Friday, July 07, 2006

Everybody Loves the Sound of a Train in the Distance

Okay, time to bash my second favorite radio station. As many people have read/heard, this website’s favorite franchise is most likely leaving the good neighbor and moving the broadcasts of their games to KSTP. As much as I think ‘CCO has done nice work for the Twins, I have very few problems with this move. I do, however, have a problem with WCCO’s on-air response thus far. Their on-air personalities waged (past tense ‘cuz I’m hearing less and less every day) a grassroots campaign to malign the Twins’ braintrust and their rationale for changing broadcast partners. The main point, as I heard it? Loyalty. WCCO has broadcast the Twins’ games for the last 46 years. WCCO has been a loyal partner to the organization. WCCO stuck with the team during the “down” years.


Where were the complaints about ‘loyalty’ when the Twins were threatening to leave the state for Portland, Las Vegas, or North Carolina? Were WCCO and its employees the only folks that were loyal to the Twins for the last 46 years? The loyalty card only comes up now that the Twins are preparing to leave WCCO, not the state. How the worm turns.

The Minnesota Twins have been attempting to blackmail the state of Minnesota into buying them a stadium for the last ten years. Their leading instrument of propaganda? WCCO radio. With verying levels of bullshit, every single broadcast personality on the good neighbor has helped the Twins shill for a stadium. From the ludicrous ($0.03 for every $20) to the funny (cold Omaha) to the reasonable (simply the cost of doing business)…WCCO has been heralding a new stadium as a necessity to keep the franchise here and happy. Fine. Annoying, but fine. I disagree completely, but fine.

But you can't complain when the same tactics you've been a large part of are now being used on you. You just can't.

WCCO’s motives all along were to keep a very large part of their local business model in tact…it was never about 46 years of loyalty. (Do you think the station was losing money during those “down” years?) And there’s nothing wrong with that…but why do people believe that WCCO and Minnesota are inexorably tied together? Good marketing, that’s why.

Let’s not forget who owns WCCO radio. C.B.S. (or whatever we’re calling the parent company) The idea that the Twins demands are somehow unaffordable for WCCO is ridiculous. This is two very large companies having a pissing contest. Don’t try and sell me on loyalty.

Now if you want to make an argument about moving to a station that employs this guy…I’m all ears.

Coincidentally, there’s an article about Danny Gladden and his evolution as a broadcaster in the Minneapolis Star Tribune today. Very nicely written, it manages to hit a few spots that have confused me for quite some time. I’ve always liked Gladden as an announcer, and always thought he was terrible at it. Does that make any sense? Wherever I’m listening to the Twins next year…I’m hoping he’s part of the broadcast. But I’m also hoping he gets better. Now, if only someone can explain where "Dazzle" came from?

We’ve failed Sr. Filthiano

In related news…Michael Barrett is being added to the NL squad.

Kids, never drink in the daytime. Someone may film it.
Severe alcoholism...that's the only explanation I can come up with.


Hops said...

Funny article comparing each American League team to a member of the 1984 Tigers. I'm thrilled that the Twins are Lou Whitaker (good sign?)...but the Royals are the clear winners in this evaluation

Kaiser said...

I never imagined someone could fit Scott Stahoviak and David Hasselhoff into the same piece. Simply astounding.

Is there any correlation between the general political tendencies of a city/state/region and it's resistance to change? Even relatively meaningless changes like the ones you describe in this post? Like if this was going on in a very conservative state, would there be more resistance?

Hops said...

I think Minnesotans are very provincial...and take it very personally when perceived as being "not loyal" to or toward something.

As far as general political tendencies...are you wondering about red states vs. blue states? I'm not sure political leaning has anything to do with it...however, tradition and personalities do. Despite many people feeling warm and fuzzy toward Herb Carneal, I don't think anyone has ever had any everlasting attachment to he and the say Vin Scully/Dodgers, Ernie Harwell/Tigers. In the end, the radio station is just a number, and Dave Lee giving away tickets every morning isn't enough to lock people in.

Kaiser said...

I guess I was thinking of Minnesota as a place where change is not only accepted, but embraced. We've been the most populist state in the nation for the past decade and even elected a Navy Seal/Wrestler/Buffoon our governor, for instance. I think there are many places in this country where attitudes and traditions are more entrenched, and something like this radio switcheroo would be much less tolerated, and I'm pointing to the south in particular. You think this would fly in Texas? What if this were the broadcasting rights for Perham Panthers football in Odessa, TX?

Smitty said...

WCCO people make it seem like they were the ones with the cash and the pull. Let's be honest, this has more to do with CBS saying no then WCCO. Twins stayed with them when it sounds like they were going to leave twice in the past 10 years. KTSP is a local owned station so isnt' this move showing more loyalty to the Twin Cities vs WCCO?

I have zero problem with this move. Zero interest in hearing what WCCO says and all the interest in hearing that the Twins will have more money (higher pay from KTSP and control of advertising) and should use this money for stadium and player expenses.

I hope they keep the current radio talent. That will show more loyalty then keeping WCCO. Except don't let Gladden and Morris to commentary together. It's better then McCarver, Morgan or Walton, but still.