You can get hitched at the Twins' new ballpark

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In an effort to boost revenue streams Target Field will be home to more than just baseball games when the Twins’ new $550 million ballpark opens in a couple months, with Allison Kaplan of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reporting that the team plans to host weddings, bar mitzvahs, reunions, charity balls, and various other private events.
If you’re willing to fork over $5,000 the ballpark has space that can accommodate 800 guests for a sit-down meal and for an added fee you can even get Harmon Killebrew, Rod Carew, or Tony Oliva to show up. A wedding at home plate costs $3,500 and I’m endlessly amused to note that my friend and fellow Twins blogger Howard Sinker will be the first to get married at Target Field:

Howard Sinker and Julie Townsend have the distinction of being the first couple getting married (off field) at Target Field on April 24. They met at a playoff game party in 2004 and shared season tickets throughout their courtship.



“When we were looking at places where we could possibly get married that would be meaningful and fun, this was at the top of the list,” said Sinker, a Web sports coordinator for StarTribune.com who reported on the Twins in the 1980s.



Their love of baseball does have its limits. “We wouldn’t have done this at the Metrodome,” Townsend said. “It’s not going to be a baseball-themed wedding. We’re having a nice, elegant wedding that happens to be at a baseball field. (Target Field) has totally exceeded my expectations.”

Having watched a Twins game with Sinker and his lovely fiancee that sounds like a perfect fit, whereas getting married at the Metrodome sounded like something to threaten your girlfriend with in the middle of a fight. As in, “If you make me sit through another dinner at your parents’ house we’re getting married at the Metrodome!” Mazel tov, Howard.

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

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Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.

On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.

Rockies sign 30-year lease to stay in Coors Field

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Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies agreed to a $200 million, 30-year lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which is the state division that owns Coors Field. As part of the deal, the Rockies will lease and develop a plot of land south of the stadium, which will cost the team $125 million for 99 years.

As Groke points out, had the Rockies not reached a deal by Thursday, March 30, the lease would have rolled over for five more years.

Rockies owner Dick Monfort issued a statement, saying, “We are proud that Coors Field will continue to be a vital part of a vibrant city, drawing fans from near and far and making our Colorado residents proud.”

The Rockies moved into Coors Field in 1995. It is the National League’s third oldest stadium. In that span of time, the Rockies have made the playoffs three times, the last coming in 2009 when they lost in the NLDS to the Phillies. The Rockies were swept in the 2007 World Series by the Red Sox.