Danny Graves is the latest Cincinnati Reds commentator to take issue with the Chicago Cubs.
When Chicago Cubs fans think of Danny Graves, the first thing that comes to mind might be the back-to-back home runs he gave up to Sammy Sosa and Moises Alou on April 15, 2004, as the Cubs celebrated a walk-off victory against the Cincinnati Reds pitcher. These days, he’s doing commentary for the Reds on Fox Sports Cincinnati.
Anyway, as things got testy between these two teams this past weekend, Graves had some critical comments about the Cubs following one of the games. You can watch a video of it here, but this is part of what he had to say:
"“When it doesn’t go their way, they have something to say, so then when the Reds, or anybody else in baseball fight back or jump back at them, they start crying a little bit more…That’s how I see it and I think a lot of other people see it too. They’re not entitled. They think they are. They think that they’re America’s team, but they’re not. They’re really not.”"
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Now, Reds broadcasters have a history of being critical of the Cubs and their fan base. Longtime radio man Marty Brennaman used to rail against the team, while his son Thom, before he went all Marge Schott on us, did the same, including one time that he got noticeably agitated on air when Cubs fans were chanting “Let’s Go Cubbies” at Great American Ballpark.
There has been some discussion regarding who was or was not in the wrong when the benches cleared between the two teams the other day. I wasn’t on the field, so I don’t know what was said and won’t get into all that.
What I do know is that people nationally are noticing, without fans in the stands, how strongly Cubs players are supporting each other during games. That might be rubbing some teams the wrong way, but I’m not getting the impression that the Cubs’ players feel “entitled” because they won the World Series in 2016 or for any other reason.
As for fans feeling entitled following the World Series victory, or again for any other reason, I don’t get that impression either. That’s especially true after the team’s downfall we’ve witnessed over the past couple of seasons, not to mention the team’s dubious history before 2016.
Believe me, as fans; we still remember all that. It’s just that fan support for the team is strong and has been for a long time. Do the Reds’ commentators have some sort of jealousy complex about Chicago’s fan support? It sure seems like it.
Anyway, there clearly has been some tension between these two clubs in recent years, and with the two teams in the same division with a long history, that’s likely to continue. We can’t control what happens on the field, but what we can control as fans are to continue to be good representatives of our team.