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Bob Brenly takes voluntary leave from booth to ‘reflect’

May 1, 2019; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo (left) shakes hands with former manager Bob Brenly after throwing out the first pitch prior to the game against the New York Yankees at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
May 1, 2019; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo (left) shakes hands with former manager Bob Brenly after throwing out the first pitch prior to the game against the New York Yankees at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Television analyst and former big-league manager Bob Brenly said Thursday he’s taking a voluntary leave from the broadcast booth in the aftermath of his “insensitive reference” toward New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman.

Brenly has been under fire since referring to Stroman’s “durag” during Tuesday’s telecast.

“Beginning today, I have voluntarily decided to take some time off to listen, reflect and devote my attention to awareness training related to diversity and inclusion to enhance my understanding and appreciation of others,” Brenly said in a statement to various media outlets. “I plan to return to the booth next homestand, hopefully a better person.”

The Diamondbacks return home June 11.

Brenly, a former World Series-winning manager who now calls Diamondbacks games for Bally Sports Arizona, commented on the head covering Stroman was wearing as he was set to deliver a pitch in the fourth inning.

“Pretty sure that’s the same durag that Tom Seaver used to wear when he pitched for the Mets,” Brenly said.

Stroman, who is Black, didn’t take too kindly to Brenly’s comment after the Mets’ 6-5 loss to the Diamondbacks.

“Onward and upward…through all adversity and racist undertones. The climb continues through all!” Stroman wrote on Twitter.

Brenly’s self-imposed exile didn’t quiet the criticism, however.

Former Chicago Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez told The Athletic that Brenly was insensitive toward Latin players when Brenly worked for the Cubs as an analyst. Ramirez called for Brenly to be fired.

“(Brenly) went after Starlin Castro pretty hard, Geovany Soto pretty hard,” Ramírez told The Athletic. “He never criticized any other players, any White players. … I never had a racial problem before in my life in the States, before Brenly or after Brenly.”

Brenly called Cubs’ games from 2005-12.

“My job is to describe Major League Baseball and to call it the way I see it — the good and the bad. I have always tried to do so in an honest, unbiased way, regardless of a player’s background or race. I am sorry that my work offended Aramis, as I think of him as one of the most successful players of his generation,” Brenly told The Athletic.

Brenly, 67, has served as a color commentator for Diamondbacks games since the start of the 2013 season. He managed the team to the World Series championship in 2001.

–Field Level Media