Baseball and the Media: How Fans Lose in Today's Coverage of the Game

By George Castle | Go to book overview

FOURTEEN
No More Harry Carays

Marty Brennaman and Ken “Hawk” Harrelson are bookends as baseball broadcasters.

“The worst word in my profession is we, that famous French word meaning 'yes,'” said Brennaman. “You can't tell that I'm cryin' and pissin' and moanin' if they're losing. That's not my style. One thing we all aspire to have when I walk away from this business, if they never say anything else good about me, the one thing they will say, 'He had credibility.'

That credibility, of course, is aimed squarely at the listeners.

“That's the only thing I care about,” Brennaman said. “I've told players, I don't broadcast for you, your wife, your mom, your dad, or your friends, or their friends. I broadcast for the people who turn on the radio each night in Lima, Ohio, or Paintsville, Kentucky, and places like that. If they didn't like my work, I'd be gone a long time ago.

“Take it with all due respect, take [the New York Yankees'] John Sterling as an announcer,” Brennaman said. “He's as big a homer and as big a rooter as ever lived. I'm not critical of his style. Could I do that? Not on my worst day could I root for a team like that. Do I want the Reds to win? Hell, yeah, I want them to win. It makes my job easier. It's always better to say nice things about people than be critical.”

Nearly three hundred miles northwest of Brennaman's Cincinnati Reds' home base at the Great American Ballpark, Harrelson tries to bust his vocal chords at the latest White Sox highlight, in the tried-and-true tradition of many past Chicago baseball announcers.

“The greatest compliment they can pay me is being the ultimate

-228-

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