Which is a worse excuse? My dog ate my homework or I didn’t know my microphone was on?

The best excuse involves the dog because you can laugh it off. Even if you believe an announcer didn’t know his microphone was on, he doesn’t get a free pass. Thom Brennaman, the longtime television voice of the Cincinnati Reds, is guilty of the latter because leaving a microphone on while insensitive things are being said doesn’t excuse anybody.

Between innings about a month ago, Brennaman used a homophobic slur as he was coming out of a commercial break. He said, “One of the f-g capitals of the world.”

Despite Brennaman’s standing in the community, and that of his father, Marty, a Hall of Fame broadcaster, there are certain things in the broadcast industry that are inexcusable. Marty was inducted into the Baseball Hall Of Fame Baseball writers and broadcasters section the same weekend that Hal Lebovitz, the former sports editor of The Plain Dealer, was inducted in 2000.

Fox Sports acted quickly. They fired Brennaman from his football broadcasting position. The Reds were able to gather more information on his statements and actions off the air. What they were trying to determine is whether what he said on the air is typical of the way he thinks and acts. It seems like an easy answer.

He said it, and it probably wasn’t the first time. But does he deserve to have his career ended because of his comment if there is no history of his using language like that?

To the point of the microphone being off or on, that fact will never help his case. I have been in the broadcast business for more than 50 years and to my knowledge, I have never said anything on or off the air that I would have to defend. I feel badly for Thom and Marty and their families, but the Reds probably have no alternative but to fire him. Like in many other cases, timing is everything.

Israeli Kremer makes MLB history

Sept. 6 was an average day in Major League Baseball. When you come to the box scores, you will see the Baltimore Orioles defeated the New York Yankees, 5-1, at Camden Yards.

Further research shows that right-handed Baltimore pitcher Dean Kremer got the start and the win, He pitched six innings, gave up one run on one hit and struck out seven. Kremer, who was recently traded from the Los Angeles Dodgers to the Orioles, became the first player born to Israeli parents and not nationalized to play in a major league game. Kremer is a product of the Israeli National Team, which played a few years ago in the World Baseball Classic. Mazel Tov to Kremer and the Israeli National Team.


Letters, commentaries and opinions appearing in the Cleveland Jewish News do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Cleveland Jewish Publication Company, its board, officers or staff.

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