Derrick Hall kicked off the press conference with a few words of praise for Jeff Munn and Greg Schulte for stepping up last year. Derrick is happy to introduce what he thinks will be the best broadcasting duo in Major League Baseball, saying this is another area in which they have improved. Hall says Steve Berthiaume has the voice and the face and the caché, and of course everyone here knows Bob Brenly, whom Hall called "the best color analyst in the game."
Bob Brenly spoke first, saying he enjoyed eight wonderful years on with the Cubs and with his partner Len Kapser. The Diamondbacks have always felt like home to him and his wife Joan, and their entire family is very excited to be back here. Brenly thinks it's a great time to be with this organization, which has had recent success at all levels of the game, and Bob is excited to be a part of it.
Steve Berthiaume started off by thanking his wife Cindy, without whom he wouldn't be here. They've weathered many professional changes, and they are both excited to make this step at this point in their lives. Berthiaume thanked his Baseball Tonight family, bosses, and coworkers for many many great years. Steve is a self-proclaimed baseball nut, he doesn't have this level of interest in any other sport. The transition to the booth was one he was anxious to make, but he knew his studio experience would not put him first on any team's list. However, the Diamondbacks were first on his list. When he met with Ken Kendrick et all, they clicked right away, and they shared similar ideas and philosophies. Finally, he thanked all the fans on Twitter (his handle: @BertDbacks) for welcoming him so warmly and passionately when the news first broke a few weeks ago.
There were a few questions from the gaggle at the conference. First, what lured Bob Brenly back here? Brenly says the total body of experiences here with the Diamondbacks is a very strong lure. This has always felt like home to him. They've had the same house here since 1997, they've raised their kids here, and after all the moving around from city to city with his wife and family, they decided that this is where they want to be.
Berthiaume answered a question about his desire to do play-by-play. He was very fortunate to be given a few chances to do play-by-play at ESPN, and the more he got involved in that, the greater his desire grew to have that job - he was hooked. He wanted to be at the ballpark every day, he wanted to be surrounded by that atmosphere. He knows it takes guts for a team to choose a studio guy as their new play-by-play announcer, but the Diamondbacks are a perfect fit, they're very supportive and he feels very welcome here.
So, what will they talk about? Brenly likes to let the game come to you. Alert the fans to many possible options ahead of the situation - let the fans be "sofa managers" - and then watch and see what happens. He likes to present a relaxed rhythm, and not force a game to be interesting. Every game takes on its own personality, and they'll try to have fun when things go south. Berthiaume says he likes to watch, and call, the game as a fan. He wants the broadcast to be very inclusive and a shared experience. His priority is to create at atmosphere where we are watching the games together.
The new broadcasters were then pulled off the dais and given one-on-one time with the reporters and with Todd Walsh for Fox Sports Arizona. They spent several minutes of that remaining time showing a "highlight reel" of the lighter moments Brenly had with Thom Brenneman. When Todd spoke with Bob, they first spoke about coming home again. Brenly always felt like if there was a way to get back to Arizona, that he would take it. He knows it's an unfortunate situation that brought him here, but when the opportunity arose and the ball started rolling, it was too good of an opportunity to pass up. Brenly brings three types of knowledge of the game with him - he has been a player, a coach, and a broadcaster. He knows the clubhouse, and he wants to feel a part of it, just a little bit, to have that relationship with the players, because we depend on them for information.
Bob Brenly met Steve Berthiaume for the first time last night, they and their wives had dinner together. Bob says he's more of a nuts-and-bolts guy, and knows Steve will be the one to do his research and come prepared. And, he'll let Steve handle all of the Tweeting! When asked about the state of the team, Brenly said they have some key pieces in place and a young, battle-tested pitching staff. He loves Miguel Montero behind the plate. He loves how Kirk Gibson has started to turn this team around, and thinks it bodes well that the minor leagues were so successful, and that will develop winning attitudes in the players for the major leagues.
By then, Todd Walsh had very little time to talk with Steve Berthiaume. Steve can't yet articulate what this opportunity means to him. Baseball is very important to him, and he's very aware that there are only 30 major league broadcasting jobs out there, and he's happy to be here. Todd then gave Steve a bunch of DVDs of older baseball games, most of which Steve already seemed to have. ... Yeah.
Thus concluded Fox Sports Arizona's coverage introducing the new broadcast duo of Steve Berthiaume and Bob Brenly.