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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Ruhle back; Griffey's parents ill; Stewart on his way out

A few pieces of Reds news I wanted to acknowledge:

Vern Ruhle returns to Reds

I'm delighted to see that Ruhle finally made it back to the Reds, hopefully for the rest of the season. It will be interesting to see how the Reds deal with the fact that they have both Tom Hume (who has to be given at least some of the credit for the improvements of many Reds' pitchers this season) and Ruhle on staff, but for now it's just good to see the guy back in uniform.

Griffey's parents fighting cancer

Just a few days before Ruhle's return, however, we received the terrible news that Ken Griffey Jr.'s parents both may have cancer. His mother is currently undergoing treatment for colon cancer, while Griffey Sr. is still in the diagnosis stage with prostate cancer. Best wishes to the Griffey family, who are nothing if not good people.

Steve Stewart told he will be let go

This was a big surprise to me, and I generally agree with most of what has been written on the various blogs and newspaper editorials. Stewart isn't a terrific sportscaster, but he's been surprisingly enjoyable to listen to this season. As Marty Brennaman stated, Stewart has improved dramatically since his first year with the team, and is among the best-prepared sportscasters I've heard. Sure, he's not artful or all that lively, but at this point in his career, I'd rate him as (probably) a more capable broadcaster than Nuxhall was over any part of my adult lifetime (I love Nuxhall, but it's more for his wonderful personality than his aptitude as a sportscaster). As is his style, Steve Stewart is reacting with unbelievable class and humility to this news. Hopefully, he will catch on somewhere quickly and continue his dream of being a major league radio broadcaster.

I'll be interested to see who they pick this time around though. The Lindner regime that chose Stewart was known for their caution and general blandness when marketing the Reds. I suppose that made Stewart a suitable choice for them.. The Castellini group, on the other hand, has shown a lot of spunk thus far in their PR. I have to think their choice for Stewart's replacement may reflect this style. Spring training should be an interesting time in the Reds' booth this season.