Remember Victory Sports? Formed prior to the 2004 season, the Twins-owned TV channel offered a lineup of three shows: Twins games, Twins Game Replays, and 18 hours per day of live rebroadcasts of ESPN News. Not surprisingly, no major cable or satellite provider was willing to pay the team's outlandish carrier fees for the right to broadcast the channel, and by May the team had given up on the whole enterprise and was back on FSN.
That said, I seem to remember that the channel promised "original Twins programming," in addition to the games, and I started wondering what we might have missed out on. We never did see such gems as...
Sidney Ponson's America
In which the overindulgent Aruban travels around our great country, seeing the sites and drinking only wine because "it doesn't count." In the first episode, Sidney visits Colonial Williamsburg and falls off a horse after having had a few.
The reliever, with his degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry, demonstrates the principles of science to a group of awed schoolchildren. His assistant is a confused Nick Punto, who is dressed in robes and wearing a wizard's hat.
The pitcher turned broadcaster spends his time pulling pranks on current and former players, with hilarious results. Watch for episode three, where Bert eats three cans of beans and then crop-dusts Dick Bremer's Texas hotel room, and the dramatic season finale, where a prank gone wrong sees Blyleven burn down Jack Morris's house.
Long-running hospital drama, in which a large and ever-shifting team of doctors, nurses, and therapists try to figure out just what the heck has gone wrong with Justin Morneau this time. Rated TV-14 for Canadian language.
The Joe Mauer Hour
Late-night chat show, in which the catcher spends time discussing some of his favorite sweaters, and his long-running personal controversy in which he tries to decide whether he likes fried or scrambled eggs better. In perpetual danger of being canceled because of viewer boredom and sleepiness.
Half-hour variety show, in which Kyle Lohse attempts to destroy various objects with a baseball bat, such as the manager's door, a bag of Peanut M&M's, and Terry Mulholland's car.
Pros vs. Schmoes
Each year, the cameras follow one washed-up player, as he gets his final major-league chance in the middle of the Twins order. Your heart breaks as you see such luminaries as Bret Boone, Tony Batista, and Ruben Sierra realize that, after all the work they've put in, they now suck at baseball.
Name That Omelet
Half cooking show, half game show, contestants attempt to identify delicious breakfasts while wearing blindfolds. Permanent contestants include Carlos Silva, Livan Hernandez, and Matt LeCroy.
Pavano & Redmond
Hard-edged cop drama with the battery mates. They may not follow the rules of procedure, and they aren't afraid to break a few laws themselves to see justice being done. They're two fish out of water, in a world they never made - but for all their griping and complaining in the patrol car, the one thing they have is each other. With Lew Ford as the streetwise informant who always can't quite keep his mouth shut when our heroes come calling, usually giving them the break they need.
Tom Kelly's Racing Weekly
The former Twins manager mumbles through his Cantebury Park picks. With Dark Star for the first fifteen minutes of every show, or until he's too drunk to sit up and speak into the microphone, whichever comes first.