Stories and photos by Gordy Jones
The Twins Say Goodbye to a Few FriendsThe Minnesota Twins have announced that beginning next season, their games will no longer be heard on KSTP AM. KSTP, also known as 1500 ESPN, is a Hubbard Broadcasting radio station that has carried the Minnesota Twins games since 2007. Before that, and dating back to 1961 when the Twins moved here from Washington, the Twins were heard on WCCO. Their announcement the other day stated that the Twins new flag-ship station will be K-TWIN Radio, which is owned and operated by the Pohlad family. By adding the Twins to K-TWIN’s programming, they’ll surely boost the popularity of the station, which as of late, has been sagging in the ratings. K-TWIN is aimed at the adult listener; playing pop music, and airing news, traffic, and weather as needed.
The new arrangement seems to make good financial sense for the Pohlads, and it will benefit the listener, as well. Although it’s been great listening to the games on a sports talk station that will give you Twins updates right up to game time, KSTP doesn’t always come in clear. I’ve heard from many Twins fans who have complained they have trouble picking up the signal, and they are even more irritated if they can’t get it in their own apartment or office. K-TWIN is an FM signal, which has better reception than KSTP AM, and can be clearly received in most structures and buildings, even within the city. If you aren’t in the Twin Cities, the Twins will still have their radio network of 86 stations throughout Twins Territory, so no matter where you are, you can continue to get the games on the local feed.
KSTP, who has done a great job with Twins news, and special baseball programming such at the Ron Gardenhire show, will continue to carry such features. This jump to FM will not affect the broadcast team. Cory Provus and Dan Gladden, who were hand-picked by the Twins, and will continue to do the play-by-play and the color analysis of the games on K-TWIN, just as they are now on AM 1500.
Report Card for Cory Provus
If I were to grade Cory Provus for the first two-thirds of the season, I think I’d give him a B. I really enjoy his thorough descriptions of not only the plays, but of the uniforms, the field, the sky, and anything else involved with the game. As he describes – for example — the uniforms, I can tell he loves the game and almost wishes he was wearing the very uniform he’s describing. In fact, his description reminds me of a kid who is excited about receiving his very first baseball uniform, and he is on the phone, describing every detail of it with great pride to his best pal. What I don’t like are the descriptions he gives when he has time to think about it, such as the recap of a big play. It seems like Cory forces out “cute” phrases, and they just don’t sound natural. Other times it seems he is mimicking his mentor, Bob Uecker. But this is Cory’s rookie season as the number one guy. I believe he has what it takes to eventually become an exceptional announcer, and as time goes by, his delivery will become much more natural.
Hurry Back Brian
I really did hate to see Brian Dozier get demoted to the minors, but I think playing there regularly will help him as he continues to gain experience, and at the same time, restore his confidence. He’s loaded with talent, and he’s a great guy who fits in well with the team – but he was playing poorly. As many fantastic plays Brian has made on the field, he has made nearly as many rookie errors and poor decisions. Now, the only two things he should be doing in Rochester are: Learning to focus on his job, and proving he has what it takes to be an everyday major league ballplayer.
Oh Danny Boy
There is a fine line between confidence and cockiness, and every ballplayer needs plenty of confidence. I’ve heard there were a few times when Danny Valencia came close to crossing that fine line, and he may have rubbed a few people the wrong way. But I have to say; Danny has always treated me well…and no matter what happened, that’s neither here nor there. If you can’t play ball at the big league level, you’re gone. It doesn’t matter if you’re a prince or a jerk, if you don’t play well your gone. Danny hadn’t been playing well when the Twins traded him to the Boston organization.But sometimes, a new environment can straighten a guy out, and fast. He’s already gotten a break and was promoted from Pawtucket to the Red Sox because Will Middlebrooks, the Sox third baseman, broke his thumb.
Yes, Danny will be fine. He has talent, and he’s an overall good guy. Besides being humbled, he’s probably learned a lesson about focus, hard work, and humility.
Who knows? Next season when the Twins play the Red Sox, Danny Valencia will probably come back to haunt them.