While the St. Paul Saints can't offer baseball fans the grand, sweeping views of the Minneapolis skyline, the bountiful concession stands, or the relatively short bathroom lines that the Twins' new Target Field can, they do offer something that the high-end big leaguers don't: cheap, campy fun. The Saints' 17th season at the humble but serviceable Midway Stadium kicks off this week with a three-game series against the Wichita Wingnuts, and is followed by another three next week against last year's champions, the Lincoln Saltdogs. And although they missed the playoffs last year and haven't won the American Association championship since 2004, the Saints once again led the A.A. in attendance, packing nearly 6,000 fans into the bleachers each night. The club's marketing team works tirelessly to think up hilarious and bizarre game promotions that, if they weren't so topical and acerbic, could be referred to as zany. (Who could forget Bud Selig Necktie Night after he declared the MLB All-Star Game a tie?) This year will be no different, as the Saints plan to take shots at the Northwest flight that flew right past MSP Airport last year, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the death of early toilet proponent Thomas Crapper, and to trade in the word "Saint" from their name for "Vikings" as a kind of sympathy protest for the football team (they both want new stadiums). It's good to have weird baseball back.
May 17-19, 7:05 p.m., 2010