At long last the Twins have moved into their brand-new home at Target Field. After a prolonged slap-fight with the state Legislature to get the place built, the Twins' ownership and front office understood that they were expected to field serious competition game in and game out —even if it meant spending more cash than the late Carl Pohlad would have ever agreed to. So in the off-season run-up to moving into the swanky new digs, the Twins locked up hometown god Joe Mauer in a long-term extension, acquired former all-star shortstop J.J. Hardy, and signed second baseman Orlando Hudson and longtime nemesis designated hitter Jim Thome. Serious Twins fans must have thought they were hallucinating. When did this typically micro-budgeted team get the courage for a $100 million-plus payroll? It's best to not ask questions, and just go see the team for yourself. The Ticket Fairy has struck Minneapolis: A very limited number of seats—it appeared earlier that the games were sold out—have become available for the Twins' first home stands at Target Field against the Red Sox and the Royals this week. But while getting tickets might be easier than originally anticipated, be sure to plan ahead for the parking and traffic nightmare that may occur during the stadium's first week of operation.
Mon., April 12, 3:10 p.m.; April 14-15, 12:10 p.m., 2010