No love lost for Francona, Metrodome
Red Sox manager looking forward to Twins' new ballpark
MINNEAPOLIS -- Unless Boston and Minnesota hook up in the postseason, the Red Sox played their last game in the Metrodome on Thursday afternoon.
Manager Terry Francona isn't weepy with sentiment.
"I have a lot of respect for the Twins -- I always have -- because I love the way they play the game, I really do," Francona said. "[But] I think this place stinks. This ballpark stinks.
"Balls are hitting the [stinking] roof, the speakers -- it's awful."
The Metrodome opened in 1982. It was the third domed facility in baseball.
"For me, I feel like we are in an office building and all of a sudden you walk downstairs and there is a game to be played," Francona said.
He even preferred the reviled -- and since demolished -- Kingdome in Seattle.
"The Kingdome, it was kind of ugly, but it didn't feel like you were in an office building to me," Francona said.
Since Francona began managing Boston in 2004, the Red Sox are 6-13 (.316) at the Metrodome, not counting the results of Thursday afternoon's game. Boston lost two of three to begin this week's four-games series. The Red Sox are 491-347 (.586) in the Francona era outside of the Metrodome.
The Twins begin play in open-air Target Field next season. Will they lose some of their home-field advantage at a more conventional ballpark?
"I hope so," Francona said. "I'm sure it is an advantage; everybody's home field is an advantage. But you remember reading the stories about Tom Kelly taking guys out after games, hitting popups. I'm sure they are more comfortable here than other teams because they are here more. Saying that, I bet they are glad to go to a new ballpark, too."
Francona has personal reasons for his animosity toward the Metrodome.
"I actually played here in '88 with the Indians," Francona said. "[Greg] Swindell had a good game going. Bases loaded ... stood out in left field with my hands up. Nobody helped me out. I almost wanted to just go sit out in the outfield and not go back in.
"A ball goes up and you are trying to find it, and then it's over there. It's a little disconcerting."
Thor Nystrom is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.