Saturday, May 27, 2006

Great Moments in Baseball History (As Revised by Twins Broadcasters)

I went out to my parents' house tonight to watch the Twins-Mariners game with my dad. It was a historic night in Twins history, as Governor Pawlenty was on hand in his Twins jersey to officially sign the stadium bill into law.

The organization managed to turn the evening into quite an event, parading every ex-Twin they could find onto the field for the pregame ceremony and delaying the start of the game by 30 minutes. The excitement for me, however, was the anticipated pitching matchup between arguably the two most talked-about young pitchers in baseball - the Mariners' 20-year-old "King" Felix Hernandez and the Twins' 22-year-old Francisco Liriano.

The game lived up to the hype, with the Twins pulling out a 3-1 win. Liriano shut out the Mariners through five innings, impressively worked out of jams, and embarassed a Seattle lineup who could only helplessly flail at his 90 MPH slider. Hernandez was nearly as good. After allowing two second inning runs and a leadoff homerun to Joe Mauer in the third, he completely shut down the Twins the rest of the way.

Yeah, it was a good night at the ballpark, and that was not lost on broadcasters Dick Bremer and Bert Blyleven. At one point late in the game, Bremer was waxing nostalgic on the history of the now-doomed Metrodome. They showed a flashback video of former Twin catcher Dave Engle hitting the first regular season homerun at the Dome, against the Mariners in '82. Bremer went on to recall a two-game exhibition series against the Cincinnati Reds which were the first actual games played in the Dome. He reminisced about how even though he finally got a chance to see Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench play in person, it seemed awkward since Bench played the game at third base. (This is true, while Bench was still hanging on at the end of his legendary career, the Reds did experiment with him at both third and first base.) He also recalled Pete Rose leading off the game with a single and said, "To this day, Pete Rose will tell you that he got the first hit at the dome."

Oh, Dick. Pete Rose played for the Phillies from 1979 to 1984. He was nowhere near a Twins-Reds exhibition game in 1982.

This has to be my favorite example of delusion from broadcasters for at least two weeks! At least I believe that's about how long it's been since I tuned in for the radio broadcast of a Twins-Royals game to hear Twins radio announcer John Gordon dish out this nugget regarding the Royals centerfielder that day, 32-year old journeyman Kerry Robinson, a guy who has played in 445 major league games since 1998 for four different teams coming into this year, and who spent all of last year in the Mets minor league system before hooking on with the woeful Royals in spring training this year:

"Rookie centerfielder Kerry Robinson, I mean to tell you the Royals really like this kid! They really think he can be something special!"

Sorry, Gordo, but not even the Royals are that misguided... just a few days later Robinson was designated for assignment.


Post a Comment

<< Home