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Upcoming changes for the Braves broadcast team



The Braves will juggle programming in their cabins for next season.

The most important change is that former Braves player, Jeff Francoeur, will replace veteran broadcaster, Joe Simpson, as senior analyst of Fox Sports South and Fox Sports Southeast television broadcasts.

Simpson, a member of the Braves Hall of Fame, will be part of the broadcast team for a 28th season, appearing on the radio for a large number of games and also working on television.

Simpson said that he was "surprised" by the magnitude of the change.

"I had suggested cutting back, but my proposal was very different from theirs," Simpson said. "I was proposing perhaps to reduce to 120 game shows, hoping to replace the rest with radio. But they brought me back to 20 or 30 games on television, the rest being the radio. So it's a surprise. "

Fox Sports South / Southeast general manager Jeff Genthner and Braves general manager Derek Schiller described the change as a joint decision of the network and the team.

Genthner said that Francoeur would work on about 100 television games, "more or less 10 games". The former Braves pitcher, Tom Glavine, will also work on an increased number of games as an analyst, said Genthner. Chip Caray will remain the TV presenter by room.

On the radio, the Braves are planning a four-man rotation featuring familiar voices from the team's fans: Jim Powell, Simpson, Don Sutton and Ben Ingram. The plan is to have two in the cabin per game, said Schiller.

"Most of the radio workload will be spread over three of these guys (Powell, Simpson and Sutton), Ben also playing a lot of games," said Schiller. "… We are going to start the season by preferring to associate Jim Powell with Joe Simpson and Don Sutton with Ben Ingram, but there will be a rotation."

Powell "will make fewer games than this year, but not much," said Schiller.

Genthner and Schiller have stated in separate interviews that Simpson's replacement as a senior TV analyst was not tied to two controversial remarks he'd made during the broadcast of the season 2018 – Criticizing the dress of the Dodgers during the practice of the batcher at SunTrust Park and implicating the age of 19 years. Juan Soto, former National player

"Absolutely not," said Genthner when asked if controversies had contributed to the change. "To emphasize this point, we did not reprimand Joe, we did not do anything to reprimand him in any way (for the comments). … He is a professional broadcaster and has expressed his personal opinion on something, but not to the extent that it would have affected his career from our point of view.

Schiller says, "I think it's only a coincidence … … If we had concerns about what he had said, we would not be as comfortable as we passed it to "Remember, he'll always be a broadcaster for the Braves – if we had reservations, hesitations about what Joe Simpson was saying at the microphone, he would not do the job we asked him to do."

When asked if he felt the incidents had affected the decision, Mr. Simpson replied, "I sincerely hope not." … If that was not part of their decision making process, I'm happy.

"I have a very strong protective instinct about the game, its customs, its history and its traditions, so my comments were only meant to serve as a defense mechanism of the game," Simpson said. "… One of the things I love most about the Atlanta Braves is the professionalism of the organization. They expect their players to be professional, professional looking. It's something that I really enjoy about the Atlanta Braves and have since. arrived in Atlanta (in 1992). "

Genthner said the change in television programming was driven by the talent that Francoeur had shown as a broadcaster on the occasion of occasional opportunities over the past two seasons and by Simpson's stated desire to reduce its workforce over the next two years.

"It probably reduced the TV a little faster than Joe wanted it to be," admitted Genthner, "but we had to look to the future and lock someone up very well (in Francoeur)."

"I had planned a reduction to 120 or 130 (game shows), not 20 or 30," Simpson said.

Joe Simpson has been a Braves broadcaster since 1992.
(Fox Sports South)

Despite everything, Simpson said that he enjoyed the opportunity to call games on the radio. Earlier in his career, he split his time between the Braves' television and radio booths, but he has devoted himself exclusively to television since 2007. He said he plans to work on about 100 radio games next season.

"I loved playing on the radio, and I can do it again," said Simpson. "So, if there's a setback that's good, it's because the Braves gave me the opportunity to do a ton of radio. I am very excited about this and I am grateful to them.

"I think it will extend my life as a broadcaster somehow," said Simpson, who will turn 67 next month, "because I'm engaging with increased enthusiasm and increased anticipation of the I will have a better evaluation of this at the end of the 2019 season. "

The changes provide a great opportunity for Francoeur, who completed a 12-year major league career in 2016 and then began broadcasting. He has been an analyst for nine Braves TV shows in 2017 and 25 in 2018.

"To be honest, this year I realized how much I liked to call games, talk to baseball and get home fans analyzed," said Francoeur, a graduate of Parkview High. "… I would like to be able to call Braves games and live at home and watch my kids grow up in the next 15 or 20 years."

»More: Jeff Francoeur's time as a brave Atlanta

The leaders of Fox and Braves are big fans of the audiovisual potential of Francoeur.

"He's really good and if he did not sign it, he might not be available in two years," said Genthner.

"All the indicators indicate that he had an immediate and easy transition from the playground to the broadcast kiosk," Schiller said. "It's a natural talent. We are ready to begin the next phase of inaugurating the next great broadcast talent, and he is certainly ready for that. It's his time. "

Fox Sports South executive producer Randy Stephens said Francoeur "immediately demonstrated his willingness to do the job, to do the research. It's not as easy as sitting in the booth and trusting your eyes. "

"Another thing that interests me is the opportunity to increase Tom Glavine's presence," said Stephens.

Francoeur stated that his only reservation about this new role was "the special place (Simpson) has always held my heart, from age 8, by listening to it."

"It's not one of those things I was trying to get on Joe's feet or behind his back, and he knows that," Francoeur said. "Honestly, he was the first to call me and tell me his congratulations and happiness for him (his wife) Kathy. Joe said, "You have to do that, you can play a lot of games on TV and start your career."

"It could have been a difficult situation, but I think that says a lot about Joe's situation," Francoeur said. "I remember seeing his name on (caller ID) and thinking," Oh my God, how are you going? " ". And I tell you what, we talked for 45 minutes and it was great. It really made me feel good that he called and felt that way and supported me. "


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