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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

The Atlanta Braves Have Their Own ‘ManningCast’

  • The Atlanta Braves are broadcasting a game with four former players and no play-by-play announcer for Wednesday's tilt against the Mets.
  • Tom Glavine joined Front Office Sports Today to discuss broadcasting, the Braves, and the big what-if of his career.
Cooperstown, NY, USA; Hall of Famer Tom Glavine arrives at National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Glavine and Jeff Francouer regularly serve as analysts on Atlanta Braves’ broadcasts on Bally Sports South, but this week they’ll be calling a game with two old friends — and no play-by-play announcer.

Chipper Jones and Fox Sports analyst John Smoltz will join their former teammates in the booth to react to the game, tell old stories, and occasionally describe the action for Wednesday’s tilt against the Mets.

This will be the second time the foursome have tried this.

“It was noticeable that we didn’t have a play-by-play guy,” Glavine said on Front Office Sports Today, “but that was by design. It was supposed to be conversational: You guys are at a bar and watching a game.”

Glavine added that there will likely be some tweaks for Wednesday’s iteration, such as occasionally reminding watchers what the score is. But he enjoys how the more conversational format brings out different observations.

“I might see something one way as an analyst, and Chipper [Jones] might see it differently because he was a hitter, and … that creates conversation.”

He thinks more teams will try alternative, “ManningCast”-style broadcasts, but baseball is a very different animal from the NFL.

“It’s one thing for the Manning Brothers to do what they do on Sunday night. Baseball, there’s so many games and, and, you know, how do you pick and choose which ones you’re gonna do it with?”

The Orioles and Critiquing Your Team

Glavine also weighed in on the recent controversy surrounding Baltimore Orioles broadcaster Kevin Brown, who was reportedly suspended for statements that, to many, were so innocuous they wouldn’t even be considered criticism.

“My first reaction was, ‘Did I miss something?’” said Glavine. “And I think that was everybody’s reaction.”

The incident triggered widespread criticism of the Orioles’ organization and comparisons to 1996, when the team parted ways with announcer Jon Miller, who reportedly irked management with his willingness to be critical.

“Obviously you want to point out the good things, but look, it’s not all rosy all year long” said Glavine. “There are going to be some things that aren’t going well at certain times, and you have to point those things out, but I think you can do it in a way that is informative to the fan at home, without being overly personal or critical of the team as a whole.

“You can walk that line, and I feel like the Orioles announcer was walking that line, but somewhere somebody didn’t like it.”

Orioles CEO John Angelos has since said that Brown should never have been suspended and that the team is conducting an internal review related to the matter.

Listen to the full episode above and subscribe to Front Office Sports Today on Apple, Spotify, and Google.

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