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John Fay
John Fay has been the Reds beat writer for the Enquirer since 2001. Prior to that, he served in a variety of roles for the Enquirer: backup Reds writer, UC beat writer, backup Bengals writer and as a general assignment reporter. He is a Cincinnati native and a graduate of Elder High School and the University of Dayton.

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Friday, July 20, 2007

Cowboy v. Coffey

I went to Jeff Brantley before the game to ask him about what he said about Todd Coffey on last night's broadcast. Brantley called Coffey a "choker" without ever using the word.

Brantlely clarified Friday: “He chokes. I stand by that. Very firmly.”

Brantley made the remark during Coffey’s appearance Thursday. Ironically, Coffey pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings to get the win.

Coffey came in with Reds down 5-3 and got a double play with runners at first and second. The Reds scored four runs to go up 7-5.

Coffey started Todd Linden with two balls. Here’s what was said by Brantley and MartyBrennaman from that point:

Brantley: Two-run deficit, he was fine. Two-run lead . . .

Brennaman: It's hard to understand.

Brantley: You can't . . . You can not throw the ball . . . I'm not even gonna say.

Brennaman: Well, it's hard to understand how a guy can come in when a team is behind and pitch so well, and then coming in to try to protect a lead . . . There's ball three. It's just truly amazing.

Brantley: You can't throw the ball with your right hand if your right hand is on your throat. You can't do both.

Brantley explained further Friday:

“When he comes in to preserve a two-run deficit, he pitches fine, totally different pitch selection, totally different (as far as) throwing the ball over the plate because he’s not worried about anything.

“When he comes in and we're one run ahead or two runs ahead, or if it's any type of close game, he chokes.”

Brantley says he's said similar things to Coffey and his motive is to make Coffey better.


at 8:24 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Classic Reds loserdom. Focus on the announcers when they speak the truth, instead of the players that havent had a winning season since the last century. Todd Coffey was given a milion dollar contract and has done exactly that....choked. The Reds will start winning when their players are held accountable.Todd Coffey should be embarassed for his cowardly performance this year....just as its coincides with his inking a million dollar contract. By the Way...when is Coffey going to do another Enquirer fashion spread pitching his Tommy Bahama?Sure as hell cant pitch a baseball when it matters.

at 9:09 PM Blogger HoosierRedsFan said...

So far this year, Coffey has needed the Heimlich Maneuver more than a few times. I think the Cowboy is trying to get him fired up. Anger or shame is a great motivator. Trust me, I know.

at 9:09 PM Blogger Mark T said...

Probably unfair to say he chokes - but I am glad to have announcers that can say things like that. Thing I notice about Coffey is that he gets to two strikes quickly, and then nibbles. It's annoying. He doesn't seem to have a put-away pitch.

at 9:41 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone tell Brantley that bashing a player on the radio doesn't help the player out.

at 1:27 AM Blogger JerBear said...

Totally unprofessional in my opinion. Brantley has been a dissapointment to me this season with his negativity.

I love the honesty of Reds announcing, but I think they cross the line too much.

It's one thing to be critical, but there's a right way to do it, and I don't think the Reds announcers always do it with the right attitude.

Plus, Todd Coffey doesn't seem like the type of guy who'd respond well to being called a choker. Maybe I'm wrong. Just my thoughts!

at 1:34 AM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

Actually, Brantley should keep being truthful. Coffey is an awfully inconsistent pitcher, which is consistent with "choking" so yes, the Reds need to hold players accountable, and the Radio broadcast team is amongst the finest in all sports. As Reds fans who have seen more games than most Cincinnatians, they get pretty sick of seeing shoddy play too, and are quick to criticize, which makes for more informed listeners.

That said, tonight Olsen was due for a win, and the Reds need to just take the next 10 out of 14, and all will be well. Who knows, maybe Coffey will go 1 for 3 in the "no choke" department, as per usual.

Majewski, Coffey, Weathers, and Stanton need to GO. If we can't do any better than those guys, then forget about the playoffs! And if Coutlangus can't throw strikes every time out, then his recent success is illusory and the Reds don't need him either. I'm sick of seeing Reds relievers falling behind in the count. If that's not choking, then what is?

at 9:46 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a former professional pitcher and coach... Brantley is absolutely right about Coffey. The man chokes when the game is on the line. I have never seen so many pitches in the middle of the plate as I have with Coffey and Loshe. We need people like Brantley to tell it like it is.After all... he's been there!

at 9:57 AM Anonymous Gary214 said...

Someone tell ANONYMOUS 8:41 that speaking the truth about a player who has exhibited the propensity to choke (since he was handed the closers role last year) is not bashing! It just means that Cowboy is not a "homer"....and tells it like it is!

at 10:36 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeff Brantley has only said what myself and other fans have been thinking and swearing outloud about all year. The games Coffey has squandered when the Reds were ahead or still in the game is unacceptable. The Reds should be fighting for 1st place instead they are in the cellar. When there is dam little chance of the Reds winning the game Coffey pitches lights out.
Cowboy and Marty are the eyes and ears of the listening fans. They tell it like it is. I appreciate that. These guys aren't dumbies. They have tons of baseball knowledge. The Reds need to deal with Coffey's problem instead of making Brantley the problem.
R.A. Deer Park

at 1:22 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, for one, think Brantley is awesome (and, for what little it may be worth, I was quite suspicious when I heard they were bringing him as I was never a fan of his work on ESPN). He and Marty make a great team and I'll listen to him on the radio over watching Grande and Welsh on TV anyday. Cincinnati is blessed to have radio broadcasters who aren't homers and tell it like it is.

The fact is, Todd Coffey chokes. If he can't handle hearing that, he can't handle being in the big leagues. I hope he can turn it around, but as of now, he's got the fortitude of balsa wood.

- Monroe.

at 3:58 PM Blogger RES said...

Coffey was successful as a closer in AAA, he was effective in middle relief until this year. The question isn't whether he chokes, but why and why THIS year?

Saying he chokes is only half a step toward helping him. It diagnoses the disease provides no course of treatment. It would seem better to cure him than trade him for somebody else to cure -- after lowering his trade value!

at 9:25 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Slow news day. So what if he says he chokes? If not for the writers, Coffey would never have known about it. Stirring the pot to get a story, not cool in this reader's opinion.

at 12:14 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

to RES: I think it's simple....when Tom Hume/Vern Ruhle were on the scene, the staff was phine, I'm seriously thinking this whole crew with the exception of Harang and Stormy have Dick Pole Disease

at 12:42 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Truth is I can't understand why Coffey doesn't get banged more. He is a guy with a 98 mile an hour fastball that somehow pitches scared and without confidence. It is the damndest thing I have seen in a long time as a baseball fan.

at 5:00 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone tell GARY214 that Jeff Brantley sucks as an announcer and thats just telling it like it is!

If Brantley really wanted to help Coffey he would talk to him face to face and offer to help him. What Brantley said is not going to help Coffey one bit, not matter how you try and spin it.

at 8:47 PM Anonymous Gary214 said...

Hey Anonymous 4:00...you should educate yourself before making some of those statements. Brantley did admit to telling it to Coffee's face, as well as on-air! But my guess is Todd is as much of a wimp in person as he is on the mound...so he probably took it like the choker he is!! And, THAT is tellin it like it is!

at 1:18 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brantley is a crappy announcer and THAT is telling it like it is!

at 3:20 PM Anonymous Gary214 said...

Anonymous 12:18. That's the best you can do? Tell you what..I'll give...this is getting boring. May I make a suggestion? If excellent broadcasting in the true 'homer' fashion is what you desire, why not become a Braves or Cubs fan? Now there are some first rate broadcasters....

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