Marty Brennaman is at it again. Tonight during the Reds Hot Stove show on 700 WLW here in Cincinnati a called late in the show. He mentioned that writers, some local and national say that Joey Votto has a bad contract. That it’s hamstringing the team from making deals this offseason. The caller says that it’s not a bad deal, but it’s a bad deal for the Reds but it would be a great deal for 2/3rds of the teams in baseball. He is implying that the Reds simply aren’t willing to spend enough money to make that contract work for them (I’d disagree with this notion – assuming they return to spending $115+M).

Marty agrees with the caller that it’s a bad deal for the Reds. The caller then begins to talk about how good Joey Votto is and has been. That the going rate for someone like Votto is more than he’s getting here. At that point, Marty interrupts to point out that he believes if the Reds could do it again they’d never sign that deal. Then he starts on an epic rant that includes lines such as “Let’s get real here, he’s going to make $22M next year. $22M for God’s sake” and when the caller says “how many guys are going to make $22M next year that can’t do what he does? Just for laughs, look up all-time OPS stats”…. then it goes to another level.

Time out here now. I’m not going to get into all that crap. I’m going to tell you this: If I were an owner of a baseball team I would say to him if I could trade him, I’d trade him yesterday. And I would say, hell I can lose 94 games without you just as easily as I could lose 94 games with you. I don’t care about the OPS. I don’t care about none of that. This team made a bad deal when they signed Joey Votto to a 10-year contract. And he’s gonna make $22M and either next year or the following year he’s going to make $25M. There’s NO sanity on God’s Earth that justifies this being a good contract.

The caller is sort of chuckling in the background for that last sentence. He then says “OK, well Bryce Harper is probably going to make $30” when Marty jumps in and cuts him off with this:

I don’t give a DAMN (shouting it at this point) about Bryce Harper! You’re talking about Washington DC. Why don’t you bring up Mike Trout and Los Angeles? (caller chimes in with”well” before he’s interrupted again) We’re done with this Scott.  We can argue all night long and you’re dead wrong. You’re never going to convince me this contract is a good contract.

If you’d like to listen to the entire Hot Stove League show, I’ve embedded it at the bottom of this article. To listen specifically to the Joey Votto portion, go to the 28-minute mark (literally the 28-minute mark).

I just can’t get over the anger and vitriol that Marty shows here. Not only has he continuously, for years and years, talked about Joey Votto as if he were only as good as say, Eugenio Suarez instead of being the best Reds hitter of all time (his 157 OPS+ is EASILY the best in Reds franchise history), but how he treated the caller, who while he was disagreeing with him wasn’t being abrasive or confrontational, was kind of crazy.

I’ll still never understand keeping Marty Brennaman around at this point. He almost constantly talks badly about the team (which I can understand to a point – they haven’t exactly performed well lately). I think he takes it a bit far when it comes to the players. But when it comes to Joey Votto, it’s just on a different level. There’s something seriously going on when it comes to Votto. Brennaman simply can’t not go out of his way to rip on him. And for what? Because of the amount of money he makes? Or is it because his teammates aren’t good enough to be on base enough so Votto can drive them in as often as he would like him to? Because the team stinks?

Newsflash about the whole “lose 94 with or without you” thing. Yeah, the Reds would lose 94 with or without him. The difference is, they’d lose a lot more than 94 without him. How miserable would Marty Brennamen be then? Who would he have to blame for the losing then? This is a man who poisons the Cincinnati Reds brand by the things that he says – and unfortunately, a large majority of the fanbase simply doesn’t know any better than to believe that he’s an expert on baseball. They buy everything he’s selling and he’s selling the best player the team has had in most of our lifetimes, if not all of our lifetimes, as overpaid and underperforming. Neither or those things are remotely close to true.

Update: They talked about this on Intentional Talk this afternoon. Look at Christ Rose when the rant is over. He literally can’t believe what he just heard.

140 Responses

  1. Jack

    There is something seriously wrong with the man, it is one thing to think the contract is bad for the Reds and another to continually deride Votto with such venom and attack anyone who disagrees with him. Loss of emotional control is an early sign of dementia.

    • gaffer

      Agree, he needs to go away . . . yesterday. Are salaries insane, yes. Are the reds supposed to only sign non-market contracts, no. If the Reds are in the MLB, they need to pay market value. Its like he thinks that a hamburger in LA costs more than one in Cincinnati. Sounds un-american to me.

      • Dave

        Are you kidding me? Marty is one of the reasons I love the reds. One great thing about him is that he says what he thinks. What do you want, simple minded Brantley to call the games? Hearing him is the reason why baseball is perceived as boring.

      • Doug Gray

        What do I want? Someone who can speak their mind AND be educated about what they are actually saying.

        This whole “I love him because he speaks his mind” stuff is fine…. if he’s speaking the truth. When you’re speaking untruths, it’s a problem.

    • BlueJay

      If you don’t want Votto in Cincy we in Toronto will gladly take him

    • CJ

      Marty has to go. The personal vendetta he seems to have against Votto, for whatever reason, is something you cannot have coming from the so-call “face/voice of the franchise.” The White Sox smartly moved their idiot homer to road games only, the Reds might consider a similar tactic. You can’t let this man continue to spread his venom against Votto towards the Reds fans, because you don’t want the fans to turn on one of the greatest Reds of all time.

      Marty needs to shut up.

  2. victor vollhardt

    Doug —YOU are right on and Marty is dead wrong! If nothing else it is his job to” sell ” the Reds that’s what his employers pay him for. To lose sight of that fact (no matter what his personal opinion is) shows that he out of touch with the world as it exists. In his position you can disagree with the customer(fan) , but not insult him—you might not like your” wares” ,but you don’t badmouth that which you are paid to sell.

  3. RFM

    Amen. The ‘voice of the Reds’ should see reason, rather than spread despair. He shouldn’t seek to turn fans against the team, once he does that he should find a new job. He should acknowledge the achievements of the team’s players, especially superstar Joey Votto, rather than try to undermine them.

    If he has a problem with the team losing during a rebuild he should just retire. Better days are ahead, but not so much with Marty still spreading storm clouds. Next time the Reds contend he’ll still be trying to turn fans against the team.

  4. Lee

    Sorry, I agree with Marty. The reason we are signing retreads like Storen and Wood the last two offseasons, is because a small market team has no business giving out those huge contracts to anyone. I’m glad Votto is good at the moment, but Votto alone is not winning 90 games. He needs help around him……..help the Reds can not afford. It sucks being a small market team. We constantly will sell off our homegrown talent for prospects, for the most part, who will not work out. And the ones that do work out, will be traded away eventually too. A sick cycle, don’t you say? I respect the opposite side of this argument, and have gotten used to the fact that as long as I’m a Reds fan, this is the way it works. I could’ve chosen the Cubs, Dodgers, Yankees, etc etc…..big market teams with cash to spend. I didn’t. I chose the Reds, I will continue to be a Reds fan forever, as hard as the reality is. Great site, thanks for the articles.

    • Doug Gray

      No player, ever, is winning 90 games alone. This isn’t basketball – one player can’t carry a team.

      The reason the Reds are signing, and have been signing retreads isn’t because of Joey Votto – who is providing surplus value. It’s because they weren’t getting surplus value from other guys. Devin Mesoraco, Homer Bailey, Brandon Phillips. The fact that they cut off about $35M in payroll after 2015 didn’t help either, and that wasn’t because of bad contracts. Joey Votto’s not hamstringing the Reds. Injuries did, big time (that led to crappy players who shouldn’t have ever been on the team getting large chunks of playing time, losses, which led to ticket sale declines, less revenue and so on). This team showed it could handle a $115M payroll. They’re making more money today than they did when they had that payroll, and if they aren’t they will be as soon as that new TV deal comes in (they may be making slightly less because ticket sales are down enough that it could be impacting these numbers).

      Being a small market does suck, but you have to be smart about it. Joey Votto is underpaid and underpaid in a big way right now. He’ll likely continue to be underpaid for the next 3-4 years, too.

      • james walker

        Doug,
        I disagree only with your use of the term “small market” in the last paragraph. The era of so called small market teams is a thing of the past.

        Just look at how the likes of even the Yanks and Dodgers are starting to run their operations to avoid the luxury tax threshold.

        And whether we think it is equitable and fair, the lid has been put on overseas spending outside of the negotiated relationship with the Japan leagues.

        So, while the Reds aren’t likely to ever make as much on local TV as the mega market teams, between the new enhanced (digital media and merchandising) revenue streams they do share in along with the negotiated brakes on spending, “small market” really doesn’t work as a viable excuse any longer.

        Also in terms of putting butts in seats, the Reds have a 90-120 minute market area population that really isn’t that small as it stretches from well north of Dayton, OH to south of Lexington and into Columbus, OH (and beyond) along with Indianapolis along interstate highways plus nearly to Louisville and all areas between and among.
        Why is the 90-120 minute market significant? Because many folks in the mega market areas need that much time to get to games then again home afterwards over the shorter distances they drive or travel on public transit due to the greater general congestion where they live. So, recognize “small market” for what it has become in this instance, a state of mind, not an operational reality.

      • Doug Gray

        While I do think the days of the Marlins spending $18M and the Yankees spending 10 times that are indeed over, the Dodgers can easily spend twice as much as the Reds can. So can the Yankees, Cubs or Red Sox.

        The 90-120 minute thing works for weekends, but people aren’t driving in on a Tuesday night, or Thursday afternoon from Lexington or Indianapolis. That, along with the TV contracts, is what makes up the haves and have-nots.

      • Colt Holt

        I lived 20 minutes from camden yards and went to 10 games in a year. I am 45 minutes from the nearest minor league park and go about once or twice a year. The nearest big league park is about 4 hours. The only way for most people to attend regularly is being within 20 to 30 minutes, tops.

      • Chip baskets

        You’re right Doug, it isn’t basketball. That’s why you don’t spend 1/4 of your payroll on 1 player.

      • Doug Gray

        Well, if the Reds actually spent the money they were spending when they were good, it’d be 1/5th of the payroll and they’d be able to put more talent around Joey Votto. Instead, they’ve cut $30M from the payroll, and now people are blaming Joey Votto’s contract, not the fact that the owner decided he didn’t want to spend what he used to.

    • Reaganspad

      Um, name one free agent north of Coco Codero who would sign with the Reds?

      Just one……

      Waiting…….

      I will check back in a few days and your lack of answer will indicate how accurate your post was.

      I like Marty for the “and this one belongs to the Reds” but as far as the radio broadcast, Jeff Brantley is so much better than Marty

      • MK

        It is about the money. If the Reds offer more money all free agents will come.

      • Mjc

        I agree Jeff Brantley is breath of fresh air. I use to love Marty , but now he’s just so critical of everybody. critical of a lotta players that he takes the fun outta listening to the games . Jeff gives you a more relaxed enjoyable listening expirence.

    • Bill

      While I don’t want to see the Reds sign many deals like this, I think Joey Votto’s deal is one they got right. He’s a homegrown, future Hall of Fame player at a position where longevity is the most likely.

      As for the small market aspect … there are a couple of differences between the Reds and the mega-market teams. When the Reds are competitive, I would expect their payroll to return to about $120M/year. That will leave them $75M below the luxury tax limit. That’s a pretty big difference in available resources for salary, but the Royals and Indians continue to demonstrate that you can make and even win the World Series at the salary threshold the Reds have the ability to compete at.

      What they can’t do is sign many bad long-term contracts. I have loved watching Brandon Phillips as a players, but his last extension was a sentimental signing. We paid market value to Homer Bailey a year before he was available to depart as a free agent. I’m not sure I see the risk/reward benefit of making this early commitment when we paid market value.

      Injuries will adversely impact some of our free agent signings like they have with Mesoraco and Bailey, but we need to be smart about our big signings.

    • MuddyCleats

      Valid pts on both sides, but I tend to agree w/ U Lee more than others. Reds have used the small market thing so long, I am not sure they even try 2 find another way 2 compete??

  5. DaveCT

    So much of the vitriol seen directed against any individual player so often seems to originate with the money he makes, or was given in his bonus, and with how the fan or reader feels about that. Specifically to be resentful because a pro athlete makes money when they can. And that is just silly. Anyone who could make 25 mil most likely would sign on the dotted line. For Marty to behave this way is inexcusable. He should be fired.

  6. Cam

    This is so unbelivably tired. I cannot believe we are STILL doing this.

    A top 10 player in Reds history ALREADY and the team’s own Hall of Fame radio broadcaster undermines his perception among fans at every chance he gets. Think about how wild that is.

    I looked this up tonight since it’s been on my brain a lot during Hall of Fame season. The average WAR for Hall of Fame first basemen currently is 65.9. Votto’s current war is 47.3. Assuming he only were to play through his current contract (we’ll disregard the option year and say 2023), he would only need to average about 2.7 WAR per season to meet that HOF standard. That is definitely within range, especially when you consider that his game is one that has a good shot at aging well due to his plate discipline. His 7 year peak WAR at the moment is 42.0, and the average 7 year peak is 42.5. And he’s still highly productive and assuming he can move back to decent first base defense, that could also improve. Some of the counting stats might be a challenge to get, but Joey Votto is on a Hall of Fame trajectory.

    And still getting crushed by the Hall of Fame radio guy for no reason. Absurd. They should already be planning his statue.

  7. Jake

    How much are the Reds paying Marty? I’d do his job for about 1/4 of what he’s making. And not act like a 5 year old on the air.

    Votto’s deal needed to happen, he’s a once in a lifetime talent. Now we can debate the Phillips or Bailey contracts all day, but..

  8. Sam P

    I’m 20 and I have been listening to the Reds on the radio and watching the Reds on TV since the early 2000’s. There hasn’t been one second that I have cared about anything that Marty says. He’s turned into a sad old man who doesn’t even care to try and evolve with baseball. The game is completely different than it was 20-30 years ago. I’m thinking the Reds and 700 should move on…

  9. MikeReds

    Marty and Thom Brennaman ruin the Reds. Their constant unnecessary criticism of Votto and his contract is getting old. I really cannot stand Marty anymore, and I hate how he feels entitled all the time. “We can argue all night long and you’re dead wrong. You’re never going to convince me this contract is a good contract.” Really!? What other announcer would yell like this? It’s unprofessional and unacceptable. He thinks he’s great and his opinion is always right. The problem is that what he says is terribly wrong, yet everybody listens to him on the radio and Thom on TV. It’s disgusting. He splits the fanbase. I go to a lot of home games every year (50+) and it’s unbelievable how many people that don’t really care much about Reds/baseball talk about Votto’s “terrible” contract because they hear it from them. If I’m at work or somewhere for a day game, I’ll listen to the visiting team’s broadcast. Not only do I not have to listen to constant negativity, but I also don’t have to hear full innings of Cincinnati USA people talking with not a mention of the game. The Reds have moved in many new directions recently, why not finish off the rebuild by getting rid of Marty?

    Votto’s contract is actually a good contract. I spoke to a friend of mine over the summer who has a pretty important role for a different organization. He said they would take Joey Votto’s remaining contract no doubt. That team is in a slightly bigger market, but if the Reds can’t built a playoff team with 90-100 million around the Votto contract, that’s their problem not Votto’s. The Bailey and BP contracts are much worse, but nobody talks about that because Marty and Thom don’t constantly whine about them. Maybe they should start appreciating one of the best hitters ever, because not many of those are going to be in Cincinnati again. Top 20 ever in OPS and OPS+ (4th and 2nd active), 11th in OBP all time (1st active), WPA 3rd of active players. He’s on his way to being in HOF if he keeps it up, but Reds fans don’t even enjoy watching him. I know people who still think BP is better than him.

    Sorry for the rant, I’m angry. I like where the Reds are heading, Storen is a good pickup and I like the Richie Shaffer claim also. Hopefully the rebuild works. Votto will be here at the end, hopefully Marty is not.

    • MK

      I agree with you Mike. When Marty and Thom work a game together on radio it is hard to listen. They talk about everything other than the game.

  10. Greg

    Yes, Bottom is a great player. I agree with Marty though. Red’s have made a lot of bad contracts lately and it truly is killing the team(Bailey, Phillips and Bottom). Red’s need to blow this team up in its entirety. Try to offload these guys even if they have to eat part of these contracts. The only way for success is to get the best young players and get a few good years out of them. Then turn and burn for more young talent when they hit free agency. As for Marty, this is why we love him, he speaks his mind. Yes his job is to ‘sell’ the Reds, but there isn’t much to sell these days. I’d argue that very few would watch or listen to the Reds if Marty was gone.

    • earmbrister

      I’d argue that fewer would mute the audio if Marty was gone.

      Marty is awful.

    • gaffer

      The argument that the Reds contracts hold them back is crazy, Bailey maybe but especially not Votto. Votto makes 22 million but what could you get for 22 million on the open market? A replacement level starter, a Loogy and a replacement level LF. No freaking way that adds up to Votto’s value. Yes, the money sounds crazy but Votto is not even in the top 20 of annual salary. Further, ALLLLL contracts are backloaded and we got way more value for Votto in 2012-15 that what we paid him, TONS more.

      HOW to do you get young players? The best way is to lose (they are doing that).

      • Matt

        Quote of the day. There are plenty on here pointing out Votto’s contract is actually worth it for the Reds even though they are “small market” But what you could get for 22-25 million a year now wouldn’t add up to the extra wins Votto produces. All you can get for that are a few decent replacement level players. It’s not enough to sign several above average players anymore who will produce as many extra wins as Votto does.

  11. James K

    Joey Votto, like any other superhero, needs an arch-enemy to be complete.

  12. Hingle McCringleberry

    Doug I agree athat Marty’s time has passed. I do however appreciate the “questioning” of the franchise with the moves they’ve made. I like this from Tom too. If they don’t question them, who in this town would? If they do they’ll screw up the free tickets from the reds. It was a bad deal because they should have known that 25 mil to one person in this franchise is the kiss of death. They could have deferred half of it I guess, but still this franchise should know it’s paying fan base is not Chicago like where winning or losing, they sell out because their fans really love baseball.

    The reds knew they couldn’t afford to keep Votto. This all from the ego of Walt Jocketty. St.Louis couldn’t or wouldn’t sign Pujols and the votto deal was just to upstage them. The reds don’t have near the fan support the Cardinals have. Then to add insult to injury, they signed the second worst deal in reds history with the Homer bailey deal. So, yeah it’s time for Marty to go, but I’ll miss his honest take on the state of the team. That 25 mil under a good gm would have given us a lights out bullpen.

    • HavaKlu

      Since I see all Reds games on TV, I really can’t comment on Marty but it would thrill me to no end for them to part with Tom. He is full of obscure statistics which he always delivers in a overly dramatic fashion. I do think Welsh is knowledgeable but must be being paid by the words he says per minute. If anyone wants to here low key pros who let the game speak for itself but also know when to inject some humor, listen to the Cubs Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies.
      I’ve said for some time that Votto’s and Bailey’s contracts have strangled the Reds. Granted Votto is probably underpaid currently but will probably be way overpaid the last few years of his contract. One player does not a pennant contender make, especially when they are a small market team and these 2 contracts have stifled the Reds from signing any above average free agents.

    • Norwood Nate

      I don’t mind questioning. That’s good, just do it from a place of knowledge and understanding. Disregarding stuff like OPS, advanced stats, and contract value/inflation, among other things just shows his bias and ignorance.

    • RobL

      “That 25 mil under a good gm would have given us a lights out bullpen.”

      And nobody to play first base.

  13. The Duke

    The Reds can easily field a team with Votto making $25 million. He’s worth they and more, and if we didn’t sign him, all we would ever hear about is how the Reds never sign anyone and will never be serious about winning. I expect payroll to ramp back up in 2018-2021 when we field a competitive team again. You need a core group of veterans to build around it you want to seriously compete. What kills the Reds is giving contracts to guys who don’t perform. Their margin of error is so much smaller than a big market club, and they can’t afford to miss on high round draft picks, because they need a steady stream of cheap productive talent to supplement the core players they do pay. The farm not delivering the past few years is a bigger reason for the 90+ loss seasons than bad contracts. Hopefully, with the young talent in the upper minors and debuting on the Reds now, they will have a new window starting this year or the next.

  14. DX

    Marty is paid to give his opinion and not tell you how sunny the weather is in the Reds dugout. If that is what you want listen to George Grande. Some people agree and others don’t. Joey Votto is a great player who Marty doesn’t think the Reds can afford to have where they are today. The Reds are not halfway through the deal of Joey Votto and it is too early to judge if it is a good contract. People didn’t whine, cry and bitch when Phillips was doing well and the Reds were winning. But now that the Reds suck it is a bad contract. It hurts that the Reds are still paying for a Ken Griffey, Jr. and Bronson Arroyo contract.

    • Colt Holt

      Can you provide a link to the commitments to Griffey and Arroyo? I have never heard about any deferrals to those two on the books.

      • Colt Holt

        Interesting. I had never seen anything about that before on Griffey’s contract. Cot’s doesn’t have anything on it, and they seem to imply it doesn’t impact the CAP. How do they have deferrals that don’t impact the cap?

    • Champ Summers

      I’m not so sure Marty is paid to give an opinion. He doesn’t need to blow smoke either but his intolerant rants are irresponsible. Why would you want to turn the fanbase against the teams management and best asset? Doug may be on one end of the spectrum but Marty is about as far on the other side of the equation as one could be. His lack of acceptance of ideas that have become more than accepted practices show that the game and the world is passing him by.

      The reality is that Marty is 74 years old. My boss is just about to turn 74 and he is seen as a dinosaur in my industry. They talk behind his back and our company suffers from his involvement and inability to see that he has become a liability. He says things in meetings like I don’t use email. He has a flip phone. He has zero understanding of the internet. He is unwilling to learn a new way or change the way he does business. It’s damaging to his reputation and his legacy. He is going to leave our industry but not on his own terms. It’s his fault and the younger guys are only going to remember him as that old fool and not the great business man I once admired very much. His past successes are no reason for him to let him get away with the damage he’s doing to our current and future business.

      • MK

        Wonder if he would have made that rant if Dick Williams had still been sitting there.

        This is a guy who demands to be introduced as the Hall of Fame announcer, and you can tell by listening that he obviously has a huge narcissistic ego, so in his mind no one should question his opinion, which might explain the vitriol.

      • Champ Summers

        Yep. His ego is huge. No way he talks like that to Williams or anyone else in management.

  15. Hoyce

    Votto is underpaid for now- but age catches up w everyone. He will be overpaid in 5 years. His contract did hamstring the Reds, in the fact that they aren’t able to make mistakes w any other contracts. And that’s all they have done. Handing out no trade clauses is the dumbest idea in all of sports. Votto is my fav player by far. But if I’m the Reds I’d rather have 3 above average players than 1 superstar. As u say, no 1 player can shoulder everything in baseball. Take the Angels for example

    • Doug Gray

      Just a reminder that an above-average player on the free agent market, starts at roughly $16M per year. You aren’t getting two above-average guys for what Votto makes, much less three.

      • Hoyce

        U will in a decent trade. If the Reds had a clue.
        That’s where the Reds need to win. The trades. And they are afraid to even try. I think they could have gotten a ton for votto. And a prospect. Better than the Adam eaton trade. Oh wait they gave a NTC. Sweet. Handcuffed

  16. Wes

    Homer bailey was the contract that killed the reds. Still had a chance to keep johnny but instead gave it all to bailey. Rivals chapman trade for worse move Walt made in his tenure.

  17. Norwood Nate

    Marty has become a cantankerous curmudgeon over the last several years and carries obvious grudges against certain players. Thom is a nut that didn’t fall far from that tree. Marty’s crossed the line several times before this, although this instance appears particularly egregious and uncalled for. He should be fired, and it’s been a long time coming. He’s unbearable to listen to anymore on the radio. I’ll be happy when the Brennamens no longer have an active association with the Reds. His comments and continued axe grinding are a true disgrace to the game, the Reds, and their fans.

    • Champ Summers

      Familiarity breeds contempt. Just ax his dad and he’ll straighten up

  18. Billy

    I’m of a mixed mind on this. On the one hand, I think it is good for the announcers to be independent of the team – free to criticize or applaud as the times suggest. On the other hand, I expect the announcers to be well-informed. It’s one thing to criticize the Votto deal. It’s a lot of money over a long time, and there is a good chance that he won’t be worth that money in some of the later years of the contract. It’s entirely different to criticize Votto for his approach. It is what has made him a star, and he is among the game’s best players. Criticize a poorly constructed roster. Criticize a terrible bullpen. Criticize managerial decisions if you must. Heck, criticize BP’s declining defense. But do these things in proportion to the problems they cause. Celebrate the good. And Votto – even if he doesn’t drive in 100 runs – is not just good. He’s unequivocally the Reds’ BEST player. He’s on the short list of the best players in team history. And he’s still playing at or very near his peak.

    An announcer should paint an accurate picture of the team for their viewer/listener. They should be judged on their ability to do that. Being critical of a bad team is fine. Being a homer for a good team is fine. Failing to accurately distinguish the good from the bad is not fine. For that, Marty and Thom should both be let go, with an eye toward improving the accuracy of how the team is identified by its fan base.

  19. Cguy

    Perspective. Gotta place Marty’s occasional “tirades”( especially on HSL show) several steps above a post game “f—fest” rant by the acting manager of the team.

  20. Jim T

    As a older fan and one who has listened to the reds on radio for many years, it is very difficult to write this but it may be time for Marty to step aside. He has recently lost touch with the fan base and has forgotten who employs him in my opinion. The game has changed and his lack of changing with it has made his broadcast very difficult to listen too.

    As the voice of the Reds his job is to create excitement and interest not controversy. Quite honestly I listen in in spite of him doing the broadcast. May be time for Bob C to put him out to pasture or at least take away his get out of jail free card he seems to have for his dismal performance.

  21. Jon Ryker

    It was a bad deal for the Reds. Nobody can produce enough offensively to warrant 1/6 of the payroll. Simple math. It’s not about the excesses of other wealthier franchises…..it’s about efficient use of limited money…..That contract was NEVER going to be that….particularly with a no-trade clause….Like the Griffey deal, but worse…

    • Doug Gray

      The math actually says that a player can do that. And Joey Votto has actually been that player to this point of the contract. Joey Votto has been paid $34M the last two seasons. Joey Votto has been worth, in free agent dollars, $99.6M. Let’s be sure we understand that: If the Reds were to try and spend money on free agents and get the same production (WAR) that Joey Votto has provided in the last two seasons, the market rate for that production – based on what teams are actually paying per 1-WAR, would cost them $99.6M. He’s been paid 1/3rd of that. He’s a bargain right now.

      • Cguy

        Convincing, Doug, but a broadcaster can do that too (but I don’t have the math to prove it). Dismissing & replacing Marty would have a large cost in only only fan interest & advertiser revenue, but possibly further attendance erosion. Like it or not Marty’s ” juiced in”. Probably a bargain to keep him until the Reds can put an exciting, competitive product on the field.

      • Doug Gray

        I’d be flat out shocked if people stopped being Reds fans because Marty left. People follow the Reds because they like the Reds, not because of Marty. IF the team wins, it’s not going to matter if my brother were the broadcaster. Likewise, when they are losing, people tune out because of that. Does Marty alter the 1% on both ends (people like me who can’t stand him – and people who literally say they’d stop listening when he’s gone)? Sure. Both those people aren’t people the Reds care about. Nor should they. It’s everyone else – and from where I sit, those people are being turned against the Reds and their best player, by their broadcaster. It’s poisoning the fanbase. It’s bad for business.

      • DX

        Joey Votto is one of the greatest players. The question isn’t whether Votto is worth the contract, rather is it worth it to the Reds. If you think the Reds are going to the playoffs in the next couple of years then it is a good contract. If it make you feel better to go 64-98 then 59-103, then you keep him and smile. Marty and some others believe differently.

        Marty is Marty. People listen to him for a reason. I remember Hal McCoy the Dayton Daily News writer stating that he didn’t say negative things about the Reds players because he was worried the person he was talking about may not grant him an interview. If you like smoke blown up your butt then follow and listen to those guys.

        I happen to like all three Votto, Marty and McCoy.

      • Doug Gray

        I don’t like smoke blown up my butt. That’s why I can’t listen to Marty. Just because he is being critical doesn’t mean he’s not blowing smoke up my butt, even if he thinks he is right.

      • Jon Ryker

        His worth in free agent dollars has no meaning. It’s how much production you are getting for the dollar that matters….small markets must get more production per dollar than bigger markets in order to compete…..You can get away with paying 10% of your payroll for 100 runs and 90 rbi…..You can’t get away with spending 20% of your payroll on that…..you could possibly justify paying 20 million for a Cy Young award starter, because they might win 20% or more of your games and give you a shot in others…..no hitter can do this, because hitters can be pitched around in key situations….starting pitchers can not be avoided……25 million is fine for the Dodgers…..the Reds…..not…..and they haven’t been a threat to win the world series since he signed that deal…..If you can’t afford a 20 million dollar hitter behind him, you can’t afford a 20 million dollar hitter…..and at first base, no less……not a high value proposition…..their record bears that out….they have now completed one cycle of failure…..about to start another…..he costs too much for what he will be allowed by opposing pitchers to provide…..and his production will soon begin deteriorating…..they’ve missed their best chance…

      • Doug Gray

        Actually, the free agent dollars has tons of meaning. If Joey Votto is “making too much”, then how are the Reds going to spend his money and get better performance?

        Based on what the market is paying for WAR, there’s next to no way that the Reds would come remotely close to improving by having no Joey Votto and spending the money elsewhere. He’s an incredible bargain for what he’s being paid, as I showed.

        A “Cy Young winner”, in todays market, is worth $30-35M a year. And they have a far higher risk of injury and getting absolutely nothing for an entire season. Yes, in a single game a pitcher has far more to do with the outcome of a game. But they only play once every five days.

        If the Reds can’t spend $19-25M for one of the best hitters alive, then they need to just fold up shop.

      • Jon Ryker

        Having a great hitter is worth very little unless teams are forced to pitch to him in crucial situations……small markets can’t arrange that, because they can’t afford another great hitter to protect him…..Spend what money you have on pitching to keep the demand for runs down….then, execute your way to winning most of the close games…..you can find a bargain bat here and there, but you can’t spend 20% of your playroll on a guy who will be pitched around whenever it matters and can’t help you defensively…..they’ve tried it your way……..the results are right in front of you…..it’s going to be for quite a few years from now, too, because they can’t unload him. They are no threat while he’s on the payroll, and that is not a knock on him….it’s just the economics of lineup protection….and the evidence is right in front of anyone…..could get three hammer setup guys for that money and find some hack to drive in 90 runs, or just let Winker do it……they’d be much better off….

      • Doug Gray

        So you either have Joey Votto or you have Zack Greinke. Neither one is going to do it alone.

        The Reds problem isn’t that they can’t afford players. They can. It’s that they held onto guys too long and are now stuck with them, their #1 pitcher has missed the last two seasons and their second best HR threat has also missed the last two seasons. Devin Mesoraco could protect Votto. Unfortunately his body has fallen apart.

        You keep saying the Reds can’t afford it. But they can. They can’t afford two or three contracts like that, but one? Yes. It’s doable. You just need to not screw up elsewhere. They did. They then also ran into bad luck with injuries, a psychotic reliever who they traded in a panic because of bad PR and got pennies on the dollar, held on to long to several others because the owner couldn’t stand the thought of having them show up in another uniform in the All-Star game….

        If the Reds stopped worrying about the PR of their roster moves and did what was right for building the baseball team, they’d be in far better shape today than they are. But they worried about PR moves for all of their big trade chips and it’s bitten them in the butt and set them back a year or two.

      • Jon Ryker

        Their problem is that as long as they’re paying a hitter who gets pitched around whenever it matters 25 million, there are three solid big-league players they can’t have. Every year. For a long time to come. That’s a fact. In the life of that contract, that puts them short 30 solid big-league players. That isn’t smart, regardless of how much the Nationals would be willing to pay him. The results speak for themselves….once cycle over….another to come…..they’ll improve for 2-3 years…..then they’ll start bleeding talent again……because you can’t make a small-market team better with a 25 million dollar hitter…..it just can’t be done….and it hasn’t been done.

      • Doug Gray

        Jon, when you say solid, please give me an example of who you are referring to. We need to be sure that we aren’t talking past each other. Remove Votto and you’ve get to pick three free agents that make $7-9M a year. In today’s market, that’s a good, but not elite reliever. Or a below-average every day player. Or a below-average starting pitcher.

        You can absolutely win with a $115-120M payroll and one player making $25M.

      • Jon Ryker

        I’m not talking about free agents….good free agents are not something small-market teams can get, short of bounce-back guys…..I’m talking about being able to keep three extra guys a year through their first contract after free-agency……8 million dollars will get you a very nice relief pitcher who isn’t yet a famous closer yet….having three of those guys in the bullpen every year, whether it’s guys you were able to keep or guys you were able to trade for, makes your team much better both in the short and long haul. Marty was simply pointing this out. It was not a criticism of Votto. It was criticism of this team spending like a big-market team on one player when it is a small-market team. It was stupid when they did it for Griffey, and it’s even stupider now. They should have traded him at max value before signing him to that contract…this is how successful small market teams live.

      • Doug Gray

        I’m willing to listen to the idea that the team should have traded someone instead of extending them. But, having a $40M bullpen isn’t going to do much good if you don’t have Joey Votto in this lineup because they will fail to score. Look back at 2016. No one on this team but Joey Votto got on base at an above-average rate. You remove him from the lineup and they aren’t scoring. Ever. The Cubs had a .343 OBP as a team – pitchers included. The Reds 2nd best OBP regular was at .323. Their regular 8 had 3 above-average hitters: Votto, Bruce and Duvall. You take away Joey Votto and this lineup is going to be absolutely, unequivocally atrocious.

      • Jon Ryker

        With three additional 8 million dollar players, they wouldn’t have had the worst bullpen in history and would have won a LOT more games….

      • Hoyce

        But if u had to spend free agency money on an entire team. U could never field a team. That thinking is so flawed it isn’t funny. Use ur head Doug.
        The Reds need somewhere between top 5 and top 10 at every position and for them to all reach maturity at basically the same age to compete.
        Imo they need to develop a dominant 4 starters and 2-3 relievers at same time. And they can buy a few hitters. But they have failed at that too.
        Bailey needs to be purged asap. And 2/3 of bobsteve, Garrett and reed have to be semi-dominant.

    • John Martin

      I don’t agree entirely with Marty on this but so what, he’s entitled to his opinion and I’m entitled to mine. End of story.

      To those of you screaming that he should be fired or should retire simply because you don’t like his opinion on something, seriously, stop it. Your comments (and this goes for the young blogger here) reflect a lot more on you than they do Marty.

      • Doug Gray

        If I were a spokesperson/voice of a company that sold cars, then went out and publicly bashed the engine of the cars, said they were overpriced…. would I be fired?

        That’s what Marty Brennaman is doing. He’s a Reds employee and he’s telling the Reds customers that their product sucks, and the best part of their product, Joey Votto, is overpaid and in many cases, simply not good enough.

        There’s having an opinion, which we can have. But when you’re provably wrong about something, it’s no longer your opinion. It’s just wrong, even if you believe it. Marty is factually incorrect about many of the things he says about Joey Votto, his production and his contract.

      • DaveCT

        With a due respect, I wasn’t screaming for Marty to be fired although I did state that and stand by it. Nor was I basing my thoughts on disagreeing with his opinions.

        My issue with Marty is his persistent attacks on the organization’s marquee player, and his tirades on air. These qualify as insubordination and are a fire able offense. Insubordination is his failure to support the organization in an acceptable way. It is by no means simply broadcasting a difference of opinion — it is actively working against the best interests of the club.

        Unfortunately, Marty has made his own bed so the ‘end of story’ is not anywhere nearby until the organization resolves the issue of his behavior. From a disciplinary point of view, Marty requires counseling in regards to the expectations of appropriate behavior, including his personal bias against individual players and the business practices of the club. Marty’s behavior also requires a statement from the organization as to how the fans and players are to be treated going forward. Lastly, The organization should require Marty to publicly acknowledge his behavior.

        I listened to the segment, Marty sounded as if he were drunk or otherwise unstable. His treatment of the individual with the question was beyond inappropriate and may be construed as abusive. Marty will be lucky to keep his job.

      • Jon Ryker

        He’s been paid for 40 years to do exactly what he’s doing. He’s made them a TON of money doing it. That’s why he’s still here…

        I remember people whining about him badmouthing Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, Eric Davis, any number of people. Facts are not negative….they just are. He’s not always right, and neither is anyone else, but he is paid to do exactly what he’s doing because it makes money. This will be no different. They need something to talk about while they’re mired in permanent mediocrity….

      • Doug Gray

        And we don’t see a problem when this guy has badmouthed literally the best players this franchise has ever had?

        And you’re right – facts aren’t negative. If Marty were speaking in facts, I wouldn’t say a word. But he’s not speaking in facts an awful lot of the time. That’s the problem. He’s spreading non-facts as facts to a large portion of the Cincinnati Reds fanbase.

      • Jon Ryker

        The length and success of his career and their radio revenues during that time make it clear that the fan base doesn’t see a problem with this. In fact, this success suggests that it makes the product more interesting…..certainly the team itself has been uninteresting for the majority of that time…..and him giving a reasonably-informed opinion of why that is the case has leant a much-needed credibility to the operation…..

      • Doug Gray

        Again – the fanbase only knows what they are told. They believe he’s right because he tells them he’s right and they view him as an expert in the field. Other teams have gone out of their way to talk with their broadcasters about advanced stats and ideas, and had them work them into broadcasts to help educate their fans so when the front office actually states why a player is good, the fans understand what the heck they are talking about. The Reds? Marty? Nah.

      • Jon Ryker

        I’m not trying to be insulting, but the majority of this fan base has seen a lot more baseball than you have, and Marty definitely has. They have a whole flock of homers hovering around that broadcast booth. Marty is there because he isn’t.

      • Doug Gray

        I’m also not trying to be insulting, but how much baseball you’ve seen doesn’t mean you know anything about how valuable something in the game actually is.

        Every front office in baseball thinks OPS is an old stat at this point. Marty still thinks it’s some new-fangled, useless stat. He’s literally 15 years, at best, behind modern baseball thinking and analysis of value. This isn’t even debatable. How much baseball he’s watched doesn’t change that.

      • Jon Ryker

        OPS is a bad stat to start with, which Marty knew 15 years ago when all the stat dorks thought it was great, and it is also irrelevant to his point. A small-market team can not spend 25% of it’s payroll on one guy and field a major league team over any sustained period. That was his point. Sabremetrics was, and is crap. They’re starting to do better now with the actual measurements of actual ball flights and such, but, still, smart personnel people pay for players, not numbers. You pay for numbers on offense, and you will overpay. If you are a big market team, this doesn’t matter. If this is a small-market team, you peak as a first round exit and spend years in oblivion.

        Are you telling me that Winker driving in 85 runs and scoring 85 runs and having three additional 8 million dollar players isn’t a better team than Joey Votto and his 90 RBI’s and 105 runs (regardless of OPS) minus three 8 million dollar players? Opportunity cost, folks. When you spend the money, you spend the money. I’ll spend 500k for 85 and save 24.5 million for players who won’t get pitched around whenever it matters…..and I’ll win a lot more games a lot more consistently. This is the essence of Marty’s point. He is correct in this case.

      • Doug Gray

        OPS correlates to team runs scored at a 93% rate. But yeah, it’s a bad stat.

        I’m just going to stop this conversation here though. If you think OPS is bad, but then come back with runs and RBI, we just can’t talk about value or how replacing Player ABC with Player(s) XYZ will work.

      • Jon Ryker

        Lots of things correlate to team runs scored, which have absolutely nothing to do with individual performance measurement, individual player value, or the economics of small market teams. Paying 24.5 million more dollars for 10-15 more runs over the course of a year is stupid, particularly when you are sacrificing three 8 million dollar players to do so. The results of the contract….actual results….not calculated, projected fantasy stats, are right in front of you.

      • Cam

        Of course everyone is entitled to their own opinion. The problem is that Marty is a massively popular public figure who (right or wrong) many people who listen to Reds on Radio base their opinions off of. When Marty says this stuff, people take it as gospel because they see him as the voice of baseball in their own experience. It’s not good enough to spew damaging opinions about the franchise player with poor theoretical basis, especially with the level of anger and vitriol he does it with. As Doug has said, it is bad for the bottom line. In no scenario is it positive for the voice of the Reds to crush the one of the best players in franchise history so personally when his opinions are in many ways factually incorrect.

        Also, if I had a history of making negative public comments about my co-worker that also criticized the work of my bosses, my employer would be fairly upset. Why does Marty get a pass?

        It’s not just about it being his “opinion”. What he’s saying is objectively bad for the Reds.

      • Norwood Nate

        Jon – Fact are not negative, correct. Case in point, C Trent said Phillips wasn’t very good at getting on base. That’s a fact, Brandon has a 5.4% career walk rate. Brandon’s even said in articles he doesn’t care about OBP (which makes it bizarre he would then go off on a reporter doing his job)

        The problem is, Marty doesn’t want to consider the facts. He only wants to spout out his negative OPINIONS, which are detrimental to the Reds, their best player, and last night belligerent to a fan. He said in the piece last night that “I’m not going to get into all that crap” when a caller wanted to bring up OPS stats. What are stats if not the factual detailing of what has occurred? Marty has no use for facts which should be obvious to anyone who listens to him.

    • earmbrister

      Jon, you throw alot of pasta at the wall in your comments, seemingly hoping that some of it will stick. The fact that you lead off by saying the the Votto deal is “like the Griffey deal, but worse …” is pretty weak. Griffey had ONE Votto like season in NINE years in Cincy (his age 30 season, with a 5.5 WAR). JR had a grand total of 7.2 WAR in his next 8 years in Cincy; yes an average WAR of 0.9. Comparing apples in their age 30-32 seasons:

      Total WAR: JR 6.7 WAR, Votto 13.5 WAR
      AVG. WAR: JR 2.2 WAR, Votto 4.5 WAR
      Plate Appearances: JR 1280 PA, Votto 1644 PA
      AVG. PA’s: JR 427 PA, Votto 548 PA

      AVG. PA’s in age 32-34 seasons: JR 260 PA, Votto 677 (1 Yr)

      How is Votto’s deal worse, when (1) Griffey averaged barely better than replacement level for 8 of his 9 years in Cincy, (2) Votto has played in 158 games or more in 3 of his last 4 years, (3) Votto has consistently been an MVP candidate, including coming in 3rd and 7th in the MVP vote in his age 31 and 32 seasons, and (4) Votto is much more likely to be healthier through the end of his contract than JR was (based on their relative health at age 32, and the rigors of their positions).

      You add below that the Reds “can’t afford a 20 million dollar hitter…”. Why not? The Reds have only 3 other players making in excess of $ 7 Mil. They’ll have about 12 to 15 players on their 25 man roster making at or near the league minimum, so the Votto contract is more than affordable. Before you try to assert that they have to have that many players at league minimum, you and I both know this: the Reds as a small market team have to trade some of their veterans for prospects from time to time. The Reds have done a good job restocking their system. They have young talent throughout the infield, other than their stud at 1B. They have young talent throughout the outfield. They have young pitching. There’s two benefits to all of that young talent, the future is brighter, and the present is cheap. Question is, why would the Reds try to bring in veterans, when they need to determine which of the young prospects will turn into bonafide players? The Reds aren’t spending money at present because it would be counterproductive.

      Your assertion that the Reds “could get three hammer setup guys for that money and find some hack to drive in 90 runs, or just let Winker do it……they’d be much better off…” defies logic. Or maybe our definitions of “hammer” setup guys differs. Where are you going to find three quality bullpen arms, plus the magical unicorn hack that drives in 90 runs, all for the low low price of $ 22 Mil.? And Winker and Votto are not mutually exclusive: they play different positions and Winker will be paid league minimum. In fact, Winker will be one of the players providing protection to Votto going forward.

      I will never understand the angst over Votto’s contract. All the man does is produce, and that production is at an MVP type level, while being a model citizen I might add.

      Where is all the teeth gnashing over the Meso and Bailey contracts?

      • Jon Ryker

        earmbrister

        The comparison to Griffey was the notion of a small market team spending a bunch of money on a hitter which cost them lots of other players and years of mediocrity…..sound familiar? By the way, WAR means nothing….

        The result of them surrounding a 20 million dollar hitter with cheap hitters is that they lose a lot of games, partly because of the crappy hitters and mostly because of the terrible pitching staff they have because they can’t afford a major-league bullpen….

        The Reds aren’t spending money because they’ve spent it on Joe Votto.

        The Meso contract doesn’t compare to Votto’s in preventing the paying of other players…..The Bailey contract has yet to play out….so far, not good…..it would hurt less if they’d been able to afford a major league staff around him…..they can’t….Joe gets it all….

        So, the cost of having Joe is right in front of you….if you like cellar dwelling, shipping off anybody who reaches their final arbitration, and and expensive hitter who plays first base and gets pitched around a lot, then I’m sure you’re happy with it. Those who remember them fielding good teams that won a lot aren’t happy about it. Marty is one of those people.

      • earmbrister

        The comparison to Griffey is a poor one, because your “notion” is way off base. Votto’s contract hasn’t cost them “lots of other players”, or years of mediocrity. Let’s say that the Reds decided to trade Votto a couple of years ago, and because of that they were able to retain “lots of other players”. His $ 22 Mil this year would ALMOST allow you to keep a 31 yr old Frazier at $ 13.5 M, and a 30 yr old Bruce at $ 13 M (you’re already over budget by $ 4.5 M). Both Frazier and Bruce are free agents at the end of this season, and their salaries will likely go up. Meanwhile, they would be blocking prospects from getting important MLB playing time. Frazier would block Suarez and then Senzel, and would cost the Reds $ 13 M more than either. Bruce would block the trio of Duvall, Schebler, and Winker, and would cost $ 12.5 M more than them. Meanwhile, you’d have no first baseman (the thinnest position in the minors, and with good reason). If I were the Reds, I’d rather have Suarez, Votto, and 1 of the 3 OFrs in the lineup, than Frazier, Bruce, and the aforementioned unicorn hack that would magically drive in 90 runs, while costing nothing. Not to mention, that you would be likely to lose both Frazier and Bruce to free agency. The Reds were smart to get Jose Peraza, Schebler, and Dilson Herrera in trade for two aging and increasingly expensive veterans.

        When you trade veterans for prospects, you give up short term performance for long term performance and long term team control. I’d rather have six years of Peraza, Schebler, and Herrera, than 1 or 2 years of Frazier and Bruce. In the short term you lose more games, but that is more than outweighed by winning more games for more years in the future. The Reds weren’t going to be able to retain both Frazier and Bruce, and probably shouldn’t be. If the “lots of other players” amount to Frazier and Bruce, and upon free agency the two will probably be paid a combined $ 35 M, I’ll keep Votto instead, and have an MVP candidate and $ 10 M or more in my checkbook, while playing quality prospects at 3B and RF.

        However, you weren’t talking about keeping veteran players as much as you were saying that for $ 22 M the Reds could sign THREE (lol) “hammer” relievers and a fourth player (the hack) that somehow would produce 90 RBI’s. Doug has asked you to identify what three relievers you could sign for $ 22M, and your response has been … (crickets chirping) … It’s a quaint “notion”. My guess is that when you get around to identifying the 3 hammers, you will have improved the Reds bullpen from bad to mediocre. Don’t know what games they would be saving, because now you’ve left a gaping hole in the lineup where Votto was. The hack would presumably take Votto’s place, and would seemingly add to your list of “crappy hitters”. This is how you’d improve the team?

        The Yankees are a team that is also in transition. They could win 70 games in 2017 or they could possibly win 90 games. Yet, their front office is not spending their $ on a ton of free agents. Their only meaningful signing was Aroldis. We probably agree that a 1 yr contract for Holliday is inconsequential, particularly because he hasn’t driven in 100 runs since 2012 (with 35 RBI’s and 62 RBI’s the last 2 yrs). BTW, the Holliday hack is costing the NYY $13 M in 2017. The NYY annual payroll has decreased by $ 60 M over the last 3 years. Is it because they are paying CC Sabathia $ 25 M this year? Or, like the Reds, is it because they are in the middle of a rebuild (I’d say they are at an earlier stage of the rebuild than the Reds). The Yankees aren’t going to spend alot of money until they know what they have in Sanchez, Bird, Austin, and Judge. Clint Frazier was awful in a short stint in AAA. The Yankees starting rotation is poor, and it will be piss poor when Tanaka opts out of his contract after this year. Yet, the Yankees are not spending their $ to improve their team. We need to get Marty on this. He needs to be blaming CC Sabathia.

        The Reds, like the Yankees, will spend their $ to fill whatever holes remain after giving their prospects the chance to sink or swim. You don’t block your top prospects paths by signing, or even keeping, aging veterans. The Reds have quality prospects at 3B, the middle infield, and in the OF. They have a ton of young pitching that need MLB innings. The young pitchers that don’t stick in the rotation should be given the remaining spots in the bullpen. As it is, the current BP of Igelsias, Lorenzen, Storen, Cingrani, Wood, and Diaz should already be much better than last year’s.

        As for WAR and OPS meaning nothing? (Exhale) It’s good to know that Marty has faithful listeners.

  22. Mjc

    Doug, I triple dog dare you. To call in when Marty is on and tell him Votto is worth $49.8million a year

    • Doug Gray

      He’d hang up on me before I could explain to him how that number was figured out.

  23. Cguy

    Gee Doug, you sound a little bit like Marty B to me. Sorry. just playing devil’s advocate.

  24. Arnold Ziffle

    Breaking news: Marty Brennaman shouts at the neighbor kids to get off his lawn as they walk by his house.

    Breaking news: Marty Brennaman turns down opportunity to do a fundraiser for Cincinnati Childrens Hospital, by saying, “You ain’t gonna get me in a room with a bunch of sick, snotty-nosed kids.”

    • Doug Gray

      One of these things is probably true.

      There’s no reason that I know of to think that Marty isn’t a good enough person for the second thing, though.

  25. Mjc

    Doug,let me know if you decide to call in and tell Marty, that joey is worth that $49.8 million a year. Because I’m gonna start selling radio speakers. Old Marty will blow every speaker in the wlw listening area.

  26. Jim Delaney

    My issue regarding this is the sympathy being shown to the Reds ownership group. If any criticism should be applied by Marty, or anyone else being critical ofor the REDS should look at the ownership.
    They clearly don’t want to win, they blame being in a small market as to why they can’t contend. They don’t open there books and show what there profits are. They hire a former corporate banker as President and GM who is related to ownership. Nepotism at its best. That is what gets me worked up. Not what Joey Votto’s salary, not what Marty says.
    Sad that we get worked up over stuff like Votto contract and Marty comments BUT don’t scream and yell watching an organization but in place someone who isn’t qualified as President and GM of the organization….
    Where is the anger towards Castellini… I am furious with him and ownership. Please Sell….

    • Doug Gray

      I can’t say whether or not Dick Williams is truly qualified or not, but I do know that years before he was the GM, he was being talked about as a future GM. Many current GM’s came from other industries before they joined baseball and worked their way up. Long gone are the days of “baseball lifers” getting jobs as a GM. GM’s today are Ivy League educated, numbers people who spent a handful of years working through the front office.

    • Bill

      No doubt there are pros and cons with the current ownership group. However, if the Red’s ownership group truly didn’t want to win, I doubt we would be debating a $200M+ contract. They could have easily let both Votto and Bailey go and said “sorry” we’re a small market franchise and we just can’t afford to compete for elite talent.

      As for opening the books, nearly every major sports franchise is privately held. Privately held companies have no obligation to publically disclose their books and they don’t. In short, an ownership change won’t change this fact.

      I like the early work of our new GM although its fair criticism to question how broadly the Reds looked to ensure they hired the best candidate. That said, his background in banking implies he understands how to objectively value competing courses of action.

      Consider the results produced by the Diamondbacks front office during the 2016 off-season. Led by baseball lifers, they made big, bold, headline-grabbing transactions that produced a great deal of optimism in the fan base, but widely were questioned at the time by many.

  27. greg

    While Marty is wrong on this, I just don’t understand the level of consternation that people have on what the announcer says. It’s as if people think it will somehow affect the front office’s decision making.

    • Doug Gray

      I don’t think it changes what the front office does. I do think it changes how the fans feel about both the team AND the players.

      • Doug Gray

        Turning the fan base on the team and their best player is bad for the bottom line. It may change ticket and merchandise sales. It may lower tv and radio ratings. It may turn off younger fans from sticking around as fans.

        The Reds should absolutely care about those things.

      • greg

        So you don’t think people care enough about Marty to stop going to games if they fire him, but you do think they care enough about him to stop going to games if he voices an (albeit, ill-informed) opinion about the team? I don’t think so. These discussions about what a player is worth are part of what is fun about sports. However, calling for someone’s job just because their take on it is incorrect almost makes it seem as though it’s being taken as a personal insult. That’s the part that seems silly to me.

      • Doug Gray

        I think that many Reds fans believe that the people on the TV and Radio are experts about baseball (when most aren’t). So, when that expert tells them something, they take it for face value. And if you’re constantly selling those people that the best player, by leaps and bounds, isn’t good and is overpaid, then that portion of the fanbase gets sour on both the team and the player. And after so long of doing that, they will lose interest. That’s the point I’m trying to make.

        Look, I’m not saying you’ve got to be “rah-rah, Alfredo Simon is good” kind of guy. But the way that Marty talks about Joey Votto, you’d think that he and Alfredo Simon were about as good as each other instead of one literally being the worst pitcher in baseball and the other among the best hitters any of us have ever seen put on a Cincinnati Reds uniform.

      • Champ Summers

        not what he’s saying greg. He’s on the air delivering a negative message about the teams best player and ultimately undermining confidence in management.

        When i was working for a troubled sports retailer out of college they sent all of the newbies to a separate office location so that we wouldn’t be contaminated by all the malcontents.

      • DaveCT

        The issue with Marty is not with having a different opinion. The issue is that he is insubordinate, meaning his behavior is not working to the benefit of the club. Acting out his personal bias against a team’s best player (or any player — can you imagine if this were directed to a bench piece?), especially in such a persistent, vitriolic way, and in a manner of influencing both fans and members of the organization, are completely unacceptable behavior. In any workplace.

      • greg

        That’s fine, but if it really causes you this much angst, I find that to be silly. And I find it to be silly because it truly doesn’t affect the direction of the ballclub. And to truly believe that his comments are actually going to drive down attendance, ratings, and revenues is equally as silly.

  28. John Martin

    I don’t agree with Marty when he calls for Votto to change his approach at the plate, and I would never disagree with what an outstanding professional hitter Votto is. But Marty’s point about of whether Votto’s contract is/was correct for the Cincinnati market is entirely valid. Many people in baseball circles who are familiar with modern baseball economics would agree with him. I guess if you disagree, you can listen to the TV broadcast instead. Or if you disagree with Thom/Kelch/Creeper, you can turn down the volume and listen to Neil Young while the game is on.

    Actually, I think doing that would make watching the Reds more tolerable for all of us these days.

  29. Max

    The Reds needed to fire Marty years ago. To be honest, Thom is just as bad or worse. How much longer do I have to put up with these knuckleheads?

    It’s intolerable. Why do the Reds allow such an obviously poor broadcaster to continue marring and damaging the product they put on the field? Marty makes listening to the game a much worse experience for the fans because he’s so unreasonable and detached from reality.

    Joey Votto is my favorite player on the Reds and this contract is one of the best things the Reds have done. You can argue about all the moves the Reds have made in the last decade. I began following the Reds a few years before Votto’s debut, and I never expected the Reds to resign him. When Votto was signed to that contract, it gave me faith that the Reds were serious about winning.

    If you can’t admit that Joey Votto gives his heart and soul to the Reds every day, if you can’t admire his dedication and endless commitment to his craft, if you cannot take pride in Joey Votto’s performance as one of the best players in the game and one of the best people to ever play for the Reds, for crying out loud, you are beyond redemption, you have to be the most insufferable and obstinate crank in the Universe…which I believe is a sadly appropriate description of Marty’s current demeanor.

    Keep Votto, ditch Marty. Reds, do the right thing.

  30. Red Thunder

    Max, other teams out there for you! I don’t like fake news and this is fake news… sure that went over a lot of people heads. I hope I make it to 74 how about you Doug?

  31. Cguy

    I certainly had a higher opinion of this site & many of it’s posters this morning. I say that without malice. When I was young, I said cantankerous (cranky) with a bit of a furrowed brow. Now that I’m north of 60, I say it with a bit of a smile. Go get’em Marty.

  32. Doug Gray

    I updated the post with a video from MLB Network’s Intentional Talk this afternoon where they talk about this.

  33. Clint

    I see both sides of the coin actually. Doug, you make good points. I just think the Reds failed themselves signing Votto to this deal; telling us shortly before it (Castellini regime) that ‘the firesales are over’ then having a firesale and selling several players for 10 cents on the dollar. If you don’t have a plan to keep all those guys or most of them and keep a nucleus in tact; you can’t sign Joey Votto to this deal that hamstrings us over and again. They’re making the ‘we are a small market team’ arguments again and we were told that we weren’t a short time ago. Can’t have it both ways. I both get Marty’s frustration with the Votto contract and the problems it is now causing and I get those who understand Votto is undervalued. At least he’s something to buy a ticket to see. There’s no other reason to go to the park on a nightly basis with what the front office has done to the roster. I agree with Marty that we are a 90-100 loss team with or without Votto though.

    • Doug Gray

      Who has Joey Votto stopped them from signing?

      Take a look around baseball and find a better way to spend $22-25M on the free agent market. It’s not there.

    • Redsvol

      I think Marty’s underlying point is valid – you don’t need to pay a player 22-25 million dollars on a 94 loss team. The problem is they way he tries to get his point across is by attacking Votto. Attacking the best and longest-tenured player is an attack on management. If Marty is this disgusted by management, he needs to retire and move on. He can go get his own radio show and discuss his opinions. I expect my home-announcer to be an unabashed homer – while still calling a good game. The Reds bus tour this winter just got a lot more uncomfortable!

      • Doug Gray

        Sure, but you don’t get to pick and choose players every year. For the best players, you’ve got to make long term commitments.

  34. Patrick Jeter

    I don’t know how you keep such a level head with some of your commenters, Doug. You’re a good man.

    I’ve more or less tried to forget Marty exists, at this point. There’s no way he can enrich my life, so good riddance to him. The day he (and Marvin Lewis) leave Cincy I’ll be a happy, happy man.

    • cinvenfan

      “I don’t know how you keep such a level head with some of your commenters, Doug. You’re a good man. ”

      Because oppose to some other sites where some self-entitled so-called experts believe they have the right to insult people just because they differ on their know-it all attitude. And then call Marty out for doing the same thing.

      Fortunately, there are other excellent places where to discuss Reds’ baseball. And yeah, Doug is a good man.

      BTW, Marty is REALLY sad to hear that you don’t care for him. He’ll remember that when looking at his HOF plaque and bank account. LOL.

      • Earmbrister

        I’m all in favor of Marty retiring in order to give him more time to look at his HOF plaque and his bank account.

      • Doug Gray

        I’m not sure Marty is in a Hall of Fame that has plaques.

      • Patrick Jeter

        A complement to the site’s proprietor turns into an attack on me and other sites? Cool. Wouldn’t expect more from an anonymous internet commenter, though. Par for the course.

  35. Lois

    Marty needs to retire with his wife somewhere. He is a grumpy person. Joey Votto ignore him. He is jealous. Management is pretty bad too of the Reds. I love my team but we are not a sports town anymore. And a shout out to Brandon!! And Dusty Baker!

  36. DX

    I would like to see some support where it says that an announcer saying something bad about a player hurts the bottom line and may hurt uniform sales and tv ratings because that sounds like a stretch to me. If it is an opinion then state it is opinion and that’s what Marty did. He said I would make the trade asap. He didn’t say Votto sucks or is a bad teammate he is stating for this organization it doesn’t make any sense.

    Winning cures everything

  37. Hoyce

    Doug- this whole marry thing even perpetuates what I think about the front office. Most people think that since the gm is in charge that “he knows better than me” or “he’s smarter than me” attitude. If they actually knew what they were doing they would fire Marty In a heartbeat and not think twice. But they don’t know what they are doing. They have no plan. Every expert is just like – wtf? Watch MLB network. They have no idea what the Reds are trying to do. Compete. Rebuild. Maybe both. Late on analytics. Late to the party. Long term contracts. Then sell every pitcher. Sooooo stupid. And to let players achieve 10/5 rights. And NTC’s. And be too busy to trade value able assets before trade deadlines. UNEXCUSABLE. The chapman debacle should have gotten everyone’s clock cleaned. But nothing but excuses were offered.

  38. John Martin

    Heard Bill Ripken and John Smoltz basically side with Marty. Said Votto is a terrific hitter but it’s difficult for this type of a contract to work out in a market like Cincinnati.

    So are people here going to call for Ripken and Smoltz to be fired from their jobs too?

    • Cam.

      I’ve not said that Marty should be fired, mainly because it’s never going to happen. But I think he needs to be reprimanded be the organization in some form, which also won’t happen.

      Regardless, you’re leaving out the key detail that makes these two things an apples and oranges comparison: Bill Ripken and John Smoltz aren’t employees of the Cincinnati Reds. That is the thing that makes Marty’s ongoing comments about Joey Votto (and many others over the years) a problem. He’s not just your favorite analyst on MLB Tonight.

      The two situations are not even comparable.

    • Doug Gray

      No, for the reasons that Cam said.

      But, I can’t comment on what they said about his contract/deal because I didn’t hear what they said. But, I will continue to say that if they said the Reds can’t afford it, or that it’s a bad deal, they are probably wrong because the data doesn’t sit on their side of that argument.

    • Doug Gray

      We need to be clear – Marty is NOT a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. He is a Ford Frick Award Winner. They are not the same things and the HOF is very clear about that. Where Marty IS a Hall of Famer is in broadcast Hall of Fames. I’m not sure they have plaques.

      • cinvenfan

        Of course he has to be a member of the HOF in broadcast. After all, he’s a broadcaster. Not shabby at all.

        Look, you may agree or not with his take on Votto. I personally agree with you that his rants against JV is bad for business. But so is what some writers do with BP forgetting he’s also a fan favorite for many who have enjoyed his game, just because their sabermetrics tell them so. And they try to convince and rip people who don’t agree. Double standard IMHO.

        Finally an undeniable fact: The Reds have lost 90 plus games the last 2 seasons with Votto. They would probably do the same without him. The question Marty (in his own way) and many fans have raised up is: Should they trade him to get the prospects that make the Reds good again?

      • Doug Gray

        I guess the difference between what Marty is doing and what the writers are doing is two fold: First, Marty is flat out wrong when he says Votto isn’t worth his contract, or that he doesn’t care about OPS (I mean, obviously he doesn’t, but his implication when saying that is that it’s not of value). And he does so with absolute ANGER. When writers say that BP isn’t good at getting on base, or is declining in performance – they are speaking in provable facts. And while they certainly may be breaking their keyboard while typing it because they are so angry – we, the readers don’t get to see or hear that part of it. They aren’t hitting the caps lock button and making it bold in the article when they type it out.

        The second thing is: Marty Brennaman is paid by the Reds. The writers are not. I believe that Mark Sheldon works for MLB, not the Reds, though I could be wrong about that. Of course, even being employed by MLB, he’s not going to be allowed to say the things that some others may be able to.

      • Bill

        Just one quick point of clarification. Marty Brennaman is an employee of the Cincinnati Reds whereas the reporter that have pointed to Brandon Phillips relatively low OBP work for media organizations.

        I agree with you point that the open question is whether the Reds do better to trade Joey Votto now, or hope he’s still producing at a high level when the rest of team is likely to be competitive.

  39. Mark

    How appropriate this is on redsminorleagues. Marty’s rant is exactly that, minor leagues.

  40. Cincinnati Reds Announcer Marty Brennaman Still Hates Joey Votto - WXXV 25

    […] Marty Brennaman was recently on the Reds Hot Stove show on 700 WLW in Cincinnati. A man called in and mentioned that some local and national writers say Joey Votto has a bad contract. Votto signed a 10-year, $225 million contract extension before the 2014 season. The caller didn’t think the contract itself was a bad contract, but it was a bad contract for the Reds because they wouldn’t spend enough money to build a good team around Votto. The idea being that Votto is worth the money he makes, but if the team goes cheap on the rest of the roster, they won’t be successful. […]

  41. Jeff C.

    I really want to share this story somewhere so indulge me please. My 92 year old Grandmother passed away today. She loved the Reds and even though I don’t live in Cincy anymore I would call and talk about the Reds with her. She knew her baseball. This past summer I called her and asked if she was listening to the Reds and she told me that she didn’t listen anymore because “Marty is an old crank and he’s let the game pass him by.” I thought it was a funny comment from someone who was 91 years old at the time. Now She has passed away and Marty is confirming her opinion of him.