Twins 5 A's 0

It is fun to have the Twins back, and I love the late night games on the West Coast. The Oakland Coliseum is sort of a relic of the 1970s. Oakland's public address announcer is of the old, booming understated bass school, not given over to the screaming hype of Target Field and most everywhere else. With the TV hooked up to the stereo system in the living room, the stadium noises fill the house. (Lance goes in his office and shuts the door). 

Jack Morris is filling in for the vacationing Bert Blyleven. Morris is a superior broadcaster. Self-effacing, articulate, yet calm. His observations are original, not trite and cliche-ridden. His only problem is his voice is a bit muffled and doesn't cut through the other noise. However, I think Morris tones down Dick Bremer's shrill, overwrought amazement at some stupid statistic the guys in the truck dug up. "I mean, if you eliminate the start against the Orioles in late June, you could make a plausible argument that the best right-handed starter in the Central Division since May 7, with the possible exception of Chris Sale, is Mike Pelfrey." Or Kyle Gibson. Or whomever. Doesn't matter. My eyes glaze over. 

Bremer provides analysis as the play unfolds, which is just irritating. Dozier hits a home run. Before he hits the dugout, Bremer declares, "This is the most electric moment in Target field in years!" That's something you say the next day, not as the moment unfolds. As the moment unfolds, you simply describe. 

These factors seem superficial, but these are the little things that create memories. I remember the summer late-night games in the mid-1970s when I put on the stereo headphones while everybody else slept in the darkened house. I listened to Herb Carneal's gentle baritone until I fell asleep. Back then, Herb and his broadcast partner Frank Quilici knew that their audience dwindled back home after midnight, so they hammed it up a bit, letting their conversations drift off to things like Frank's mother's cooking. 

Quilici had an awful nose-plugged voice. Calvin Griffith got Quilici the broadcasting job to make up for firing him as manager of the Twins. Calvin didn't pay his good players what they were worth, but he had a heart for those on the fringe who needed a few days in the major leagues to qualify for pensions, for example. He'd stick them on the roster for a week or two in September. And he didn't want Quilici to be without work, so he put him in in the broadcast booth despite Quilici's complete lack of natural ability. However, the good rapport between Herb and Frank made them a good team. I think Herb enjoyed those summers bantering with Frank more than any other, despite the futility of the Twins during that time. 

So now we have a fairly good Twins team playing fairly good ball with a propensity for tight, hard-fought games featuring good starting pitching. Twins fans are having a good summer. At some point in my life I suspect I will look back on these summer nights in front of the TV with nostalgia, even for Dick Bremer's perpetual tone of utter amazement.