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Zulgad: Is MLB really making return about dollars and cents?

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Fox Sports North Falsehoods of 2018's First Half

Posted by Miles Death , 11 July 2018 · 2,693 views

When I was growing up, I thought Dick and Bert were awesome. They had the fun “Circle me Bert” shtick, seemingly great rapport with each other, and good timing on bringing excitement to the game. But, I was young - I didn’t know any better. This season is the first summer I’ve enjoyed diving into statistical truths in baseball. I think the analytical trend in the game has not been kind to our FSN announcing crew. It’s made them both increasingly bitter and more frequently inaccurate. Starting in April, I decided to make a list of falsehoods uttered by FSN contributors. I’ve come up with my top 5 at the midway point in the year, but hope many are added in the comments section below :)

1. Jack Morris claims you can’t measure spin rate.

This one was an absolute doozy and I believe almost every Twins Daily writer picked up on it and commented on it on Twitter. Jack claimed during a game that he didn’t think it was possible to accurately calculate the spin rate of either a batted ball or a pitch. This is on par with somebody saying they just don’t “believe” in climate change. Ridiculous.

2. Bert Blyleven compares Jake Odorizzi to Brad Radke multiple times :banghead:

This is the one that kicked off this project. I could be mistaken, but I believe it was first in Odorizzi’s second start that Bert mentioned how similar he was to Radke. My immediate reaction was to look up prevalence of free passes in both players’ careers. Odorizzi has a career BB/9 of 3.1 (4.1 in 2018 so far). Now, this isn’t a ridiculously high number, but let’s compare in Radke’s career BB/9 – 1.6. Radke was a master of control; it was beautiful to watch. In 2005, in 200.2 IP, he only had 23 walks. Maybe he meant both pitchers were American and 6 feet, 2 inches tall, but I doubt it.

3. Torii Hunter has a strange take on launch angles.

This one was admittedly rather hilarious. Parker Hageman and Aaron Gleeman called my attention to it as I missed it live. Here is the quote: “Like I said, the launch angle is good for some people, but I think everybody can’t hit with the launch angle,” said Hunter. “I heard [Toronto Blue Jays third baseman] Josh Donaldson say he launches the ball. If you look at his swing, it really has no launch. It actually goes through the ball, and then it launches actually through the ball. But you can’t go after it with the launch.”

This isn’t even Torii’s hottest take in the world of sports. He once said (as a player for the Tigers) “But I can tell you this, I made love to my wife the other night and I caught a cramp in my hamstring. I actually put my leg out and kept performing. So there’s no excuse,” in response to Lebron James suffering cramps in the NBA Finals. Torii Hunter is one of my favorites and I enjoy having him on the broadcast, but seriously?

4. Bert Blyleven says Fernando Rodney doesn’t give a lot of free passes.

Just this last Monday against the Royals, Rodney was in to save a nice win for the Twins. During Rodney’s appearance (I believe on a 3-0 count), Bert blurted out that Rodney “doesn’t walk a lot of people.” Huh? Even to people who don’t check stats, Rodney has a reputation of making things interesting in save situations by walking batters. In fact, his career BB/9 is 4.4…definitely not a low walk rate.

5. Tim Laudner yells at the rulebook.

Now, I will admit this isn’t a falsehood. He just has a strong opinion on the rule change dealing with catchers and how they block the plate. The issue came up with Anthony Rizzo sliding and clipping the leg of Pirates’ catcher Austin Hedges. I included this on the list for two reasons: 1) it was hilarious how mad he got and 2) it goes with the theme of ex-players at FSN that can’t seem to progress with the times. It got to the point on Twins Live that Laudner was essentially getting worked up looking at the rule on a piece and paper and saying what a disgrace the change has been. We understand you’re mad, but calm down. The rules aren’t going to go back, so just accept.
  • Honorable Mention: Tim Laudner says the Twins swept a “very good” Orioles team
I don’t even need to say anything about this, do I?

Thus concludes my top 5 falsehood list. I hope you’ve gotten a kick out of our broadcast crew. For all the falsehoods, they are pretty good contributors and I enjoy the comparisons and theories every once in a while. Plus, we always have Cory Provus on play-by-play on the radio, and the occasional appearance of Justin Morneau in the TV booth (the eventual dream team, I hope).

What are some of your favorite contributions from our FSN crew? Let me know in the comments below!


  • Mike Frasier Law, nicksaviking, Oldgoat_MN and 4 others like this


Honorable Mention: Tim Laudner says the Twins swept a “very good” Orioles team

Honorable mention? That should be #1. That "very good" team is on pace to go 51-111. 

    • nicksaviking, Platoon and Miles Death like this
Jul 12 2018 11:05 AM
The horror of it all is that we are stuck with Beemer for the next 20+ years. Apparently, people dig insufferable stories of his hometown and his affinity for defending overpaid and underperforming players. A few days ago, I heard Dick lamenting that he hoped the launch angle and exit velocity revolution would die and go away soon since you can hit a ball hard with little launch angle and still get a base hit (almost sure he rolled out the Joe Mauer example, don't quote me in that though). Dick did make a good point that strikeouts need to decrease.

I dont mind Dick that much, depending on who he is working with. With Bert, he is pretty bad. With Jack, hes awful. With Latroy and Justin, hes pretty good. He definitely can change depending on his partner. 

    • nicksaviking, Andrew Thares and Miles Death like this
Jul 17 2018 08:36 AM


I dont mind Dick that much, depending on who he is working with. With Bert, he is pretty bad. With Jack, hes awful. With Latroy and Justin, hes pretty good. He definitely can change depending on his partner. 


Yeah, with Latroy, Justin and Torii he seems to both lob some easy opportunities for the recently former players to provide anecdotes and connect with the younger men. 


With Jack and Bert he alternates between catering to and needling the curmudgeons. It's gotten a bit stale.


    • Miles Death likes this
Andrew Thares
Jul 30 2018 11:57 AM

I think my dream booth would be a three-man crew of either Dick Bremer or Corey Provis doing play-by-play with Justin Morneau and Roy Smalley as the analysts. Personally I think a 3 person booth is the best way to go because you get so much more fresh content and it's not just the same two guys with their typical back and forth every game. Plus with Smalley and Morneau you get two guys who played in two different generations to appeal to a wider demographic, but still understand and appreciate the game for what it is today.