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Thread: Reds deserve better broadcasters

  1. #1
    Maple SERP savafan's Avatar
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    Reds deserve better broadcasters

    http://www.maysville-online.com/arti...oadcasters.txt

    By CHUCK HAMILTON Sports Writer

    The rejuvenated Cincinnati Reds are off to a 15-7 start to the 2006 season, a remarkable beginning for a team picked by most experts to finish in or near the cellar of the National League's Central Division.

    If you are a Reds fan this comes as welcome news, as well as a very surprising development to many who follow big league baseball closely.

    It is, of course, a very long season (only 140 games to be played) but if the Reds can somehow come up with another reliable pitcher or two, they will give St. Louis and Houston a run for the NL Central title.

    Following the progress of the long baseball campaign and our favorite team is much different than it was when I was even more of a fan, with the proliferation of the Internet, cable television, satellite radio and ESPN's 24-7 coverage.

    Not too many years ago, a televised Reds game was a rare treat and listening to baseball on the radio was still preferred by many, and it still is.

    Today, many fans are so spoiled they are disappointed when a game is not televised.

    Having more games televised is a nice option for those who have the time and patience required to watch a game but the most important button on the remote remains the mute control.

    Fox Sports Net does a very good job bringing Reds baseball into our homes with pre-game and post-game programs, which are usually interesting and informative.

    The problem remains with the incompetency of the men in the broadcast booth.

    To me anyway, it is unbearable to listen to the babbling of play-by-play announcer George Grande and his color cohort, the smiling Chris Welsh.

    Grande must think he is on the radio because he drones on and on and on about what we can clearly see is occurring on the screen. His most annoying habit is asking himself questions and then giving the answers.

    A routine fly ball to left field becomes a Grande routine:

    “Will he be able to get there? Is it deep enough? Yes, he can. No, it isn't.”

    It truly is ridiculous at times. And as a particular sports editor in the building mentioned the other day, Grande has the weakest home run call in the history of the game.

    Welsh adds very little to the broadcast and also suffers from the I-don't-know-when-to-shut up syndrome.

    We used to be able to turn the sound down on the television and listen to Marty Brennaman and Joe Nuxhall on the radio but that has become impossible, unless you want to hear what is going to happen on the field and then see it six seconds or so later.

    With the advent of satellite and cable television also comes a delay that makes it difficult to do what we used to do all the time.

    It was also an advantage in basketball season to have the option of tuning out mediocre announcers and listen to Cawood Ledford describe the action on the court as only he could.

    Muting the television sound isn't that big a deal to me anymore because listening to Tom Leach and Mike Pratt broadcast UK basketball can only be described as painful. Pratt's propensity for using the term “Treyville” for any three-point shot attempt is past tiresome and Leach's screaming of “Touchdown Kentuck-eeeeeeeeee” during football season is ear-splitting and unprofessional.

    There are two broadcasters in the area far better than Leach; Chuck Mraz, who calls Morehead State University basketball and football, and Maysville's own Danny Weddle. Listening to other college basketball announcers. i. e. Billy Packer, can be excruciating.

    I don't expect Hall of Fame quality broadcasters such as Ledford and Brennaman but I still feel the Reds and UK can do much better.

    Another excellent announcer has recently begun to receive very deserved recognition.

    His name is Claude Sullivan, and he broadcast both UK and the Reds, Wildcat basketball and football from 1951-67 on the old Standard Oil Sports Network and he was the voice of the Reds from 1964-67.

    Sullivan, who died of throat cancer in 1967 at the age of 42, was named to the University of Kentucky Hall of Fame's second class, which will be inducted in September.

    Many Kentucky fans preferred Sullivan's style to the legendary Ledford when there were several networks broadcasting UK games years ago.

    However, it appears the days of outstanding announcing are long over, unless you are fortunate enough to have XM Radio, and you can tune in Vin Scully calling Dodger games.

    It is just my opinion that the Reds, with their rich history and loyal fan base, can find announcers that are interesting, prepared and qualified to be MLB broadcasters.

    Brennaman has also slipped a bit in recent years, with his all too often private jokes with Reds employees and others that pop in and out of the booth.

    Nuxhall's replacement, Steve Stewart, is almost as boring and bland as Grande.

    I have tried and tried to get used to Stewart, but my feeling remains that Brennaman's partner should be a former player. Perhaps the Reds brought in Stewart to be Brennaman's eventual play-by-play replacement but currently the broadcast suffers without a player adding his knowledge.

    There is no shortage of former Reds players who would have interest in the position but it seems the Reds have made their decision and that is that.

    The same goes for the television announcing team. I believe FSN does the ultimate hiring of its announcers but certainly the Reds must have some input to the decision-making.

    Perhaps the new majority owner, Bob Castellini, has some ideas on improving the Reds' broadcasting team, and if new general manager Wayne Krivsky can keep making all the right moves on the field, not many of us will care who is in the booth, even if they are incompetent and annoying.
    My dad got to enjoy 3 Reds World Championships by the time he was my age. So far, I've only gotten to enjoy one. Step it up Redlegs!

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  3. #2
    Member Ron Madden's Avatar
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    Re: Reds deserve better broadcasters

    I rememmber Claude Sullivan doing Reds games,
    he was very good along with Jim Mac.

    Seems to me more and more fans are growing tired of Marty's act.

  4. #3
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    Re: Reds deserve better broadcasters

    Marty is annoying. All of the little jokes with people I have never seen before do grow old. And I just got XM. And what is up with the stupid, irrelevent trivia questions? This guy is in the HOF? I thought that was for people considered the best?

    As for the TV guys, AAAARRRRRGGGGGHHH. I do like Welsch but Grande .........

    That said, when I tune into directv, I hope I get the Red announcers, as other teams announcers are no better. Most of these announcers are glorified cheerleaders. Like Mike Shannon in St Louis. Here is his HR call:

    "There goes one deep to left, get up baby, GET UP."

    Cheering in the booth? Lame.

  5. #4
    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Re: Reds deserve better broadcasters

    Quote Originally Posted by MaineRed
    Marty is annoying. All of the little jokes with people I have never seen before do grow old. And I just got XM. And what is up with the stupid, irrelevent trivia questions? This guy is in the HOF? I thought that was for people considered the best?
    .
    Marty is in the HOF for what he did in the 70's and 80's. I agree that Marty's act has gotten tiring.. It seems like he milks that stupid trivia question for 2 innings. He acts like it is a chore to talk to some of the sportswriters (not the ones that are his close buddies). All his stupid inside jokes are lame.

    His whining about double headers/rain delays which make him have to work a little more are tiresome. The guy has one of the best jobs in the country, and he acts as if its so hard.
    Thank you Walt and Bob for going for it in 2010-2014!

    Nov. 13, 2007: One of the greatest days in Reds history: John Allen gets the boot!

  6. #5
    Just The Big Picture macro's Avatar
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    Re: Reds deserve better broadcasters

    However, it appears the days of outstanding announcing are long over, unless you are fortunate enough to have XM Radio, and you can tune in Vin Scully calling Dodger games.
    Is this just an older guy failing to appreciate a new generation of announcers with a style more-suited to twenty-year-olds than sixty-year-olds? I find it hard to believe that there are no outstanding announcers left.

    I strongly disagree with his criticism of Steve Stewart. He's not Vin Scully or Jack Buck (99.9% of announcers aren't), but he's very good, and the Reds could do a lot worse.

  7. #6
    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Reds deserve better broadcasters

    While no one likes a total homer like Ron Santo, one of Grande's biggest annoyances is that he is constantly building up and talking about our opponent, with a little bit of depth, not to mention the exuberance when an opposing player makes a good play in the field, while information about the Reds is shallow when anything is mentioned at all, and rarely does he get excited about what the Reds are doing on the field.

    The broadcast is too generic and sometimes it is hard to tell that these are the hometown announcers. My wife barely pays attention, and even she notices that. For example, what's going on in the minors? They maybe give 20 seconds in "Down on the Farm." But buddy, they can tell you some top prospects in the other organizations. Fine to do your homework, but how about keeping the viewers up to date on the state of the Reds?
    Can't win with 'em

    Can't win without 'em

  8. #7
    Member MattyHo4Life's Avatar
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    Re: Reds deserve better broadcasters

    Quote Originally Posted by MaineRed
    Most of these announcers are glorified cheerleaders. Like Mike Shannon in St Louis. Here is his HR call:

    "There goes one deep to left, get up baby, GET UP."

    Cheering in the booth? Lame.
    Shannon spent most of his career sitting next to Jack Buck in the broadcast booth. He never was the main play by play guy. Shannon is St. Louis's Yogi Berra with all of his Shannonisms.

  9. #8
    Joe Oliver love-child Blimpie's Avatar
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    Re: Reds deserve better broadcasters

    I have some pretty mixed feelings about this article.

    I agree on: The fact that Marty's act has grown tired and that Mike Pratt (UK Basketball color man) is a box of tools.

    I disagree on: Chris Welsh as a color commentator and Steve Stewart doing PBP on the Reds' broadcasts. I like them both...just not with their current partners.

    By the way, Tom Leach is pretty well-liked across the Commonwealth as the PBP man for UK varsity sports. For those of we who had to endure Ralph Hacker for so many years, there should be no discussion there.

    Of course, in the past, the bar was set pretty high with both Claude Sullivan and Caywood Ledford. UK fans were lucky enough to have BOTH announcers doing basketball games until the broadcast rights were finally consolidated.

    As a sidenote, the honors that Claude Sullivan has received recently has led to a rekindled interest in his work. His surviving children have gathered and restored some audio tapes from his personal collection that are absolute treasures. Many of them were candid, one-on-one interviews with Bear Bryant and Adolph Rupp from decades ago. I heard some snippets of them a few weeks ago; although, I am not sure if/when these tapes might be made available to the UK fans in the future.
    "Booing on opening day is like telling grandma her house smells like old lady."--WOY

  10. #9
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Reds deserve better broadcasters

    George Grandes use of the world "Brilliant" as become so commonplace that the word no longer contains the same meaning to me whilst watching a Reds broadcast.

  11. #10
    In Wayne We Trust
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    Re: Reds deserve better broadcasters

    Steve Stewart shows absolutely no passion towards the Reds. I think he could care less whether the Reds do well or not. Grande isn't so grand, but atleast he wants the Reds to win. I agree with Savafan that an ex-Red should be in the booth.

  12. #11
    Member smith288's Avatar
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    Re: Reds deserve better broadcasters

    George Grande? You know his story....

    If Grande is going to start off a story about a guy by saying "You know his story" then DONT FRIGGIN TELL ME HIS STORY.

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    Re: Reds deserve better broadcasters

    I think that when Welsh does the broadcast alongside Brenneman (it happened at least one time last year) that they give each other a more-focused approach to the game. Welsh is more knowledgeable than he appears on TV. I really think it comes back to a bad chemistry between he and Grande. No, I don't mean a "fighting" chemistry. I mean, they seem like total opposites, and Welsh at times seems to be trying to cover Grande's mistakes.

  14. #13
    Member smith288's Avatar
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    Re: Reds deserve better broadcasters

    "Does it have enough? No, Ramirez, the 3rd basemen, catches it on the grass..." ugh

    He doesnt know how to tell how far a ball has been hit off the bat.

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    Re: Reds deserve better broadcasters

    How long has Grande been doing the TV side?

  16. #15
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Reds deserve better broadcasters

    Quote Originally Posted by indyred
    How long has Grande been doing the TV side?
    13 years or so?


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