Five by 8 – 4/13/10: How long will Target Field last?

Target Field has opened. The Twins have won. It’s now time to get on with our lives.


1) So let’s begin the countdown to when Target Field will need to get a facelift. The Hardball Times calculates that the stadium building boom across the country is probably over for now. But that’s not the news. This is the news: One of the teams that will most likely need a new stadium first (or major renovations to the existing one) is the Cleveland Indians, who opened Progressive Field — then Jacobs Field (above) — in 1994, and whose design (the concourse at Target Field is lifted straight from the Jake) is inspiring many of the newer stadiums.

I know. Progressive Field (nee Jacobs) is a gem. Heck, just two years ago, the fans (via a Sports Illustrated poll) named it the best in the game. And there’s that super-impressive streak of home sell-outs; 455 games is a long, long time. I’m not calling for destruction of The Jake. I’m just saying it might be due some elective surgery of its own. The new scoreboard is a good start, but the Indians will have some decisions to make by the time this decade is through. Their lease agreement runs through 2023, at which point the team could press the issue. Given that the team holds four five-year options, it’s not unreasonable to suggest the club might remain in its current venue through at least 2043. But you know these billionaires and their toys.

2) Culture: It’s alive! Classical music labels are one of the few recording gains in sales. TechDirt has it all figured out:

Orchestras have a unique set of challenges as compared to a rock band. They tend to consist of many, many more members (around 100) and also have large fixed costs like concert halls to contend with. So, since touring is not really a viable option, most orchestras are limited to larger cities that have large enough populations to support them. The digital era brings with it the opportunity to engage with audiences that are far beyond the cities in which they play.

Classical music, it’s safe to say, appeals to the , shall we say, more intelligent among us. Its newfound strength comes at a time when much of the society seems inherently dumber than it used to be. Rock on, classical!

It was only a matter of time before it came to this. The Royal Shakespeare Company is performing Romeo and Juliet on Twitter. Find the details at Such Tweet Sorrows. Is this a crime against the Bard, or a compelling way to introduce Shakespeare to the Twitter generation?

3) Have you ever had moments when you think the world is passing your cubicle farm by? That some people are experiencing the world while you try to work for a living? Me, neither. But if I did, I’d probably have that moment while listening to All Things Considered host Tom Crann talk to Minneapolis’ Stephen Regenold, who is at a base camp on Mount Everest.

What’s on your schedule?

4) Eric Ostermeier at Smart Politics throws some seriously cold water on DFL prospects in this year’s gubernatorial election. Today he notes the state is surrounded by states that are turning even more red:

But what might be the sourest note hit during the prelude to this 2010 political overture for Minnesota Democrats is their own political history: Of Minnesota’s 28 gubernatorial elections held since 1930, a DFLer or a Democrat has been elected to the Governor’s mansion with a Democratic president in D.C. on only 1 occasion (1962; Karl Rolvaag and JFK).

5) The science story of the day, hands down. Researchers find that emotions last long after the memories that drive them. What’s the real-world significance?

One of the loneliest things about loving someone with early Alzheimer’s is the feeling that any good times the two of you share from here-on-in just don’t matter.

“So often I’ll listen to family members say, ‘oh, I don’t go and visit Grandpa anymore because ten minutes after I leave, he doesn’t even remember I came’,” says Justin Feinstein, a graduate student in neuropsychology at the University of Iowa.

Feinstein had a hunch that those visits made more of an impression than anyone realized. To check, he turned to several people who, like Alzheimer’s patients, have damage to a spot in the brain called the hippocampus.

Part of the study involved people watching Forest Gump.


Next week marks the 100th anniversary of the death of the beloved American writer and humorist Mark Twain. Who is the modern-day Mark Twain?


Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: Two national security reporters talk about the controversy over the Khalid Sheikh Mohammed trial, the undecided fate of Guantanamo Bay detainees, and criticism of the Obama administration’s prosecution of the war on terror.

Second hour: Longtime show business mover Jerry Weintraub talks about how the movies are made and deals brokered. He’s the producer of iconic films like Nashville, and hits like the Stephen Soderburg’s Oceans Eleven, Twelve and Thirteen.

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: The Dow Jones Industrial average closed above 11,000 points on Monday for the first time since the start of the financial crisis. Minnesota Public Radio’s Chris Farrell discusses how we’ll know when the economic downturn is over.

Second hour: Pedro Noguera, professor at New York University and author of “The Trouble With Black Boys,” speaking at Macalester College about the achievement gap in America’s schools.

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: A plane crash on one side of the old Soviet Union exposes ancient wounds and tests a new democracy. A bloody coup d’etat on another side raises questions about a so called lily-pad –a U.S. airbase in remote central Asia. And the connections between Sudan’s elections, Africa’s colonial past, and uncertain future.

Second hour: Reading economic signs after the “Great

Recession.” The rollercoaster of economic news continues. After a grim three years job are up, and some see possibilities of even more gains. But consumer spending and

housing are down.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – MPR’s Lorna Benson shines a light on the impact of the new health care law on tanning salons, and on health of people who may be discouraged from using them.

A three-year project to rebuild Interstate 35 through Duluth has been dubbed the “megaproject.” A MnDOT spokesman predicts the 10-mile long rebuild will create traffic jams and snarls with significant traffic slowdowns. MPR’s Bob Kelleher reports on how people organizing popular events like Grandma’s Marathon are planning ways to work around the construction.

Chris Roberts profiles Trampled by Turtles, the Duluth-based band releasing a new album “Palamino.”

  • name check

    Forest Gump should be Forrest Gump.

  • bj

    “Is this a crime against the Bard” – the man coined, at least credited for, somthing like 1,700-8,000 words. I think he would have loved Twitter. (even if I find most of Twitter useless).

  • John P.

    “So let’s begin the countdown to when Target Field will need to get a facelift”

    Well, my house is 30 years old, and I have been doing elective surgery since about year 10, and I don’t host 40,000 people 81 times a year. At 20-30 years, major stuff comes up. The furnace needed replaceing, the roof needed re-doing, and the siding is getting shabby. The metrodome is about the same age, and that’s due for some work. It seems like every building needs a major facelift by about 30 years.

  • JackU

    I guess it’s not surprising that the CD format would survive for Classical music. After all the legend of why CDs are 74 minutes long (and not 60) has to do with a particular recording of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

    As far as Target Field is concerned I agree with John P, by the time the Twins lease is up, it’ll need work. But let’s not think of that while it still has that “new ballpark smell”. 8^)

  • Kim E

    Ahh, I’m already hooked on the “Such Tweet Sorrow,” even though I don’t normally follow anyone or anything on Twitter. I am a little annoyed however that they’ve changed some of the familial relationships and plot points to make it more relavent or current or something.