This week’s respondents are Chad Dotson, Matt Habel, Steve Mancuso, Clay Marshall and Tom Mitsoff.
Our Daily Reds Obsession: Which of the Reds broadcasters do you like the most?
Chad: Marty Brennaman. Now that Vin Scully is retired, there isn’t a radio play-by-play broadcaster in all of baseball — and I’ve heard them all — who can match Marty in terms of describing the action on the field. But that’s only a tiny part of the reason why I’m picking Marty here. Marty Brennaman is the soundtrack to my childhood, the background noise to backyard whiffle ball games and road trips in the back seat of a station wagon. As a teenager, I fell asleep to Marty calling games on the west coast, and I was thrilled every single time he said, “…and this one belongs to the Reds!”
Sure, I’m the resident gooey, sentimental, “Field of Dreams”-type fan here at RN. But I picked Marty as my favorite many, many years ago, and I guess I’ll just stubbornly hang onto that until he’s retired.
(Chris Welsh may be the most underrated television color guy in the big leagues, however. I’m always disappointed when he isn’t on the broadcast team for a particular game.)
Matt: I am going with my fellow St. Xavier High School alum and say Chris Welsh. He does a nice job balancing out Thom and making the TV broadcasts easy to listen to. I also like that he tries to introduce viewers to some newer metrics. His intricate knowledge of the rules is not always valuable but can be another good learning experience. One thing that has been fun in the past couple years is that he seems to have good perspective on the young pitchers in terms of both their mindsets and mechanics and I think he definitely adds value with his analysis in that regard. Chris was also the first person I remember talking about TOOTBLANs, so that is an automatic victory for me.
Steve: Jeff Brantley has become a superb play-by-play announcer on the radio broadcast. My favorite part is when he talks about specific pitcher-hitter strategy dynamics during an at bat. He also brings experience and credibility as a former player to his commentary. Brantley is willing to criticize player performance when merited as he sees it, but he’s even-handed about it. He seems to be well prepared. His soothing, home-spun style is easy to listen to and he sets a good scene. I’d love to hear him call an entire game as the radio play-by-play broadcaster. Honorable mention to Chris Welsh, who is trying really hard to add a solid dose of sabermetric information and viewpoint to his commentary.
Clay: I absolutely hate the down-time that television announcers refuse to fill. With the exception of golf and tennis, I can’t think of another sport where people who are paid to speak for a living go silent for such long stretches. That said, I generally prefer listening to radio feeds, although I try to switch back whenever I see Jim Day saying something. And though I don’t enjoy his crankiness, I think Marty Brennaman and Jeff Brantley have a fun dynamic and good rapport with one another. I also enjoy Brantley’s solo innings of play-by-play, which I’m guessing is considerably harder than he makes it sound.
Tom: Chris Welsh offers unique insight into situations and individual players. He also has an exceptional knowledge of the rule book, which very often serves him and his viewers well. Jeff Brantley has terrific insight into pitching, but because I use MLB.TV for most of my Reds game consumption, I hear Welsh much more than Brantley.