Twins broadcaster Bert Blyleven bashes Detroit, doubles down, then has to apologize
DETROIT — Hall of Famer and Minnesota Twins TV commentator Bert Blyleven attempted to be humorous during Thursday’s rain delay, tweeting out his (apparent) disdain for downtown Detroit.
His first tweet read: “If they are starting this game at 3:45, 22 minutes from new, EST! Don’t you think they have taken the tarp off?”
A short while later he tweeted: “Maybe they meant 4:45? It is the best I have seen downtown Detroit though! Thank you low clouds!”
After his mentions blew up in response, from livid Detroiters and Tigers fans, he responded by doubling down.
“Guess I ruffled some feathers with my last tweet about download (sic) Detroit! Guess all you that responded haven’t seen how ugly your downtown is.”
[UPDATE: The offending tweets were later deleted from Blyleven's account, replaced by an apologetic tweet, stating: "I apologize for my comments: the city of Detroit. It is an exciting time here led by the Ilitch family.]
Fox Sports North, his employer, and the Minnesota Twins later issued a joint statement condemning his conduct, and Blyleven issued an apology on the television broadcast.
The statement from Kevin Smith, senior director of corporate communications and broadcasting, reads:
“The Minnesota Twins and Fox Sports North were disappointed with Bert Blyleven’s comments on social media earlier today regarding the city of Detroit. His attempt at humor during the rain delay certainly missed the mark and in no way is reflective of the Twins and Fox Sports North’s collective respect for the city of Detroit and the Detroit Tigers organization.”
[UPDATE II: Michigan governor Rick Snyder even got involved in the squabble, sending his own response to Blyleven's comments, with a little visual dig (see below)]
I think our view of downtown Detroit looks just great, @BertBlyleven28! Photo via @freep https://t.co/aza9Jg3ITP pic.twitter.com/HsbgLGwjmG
— Governor Rick Snyder (@onetoughnerd) April 9, 2015