"I think that was a big thing about the job that appealed to me," DiVito said. "We did that to a degree here in Washington, in that we moved into a new field this year. But I wasn't really starting from scratch like I will be in Minnesota."But unlike in Washington, DiVito also won't have to worry about the maintenance of one field while he helps to build a new one. The Metrodome has a small staff to oversee the Fieldturf and convert the field to its football setup, but none of the maintenance is the responsibility of the Twins. So DiVito can turn his attention completely to the building of the playing surface at Target Field. "The great thing here is I have the opportunity to be focused on the details of the field design and planning this spring," he said. "And in the summer during the construction phase, I'll be there to oversee that, as well." Target Field's grass, a Kentucky bluegrass hybrid, is currently being grown on a Colorado sod farm in subsoil that's nearly identical to its downtown Minneapolis destination. The plan is to have the grass transported to Target Field in August, when it will be planted in time for it to take hold before the cold weather arrives. As for the weather challenges that he's bound to endure during the early months with an open roof stadium, DiVito said he already has some experience with that thanks to his seven seasons in Pawtucket, where he saw his share of snow. Target Field will certainly provide some advantages that DiVito didn't have in Pawtucket to help get the field ready for play. That includes a state-of-the-art drainage system underneath the field, as well as a state-of-the-art heating system. Still, DiVito knows that like every other outdoor ballpark in northern climate, those early months won't be easy. "It's going to be a great challenge, but one that I'm looking for to taking on," DiVito said.
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.