Brennaman, Baker start off on right foot
By Marc Katz
Friday, October 19, 2007
A couple years ago, controversy arose in Chicago between broadcaster Steve Stone and Cubs manager Dusty Baker.
Stone eventually was fired, and Baker gained the reputation of a manager who couldn't take criticism.
Which brings us to this week's hiring of Baker by the Reds and a potential conflict with broadcaster Marty Brennaman. He calls the game in front of his eyes, not always what management wants to hear, and does a pregame show with the manager, which goes well beyond "Who's pitching today?"
Well, Brennaman assures there will be no conflict after taking a cell-phone call from Baker on the way to a golf outing Monday morning.
"He said, 'You and I are not going to have any problem at all,' " Brennaman said. " 'You ask whatever questions you want.' "
Brennaman gave Baker the same speech he gives all new managers.
"It's just like I told Lou Piniella standing at the bar in Suttmiller's (on the Reds' caravan in Dayton) in 1990," Brennaman said. "I told him, 'I will never make you look bad, but I'm going to ask you questions.'"
Brennaman said Piniella told him, "You ask whatever you want to ask and don't worry about it."
Baker also told Brennaman he never had a problem with any media member in 14 years as a major-league manager, except for Stone, a problem he said he'd explain to Brennaman later.
That's good news, for now. If Homer Bailey throws 130 pitches one night and his arm falls off, we'll revisit the story.