MINNEAPOLIS – The Minnesota Twins are not having the same lingering snow and ice problems that have plagued other parts of the Twin Cities.
Target Field appeared Monday as green and lush as it might in mid-July.
Head Groundskeeper Larry Divito said prepping the field for the annual home opener involves three steps: Getting the snow off, getting the grass up and running and the detail of making it playable for college and major league games.
"There was anywhere from 8 to 22 inches of snow on the field," said Divito. "So, in right field, we had to remove up to 22 inches of snow. By the time we got to the infield, shoveling that off, there was about 16 inches of snow."
However, Divito insisted that the aftermath of the brutal winter of 2013-2014 was not that bad.
"No, I think last year was worse," said Divito. "We had to open on April 1 and we had a lot of ice damage last year. This year, the extended snow cover made for more snow removal for us, but it also insulated the grass."
Presently, the infield heating system has the ground under the grass at a cozy 62 degrees. The grounds crew is doing some work beyond the center field warning track on the irrigation system prior to installing new grass there.
Divito said other northern ballparks, like Chicago and Detroit might have some of the same issues as Minneapolis, but those other facilities do not have the same kind of equipment. Divito saluted the Toro company on its 100th birthday insisting that "the efficiency of our snow removal has improved a lot."
The Twins began play on the road Monday. The home opener for Minnesota is set for Apr. 7.
A smiling Divito chanced upper Midwest fate by saying, "The only thing that will throw us off will be a blizzard."