Richard Fitch writes about Marty Brennaman's career as the Reds' broadcaster. Fitch praises Brennaman's honesty and forthrightness. At the same time, Fitch believes that Brennaman has lost his touch. Fitch points to Brennaman's criticisms of such players as Ken Griffey, Jr. and Joey Votto. The article mentions Brennaman's dislike of sabermetrics as a factor in his decline. I'm not sure I agree with that claim. Instead, I think his anti-sabermetrics viewpoint is a symptom of his natural downturn as a broadcaster. Brennaman has become too eager to give his opinion on anything and everything. His job as play-by-play man is to call the action, not to editorialize. An occasional aside is fine, but these brief opinion pieces are becoming diatribes. Vin Scully, Jon Miller, and Bob Uecker each share stories and information about players to provide context, but they rarely offer their opinions on matters not pertaining to the specific situation or game. For example, Murray Chass recently chatted with Scully and came away with this exchange featuring the Dodgers' broadcaster:
I asked Scully if he uses or pays attention to the new-fangled statistics.
"No," he said. "It's beyond me. I try to be as old-fashioned as possible - batting average, home runs, runs batted in, stolen bases. I don't disapprove of those who use them, but it's beyond me. It's too much for me."
Brennaman doesn't need to share his opinion on sabermetrics in the same way he doesn't need to share his opinion on the way the game is played, politics, or Miley Cyrus' appearance at the VMAs. He's increasingly shared his opinion on all of the above (well, not Miley Cyrus). That's not why we tune in to a baseball game on the radio.
Dayn Perry compares the playing careers of all thirty major league managers. Cincinnati's Dusty Baker comes in at number four, behind Ryne Sandberg, Robin Ventura, and Don Mattingly, which sounds about right to me.
St. Louis bolstered its bullpen by adding John Axford, who previously closed for the Brewers before losing the job to Jim Henderson. The Cardinals send a player to be named later to Milwaukee. The move makes sense for St. Louis as Edward Mujica has been working through some shoulder issues.