Thursday, April 16, 2009

GameDay Chatter: On Alarms and Angels

During the 2009 season, the Twins Radio Network is going extend their broadcasting after each Sunday game to include a couple of hours or Twins sports talk with Jack Morris and Kris Atteberry. And yes, this means your Sunday's are completely shot to hell.

This show is going to include a weekly 'rant' by a GameDay writer/blogger called 'GameDay Chatter'. You'll find this week's below. If you're interested in hearing the audio, or talking with Morris or Atteberry about it, be sure to tune in on Sunday.

It was just eleven words by Dan Gladden, almost a throwaway comment in Tuesday’s game. They were: “Redmond’s on second. It will take a double to score him.”

But I heard alarm bells. Followed by a choir of angels.

The first reaction, and alarm, has been drilled into me by decades of my favorite team’s coverage. Was Gladden ripping Redmond’s speed? Well, yes. And no. Yes, he called Redmond slow, but that’s not a rip. Redmond is slow. He brings a lot of valuable assets to the Twins 25 man roster – and none of them are speed. Calling Redmond slow is like calling an orange – orange.

So why the alarms? Because it’s the sort of candid analysis that, in the past, has been shied away from in our market. Coverage has been geared towards the casual fan, which too often means dumbing down story lines, blind homerism, or even outrageous attacks. But that’s changed lately. Minnesota fans aren’t satisfied with fuzzy stories about how confident Jason Kubel is this year. We want to know if he’s able to hit lefties yet.

And the media is responding. This spring we had stories in the Strib evaluating the Twins fielding using advanced statistics. This year the Twins are partnering with GameDay (the independent program & scorecard that wasn’t allowed on the Metrodome grounds for the previous eight years) to provide objective analysis in each of the Twins $1 scorecards. And on the radio you have ex-ballplayers like Gladden or Jack Morris reacting as honest teammates to both the good - and the bad.

As the old coverage is replaced, we’re seeing other changes, too. Like ratings that don’t fall off a cliff when the team isn’t a front-runner. Or fans paying more attention to Twins prospects than big name free agents. Or even baseball crowds rising in unison when they recognize their team needs to be elevated to a higher place, rather than grudgingly clapping when the “Noise-o-meter’ prompts them to.

That’s what happens when you trust the public with truths. You get choirs of angels singing. Maybe loud enough to drown out the alarm bells.

Thanks for stopping by. If you would like to read more from the Twins Geek, check out the preview of the pitchers for this weekend's tilt against the Angels at


SoCalTwinsfan said...

I think Gladden's point was more that the slow Redmond was made even slower by a groin injury he has been nursing. Also, Gladden (or Jack Morris for that matter) has never shied away from criticism of the Twins.

DJL said...

Chris Atteberry did a very good job on the play by play the other night. I was pleasantly surprised and hope to hear more of him.