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Weather, health on Gardenhire's mind

Weather, health on Gardenhire's mind

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MINNEAPOLIS -- The first thing Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire noticed about the Metrodome as he strode onto the field for batting practice Sunday was the indoor temperature.

"It's a little cold in here," said Gardenhire with a smile, before pausing slightly for comedic effect.

"But it's not as cold as it is outside," he said with a laugh.

Sunday's high temperature in Minneapolis, just hours before Game 3 of the American League Division Series between the Twins and the Yankees, stood at 39 degrees. The forecast was for measurable snow, potentially one to three inches, later in the evening and well into Monday.

Playing Game 3 outdoors would have been challenging, and Game 4 on Monday would have been downright difficult if the weather prognostication holds up. Luckily for the Twins, they play indoors -- at least for the rest of this postseason.

What would happen, though, if this same frigid, snowy situation played out next October, when the Twins will be outdoors at their new state-of-the-art stadium, Target Field? Gardenhire summed up the future resolution during his Sunday pregame news conference.

"We have heat underneath the grass, so it's going to melt it," Gardenhire said. "You don't have to worry about that. It's all covered. OK? We took that into consideration.

"It's cold out there, that's what it's going to be like. We knew that going in when they built it. And you know what, we have the guys here -- the [Tony] Olivas and [Rod] Carews and [Harmon] Killebrews. ... We talked about it and they said it was cold out, but it's outdoor baseball.

Division Series
Gm. 1NYY 7, MIN 2WrapVideo
Gm. 2NYY 4, MIN 3 (11)WrapVideo
Gm. 3NYY 4, MIN 1WrapVideo

"That's what we got. And during the summer, it's going to be wonderful."

While the cold Midwest weather doesn't seem to give Gardenhire much cause for concern, Minnesota's manager has dealt with more than a few hair-raising moments during this thrilling last month of the 2009 season in which the Twins reached the postseason via a 17-4 closing kick. Gardenhire dealt with some heart issues back in 2005, but he laughed out loud when asked on Sunday about his current blood-pressure readings.

"I refuse to have it checked," Gardenhire said. "I see our doctors and give them high fives and walk away. I think I'm fine.

"Your insides are turning all the time, but that's the time of the year, and it's just the way it is. My blood pressure is holding up about as well as anybody else's this time of year."

Adding to the list of concerns for 2010 will be dealing with the weather. But Gardenhire will take on that sort of problem as a trade-off for Target Field becoming the Twins' true home, even, as he quipped, if it does sound like the company line.

"That is going to be our ballpark," Gardnehire said. "No waiting for anybody else to play a game so we can play. No having to quit early so we can play, quit our game early to get them in.

"None of that. It's going to be Minnesota Twins baseball. That's what we are all after, a beautiful ballpark built for our fans."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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