despite the fact that it wont be open for business until 2010 Gardenhire informed reporters he was especially pleased with the location of the manager's office (see 4/13/07 star tribune). Obviously impressed with his job performance (6-15 postseason) Gardy is oblivious to a scenario where he isnt managing the Twins and that thought haunted me on what should have been a celebratory occasion. Attempting to drive away the depression I delved deeper into the stadium blueprints and found my silver lining - No Retractable Roof ! - How many of us fleeing the H.H.H. Metrodome in search of outdoor baseball roadtripped to Miller Park only to find the roof on because of a hint of rain or chilly conditions. Even when the retractable slides off it casts a shadow over most of the seats leaving suckers in the shade pondering the tax increase which made it possible to block out the sun 81 times per year rather than suffer 1 or 2 weather related cancellations. It never did rain during my last stay in Milwaukee yet 2 of 3 games were played with the lid down and sadly I was in the minority registering my disgust convincing me that the national past time is sitting indoors. Cold ? Windy ? Chance of snow ? Come 2010 I'll be scooping up tickets below face value while u secretly wish to be protected from the world by Hubert H. Humphrey in his temperature controlled mausoleum. How dare the sky involve itself in major league baseball doesnt it realize 21st century fans are entitled to a risk free experience sheltered from both ominous clouds and the sun's deadly rays.