Much has been made recently of Marty's bitterness in recent years in the broadcast booth and I must admit that I've noticed a lot of it myself. Marty has always been somewhat critical, but it seems that lately he's taken it to a whole new level. I was thinking about this the other day while listening to a game and I got to wondering about the causes for it, other than just the poor play of the team.
I mentioned my theory the other night to Redsland and thought I would bring it up here to see what you all think. I think that Joe was something of the "anti-Marty" when he was working full time. Marty was always the slick professional announcer and Joe was the laid back fan, kind of the one a lot of us could relate to. His pace was slower and he always made more mistakes, and maybe for all of his qualities he was the perfect complement to Marty.
The Reds have had bad teams in the past, and maybe my memory is faulty, but I don't remember the bitterness from the booth during those years. Maybe it was still there, but I don't think it was to the degree that is is today. I wonder what kind of a calming influence Joe had on Marty during all those years. Even when things were going bad, Joe would show his displeasure, but then he would always exhort the team to get 'em next time. He didn't seem to dwell on things so long or constantly berate a player who didn't play the way he liked. Marty and Joe would engage in conversation about any and every topic that had nothing to do with baseball. We heard about their tomatoes, their golf games, a bit too much about Elvis, and whatever other topic came to mind. They were the unlikliest of friends in the booth, so different from one another yet so pefect for one another. You never really thought of one without the other.
It's my theory that Joe kind of kept Marty in check. He brought out the best in his little buddy and the Marty we are hearing now is the one without that influence. If that is the case, then Marty might very well owe his place in the Hall of Fame to the years of working with Joe. He was a better announcer when they were together, and I don't think his decline is simply the natural grumpiness of age. Joe made him better and now we're hearing the absence of that influence. Does this make sense to anyone else?