Saturday, January 18, 2014

Notes, quotes and comment

Workers removed seats from the Metrodome last week.
Power to the building is to be cut off today, which
will deflate the Teflon-and-canvas roof.
Today the Metrodome is to be deflated, I believe for the first time intentionally. I had a bird's eye view as a college student living in a high-rise apartment to the east of the Dome as it was being built. I attended, I dare say, hundreds of games there. I was witness to some of the best moments there, and some of the worst. Some of them, to be honest, are kind of the same. I'm thinking of the Dave Kingman popup that never came down; I was there, wondering if the law of gravity had been repealed. It was both a travesty and impressive.

There's a piece of me that will miss the dump. Target Field is a better place to watch baseball, to be sure. But I spent too much time in the Dome not to feel some fondness for it.

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Friday was the deadline for exchanging arbitration figures, and hence a day when the posturing between the two parties ends.

The Twins had three arbitration-eligible players -- Trevor Plouffe, Brian Duensing and Anthony Swarzak -- and signed all three Friday. The projected payroll is roughly $85 million, slightly more than in 2013. (It's projected because there are only 12 players officially signed; most of the 40-man roster has too little experience to have the leverage of arbitration or free agency.

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The approval of instant replay was announced earlier in the week. I was wary when Bud Selig announced that expanded replay was coming; I remain wary today.

A couple of pluses: The system put forth last summer has been refined; and its clear that management and players union alike expect further revision after it's been seen in action.

It's worth noting, as well, that the "neighborhood play" on double plays is exempt from review. Nobody wants to force middle infielders to linger around second base to get clobbered.

So that's one significant change down, one to go. Exactly how baseball is going to legislate the home plate collision out of the game remains to be seen.

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