Bert Blyleven has been a Twins TV analyst for more than two decades, but in that time he’s seen his role reduced. Based on a two-year contract he agreed to recently, that role will be even smaller in 2017 and 2018.
Blyleven is slated to do 80 games on Fox Sports North in both of those years, which would represent a reduction of 20 games from recent seasons.
Twins President Dave St. Peter confirmed that Blyleven and play-by-play voice Dick Bremer will both be back in 2017 and 2018. He said the Twins and FSN proposed the 80-game package to Blyleven — which the Hall of Fame pitcher accepted — and are “jointly considering multiple options” for the other 70 games expected to be televised by FSN.
Roy Smalley, Jack Morris and Tim Laudner — all former Twins players, as is Blyleven — served as FSN analysts in 2016.
Blyleven’s previous contract was a five-year deal that had him doing 100 games per season — which represented a reduction from his previous workload, when he did virtually every televised game.
Blyleven has his share of fans and critics (the latter group isn’t afraid to voice opinions on Twitter). He had a minor dust-up in 2015 with his anti-Detroit tweets and appeared more critical of the Twins at times during their 2016 season.
St. Peter did not give a specific reason for the further reduction in games and shorter duration of this contract.