Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Get to Know 'Em

Things may be improving for the Twins on the field of late, but it looks like there are some disturbing trends in the broadcast booth:

[Manager Ron Gardenhire] met with team President Dave St. Peter on Saturday, expressing frustration with comments made on KSTP following Friday's game. Talk host Dave Thompson, who came on after the Twins' postgame show, made reference to the 10-game suspension Rincon received in May 2005 for violating baseball's policy on performance-enhancing drugs and suggested Rincon hasn't been the same.

"It's been talked about, and it's being addressed," Gardenhire said. "We've had our say with our president, and he's going to take care of it. He's going to talk to them. "They're supposed to be with us. And some of the things that were said were uncalled for and wrong."

What do the Twins expect when they leave their long time broadcast partner WCCO to link up with a station employing notorious shock jocks like Dave Thompson?

He's not the only one attracting the attention of the Twins' Department of Official Information:

Before batting practice, Gardenhire also talked with KSTP color analyst Jack Morris about a question Morris asked Nick Punto following Friday's game. Morris asked Punto about the team trying to give the bullpen work in relief of Johan Santana. But Morris stressed Saturday that he wasn't second-guessing the decision to pull Santana with 91 pitches and a shutout bid.

With all the time and effort the manager is forced to devote to controlling the speech of KSTP radio announcers, it's a wonder he has any time to actually watch the ballgames. With multi-tasking ability like that, he has to be the leading candidate for manager of the year.

(The above paragraph will be attached to the resume I send to KSTP for the job openings I expect once their purging of counterrevolutionary thinkers takes place).

At the very least, Gardenhire seems to have a bright future with the FCC as a speech monitor, once the Fairness Doctrine kicks in.

I wonder if KSTP knew when they agreed to pay the Twins $1 million a year AND forfeit 100% of all advertising revenue during the broadcasts to the team for the privilege of broadcasting their games that they were throwing in their broadcasting soul as well? It was probably in the fine print.

I hate to see what was in the fine print when Hennepin County agreed to give the Twins a third of a billion for the privilege of having them play games inside their geographical boundaries.

BTW, Thompson's speculation about Rincon is entirely reasonable. Beyond the overwhelming anecdotal evidence, his stats reveal a clear drop off in performance, pre-suspension (2004) compared to post (2005 and onward). Is it possible that this could be related to his being prohibited from taking illegal "performance enhancing" drugs, 2005 and onward? Inconceivable!

I just hope my outrageous commentary here today doesn't find its way to the Twins executive suite and they ban me from capitalizing on dollar hot dog night next time I'm at the Dome.


This "they're supposed to be with us" garbage is what makes the Twins broadcasters so incredibly whitebread, banal, sycophantic and just BORING!

The Twin Plug Sporters on the TV side of things, Dick Bremer and "Circle Me Bert" are waaay worse than their radio brethren. There is never a negative word about the Twins, OR their opponents.

The other day I was watching a game and Bremer felt it necessary to do a Barreiro-esque "Now it's easy for me to say, since I'm not out there, but..." followed by the mildest criticism on a fielding play. Get some stones, Dick!

There seems to be a philosophy along the lines of "If you haven't played the game, you can't say anything negative about the players and if you DID play the game, you still consider yourself one of the guys still and don't want to upset them."

It makes for some dull television watching.


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