Found August 29, 2012 on Fox Sports North:
MINNEAPOLIS Baseball owed this one to Minnesota. And really, it owed it to itself.There are lots of beautiful ballparks across the nation. There are lots of beautiful new ballparks across the nation. There are so many other reasons to host the All-Star Game, from the sheer aesthetics to an anniversary to a simple "it's our turn" mentality, and really, Minnesota shouldn't be surprised that it took so long.In Minnesota, they're accustomed to waiting. They waited through years of uncertainty about their team that included the option of it being bought by Major League Baseball and contracted in 2001. They waited through the minutiae and bureaucracy of a stadium debate that culminated, finally, in a bill being signed in 2006.They stuck it out for two more seasons in the Metrodome, capping a 28-year stay in a bubble they came to hate, and for that, they deserve this game.I will fully admit that I'm a reluctant Minnesotan, a wimp in the face of cold winters, a lover of abject humidity. I'm also a baseball snob. I will admit all that, and I'll concede that Target Field is a great place to watch baseball. It's beautiful, the weather is lovely in July, and the food is good. That said, I didn't fully understand fans' unrelenting love of the place until I first entered the Metrodome two weeks ago. Within five minutes, I knew. I couldn't imagine baseball being played there, and though I know Twins fans have many fond memories of baseball there including the 1985 All-Star Game it's impossible to discount where Target Field stands in the hearts of its team and its fans now that I've seen their previous home."The fans up here certainly deserve this," Bud Selig said on Wednesday as he announced the 2014 All-Star Game would be awarded to Target Field."This park is just beautiful, and it is a testament to (the Pohlad) family and to Carl (Pohlad) and to the entire organization."Both statements couldn't have rung truer, and with Twins greats like Rod Carew, Bert Blyleven and Tony Oliva standing behind Selig as he said them, it was hard not to remember the team's past successes. The whole afternoon was riddled with nostalgia and deservedness, remembering star players long-retired and the battles for everything from success to stadiums to relevance that seem to plague all Minnesota sports.Carew was happy to offer his memories of past All-Star games, their intensity and his honor at being selected. Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak recalled his experience at the 1965 All-Star Game at Metropolitan Stadium with his family. Hennepin County Board of Commissioners chair Mike Opat talked about the time he worked the concessions stand at the 1985 All-Star Game at the Metrodome, serving beer and barely catching a glimpse of the game itself. Even Selig, the man who's attended more All-Star Games than he can likely remember, talked of his first Midsummer Classic, in 1950 at Comiskey Park when Ted Williams broke his elbow and played the rest of the game.The All-Star Game has that magic for those who have been. They've seen the best players up close, felt the thrill of pomp and circumstance in the city they love, and that kind of experience can't help but gloss over so much else. Memories defer to the good and forget the struggles, forget that these games mean nothing in terms of a team and its success. And that is why, now that they've gotten this, and deservedly so, the Twins should be reminded what they still owe."We use this event to celebrate the best of our game," Selig said.Lately, the Twins have not been the best of the game. They remember when they were so easily when the aging players sweating in their suits crowd behind Selig and smile for the organization they love, and the Twins know they want to get back to that. Now, the league has delivered for them. It's acknowledged that yes, you worked hard for this stadium, and it is a gem. It's affirmed that the Twins went from somewhere close to the brink of extinction to one of the league's hallmark franchises.Now, the Twins must affirm that they can win.When owner Jim Pohlad spoke on Thursday, he seemed close to relieved. His and his family's years of effort and dedication to their team had paid off again, this time with the All-Star Game. He should be proud. But as he wrapped up his comments, Pohlad's closing words hung shakily in the air:"I suppose we could hope to do a double in 2014 and have not only the All-Star Game but the World Series. It actually would be greater if we could just be awarded the World Series, but we'll do our best to win it."Pohlad wasn't trying to be flippant or funny. He was expressing his sincere wish, but right now, it's too far away. Right now, the Twins are staring at a record that's more than 20 games below .500, and the All-Star Game announcement was a needed bright spot in a discouraging season. The Twins and Pohlad have already come so far. They have the trappings, the beautiful stadium and the looming major event. They have the dedicated fans and the history, but soon, that history needs a new, memorable chapter. So though the announcement of the All-Star Game means that the team's work has just begun, it also marks the end of one campaign. Now, the next begins.The Twins have some pieces in place, some players who are already part of that growing history. They have Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. They have a new face in Josh Willingham who could factor into the future, and a promising young starter in Scott Diamond. They have other younger players who provide a fledgling hope, and they have the ability to acquire more. Doing so will be the next task.The Twins deserve this All-Star Game, but they also deserve to win. July 15, 2014 is looming, and it can be a goal. Target Field will be on the national stage, and the night will be all the more special if the Twins can field a team deserving of every bit of the fanfare.Follow Joan Niesen on Twitter.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Selig: Twins to host 2014 All-Star Game

MINNEAPOLIS When all is said and done, it will have been a 29-year wait for the Twins, but now the end is near. The 2014 All-Star Game officially belongs to Target Field.Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig was in Minneapolis on Wednesday to make the announcement, which had become baseball's worst-kept secret. Surrounded by former Twins stars and the faces of the organization...

Minnesota to Host 2014 MLB All-Star Game

The newly constructed Target Field, home to the Minnesota Twins, has been awarded the 2014 MLB All-Star Game.   The Chicago Cubs were the other team in the running for hosting the event, but commissioner Bud Selig has made it known that he would like to keep the alternating National League-American League sites each year.  2014 will be the centennial of Wrigley Field, which opened...

Remember when Bud Selig said fans didn’t want more replay?

MLB and ESPN Agree to 8-Year Deal

Major League Baseball and ESPN have agreed to a deal that is worth $5.6 billion for eight years.  This deal would keep baseball on ESPN up until 2021.  With this deal, ESPN will be able to show games on Sunday nights, Monday nights and Wednesday nights.  MLB’s commissioner Bud Selig commented on this big parternship and said, In a year of record achievements, today is a very...

What If Selig Treated Mets The Way He Did Dodgers?

Over a year ago the Dodgers and Mets were in deep financial distress when Commissioner Bud Selig strong armed Los Angeles owner Frank McCourt into selling the team by first taking financial control? He did so despite claims McCourt had worked out a regional television deal that might have eased most of the Dodgers’ problems. The Dodgers were eventually sold to a group that includes...

An in-depth look at the National League Wild Card

(Editor’s note: All stats used in this piece are as of Monday, 8/27) This past offseason, Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig expanded the playoff system. Two wild card berths were added, one to each league. A single elimination game would be played to determine the Wild Card winner. The current standings are like this: Atlanta 73-55 (home field advantage for playoff...

All-Star Game coming to Minneapolis in 2014

MINNEAPOLIS Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig will be at Target Field on Wednesday to make what the Minnesota Twins are calling a "significant announcement" for an upcoming event to be held at the team's ballpark. By the time the announcement is made, it will be old news: The 2014 MLB All-Star Game will be held at Target Field. The team has yet to officially...

ESPN Pays MLB $5.6 Billion to Continue to Move Sunday Games to 8:30pm

ESPN, currently paying Major League Baseball $360 million dollars a year to broadcast games, has extended the contract another 8 years at $700 million per. The new contract had MLB and Bud Selig... Full story at Bob's Blitz ~ http://www.bobsblitz.com

A Brief History of Owgust, the Barrel Man

Milwaukee Brewers fans and residents of Wisconsin in general are no doubt familiar with the cartoon Beer Barrel Man, who became an official symbol of the modern Brewers when the franchise arrived in town in 1970.  The new, major league Brewers of that time needed some branding, a logo, something to represent the team and connect with locals.  That’s when Bud Selig reached back...

Aaron: PED punishments 'not enough'

MILWAUKEE The home run king himself can see the progress commissioner Bud Selig has made with his comprehensive testing programs to rid the game of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). But Hank Aaron said at a benefit for his Chasing the Dream Foundation on Wednesday that he believes the punishment for such violations in todays game should be much more severe than it is currently...
Twins News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.