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View Full Version : Great Article by Howard Sinker



Gernzy
04-17-2012, 09:55 AM
Everyone should go read this. He brings up so many points that we have all been talking about for the last few months. Most of us should be able to agree with it.

http://www.startribune.com/sports/twins/blogs/147744405.html

Nick Nelson
04-17-2012, 10:11 AM
Good read. Right on the money.

whydidnt
04-17-2012, 10:39 AM
Have to agree with the premise of the article. It's not as easy as it looks, and with the deals in place most of the guys are either employees of the Twins, or the Twins have a say in who's hired and fired. That's my only frustration as sometimes it seems Dick and Bert are more cheerleaders than announcers. I know that's what they are paid to do, but it still is frustrating when you see obvious flaws in the game and they gloss it over. Of course, if they criticized the team like some of us do (myself included), they probably wouldn't have jobs long.

MWLFan
04-17-2012, 11:25 AM
Damn you Sinker. Once again attempting to bring reason and well thought out points to the Internet. You disappoint me sir. Next thing you know you will try to convince us all that the Matt Capps-Wilson Ramos trade was not first harbinger of the coming 2012 apocaplyse we on the Twins Boards all know it to be. I recoil at the thought of being fair and balanced with the local media types, don't you know they get paid to watch baseball games, sleep in fancy hotels, brought to games by limos and helicopters, feast on crab and lobster while in the radio and TV booth, hang out with Bono and Chuck Norris and walk to their airconditioned private bath facilites on pedals of rose buds. (ok, to be honest I am not sure about how fancy the hotels are.)

In return for this don't you understand all we want Bert and Richard to do is spend at least 2 hours of the broadcast discussing VORP of Nick Punto, the UZR of Willingham, once a week say pythagorean expectation (Gordo would have nailed that by the way), the fallacy of pitch to contact, the sad state of the Twins Minors Leagues, the terrible decisions of Gardy, Bill Smith, Terry Ryan, any Pohlad, why Vavra has his job, why Anderson has his job, why Wayne Hattaway is the Big Fella, in short to just be negative for us. Trust us it will work for ratings too...look at Bravo. My wife watches that all day sometimes and not one postive word is heard on it for the entire period. Twins ratings would soar if you would just bash Mauer more. More back biting and name calling would really enhance the viewing and listening experience. The days of Halsey Hall and Herb are done!

The boards of sports fandom are a sacred space reserved for the reactionary, built for those who fly off the handle, developed for us who believe it is our god given right to spew forth ill timed words in the same manner we play angry birds, without a thought in our heads. That sir is what makes it fun. Why can't our sports broadcasters be more that way.

Sinker I just thank god you don't write on the Vikings. At least there is a place where unfettered fandom will exist in it's pure form. Fire Childr...ah Frazier.

JB_Iowa
04-17-2012, 12:34 PM
While I agree that it isn't an easy job, Dick Bremer could improve his performance 200% (or more) by shutting up about 30% more than he does. I realize that there are people in the audience who only watch the occasional game but Bremer seems to find it necessary to fill every open second -- and a lot of what he says is mindless garbage. He is much too much in love with the sound of his own voice.

Everyone talks about Hawk Harrelson and what a homer he is. So I spent some days last week really watching (and listening) to games he was broadcasting (some games the Sox won, some they lost). Yes, he is a homer but he doesn't have that somewhat vicious streak that Dick Bremer often has about opposing players. AND, more importantly, Harrelson lets the sounds of the game come through.

I know a lot of people really like Bremer and he obviously knows how to appease his employers but you can count me as one viewer who almost always mutes the sound by the 3rd inning.

CDog
04-17-2012, 01:01 PM
that somewhat vicious streak that Dick Bremer often has about opposing players.

I'm curious about that part. I don't know that I've ever thought or noticed Bremer say anything even particularly negative about either team and certainly don't think I'd classify anything as "vicious." Maybe we're defining that word differently? But that seemed out of place with my experience so it caught my eye.

StormJH1
04-17-2012, 01:43 PM
I like the broadcast team. As a fan of several other teams in Detroit and the Twin Cities that have had long-term broadcasting crews, it's possible to be extremely fond of a broadcast crew while still keenly aware of their faults and flaws. You hear stuff like that about Dick (getting way too excited for 290-foot flyouts) and Bert (arrogance, former whining about not being in the H of F). But if you really think about it, these are two people you have to listen to for about 3 hours, up to 5 or 6 times a week (depending on how many games you watch...and no, I don't watch them all). It's pretty much unthinkable that you could listen for that long and not OCCASIONALLY become very annoyed with something they say. That's true of spouses, relatives, and close friends, as well.

I don't expect them to be overly critical of the team, given the nature of the telecast. Particularly in THIS market, being overly pessimistic would turn off many of the FANS even before it annoyed the ballclub.

I happen to be of a somewhat center-left political persuasion, but I've heard the criticism made that "liberal talk radio doesn't work because people don't want to hear about how terrible the country is all day long". I think there's a kernel of truth to that. Even if the criticisms are accurate or well-intended (in politics or over a 162-game baseball season), it doesn't make them any more appealing to swallow, and it becomes grating over time. I think the internet, blogs, and Twitter have provided plenty of outlets for fans to go if they want to complain. That's the very reason that chat boards and blogs take on a more critical and pessimistic perspective than the "mainstream" TV and radio media...people are seeking out coverage that reflects the way they feel. I don't need Dick and Bert to explicitly TELL me if my team is playing terrible, if you're a knowledgeable fan, you can see it for yourself!

Riverbrian
04-17-2012, 01:56 PM
I'm curious about that part. I don't know that I've ever thought or noticed Bremer say anything even particularly negative about either team and certainly don't think I'd classify anything as "vicious." Maybe we're defining that word differently? But that seemed out of place with my experience so it caught my eye.

Bremer Quotes:
1990... Robin Ventura was born on a highway because that is where accidents happen.
1991... There goes Albert Belle again... Whoever told him to just be himself couldn't have given worse advice.
1992... Gregg Jeffries doesn't agree with that call... He's the last guy who should speak... Ive heard more coherent things from a schizophrenic with Tourette's. Great Catch by Jim Eisenrich
1993... David Wells on the mound for the Tigers. Jeez that guy is fat. He needs two mirrors to see his whole body.
1994... Wade Boggs playing third for the Yankees. His teeth so yellow you'd think he eats nothing but butter.
1995... Maldonado drops the ball... Don't feel bad for him... Lots of people have no talent.
1996... Brady Anderson coming to the plate dragging that I.V. Bottle behind him filled with roids... Needles sticking out of his uniform. There it goes.
1997... Mo Vaugh steps to the plate... Mo is a difficult man to forget but well worth the effort.
1998... Kevin Stocker can't come up with it. His 3rd error of the game. Run scores and the Twins lead 7-1. Still a ways to go but the game is not over until Stockers wife sings.

It is possible that in all the above instances that he may have just said. It's a great day for Baseball and I heard it wrong.

LimestoneBaggy
04-17-2012, 02:02 PM
it's possible to be extremely fond of a broadcast crew while still keenly aware of their faults and flaws.

Nailed it Storm, Nailed it.

Love 'em for thier faults. I heard much about the dislike of John Gordon; personally, his voice/"Touch em all, ______" will forever be a fond memory of games past.

spideyo
04-17-2012, 02:03 PM
Wow. Has Bremer said anything like that in the last ten years? Having met the guy, he's very nice, polite professional, pretty much all the time.

It'd be interesting to see how Bremer would do with a different full-time partner. Within 10-15 years I expect to see Cuddy as part of our broadcast team, maybe he'll take burt's seat

JB_Iowa
04-17-2012, 02:10 PM
Would "snide" be better than vicious? Perhaps it is all in the way you hear it. I wish I could come up with specific examples but it is a general impression I've formed from watching him broadcast far too many games. I think it comes mostly from the way that, to me, he relishes it when an opposing team is going through a difficult streak or when an opposing player makes a bad play -- and it is more in the tone of his voice than in the words he uses. I've commented on it in game chat from time to time but don't have a way of retrieving examples.

Couple that with the way he comes across as "whiney". Last night, for example, his whole convoluted discussion about how the Yankees can afford to buy players who have a history of being injury-free just struck me as sour grapes (Bert didn't really bite on it because Dick couldn't articulate it yet tried making the point more than once).

Just count me as someone who is not a fan of his. I'm always grateful when I can get the other team's feed and I rejoice when Bremer has the night off.

But my distaste is primarily based on the fact that he rarely shuts up (although I did think he was a little better the first few games this season). When you combine his incessant yammering with the overabundance of on-air "talent" that FSN and the Twins think we need to hear, it makes my ears hurt.

Gernzy
04-17-2012, 02:28 PM
I've never thought that Bremer talked too much until you guys brought that up. When I watch the game tonight thats all I will be thinking of!

davidjcampbell
04-17-2012, 02:44 PM
Couple that with the way he comes across as "whiney". Last night, for example, his whole convoluted discussion about how the Yankees can afford to buy players who have a history of being injury-free just struck me as sour grapes (Bert didn't really bite on it because Dick couldn't articulate it yet tried making the point more than once).

This is the point in the game that I discovered ESPN was also broadcasting the Twins (except not in Washington DC, when I told my sister they were on she told me they had the Tigers/Royals game on).

The point about letting the game come through is spot on - Dick cannot let a moment of open air go by. I thought the ESPN guys (there were 3 of them in the booth and Tim K on the sideline) managed to get the sounds of the game in.

As for Bert, he already has one foot outside the booth and will be taking many games off this year. He will likely want to go make some real money signing HOF autographs.

CDog
04-17-2012, 02:55 PM
Would "snide" be better than vicious?

Couple that with the way he comes across as "whiney". Last night, for example, his whole convoluted discussion about how the Yankees can afford to buy players who have a history of being injury-free just struck me as sour grapes (Bert didn't really bite on it because Dick couldn't articulate it yet tried making the point more than once).

Snide would definitely be better. Not because I agree or disagree, but because it's a fantastic word that should be used at any opportunity! But no need to dig up examples. I was just curious because I've never noticed the same thing. I will confess that while I watch nearly every game on FSN, often I will be playing guitar or conversing and not giving full attention to the game-call. And if I come to a game late and am watching off the dvr, I'll even sometimes fast-forward some dead time between pitches or especially at-bats. This basically takes any flow of the talk on air away, so I barely notice what they're saying while I hear it. It becomes just sound.

As for last night's discussion you mention, I don't know if I thought it "whiney," but I did find it odd and disjointed. Neither of them seemed to have a full-fledged point and what I think I managed to decipher WAS their point didn't really make sense. Despite comments above about not always focusing on the chatter, that certainly was "out there" enough that it caught my attention!

I still do agree with the point of the original article that it's HARD to go through even one game, let alone 150+, while talking in anything resembling an entertaining or even lucid way.

Teflon
04-17-2012, 06:04 PM
If you select the home game feed for any of the games shown on MLB.com, you have the option of listening to an announcer-less game with just the sounds from the ballpark. With all of the apps that run side-by-side with the game on the website, a viewer is at no loss for statistics and in-game information - and, even better, gets to choose when they want to see it. It is "refreshing" - to borrow an oft-used Bremerism - to follow your own train of thought as the game unfolds instead of being subjected to the blather that constitutes the majority of a TV broadcast. Too bad live feeds of in-market games are still blacked out. I can't convince the MLB subscription people that I really live in San Diego or Pittsburgh despite what my Ip address and phone number indicate.