The Twins returned to Target Field on Tuesday after a 10-day, nine-game West Coast road trip that might as well have been played in Siberia in the middle of the night.

Reporters entering the clubhouse for pregame interviews with players were greeted by almost blinding lights, much brighter than previously, which was helpful to those of us with poor eyesight.

Name tags for players would have been appropriate too, since, you know, most of us can't watch the Twins on TV whether they're home or on the road. So that's what Kody Funderburk looks like.

The Twins are a good team, an entertaining team and most likely a playoff team, and I have never felt more disconnected from them and baseball than I do this season because of the ridiculous TV blackouts.

Out of sight, out of touch.

Those of us who kept a death grip on Comcast over cord-cutting are greeted by the purple screen from hell when flipping to Bally Sports North thanks to their impasse in contract negotiations. Cord-cutters who haven't found loopholes are also out of luck with watching the Twins.

Only the fortunate folks with DirecTV and something called Fubo have visual proof of Carlos Correa's brilliance. Unless, of course, you buy a ticket when the Twins are at home.

If I sound crabby, yes, I am. Frustration that I shared with Twins President Dave St. Peter during a visit to his Target Field booth before a game this week.

"You're not alone," he said. "Clearly, this dispute has wreaked havoc on the daily routines of countless fans across the region. People who have relied on the Twins as part of their way to either escape or just rally behind the hometown team. It's also obviously impacting our business in the short term."

Baseball viewing has long been a summertime routine in my household. When I was growing up in the South, TBS brought the greatness of Dale Murphy into my living room every evening. I'd mimic Murph's batting stance with my Wiffle ball bat when he came to the plate for the Braves.

As an adult living in Minnesota, summer nights include the Twins game on TV. Not always to follow every pitch of nine innings. Some nights, it's background noise while we cook dinner. Some nights, it's only for a few innings.

Now, it's that dreaded purple screen as I scroll through the channels.

It's pointless to decide what percentage of blame each entity deserves. Let's just say I'm frustrated with everyone involved. The Twins. Comcast. Bally Sports and its parent company, Diamond Sports Group.

It is asinine that in the year 2024, fans of a professional sports team don't have access to televised games over a contract dispute.

"I have tremendous empathy for those fans that simply want to watch their favorite team play," St. Peter said. "That should be a fundamental right for a fan of a team. When you fail to deliver that, shame on the team, shame on the broadcaster, shame on the distributor."

St. Peter added: "We've never shied away from our responsibility. Now, when we renewed with Diamond, some people have suggested that we knew they wouldn't get a deal done with Comcast. That's simply not true. Diamond successfully negotiated multiyear carriage deals with all the other major providers. The only one they didn't get done was Comcast. We did not foresee a day when we would be blacked out."

It looks like the blackout will continue throughout July. Another bankruptcy hearing involving Diamond is scheduled for July 29. St. Peter said he is not "terribly optimistic" that a resolution might happen before then.

St. Peter said that hearing "could be an inflection point either with Comcast and/or with maybe freeing up the ability for us to introduce a direct-to-consumer option in the market for the last couple months of the regular season. That's certainly our hope."

He sees a future when Twins games are available via both cable/satellite and streaming.

"I do think if you're a displaced Twins fan and you can hang in there with us," he said, "you'll have more options than ever in the near future to watch the team at an affordable rate."

Some will hang, others might not. For me, this blackout has created a frustrating disconnect. That combined with the incessant rain has created some unwelcome summertime irritability.