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John's Soapbox



Probably nothing you or your group can do about it, but I think the players better realize that a strike defiantly will kill any effort to keep them in Minnesota. This would be a tragic loss, and with only 9 days left, and the nasty rhetoric now starting, all your efforts went for naught.

From all of us that called our Legislators and signed petitions, thanks for your hard work.

Ken Marshall

-- Thanks for your kind words Ken. I have been running this site for FIVE YEARS in September (The 26th to be exact) and when I started the Twins were losing 90+ games a year and I was getting 2 hits a day. Amazing how the players and owners seem to forget the fans that support them and try to make a difference. - John


My friend Derek went to see potential Twins buyer Donald Watkins at the Mall of America on Dec. 22nd. Donald's people actually invited me to meet him but since I live in Seattle I couldn't go. However Derek was nice enough to write about his experience. Thanks Derek! - John

I walked into the Mall of America at the exact same time as Donald Watkins on Saturday morning, December 22nd. I noticed him right away from all the pictures I had seen in the newspaper and on various newscasts in the Twin Cities. He was larger-than-life.

I stood at the back of the small crowd in the Minnesota Room at the Mall of America during his press conference and was his biggest fan in a matter of minutes. He had all the right answers. After the reporters in the room finished asking their questions, I was able to ask him if he had seen how exciting our young team was this past season. A huge grin came over his face and he told me that he had seen them many times this past year and if he was the owner of the Twins, he would stick his chest out with pride. He knows of the passion that we have for the Twins here in Minnesota, or at least he thought he did at the time. He would see that passion first-hand following his press conference.

I then went down to the Field of Dreams store on the first level and was surprised to see what I thought to be about 300 fans dressed in their Twins garb. As he approached, the fans started cheering and chanting "Let's Go Twins". He spent the next hour-and-a-half shaking hands and speaking to everyone he possibly could. From where I stood, I heard stories from fans of all ages and he listened to every word. Right before he left, he stepped up on a stage and spoke for a minute and told us he had "A pretty good feeling" that we were going to see him again soon.

Let's hope he's right. - Derek


With the Twins' playoff hopes dwindling I just want to tip the cap to them for having a heck of a season. We may not be able to keep up the big guns like Cleveland but we are well on our way.

It appears the Twins are going to keep Rick Reed next season, if he doesn't demand a trade which he can do as a veteran traded in the middle of a multi-year contract. He hasn't indicated if he will or not. Reed is a heck of a pitcher but has struggled since he came over from the Mets. I hope he sticks around. He'll snap back.

My only concern is on offense. We need another bat badly. Frankly, and I know I am playing armchair quarterback here, I don't understand why we didn't go for Greg Vaughn. He is a veteran, a team leader and hits for power. Oh sure he is expensive but this is our first winning season in 9 years. Let's not get cheap now. It would have shown the fans the Twins were making an even bigger commitment to winning. Looks like we'll have to wait until the off season. - John


The House is considering a non-binding state-wide vote on the stadium issue. How afraid of this issue are they? I don't understand their reservations regarding the new version of the stadium bill. No taxpayer dollars and 96% of the park is paid for by the Twins. Tell the members of the House to take some inititive and pass a fair and balanced ballpark bill.

The XFL died yesterday. Too bad Ventura still has his day job huh? - John

Got a comment? Agree? Disagree? Don't be gentle! Write me and let me know your thoughts! I'll post your responses here!


Some more letters arrived today. Keep them coming, but remember the best way to help the Twins is to write or call your local legislators! - John

I also want the Minnesota Twins to stay right here. We have had so much entertainment from watching these young men play and we want them to get the much needed stadium that they want. They bring so much more than just entertainment to our state - there is also all the tax money that comes in and there is no reason that we shouldn't have a separate stadium for them to play in. I do think that we should have a stadium with a retractable roof as then it would solve the problem and satisfy the people who want an open air stadium, but here in Minnesota, it is just stupid to think about building an open air stadium as at the beginning of the season and also at the end of the season, the weather is just too cold to be in an all open air stadium. So many people come from the states of Iowa, the Dakotas, Wisconsin and further places in Minnesota to warrant a stadium where one doesn't know if the game will be played or not. Please vote for the stadium bill and get this passed for all the Minnesota Twins fans. Thank you. -- Betty & Clyde Wiles - Red Wing, MN. 55066

As I am writing this e-mail the Twins have just defeated the defending World Champions to improve their overall record to 18 - 6. Now enough about the good news, I just wanted to rant a bit about my favorite ball club the Minnesota Twins. I am originally from Blaine, MN just north of the Twin Cities by about 30 minutes. I am now living in Madison, WI. I do not get to see Twins games here in Madison, because of the Milwuakee Brewers games. On Fox Sports Net they always play the Brewers games instead of the Twins, because of course I live in Wisconsin. And because the one nationally televised game of the Twins was instead a Brewers game (oh how mad I was) it seemed to strike a little match in my head (I am sure that others have thought about this although). Now I am just hoping, that if the Twins continue to do as well as they are doing, they may turn a few heads in both the Minnesota Government as well as in Major Leauge Baseball. Perhaps the government will see that the Twins are truly indeed an asset to the area (we already know that), especially if the MLB decides to cut the Twins a bigger check in the whole collective bargaining deal (which personally I hate). In my humble opinion, the Twins should get the stadium. Heck, they should have had the stadium right when asked for, but that is the government for you, always putting their needs before the people's (in this case the Twins fans). Another thought of mine is why doesn't Target help out? They already may be, I am unaware of that however. I mean, they could have both the Target Center and Target Stadium or Target Ballpark or something. I am not all for the idea of attaching a companies name to the ballpark, but if it keeps the Twins in Minnesota and gives them their park then so be it! By the way, I am going to be seeing the Brewers/Twins game this coming July at Miller Park, I will let you all know what it is like. -- Daniel J Olson


Funny thing about the soapbox, I created it to express my feelings about the stadium issue and the Twins. However I have gotten so much email that I thought I should devote it to your feelings for now. Today I am renting it out to Jeff Toftey. He certainly had a lot to say. - John

I am so upset with the House committee that tabled (killed) the Twins ballpark bill, that I will use this opportunity to vent.  These lazy, stubborn, and stupid idiots, don't deserve to have their current positions, or even call themselves Minnesotans.  Their lack of effort or concern on this issue makes me just sick.  I feel bad for all the hard working people who spent countless hours over several months putting this together, only to have these arrogant jerks blow it off.  I feel bad for all the parents who might be losing a family experience, watching a ballgame with their kids. I feel bad for all the people who can't physically go to a game, but who look forward to listening to each and every radio broadcast of a Twins game.

Not being wealthy, the fact is, that if I want to take my two young boys to a pro sports event, the Twins are the only affordable option.  I grew up listening to the Twins on the radio. Even as a 12 year old, I knew all the stats, all the team history.  I wanted to be able to share those fond memories with my kids and let them develop the love of baseball, that I have.  I am saddened, because the killed ballpark bill will lead to contraction, and my team (and yours) will soon be gone.

Every city or metropolitan area that has ever lost a team, has tried to get another one.  It happened to Minnesota as well, as we replaced the Lakers with the Timberwolves, and the North Stars with the Wild.  The problem is, there is no guarantee that you will ever get a replacement team.  For instance, look how long Washington D.C. has tried to secure a baseball team.  And even if you are lucky to get a replacement team, you lose the valuable team history.  All the team records, stories, and characters that passed through, are basically erased.  Plus, it will cost much more to get a new team than, what it would to keep the team you already have.  This shouldn't be difficult for people to understand.

I disagree with the optimists, who casually feel everything will work out just fine, as it always does.  I more agree, in this instance, with the alarmists, who like me, feel there is a real urgency to get this ballpark issue finally settled NOW. There truly, may be no tomorrow. -- Jeff Toftey


I have gotten a ton of email lately. If you have something to say let me know! - John.

HELLO, I am from Boston and I want you to know how pathetic it sounds to have your play by play people on the radio BEGGING for fans to call their reps. while at the same time your Gov.,Jessie No Brain,is making an ass of himself on the XFL broadcast.GIVE ME A [ gosh darn ] BREAK WILL YOU PLEASE!!!!!!!


-- Ballpark supporters are just trying to rally the troops Fred. One of the best ways to do that is during a Twins game. It is called "target marketing." Besides the Red Sox are having a terrible time trying to get a new park built, and you have one of the oldest baseball traditions in the US. Maybe New Fenway supporters should go one the air during a Sox game? Just a thought. - John

Let's get the stadium built for the Twins, either in St. Paul or Minneapolis. The lack of leadership in Minneapolis and in the legislature is appalling. The only area in the country that is inactive in this regard ought to be embarrassed for not supporting the Twins. Of course, driving through Minneapolis is embarrassing due to the litter- is anyone in charge in Minneapolis?

-- I too am surprised my the lack of leadership. Especially with the latest ballpark bill. Can't anyone get on the ball? - John

hi john, my name is don and i live in fargo north dakota. the twins brought two world championships to the state of minnesota, for that alone these legislators should be down on there hands and knees begging the twins to build them a new park. keep up the good work.

-- I am still surprised that winning two World Series in five years hasn't helped more. Oh well. Onward and upward. - John

I want us to keep Mn Twins baseball in Mn. where they belong. I have 7 grandchildren that I want to have the chance to grow up knowing the excitement of this very team that I spent my honeymoon watching in 1962 and I have followed since then. Don't take this away from those of us that love this wonderful family entertainment.

-- Thanks Marianne! - John



What a great job you've done. I'm writing from Kansas City, another 'small market'. As a lifelong Twins, and Vikings, fan it's tough to hear all the barbs about the 'Baggie', indoor baseball, the roof , the Dome... I wish I'd moved to Minneapolis instead of KC in 1981. I'd be able to fill one more seat at the Twins quite often. Now I try and make it to the dome once a year for a weekend seris. I hope your efforts succeed for the city, state and millions of other 'silent' Twins' fans around the world. Many of them must have forgotten the pain of the North Stars.

Mark Foell

-- Good point about the North Stars! Thanks Mark! - John


This year will be different. I just know it. The Twins actually look respectable and the stadium issue is not the lightning rod it once was. People feel more positive about keeping baseball and the Twins in Minnesota.

I think it can be traced back to the Twins signing their key players to long term deals. Radke, Milton, Guzie, Koskie, Wells, and Hawkins are the beginning of a solid team nucleus for years to come. These roster moves show people that the team is investing in the future on the field and in the community. The Twins have a good crop of young players and people are once again getting excited about Twins baseball.

Two ideas to keep the Twins in Minnesota are starting to float around. One is actually one the legislative agenda this year! Sen. Dean Johnson and Rep. Harry Mares are sponsoring the bill, which covers the following points:

  • $150 million initial investment by the Twins and other private sources.
  • $100 million interest-free loan from the state, with full repayment within 20 years guaranteed by team owners.
  • $40 million revenue bond serviced by the Minnesota Wild’s state loan repayment.
  • $10 million in construction materials would get a sales-tax exemption.

This plan sounds awfully good to me. It doesn’t involve a lot of public money and puts most of the financial burden on the Twins.

Mayor Coleman is putting another plan together in St. Paul. Unlike the last attempt this new plan calls for no new taxes. His plan is quite similar to the Johnson-Mares bill:

  • $125 million city contribution.
  • $150 million from the Twins.
  • $25 million from private contributors.

Both these plans sound viable. I really like the idea that both Minneapolis and St. Paul would offer ballpark plans to the State Legislature and they would "award" the Twins to the city with the best plan. Anything that makes the Twins a prize to win will help change the attitude regarding the Twins in Minnesota.

My biggest concern is Minnesota’s Xtreme Governor Jessie Ventura. He was adamantly against any stadium proposal in 1997. Although he sounds as if he has warmed up to some of the newer proposals, he can’t be counted on to sign anything the legislature passes. On a side note, he may also lose his weekend job as a color commentator for the XFL. Good. He has been making a mockery of Minnesota and his office by acting like an ass in an Xtreme fashion for too long.

-- John

Got a comment? Agree? Disagree? Don't be gentle! Write me and let me know your thoughts! I'll post your responses here!