We learned last fall that Bert Blyleven would be broadcasting fewer games in 2017 and 2018, and that FSN was “considering multiple options” for other game coverage. Turns out those multiple options included Torii Hunter and LaTroy Hawkins, who are officially joining the FSN broadcast team as analyst for Twins games.
These aren’t just small time spots, but they aren’t full-time roles either. Blyleven will still be the main guy, broadcasting 80 games a year, which is a little over half. The other 70 or so games will feature daily play-by-play guy, Dick Bremer, and rotate between Jack Morris, Roy Smalley, Hunter, and Hawkins. And, of course, Hunter and Hawkins are still working as special assistants for the Twins front office as well.
I think you’ll be hard-pressed to find any Twins fan who is upset with these new hires. Hunter and Hawkins both seem like naturals in the booth and are sure to bring more energy to Twins broadcasts. Heck, I’m kind of excited to see how long it takes Torii Hunter to say something mildly inappropriate on air. Like, five minutes at most, right?
Neither Hunter nor Hawkins are exactly new to broadcasting. Hunter appeared on TV and radio many times as a player and after retirement. For example, here’s a clip from about a year ago when Torii called MLBN’s Hot Stove and the hosts basically prodded him the whole time about getting into broadcasting.
In this clip from last summer, Hunter is a guest in the booth and starts trying to do Bremer’s job.
Hawkins has been hosting his own radio show, which he announced awhile back on Twitter.
He also seems to appear quite often on MLBN, such as the fun little clip below from Intentional Talk.
In fact, way back in 2015, LaTroy took it upon himself to interview Torii Hunter and make it a blog post, adorably titled “My 1st Interview! With Twins OF Torii Hunter”
Personally? I’d watch the heck out of a Twins broadcast that was just Hawkins and Hunter. The novelty of it might get old, but heck, let’s get the band back together.