Cincinnati Reds broadcasters have long had an interesting relationship with the Chicago Cubs. If you watch a Cubs/Reds game with Reds guys calling it – whether it’s Marty or Thom Brennaman or George Grande – you detect two things: (1) the Reds guys work very hard to be fair and even-handed, but (2) they don’t much like the Cubs.
And Marty already doesn’t like the Cubs for the 2011 season.
“The Cubs have a chance to be improved. I don’t think they’re good enough to win the division,” Brennaman told the Chicago Tribune Wednesday from Arizona. “I think their defense is very suspect. They have a kid (Carlos Pena) at first base who is an all-or-nothing guy. He either hits the ball out of the ballpark or he makes an out. So to say that the Cubs are a ‘contender’ … that’s a stretch.
“They could fool everybody and have two or three guys have career years, and here you are come September and they are in the thick of it. But I don’t think on paper that they are a team that can play or can be reckoned with in the same way as the Reds and the Brewers.”
As unsavory as the conclusion is, Brennaman’s characterization of the Cubs as a team that would need a couple career years to surprise and take the Central is accurate. The defense is, indeed, very suspect. The Carlos Pena rationale is a bit bizarre, but I suspect comes from a place of being frustrated with Adam Dunn for so many years (incorrectly frustrated, I might add).
Still, it’s not as though the Reds are not without questions. Perhaps Brennaman should peruse the various reasons the 2011 Cincinnati Reds will suck…