ANAHEIM -- The Twins' two exhibition games against the Cardinals this weekend at Target Field were considered a success, but general manager Bill Smith said the club is coming up with a list of things to do before the official home opener against the Red Sox on April 12.
"I think the ballpark got great reviews," Smith said. "The playing field got very good reviews from players and coaches. The clubhouse facilities got tremendous reviews. All that said, every department is working on a list of things -- some that have to be done in the next nine days and some things that are more on a wish list for down the road. It was a very successful debut, but now they're working on how we can turn that into a great Opening Day next Monday."
Major League Baseball officials were on hand this past weekend once again to make sure that things were in order at the new ballpark before the start of the regular season. It was one of a few trips they've made to the new park and Smith said the Twins have gotten positive feedback.
"We had some people from Major League Baseball that told us they had not seen any of the new ballparks as well prepared for an Opening Day as we were for these [exhibition] games," Smith said. "They told us that last September when they walked through that they were thrilled with how far along things were. Again, the ballpark was done almost two months early. So that gave us a chance to finish it. A number of people have come in and said, 'When we moved into our ballpark they were still working on it. We didn't have that."
Smith also acknowledged that the Twins specifically sought out the Cardinals for the two exhibition games, citing the draw that the team has in the Upper Midwest.
"We wanted it to be something special," Smith said. "The Cubs and Cardinals are two of the storied franchises in the game. We already play the Brewers every year and the Royals and White Sox are in our division. It wound up being a great fit. We had the two MVPs from last year."