Brennaman Still Unsure About Returning In 2017
Six weeks before the first spring training game, Marty Brennaman remains uncertain whether this year will be his last as Reds Radio announcer.
Brennaman, 73, is starting the final year of his contract, his 43rd year in the Reds Radio booth.
“I’ll be back in 2016. And after that I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’m conflicted,” Brennaman said at the sold-out Joe Nuxhall Memorial Sports Stag in Hamilton, presented by Knights of Columbus Father Butler Council 968.
It was tough to watch last year’s 98-loss team loaded with rookies after injuries and trading away pitchers Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake, he said. Since then the Reds have dealt All-Stars Todd Frazier and Aroldis Chapman.
“I’d come home tell (wife) Amanda, ‘If I have to look at these guys again, I’ll throw up.’ And the next day I’d change my mind,” he said.
Brennaman praised the Castellini family, which runs the club, saying they will let him work a reduced schedule in his next contract, if he desires.
“I’ll probably be around after 2016,” but he doesn’t know in what capacity, he said. His final comment sounded like the end is near: “Damn! 42 years is long enough!”
If this is Brennaman’s last season as our summer soundtrack, we won’t know it until after the final game in October, as I wrote on his birthday July 28. Marty told me last year he wants to retire from Reds Radio without any fanfare or festivities.
“When I walk away, I’ll let them know the day after the season ends. I don’t want all the (farewell stuff) that goes along with it. I understand they could probably make a lot of money. But whatever they want to do, they’d have to do it the next year, because I’m just not interested in all that stuff. I don’t want to be bothered with it. I don’t need a night. The club and the fans have been good enough to me. I don’t need all that stuff.”
When I wrote that on his birthday July 28, I suggested the Reds start planning the ultimate birthday present for him – a statue on Crosley Terrace to go with the “Great Eight” from the Big Red Machine. Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez are there (and I hear a Pete Rose statue could be next), along with Marty’s long-time radio partner Joe Nuxhall. Marty should be at the mike outside the stadium, the way the St. Louis Cardinals honored Jack Buck.
When Reds CEO Bob Castellini read my July story, he sent me a note saying: “Your suggestions about Marty are right on. However, I think he’ll stick around for a while longer. Stay tuned.”
I hope Castellini can lure Marty back for the next few years, to make Reds Radio entertaining during the lean years as he'd done before. Marty & Joe made Reds baseball relevant and fun during losing seasons. We need Marty & Jeff Brantley to keep us laughing and listening until the club is competitive again.
The Reds’ spring training opener is Tuesday, March 1, against the Cleveland Indians in Goodyear, Ariz. Opening Day is Monday, April 4, with the Philadelphia Phillies.