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Reds Insider
From news of the day to news of the weird, John Fay provides a glimpse of what it’s like to cover the Cincinnati Reds

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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Monday, May 5, 2008

Weathers v. Brantley

David Weathers was listening to radio on his way home from working out Sunday when he heard Jeff Brantley say something he didn’t like.

When asked about Monday. Weathers let Brantley have it.

"All I said if this easy to play baseball, he should find a uniform and play," Weathers said. "I was basically was taking up for my teammates. I heard some comments that he thought guys were quitting. I didn’t feel that way. It’s easy to say that when things are going tough for a team. It’s easy to dog-pile. I felt like he was doing that."

Brantley stood by the gist of what he said.

"I said there are guys on the team that obviously trying much harder some of the other guys," he said. "This team needs some spark and jump start to get back playing the game the right way. That’s what I said -- if I remember correctly."

Weathers said he and Brantley are good friends. Weathers tried to downplay and said he's not mad at Brantley.

"Sometimes things are said," Weathers said. "We take a lot of pride in what we do. You hear things – I’ve been on DL watching and listening – sometimes you’ve got to defend your guys. I don’t feel like we have anybody quitting. Do we have guys struggling? Yeah. That doesn’t mean you quit."

The interesting thing in this is Weathers and Brantley are similar. Brantley would have done the same thing in roles were reversed.


62 Comments:

at 11:30 PM Blogger jeff said...

I'm torn. I like when the announcers "speak" for the fans by airing frustrations with the players instead of "George Granding" everything but I think Weathers has a point. It seems like everyone does pile on and that can't be good for morale.

 
at 11:39 PM Blogger TK1990 said...

Here is a thought "Mario Soto pitching coach " Dick Pole brings nothing to the table, just a thought .

 
at 11:50 PM OpenID dudeworldorder said...

Brantley sometimes is a bit over critical, I think he thinks he has the tenure Marty has.

 
at 1:26 AM Blogger NVreds said...

nice, funny drama like this keeps me interested in this team.

I bet brantley would agree that this is a good reaction from weathers because its him showing a little guts to stick up for his guys. good, stupid stuff like this shows that the team does still care.

That being said, I agree with brantley.

 
at 2:04 AM Blogger hey hey redlegs said...

respect.

 
at 6:11 AM Blogger ST fan said...

It has always been unfair for the guy with the mike, usually caustic Marty) to be able to criticize the players when the players have no podium from with to respond. I'm glad Weathers spoke up and john passed it on. I hope it's in the newspaper.

By the way, Marty called Griffey's fly a home run and it was caught. No one gets to dump on Marty for an error a NOFer should not have made. Take that, guy with the mike.

 
at 6:38 AM Blogger JackBlueAsh said...

what weathers does not understand..or fails to mention is that this team has been going "tough" for the past seven years..this is not just an isolated bad stretch

Brantley was absolutely dead on. I met David Weathers..he is a great dude. But..hes nearing the end of his career, still making alot of money and just maybe Brantleys about some players just collecting a paycheck hit home

Weathers should concentrate on his pitching

 
at 6:42 AM Blogger redfuture said...

Usually when things said are 'way off base', it doesn't even deserve comment. The fact that Weathers had a reaction indicates that there is some truth to it. Still, I don't blame Stormy for his reaction. He is a stand-up guy.

 
at 6:45 AM Blogger Scott Evans said...

Actually Brantley called out Dunn, Griffey, and without naming names Patterson as ones who weren't giving 100% and said Jr may be upset his option for next year hasn't been picked up yet. This was on Eddie Fingers & Tracy Jones show.

 
at 6:48 AM Blogger MONEY MIKE said...

John-

Any word from Jr. on the USA Today article?

 
at 7:35 AM Blogger JackBlueAsh said...

best thing for morale would be the players playing decently

the only three good things about the Cincinnati Reds is Brantley, Brenneman, and our own John Fay

 
at 8:40 AM OpenID wildcat654 said...

I like Jeff Brantley because he isn't afraid to say what he thinks and feels. He was fairly accurate with his assessment, although I would have described the situation as players who do not care very much as opposed to "quitting." There are several players who seem to want to win, but they're OK with losing too. You can tell who these players are by the way they play the game. This organization will never go very far if we continue to hang on to certain players that are content with losing.

 
at 8:49 AM Blogger Pokey Reese said...

I think Brantley is right and Weathers is just doing what good teammates do and that is stand up for each other.

 
at 9:03 AM Blogger omnired said...

David Weathers was listening to radio on his way home from working out Sunday when he heard Jeff Brantley say something he didn’t like.

I can't remember the last time Brantley said something I did like. Tell me Jeff, how unclutch is Edwin Encarnacion? :-)

 
at 9:24 AM Blogger Mark T said...

So Thom Brenneman asks Chris Welsh last night what he thinks of Junior batting second, and Welsh starts off saying something true - it's about OBP, but then he quickly backtracked and said that Junior was an on-base guy so that it was a good decision. I strongly disagree.

 
at 9:29 AM Blogger Brick said...

Seems like the Reds are afraid to make changes. I see the Tigers send Jacques Jones down and bring up a AAA player. They also shake-up the defense by putting Gary Sheffield in LF.

Seriously, I ask the question, what's it hurt to give some of our top prospects a chance to play? The Reds are 13 - 20. What can this team possibly be afraid of? Are they afraid these guys won't pan out and then what?

Take some risks, make some moves.

 
at 9:31 AM Blogger Ryan said...

Great comment NVREDS. I agree with both sides. Atleast it shows someone cares!

 
at 9:36 AM Blogger Lets Talk Reds Blogger said...

Dear David Weathers,

Jeff was a much better pitcher than you will ever be. Career ERA around 3, Rolaids Relief man, etc. Why don't you just quit your complaining, go back on the mound, and throw up another couple of gopher balls that will get smashed. You better hope he doesn't put on a uniform, because your job would be gone pretty quick. When your career ERA is under 4.25, come find us and we can talk about it. Know your role.

Sincerely,

Everyone

 
at 9:38 AM Blogger Dizzylo86 said...

Its easy to pile on when things are going badly, but I must admit Ive gotten the same feeling from a distance that Brantley has up close. This team doesnt seem to play with the sense of urgency other teams play with and it is extremely frustrating when everything is going wrong like it did in Atlanta.

Of course the guy no one would accuse of not caring speaks up...

 
at 9:38 AM Blogger Kenworld said...

Brantley sometimes is a bit over critical, I think he thinks he has the tenure Marty has.

Brantley has more then put in the time on the field, he has the right to say what he wants about a players performance or lack there of.

 
at 9:46 AM Blogger Paul said...

John,

Thanks for your consistently good work. I live in Denver and on the sports talk shows this morning the local guys mentioned that the Rockies are trying to get Josh Fogg back from the Reds to shore up their starting pitching. additionally, they stated that the Rockies aren't offering much because they know that Fogg will be released in 7-10 when Homer Bailey gets called up.

Any truth to either of these items?

Thanks,

 
at 9:54 AM Blogger Chris in Venice said...

tk1990-

How do you know that Pole brings nothing to the table? Just curious ... you seem to have some insiders knowledge.

 
at 10:00 AM Blogger Another losing season said...

Snore.

 
at 10:06 AM Blogger firefly118 said...

Cowboy is right on! Who the heck is David Weathers? Really, put a uniform on and play, wake up DAVE....Brantley has done more and seen more in the bigs than you ever will. This team is lost, and some guys have quit, that is obvious to all of us fans, if it weren't true, no one would react like that.

I will agree with one thing from Weathers, he hasn't quit, the PROBLEM is, he just isn't that good. The truth hurts sometime, but I like Jeff Brantley's take on the game, he can be a little arogant, but after years in the league, he can be that way. He is a straight shooter (cowboy), and some people just don't like that, but that is what this City needs.

 
at 10:07 AM Blogger RyanRico said...

TK - Agreed on Dick Pole, he's the definition of an empty uniform.

On Brantley v. Weathers, Weathers should be more concerned about getting his team to play better and not worrying about the bluster going on around them.

Win, and everything will be ok.

 
at 10:20 AM Blogger Bob Loblaw said...

I really can't stand Brantley at this point. It seems like he says something that gets on my nerves every game. It's like he's looking for a fight. It doesn't help that he thinks he knows what every player's problem is either.
TK-It seems like Soto likes working with the youngsters rather than major leaguers, but you're right. Dick Pole hasn't done anything and Brook Jacoby isn't looking spectacular either. I would pay Dave Duncan millions of dollars to be our pitching coach. Every year he performs miracles. How in the world are the Cardinals 21-12? I know they'll come back down to earth, but their starting rotation is a joke and Pujols is the only player I want in my lineup.

 
at 10:32 AM Blogger Joe said...

I find it interesting that Weathers is the only one we've heard about who complained. It may be an indication Weathers has a leadership characteristic in him that needs to be heard more often? If Brantley's statement were that far off target, more players should have spoken up about it. And maybe they have.

Brantley has a view of this team's performance that is closer to what we see as fans. I see some Reds players playing with a lack of emotion and fire. Hoepfully, that lack of emotion and fire will not become the defining attitude of the entire team. Weathers response is a good indication it has not.

Brantley cannot lead the team from the radio booth and he is looking for some player leadership. Some player(s) willing to step up and get in the face of the other players who are not getting the job done or not hustling. Weathers has accepted accountability for his performance on the field in the past. Maybe he is the man for the "C" on his uniform? Maybe Jeff Keppinger is the guy? He sure demonstrates the ability and desire to play the game the right way. I've never seen him not hustle! He seams to know how the game should be played.

If either Dunn or Griffey Jr. is not going to be the leader, they should be willing to be lead by the smallest guy on the team. Leadership is not about HRs or BAs. The Reds, Dusty Baker and Walt Jockety should be eager to part as quickly as possible with any player not willing to either lead or be lead. Just like life, there is no hanging out in the middle in baseball if you expect to be a winner.

This team does not know what a winning attitude looks like. That is what I heard the Cowboy say the other night. The Cowboy is right.

 
at 10:41 AM Blogger rdl said...

Jeff "Rant" ley must go. He and Marty should call the game and save the rest for the talk shows. I tune in to listen to the play by play not the rant by rant.

 
at 11:18 AM Blogger Steve said...

When things go wrong, it's easy to point fingers. I can find creadence in both their comments though. Weather's is sticking up for his teamates so no harm in that but Brantley also speaks the truth. Sometimes I think we have too many players who've grown accustomed to losing. We need to purge that mentality.

 
at 11:22 AM Blogger Danny C. said...

I agree with Soto as pitching coach - it was amazing to see Cueto's performance last night compared to his last start. Soto really worked some magic for that drastic of an improvement.

As for Brantley - he doesn't need the tenure Marty has to be critical - he has worn the Reds uniform and was a solid closer for quite a few years - that's all the credit he needs. When he played for the Reds, they were competitive and they were winning!

 
at 11:24 AM Blogger Chris at Redleg Nation said...

I have to side with Weathers here. I'm fine with criticism of the on-the-field action, but on Sunday, both Brantley and Marty were openly questioning the manhood of several players.

That's horsestuff, IMO. At least Brantley played, at one time. But if you've never lifted anything heavier than a golf club, you ought not question other people's toughness.

 
at 11:31 AM Blogger Anderson Dude said...

A rhetorical question....Does it appear that the Reds care any more than they did last year?....Do they care any more than the Bungles?...I am fast becoming a Cyclones fan....

 
at 11:39 AM OpenID bashbrother12 said...

john according to www.mlbtraderumors.com and www.foxsports.com the rockies have interest in trading for josh fogg have you heard anything about this and if it does happen who would take him roster spot i would think hopper when he comes off dl but wouldnt that leave us short a pitcher

 
at 12:07 PM Blogger PresidentJohnAllenJr. said...

I have to agree with Brantley. Dunn, Griffey and others have been going through the motions. I hated it last night when Griffey again, didn't run out after hitting the ball to the wall. Bench him for that. Brantley quotes hit the nail on the head but some players doesn't like to hear them. Brantley said that they didn't give 100% and he didn't say that they were quitter.
On Griffey Jr contract next year, don't worry about it Griffey Jr., you have to earn it. Play ball!!!

 
at 12:12 PM Blogger robdicken said...

Snore.

Thanks for contributing!

I think it's good for Weathers to stand up and say something. What's it hurting? It shows a bit of leadership.

I like Brantley and like listening to him on TV or on the radio. He needs to stick to his rants on pitching though...he lacks in knowledge of hitting (obvious from the EE comment at the beginning of the year).

 
at 12:38 PM Blogger Pat said...

I agree with all the posters that said that it was good that Weathers stuck up for his team. Too bad more players didn't do the same. This is the kind of thing that teams need to do. Too bad it wasn't a bigger reaction.

I don't think you need to be the reds announcer for 30+ years to have an opinion, nor do you have to know any players personally. I do think you're doing a fine job, John. But, I don't agree that you are in the top three of good things about Reds baseball. Sorry.

 
at 12:44 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

According to USA Today, Griffey wants to return to Seattle and Seattle wants him back. Well, what the hell is the holdup?

Lip service from David Weathers, what else would you expect him to say. Actually he should have kept his mouth shut instead of making a fool of himself. I agree with Brantley and so does everyone else with a lick of sense.
ST CSA

 
at 12:45 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

This is as it should be. Say it Jeff. Respond David.

Say it again Jeff. Respond louder David.

Say it again Jeff. Respond David and Votto (or whoever).

Say it again Jeff....Come on baby light my fire

Let's get this party started

 
at 12:45 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

This is as it should be. Say it Jeff. Respond David.

Say it again Jeff. Respond louder David.

Say it again Jeff. Respond David and Votto (or whoever).

Say it again Jeff....Come on baby light my fire

Let's get this party started

 
at 12:55 PM Blogger BG said...

Brantley's choice of the word "quit" was not good but the sentiment is correct. This team has been going through the motions for at least the last several seasons. Weathers did right by his teammates, but when did it become neccessary for a bradcaster's comments to fire up a team. This team isn't very good but has an attitude that makes it hard for the average fan to embrace. This team had lacked a leader since Greg Vuaghn left in 1999. Maybe Jay Bruce can help provide some on-field leadership?

 
at 12:56 PM Blogger Middie said...

Brantley is right; there is no fire or direction on this team. It's time for Weathers to go and make room for a young guy. It looks like he's pushing the ball to the plate.

 
at 1:14 PM Blogger JackBlueAsh said...

who knows hitters better than pitchers?

how can the players stick up for this team?

 
at 1:19 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

Catcher or Shortstop are typical leadership positions. Will Clark did it from 1st base. Pete Rose from whatever position he was an all star at that day and Nolan Ryan did it the day he bulldogged Robin Ventura.

I really could care less who steps up and starts the engine. David Ross? Fine. Keppinger? Fine. Phillips? Fine.

Ryan Freel and Weathers for all their shortcomings come closest to being the leader on this team.

Too many guys are playing like they are trying to make the team versus win the pennant. Add Cordero to the leadership list.

Anyone want to throw some bats?

 
at 1:19 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Gene Autry was The Cowboy.

Curt Gowdy was The Cowboy.

Jeff Brantley ain't The Cowboy, no matter how many times George Grande says it in a 60-second interval.

 
at 1:23 PM Blogger tom dunne said...

"Cowboy is right on! Who the heck is David Weathers? Really, put a uniform on and play, wake up DAVE....Brantley has done more and seen more in the bigs than you ever will."

David Weathers has pitched for more years, played for more teams and thrown more innings than Brantley did in his career. Weathers also won a World Series, something Cowboy never did. Weather's experience stacks up just fine.

Personally, I'm already tired of Brantley's act. He doesn't offer insight, he just picks on whoever is down at the time. EE has a tough start and he's "not clutch." A month later, when Encarnacion's doing great with RISP, Brantley simply finds someone else to dump on. It's crass and dull and not remotely good baseball commentary.

 
at 1:24 PM Blogger Quan said...

I thought that Don Gullett was on par with Leo Mazonne and Dave Duncan as a pitching coach. He helped pitchers like Pete Shourek, Pete Harnisch, Dave Burba, Mark Portugal, etc. become better than what they really were. Because he was so good at reviving the careers of pitchers, Bowden kept bringing him junks like Paul Wilson, Jimmy Haynes, Lance Davis, Luke Hudson, Ramon Ortiz, etc. and expect him to turn all of them into competent Major League pitchers. I thought he was unfairly fired along with Dave Miley in 2005.

He was a much better pitching coach than Dick Pole and has more experience than Mario Soto (whom as far as I know only work with 2 pitchers out of the 12 that are on this team).

Do you think the Mariners would be willing to trade Richie Sexson to the Reds for Junior? Sexson can play 1B. Votto played outfield last season, has good speed and arm, he can man the right field until Dunn is traded.

 
at 1:31 PM Blogger anthony said...

I agree with reaganspad: it's all good. Brantley has a constitutional right to his opinion -- and he's obviously got a point. On the other side, Weathers has a right and a responsibility (as the only guy manning up to defend himself and his teammates) to argue with Brantley's criticism -- this is why you keep a guy like Stormy on the team: it's called leadership, that crucial element to a successful team that so many of us have been wanting to see from the big-salary guys. Let's see some more of this fire on the d*mn field, up and down the roster. If Cowboy helps stoke it up, then more power to him.

One more thing: I love the idiotic comments about Weathers -- how quickly we forget that he was the MVP of the team last year, the only thing holding that sorry bullpen together. Doesn't mean he gets a free pass when he blows up -- and he'll be the first person to take responsibility for that. But it's this kind of short-sighted, what-have-you-done-for-me-in-the-last-five-minutes mentality among *some* Reds fans that is so freaking embarrassing. Weathers is *not* the problem.

Media guys are the "only good thing" about Reds baseball? Then why waste your/our time? Ludicrous.

 
at 1:34 PM Blogger Bob Loblaw said...

Middie- I agree with you. I posted a couple of days ago that I don't think Weathers should have been brought back up at all. He's throwing 85 mph meatballs-it's only a matter of time until he blows an 8th inning lead. He got lucky yesterday throwing junk but that won't last long. If we can unload Fogg, and bring Bray back up within the next 2 weeks we can hopefully avoid Stormy Weather.

 
at 1:35 PM Blogger Arden Dulou said...

If Griffey truly wants to be traded and Seattle will deal with the Reds right now, do it.

 
at 1:42 PM Blogger Another losing season said...

Do you hear that? That's the sound of me snoring louder.

Who cares about high school girls locker room drama?

Weathers needs to worry about pitching better. Brantley needs to worry about announcing better. The rest of this is just a side show and indicative of what is wrong with the team...worrying about the wrong stuff.

 
at 1:44 PM Blogger Another losing season said...

By the way, I have never read a positive or negative post about Dick Pole and his efforts. Does anyone have an opinion with any backup information. He seems to fly way under the radar.

 
at 1:51 PM Blogger BATSFAN said...

Im proud of Weathers he handled that great sticking up for his players, but I agree with the blogger Jeff, im torn to because Brantley is talking like myself or other reds, hes talking out of frustration, its our team to you want to see them win and they are not. But Weathers did the right thing maybe that can spark something, GO REDS!

 
at 2:19 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

If the Reds are waiting for Griffey to hit 600, they might have to pick up his option for next season.
St CSA

 
at 2:23 PM Blogger JackBlueAsh said...

Weathers did not spark anything..nor was he that upset

I agree with Losing..lets move on to another subject.

What happened to the Hamilton/Cantu Daily Update

 
at 2:34 PM Blogger Hugh D. Pohl said...

I kind of like Weathers standing up for his team mates. I think "leadership" by the players is over-rated. Good play fosters good morale, which is labeled leadership when an outgoing, veteran is able to light a little fire under someone. I'm not dismissing it altogether, just think it is over rated.

Another thing is, "character". People, especially former players, invoke that as if good baseball players are better than everybody else because they can hit, throw or catch a ball. Negative leadership such as the proverbial clubhouse cancer can have a bad effect and an optimistic attitude or fiery outlook can have a good effect, but in the final analysis it comes down the the skills, not chemistry, character or leadership on the part of the players. Much more important for management to have those skills.

 
at 2:44 PM Blogger robdicken said...

who knows hitters better than pitchers?

Listen to yourself...*rolls eyes*

Pitchers know how to pitch around hitters and their weaknesses (ie. their hot and cold spots)...they know how to pitch. Not hit.

Did you ever hear Joe Nuxhall saying that Edwin Encarnacion isn't clutch or ANYONE for that matter? No...it wasn't his place (even though he wasn't a bad hitting pitcher). Nuxhall knew pitching. Same with Brantley...needs to stick with what he knows, and that's pitching.

According to your logic, Dick Pole could be our hitting coach as well. I still don't know how you expect anyone to take you seriously! LOL!!

Do you hear that? That's the sound of me snoring louder.

Who cares about high school girls locker room drama?


If you don't care, then why are you posting about it?

Maybe you should crawl out from under your rock every once in awhile and quit being so darned negative. Just a thought!

 
at 3:21 PM Blogger robdicken said...

Weathers did not spark anything..nor was he that upset

You know him right? Then you should be able to provide us with insider information!!! :-O

I agree with Losing..lets move on to another subject.

No, this is the subject of John's blog post. If you want to talk about something else, get your own blog or go to Fountain Square and shout out your undying love for Jeff Keppinger and Josh Hamilton.

What happened to the Hamilton/Cantu Daily Update

www.texasrangers.com
www.floridamarlins.com
www.espn.com

Go there for your updates. Leave them off here.

BTW....Jorge Cantu is 2 for his last 20. As I said before...coming back down to earth, because he simply isn't good.

 
at 3:25 PM Blogger Big Red Smokey said...

I think of it in even simpler terms. Baseball is entertainment. And I love it when the team is doing well, to hear announcers praise the same athletes they disparage when they are losing. It's part of the experience. We also have 3 announcers that are very good at it (The 3 B's), one annnouncer that is ok at it (The crafty left hander) and one that couldn't say a bad thing about a player if that player beat him in the head with a bat (Georgey G).

Also..keep in mind...pro athletes are coddled like babies and paid like kings. They can be subjected to a little criticism now and them, especially when it's spot on.

 
at 3:57 PM Blogger JackBlueAsh said...

Pitchers and pitching coaches know more about hitters than the hitters themselves

next topic..this is getting boring

 
at 4:35 PM Blogger Mr. Doom and Gloom said...

tom dunne, thought you weren't coming back till june? you must not listen to the games on the radio if you think brantley has nothing to offer, they guy can break it down, he provides excellent insight into pitching and problems guys like cueto and arroyo have been having w/ their mechanics.

no problem with weathers response either, good to see someone on the team has a little pride.

 
at 5:51 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

QUOTE:
"Maybe you should crawl out from under your rock every once in awhile and quit being so darned negative. Just a thought!"

...and I thought that we were no longer attacking fellow bloggers.

St CSA

 
at 9:29 PM Blogger Mark T said...

Notice how other teams manage to put people up to bat who make you nervous? Power, average, speed, spunkiness? Notice that the Reds don't?

There's your problem, here's our sign.

 
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