Sports Radio News
Tommy Thrall Named New Voice Of The Reds
“Prior to joining the Reds radio team in 2019, Thrall served as the play-by-play voice of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos.”
A broadcasting legend, Marty Brennaman called his final game for the Cincinnati Reds last Thursday, retiring after 46 seasons as their play-by-play voice. Replacing Brennaman in the radio booth for the 2020 season will be Tommy Thrall.
Thrall was informed of the decision last Thursday, but he never expected Brennaman to mention it on-air amid all the celebrations for his final day as the Reds radio voice. Brennaman wanted his last game with the Reds to be a home game, which is why he concluded his 46-year tenure with the team on Thursday.
“As big of a deal as that was for Marty (Thursday), it was an incredible day for him, I didn’t even dream my name would even be brought up,” Thrall told Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “As far as Marty is concerned in his career, I feel like I’m insignificant for him in the grand picture of everything that he’s accomplished. There are so many people that have been around him longer. It was pretty crazy. Hard to wrap your head around it.”
Thrall joined the Reds radio team for the 2019 season, with many people viewing him as the leading candidate to succeed Brennaman. Thrall was added as the team’s pre and postgame host, also working as a fill-in play-by-play announcer. Prior to joining the Reds radio team in 2019, Thrall served as the play-by-play voice of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. The Blue Wahoos were the Reds Double-A affiliate for the last decade, but entered a two-year deal with the Minnesota Twins beginning in 2019.
“You don’t replace somebody like Marty Brennaman,” Thrall told Nightengale. “You may follow him. You may be the next guy. But you can’t replace him. He is going to be synonymous with this organization forever. The sheer volume of iconic calls and moments that he’s been a part of and he’s voiced, those moments live on with the team forever.
“All you can do is show up and do the best job you can do day in and day out. Be the best version of yourself and see where that leads.”
Thrall will partner with Jeff Brantley in the booth, who remains the lead analyst for the Cincinnati Reds Radio Network. Brantley, a former MLB All-Star and Reds reliever, joined their radio team in 2007.
“To have somebody like Jeff that is comforting and uplifting like he is, he is always very positive and encouraging, extremely helpful, kind of helps show you the ropes on the road a little bit,” Thrall said. “On the air, as a broadcast partner, as good as they come. It’s invaluable really. You can’t put into words how important that is.”
Thrall’s predecessor, the 77-year old Marty Brennaman will be the sole inductee for the class of 2020 into the Reds Hall of Fame which will take place with an on-field ceremony Saturday, April 25, prior to a home game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Marty Brennaman joined the Reds radio booth in 1974 replacing Al Michaels, having never called a Major League Baseball game when he was hired, launching a 46-year Hall-of-Fame career.
Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.
Brandon Contes is a former reporter for BSM, now working for Awful Announcing. You can find him on Twitter @BrandonContes or reach him by email at Brandon.Contes@gmail.com.
Sports Radio News
Doug Gottlieb Details Interviewing For College Basketball Head Coaching Vacancy
“I’ve told people that for the radio element to — for the right thing — I’d give it up. The (podcast), I’m not giving it up.”
Fox Sports Radio host Doug Gottlieb recently interviewed for the vacant head coaching job at Wisconsin-Green Bay and detailed the experience on his podcast.
“I got a chance to talk to (Wisconsin-Green Bay AD) Josh Moon several times during the year after they had made their coaching job available and my approach to how I’ve done these things — and this is not the first time I’ve gone down this path, but this was a different path,” Gottlieb said on his All Ball podcast.
“This is a low-major, mid-major job, and there’s no connection there. I’ve told people that for the radio element to — for the right thing — I’d give it up. The (podcast), I’m not giving it up. I love doing it and I think there’s a very smart world where if I’m coaching I can still do this podcast and still do it with basketball people all over the country and the world, and it’s kind of like a cheat code.”
He continued by saying that seeing Shaka Smart be successful at Marquette has motivated him to continue to search for the right fit as a college basketball coach.
“That’s what I want to do. And last year when I was coaching in Israel, that also continued to invigorate me…this is something that I would really like to do. It has to be the right thing. It has to be the right AD who hits the right message.”
He continued by saying that a sticking point of negotiations was he wasn’t willing to give up his nationally syndicated radio program for the job. He was willing to take less money for his assistants pool, but also to continue doing his radio show.
Gottlieb did not get the position with the Phoenix, noting that he was a finalist but was never offered the job. The position ultimately went to Wyoming assistant coach Sundance Wicks. Wicks had previous head coaching experience and had worked with Green Bay athletic director Josh Moon at Division II Northern State. He admitted he wasn’t necessarily “all-in” on the job due to the current ages of his children and whether the timing was right to uproot his family to move to Northeastern Wisconsin.
The Fox Sports Radio host does have coaching experience. He has worked as a coach for the U.S. men’s basketball team at the Maccabiah Games, sometimes referred to as the Jewish Olympics.
Gottlieb’s father — Bob — was the head men’s basketball coach at Wisconsin-Milwaukee from 1975-1980, compiling a 97-91 record.
Sports Radio News
Waddle & Silvy: Scott Hanson Told Us to Lose His Number
“We didn’t call him back, so he set out what he wanted to do.”
Aaron Rodgers took immense pride in the fact that he told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter to “lose his number” while discussing his future earlier this week on The Pat McAfee Show. ESPN 1000’s Waddle & Silvy said they’ve experienced similar treatment from guests on their radio show.
While discussing the Rodgers interview with McAfee, the pair admitted that NFL RedZone host Scott Hanson once told their producer to stop trying to book him for interviews on the program.
“I believe the presentation was ‘Do me a favor: lose my number after this interview’,” Tom Waddle said. “So he tried to do it politely. Scott Hanson did. Get out of here. That concept is foreign to me. How about ‘Hey, next time you text me, my schedule is full. I can’t do it, but thanks for thinking of me’. ‘Lose my number?’ You ain’t the President, for Christ’s sake. I’m saying that to anyone who would say that. ‘Lose my number?’ We’re all in the communication business. I just don’t know — why be rude like that to people? What does that accomplish? You know what it accomplished? We didn’t call him back, so he set out what he wanted to do.”
Co-host Mark Silverman then mentioned that the show once tried to book Hansen and NFL Red Zone host Andrew Siciliano together in the same block, with the idea of doing a trivia game to see who the supreme Red Zone host was. Siciliano agreed, but Hansen declined.
The pair also confirmed that an NFL Network personality had told them to lose their number, but couldn’t remember if it was Rich Eisen or not.
Silverman later joked that maybe Hanson was getting a new phone with a new number, and was politely sharing with the producer that he could lose the current phone number because he would share his new number in short order.
Sports Radio News
Seth Payne: Aaron Rodgers ‘Makes Gross Inaccuracies’ When Calling Out Media
“This is where Rodgers does this thing where he, in calling out reporters for their inaccuracies, makes gross inaccuracies in his accusations.”
Aaron Rodgers is always mad at the media for the inaccurate things he says they report, but according to Sports Radio 610 morning man Seth Payne, no one is more inaccurate than the quarterback himself.
Friday morning, Payne and his partner Sean Pendergast played audio of Aaron Rodgers responding to a question about a list of players he provided to the Jets demanding they sign. Rodgers called the idea that he would make demands “so stupid” and chastised ESPN reporter Dianna Russini, who was the first to report it.
“Now to be clear, Dianna Russini didn’t say demands in her tweet. She said wishlist,” Pendergast clarified.
They also played a clip of Russini responding to Rodgers on NFL Live saying that she stands by her reporting and it is her job to reach out to confirm that it is true.
“This is where Rodgers does this thing where he, in calling out reporters for their inaccuracies, makes gross inaccuracies in his accusations,” Seth Payne said.
He added that if Rodgers is being serious, he is doing some serious nitpicking. He claims that he didn’t give the Jets a list, but that he spoke glowingly about former teammates and told the Jets executives that he met with who he enjoyed playing with during his career.
Payne joked that maybe he wrote down the names in a circle pattern so that it was not a list. Pendergast added that he could have had Fat Head stickers on his wall that he pointed to instead of writing anything at all.
In Payne’s mind, this is a case of Russini catching stray frustration. Neither in her initial tweet nor in any subsequent media appearance did she use the phrase “demands”.
“What he’s actually responding to in that instance is Pat McAfee is the one that described it as a list of demands,” Seth Payne said.