MINNEAPOLIS – Major League Baseball stadiums will likely remain empty throughout the remainder of the MLB season as teams and cities continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some teams, such as the Minnesota Twins, have joined the trend of having cardboard cutouts of fans in the seats that fill Target Field. But those cardboard cutouts are silent.
And even though many teams are pumping in recorded crowd noise, most if not all fans and players can agree it’s not the same.
I caught up with Minnesota Twins pitcher, and former Alderson Broaddus standout, Randy Dobnak about what it’s like pitching in a professional baseball stadium with no fans inside to watch.
“It’s definitely different. Just the whole feeling, the vibe of the game is a lot different. As a player you look forward to the fans, having the fans bringing the energy to the field, cheering you guys on or booing the other team, whatever it may be. But it’s definitely different,” said Dobnak. “But, you know, the game of baseball is a game of adjustments. So you get to adjust.”
Dobnak has made one start in an empty stadium so far this season, and will be the Twins starting pitcher on Friday in Minneapolis.
In Dobnaks only start this year, he pitched four innings. And despite only giving up one run on three hits he was saddled with the loss as the Twins fell 10-3 to the visiting White Sox.
The former Battler pitcher will look to notch his first win of the abbreviated season Friday against the visiting Indians.