Blyleven Admits ‘Downward Plane’ Isn’t Real
Image courtesy of Flickr/WEBN-TVLongtime Twins color commentator Bert Blyleven signed off after 25 years in the booth with Dick Bremer on Wednesday night, but not before revealing a startling secret about one of his favorite pitching aphorisms.
“The downward plane isn’t real,” said the Hall of Fame pitcher. “I made it up just to see if (Twins play-by-play voice Dick) Bremer would repeat it. Totally worked. Totally worth it.”
Longtime viewers will no doubt recall Blyleven’s constant exhortations for pitchers to “maintain a downward plane” as they offered up a fastball. It appears that it was another ruse in the prank enthusiast’s arsenal.
“’Maintain’ and ‘plane’ sound good together, but beyond that it’s nonsense,” said Blyleven. “I came up with it the same day I…left a present in Dick’s suitcase in Kansas City.”
[Unconfirmed reports say the present in question was a human poop.]
Bremer could not be reached for comment on the revelation, although sources close to the veteran broadcaster said he has been staring into the middle distance for hours as a single tear slowly rolled down his cheek, an unlit cigarette dangling from the left corner of his mouth.
“25 years (of Blyleven) takes a toll on anyone,” said one person close to Bremer. “On (Justin) Morneau’s first night in the booth, Dick asked him when he was going to give him a hotfoot, or if he planned to ‘press ham’ on the driver’s side window of his Honda Civic in the employee parking lot. Justin was perplexed. Dick just assumes anyone who is in the booth with him is going to engage in an unrelenting, multi-front prank spree. It’s why he’s in therapy.”
For his part, Blyleven says he’s grateful that his addition to the baseball lexicon became so pervasive.
“If just one kid learns that he can torture a co-worker with goofs and fart noises spanning decades, man, that’s the dream,” said Blyleven. “Lots of people come up to me and say they grew up watching me on TV. And you can just tell that they’re going to put their partner’s hand in a glass of lukewarm tap water while they sleep. I just hope they remember to put peanut butter in their shorts. Never let up.”
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