05.11.05

Gonzo, D-Backs Mouthpieces In Spat

Posted in Baseball, Sports TV at 10:45 am by

From the Arizona Republic’s Andrew Bagnato.

After Diamondbacks slugger Luis Gonzalez was thrown out of the game Monday night, he retreated to the clubhouse and stewed.

With several innings remaining in a 4-3 loss to Washington, Gonzalez had a chance to listen to the home television broadcast of play-by-play man Thom Brennaman and color analyst Matt Williams. And what he heard made him no less angry.

Although he declined to cite specifics Tuesday, Gonzalez took issue with some of the broadcasters’ comments – and then he took a shot at the broadcast booth.

“It was just a long game, put it that way,” Gonzalez said. “I’m not going to mention names. I’m just saying, listening (to the broadcast) it just gets frustrating because I’m a player and I know what guys go through every day down there, and we all go through struggles throughout the season.

“What bothers me is that sometimes the people that are quick to criticize, when that player is going good they’re the first ones to say, ‘Oh man, you’re the greatest player,’ ” Gonzalez said. “They’re the first ones to pat you on the back and say, ‘Hey, buddy, good job.’ ”

Gonzalez would not say if he had a problem with Williams, a former teammate who owns a piece of the club, or with Brennaman. But as the Diamondbacks finished batting practice, Gonzalez left the field to have a private meeting with Brennaman, who did not comment before going on the air.

Gonzalez first raised the subject Monday night as reporters sought his explanation for being ejected. When one asked if players were becoming frustrated during a three-game losing streak, Gonzalez shook his head and replied, “We’re fine. Regardless of what our announcers say, or any of the other announcers say, we’re our own worst critics in here. We don’t need people telling us we can’t drive in runs and things like that. We know what we can and can’t do in here.”

“When you work for a company, you’re a company man,” Gonzalez said. “I play for the Diamondbacks. I’m not going to go out there and talk bad about the Diamondbacks. They’re my employers. I think that’s just what frustrates us sometimes.”

Brennaman, the son of Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame broadcaster Marty Brennaman, is not afraid to criticize. In recent days, he’s been particularly adept at noting the Diamondbacks’ failure to hit with runners in scoring position; they have averaged .247 as a team through 33 games. Gonzalez’s ejection Monday night came after he was called out on strikes with the bases loaded.

For another example of a broadcaster who may or may not fit Gonzo’s description of a company man, check out Bob Raissman’s column about the YES Network’s Jim Kaat from yesterday’s NY Daily News.

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