So, by now you probably know that Steve Stewart, the “color” announcer for the Reds' flagship station WLW, will not be back next season. This makes me kinda sad, because I think Steve is a heck of a guy. He took over for Cincinnati icon Joe Nuxhall and some fans would refuse to forgive him for it. But when these fans complained, Steve would acquiesce. He was the biggest Nuxhall supporter of them all.
When I went to the Reds' caravan in January, Steve was there, and primarily ignored. Someone even went up to the mic and asked when Joe would be back to call more games. And when the crowd applauded Marty's answer, Steve was applauding along with him.
Now, is Mr. Stewart the most exciting guy in the world? No. It's impossible to call him the “color” announcer without using quotation marks. He didn't get the ironic nickname “The Bad Boy” for nothin'. But he is funny and smart and totally professional. Even upon the announcement that his contract wouldn't be renewed, he's been a complete professional.
So, to sum up I'm going to miss Steve, and I wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.
And that sounds like the end of this post, but it's not. There's a rumor that Marty's son, Thom Brennaman, was going to be Steve's successor. Marty has denied this rumor and I hope that Marty is right. Bringing in Thom just because he's Marty's son would be--and I say this knowing that I'm potentially burning a bridge should he actually come aboard--lame.
The Crack Technical Staff and I were discussing this last night. We're not going to be excited about just any old announcer sharing the booth with Marty next season. We want to see someone new and innovative for this team. The Reds have a tradition of being trendsetters; I'd like to see them continue it. Perhaps a Latino broadcaster who can open up the appeal of the team to new listening audiences. Maybe a funny guy a la Dennis Miller on Monday Night Football. Possibly (I know you saw this coming) a sassy woman with a solid foundation in the intricacies of the team and podcasting experience. I only we knew where to find one.