It's not small ball, it's Thrall Ball!
Tommy Thrall takes over Cincinnati Reds radio play-by-play this spring from Marty Brennaman, who retired last fall after 46 seasons. Thrall will call all of the spring training games from Arizona, many of them with analyst Jeff Brantley. The Reds' spring opener is 3:05 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, in Goodyear, Ariz.
Thrall, the former Pensacola baseball announcer who joined the Reds radio team last year, has lots to talk about. The Reds added sluggers Mike Moustakas and Nick Castellanos overt the winter, so fans shouldn't expect to see a lot of small ball (sacrifices to advance runners into scoring position).
Reds radio games again will be spread between flagship WLW-AM and weaker WSAI-AM. A couple games will be heard only on Reds.com (March 19-20) during the opening weekend for the NCAA men's basketball tournament.
Only eight Reds games will be televised by Fox Sports Ohio, compared to 10 last year. Most of those games will be repeated on tape by the MLB Network. Unlike last year, MLB Network will not pick up other Reds games televised by their Cactus League opponents.
Again WKRC-TV will broadcast the Reds Opening Day game from Great American Ball Park at 4:10 p.m. Thursday, March 26. Channel 12 will simulcast Fox Sports Ohio's coverage.
Play ball! Here's the combined TV/radio schedule.
Saturday, Feb. 22: Reds @ Cleveland Indians, 3:05 p.m., WLW-AM
Sunday, Feb. 23: Chicago White Sox @ Reds, 3:05 p.m., WSAI-AM
Monday, Feb. 24: Texas Rangers @ Reds, 3:05 p.m., WSAI-AM
Tuesday, Feb. 25: Reds @ Los Angeles Angels, 3:10 p.m., WSAI-AM FSO (from Fox Sports West)
Wednesday, Feb. 26: Seattle @ Reds, 3:05 p.m., FSO, WLW-AM (airs 11 p.m. on MLB Network)
Thursday, Feb. 27: Reds @ Arizona Diamondbacks, 3:10 p.m., WLW-AM
Friday, Feb. 28: Oakland Athletics @ Reds, 3:05 p.m., WLW-AM
Saturday, Feb. 29: San Diego Padres @ Reds, 3:05 p.m., FSO, WLW-AM (airs 3 a.m. Tuesday March 3 on MLB Network)
Sunday, March 1: Reds @ Milwaukee Brewers, 3 p.m., WSAI-AM/WLW-AM, FSO (from Fox Sports North)
Monday, March 2: Los Angeles Dodgers @ Reds, 3:05 p.m., FSO, WSAI-AM
Tuesday, March 3: Off day
Wednesday, March 4: Chicago Cubs @ Reds, 3:05 p.m., WLW-AM (airs 9 a.m. Thursday March 5 on MLB Network)
Thursday, March 5: Milwaukee Brewers @ Reds, 3:05 p.m., FSO, WSAI-AM (airs midnight and 6 a.m. Friday on MLB Network)
Friday, March 6: Reds @ Oakland Athletics, 3:05 p.m., WLW-AM
Saturday, March 7: Reds (split squad) @ Kansas City Royals, 3:05 p.m., WLW-AM
Sunday, March 8: Los Angeles Angels @ Reds (split squad), 4:05 p.m., WLW-AM
Monday, March 9: Reds @ Chicago White Sox, 4:05 p.m., WSAI-AM
Tuesday, March 10: Arizona Diamondbacks @ Reds (split squad), 4:05 p.m., WSAI-AM
Wednesday, March 11: Off day
Thursday, March 12: Reds @ Seattle Mariners, 4:10 p.m., WLW-AM
Friday, March 13: Colorado Rockies @ Reds, 9:05 p.m., WLW-AM or WSAI-AM
Saturday, March 14: San Francisco Giants @ Reds, 9:05 p.m., WLW-AM or WSAI-AM
Sunday, March 15: Reds @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 4:05 p.m., WLW-AM or WSAI-AM (airs 11 p.m. Sunday on MLB Network)
Monday, March 16: Chicago White Sox @ Reds, 4:05 p.m., WSAI-AM
Tuesday, March 17: Reds @ Cleveland Indians, 9:05 p.m., WLW-AM, FSO (From SportsTime Ohio; also airs 3 a.m. Wednesday on MLB Network)
Wednesday, March 18: Reds @ San Diego Padres, 9:40 p.m., WLW-AM
Thursday, March 19: Kansas City Royals @ Reds, 4:05 p.m., Reds.com (airs 8 p.m. Thursday and 4 a.m. Friday on MLB Network)
Friday, March 20: Reds @ Texas Rangers, 4:05 p.m., Reds.com
Saturday, March 21: Reds at San Francisco Giants, 4:05 p.m., WLW-AM or WSAI-AM
Sunday, March 22: Cleveland Indians @ Reds, 3:05 p.m., FSO and WLW-AM or WSAI-AM
Monday, March 23: Opponent and location to be announced, 3:05 p.m., WSAI-AM
Thursday, March 26: Opening Day at Great American Ball Park with St. Louis Cardinals, 4:10 p.m., WLW-AM, FSO and WKRC-TV