04/12/10 9:58 PM ET
Red Sox impressed by Target Field
Players enjoy nicer amenities than Dome; wish win followed
By Ian Browne / MLB.com
They just wish they could have come away with a win in the first official game at Target Field, the Twins' impressive new ballpark. But after a 5-2 loss Monday, the Sox could still appreciate baseball's latest modern marvel.
"It feels beautiful," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "The field is in terrific shape, and it's beautiful and it looks fine to me. Again, in one day, you're not going to know how it's going to be in the summer. From our standpoint, I wanted it to carry more when [outfielder Mike] Cameron hit his [deep flyout]."
The Red Sox hit several balls well, only to have them knocked down by the wind -- something they never had to worry about at the Metrodome. That said, they would probably take that over trying to field a ball that hits a speaker.
"There's a lot of balls that were hit hard up in that center field and left-center field that just hung up there," said Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis. "In [batting practice], it was blowing out, then kind of a little current came in and kept the ball in the yard. We didn't swing the bats all that bad. We had some hard-hit balls right at guys. That's going to happen."
Overall, Youkilis enjoyed his first day at Target Field.
"It's cool," Youkilis said. "Very nice park. I wish they would somehow design parks with a top where the sun wouldn't come through. That's one thing we've kind of been missing. Seattle did it right, where they put up a green mat to block the sun. Other than that, it's a beautiful stadium and I can't complain."
For Sox slugger David Ortiz, a member of the Twins from 1997-2002, playing at Target Field was a meaningful experience.
"It's nice," said Ortiz. "I just think they're going to have a little bit of problems with the shadows. Other than that, it's pretty cool."
The visitors' clubhouse area was certainly a lot more spacious than what Ortiz and other Sox players were used to at the Metrodome.
"The weight room is very nice," said Ortiz. "I got lost a few times because there's so many doors in the clubhouse. I didn't know where to go. But I'm proud of this city for finally making that move, man. They've been waiting for that move for quite a long time."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.