I got an e-mail from a reader yesterday and I thought I’d share.
I do not know if that was you or someone else that wrote the entry about Marty Brennaman but I wish there would be additional columns about the unfortunate incident until Marty is forced to further respond. If he’s going to knock Cubs fans, do it to our faces; not in a cushy radio booth.
First of all, I hate the throwing of the baseball back tradition anyway, especially when fans cheer. Hello, the Cubs gave up a homer 15 seconds ago. It’s no time to cheer. Those fans, and any fans that throw anything onto the field of play should be kicked out with no questions ask. It’s completely out of any decorum in how to behave in a sporting event. You are there to cheer and to boo and not to make offensive remarks. If Marty had said “THOSE fans are idiots…” or “THOSE fans give or make Cubs fans look bad…” or “It is becoming an increasing growing problem in Wrigley Field when SOME idiots….” Instead, the words he chose revealed that he believed ALL Cubs fans are assholes and are the worst in baseball. Furthermore, he went on to say the very next day on a Chicago radio station that half of Cubs fans are brain dead morons. Of course, like a politician, he added a qualifier that if I offended anyone I apologize. Those words are very hurtful, unprofessional, and do not belong in Major League Baseball by a major league announcer.
A quick background on myself, I was the first person in my family born here in 1980 (Eastern Europe originally). My earliest memories of my life were sitting at my parents’ diner and scanning the Chicago Sun-Times box scores. I learned “what it meant to be an American” through baseball even though I still had not learned how to speak English. It’s through the Chicago Cubs, for better or worse, that helped me feel like I belonged in a country where my parents didn’t speak the language, where the customs and traditions were very foreign to me in this foreign country. The first game I attended when I was 6 against the Pittsburgh Pirates when Ryne Sandburg (my hero) hit a homer for a 1-0 victory. I pissed my pants willingly that day because I wasn’t going to miss any part of the ballgame going to the bathroom. I attended opening day this season and I still felt that same feeling as I did 21 years ago: the greenest grass in the world, the smell of old hot dogs and spilled beer, the scoreboard; it’s like going back in time to the 1920′s and seeing Babe Ruth and other legends trot out on the same field.
I’ve attended well over 100 games in my life at Wrigley and another dozen or so at Milwaukee (Country and Miller), the Cell, Comerica, and Great American Ballpark (my brother graduated from Miami, OH last year). I may have been drunk at a few of those games but I have never behaved in such a foul manner as those 18-24 idiots did last week. I found generally positive experiences at almost every game I’ve been to. I’ve seen Cubs fans overserved as I’ve seen Milwaukee fans. One time at Miller, a guy a deck on top of me spilled a beer on purpose on me laughing afterwards. Should I say all Milwaukee fans are assholes? Should I say that everyone affiliated with the Reds are racist because Marge Schott used the “n” word on numerous occasions? Of course not. Anyone with any intelligence can make that difference. For an old SOB like Marty to call me those names, I cannot tell you upset, angry, and disgusted I am.
Some interesting Marty Brennaman notes this from wikipedia:
In 1988, Brennaman along with Joe Nuxhall, appeared before National League President A. Bartlett Giamatti at the NL office, in New York, New York in regards to accusations that Brennaman incited the crowd, causing a delay, after an incident at a ballgame involving the ejection of Pete Rose after bumping umpire Dave Pallone. After the ejection, Reds fans littered the field with debris causing a delay in the game, while Brennaman criticized the umpire’s call. Brennaman had this to say regarding the incident.
“I still maintain we were right,” Brennaman said. “I’ll never apologize for that. They accused us of inciting a riot. I don’t think we did then and I don’t think we did now.”
I guess I am an obnoxious fan because I was the first in my family to attend college and law school. I guess I am an obnoxious fan because I am helping my family business as father fights going blind from glaucoma. I guess I am an obnoxious fan because I am a horrible horrible person. I guess I am brain dead moron because I am a Cubs fan. But what does the make Reds fans who threw debris onto the field? What does that make Marty as an instigator? It only means that a few dozen Reds fans in 1988 are as dumb as those Cubs fans last week. It also makes Marty a hypocrit.
I will be calling the Cincinnati Reds Public Relations Department in a few days, Michael Anderson is in charge. I assume that Marty won’t answer or care. However, Joe, this is not a stupid fan on a message board on the internet, this is not a tee shirt vendor making an inappriopriate t-shirt, this is not an usher who makes a mistake in terms of language at a game. This is Marty “F’ing” Brennaman. This is the announcer for the major league ballclub. In some ways, this is the face of their franchaise (because they’re not good). And I don’t think you or I or any Cubs fans that pride themselves as loving the GAME should take this sort of verbal abuse. You don’t come into my house and insult me without leaving with your teeth in a bag. You can tell that as his rant continued that his hatred of the Cubs was getting the best of him. Didn’t the Cubs win their division last year after being down 10 games in May?
I will not go to Cincinnati any longer to watch ball games. I will not spend $100′s that go to the cofers of the Cincinnati Reds that pay Marty Brennaman upwards of $500,000. Len Kasper is customer of my parents diner although he doesn’t come in too much during the summer. I cannot believe he would ever say something like that. And he has too much class to respond in a verbal war with Marty either.
Therefore, Joe I would like your website to be a voice of the fans. I can’t go to ESPN 1000 or WSCR 670 and rant about how bad of a guy Marty Brennaman is for a full 30 minutes like he did against you and me. I can’t get a full column in the SunTimes or the Trib to counteract Marty. But I will not take this laying down. If Marty doesn’t want to take a moment of his time to listen as to how words are powerful tools that can be hurtful weapons, I will make my voice heard as I believe many other Cubs fan will. I have tickets to a Reds game at Wrigley for this year. I will sitting near or under the press box and I hope Marty has his windows open. If he doesn’t want to listen to me now, he will sure listen to me then.
Vangel “Van” Stojanovski