MINNEAPOLIS -- There may not be baseball on the horizon for an undetermined period of time due to the spread of COVID-19, but the Minnesota Twins’ front office still has plenty of issues to tackle.
Among them, how the team will refund fans for games missed and how it will split up the pool of money between game-day employees. Though no final decisions have been made on either, the Twins are working through that process and hope to have plans in place soon.
Team president Dave St. Peter said Thursday on a conference call that he hoped within the next week or two, the team would have more information for fans regarding ticket information. One wrinkle in this: Teams are not yet sure how many games will be played. In the most ideal scenario, if teams were able to return to playing baseball in the middle or later part of May or early June, an effort would be made to try to make up some games at the end of the season.
“I think we’re asking fans to be patient with us for now, but we have every intention of being very transparent with our policy and ultimately will try to provide fans with options that will range from credit, to moving into new games, to refunds,” St. Peter said. “And those plans will be announced here, I’m hopeful, over the course of the next week or two.”
Another order of business is trying to figure out how to divvy up the money the team will provide to game-day employees. The Twins, along with the other 29 Major League Baseball teams, pledged $1 million for employees who lose wages when games aren’t played.
St. Peter said it was a high priority for himself, as well as team ownership and the organization’s human resources department.
“We’ve been doing quite a bit of work on trying to determine what we think is the best allocation of those dollars and trying to understand which employees are most impacted as well, so trying to think about where need really factors into this is, I think, another dynamic,” St. Peter said. “…I think it’s our hope to finalize it in the near term with the hopes of being able to message with those specific employees but also being able to get dollars into their hands in the near term.”
For fans missing Twins baseball, Fox Sports North and WCCO have you covered.
Beginning Saturday, Fox Sports North will begin airing games from the Twins’ 101-win 2019 season.
It will start with last year’s American League Central Division-clinching game against Detroit at 4 p.m. Saturday and follow that up with the Aug. 6 game when Miguel Sano walked off the Atlanta Braves. Next week, FSN will air the Aug. 13 game in which Max Kepler hit his fifth home run in as many at-bats off Trevor Bauer. And on March 26, which would have been Opening Day, FSN will re-air Jose Berrios’ 2019 Opening Day masterpiece three times. Other games will include Game 163 in 2009, Joe Mauer’s final game and more.
On the radio, fans can catch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series, when the Twins beat the Dodgers 8-2, at noon Saturday. Legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully was on the call. A week later, WCCO will air the 1965 MLB All-Star Game at Metropolitan Stadium.
And on March 26, the Twins will release their new Twins Clubhouse Podcast hosted by broadcaster Kris Atteberry. Jake Odorizzi will be the featured guest on that day and former Twin Brian Duensing stops by for the April 2 episode.
Target Field prep
There won’t be games at Target Field on April 2 as planned, of course, but the Twins are taking steps to ensure the readiness of the stadium — whenever Opening Day is.
St. Peter said they have altered the shifts of workers to ensure safety, and there are smaller groups of people working at the park, spread out over the course of the week.
“We’re alternating shifts and things of that nature, just taking precautions that we think are prudent,” he said. “But the playing field is in spectacular shape. It might be as good as it has been in five or six years. We’re thrilled with the way it came through the winter.”