On Sunday, mini-bro, j-bro, j-bro's buddy z, and I braved zero-degree temperatures and journeyed to the Metrodome for the largest mid-winter baseball festival in the major leagues.
Luckily, we were able to park about as close to the Dome as possible, so we kept our jackets in the car and ran to the door. That was really helpful; it's a drag to have to carry your jacket all over.
As we first walked in
After Gardy was done, Nicky Punto put on the headset for his turn at the radio interview. We stayed for a few minutes, but we soon wanted to get going to the main floor. I did snap a quick photo as we were walking down the steps.
Our favorite shortstop looking adorable
Speaking of photos, it turns out that I would make a lousy photojournalist. I get caught up in everything going on, I forget to take pictures. So I have to use a lot of words to make up for it.
We did a fair amount of shopping at the collectors' booths; mini-bro collects baseball cards, and he wanted to add to his collection. I treated myself to a Twins grab-bag and scored a nice poster of Cuddy, Justin, and Joey from that stadium construction commercial, a red Twins hat, some Twins school supplies, and a Torii Hunter Gold Glove bobblehead (turns out the Twins Sisters got the exact same grab bag -- what're the odds?).
Soon, it was lunch time, so we grabbed some food and headed back to the radio stage to listen to more interviews.
The first Dome Dog of 2009
John Gordon and the other radio guys were interviewing Jason Kubel. He's not a terribly interesting interview.
Jason Kubel talking about his new contract
But when Jason was done, Nick Blackburn and Kevin Slowey stepped in to be interviewed. Now we're talking. Unfortunately, we couldn't stay too long because we had to go get in the photo line.
Is it me, or does Nick Blackburn get better looking all the time?
It looks like I caught Kevin Slowey with a dumb look on his face. He was much friendlier than this makes him look.
When we were waiting in the photo line, we heard several rumors about Cuddy not being able to make it at all because his whole family is ill. Although I still haven't been able to confirm it, I did believe it and forgot all hopes of seeing him. Oh well, all was not lost. We did get to meet Scott Baker.
Poor Scott. We were towards the end of the line, so by the time we got there, he'd been there almost a half-hour, standing and smiling. He looked so exhausted; it must be hard shuffling from radio interviews to autograph signings to photo stations for three days. But, even though he seemed tired when we first reached him, he bucked up and chatted nicely and smiled for the camera. I appreciated that.
Scott Baker is a good sport.
After that, we went on the pressbox/clubhouse/dugout tour. I've done that before, and it was no different this time.
View from the pressbox.
After that was done, it was time to go. We sprinted in the frigid cold back to the car and headed home. It felt odd leaving the Metrodome and not being stuck in parking lot traffic for hours.
Now I'm ready to bring on spring training and opening day.