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Thread: Indians hire convicted gambler/announcer

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    Indians hire convicted gambler/announcer

    Indians Hire Formerly Imprisoned Sportscaster
    Mar 20, 8:11 PM (ET)

    By TOM WITHERS
    WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (AP) -The Cleveland Indians are taking a chance on a sportscaster fresh out of prison for not paying taxes on gambling earnings.

    SportsTime Ohio, a 24-hour TV network owned by the club, announced Tuesday that it has hired longtime local radio personality Bruce Drennan to host a weekday talk show entitled "All Bets Are Off with Bruce Drennan."

    Drennan was released from a federal prison in Morgantown, W.Va., on March 2after serving a five-month sentence for tax fraud.

    In July 2006, Drennan was sentenced after pleading guilty for failing to pay between $12,500 and $30,000 in taxes on gambling winnings. From 2000-04, Drennan placed bets on baseball games with five or six bookmakers daily with some bets up to $5,400, according to the plea agreement he signed.

    SportsTime Ohio's show is to make its debut April 1. Drennan will serve an additional five months of house confinement with work privileges.


    Drennan's affiliation with the Indians could be viewed in conflict with baseball's strict rules about gambling.

    Bob DiBiasio, the Indians' vice president of public relations, said Drennan will not have access to the team's clubhouse. However, Drennan will be allowed in the press box and on the field at Jacobs Field.

    "We informed major league baseball of the situation and told them of our plan," DiBiasio said. "They felt what we were doing fell in line as appropriate action."

    Drennan, whose booming voice and strong-minded opinions on virtually any subject made him a media icon in Cleveland, said he isn't worried about his recent past damaging his credibility or his relationship with fans.

    "Not at all," he said in a phone interview. "Either you love me or you don't. I know my stuff. I've spent the past five months cramming and researching sports. The fans will be with me and that will be evident as soon as I go on the air."

    Drennan said it was because of his success with betting that led to his arrest.

    "Unlike 95 percent of the guys who bet and lose, I won," he said, "and that's what attracted the feds."

    In 2004, federal agents seized a revolver, more than $1,000 in cash, a computer and other items in a search of Drennan's home, according to warrants released in U.S. District Court.

    Drennan called his time in prison "very, very humbling." He said that on his new show he will incorporate stories of other inmates into his act.

    He said perhaps one of the biggest lessons he learned during his prison stay was to be less judgmental.

    "From now on, I'm going to be very, very careful when an athlete gets in trouble," he said. "I'm not going to jump to any conclusions and sensationalize like I sometimes did before. I'm going to wait until the facts are in."

    The 56-year-old Drennan was a TV commentator on Indians broadcasts from 1980-82 and is a member of the Ohio Radio/Television Hall of Fame. He has worked for various Cleveland radio stations, most recently as a sports talk show host for WKNR in 2004.


    Rem

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    Firin Away Jr's Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Indians hire convicted gambler/announcer

    "Unlike 95 percent of the guys who bet and lose, I won," he said, "and that's what attracted the feds."



    No you didn't claim gambling earnings when you filed, that's why you were in the slammer.

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    Re: Indians hire convicted gambler/announcer

    So what, if anything, does this say about Pete Rose's situation/future?

    Thoughts?

    Rem

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    Score Early, Score Often gonelong's Avatar
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    Re: Indians hire convicted gambler/announcer

    Quote Originally Posted by remdog View Post
    So what, if anything, does this say about Pete Rose's situation/future?
    Nothing, IMO.

    Pete's actions bring the integrity of the games he was involved in into question. This guy's actions did not.

    GL

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    Hisssssssss Yachtzee's Avatar
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    Re: Indians hire convicted gambler/announcer

    Although Drennan doesn't have nearly the control of the outcome of a game that Pete Rose had, I'd still be very wary of involving this guy with the team in any capacity. Drennan's sentence was the result of a plea deal, but rumor has it that the Feds were originally looking to charge Drennan with bookmaking himself. Drennan used to be part of the Indians broadcast team in the '80s, so he's probably got that sentimental thing going for him. But if I were the Indians, I would steer clear. I certainly wouldn't want him hanging around the clubhouse.
    Burn down the disco. Hang the blessed DJ. Because the music that he constantly plays, it says nothing to me about my life.

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    Raaaaaaaandy guttle11's Avatar
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    Re: Indians hire convicted gambler/announcer

    Quote Originally Posted by Jr's Boy View Post
    "Unlike 95 percent of the guys who bet and lose, I won," he said, "and that's what attracted the feds."



    No you didn't claim gambling earnings when you filed, that's why you were in the slammer.
    Wow, that's the most delusional line I've read since the last Pete story.
    "I saw Wedding Crashers accidentally. I bought a ticket for Grizzly Man and went into the wrong theater. After an hour, I figured I was in the wrong theater, but I kept waiting. Thatís the thing about bear attacks. They come when you least expect it."-Dwight K. Schrute

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    Baseball card addict MrCinatit's Avatar
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    Re: Indians hire convicted gambler/announcer

    Yeah, this has "Good Idea" written all over it!

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    Re: Indians hire convicted gambler/announcer

    This idea can't possibly go wrong.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

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    Member 919191's Avatar
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    Re: Indians hire convicted gambler/announcer

    What's he gonna do- fictionalize the outcome of the game to throw off the gamblers? I say who cares?
    I've been to dinner at Jimmy Buffet's house, and I've eaten it at a homeless shelter. And there's great joy and harrowing terror to be found in both places.
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    Hisssssssss Yachtzee's Avatar
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    Re: Indians hire convicted gambler/announcer

    Quote Originally Posted by 919191 View Post
    What's he gonna do- fictionalize the outcome of the game to throw off the gamblers? I say who cares?
    I think there's just a propriety issue here. You are essentially giving a man who is seriously involved in gambling a position with access to the ball club. What happens if he should get inside information on the team or on a particular ballplayer that he could use to his advantage in gambling? Could he use it for his own profit? Of course. Could he use it to influence the outcome of a game? A bit more far fetched, but not outside the realm of possibility. Say, for example, that through the access granted to him by the ballclub, he should find out that a pitcher on the team were a closeted homosexual. Could he possibly use that information to exert influence over the player? Maybe. Could a gambler find out that kind of stuff through other channels? Sure. But here the club is itself granting privileged access to a known gambler, and one rumored to be a bookmaker himself. I've only heard bits and pieces of what's been coming out, but he doesn't sound all that sorry about the illegal gambling. He seems more sorry that he got caught. If I were the Indians, I'd really think twice before hiring Drennan.
    Last edited by Yachtzee; 03-21-2007 at 08:59 PM. Reason: Poor grammar.
    Burn down the disco. Hang the blessed DJ. Because the music that he constantly plays, it says nothing to me about my life.

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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Indians hire convicted gambler/announcer

    Good points, Yachtzee.
    The Rally Onion wants 150 fans before Opening Day.

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rally-...24872650873160

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    Re: Indians hire convicted gambler/announcer

    Truen not bad points at all, Yahtzee. Guess I dind't think it through.
    I've been to dinner at Jimmy Buffet's house, and I've eaten it at a homeless shelter. And there's great joy and harrowing terror to be found in both places.
    -Todd Snider


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