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StormJH1
05-11-2012, 01:45 PM
As many of you probably saw from AaronGleeman.com, Aaron got into a Twitter feud with Robby Incmikoski about Aaron's criticism of Roy Smalley's comments about Jason Marquis on the broadcast. I don't really have a strong opinion about Robby - I recognize that his particular job requires him to be a cheerleader because he's the guy that has to stand on the field and get them to talk to the camera. He also has to bear the brunt of sophomoric stuff like Valencia on Monday insinuating that Robby would "jump on Joe Mauer if he got the chance". For the most part, Robby does his job, and I don't have a problem with him.

Today, Robby is continuing his semi-meltdown by tweeting only positive statistics about Twins players, saying that he'll leave it to other media outlets to be negative about this team.

But if that's the case, I think he needs to stay away from engaging bloggers, fans, or legitimate media outlets if they want to be critical of this team. What does he expect? The team is terrible. They're the worst in baseball, and very well may end up the worst team in baseball, after some people already bestowed that honor upon the 2011 Twins. Yet, if you watch the FSN broadcast, Dick Bremer and company are doing their best to put on a good face. Pitchers like Pavano and Marquis are celebrated for "giving their team a chance" to win, even though they're giving up 4-7 runs a start. And the general tone is such that you'd have no idea you were watching a team struggling this bad unless you muted the television (or checked the standings).

How do you guys feel about FSN's coverage of this debacle? Would you rather the broadcasters sounded more like "Gleeman and the Geek"? Is that even realistic? What responsibility does the TV crew have to convey the reality of the situation, as opposed to simply putting on a television show that they'd like people to watch?

Twins Fan From Afar
05-11-2012, 02:07 PM
This is a great question. I think the broadcasters (both TV and radio) have competing, sometimes conflicting, interests. On the one hand, their job is to call games, provide analysis and hopefully speak the truth about what is going on. On the other hand, they are in the television and radio entertainment business, they work in conjunction with the Twins organization, and they are trying to keep fans watching FSN and listening to Twins Radio Network.

When the Twins have been playing as lousy as they have this season, how do you reconcile trying to to provide accurate and truthful analysis and commentary, with the other important goal of keeping an audience entertained and trying to make sure that ratings as good as they could be (given the circumstances)?

Thrylos
05-11-2012, 02:14 PM
My understanding is that, contractually, radio and TV broadcasting staff are practically employees of the MLB club they cover. So DicknBert, Dazzle and Robbie are Twins' employees. I suspect that they would not say anything bad about the team. On the other hand, beat writers and other TV and radio personalites are not.

adjacent
05-11-2012, 02:18 PM
To be fair, yesterday Bert did say that what we were seeing was bad baseball. Regarding, to Robby, you know his job is to be a homer. It is just that he isn't too smart at it.

StormJH1
05-11-2012, 02:23 PM
It's tough for me to answer this question for the reason that I wasn't born here and I've experienced how things are in other markets. Even in Detroit, which is more like the rest of the Midwest than it is like Boston or New York, there is a much more critical spin by all media. It isn't just sports. People here expect to be fed positivity. Turn the 10 o' clock news and the atmosphere is bright and cheery. You might even see a human interest story in the first 5-10 minutes. The evening news in Detroit is "gotchya" journalism - straight-faced telling you the events, but with a flavor of "good guys vs. bad guys", or "look at how awful those people are". It's really hard to explain unless you've experienced both markets for any period of time, but it's a palpable difference.

Minnesotans love to complain about things, but only if they're the ones doing the complaining. With the Twins, I don't think that most fans would respond well to a telecast that talks about how badly this team is underperforming. They'd just assume turn it off.

And I don't have the right to say if that's "right" or "wrong", that's just how I view it. I think that the type of fans who would bother posting their thoughts on message boards (or listening to other critical media outlets) watch sports for reasons other than "enjoying when the team wins". People who do that are true "fans", but only to a certain extent. I like to look at a bad team and figure out why they're the way they are. Having grown up a fan of the Detroit Lions and Tigers, I think there's also a cynical pleasure I get out of seeing "professionals" who are routinely inept. But I do still watch them, and I don't watch any less when they're bad.

one_eyed_jack
05-11-2012, 02:26 PM
Overall, I'm fine with the FSN coverage. You can't really reconcile the conflict between the interest in accuracy and the interest in maintaining ratings, interest and access. They do a decent enough job walking that line.

Yeah, the team stinks, but who would want to listen to them piss all over the Twins for 3 hours?

But in this instance, yes, Robby should refrain from engaging with the critics. I can accept that the FSN crew has to cheerlead because it's their jobs. But it's ridiculous to think that cheerleading should be taken seriously. What Robby did here was the equivalent of dropping his pom-poms, putting his hands on his hips and saying with a straight face, "No, come on guys, we really ARE number one!" in support of a team that is dead last in the standings and getting their arses handed to them again.

StormJH1
05-11-2012, 02:29 PM
My understanding is that, contractually, radio and TV broadcasting staff are practically employees of the MLB club they cover. So DicknBert, Dazzle and Robbie are Twins' employees. I suspect that they would not say anything bad about the team. On the other hand, beat writers and other TV and radio personalites are not.
Paul Allen has argued this point on the air a number of times. People accuse him of being a "homer", which he is, but his defense is that he's a Clear Channel/KFAN employee, not an "employee of the Vikings". That may be technically true, but the Vikings contract with the various media outlets to provide local coverage, so it's pretty easy to envision that if P.A. got on the air and pooped all over the Vikings during broadcasts and his daily show, the Vikings could effect some type of change there.

I think Robby is a different case than Dick and Bert. Dick and Bert don't actually interact with players too much during the games, guys like Robby do. So if he wants Denard Span to come talk to him instead of just ducking into the clubhouse after a game, it helps if Denard actually like Robby. But the players can't ignore the whole television production - that's their gateway the fans.

ltwedt
05-11-2012, 02:37 PM
Meh - Truthfully - ANYBODY but Anthony LaPanta is good with me.

twinswon1991
05-11-2012, 03:07 PM
Robbie looks even more stupid by publicly defending this debacle. I understand he is paid to be a homer but why attack yor critics with illogical banter?

Professional athletes dont need a cheerleader to stand up for them.

Seth Stohs
05-11-2012, 03:08 PM
I like Robby. He's a good guy, and I think he does his job well.

Listen, the percentage of Twins fans that watch games on TV and especially those who are casual fans, don't want to hear the constant negative, even if it is negative. There's probably 20-25% of the population that are die-hards and frequent blogs and listen to all the podcasts. They should be speaking more to the casual fans. I thought that Blyleven last night was pretty honest. I also thought he was pretty quiet at times, in a "if you can't say something nice" kind of way.

I'm completely good with Robby being positive. There's far too much negativism. Even if bad baseball and with a bad team, there are positives. It's part of why I follow the minor leagues, and even on the Twins, there are some positives. I get excited to see the young players get a chance and see how they do. Dozier's been solid. Perkins. Capps has been good. Even in negative, there are positives, and good for Robby to focus on those instead of all the negative!

James Richter
05-11-2012, 03:15 PM
Gladden leaves a lot to be desired as a radio play-by-play guy - he doesn't usually paint a vivid picture of what just happened. But I love how blunt he is when he sees unprofessional conduct on the field. Last night he immediately called out Plouffe's baserunning for not avoiding the tag on that DP. I can't imagine him ever pretending bad play is good. The closest he could come would be not to say anything at all.

Twins Fan From Afar
05-11-2012, 03:18 PM
I like Robby. He's a good guy, and I think he does his job well.

Listen, the percentage of Twins fans that watch games on TV and especially those who are casual fans, don't want to hear the constant negative, even if it is negative. There's probably 20-25% of the population that are die-hards and frequent blogs and listen to all the podcasts. They should be speaking more to the casual fans. I thought that Blyleven last night was pretty honest. I also thought he was pretty quiet at times, in a "if you can't say something nice" kind of way.

I'm completely good with Robby being positive. There's far too much negativism. Even if bad baseball and with a bad team, there are positives. It's part of why I follow the minor leagues, and even on the Twins, there are some positives. I get excited to see the young players get a chance and see how they do. Dozier's been solid. Perkins. Capps has been good. Even in negative, there are positives, and good for Robby to focus on those instead of all the negative!

Seth, that's a good first point. My guess is that the percentage of die-hard Twins fans (like those of us on this blog, those that read everything that LEN writes, those that listen to podcasts), is much smaller than 20 percent. We, the ones reading this post, are in a very small minority. I'm guessing it's more like 5 to 10 percent of Twins fans that take it to this level. For most, Twins games are background noise while they go about their Thursday night routine. They don't want to hear negativity all the time, even if the team stinks.

Yoshii
05-11-2012, 03:24 PM
I have no idea who this Gleeman and the geek" thing is, but I don't like most of the FSN broadcasters at all. I think they need to be realistic about the game and compare the twins as a whole with the rest of baseball. Its tough though, cause what they get paid to do is be positive and only talk about the Twins.

Nick Nelson
05-11-2012, 03:26 PM
I have no problem with Incmikowski's positivity. What I find annoying is his tendency to rip those who take a critical approach. He posted one tweet (https://twitter.com/#%21/robbyfsn/status/184861500542955520) a couple months ago, during the "access" debate, that really irked me:

If a blogger rips someone (and I nthe target of many of those, trust me)...are they there to answer the bell? Nope. That's the issue!!
Well, that's easy to say for a person who, by his own admission, stays away from any kind of negativity. When would he have to answer the bell for anything? His job is to present a positive, viewer-friendly image and lob softballs to players in post-game interviews – I agree with Seth that he does that well. Incmikowski is not, however, an analyst of the team, and it'd be nice if he respected the people who are. When a team is on pace to lose nearly 120 games, even casual fans want to be able to find honest and critical assessments of what's going on.

SweetOne69
05-11-2012, 03:45 PM
Paul Allen has argued this point on the air a number of times. People accuse him of being a "homer", which he is, but his defense is that he's a Clear Channel/KFAN employee, not an "employee of the Vikings". That may be technically true, but the Vikings contract with the various media outlets to provide local coverage, so it's pretty easy to envision that if P.A. got on the air and pooped all over the Vikings during broadcasts and his daily show, the Vikings could effect some type of change there.

I think Robby is a different case than Dick and Bert. Dick and Bert don't actually interact with players too much during the games, guys like Robby do. So if he wants Denard Span to come talk to him instead of just ducking into the clubhouse after a game, it helps if Denard actually like Robby. But the players can't ignore the whole television production - that's their gateway the fans.

Paul Allen's situation is a little different the Dick & Bert or Gladden & Provus. Paul Allen has a radio show in addition to doing the Vikings broadcasts. So he actually is an employee of KFAN. The Vikings could have him removed as the game broadcaster he they so chose.

Dick & Bert and Gladden & Provus all they are paid to do is broadcast the games and were actually hired by the Twins.

Montecore
05-11-2012, 04:03 PM
Gladden leaves a lot to be desired as a radio play-by-play guy - he doesn't usually paint a vivid picture of what just happened. But I love how blunt he is when he sees unprofessional conduct on the field. Last night he immediately called out Plouffe's baserunning for not avoiding the tag on that DP. I can't imagine him ever pretending bad play is good. The closest he could come would be not to say anything at all.

Being in L.A. since '87, so I've never actually heard Gladden, but always appreciated his fire and winning ways and from what I've read of his comments the past two years - it's obvious he gives a damn. What's it gonna take to send Gardenhire packing and start afresh with Gladden at the helm?

Montecore
05-11-2012, 04:08 PM
Gladden leaves a lot to be desired as a radio play-by-play guy - he doesn't usually paint a vivid picture of what just happened. But I love how blunt he is when he sees unprofessional conduct on the field. Last night he immediately called out Plouffe's baserunning for not avoiding the tag on that DP. I can't imagine him ever pretending bad play is good. The closest he could come would be not to say anything at all.

Get Gladden's fire and winning ways in there, now. What's the holdup?

Shane Wahl
05-11-2012, 04:16 PM
Forget about broadcasts sounding like G and G!

I want Gleeman and the Geek to broadcast a game (pipe dream, but good entertainment at least . . . whole meaningless half innings taken over instead by arguments that soon become unclear as to what the argument is about . . .)

powrwrap
05-11-2012, 04:41 PM
How do you guys feel about FSN's coverage of this debacle?

It's about what I expect. They're not going to be super critical of the team but they do point out mistakes when they are made.


Would you rather the broadcasters sounded more like "Gleeman and the Geek"?

I've only heard two or three of their podcasts and it was before the regular season began, so I can't comment.


What responsibility does the TV crew have to convey the reality of the situation, as opposed to simply putting on a television show that they'd like people to watch?

As employees of the Twins (I think) they don't have much obligation. But when you flash the standings on the screen, statistics on the screen, and give game recaps from the previous days, the Twins' ineptitude speaks for itself. I don't think that FSN needs to continually add comments about the Twins' ERA is the worst in the league, the Twins have the highest run differential in baseball, the Twins BA is one of the worst in the league, the Twins runs scored is second lowest in the league--once per broadcast is about right and they usually cover it.

JA
05-11-2012, 05:16 PM
Well said Seth!

mattkummer
05-11-2012, 05:50 PM
[QUOTE=StormJH1;16626]It's tough for me to answer this question for the reason that I wasn't born here and I've experienced how things are in other markets. Even in Detroit, which is more like the rest of the Midwest than it is like Boston or New York, there is a much more critical spin by all media. It isn't just sports. People here expect to be fed positivity. Turn the 10 o' clock news and the atmosphere is bright and cheery. You might even see a human interest story in the first 5-10 minutes. The evening news in Detroit is "gotchya" journalism - straight-faced telling you the events, but with a flavor of "good guys vs. bad guys", or "look at how awful those people are". It's really hard to explain unless you've experienced both markets for any period of time, but it's a palpable difference.

Interesting, and I share your perspective. I grew up in MN, and work in media and worked in Detroit for a few years. Absolutely agree that it is a much different vibe. And a rougher one than what you see in MN. When I came back to MN to work last year, I felt like I had changed. People expect to be told how awesome things are in the Twin Cities and tune out if you "tell it how it is". In Detroit-- you expect to get the unvarnished truth, and it ain't pretty!

drunksam
05-11-2012, 07:03 PM
Get Gladden's fire and winning ways in there, now. What's the holdup?

Gladden would make the Boston clubhouse look like a Chucky Cheese birthday party.

JB_Iowa
05-11-2012, 07:13 PM
Somebody actually figured out why Incmakowski is on these broadcasts? I find him to be basically useless during the game.

I have always felt that the Twins have FAR too many personalities involved in their broadcasts. So many that I usually have to mute the sound. BUT as bad as this team is, the proliferation of personalities may be a good thing this year. At least they can try to find a variety of things to discuss during the game (and ignore the abysmal play). How many things can they think up for Dick Bremer to do during the season to try to keep fan interest? I'm inclined to think that things will get sillier and sillier.

As for Incmakowski taking on bloggers, that's really bad judgment on his part. I thought it was Dustin Morse's job to tweet all those positive stats -- not Robbie's.

twinzgrl
05-11-2012, 07:24 PM
I remember watching a Sat. game on FOX with my dad about a year ago (he's now deceased but at the time he was 77) and he said to me, "Who are these yoyos broadcasting the game?" I said, "I don't know, dad, but are you missing Dick and Bert?" And he said YES. Old people like the familiar voices...I think we all do. i enjoy most of the FSN crew, but I do like it when they bring in TK or Roy to fill in for Bert when he's taking a break...a fresh perspective is always fun from time to time.

Most of us read enough repetitive negative crap on the Strib blogs about the Twins--I enjoy these TWINS CENTRIC blogs a lot more because people are not so snarky to each other and tend to be less negative. Let's face it, even for us die hard fans, this is going to be a long, ugly, year. We need to find a few things we can cheer about....Dozier's promotion, Willingham, and the fact that Joe Mauer is in the lineup on a daily basis.

cr9617
05-11-2012, 08:01 PM
It's tough for me to answer this question for the reason that I wasn't born here and I've experienced how things are in other markets. Even in Detroit, which is more like the rest of the Midwest than it is like Boston or New York, there is a much more critical spin by all media. It isn't just sports. People here expect to be fed positivity. Turn the 10 o' clock news and the atmosphere is bright and cheery. You might even see a human interest story in the first 5-10 minutes. The evening news in Detroit is "gotchya" journalism - straight-faced telling you the events, but with a flavor of "good guys vs. bad guys", or "look at how awful those people are". It's really hard to explain unless you've experienced both markets for any period of time, but it's a palpable difference.

Minnesotans love to complain about things, but only if they're the ones doing the complaining. With the Twins, I don't think that most fans would respond well to a telecast that talks about how badly this team is underperforming. They'd just assume turn it off.

And I don't have the right to say if that's "right" or "wrong", that's just how I view it. I think that the type of fans who would bother posting their thoughts on message boards (or listening to other critical media outlets) watch sports for reasons other than "enjoying when the team wins". People who do that are true "fans", but only to a certain extent. I like to look at a bad team and figure out why they're the way they are. Having grown up a fan of the Detroit Lions and Tigers, I think there's also a cynical pleasure I get out of seeing "professionals" who are routinely inept. But I do still watch them, and I don't watch any less when they're bad.

That's an interesting perspective. I would much rather have the 'tell like it is' approach, as opossed to being spoon fed mindless positivity that we got here so often. It's frustrating to talk Twins with some friends who want to hear that things will turn around and the Twins will be competetive again in no time. Not wanting to hear that the Twins have little talent, very few good prospects, and that management has made countless blunders both large and small, that have all contibuted to where they are now. Even the Twins themselves have been somewhat full of themselves and pretty quick to pat themselves on the back for all of their success. A self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts...

greengoblinrulz
05-11-2012, 11:01 PM
I think Inci-dinky-do is horrible. Alot like Kevin Gorg, knows how to handle the TV duties but knows nothing about what he's talking about. There is about a laugh a nite at Inky's comments on the air. There isnt a problem with the TV tandem being homers if there was one of the pre/post game announcers who would be more realistic. Gladden isnt a great play by play man....but he absolutely will criticize something that is wrong.

DJSim22
05-11-2012, 11:15 PM
Meh - Truthfully - ANYBODY but Anthony LaPanta is good with me.

Agreed. He's ruined Gopher hockey telecasts, and now he is doing the same with the Twins.

Highabove
05-12-2012, 02:35 AM
I have always wondered how Incmitoski got his gig. I would think there would be 100+ Applicants for a sideline job.
His Interviews and comments really add nothing to the Broadcast.
Someone such as Lindsay Guentzel is far more talented. She would make a great sideline reporter for someone.

Andrew Bryz-Gornia
05-12-2012, 08:27 AM
I have always wondered how Mastroianni got his gig. I would think there would be 100+ Applicants for a sideline job.
His Interviews and comments really add nothing to the Broadcast.
Someone such as Lindsay Guentzel is far more talented. She would make a great sideline reporter for someone.




1. You meant Incmikoski, not Mastroianni.
2. After being in the Fan Cave, it's very likely that Lindsay will get a solid job from someone.

Andrew Bryz-Gornia
05-12-2012, 08:41 AM
I don't mind Robby at all. I don't feel that he's exceptionally good or terrible, but he does an adequate job. Yes, some of his questions have been poor (I'll always remember him asking Bert during an instructional, "Why do they call (a sinker) a sinker?") but all sideline reporters have terrible questions. It's like a rule that you can't make the player think too much.

As for this debacle, I wasn't even aware that this happened, so I suppose I really don't care.

Finally, Jim Souhan had an article about FSN refusing to let their on-air personalities be too critical of the teams they covered. This isn't it, but here he talks about Tom Kelly (http://www.startribune.com/sports/125313123.html) educating viewers instead of spewing mindless positivity. Kelly could be a little less monotone, but I appreciate that he's willing to criticize the team when necessary, and it's a shame that more FSN broadcasters don't do the same.

What makes seasons like this year so frustrating is that us fans were fed that this was going to be a decent Twins team. Instead, they are the worst in baseball. It's like Joe Posnanski's system for rating movies: Instead of rating on how it was, rate it on how it was compared to your expectations before watching it. Basically, if we knew the Twins were going to be bad, we'd just shrug our shoulders. But we were told that this team would be just fine, so this start to the season has been exceptionally painful to watch.

Some people may not be able to handle it, but I think I'd appreciate some honesty from the team and FSN instead of false, manufactured hope.

Riverbrian
05-12-2012, 12:27 PM
I don't mind Robby at all. I don't feel that he's exceptionally good or terrible, but he does an adequate job. Yes, some of his questions have been poor (I'll always remember him asking Bert during an instructional, "Why do they call (a sinker) a sinker?") but all sideline reporters have terrible questions. It's like a rule that you can't make the player think too much.

As for this debacle, I wasn't even aware that this happened, so I suppose I really don't care.

Finally, Jim Souhan had an article about FSN refusing to let their on-air personalities be too critical of the teams they covered. This isn't it, but here he talks about Tom Kelly (http://www.startribune.com/sports/125313123.html) educating viewers instead of spewing mindless positivity. Kelly could be a little less monotone, but I appreciate that he's willing to criticize the team when necessary, and it's a shame that more FSN broadcasters don't do the same.

What makes seasons like this year so frustrating is that us fans were fed that this was going to be a decent Twins team. Instead, they are the worst in baseball. It's like Joe Posnanski's system for rating movies: Instead of rating on how it was, rate it on how it was compared to your expectations before watching it. Basically, if we knew the Twins were going to be bad, we'd just shrug our shoulders. But we were told that this team would be just fine, so this start to the season has been exceptionally painful to watch.

Some people may not be able to handle it, but I think I'd appreciate some honesty from the team and FSN instead of false, manufactured hope.

When it comes to the Twins:

1. Outside of Willingham... The Twins lack Power.
2. Despite having some speed with a couple of players they fail to utilize it.
3. Over Half of the starting lineup are not hitting line drives consistently enough.
4. The lineup typically fails to advance runners at the appropiate times.
5. The Defense rarely gets dirty and is generally uninspiring.
6. The Defense makes high school like bonehead defensive efforts at time.
7. The Starting Pitching is getting knocked around like nothing we've seen in decades.
8. The Starting Pitching doesn't strike out hitters which has horrible synergy with the uninspired defense.
9. Capps has only had one season as a decent closer.
10. The Bullpen has been overworked
11. The Bullpen lacks any arm with a MLB track record of success.
12. AAA and AA lack top notch talent to move up
13. Drew Butera
14. Single A talent has a ways to go before it gets here.
15. There is absolutely no depth to provide decent replacement for injury or depth
16. The Front Office can't seem to make up it's mind what direction they are going for the past 5 years.
17. An Impression weather accurate or not is that the team seems to lack a true leader or inspiration.
18. The team is exceptional at collecting a wide variety of injuries.
19. The Broadcast team talent, honesty and and has impartial question marks.

I worry about points 1 thru 18 a whole lot more then Point #19.

Andrew Bryz-Gornia
05-12-2012, 03:22 PM
I worry about points 1 thru 18 a whole lot more then Point #19.

...and this is a thread titled "Robby Incmikoski & FSN Coverage," not "What's wrong with the Twins?"

JB_Iowa
05-12-2012, 04:00 PM
...and this is a thread titled "Robby Incmikoski & FSN Coverage," not "What's wrong with the Twins?"

Actually, he kind of makes the point. There is a lot for the FSN crew to be talking about .... instead of just drivelling on in positivity.

Riverbrian
05-12-2012, 04:21 PM
...and this is a thread titled "Robby Incmikoski & FSN Coverage," not "What's wrong with the Twins?"

My Apologies... You are Right... I shouldn't have read the thread. I don't have the strength to add the perception of Bad TV Coverage to the list.

On the subject directly. It's a broadcast team and the format of the broadcast is set by Fox from a national template. Rob doesn't have much of a chance to be anything other than what he is. I'd just as soon have one of the Fox Sports Girls dressed in a bikini doing the interviews but they are reserved for saying a segue line to and from commercials and not dressed in Bikini while doing so.

As for the Texting... Rob is being instructed to text by his bosses because Social Media is the now and the future. If He's going to be instructed to text it doesn't make any sense to text that Jason Marquis sucks because he has gotten to know Jason and getting to know Jason is part of his job. He also won't be asked to text by The Twins and Fox Corporate if he loses his job because he has failed to build relationships because his text's and tweets are too nasty.

Is that a more appropiate response for the context of this thread?

Highabove
05-12-2012, 04:40 PM
I think the Radio Broadcast does a very good job of being the home town broadcast but providing objectivity when needed.

The Twins hit the bullseye with Corey Provus

Fire Dan Gladden
05-14-2012, 07:17 AM
Being in L.A. since '87, so I've never actually heard Gladden, but always appreciated his fire and winning ways and from what I've read of his comments the past two years - it's obvious he gives a damn. What's it gonna take to send Gardenhire packing and start afresh with Gladden at the helm?

Why not hire the "Where's the beef" lady from the Wendy's commercial? She always showed a lot of fire.

Oh wait, she's dead. Still a better hire than Gladden.

twinsnorth49
05-14-2012, 09:00 AM
Misery loves company, obviously there are a lot of lonely people here.

John Bonnes
05-14-2012, 11:22 AM
I've given this some thought the last couple of days. I've dealt with this issue a lot: as a blogger, as a publisher, and we deal with it on TwinsDaily, too.

These debates often turn into a debate on being positive or negative. I think that's the wrong focus. There is plenty of room for both, and I opposed labeling any place along that continuum "the truth." One can find infinite positive facts and stats about a team and infinite negative facts about a team, and infinite interpretations of those facts. My experience is that where one falls on that continuum has as much to do with nebulous internal and personal traits as it does with performance or facts.

The right focus is being open to the areas that you want to explore and those that others want to explore. There are things we can learn (and actually enjoy) from those with different attitudes towards the same subject. The right focus is being HONEST about one's views and attitudes.

So I rarely condemn announcers (or media) for what some would consider overly positive spins. I personally think there is a trickier and maybe more effective way to care, but it's harder too. I'm less tolerant of shallow coverage. There's just so much beauty in baseball if one is willing to go a little beneath the surface, and I don't know why you wouldn't want to do that if you cover it, other than just weariness or laziness.

To FSN's credit, I think they've tried to do that, with mixed results. They're certainly expanded their coverage FAR beyond what it used to be. Their attempts at demonstrating "inside strategy" with announcers on the field before and after the game isn't a bad thought. They cover the manager's post game and pre game talks. They have the announcers break down aspects of the game afterwards, going back to a specific at bat. Those are all really good things.

Personally, I think there are some things they could do that might raise it to another level. I'm sure they've thought of most of these, but they include:
Minor league coverage - mabye some video of prospects, analyzing some performances and what it means to the future, or covering general subjects like how important age is. Or even a 10 prospect countdown.
Stats or Big Picture Stuff - How about some comparisons of the upcoming free free agents and how things balance out. Or have each of their announcers fill out a GM cheat sheet of how they would construct the Twins for the next season? Or a quick graphic showing how the upcoming opposing team is doing relative to the Twins in basic categories, like Runs scored, or runs against, or defenasive metrics. My favorite idea is creating some 5-minute pieces that show the science behind something like Runs Created or Pythagorean Theorme in the style of Bill Nye The Science Guy. That could be run pretty regularly and reused.

Back to Robby - I have no problem with him choosing to provide a positive spin. I especially like that he's honest about it - that he declares that's what he's going to be because that's how he's wired (and probably because it makes his job a lot more pleasant.) If he's honest about what he presents, that's great. If he's critical of others for their attitude, that's disappointing.

Steve Lein
05-14-2012, 11:33 AM
All I have to say is, would you rather go back to Telly Hughes?!

Bojangles
05-14-2012, 11:36 AM
All I have to say is, would you rather go back to Telly Hughes?!

Quoted for truth.

Thrylos
05-14-2012, 11:47 AM
All I have to say is, would you rather go back to Telly Hughes?!

Telly Hughes is in Milwaukee. On the other hand, I'd rather see Marney Gellner than Robbie I. any day of the week.

Steve Lein
05-14-2012, 01:38 PM
Telly Hughes is in Milwaukee.

Not sure what this has to do with what I was getting at, you do remember him with the Twins, right?! But I do agree 1000% with your Marney Gellner assessment!

lecroy24fan
05-14-2012, 10:20 PM
All I have to say is, would you rather go back to Telly Hughes?!
Or have Anthony LaPanta call 150 games?

fittdogg
05-14-2012, 11:45 PM
Reusse wrote an article back in January about the subject. I think he nailed it.

http://www.startribune.com/sports/gophers/137359463.html

StormJH1
05-15-2012, 03:50 PM
@fittdogg - Good link, I did not see that article, possibly because it was 01/15/2012 (offseason), or possibly because I refuse to pay the Strib 99 cents or whatever it is to read more than 15 articles on coverage that's done better by Gleeman, sites like this, and various other outfits. But Reusse is one of my favorites of the local "mainstream" guys. Souhan, however, seems to just enjoy being negative and I do not like most of his stuff...so it isn't just pure unfounded criticism that I'm looking for.

@John Bonnes - Thanks for your opinions on the topic. They are well-reasoned. The reason I'm trying not to swing too far in this job is that if I had Anthony LaPanta or Robby I's job, (a) I would think I had the best job ever; and (b) If sugar-coating the material a little bit was necessary to keep my job over the dozens of boobs they could throw on TV in my place, I have no doubt I would do the same thing, at least to some degree.

Your comments also went deeper into the overall "quality" of the FSN broadcast. I'm mixed on this one as well. I think it's pretty clear that the broadcast is designed to appeal broadly to kids and many casual fans. I don't think Ron Coomer is really out to teach my 30-something ass how to cover 1st base on a bunt in the post-game :)

But in a 162-game season where we could be realistically "out of it" by June, it would be nice to see them try some different things to educate people about the game and look to the future of the club. To be fair, FSN (as a network) does that already with the sped-up Rochester Red Wings games. Today's game against the Indians wasn't even televised, so there are obvious limits to how much minor league content we can expect to see on the air.