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Brennaman's blast swirling at Wrigley
By Mike Spellman | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 4/18/2008 1:33 PM | Updated: 4/18/2008 8:54 PM

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The aftermath of Marty Brennaman's mini-rant against Cubs fans and the Cubs themselves was the hot topic Friday morning at Wrigley Field.

And Brennaman's follow-up comments on a Chicago radio show didn't do anything to calm the situation.

The veteran Cincinnati Reds broadcaster unloaded on Cubs fans Wednesday night following Adam Dunn's home run. Instead of just Dunn's home run ball being tossed back onto the field -- as is the tradition at Wrigley -- fans littered the field with more than a dozen baseballs.

"This is the kind of thing … that makes you want to see the Chicago Cubs team lose," Brennaman said on his Reds broadcast at the time, adding that Cubs fans are "far and away the most obnoxious fans in baseball in this league."

He wasn't finished.

"You simply root against them. I've said all winter, they talk about this team winning the division. They won't win it because they still are the Chicago Cubs and they will figure out a way to screw this whole thing up."

The reaction from the Cubs ranged from shrugs to disappointment.

"You're torn in situations like that. You get a chuckle out of it but at the same time you waste 10 minutes of your life," said Cubs infielder/outfielder Mark DeRosa. "I don't think he needed to go that far. Obviously he has some deep-seated hatred for Chicago."

Ryan Dempster, a native of Canada, chose the diplomatic path: "Everyone's entitled to their opinion -- that's what's great about the United States of America."

Lou Piniella, who was around Brennaman for the three years he managed the Reds in the early 1990s, at first seemed to take all the hoopla in stride.

"Marty's a Cincinnati guy, obviously he's rooting for the Reds," Piniella said. "I don't think our fans are obnoxious. They get into the game. They enjoy coming out to a ballgame and that's why they draw here the way they do -- it's a fun environment and they get into it."

When WVMP-AM 1000 radio host Marc Silverman talked with Brennaman on the air Friday, the Reds broadcaster said he didn't regret any of his comments.

"Not a (darn) thing," Brennaman replied to Silverman.

Was it over the top?

"It may have been over the top," Brennaman said. "The only qualifier I will offer is that to the true Cub fans I apologize to them because I know there are great fans in the town. What I witnessed the other night -- that's the only ballpark in baseball you would see people throw 15-20 freaking baseballs on to a field, which I think is a total disrespect to the game.

"I understand all these fans are all upset. Half of them are probably brain dead to begin with. If they can't understand that what happened Wednesday night is completely over the top and out of line, then I'm sorry.

"I think what I said about how tough it is to root for the Cubs is something that a lot of people, those that didn't grow up to be Cub fans, feel the same way I do, but they don't want to articulate it. I'm not afraid to say what I think."

In the WVMP interview, Brennaman went on to emphasize that his "problem" is with the fans throwing 18-20 balls on the field.

"You don't see it happening in any other ball park in baseball," he explained. "While you have tremendous Cub fans, you also have people who go with the intention on getting drunk and raising hell in that ballpark. If you compare the fans in Chicago with the group of people I think are the best fans in baseball, which are the Cardinal fans, they are hands down the best fans in baseball. They respect the game. They go to the ballpark to see the game. They don't do stupid stuff. That is the difference."

For anyone interested, the Reds return to Wrigley Field July 8-10.

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