Patrick Reusse has been covering sports in the Twin Cities since 1968. He has been a Star Tribune sports columnist since 1988. His sportswriting credo is twofold: 1. God will provide an angle; 2. The smaller the ball, the better the writing.


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A flashback to when every pitch wasn't available

Posted by: Patrick Reusse Updated: May 25, 2013 - 8:53 AM

We have such instant access to information on all issues, including our sports teams, that it's strange being removed from the Twins' meltdown the past couple of days. I'm in Florida, visiting the grandkids, and haven't been able to monitor this disaster through the objective, pitch-by-pitch prism of FSN.

You could do that on the computer, but that's not for me. Basically, I've been relying on my cell phone and the beat writers and pundits who I follow on Twitter, and on the ESPN crawl on the limited channel selections of a hotel TV system.

On Friday, this old boy was a bit worn out from 10 hours with the 4-year-old and 32-month-old, and was stretched out reading John Sandford's "Mad River'' and taking an occasional glance at the crawl. There was a score update with the information Detroit was leading the Twins 5-0 after 5 innings, and a stat line including the information that Mr. Sanchez had allowed no hits through five innings.

It wasn't until the no-hitter was six innings complete that the crawl started reading directly that Sanchez had a no-hitter. The bulletins continued through the seventh and eighth, and then ESPN cut into its coverage of collegiate softball to show the top of the ninth.

Jamey Carroll was called out on a questionable strike three, and then Joe Mauer singled up the middle, and that was it -- my TV exposure to live Twins' action as the losing streak reached 10 games.

Not having every inning of every game available -- or every quarter or every period -- available is always a reminder of how great this generation of sports fans has things.

When Calvin Griffith brought the Twins to Minnesota in 1961, there were 20 games per season on local television. Sixteen road games and four Friday night home games during the summer. That was it.

If I'm not mistaken, when the Dodgers and the Giants moved their rivalry from New York to California in 1958, for several years the only TV games shown specifically to those local markets were those played against one another.

The Game of the Week on Saturday truly was a game that a baseball fan of the '60s coveted.As I said, the Twins showed us 20 games, meaning that often you had to wait from one Saturday to the next to see a big-league ballgame.

My generation thought it was ground-breaking when Howard Cosell was giving us three minutes of highlights from Sunday's games at halftime of Monday Night Football.

Today, we have NFL Red Zone, goodness almighty ... NFL Red Zone, where you can see every important series of plays for seven hours on Sunday afternoons.

A sports follower feels lost without constant exposure to the home teams today, even if it's access to the poor, miserable, "Hey, we did get a hit'' Twins. Titanic or triumph, it's all there for us now, unless you're in Florida and the ship has decided to do its sinking in the Detroit River.

One sidelight: I did stand in the back of he hotel bar for the last few minutes of the NBA game and observed the misery of a few Heat fans as Indiana evened the series at 1-1.

"LBJ, what the ...'' a fellow shouted, as LeBron James committed the game-deciding turnover.

That was fun.

 

 

 

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