The Arizona Diamondbacks announcing situation has received a lot of attention from us at AA this season, and finally, we have a conclusion to everything. Arizona's new TV duo replacing the dismissed Daron Sutton and Mark Grace will be ESPN anchor Steve Berthiaume, and former Cubs color commentator and Diamondbacks manager Bob Brenly.
It was announced yesterday that Brenly would be leaving WGN after eight years in the booth with the Cubs, and all evidence immediately pointed at him going to Arizona, where he won the World Series as Diamondbacks manager in 2001 and owns a residence. As for Berthiaume, the frequent Baseball Tonight anchor will be taking a huge step in his career by moving to a play by play role, which he's done in limited instances for ESPN this year to varying degrees of success.
For the Diamondbacks, you have to call their hires a pair of moves that will make heads turn at the very least. These aren't radio guys transitioning to the TV booth, but instead a national anchor and an announcer for one of the most popular franchises in baseball heading out to the desert to take on new ventures with Arizona. Regardless of how you feel about either Berthiaume or Brenly, you need to admit that the Diamondbacks are at least going all-in with their new TV commentators and are making a huge splash in the field.
ESPN won't necessarily miss Berthiaume all that much in their revolving door of anchors and studio hosts. Berthiaume wasn't even the lead anchor on Baseball Tonight, a job possessed by long-time ESPN staffer Karl Ravech. I'm curious as to whether or not ESPN will go after a "name" commentator to replace Berthiaume after losing Brian Kenny to MLB Network last year. The best possible in-house replacement for Berthiaume in my mind is Jon Sciambi, who hosts Baseball Tonight on occasion but mainly focuses on play by play for radio for ESPN.
The Cubs replacement for Brenly will have large shoes to fill, and I wouldn't be surprised if they kept things in-house and went with a former Cub player like Kerry Wood (who has said he's not keen on the position) or Todd Hollandsworth. I don't think the Cubs will hire a big name to replace Brenly alongside Len Kasper, but you never really know with commentary positions.
Isn't Steve Berthiaume married to ESPN's Cyndi Brunson? If so, would she also leave ESPN for, say, a sports anchor gig at the ABC affiliate in Phoenix? Would that be good enough for her? Bicoastal marriages certainly are not unprecedented, but Hartford to Phoenix is a heck of a long flight?
The Cubs better be smart with replacing Brenly. If they replace him with someone like Hollandsworth, who has as much personality as dried-up paint, I won't be watching their games anymore.
I wish FOX would put Brenly back in the book for the playoffs like they used to. Certainly the top color analyst in all of local and national coverage regarding MLB. Did a fine job in the NLDS with your boy Stockton on TBS.
Decent moves for AZ. I don't like Brenley that much, but he's much better than Grace. Kasper is another star. As for BBTN, I think they always have a good mix of personalities.
@wackybadger Ravech sucks. Bethiaume was by far the better espn baseball host. AZ's gain---so long as he speaks at a baseball game pace, not at his usual machine-gun tv pace.
Congrats to Phoenix regarding the end of Grace in 2012, who showed he didn't have any, including on tv, where he was about THE worst color guy i've had the misery to hear, in 55 years of hearing em all in the tube..
@abculater Why does Brenly SHOUT IN A MONOTONE WITH EVERY WORD?
@randy87109 Brenly and Kasper reportedly clashed during the season. Brenly and Berthiaume 10 times better than Sutton and Grace.