The fourth horseman joins the tour
We met up with Scott, an ex-university housemate of mine, at the ball park tonight. He will be part of the Man Trip for the next few days, although he won't be traveling with us. Scott and his family drove down from Winnipeg as part of their summer holidays. Scott says the trip to Minneapolis should normally take about 7 hours, but it took them three days with various site-seeing stops along the way. Of course, they spent a few days at the Mall of America here in Minneapolis.
We spent an hour at the mall today on our way to the game. It is the largest retail and entertainment center in the USA. It features 520 stores, 50 restaurants, and a seven-acre amusement park in the middle of the mall. In an hour, I didn't have enough time to get off the first floor and the east end of the mall. It was just enough time to see a cap store, hockey shop, Lego Store, and a cool sports memorabilia store. I was close to splurging on some awesome autographed items, but figured Chantal would kill me if I brought home more "junk" for my basement.
It was a short drive from the mall to the stadium. We found some nearby parking and headed in. Target Field is the first stadium on our tour that is ideally located for mass transit. There is a Light Rail station right behind the park (hmm - something else that Ottawa could learn from another city). There is also a regular commuter train station next to the park. After the game, we were out of the park and on the road within minutes without any wait time.
Target Field is an ultra-modern facility, opened just last season. Unlike the parks in Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh, it is not trying for a retro feel. At least, I don't think it was trying for one. It is still an impressive place. We had to sit in one of the upper sections, because the Yankees were the opponent. We were in a section that was heavily populated with happy (and inebriated) New Yorkers. The coolest part was having free WiFi on my iPad. It allowed me to look up player stats during the game and to view game highlights. I had plenty of people looking over my shoulder to see the replay of the Morneau's homer that was changed to a foul ball. The replay we had access to, clearly showed it was foul, so the umps got it right.
There was plenty of offense in Thursday's game as the Bronx Bombers won 8-4 thanks to homers by Mark Teixeia, Nick Swisher and Andruw Jones. Jones was swinging a hot bat. His homer, No. 8 on the season, went to the upper deck in left, some 434 feet from home. He also singled and walked. At one point he drilled a foul ball into the top deck just missing a second homer. He also flew out to the deepest part of center.