After Thom Brennaman uttered a homophobic slur that wound up on air on a Cincinnati Reds-Kansas City Royals broadcast in August, he apologized on-air (interrupting that apology to call a home run by Nick Castellanos, which has since become a Twitter meme) and included “I don’t know if I’m going to be putting on this headset again, I don’t know if it’s going to be for the Reds, I don’t know if it’s going to be for my bosses at Fox” in that apology. He then left the booth, and it then turned out that he wouldn’t be putting that headset on for the Reds or for Fox’s NFL coverage for the remainder of this year; Fox replaced him the next day, while Brennaman (after further apologies and meetings with LGBTQ broadcasters and activists) didn’t appear on another Reds’ broadcast, and officially resigned from his role with the team in late September. But, as per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic and Fox, Brennaman is now putting on the play-by-play headset again…this time for the Roberto Clemente League in Puerto Rico.
The Roberto Clemente League in Puerto Rico has hired Thom Brennaman as its play-by-play man for the 2020-21 season, which starts tonight. Brennaman, a longtime major-league broadcaster, resigned from the Reds in September after using an anti-gay slur on air.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 8, 2020
That league, also sometimes called the Puerto Rican Winter League, has been around since 1938 (except for a one-year suspension in 2007, which led to a reorganization). It took its current name honoring Clemente in 2012. It currently has five teams, and plays for a couple of months; the winner goes on to the Caribbean Series against champions from other Latin American leagues. It advertises streaming for U.S. audiences on its site; those may be the broadcasts Brennaman will be calling. Here’s the list of those broadcasts with times. (They’re $9.99 for a game or $69.99 for a season pass.)
It’s certainly unusual to see Brennaman hired here, especially with this coming less than four months after the comments that got him in hot water. And bringing him in will definitely draw some criticism. But this also will definitely draw some attention to the league, and Brennaman does have a long track record calling baseball. We’ll see how it works out.
[Ken Rosenthal on Twitter]