Torii Hunter and LaTroy Hawkins won’t just be offering their baseball insights to Twins players and executives next season. They’ll be letting Twins fans hear them, too.
Hunter and Hawkins, hired in November along with Michael Cuddyer to serve as special advisors to the team, will also make their broadcasting debuts this season, joining play-by-play man Dick Bremer on Fox Sports North broadcasts. Hall of Fame pitcher Bert Blyleven will return for his 22nd season alongside Bremer, but will take occasional breaks during the season, allowing Hunter, Hawkins and two other former Twins, Roy Smalley and Jack Morris, to work in the booth on a rotating basis.
Hunter and Hawkins both retired following the 2015 season after long major-league careers that began with the Twins. Hunter was inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame last summer. The pair were hired in November to serve as special assistants to the team, a job that will involve working with players during spring training, plus some scouting and evaluation. That remains their primary focus, but they will also work occasional games as broadcasters.
Bremer will begin his 34th season with the team this spring. Smalley and Morris have filled in occasionally in the past, and both will also appear on the team’s pre-and postgame shows, along with former Twin Tim Laudner and hosts Tom Hanneman and Anthony LaPanta. Marney Gelner, Kevin Gorg and Audra Martin also return as on-field reporters.
FSN’s regular-season broadcast schedule has not been announced yet, but the network will televise 11 spring training games, beginning March 4 against the Blue Jays. In addition, 20 spring games will be broadcast on radio, 16 of them on Go-96.3 in the Twin Cities.
FSN’s spring telecast schedule: March 4 vs. Toronto; March 6 vs. St. Louis; March 8 vs. Team USA (World Baseball Classic entrant); March 11 vs. Boston; March 12 vs. Baltimore; March 13 vs. Tampa Bay; March 15 vs. St. Louis; March 16 at St. Louis; March 24 vs. Baltimore; March 26 vs. Boston; and March 28 vs. Tampa Bay. All games begin at noon except the March 8 and 24 games, which begin at 6 p.m. CT.