Brantley backs his words
Reds broadcaster says criticism of Coffey valid
BY JOHN FAY | JFAY@ENQUIRER.COM
MIAMI - Reds radio broadcaster Jeff Brantley on Friday didn't back off what he said about reliever Todd Coffey on the air.
He even went a bit further.
"He chokes," Brantley said. "I stand by that. Very firmly."
Brantley made the remark during Coffey's appearance Thursday at Florida. Ironically, Coffey pitched 12/3 scoreless innings to get the win.
Coffey came into the game in the seventh inning with the Reds down 5-3 and got a double play with runners at first and second. The Reds then scored four runs to go up 7-5.
In the eighth inning with a runner on first base, Coffey started Todd Linden with two balls. Here's what was said by Brantley and Marty Brennaman from that point:
Brantley: "Two-run deficit, he was fine. Two-run lead ..."
Brennaman: "It's hard to understand."
Brantley: "You can't ... You cannot throw the ball ... I'm not even gonna say."
Brennaman: "Well, it's hard to understand how a guy can come in when a team is behind and pitch so well, and then come in to try to protect a lead ... There's ball three. It's just truly amazing."
Brantley: "You can't throw the ball with your right hand if your right hand is on your throat. You can't do both."
Brantley said he has told Coffey similar things.
"When he comes in to preserve a two-run deficit, he pitches fine ... throwing the ball over the plate because he's not worried about anything," Brantley said.
"When he comes in and we're one run ahead or two runs ahead, or if it's any type of close game, he chokes."
Reds media relations director Rob Butcher spoke to Brantley, who is employed by the team, about the remark. Coffey has not spoken to Brantley about the comment.
"... He knows where to find me," Brantley said.
Brantley's motive is to make Coffey a better pitcher.
"I know that's not my job," he said. "But I'm trying to help him."