Open Thread: Cubs vs. Twins, Friday 6/23, 7:10 CT

Remember artificial turf?

In its heyday, back in the 1980's and 1990's, before the wave of retro stadium construction, it was in nine of the 26 major league stadiums in existence in 1992, for example. In its wacky heyday, they even plastered old Candlestick Park in San Francisco with it, and from 1969 to 1976, old Comiskey Park had an artificial turf infield and a grass outfield.

Now, there are three holdouts -- Tampa Bay, Toronto and Minnesota, all domes -- and the Cubs have not played on a turf field in almost two years, since their final date in Montreal, September 1, 2004.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Carlos Marmol
C. Marmol
Cubs
vs. Johan Santana
J. Santana
Twins
1-1 W-L 7-4
2.81 ERA 2.87
17 SO 109
5 BB 16
2 HR 11
vs. Min -- vs. Cubs
Santana, of course, is one of the top lefties in baseball, has gotten hot lately just like the weather, his team, and his countryman Carlos Zambrano. He has never started against the Cubs, although he did make three relief appearances against the Cubs in 2000 and 2001, when he was just a kid trying to make the Twins' pitching staff.

This would appear to be a huge mismatch. The Twins are hot; they've won 11 of their last 13. The Cubs have won ... two of their last three. The Cubs have an 11-5 interleague mark against the Twins and have won the last five meetings with them, last losing on July 13, 2000.

The Daily Herald's Bruce Miles wrote a column today on how to fix this team; points 1 and 5 are particularly compelling.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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