Outdoor baseball in Minnesota was not and is not a bad idea

Hannah Foslien

It's cold in Minnesota this weekend. That doesn't mean the Twins should have built a dome.

If you’re a Mets fan with an Internet connection, you’ve undoubtedly heard how bad the weather is in Minnesota, where the Mets will play a three-game series at outdoor Target Field this weekend. Perhaps you’re wondering what the Mets are doing playing baseball in Minnesota in April and why the Twins are playing in a stadium without a retractable roof.

"At Target Field — the open air ballpark the Twins left the Metrodome (yes dome) for — crews were removing snow from the field, with the Twins hopeful baseball could be played," writes the Daily News. Run a Twitter search for "Mets dome," and you’ll find plenty of Mets fans clamoring for domed baseball in Minnesota.

Sure, playing outdoor games in Minnesota might sound like a terrible idea, but the weather the Mets and Twins are dealing with in Minnesota — a high of 37 degrees and a low of 25 — is rare. It’s unfortunate that the Mets are visiting Target Field for arguably the worst weather the stadium has seen in April since its opening in 2010. It’s anecdotal evidence, but via Baseball Reference, here’s the game time temperature for each April home game the Twins have played at Target Field since it opened.

Date Temp
4/12/2010 65
4/14/2010 73
4/14/2010 73
4/15/2010 65
4/16/2010 56
4/17/2010 58
4/17/2010 58
4/18/2010 64
4/20/2010 68
4/21/2010 58
4/22/2010 52
5/3/2010 55
4/10/2011 74
4/10/2011 74
4/23/2011 43
4/23/2011 43
2011-04-28 (1) 41
2011-04-28 (2) 57
4/9/2012 45
4/11/2012 50
4/11/2012 50
4/12/2012 56
4/12/2012 56
4/13/2012 49
4/14/2012 65
4/15/2012 62
4/15/2012 62
4/23/2012 62
4/23/2012 62
4/24/2012 71
4/25/2012 71
4/27/2012 53
4/27/2012 53
4/29/2012 55
4/1/2013 35
4/3/2013 46
4/4/2013 46

In short, the weather in Minnesota hasn’t been much better or worse than your average northern baseball city, and that’s been the case for longer than the Twins have been playing games at Target Field. To put those temperatures in context, here’s the average April temperature — from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, via Minnesota Fun Facts — in several northern baseball cities.

City Ave. April Temp (°F)
Boston, Mass. 48
Chicago, Ill. 48
Cleveland, Ohio 48
Denver, Colo. 48
Detroit, Mich. 48
Milwaukee, Wisc. 45
Minneapolis–St. Paul, Minn. 47
New York, N.Y. 53
Pittsburgh, Pa. 50
San Francisco, Calif. 56
Seattle-Tacoma, Wash. 50

If there’s a flaw in the Mets’ schedule, it’s simply that they only make one trip to Minnesota. Any postponed game would have to be made up eventually, and the Mets obviously don’t visit the Twins again this year. Jared Diamond’s article about exactly that is worth a read. At the moment, though, it doesn’t sound like any of the games will be postponed. They’ll just be played in the bitter cold.

Domed baseball is the worst, and the Twins aren’t any crazier to play their games outdoors than their northern counterparts. The fact that the Mets just happen to be visiting Minnesota this weekend does not mean the Twins’ decision to build an outdoor stadium was a bad one.

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