10/31/2006 11:53 AM ET
Reds hire Jeff Brantley
Former closer rejoins team as broadcaster
CINCINNATI -- Cincinnati Reds chief executive officer Bob Castellini today announced the hiring of former Reds relief pitcher and current baseball analyst Jeff Brantley for Reds Radio and Reds TV broadcasts. Brantley signed a 4-year contract through the 2010 season.
Brantley will work alongside Hall of Famer Marty Brennaman for selected radio broadcasts on 700 WLW and also will sit in the booth for Reds TV broadcasts on FSN Ohio. Next season, the club's television broadcast schedule will increase from 100 to 145 games. George Grande and Chris Welsh, the longest-running TV duo in club history, in 2007 will return to the booth for their 15th season together.
"Between our partnerships with FSN Ohio and 700 WLW Radio, our fans will have the opportunity to follow the Reds by watching and listening to some of the best broadcasters in baseball," said Castellini, who on October 4 hired popular veteran announcer Thom Brennaman. "I don't know that any team has a more talented group."
Brantley, 43, spent 14 seasons in the Major Leagues and enjoyed some of his best years while pitching for the Reds from 1994-1997, when he posted a 2.64 ERA and 88 saves. He still ranks tied for fourth on the club's all-time saves list. In 1996 he earned the Rolaids Relief Man Award after leading the National League with 44 saves.
Brantley also pitched for the Giants, Cardinals, Phillies and Rangers. He was an NL All-Star for San Francisco in 1990 and finished his career with 172 saves and a 3.39 ERA in 615 games.
After he retired as a player following the 2001 season, Brantley joined ESPN as an in-game analyst and also as a studio analyst on the network's popular Baseball Tonight show. Earlier this year, he broadcast several telecasts of the inaugural World Baseball Classic.
Reds chief operating officer John Allen said, "Bob wanted us to put together the best broadcasting teams in baseball. In hiring Thom and Jeff, we think we did that."
Brantley is a graduate of Mississippi State University, where he led the Bulldogs to a third-place finish at the College World Series. He was a 4-year letterwinner for MSU and was named first-team All-American in 1985. Brantley has been actively involved in several youth baseball groups like Garth Brooks' "Teammates for Kids" and an inner-city baseball program in Jackson, Mississippi.