Brennaman fields fans' questions online
Diamondbacks broadcaster leaves the booth to chat
Arizona play-by-play announcer Thom Brennaman participated in an online chat Friday. Brennaman, in his ninth season calling Diamondbacks games, talked about his greatest moments in the broadcast booth, Brandon Webb's chance at the Cy Young Award and Arizona's postseason possibilities.
Thom Brennaman: Hi fans! Welcome to today's chat. I look forward to answering your questions.
shaung97: What do you consider to be your greatest baseball moment as a broadcaster?
Brennaman: The obvious answer is Game 7 of the 2001 World Series. Games like that are the pinnacle of the broadcasting business. But for me, I have a special place in my heart for Opening Day in 1998 here in Arizona. The excitement of the birth of the franchise continues to hold a special place in my heart.
auntiejane: Hi Thom, from Lake Powell, Ariz. What is your opinion on the designated hitter and the use of instant replay?
Brennaman: As for the DH, not a fan. As for instant replay, we had an incident here the other night where a ball hit by Eric Byrnes was interfered with by a fan in the left-field bleachers. I think in situations like that, there is place for instant replay in baseball. Not for balls and strikes, not for safe or out -- just fair or foul ball, home run or not.
intersactioner: How many more wins do you think Brandon Webb needs to secure the Cy Young?
Brennaman: Obviously this will depend on Brandon's health. We are all anxious to see Saturday's start. He says he feels great, and if he remains healthy for the rest of the season I feel he is the odds-on favorite to win the Cy Young.
travisj: What do you think Mark Grace's chances are to one day be a Major League manager?
Brennaman: That's up to him. I think if he wants to become a manager in the big leagues he's going to have to manage some in the Minor Leagues.
rereit: Who provides statistics to you when you're broadcasting? Do you know most things off the top of your head, or are there others that help out behind the scenes?
Brennaman: One of the biggest behind-the-scenes heroes for our broadcasts is Mike Swanson, director of public relations. He provides us daily updated stats and facts about the team and players that we use every night. Curt Zacker works with us in the booth keeping score and monitoring the Internet. We have a great staff that makes my job easy.
Geoffrey_Rains: You worked with Bob Brenly for a while. Any chance you two might ever announce together again?
Brennaman: We worked last year's National League Championship Series and I hope he'll join us on FOX for this year's NLCS.
Base_Ball: I'm a senior at Paradise Valley High School. I have played baseball my whole life and I am thinking about what I would like to do for a career. How do you suggest I get into sports broadcasting?
Brennaman: Start practicing. Whether you are sitting in front of a TV or out at a Little League game, do you own commentary and play-by-play. The more comfortable you become, the more natural it is. College is a must. Gain experience wherever you can. Intern at a radio or TV station, work for the sports information department at your college.
David_Yauch: What do you think the Diamondbacks' chances are of making the playoffs if Webb stays healthy?
Brennaman: You have clearly picked out the most important key -- Webb and starting pitching. If Webb is healthy and the rest of the rotation pitches well, it's going to be a fun time down here at the ballpark in September and October.
mlbsm: What do you think you would be doing if you weren't a broadcaster?
Brennaman: I'd like to think that I'd be working with the Humane Society or some other field helping those less fortunate and those who cannot help themselves.
travisj: What was it like being in the same booth as Harry Caray?
Brennaman: I can't explain to you how much fun it was to work with Harry. He really taught me to love my job and helped me realize how lucky I am to be doing this for a living. I really miss him.
Natalie_B: Thom, why aren't there more women broadcasters in sports? It seems like there is always the token female on the field (Melissa Stark on "Monday Night Football," for example). Why aren't more women in the booth?
Brennaman: I think it's a great idea for women to be in the booth. A huge part of our audience are women and we need to do our best to reach out to them. The Yankees have a woman, Suzyn Waldman, who works as a radio announcer for the team. I don't think it will be long before you see more women in all aspects of baseball.
shaung97: Which Diamondbacks player would you vote for in the Hometown Heroes balloting?
Brennaman: I voted for Luis Gonzalez ... more than once.
Brennaman: Thanks for all the great questions. I'm heading to Los Angeles this afternoon to do the Giants and Dodgers game tomorrow on FOX, but I'll be keeping an eye on the scoreboard from Chase. See you Sunday with Joe.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.