They’re not complaining about the dimensions or the wind patterns. They’re complaining about the glare. Hitting coach Joe Vavra:
“There’s a lot of light that reflects off that wall [beyond center
field], maybe because of all the glass. It has been borderline dangerous
at some points. You can see some of the catchers having trouble catching the ball,
and if the catcher can’t catch it, I don’t think you’re going to be able
to hit it.”
They’re also getting a lot of glare from the giant Twins logo with the two dudes shaking hands. Some of the suggestions to address it include netting and non-glare coating and stuff. The team says it will work on it.
No park is perfect when it opens. There are always little tweaks. This one, though, would seem like a safety issue. There’s a reason parks have batter’s eyes out in center: so the batter can see the ball and not, you know, get cold-cocked with it. If Target Field is distracting hitters and not allowing them to follow the ball all the way in, it’s a big problem.
NOTE: For the safety of our readers, I included a pic of Target Field on an overcast day. Can’t be too careful.
As per tradition, towards the end of the regular season, veterans on baseball’s various clubs haze the rookies by making them dress up and do something a bit embarrassing. That used to include things like making rookies dress up like women and carry pink backpacks, but Major League Baseball banned that practice, so veterans had to get marginally more creative.
The Phillies had their rookies — including Rhys Hoskins, J.P. Crawford, and Nick Williams — dress up like characters in Grease and perform “Greased Lightning” at their hotel in Atlanta on Friday night. Not only did the Phils’ vets and other members of the crew get a free show, but so did employees of the hotel and nearby hotel patrons.
Video with sound is not currently allowed to be embedded, so click here for that.
As MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki explains, Hoskins was the inspiration for the gag as he has earned the nickname “Rhys Lightning.” (Rhys, for the uninitiated, rhymes with “Grease.”) Hoskins said, “You always hear about team chemistry. I think stuff like that let’s you get to know guys on a different level, when you’re not at the field. You just become more personable with people. The better relationships you have, there’s a different level of playing for each other. And I think that’s usually a sign of a good team.”
The Twins also had some fun at the rookies’ expense:
Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge went yard twice in Sunday afternoon’s 9-5 loss to the Blue Jays, bringing his season total up to 48. That leaves him just one home run shy of tying the single-season rookie record set by Mark McGwire with the Athletics in 1987.
After Sunday’s performance, Judge is hitting .281/.416/.610 with 48 home runs, 105 RBI, and 122 runs scored in 651 plate appearances. He has the AL Rookie of the Year Award on lock and is neck-and-neck with the Astros’ Jose Altuve, Chris Sale of the Red Sox, and the Indians’ Corey Kluber in the AL MVP Award race.