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03/31/08 7:26 PM ET
Snow forecast: What if this were 2010?
Metrodome ensures severe weather doesn't affect Opening Day
By Kelly Thesier / MLB.com
MINNEAPOLIS -- There aren't many days when the Twins are thankful to be playing inside the Metrodome, but Monday was one of those rare occasions.
Snow was falling furiously in the Twin Cities -- up to eight inches were expected - as the Twins opened the 2008 season against the Angels on Monday night. So the thoughts of the players and coaching staff naturally turned to 2010, when the team is set to open their new open air ballpark.
"I kind of thought it would be fun playing out in that today," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said with a laugh. "No, we're glad to be in here today. That's a beautiful snow storm out there, but not the time of year you like to see them."
This season is a little different in that the opener is on the last day of March, but snow in April is not all that common in Minnesota. The monthly average for the Twin Cities is 3.1 inches and the area averages just one day out of the month with more than an inch of snow, according to Paul Huttner, chief meteorologist at Minnesota Public Radio.
Still, bad weather is bound to be a factor at times.
"That's one of the things about an outdoor stadium, it's cold here, it's wet and you see, it's snowy -- for the first two months really," catcher Mike Redmond said. "I remember last year it was still cold into May. It's going to be dicey, but that's the way it goes."
The hope of some of the players is that the team will at least open the season on the road. Although they didn't remain too optimistic about that notion after seeing the likes of Detroit, Cleveland and the New York Yankees open the season at home. And Justin Morneau pointed out that it seemed a tad ironic that they were hosting a warm weather team like the Angels at the dome on Monday.
"Joe [Mauer] and I were talking about that on the way in today, saying why don't teams that play in cold cities start on the road?" Morneau said. "It might make more sense, even though we're inside, to play in Anaheim, or have a team like Detroit play in Anaheim. But it's so hard to make the schedule because there are so many teams. Somebody is going to be playing in the cold."
The reality of course is that the Twins opener would have been snowed out on Monday had the team been in its new ballpark. But that didn't mean the team wasn't still excited about the notion of finally getting outdoors -- even if it leads to a few delays or postponements.
"You'll forget about that cold weather quick when you get into June, July and August and it's beautiful," Redmond said. "Then it will be well worth it."