Brewers' Provus hired as Twins radio voice

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 4, 2011 - 3:16 PM

Cory Provus, a 33-year-old who has spent three years working with Bob Uecker, will take over play-by-play duties on Twins broadcasts.

Cory Provus, the new radio play-by-play voice for the Twins, doesn't have a signature home run call yet.

At age 33, the Highland Park, Ill., native has toyed with variations, but nothing has stuck the way it did for his predecessor John Gordon ("Touch 'em all!") or Provus' Brewers colleague Bob Uecker ("Get up, get up, get outta here ... gone!").

Provus likes both those calls, he said Thursday after officially being hired by the Twins away from Milwaukee, but he hasn't found one to call his own.

"If you try to be too cute, they sound corny," Provus said. "So I don't want to force anything on people. I hope it comes naturally. I'd rather not have a home run call than have one people just don't like."

Listeners generally have liked Provus everywhere he has gone in a career that started at alma mater Syracuse in 1996. With his deep, smooth voice and descriptive style, he called multiple sports for Alabama-Birmingham before spending two years as a member of the Chicago Cubs broadcast team, where he worked alongside the late Ron Santo.

He spent the past three years as the Brewers' No. 2 radio voice and was viewed as Uecker's heir apparent before the Twins hired him to replace Gordon, who retired at season's end. Other candidates included the Twins' Kris Atteberry, the Royals' Ryan Lefebvre and Class AAA Rochester's Josh Whetzel.

"It was a tough decision on a couple fronts," said Andy Price, Twins senior director for broadcasting. "One, we had a great candidate here locally, in Kris Atteberry. We had other great candidates, but they were passed over for one reason, and that's because we found the best guy for the job."

Provus, whose wife, Dana, joined him at Target Field for an informal news conference, said taking this job was "a no-brainer."

"It's a No. 1 job in a great town with a great history in baseball," Provus said. "Everybody my wife and I have spoken with says so many great things about this town and this franchise. The Twins organization has class. They don't have a lot of turnover. John [Gordon] was here two decades. That's what you dream about."

When it comes to broadcast partners, Provus has traded Uecker for another ex-ballplayer in Dan Gladden, who has been in the Twins radio booth for 12 years. Provus will handle play-by-play duties for either five or six innings, with Gladden doing the rest, but they will constantly serve as a two-man booth.

"I'm going to lean on Dan a lot," Provus said.

The Twins know Atteberry might pursue other play-by-play jobs, but they would be thrilled if he stays on as a pre- and postgame host, subbing for Gladden when needed.

Provus, who grew up as a Cubs fan listening to WGN, said he believes it's "impossible to be too descriptive" on radio.

"How can I make a routine ground ball to [shortstop] exciting, three-dimensional if you will?" he said. "And that's what I strive to do."

But Provus also said Uecker taught him "to let the game breathe," taking the occasional pause to let the natural sound of the ballpark take over.

"In college, the professors are telling you dead air is the worst thing in broadcasting, and that's how I felt for a long time," Provus said. "But working with Bob the last three years, he says that dead air in baseball is a good thing."

Provus is versed on new-age statistics but said: "You've got to be careful with too many stats. You start throwing out too many numbers in a short period of time, and then you throw out the score of the inning, and you've lost the listener."

Price said he probably listened to 25 Brewers broadcasts this season, as the Twins conducted a national search for Gordon's replacement.

"Every time I closed my eyes and listened to the radio broadcast of Cory and Ueck doing the games, I just knew [Provus] was the guy we needed to talk to," Price said. "We got the guy we wanted from the get-go."

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