On Monday, the Arizona Diamondbacks held the first of what they hope are many meaningful press conferences this off-season.
This time around though it wasn’t for a third baseman or a key addition to the bullpen, but rather an unveiling of the organization’s new-look TV broadcast team — play-by-play announcer Steve Berthiaume and color analyst Bob Brenly.
Berthiaume previously worked for ESPN on two separate occasions from 2000-2006 and 2007-2012, serving as a studio anchor for three of the network’s biggest shows — Sportscenter, ESPNEWS and Baseball Tonight.
In addition to his anchor duties, Berthiuame also worked as a play-by-play commentator for several MLB broadcasts and the College World Series.
“This was a transition I was very anxious to make in my career,” Berthiaume said. “And, I was never going to be first on anyone’s list because of my studio background. But I can guarantee you that the Diamondbacks were first on my list.
“After conversations with Ken [Kendrick] and Derrick [Hall] it clicked right away. It became apparent right away that we were all on the same page, and we shared similar ideas and philosophies, but most of all an enthusiasm for baseball.”
Brenly, on the other hand, is no stranger to the booth or the Valley.
He previously served as a broadcaster for the Diamondbacks from 1998-2000, before taking over as the team’s manager following the 2000 season.
During his first year as Arizona’s skipper, Brenly led the Diamondbacks to their lone World Series title with a dramatic seven-game series victory over the New York Yankees.
After being fired midway through the 2004 season, Brenly was hired as the Cubs’ color analyst for WGN — a position he held for the past eight years.
“I’m excited to come home,” Brenly said. “The Diamondbacks have always felt like home to me.”
In addition to his familiarity with the franchise, Brenly said he felt like now was the ideal time to come back and work for the Diamondbacks.
“I think it’s a great time to be with this organization,” said Brenly. “There’s a lot of tremendously talented young players, a lot of success at the minor league level, which we all know is very important to continued success.”
The team’s new TV duo takes over for Daron Sutton and Mark Grace. Sutton, who began his tenure with the organization at the start of the 2007 season, was suspended back in June for unspecified reasons and not retained by the team following the season. Grace was suspended by the team in August, after the former D-back was arrested for his second DUI. He was also not brought back by the team.
While Berthiaume and Brenly have never worked professionally with one another, D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall believes the team hit the jackpot with their recent off-field acquisitions.
“We’re out to put together what we think and hopefully will be the best broadcast duo in baseball,” Hall said.