Friday, June 23, 2006

SeriesPreview: Cubs @ Twins June 23-25

I'm sure many of you have had the dis-pleasure of watching a baseball game in downtown Minneapolis at the Metrodome. Calling it a sterile environment inside that dump is too kind. As a fan, I'd have to say the Metrodome is at the bottom of my ballpark list (never having taken in a ballgame at Tropicana). The good news for Cub fans is the next time the Cubs'll make a trip to Minnesota for interleague play a new ballpark will hopefully be finished. Rejoice Twins fans and baseball fans throughout the upper Midwest.

The Twins(36-35) have played well recently, winning 11 of 13. They are back above .500 but still find themselves 11 games behind the front running Tigers and 10-1/2 games behind the Southsiders. Catcher Joe Mauer is blossoming into one of the games finest backstops right in front of us. In only his second full season, the St. Paul native is leading MLB with a .375 batting average. Mauer already has 19 doubles to go along with his .960 OPS. This kid's gonna be a special player in the AL for years to come.

Pitching matchups and media info:
Friday 7:10 ct
Carlos Marmol(1-1, 2.81) vs. Johan Santana(7-4, 2.87)
TV-CSN Chicago
Radio- WGN Radio-720 AM; XM-183

Saturday 6:10 ct
Mark Prior(0-1, 17.18-OUCH!) vs. Boof Bonser(1-1, 5.81)
Radio- WGN Radio-720-AM; XM-183

Sunday 1:10 ct
Sean Marshall(4-5, 4.97) vs. Brad Radke(5-7, 5.84)
Radio- WGN Radio-720 AM; XM-182

Going to Minneapolis for the Series, visit these establishments:

The land of 10,000 lakes is also the land of the chain restaurant. You will be able to find almost every national chain in and around the Twin Cities. If you wanna try an independent or two, here ya' go:

Hubert's 601 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis, MN
Hubert's is the closest Sports Bar to the Metrodome. This is the place to go before and after the ballgames. You are stumbling distance from the dome, so you can enjoy yourself up until 10 minutes before gametime and still enjoy first pitch.

Gluek's 16 North 6th Street, Minneapolis, MN
Located in downtown Minneapolis, this was an old standby for gm and myself on roadtrips north in bygone years. Oh the memories!

Joe Senser's three locations around the Twin Cities
For those of you staying out in the suburbs, this ain't a bad stop for a cold one and a bite to eat. There's one in Bloomington just off of France. Typical Sports Bar, decent grub, okay beer selection.

UPDATE 4:05 CT--a few more bars/restaurants for you kids that will not be inside the Mall of America.

Brit's 1110 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN
An English Pub with Lawn Bowling that looks like a great place to catch the World Cup. (Thanks for the headsup Mike D.)

Rudolph's BBQ 1933 Lyndale Avenue S, Minneapolis, MN 55403
The Twin Cities favorite ribs. Twice named "Best Ribs in America". Now I'm getting hungry. (Thanks to Chuck for the headsup)

Many's Steakhouse Hyatt, 1300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN
This is a man's place for red meat. Many locals call Manny's the best place for a steak in the Twin Cities.

*Pictures courtesy of Don Turner's homepage of Major League Ballparks &

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