After two long years, Twins channels are excited to announce the return of the journey – Twin Cities

Dick Bremer arrived in Fort Myers, Fla., on a Sunday in March and the next morning entered the Twins’ clubhouse for the first time in more than two years. In the 45 minutes he worked in the clubhouse, he had 15 conversations with players, coaches and staff.

The types of conversations that add color and detail to broadcasts. The types of conversations that help educate the broadcaster about the day-to-day ins and outs of the team. The types of conversations he’s missed over the past two years.

“I could take most of that with me on the next show, right? And that’s what the viewers deserve, someone who has the ability to connect with the players because the numbers are all online,” said Bremer, the Twins’ longtime TV play-by-play announcer. “I think with the evolution of broadcasting, that connection is more important now than ever.”

And yet, for the past two years, broadcasters have been stripped of the ability to make those connections and kept off clubhouses and the streets because of COVID-19. Twins broadcasters have resumed their journey this season and for the first time since 2019 will announce a local road game at Fenway Park on Friday when the Twins take on the Red Sox at 1:10 p.m

While the Twins’ television and radio crews have taken trips to spring training in recent years, the trip to Fenway marks a return to normalcy for the group of Twins announcers.

And they couldn’t be better prepared for it.

“This is great for our audience,” play-by-play announcer Cory Provus said on the radio. “It’s great for our fan base that we can tell stories again without having to rely on other people, that we can go out and build relationships and have interactions with guys that we haven’t had face-to-face for the last two years could. It’s an important part of the performance so I’m looking forward to getting back on the road.”

Beginning in July 2020, as the shortened 60-game season began and the team took to the streets, the Twins’ television and radio crews began showing up at Target Field and calling games remotely.

Game Used: My Life in Stitches with the Minnesota Twins, written by broadcaster Dick Bremer, shown here in an undated photo courtesy of Jim Bruton, will be released Tuesday, March 17, 2020. (Courtesy of Dick Bremer)

Not everything was bad. For Provus, the benefit of a reduced itinerary meant spending days and weeks with his wife Dana and their two children that he would not otherwise have had. But between technical glitches, mistakes in the game and the distance to the players and coaches on the pitch, the job was anything but easy.

“Let me say this straight away, 47 years of broadcasting and there is nothing I am prouder of than to be part of an industry that has managed to get these games on the air in the circumstances we have had to work with,” said Bremer. “But it was like making the games in black and white, and now we can make them in color again.”

When the Twins were in Kansas City, Baltimore, or Seattle, Bremer and his partner du jour would sit at Target Field and watch the broadcast on a television screen in their dressing room. Ditto for Provus and his broadcast partner Dan Gladden next door.

There was a time last season when the club was in Chicago and second baseman Jorge Polanco hit a ball that Bremer thought he saw a foul. He said so, but seconds later, as he watched Polanco head for second place on his home run trot, Bremer realized his mistake.

It was embarrassing, he said, but given the fodder he had, he assessed the situation as best he could. Moments like this were, for the most part, rare.

“I know a lot of viewers didn’t realize we weren’t there, but we did, and that makes all the difference in the world,” Bremer said. “Regardless of what your job is, if you feel you can do your job well, you will do it better. But if you feel like you can’t do it well, it takes the fun out of the job.”

Accessing games from thousands of miles away presented a number of challenges. Another reason was the lack of contact with players, coaches and other decision-makers.

As a young radio host years ago in Chicago, Provus received advice from Jeff Joniak, the Bears’ longtime radio host, that he can’t get out of his head. The gist: Find something listeners haven’t read, seen, or heard anywhere else and bring them fresh content.

He took that advice to heart. While he still had access to manager Rocco Baldelli and others via Zoom, it was difficult to find unique content — it didn’t have to be a big story, but more of a nugget of information that listeners would enjoy — to get it over the airwaves sending was difficult.

“You couldn’t do that,” Provus said. “Now we can, and I’m excited about that, just interacting with people, decision makers, players and all that stuff and doing whatever it takes to try to provide fresh content every day. ”

And the main beneficiary of broadcasters having that kind of access and traveling again, Bremer said, is not himself, but the viewers and listeners who will tune in to a richer, more information-rich broadcast.

“If you love baseball, Fenway Park is always a sentimental trip anyway, but this year it’s going to be extra special because things we may have taken for granted all those years we will never take for granted again and at this historic event.” his baseball field, to be there in person again, that will be something very special,” said Bremer. After two long years, Twins channels are excited to announce the return of the journey – Twin Cities

Jessica MacLeish

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