Before I return to baseball, and I'll be there most of the day, I can't let Michael Reghi's dismissal as Cleveland Cavaliers television play-by-play man go without comment.

Reghi's basketball work was superb. Outstanding. Worthy of inclusion in every ESPN highlight package on LeBron James. Worthy of having his voice-overs included on one of James' Nike commercials.


His firing, which came last month because owner Dan Gilbert wanted a friend and former co-worker, one-time Pistons announcer Fred McLeod, to take over, hasn't been met favorably by the local press.

A few samplings:


The Plain Dealer's Bill Livingston: "For many of his 13 years as the Cavaliers' TV voice, Micahel Reghi was as professional a guy as the ramshackle franchise had. That's what makes his firing so stunning."

"It was classless of the Cavs to have fired him, late in the off-season when the basketball jobs are drying up."

"He and Matt Guokas were the tops in local sports. Reghi was fire with his enthusiasm, and Guokas was ice with his analytical nature."

(Oh yeah, Guokas was fired a few years ago.)

The Akron Beacon Journal's Terry Pluto: "I'm still trying to figure out what Michael Reghi did to get fired as Cavaliers' TV voice."

"Reghi is a professional acquaintance. I don't know him well. But I do know he's been a loyal, hard-working and effective broadcaster for 15 years. He's also built a sizable fan following and has been a very strong, positive voice for the franchise."

"So why fire him with two years left on his contract? Even more importantly, why wait until August?"

The News-Herald's Rob Finnan: "Sometimes it doesn't pay to throw your heart and soul into your job. That was the case with television play-by-play man Michael Reghi, who was unceremoniously dumped by the Cavaliers. He'd been a broadcaster with the team for 12 years, and frankly, you wouldn't find a person who cared more about the Cavaliers."

"Reghi went out of his way to keep up with the league he covered. He attended practices, went to press conferences, talked to the local and visiting beat writers and broadcasters and kept up with the comings and goings in the NBA, and more specifically, the Cavaliers."

"A well-respected industry source said there's very little comparison between Reghi and McLeod as play-by-play men. He said Reghi is head and shoulders better."

The Gazette's Rick Noland: "Reghi's firing, not LeCharles Bentley's press conference or Fausto Carmona's second meltdown in three days, was the talk of area sports radio, with fans overwhelmingly against the move."

"I have never listened to McLeod's work, but one veteran in the business told me he's such a shill, he'll praise everything the Cavaliers do, even if they go 0-82. Another avid viewer of local NBA broadcasts told me McLeod's work on Pistons telecasts was 'far and away' the worst in the league."


And this from Erik Cassano's weblog: "Reghi was enthusiastic without being a homer. He was knowledgeable without being a know-it-all. For my money, the Reghi-Guokas tandem was as good a TV broadcast duo as Cleveland sports has ever had."

"Above all, Reghi genuinely cared about the Cavs and loved his job. Even when the Cavs were the armpit of the NBA, he never viewed the job as beneath his excellent talent."

Reghi's biggest faults apparently are his honesty and integrity. He's not a cheerleader for any team. If you're playing well, he'll say so. If you stink, he'll say so.

Reghi, the TV voice of the Orioles for seven years before leaving in 2003, will be inducted into Ohio's broadcast Hall of Fame in October. His loyalty to the franchise was evident when he chose to stay with them after the Orioles pressed him to make a choice.

He stuck it out during all those years when the Cavaliers were putrid. Now they've got LeBron, times are good and he's shown the door.

Pathetic. And a huge, huge mistake.

OK, back to the Orioles. Miguel Tejada's two-out double in the first, hit No. 206 this season, has provided a 1-0 lead.

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