Milwaukee Talks: Brewers announcer Cory Provus
OMC: Your colleague at WTMJ, Wayne Larrivee, experienced a similar situation when he joined the Packers after years as the Bears. I imagine you listened to Wayne while you were growing up. Was he an influence on you?
CP: Absolutely. I heard Wayne do Bears games, Bulls games, college games. I have vivid memories of Wayne doing Bears games with Hub Arkush and Dick Butkus. I was a huge fan of Wayne's. He's a terrific announcer. I can't wait to meet him and get to talk to him a bit.
OMC: In terms of nuts and bolts, will your job description be like Jim Powell's? Will you do the third, fourth and seventh innings?
CP: That's right.
OMC: I don't now if it's the norm in baseball anymore, but Jim and Bob didn't engage in a lot of cross-talk during each other's innings. Do you envision doing some of that?
CP: I think that's something you have to go through. Ask me again two months from now and I'll have a better feel for that. I'm looking forward to talking to Bob about baseball. He knows so much about the game and I'm sure things will come up. During an exhibition game down here (in Arizona), Bob was talking about Mike Matheny and something popped in my brain about an article I read about big-league catchers who became managers. It led me to ask "did you have any managerial aspirations?" There will be times when I get Bob's input on things.
OMC: One of the things that Jim Powell did during his years with the Brewers was to embrace the minor leagues. Some listeners loved it and some people thought it was excessive. Of course, when the team wasn't playing well there weren't a lot of other things to talk about. What is your take on the minors?
CP: As we've seen throughout baseball, having a strong farm system is vital to success. I'm anxious to follow the guys we have in the minor leagues, because I've been impressed with some of the guys I saw during spring training.
OMC: Which guys caught your eye?
CP: Well, Brewers fans already know about Mat Gamel and Alcides Escobar, who looks like he is going to be a terrific player. I was watching Lorenzo Cain and Nick Green, the pitcher the Brewers picked up from the Angels. There are afew guys that I look forward to following.
OMC: To me, so much of baseball broadcasting is based on familiarity. You watch guys play over a period of time and talk to them in the clubhouse and develop a rapport and a mental file on them. You might have a conversation with a guy in spring training about his experience in college or in the minor leagues and it may pop into your head in August and work its way into a broadcast. You're starting from scratch with most of these guys. What is that process like for you? How do you go about meeting the guys?
CP: I've kind of been taking my time with it. I didn't want to try to meet the team all at once. I've talked to a few guys and introduced myself. I talked to Braden Looper and Chris Capuano the other day and they seemed like nice guys. Once we get into the season, there will be a lot more time to do that. Everybody will be in the clubhouse and there will be routines. That's one of the great things about baseball is that you have downtime not only at the ballpark, but on the buses and waiting for planes. I didn't want to come in and shake hands like a politician and get to know everybody on the first day. The guys that I've spoken to so far -- Craig Counsell, Billy Hall, J.J. Hardy -- they've all be great.
OMC: What about the "evil" media?
CP: That's another difference from Chicago. In terms of the guys who are at the ballpark every day, it's a more intimate group. I've seen the same three people every day. In Chicago, it was a larger group and with that small clubhouse at Wrigley, it made it hard to move around. There was no place for the players to get away. I don't think that will be the case here. That's just another benefit of this job.
OMC: Final question -- how will the Brewers do this year?
CP: This is a dynamic offensive club that is going to hit put some runs on the board. Like a lot of teams, it's a question of how the pitching will hold up. None of the national experts seem to be giving the Brewers much of a chance. Maybe they'll use that as motivation.
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It's going to take some time for us to get used to a Cubbies announcer but time heals all wounds but he is still a Cubs announcer in my eyes and I want Jim Powell back.
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