Tuesday, March 20, 2012

So John Gordon retired and the greatest job in the Upper Midwest became available oh to be the voice of the Twins for the junkies in the backyard & the death defying on the interstate who occasionally swerve further North for the Summer where baseball games echo around the lake from Memorial Day to Labor Day that final blue Monday when one must decide between returning to society or sinking into the weeds. Forget the TV job - if your watching Dick in June, July or August you get what you deserve - there can be no question that the radio booth is where the holy grail resides. Wait did I just take a cheap shot at Dick Bremer a former Husky like myself from Saint Cloud State - afraid so, you see I'm unable to forget he crossed the border of Twins Territory to interview for the the play-by-play job with a rival team after being frightened by rumors of contraction. Can't I just let it go? Apparently not and you know what screw his sidekick Bert Blyleven too. Yeah I know he won a game during the '87 World Series but I'm sorry Bert's not in any discussion of all-time great Minnesota Twins. Blyleven played 9 full seasons with the Twins during a 22 year career, a career in which he racked up so many wins, strikeouts, shutouts and complete games that he should have been in Cooperstown a long time ago but as far as retiring his number in Minnesota two words - F & no. Puckett - career Twin, Killebrew - all but 1, Oliva - career Twin, Carew - 12 (his best 12) of 19, Hrbek - career Twin. There you have it those are your Minnesota Twins. You want a pitcher on that list? OK, Jim Kaat. Career wins playing for Minnesota - Jim 189 Bert 149. Most wins in a season - Jim 25 Bert 20. Seriously, Bert was 149 - 138 as a Twin....that kind of winning percentage gets your number retired? Honestly was the organization honoring the player or the guy who circles people on TV and if it's the combo platter which I suspect then the irritation in my skull intensifies because Jim Kaat was the superior analyst just ask any old broadcaster who happens to creep up next to your girlfriend at the bar. While Kaat was compiling 4o more wins (matching Blyleven's world series win with one of his own in 1965) he also won 12 of his 16 consecutive gold gloves in Minnesota by comparison I'm told Bert liked to pee on people in the shower so yeah similarities abound, but I really didn't intend this to be a hit-piece on Dick & Bert I wanted to talk about radio and that hallowed position filled by Herb Carneal, John Gordon and now Dan Gladden. Yes Dan Gladden - I ask you what was the point of hiring a brand spanking new lead vocalist named Corey Provus when Gladden can't stop talking for 3 hours. All due respect Dan (after all you took advantage of the Metrodome's white roof and trampoline outfield to turn a gift hit into a leadoff double, a double enabling you to score the winning run of the '91 world series) but your a color guy. Last call - 2 A.M. - your the guy I want telling baseball stories, but for those of us nowhere near a television around 7 P.M. we need a trained radio pitchman who knows how to paint a F'n picture and I was inclined to give Provus the benefit of the doubt after all he served as understudy to the Brewmaster, unfortunately half-way through Spring Training it appears we're saddled with co-anchors which not only weighs down the broadcast but prevents the stadium soundscape from filtering through. Apparently Corey is the first guy to have lived within the city limits of Milwaukee and not be hardened by the experience as he's giving away 4 innings a game to Gladden. Under the new format Dan's the proud owner of the 3rd, 4th, 6th & 7th inning - Let me try to understand this Corey, you just acquired one of the thirty greatest jobs in the Western Hemisphere and you can only go five? That's not even close to a quality start, do you want to be the voice of the Minnesota Twins or not? While your thinking about it I'll use the time to cross-examine myself for using this forum to disparage two beloved former players (#28 & #32) when all I ever really wanted in life was to disparage one particular Twins manager.