As ardent as a Twins fan as I am as I look at the upcoming season, I could easily see the Twins ending up in fourth place. That being said I could just as easily see them winning the division in a comfortable fashion. The days of the AL "Comedy" Central are long gone as the division now has 4 teams that could all legitemetly win the World Series. The only thing that I think is a for sure this year in the Cental is that the Royals will remian in the cellar. But with Clevland’s revamped bullpen, the 2005 World Champion White Sox, and the 2006 AL Champion Tigers, along with the Twins, anything could happen. The next seven months are going to be incredible… and in the end I still think the Twins will pull through and end up with their fifth division title in six years.
Anyone that has any type of familiarity with the struggle to get a new Twins stadium built in the Twin Cities over the past 10 years can’t be too surprised at the newest hurdle that was put in between the Twins and a new downtown Minneapolis ballpark. For those that are not familiar with the decade long struggle, looking at the latest road block in this tangled web provides a microcosm through which to look at the entire situation. After what appeared to be a victory in getting the state to approve a public financing plan that included a partnership between the Twins and Hennepin County, the seemingly trivial step of acquiring the land was all that stood between the Twins and a planned March ground breaking ceremony. But even the acquisition of the land, seen as an afterthought by most has become a problem. It has turned into a game of he said she said, with the two parties being Hennepin County and the group of 100 investors that owns the land the proposed stadium now sits on each saying that the other side is not cooperating. A .15% sales tax in Hennepin County that has been in effect since the beginning of the New Year along with the lack of language in the public financing bill that lays out the purchasing process for the land has allowed the land owners to be in an extremelly dominant position. Because of a $90 million cap on infrastructure costs posed by the Legislature, the Twins and the county are wary of putting too much money towards the land and having to skimp on such costs as transit and roads in the future. Looking back it was foolish of anyone to think that this process would be easy. Ten years ago owner Carl Pohlad threatened to move the team to North Carolina and deprive the upper Midwest of such legendary baseball talent as Frankie Rodriguez, Rich Robertson, Marty Cordova, and Rich Becker. Then in 2001 MLB threatened contraction of an 85 win team that was clearly on the rise and has been in contention ever since. This land issue is just the latest in a long line of examples that proves that Murphy’s Law is alive and well in Minnesota. It would not surprise me in the least if during the ground breaking ceremony, the first shovel that breaks the earth will hit a sacred Indian burial ground and cause the Twin Cities to be without outdoor baseball for another ten years.