Jack Morris will join the Detroit Tigers broadcast team as part of a three-man analyst rotation with incumbent Rod Allen and newbie Kirk Gibson.
My initial reaction to that news Tuesday was a combination of pleasure at the notion of being rid of Morris' old-school commentary and sorrow for Tigers fans, who will get the same. (I don't know Allen's work enough to speak to the quality of it, but he seems off my blog browsing and Twitter feed to be well-liked.)
Then I learned that Morris isn't leaving the Twins broadcasts. The idea seems to be that Morris will work on the Tigers broadcasts in midweek and the Twins broadcasts on weekends. And he will continue with his "special assistant" duties for the Twins as well.
I'm well-aware that I'm not the viewer the Twins and/or Fox Sports North worry about capturing. Teams and broadcast outlets tend not to trust the game to entertain the fans and want the announcers to be at least a fall-back for that purpose. For me, that just gets in the way. I'm going to be watching the games no matter who's on, and if the game is bad an announcer's shtick is merely annoying,
So I'm very likely to have the sound off, and Morris' vapid "analysis" (and, to be sure, that of Bert Blyleven) is very much a reason to regard the mute button as a blessing.
At least the Twins broadcasts haven't embraced the three-man booth concept, which is apparently part of the Tigers' plans. Three announcers is at least one too many, frequently two too many.
A quality major league announcer is good on his own. Vin Scully works alone; Bob Uecker's sidekick is apparently expected to stay out of his way during Uecker's innings. I have no doubt that Cory Provus would be a good soloist.
But nine innings is a long time for one man to keep up a stream of constant chatter, especially in an era when hitters stroll around the home plate cutout between pitches and Mike Pelfrey takes a half-minute to work up the nerve to throw his next pitch. There's going to be two announcers. That's reality.
I just wish they'd show me the game and get out of the way,