Call-in radio or TV has often produced some bizarre segments, and that was certainly the case Thursday on the newly-christened “Bally Sports Great Lakes” (the channel formerly known as SportsTime Ohio). Bruce Drennan, who’s been a host with SportsTime Ohio (and now Bally Sports Great Lakes) since 2007 (which came after he served five months in prison on a plea deal for filing false tax returns, which came after he lost a previous job following a FBI/IRS sports gambling raid, and which has seen him make news for facepalms and erroneous reports), took some calls following the Cleveland Indians’ 3-2 road loss to the Detroit Tigers Thursday, and he absolutely eviscerated one caller who suggested that designated hitter Franmil Reyes only swings at bad pitches:
Cleveland broadcaster Bruce Drennan GOES OFF on a caller! ?? pic.twitter.com/mf06W8L43c
— Tim and Friends (@timandfriends) April 1, 2021
The caller says “You can simply pitch around Ramirez, keep walking him, don’t give him anything to hit. The next guy, the good pitches down the middle he won’t swing at, but the balls down around his ankles, he hits to shortstop into a double play. This has been going on for two years.” (With reference to Reyes, that’s not even correct for Thursday’s lineup, which had left fielder Eddie Rosario hitting second in between those two.) Drennan then says “Right. I guess you missed a lot of the games that Reyes hit in the clutch last year, huh?”
The caller goes “Oh, no, no, no,” and Drennan goes “Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, you’re an idiot and you don’t know baseball! You are an idiot! Listen! You’re going to tell me, you are judging, you don’t know anything! You don’t know squat, you stupid idiot! You’re going to make a judgement on the season after one game in 30-degree weather? That proves what an ignoramus you are. Get off our show! Fair-weather idiot! All right, we’re going to move on here. 844-289-1421.”
That’s really an incredible exchange. As per its merits, Reyes put up a .275/.344/.450 line last year; that’s not great for a DH (as his 0.6 WAR by FanGraphs reflects), but he’s 25, and he’s only played three MLB seasons. The discussion of his pitch selection and clutch hitting is a little more complicated, but Rotowire (sorry, NBC Sports Edge) splits show he hit just .225/.314/.325 with runners in scoring position last year, and .136/.296/.186 with RISP and two outs, so Drennan’s “I guess you missed a lot of the games that Reyes hit in the clutch last year, huh?” doesn’t seem to hold up too well. However, Reyes only grounded into six double plays, so the caller’s GIDP point doesn’t really hold up either.
If anything, though, this really shows the folly of call-in shows in this day and age. The call-in concept led to Bally Sports Great Lakes giving airtime to someone who didn’t even know the batting order for the day. And while Drennan then teed off on him, his rebuttal wasn’t even all that accurate by the stats, and it was a fair bit over the top to turn a criticism of a particular play into “Fair-weather idiot!” and “This proves what an ignoramus you are!” (And, after watching that treatment of a caller, why would anyone else bother to call in?) So this really just produced an absurd clip of a regional sports network host getting mad at a caller for a divergent opinion on a player. And neither of them came out of it looking great.
[@Tim and Friends on Twitter]