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A delightful Dome dilemma

September 28, 2009

by Matt Kane

All summer, the Minnesota Twins have been counting down the days remaining in the Metrodome. After the conclusion of the three-game home series with the Detroit Tigers Sept. 20, the number was down to three games, with only the Oct. 2-4 series with the Royals yet to be played on the carpet and under the Teflon sky.

Not so fast.

The way the Twins are playing lately, combined with how Detroit in playing lately, the scheduled final game in the Metrodome might not be the final game in the Metrodome for the Twins after all.

Just last season, the Twins and Chicago White Sox needed a 163rd game to decide the Central Division championship. That scenario could very well play out again, and it was determined that, if needed, that final, deciding game between the Twins and Tigers would be played inside the Metrodome.

If that happens, all those people who bought tickets for the Sunday, Oct. 4, game against Kansas City, thinking they were attending the final game in the Dome, would be mistaken.

I’m sure they and every other Twins fan would gladly accept the scenario of more Twins baseball this season, but the possibility of one extra regular-season game might cause an interesting problem.

Extra regular-season games are always scheduled for the day after the regular-season conclusion to allow the team that makes the playoffs a day off between the regular season and the playoff series. That day this year is Monday, Oct. 5.

The same day the Minnesota Vikings are scheduled to host the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football.

There is no way the Twins and Vikings could play in the Metrodome on the same day, so one of the teams would have to reschedule. The building’s lease with the Vikings says the Vikings hold precedence over the Twins except in a World Series incident. Because of this, Brett Favre will get to host his old green-and-gold Packers on the national stage, and the Twins would probably play Tuesday, Oct. 6, thus sacrificing the day off before the Division Series.

The conflict will probably be resolved without any problems, but I did read an early report where a Twins executive said the baseball game would not be moved to a different date. The suggestion was to move the Vikings/Packers game to Green Bay, and reschedule the second of the NFC North Division games between the two teams — Nov. 1 — to Minnesota.

If that were to happen, which I’m sure it won’t, it would have to be the first time ever that the Twins out-muscled the Vikings. It is Twins territory, but most of the residence of that territory bleed purple.

If the Vikings would somehow be forced to swap the locations of the two games with Green Bay, all I could think about is Favre being forced to play back in Green Bay earlier than he wanted to. And that the Twins wer doing the forcing.

The situation would certainly give the media something to write and talk about, and it would give the Vikings and Favre an excuse if things don’t go so well against the Packers.

Of course, everything I just wrote about banks on the Twins’ ability to catch up to the Tigers by Oct. 3. They’ve done it before, and I think they can do it again. Then again, the Twins could just win the Central Division in 162 games.

If absolutely everything worked out right for the Twins in their final season at the Dome, including that extra, play-in game, ideally there would be nine more Major League Baseball games played inside the Metrodome. That’s one play-in game, two Division Series games, three ALCS games, and three World Series games.

Now that would be a Metrodome farewell party.