The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome was the home of the Twins from 1982 though 2009, after which the team moved into Target Field, so it only makes sense that we check in on their old stadium as it enters its final days.
Courtesy of the Minnesota Vikings’ Twitter account, below is a look at the Metrodome before and after its trademark roof was deflated this morning. The demolition process will soon begin in order to make room for the Vikings’ new stadium, which is set to open in 2016. They’ll play at the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium until it’s ready.
The Metrodome hosted the World Series in 1987 and 1991 and the All-Star Game in 1985. Our resident Minnesotan, Aaron Gleeman, is surely toasting the stadium’s memory with a mimosa right now.
Hunter Pence was thought to be on his way to retirement after a lackluster 2018 season with the Giants. As he entered his mid-30’s, Pence spent a considerable amount of time on the injured list, playing in 389 out of 648 possible regular season games with the Giants from 2015-18.
Pence, however, kept his career going, inking a minor league deal with the Rangers in February. He performed very well in spring training, earning a spot on the Opening Day roster. Pence hasn’t stopped hitting.
Entering Monday night’s game against the Mariners, Pence was batting .299/.358/.619 with eight home runs and 28 RBI in 109 plate appearances, mostly as a DH. Statcast agrees that Pence has been mashing the ball. He has an average exit velocity of 93.3 MPH this season, which would obliterate his marks in each of the previous four seasons since Statcast became a thing. His career average exit velocity is 89.8 MPH. He has “barreled” the ball 10.4 percent of the time, well above his 6.2 percent average.
What Pence did to a baseball in the seventh inning of Monday’s game, then, shouldn’t come as a surprise.
That’s No. 9 on the year for Pence. Statcast measured it at 449 feet and 108.3 MPH off the bat. Not only is Pence not retired, he may be a lucrative trade chip for the Rangers leading up to the trade deadline at the end of July.