Cincinnati Reds

cincinnati reds opening day 2021
Aaron Doster / AP

There's no question Opening Day 2021 was a strange one. In addition to below-normal temperatures, there also were below-level crowds due to COVID-19 capacity limits. The Findlay Market Opening Day Parade was canceled for the second year in a row, but there were still plenty of crowds to be found.

John Kiesewetter

For the first time in five decades, there won't be a Brennaman in the broadcast booth for the Reds Opening Day.

Hall of Fame Reds shortstop Barry Larkin debuts as an analyst on the Reds TV team with new play-by-play announcer John Sadak, a CBS Sports Network and Westwood One radio announcer.

Hamilton County Commission (screenshot from Mar. 31, 2021 COVID-19 Briefing)

COVID-19 cases continue to "plateau" in Hamilton County as most of the area gears up for Reds Opening Day. Officials are requesting people attending Great American Ball Park on Thursday do so responsibly and keep their distance in the DORA district.

Michael E. Keating / WVXU

Seven years ago, just before Reds' Opening Day, my old friend Michael E. Keating and I put together this ode to Great American Ball Park, a dead place during the long, harsh winter, but one that comes to back to life on Opening Day, a Cincinnati holiday.

Courtesy John Schutte

Editor's note: This story originally ran in July 2020. John Schutte says he will be back in the ballpark for 2021.

Baseball is a very ear-friendly sport. There's the crack of the bat, the sound of a fastball hitting leather and the roar of the crowd. There might not be fans in America's ballparks as this COVID-shortened season starts - which just might make sound all the more important. Bill Rinehart has more about the organist for the Cincinnati Reds in this chapter of OKI Wanna Know.

rosie red
Bryan Woolston / AP

Like so much in 2020, the Cincinnati Reds baseball season was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic: the game schedule was reduced, no fans were permitted at stadiums, and what had been expected to be a big year for the home team turned out to be rather lackluster.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Digital tickets, cashless food and a new no-backpacks rule aside, there are some other surprises for fans beginning Opening Day at Great American Ball Park.

John Kiesewetter

No surprise here: Fox Sports Ohio will rebrand as Bally Sports Ohio on March 31 – the day before the Reds' Opening Day telecast.

Courtesy John Sadak

A few things to know about John Sadak: He grew up in New Jersey wanting to play sports, not broadcast them. From 2007 to 2017, he was one of the hardest working sports announcers you've never heard of, doing up to 250 broadcasts a year, often driving to them from his Delaware home.

Courtesy Cincinnati Reds

Reds fans have four opportunities to see the 2021 team in the next seven days, if they have Fox Sports Ohio and the MLB Network.

John Kiesewetter / WVXU

Play ball! The Cincinnati Reds return to the airwaves Sunday with the spring training opener from Goodyear, AZ, the start of seven months of Reds games on radio.

John Sadak
Courtesy of Fox Sports Ohio

Play-by-play announcer John Sadak makes his Reds TV debut on Fox Sports Ohio's Access Reds Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.

John Kiesewetter

After the Reds suspended Thom Brennaman in August for a homophobic slur during a TV game, Hall of Fame shortstop Barry Larking offered his services to Reds COO Phil Castelinni.

trevor bauer
Aaron Doster / AP

The Cincinnati Reds' Trevor Bauer is the 2020 National League Cy Young Award winner. Bauer is the first-ever Cincinnati Reds player to earn the title.

trevor bauer
Aaron Doster / AP

Reds fans can enjoy the best of Trevor Bauer one more time as Fox Sports Ohio repeats four of his best games Nov. 8-10.

joe morgan

Editor's note: Joe Morgan passed away Oct. 12 at the age of 77. The Baseball Hall of Famer was a key member of the Big Red Machine, the Reds team that dominated baseball in the 1970s. Many consider him to be the greatest second baseman of all time. USA Today's Bob Nightengale was the first to report the news.

Howard Wilkinson has this profile of Morgan and the trade that brought him to the Cincinnati Reds, first published in August 2019.

Reds President of Baseball Operations Dick Williams is resigning. The team says in a statement he is leaving to "pursue personal interests outside baseball," namely, a position with his family's company, North American Properties.

Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver died from complications of Lewy body dementia and COVID-19 on Monday, the Baseball Hall of Fame and MLB announced.

He was 75.

White Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf called Seaver "a consummate professional" and "an artist on the mound."

"He had a fantastic sense of humor that reverberated around the club house

Courtesy Fox Sports

Update 4 p.m. Thursday Aug. 20: Fox Sports has dropped Thom Brennaman from NFL games this fall because of his use of a gay slur during the Reds' doubleheader Wednesday.

Brennamman, 56, has been a NFL play-by-play announcer since 1994, when the network acquired the TV contract for the NFL's NFC division.

great american ballpark
Aaron Doster / AP

It’s Opening Day! Baseball is back!

So why I am not more excited?

ce friday
Jim Nolan / WVXU

The Republican Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives and multiple others found themselves in federal custody this week in what may be the largest bribery scandal in the state's history.

great american ball park
Aaron Doster / AP

Major League Baseball starts the COVID-shortened season this week. The Cincinnati Reds host the Detroit Tigers Friday evening. Because of the pandemic, there won't be fans in the ballpark. Reds Chief Operating Officer Phil Castellini says the team is getting ready for when they can welcome fans back.

cincinnati reds
Aaron Doster / AP

The Cincinnati Reds will play Opening Day much later than usual, with the COVID-19 pandemic cutting the season short by more than a hundred games and delaying it by three months.

Courtesy Cincinnati Reds

Limited access to Reds players – and no interaction with the opponents' broadcasters and beat reporters – will make TV and radio games a different ball game during the pandemic.

No longer can the media interview players in the clubhouse before or after games, or hang out on the field during batting practice to chat with home and visiting players, coaches and broadcasters about the team's streaks and health.  

sonia sotomayor baseball
Patrick Semansky / AP

I can't even begin to tell you how many Independence Days I have spent at ball parks over the years – Crosley Field, Riverfront Stadium, Great American Ball Park.

Some were just dusty sandlots where I was playing as a kid or, as a grownup, coaching other kids in Knothole baseball, teaching them to play the greatest game ever invented and how to behave like good sports doing it.

But last Saturday was the saddest of them all.

ce friday
Jim Nolan / WVXU

The city of Cincinnati adopted its budget following days of contentious public hearings and shouts to defund the police department. The already cash-strapped city, brought to the financial brink by the COVID-19 pandemic, ultimately approved little in the way of changing the funding of the police department.

John Kiesewetter

Fox Sports Ohio digs deep in its vault for some memorable Reds games during the coronavirus pandemic baseball stoppage.

Tom Seaver's 1978 no-hitter against the Cardinals, Johnny Bench's dramatic home run on "Johnny Bench Night" in 1983, Pete Rose's record-breaking hit No. 4,192 from 1985 and the 1990 Reds clinching the National League Championship Series over the Pirates will air in primetime on Fox Sports Ohio.

tom browning
Rusty Kennedy / AP

Sweep! Sweep! Good news for Reds fans in a coronavirus lockdown missing baseball. Fox Sports Ohio will repeat the Reds' World Series sweeps of the New York Yankees in 1976 and the Oakland A's in 1990.

The 1990 World Series airs this week at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 29, through Saturday, May 2.

carlton fisk 1975 world series
Harry Cabluck / AP

Remember when Fox Sports Ohio last week repeated only four games of the 1975 World Series, which the Reds won in seven games?

Courtesy Cincinnati Reds

And this one belongs to the Reds! Fox Sports Ohio replays four games from the 1975 World Series this week, the four Reds victories to win the World Championship over the Boston Red Sox.