Posted at 2:49 PM on April 9, 2009
by Chris Dall
As the excitement builds toward the opening of the Target Field next Spring, and the final game in the building that Strib columnist Pat Reusse deemed a "miserable facility," it might be time to acknowledge what the Twins might be losing as they head for greener pastures.
Yes, the Metrodome is an architectural atrocity and a terrible facility for baseball. But for all it lacks in aesthetics, one thing you can say about the Dome is that the Twins have, for the most part, played very well there, and in big games the building appears to give them advantage. The Twins' 8-0 record in eight World Series games at the Dome bolsters that argument. It may all be perception, but when the Twins are putting together a rally in the late innings, the Dome just seems to provide them with an edge.
Tuesday night's game comeback win against Seattle provided just one example of a benefit to playing in the Dome. Denard Span's infield chopper, which kept the inning going for the Twins, almost certainly isn't a hit on a natural grass field. Over the years, there have been countless similar hits that have helped the team, plus all the balls that opposing players have lost in the lights. And the noise.
I certainly won't miss the Metrodome as a place to watch a ballgame. But come next Spring, when the Twins are down a run in the 9th with men on, I might be wishing they could call on a little of that Dome magic.
Posted at 9:14 PM on April 9, 2009
by David Zingler
The Lynx had 3 of the top 15 picks in Thursday's WNBA Draft, in addition to the 30th pick. Here is a recap of what each player and coach Don Zierden had to say moments after the selections were made.
4. Renee Montgomery, G, Connecticut, 5-7, 12/2/86 - Charleston, WV
On her busy week:
"It's been a roller coaster. After winning the National Championship (on Tuesday), I was excited. I was relieved we really did it...(before the draft) I was just nervous about where I was going to play and who I am going to be playing with and where I am going to be going. I was a lot of different emotions all at once."
On being drafted:
"I really had no idea where I was going to go....it was a good feeling just to drafted, to hear your name called after a lot of years of hard work to hear your name called and know you are now a professional athlete is just a really good feeling."
On playing with Seimone Augustus:
"I am excited. Seimone, of course, is an Olympian, so I know I can learn a lot from her. I am just excited to play in a lineup with people who have been in the league and done it before."
"(I have) a team mentality. I think my thought process - nothing else matters - I put the team first all of the time. That's something I know I will bring because that's a part of me."
"We had no idea that Renee Montgomery would be sitting there at #4...those of you who watched the NCAA Tournament closely - to have her at 4 - I didn't see any mock drafts having Renee Montgomery at 4."
9. Quanitra Hollingsworth, C, Virginia Commonwealth, 6-5, 11/15/88 - Chesapeake, VA
On the Draft:
"I actually chose not to watch it (laughs). I actually just pulled into my driveway on my way home (from class). I got a couple of phone calls from people letting me know I had made it and things like that. I am very excited, but I wasn't in front of the television when it happened."
On her unique background:
"I ultimately skipped 5th and 6th grade which allowed me to start high school at the age of 11. I graduated (from high school) at 15. I chose to take an athletic scholarship rather than an academic...I got my bachelor's (degree) in science and operations research and a minor in computer science. I am currently in grad school for computer science."
"I've always enjoyed academics. I have an unlimited passion for mathematics and the sciences. When I was young, I pretty much made up in my mind that I was going to something related to computers. When I got bigger I found out that I could do more of the mathematical analysis. So, I am kind of doing both now."
"I can pretty much guarantee we won't finish last in rebounding (like last year) because we have me on our side and I am very confident in my teammates - the draft picks and the people we have coming back. That will guarantee we won't be last."
"Quanitra Hollingsworth is a puppy - she's a 20-year-old woman who has already graduated from college and almost finished graduate school - extremely intelligent, 6-5 - legit, strong (assistant coaches) Jim Petersen and Jen Gillom have been telling me 'you have got to see this girl, got to see this girl', so I went out and watched Rutgers play Virginia Commonwealth in the NCAA Tournament and I came home and said 'I saw her and I like her.'"
"(This) young woman can play, people just don't know about her....Stanford talked to her (out of high school); the reason she didn't go to Stanford is mom said, 'I am not going to let a 15-year-old go across the country.' The reason a lot of college coaches didn't see her - those of you who know the AAU situation - when she was a senior in high school she was playing 15 and under and not a lot of college coaches go to the 15 and under groups, they go to watch the 17 and under group. So, I think she kind of went under the radar."
15. Rashanda McCants, G/FW, North Carolina, 6-1, 11/17/86 - Asheville, NC
On being drafted:
"I was nervous thinking 'Who am I going to go to?', 'How far am I going to fall down?' and 'What team would suit me best?' I was absolutely thrilled when Minnesota called me because I was kind of crossing my fingers that would be one of the teams that would pick me just because of the players there and I knew that personality wise, it would be a great fit for me."
On her brother, Rashad:
"My brother and I for some reason have this 'follow me' thing going on where everywhere he's been, I have kind of copied him. Ironically enough, he was the 14th pick to Minnesota (in 2005) and I'm the 15th pick to Minnesota. I honestly don't think any brother-sister combo has ever done that. I think it's really exciting to have that on our hands."
"I think we're similar as far as on the court; if you want us to score no problem at all. I don't want to take away from my brother at all - I think he's a great player and he's very misunderstood - I am very personable. I love kids, I love people, I don't ever mind signing autographs. There's nothing I won't do for a fan or anything."
"Sometimes it (bothers me that) they ask about him before they ask about me, but that's just the way it is. I've been in his shadow all of my life. I am kind of used to that."
On her game:
"I am very versatile - a guard that can do anything. If you want me to go and bang and rebound, I'm there. If you want me to pass to the open player or the spot player, I'm there. If you want me to take shots, I'm there. I've always been that type of player - tell me what you want and I can do it.
"I could not believe Rashanda McCants was there (at 15th overall). We had her going to Detroit at 11 - long, athletic, can defend all day long. For those of you who have watched North Carolina - she was their main defender. She goes to the boards which helps us in another area. We had great background check reports on her and so we were very pleased to take her at 15."
"(She's a) super young woman. We knew if we took a McCants we were going to get the attitude question and 'the acorn falling far from the tree' - whatever cliché you want to use....everything in our background check said 'good character'. I can tell you what, if it isn't, we'll take care of that too."
30. Emily Fox, G, Minnesota, 5-9, 4/23/87 - Highland Ranch, CO
"I am a Minnesota native. I like what the Gopher program is doing. I like Emily Fox's body of work over 4 years and I thought she should be rewarded with a chance to come into training camp and make our team."
(Zierden photo by David Zingler; Montgomery & McCants courtesy of Getty Images)