Sorry, Reds fans: Thom Brennaman takes over broadcast booth

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It seems like a big step down from that high horse he’s usually on, but Thom Brennaman will step into the Reds television booth on a full-time basis next season, replacing the retired George Grande.
Brennaman started out his career in Cincinnati and returned to work for the team in 2007. He had been doing about a quarter of the TV schedule since. Now Reds fans will get to listen to broadcasting’s biggest blowhard at least three times as frequently.
So, thanks for once again taking one for the team, guys. The rest of us were ecstatic upon realizing that we’d no longer have to listen to Jeff Brantley on ESPN when he went to work for the Reds in 2007. Because of his expanded role in Cincinnati, Brennaman is set to have a reduced presence on FOX, though he’ll still be taking occasional Saturday games.
Of course, if FOX is looking for a new No. 2 guy to plug in behind Joe Buck, Chip Caray is very much available.

Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson to table extension talks

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Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.

Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.

The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.

If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.