As the regular season counts down, Reds fans are also counting down the final days of Marty Brennaman’s legendary radio play-by-play career. You may remember that his long-time partner, Joe Nuxhall, had a somewhat rocky end to his broadcasting career. Here is an excerpt from an article I authored on the subject in 2004:
I am led to believe by people who know Joe Nuxhall that he has a burning passion for his work and for the Cincinnati Reds. Hearing the thrill in his voice when calling a game-winning hit on Reds radio only confirms that belief. If there is a Mr. Cincinnati Reds, other than perhaps Pete Rose, it’s Nuxhall, who has spent 60 years with the organization as a player and a radio announcer.
I’m also told he is a stubborn and proud man, which he has every right to be. He’s someone whose professional life has been devoted to the Cincinnati Reds. It is no surprise that he was deeply hurt when someone in the Reds organization told him that it is time to retire.
It’s fair to say that I was raised in part by Marty Brennaman and Joe Nuxhall. As a young man, I went eight years without missing a single Reds game in person, on television, but mostly on the radio. I bleed Cincinnati Red, just like Marty and Joe. And as a former student of radio broadcasting, I appreciate the unique talents that both men bring to their calls of the games.
After 30 years of listening to Joe Nuxhall, it became painfully apparent in the past couple of years that he has seriously struggled at times. There have been times that he forgets the name of the person he is interviewing. This year, there has been more than one occasion when Joe has been unable to come up with a name or the proper words to call a play and you can hear him express disgust with himself. But proud people recover and keep doing their jobs.
It is too harsh for the Reds management to ask Joe to completely step out of the booth. This year’s arrangement of Joe calling about half of the games seems to have worked well. Some of his best calls in recent years have been this season, perhaps because at age 76 he no longer has to make all of the grueling road trips. By cutting back his work load, the Reds have done him a favor, whether he and the fans realize it or not.
Someone in the Reds organization, whose identity has not been made public, had the heartbreaking task of deciding that the time had arrived. And despite the protests of Joe and most of the fans, that person was right. Hopefully, further details will stay within the Reds family, where they belong.
Brennaman, on the other hand, retired before he reached the point where his natural gifts had reached diminution. He will have a glorious, if not win-filled, final few days in the booth.
Today’s game two of the three-game series pitting the Reds against the Mets at Great American Ball Park begins at 4:10 p.m. Eastern time.
Since the All-Star break, DeSclafani has shown he belongs in this very strong pitching rotation. Opponents are hitting only .195 against him, and his WHIP is 1.01. The only flaw in his statistics is the 11 home runs allowed in 69 innings. If you started 2020 with “Disco” as your fourth starter, you’d feel very comfortable about your starting rotation. Wheeler has been in top form his last four starts, allowing only four runs over 25 innings.
Only Sal Romano and Keury Mella pitched Friday night, so everyone else should be ready to go today.
|CF Brandon Nimmo||LF Phil Ervin|
|LF Jeff McNeil||1B Joey Votto|
|1B Pete Alonso||3B Eugenio Suarez|
|2B Robinson Cano||RF Aristides Aquino|
|C Wilson Ramos||C Tucker Barnhart|
|RF Michael Conforto||SS Jose Iglesias|
|3B Todd Frazier||CF Brian O’Grady|
|SS Amed Rosario||2B Derek Dietrich|
|P Zack Wheeler||P Anthony DeSclafani|
Frazier returns to GABP where he has a career slash line of .267/.330/.496 but faces DeSclafani for the first time. Meanwhile, the man who replaced him on the Reds hot corner, Suarez, is still chasing Alonso for the most homers in MLB. Geno is 1-for-5 in his career against Wheeler.
Additional insights into the statistical history of the players in today’s game is available all season long at BaseballSavant.com.
News and Notes
Everyone on the Cincinnati Reds are sick. Or, well, a lot of them at least.
Glad I'm working the visiting clubhouse today. Five #Reds players — VanMeter, Galvis, Lorenzen, Stephenson, and Gausman — sent home with flu-like symptoms. ?
— Jeff Wallner (@JeffWallner) September 21, 2019
Josh VanMeter was originally in the lineup, but was scratched for Phillip Ervin.
For those of you outside of the Cincinnati market, today’s game is available for free as the Free Game of the Day on MLB.tv.
Shout-out to Doug Gray: All regulars here at Redleg Nation should take just a moment to thank this website’s owner for the time and dedication he puts into this discussion forum. He creates content every day, sometimes multiple articles, along with managing all of the technical aspects. His day-in, day-out dedication to this team and creating a place for diehard fans like you and me to gather and share our thrills and disappointments goes beyond what most of us even begin to imagine. He’s done a terrific job in his first year in this role.