Compliments are often few and far between for the Metrodome but even the critics can’t deny the facility has provided an extraordinary home field advantage for the Minnesota Twins. The Twins have the best home record in baseball with 50 wins, 24 losses. That home record has helped Minnesota to the best overall record in baseball since June 8– 65 and 29. During that period the home record is 34 and 15.
The Twins have won two World Series, in 1987 and 1991. In each series the Twins never won a game on the road and never lost at home. During the regular season of 1987 the Twins won almost 70 percent of their home games.
The dome’s lighting, ceiling, speakers, artificial turf and crowd noise can be real or imagined demons to opposing teams. And don’t forget the visual distraction of all those beloved Homer Hankies waived by fans from every part of the dome.
The Twins plan to make Homer Hankies available for the 2006 playoffs. Those little “devils” and the other distractions opposing players will face probably provide the best home field advantage in major league baseball.
“The game (of baseball) is so much mental,” Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson said. “I think the other team comes in here and thinks, ‘Oh, boy, the dome.’ Once you get a few people in here it gets so loud, and that’s a big edge for us.”
Twins outfielder Michael Cuddyer said he understands if some players are intimidated by the dome. “You take all the elements with artificial turf, the roof, the fans, the loudness (and) it’s a pretty intimidating place for a visiting team to come in and play,” Cuddyer said. “It’s exciting to play here. The fans get into it. With the style of baseball we have played over the last couple months it’s hard not to get into it.”
Anderson remembers walking on the field a couple of years ago with Johan Santana prior to the start of a playoff game and the huge crowd gave the Twins’ star pitcher a standing ovation. “That sent a chill down my spine,” he said.