Legendary Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman announced today that he’ll hang up his mic after the 2019 campaign, as John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer was among those to cover. It’ll be his 46th year in the booth, a remarkable run by any standard. Brennaman already received the Hall of Fame’s Ford C. Frick Award way back in 2000, so it’s stating the obvious to call him an institution in Cincinnati. Fay honors his legacy in the above-linked piece, characterizing Brennaman as “a combination of celebrity and everyman.” As an acolyte of Vin Scully, I shared some admittedly sentimental words about the game when he wrapped up his remarkable career with the Dodgers. While I can’t add more that’s particular to Brennaman, there’s something universal in the idea I was trying to convey as it relates to long-tenured baseball announcers. MLBTR extends its best wishes to Brennaman as he prepares for one last 162-game run.
Here’s more from the central divisions …
- Cubs skipper Joe Maddon isn’t the one calling the shots in the Chicago baseball operations department, but it was nevertheless notable to see his response when asked by a fan whether there was any chance of the team landing star free agent Bryce Harper. As Jesse Rogers of ESPNChicago.com tweets, Maddon replied simply and directly: “not going to happen.” Meanwhile, Jim Bowden of The Athletic tells David Kaplan of Sports Talk Chicago (Twitter link) that the Cubs “never engaged” on Harper in the first place. Of course, reports have indicated that the club did at least ask for a chance to get involved down the line, though it has never been clear how realistic such a scenario would be.
- The Twins are going to add at least one more arm before wrapping up their offseason, LaVelle E. Neal III tweets. Which? Well, that’d be good to know, of course, but the fact is that quite a few options still remain and it’s still entirely unclear where the front office might be looking. The Minnesota organization somehow still has yet to commit any salary beyond the season to come, so a reasonably significant addition surely can’t be ruled out. It’s arguable that the team most needs to pursue a quality reliever, though perhaps a move in the rotation is not out of the question entirely. Though it’s still anyone’s guess how this’ll play out, it’s notable that the team obviously still feels it has work to do. Certainly, some would argue that the Twins ought to be considering more than just a single hurler; the possibility of multiple impactful moves certainly still remains as well.
- New Brewers backstop Yasmani Grandal discussed why he chose to go to Milwaukee, as Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel writes. Grandal, of course, is known to have rejected a four-year deal with the Mets that would have paid him at a lower annual rate than the $18.25MM he’s guaranteed in Milwaukee ($2.25MM of which comes in the form of the buyout of a mutual option). While many would argue the lengthier term was the better deal, the veteran backstop says he felt it would have done a disservice to his fellow players to take less than he was worth for a given season. “I felt like part of my responsibility as a player was to respect the guys that went through this process before I did, those guys who established pay levels and markets for upper-tier catchers like me,” he said. Grandal talked about the “stressful” run through the open market; clearly, he thought hard about things not just for his personal benefit but from a broader perspective. Whether budging on years is preferable to taking a haircut on dollars is certainly debatable, but it’s interesting to note Grandal’s perspective on the subject regardless.