Awful Announcing

So I tuned in to watch last night's game as I usually do on my mlb.tv. That generally means the home team broadcasters. That also usually means a healthy dose of Cubs bashing. I can handle a little homerism from the broadcasting crew, whether it be known Cub hater Milo Hamilton or the White Sox crew. But I'm not sure I've heard such an obvious agenda to go after all things Cubs as I did last night.

The crew was Thom Brenneman and color man Chris Welsh. Ah Brenneman, ? It appears that Marty and son got together for lunch Monday and compared game notes. So with all due respect to the actual , let's take a look at some of what Brenneman and Welsh said, thanks to the beauty of archived mlb.tv games. The quotes may miss a word or two and I generally skipped over the actual play-by-play moments to shorten the bites, but I promise you this is what they actually were saying, in the spirit they intended (Contains strong language...from me).

Top of the First - Ryan Theriot up

TB: "He got a lot of playing time in the leadoff spot while Soriano was on the disabled list."

Grand Total of games Theriot lead-off - 0

Alright, nothing too egregious though, but we're not off to a good start.


TB:
"Then there were all the rumors and all the stories that Jim Hendry, the Cubs general manager was trying to acquire Brian Roberts from the Baltimore Orioles which would have put Theriot, of course, on the bench."

Right, I remember this from the offseason. There were all those Brian Roberts to the Cubs rumors and then they kept interviewing Theriot about how he feels about the Cubs going after Roberts. Wait..no, that was DeRosa who plays second base for the Cubs. Try buying a scorecard Thom...


Bottom of the first - Felix Pie while showing the defensive positions and a graphic showing that Pie has made zero errors in 102 games

TB: "Don't be fooled by that 0 errors in career games. He has overthrown and badly overthrown third base and home and inexplicibly has not been been charged with an error."

I can't quite express the vitriol that he used when he said that. He went on to mention something about all the reports he's seen say that Pie has real problems with hitting the cut-off man.

Now I watch just about every Cubs game, maybe have missed about a total of two games worth this year and I think I recall Pie missing the cut-off man once or twice all year and maybe once where the runner advanced. I also remember him throwing a bullet to nail a runner at third base and generally exceptional defense.


Top of the 2nd - after Soto's HR

CW: "You show me a catcher anywhere who is not a good high fastball hitter....They're usually stocky and strong and usually like to jump on the high cheese."

Holy crap, positional profiling!!! Honestly I don't even get this one...is there something about putting on catching gear that makes you a high, fastball hitter?

Bottom of the 3rd

TB: "In the month of the April they won a franchise record 17 games...(followed by list of team offensive records they set). That being said, they come in just five games over .500."

Yeah Thom, they come in just on pace to win 94 games. What a crap fucking team!


Bottom of the 4th


TB:
"I have a beef with this whole catch thing. ... I've have only heard of 'let's go out and play catch'. Have you heard from anybody who outside of the Northeastern part of the country that ever said 'let's go have a catch." Have you ever heard that said ever in your life. The only place I've heard that term is the northeast and now i"m hearing it all over the place.


"That Field of Dreams movie, I guess that's what made it popular"

Good work Thom, you've alienated the most densely populated area of the United States and attacked one of the great movies of all-time. Glad you got that off your chest. And for what it's worth, Transmission, whose family is from the Midwest, uses the phrase "let's go have a catch."


Top of the 5th - Alfonso Soriano up

TB: "When they signed Soriano they thought they were getting a 40/40 guy. Soriano one of the only three players in the history of the game to go 40/40 in a single year...but leg injuries have really taken away a big part of his running game."

Really, you think the Cubs were betting on Soriano to repeat something that's only been done four times in the history of baseball? (He did correct himself later and mentioned that it's actually happened four times).

TB: "(Piniella) has continued to field questions about how long are you going to bat Soriano in the leadoff spot. His numbers have just been absymal whether they be last year or this year. Granted he spent a lot of the time out of the lineup this season."

I hope the Cubs put together a whole team of players with abysmal 299/337/560 seasons with 33 home runs, 70 RBi's and 97 runs scored in 135 games.

You're an idiot, Thom. And spell your first name like every other Tom out there, will you?


CW:
"He's never averaged over a course a year more than 3.9 pitches per plate appearance. Most leadoff hitters, that do it for a living, and they work the pitchers are somewhere up over four, so he's definitly deficient at that."

For the love of Joe Morgan, can FoxSports Ohio please spring for a computer and an Internet connection for these guys?

Brian Roberts - 3.91 career, high was 4.20 last season, the only year he's been above 4
Kenny Lofton - 3.73 career, high was 3.97

Alfonso Soriano - 3.68 career, high was 3.90

Juan Pierre - 3.43 career, high was 3.69

Rafael Furcal - 3.86, high was 4.10
(also only one season over four)
Jimmy Rollins - 3.66, high was 3.86

Johnny Damon - 3.86, high was 4.30(has had four seasons with over four pitcher per plate appearance)

Ichiro Suzuki - 3.56, high was 3.76

Grady Sizemore - 4.01, high was 4.15
(three of four seasons above four)
Curtis Granderson - 4.05, high was 4.08
(three of four seasons above four)
Jose Reyes - 3.60, high was 3.67

CW: "Maybe he lives by the credo I'm a leadoff hitter and not a leadoff looker."

Shut up, just shut the fuck up!

Top of the 6th - Geovany Soto

TB: "You look at his career numbers, I'm talking about his minor league numbers, he just came to the majors for the first time this season. And you wonder, you know, where did all of this offense all of a sudden come from Geovany Soto?...You look at his minor league numbers, .260 one year, .269, .242, .271, .253...he had never hit more than nine home runs in a minor league season..NINE, until last year when he hit TWENTY-SIX in Triple-A Iowa and hit .353. Now all of a sudden, in his first full-year in the major leagues, granted it's only a month and a week, but he's hitting almost .340 and leads the Cubs in runs batted in with 24."

Now I'm probably just testy at this point and it's tough to capture this in a quote, but if you listen to the broadcast Thom is clearly trying to lead the audience to believe that there's something fishy about Soto's resurgence., like possibly...

CW: "I don't mean this in a bad way, but before steroid testing, you see a blip in the radar like that you say, well..

Oh no...

TB: "Right..."

Thom jumps in a little too quickly...

CW: "...one of the possibilities might be he's juicing, but obviously that's not the case anymore, everyone's tested. And you know that doesn't happen very much with baseball players because usually, whether it's at the minor league level or the major league level, by the time you're 28 or so...I'm not sure how old Soto is...he's only 25, you reach a certain plateau of productivity. You pretty much stay within range. Maybe now that he's getting closer to the prime of his career...around...he's 25, so it'll be a couple years until he's in that...but maybe he's reaching a new plateau."

I swear a producer whispered in their ear pieces to please NOT suggest that Soto took performance enhancing drugs. We're not in the mood for a libel case. It actually seems that Welsh was ready to agree until he awkawrdly stumbled through a more reasonable explanation that Soto might just be a late bloomer. Soto and about 1,000 prospects before him in the history of the game.

TB: "Well another guy that was similar to that was Sammy Sosa...now people can accuse Sosa of "did he do this or did he do that". To my knowledge he's never been tested in a positive way for any kind of steroids, whether people believe or not he did is an entirely different question."

"But the point being, that Sosa was one of those guys coming up through the White Sox organization who never hit many home runs, then all of a sudden got to the big leagues and started knocking the cover off the ball."

Thom just couldn't let go the juicing angle, could he? Sure he tip-toes around the issue, but he chooses a player to compare Soto with that is generally regarded as a user. Of course, Sosa was always considered a top prospect in baseball, a 5-tool talent with huge power potential. Soto was just fat and finally slimmed down last year. Other than that, they're pretty much the same, Thom. Real great example there, but you did manage to tenously link Soto to PED's. Well-done.


I'm probably just coming off as a bitter fool looking to pick a fight. That might be the case, but There were quite a few of us in Parachat who noticed the same thing. I'm tempted to mute the game tonight, but now I was just want to listen for what gems Thom and Chris Welsh spout off during the game.

 

Comments

Picking on Thom Brennenman? I'm for it. Growing up in Chicago, it was called playing catch, my father told me those who said "have a catch" were Commie spies.

Sad. Most of the MLB broadcast teams maintain a decent level of professional integrity even while they root for their own team. Not so much with the Brennemans. I'm sure sitting next to Dusty, Corey, and JHJ on the team flights doesn't help their attitude towards the Cubs and Cub fans.

maybe MBrenneman has NPH...it can happen, made Bob Feller an ornery old man for awhile. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normal_pressure_...

Apparently Thom also hates the Chicago Cubs... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thom_Brennaman#C...

Thanks for making that public, Rob. Sometimes Len and Bob annoy me, but one think I've always loved about Cubs broadcasts (especially Stoney) was their ability to root for the Cubs and yet still be unbiased in their assessment of other teams and to be willing to be critical of the Cubs. None of the above applies to Ron, of course. But, he can't be critical of players because he doesn't know who any of them are.

Thommy is just standing up for Dhaddy, in addition to which he has to be bitter that the Cubs and WGN would never let him moonlight for Fox, which they then turned around and did allow Chip Caray to do. Truth be told, I really liked Thom when he did the radio with Bob Brenly and Santo (for just one season, I believe). Too bad he's landed in a third- or fourth-tier market and has turned into a bitter ass like Marty.

Thom Brennamen used to share the booth with stoney back in the day. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thom_Brennaman Could be that both he, and his father hold a grudge because Tribune Co. let him go?

Thom was a finalist for the Chip Carey job . . . that might explain his anger

Eh, I think he left the Cubs because they wouldn't allow him to broadcast FOX games on the weekends. I'm pretty sure the Cubs wanted him to stay at the time though.

anyone notice that bob/len have an autographed headshot of steve stone tacked up messily on the wall of their podcast studio hanging out by its self (even the headshot of stone needs some ego room, ha.)?

Rob, you forgot to mention the "Lou is fat" references.

I must have missed it. I did leave after the 6th inning to go to the Dodgers/Mets game and then just rewatched the parts I remembered.

Or it might have happened when I started sticking my fingers in my ears and screaming "I can't hear you".

It was when Lou came out to argue the call at first where the ump said Lee pulled his foot. They first made the obligatory reference to the base-throwing incident, then preceded to say that he was essentially older and fatter now and doesn't get out there as fast to argue like he used to.

I grew up in Deerfield, Illinois in the 60s and 70s, and we always said, "play catch." The first time I heard "have a catch" was in Field of Dreams and it took me a second to figure out what he meant. Oh, and Thom Brenneman is a little dick-head.

Really, you (and any other subscribers) should send a complaint to MLB.tv with a link to this post. If local broadcast teams are going to start being openly hostile to the opposing team and/or its fans, then MLB.tv subscribers should have the ability to choose which broadcast team they watch.

If you can find any info on what Harry put Josh Lewin through you would be amazed.

Rob - Nice Job! It must have been painful to listen to Dumb & Dumber portray some of the Cubs players and the organization-obviosuly there is an axe to grind. I mean its one thing to criticize the Cubs players and management when they deserve it - we certainly do - but to make statements as you articulated that are clearly wrong and in some cases libelous (such as the comments about Soto)should have some serious repercussions. I thought Hawk Harrelson was bad but these guys are in a league of their own.

Oh now I know why the Reds broadcast sounded so familiar! It's taken from the Dumb and Dumber movie.

Yea, basically what WISCGRAD said.... Also, when Lou came out to the mound a short time later, one of the announcers (I think Welsh) made a comment referencing back to the previous "older and fatter = slow" comment. I think it was something along the lines of: "Lou's so slow, he probably has forgotten why he came to the mound in the first place."

Dudes, fuck Cincy, fuck the Reds, fuck the Brennemans and fuck their woe-is-me fans. I was at the game last night and literally wanted to puke all over Great American from hearing these whiny little assbags. Apologies for the profanity but if I hear "Welcome back, Dumpster" and how he was such a flop with them one more time, I'm going back down I-74 with a box truck full of fertilizer. Jealousy is a stinky cologne, Reds fans/broadcasters/manager. Have fun making whine in the cellar.

I grew up in Chicago and it was always "Let's go play catch." Also, never heard "have a catch" until I read the book Field of Dreams is based on. The book is really good. The movie suffers from the presence of Amy Madigan who just plain stinks. And turning the author (he's J.D. Salinger in the book) into an African American makes his monologue about how wonderful baseball is sort of odd considering the racial history of the game. Impossible not to find the end of the movie moving, however. Absolutely one of the greatest movies of all time made about dead ballplayers emerging from corn.

Also, what is their beef with Lou? When Perry got tossed for arguing balls and strikes, these inbred mouth breathers behind me almost bukkaked one another over the fact that Lou may have gotten the gate.

BTW, Rob-- (whispering) You said "fuck"..... Oh wait, I shouldn't have said that since it is apparently against the rules to take a phrase from a movie...

and yeah, of course I knew about the whole Thom/Cubs connection and maybe this isn't new for Brenneman Jr. But seemed rather interesting coming on the heels of Dad's blow-up.

My father said there was a report that Marquis is out of the rotation. Any confirmation?

Marquis' start got pushed to Monday due to off day according to Trib. Dempster will pitch. http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sport... Lieber to pitch after Marquis.

Pretty much spot on, and I'm glad there were others that saw what an asshole TB is. "Excuse me, Mister Brenneman? Head or gut?"

My part in this post is quite small, but as I said in Parachat last night: On both sides, my family has lived in the midwest NE, IL, elsewhere) for multiple generations. It has always, ALWAYS been "have a catch." Then again, we're weird... Go away, Thom.

"Come dressed as your favorite Brenneman" night, the next time the Reds are in town. They used their pulpit to slam the Cubs and their fans -- let's fight back.

Anything you say, comrade.

Trans- What kind of beverage is a Pepsi?

a Soda

In Chicago, it's a pop.

I scored some Pot when I was in Chicago last summer.

Not for everyone, it isn't. Spent the first 20 years of my life here, and the last seven, and have never used the word "pop" in reference to a soft drink.

lived in Chicago the first 20ish years of my life, called it soda...occasionally used pop instead. As long as you don't start calling a drinking fountain a bubbler, you're cool with me.

In the South, everything is a coke. "Hey, will you grab me a coke from the fridge?" "Sure, what kind?"

As a midwesterner, I always said a pepsi was a "Pop"  As in "I'm thirsty, can I have some pop?"

 

When I went to grad school and tried to become sophisticated, then I switched to Soda.

 

Now I'm in the south, and yeah, it's all Coke.  But what's funny is that everyone in my campus thinks it's some crime against humanity that the campus has an agreement to sell Pepsi products instead of Coke products.

 

 

Great stuff, Rob! There are very, very few good baseball voices/faces on TV and that piss-ant TB is not among them! I love rants about announcers, by the way...

In other news, Carol Slezak needs to lighten the fuck up.

Oh my...a group of men making lewd, off-color, sexual innuendos with blow-up dolls...what has the world come to?

Seriously, lighten the fuck up or at least get laid Ms. Slezak.

The accompanying poll though at least brings some sense to it, only 19% thought it was inappropriate.

Completely off topic, but Murton's season is getting pretty weird. He's got 17 hits and 11 walks in AAA so far, for a .362 batting average and .500 OBP, which are great numbers. But all of those hits have been singles. 100%. Last year he had 50 hits in AAA, 23 of which were for extra bases and 27 of which were singles. So last year he had 50 hits in AAA, 54% of which were singles and 46% of which were extra-base hits. This year he's got 17 hits, 100% of which are singles, 0% of which have gone for extra bases. How long will this go on? When will Murt hit a line drive or fly ball again? By the way, Andres Torres has gotten off to a nice start in AAA. I'd be surprised if it lasted very long, but he's batting over .350 right now and has played CF a fair amount. Andres Blanco is doing O.K. with the bat too, though he's still not hitting for any power. He's good depth at SS at least, and at 23 (?) there's hope that he might someday figure out how to hit a little.

You're not the only one that noticed that stuff, Rob. There was a discussion about it on HJE today, too.

got a link? I looked around and don't see anything...

Oh, it was in the Shoutbox. There is a thread on Desipio about it. I even put up a link to your article. That's right, Rob. I'm expanding your readers. You can thank me by trading me Chipper for Jorge Cantu and AJ Burnett.

My favorite part was when they were discussing the 40/40 thing Thom said he was pretty sure that all three times it happened before Soriano, the team went to the playoffs. Then Welsh said he thought A-Rod did it with the Rangers so obviously they didn't make the playoffs. Then a few minutes later after their intern looked it up Thom says Bonds didn't go to the playoffs either in the year he did it. So really his assertion was in fact the exact opposite of the truth. Hee Hee.

Can we keep that pic of TB all the time? Love it. How about creating one for Milo too? Ooo, ooo--and Joe Morgan.