It was amusing to watch the postgame session with Gardy for FSN after Monday's Twins victory when he talked about the game and ended one of his thoughts by noting that some people have been writing that his team has been struggling. I took it as a cheerful chirp, although one of the FSN guys afterward called it "a shot."
Every now and again, people ask why I don't write more about the announcers, with the implication that any two people on a sofa in Edina or a bar stool at B-Dubbs could do a better job, which is pretty silly. We all have our stuff to do. TV and radio guys talk for hours on end, even when they might not have hours of great material. Beat writers and columnists offer up analysis that has the benefit of more perspective, more independence and more access than the rest of us have. Bloggers can sleep on stuff if they want and decide whether or not they have anything to add.
If anyone thinks the Dick 'n' Bert roles (or the studio or the radio jobs) are easy, you're wrong. That's one of the reasons I've become especially fond of Dan Gladden over the years as he's combined his rough-hewn honesty about the game with a radio presence that improves every year. Try talking your way through a game some time, staying on point and fresh, even on your sofa or at the bar.
(Now, for one of my favorite transitions: That being said...)
That being said, it was interesting to take a night off -- for the most part -- from the home team view in favor of watching the ESPN crew. Yes, one of the guys stumbled over Ryan Doumit's name and there was some naive-sounding stuff more geared to those who don't see the Twins as often as we do.
It was an interesting contrast to the local call.
This one could go on and on. But here's what i was struck by: As the ESPN guys were parsing Carl Pavano's performance, increasing their praise as the night went on and he found his groove, they went back and wondered whether Pavano gave up home runs to the first two Yankees batters -- Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson -- because he wasn't totally ready to pitch. One of them (and I apologize for not keeping track of whether it was Aaron Boone or Rick Sutcliffe) said it could have been because of the long first inning.
And they could have been totally wrong.
On the FSN postgame, Ron Coomer dismissed the home run pitches as one that Jeter "inside-outed" over the wall in right and Granderson's as a low and inside pitch that some left-handed batters are just bound to hit deep.
And Coomer could have been totally right.
They were two hugely different perspectives.
We all bring different perspectives to the ballpark or the sofa. Some of us will go to Target Field whether the Twins are 20 games under .500 or 20 games over. Others will become much more occasional followers, or claim to be, anyway. Some will really go away until things get better. And, again, all of those are appropriate.
I keep reminding myself that Dick 'n' Bert, and Cory 'n' Dan, and Anthony 'n' Robbie 'n' Marney 'n' Coomer 'n' Roy 'n' Kevin 'n' Tim Laudner are talking to a wide audience while representing a narrow perspective -- their employers. I understand that (even if I'm totally at a loss to explain the "Fox Sports North Girls," but that's for another day) and I'm not going to jump them for doing what they're paid to do.
That being said: Yes, Gardy, your team has been struggling. I know that you know it, too.