Bob Brenly leaving the Cubs. Who should replace him?

Bob Brenly leaving the Cubs. Who should replace him?

Breaking news: According to WGN news,  Bob Brenly will be leaving the Cubs to pursue other opportunities.  There was nothing specific but many believe that Brenly will pursue an opening with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Len Kasper and Bob Brenly have formed a very good broadcasting team with contrasting strengths as well as having a good chemistry together.

While I do like much of what Brenly brings, I've also  been critical of  his tendency to fixate on certain players and their flaws/quirks and I stand by that.  Criticism is fine and even welcomed, but it has to be even-handed and to be perfectly frank, I'm not sure that was always the case. Overall, though, I do think he brought a lot to the broadcast with his knowledge of the game as well as his ability to work well with Kasper. So I do consider this yet another loss for the Cubs this year.

Here is the statement from Bob Brenly via the WGN blog..

"Working here in Chicago was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my professional career.

The Ricketts family, everyone associated with the Cubs and WGN and, most importantly, Cubs’ fans everywhere, will always be in our hearts, and Joan and I wish nothing but the best for the organization moving forward.

I was very blessed to have the best play-by-play man in the game as my partner for eight years and Cubs’ fans are very fortunate to have Len Kasper as the voice of the Cubs. I’ll miss working with him and we look fondly toward returning to Chicago in the future."

As for possible replacements. three former Cubs: Rick Sutcliffe, Mark Grace, and Kerry Wood, could all be in the mix.

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Tags: Bob Brenly

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  • I like Sutcliffe and Kerry Wood as possibilities. Not so hot on Grace, given his legal troubles.

  • In reply to Jim Weihofen:

    I keep hearing different angles on this. Poll time!

  • In reply to Jim Weihofen:

    None of those three.

  • Another bad call from Cubs new brass bet it had to do with money.

  • In reply to Rock:

    It seemed like it was Brenly's decision, but you could be right. I think whomever they get will get some pretty good money, though.

  • In reply to Rock:

    It seems like anytime something like this happens it's about the money (even when the people involved say it isn't) but I find it hard to believe that it is in this case. Brenly was supposedly paid as the highest / among the highest color analysts in the game (something around $900K), In contrast, I believe that I've read that Stoney in paid something like $600K annually. If those numbers are to be believed it hardly seems like Bob would have a beef about the money.

    It's possible his beef could have been about the length of the contract offered. The Cubs WGN deal is up after the 2014 season (the Comcast deal is up after the 2019 season I believe) so maybe that somehow played into the term the Cubs were offering. I'm just guessing, though.

    Bob was great. I'd love to get Stoney back but realize that'll never happen. Please, a big "No" to Grace, Sutcliffe, Plesac, Otto and especially Glanville.

  • Not a good move by Cubs brass, bet it had to do with money.

  • I don't care for Sutcliffe and Wood seems like he might be a little too soft-spoken for a television job. I'm sure Grace would jump at the opportunity, but he may be out of chances.

    Two more ex-cubs who could potentially be in the mix: Stone (probably unrealistic, but I would love to have him back), and Hollandsworth.

  • In reply to SVAZCUB:

    I debated whether to include Stone in the mix. He stated that he was "definitely" returning to the Sox, but there's been nothing official so far. Maybe this opening changes his mind.

  • Every Mother's son will be after this job. The best job in baseball as a non player.

    Should be a comedy skit at Second City of having celebs doing casting calls of being Cubs announcer.

    Ditka......yelling out "Shut the Hell up" to the ump

    Eastwood...."Go on and steal that base....Make My Day Ozzie"

    DiNero...."Are you talking to me Len?....are you talking to me?"

    Joan Rivers...."OMG...look what the Cubs are wearing today....I am going to throw up"

    President Obama..."ummmmm..the future looks bright for the Cubbies......ummmmmmm...but not right now"

    GW Bush......."Sammy Sosa still playing Right Field?"

    Al Pacino......"Look at my little friend Len"

    Stevie Wonder......"it is dark out....turn on the stadium lights"

    Andrew "Dice" Clay......."hey Cardinals..**** you"

  • Worst Cubs announcer....Lou Brock ....he did several games ....Harry Carey went nuts with him

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Who would you like to see in the booth?

  • I won't miss Brenly, he kept repeating his points over and over, like he was trying to convince himself. Sutcliffe would be an upgrade and the most ready for prime time. Add some symmetry with the radio booth too with Moreland there, 84 cubs generations turn. I'm not sure Wood would be ready, may not want to just throw him in there now. Just don't bring back the boring droning of the stone pony, he needs to stick with hawk to keep company, they share so well.

  • Holy moly. So far this poll is split pretty evenly!

  • I can't see Wood (Although I'm sure a lot of fans are going to go crazy for this. Then again I never understood why he was so popular.), Grace (out of chances), or Stone in the booth. I saw Doug Glanville mentioned and think he may be a better fit.

  • In reply to gocubsgo:

    Doug Glanville would be tremendous. I like that idea. Between him, Len, and Pat Hughes, the Cubs would have one of the smartest groups of broadcasters in baseball.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I really like the idea of Doug Glanville helping call the games. He is an ex-Cub, knows the game inside and out, and is an intelligent commentator.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I really like the idea of having Doug Glanville as part of the broadcast team. He is a likable ex-Cub, knows the game inside and out, and is an intelligent commentator whose ego seems grounded. I think he'd be terrific.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Yep! Very much the same as I'm thinking.

  • Yeah I'm not down with bringing Stone back, pretty unlikely anyways. How about Jamie Moyer? He's a pretty intelligent and well spoken guy with ties to the Cubs Just spitballing here.

  • What's Joe Carter up to?

  • In reply to kevie:

    I'm sure he's somewhere butchering the English language.....

  • People coming up with some great alternatives here. Love all of these names.

  • I'd offer it to Bill Murray with a huge salary. What have you got to lose? He loves baseball - used to own a team in St. Paul, I think. He could still do movies in the off season, and he's be the most popular announcer, ever. If the Cubs start their own station in a couple of years, it would draw all kinds of subscribers from every state in the union. It would be like when Howard Stern went to Sirius, only better.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    The games would certainly be entertaining. He's hilarious in the booth.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Remember that game he did while Harry was in the hospital after the stroke? Funniest game I ever saw. Pair him up with a good play by play guy and you'll have someone to carry the fans over the tough times. Must see tv indeed. With Murray getting older he might want to try something different. Everyone would dvr it.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Yes, that was fantastic. Loved the part when he was still terrified of Cubs killer Bill Robinson. Then again, which mid 70s - early 80s Pirate wasn't a Cubs killer?

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I remember Eric Gregg worked home plate that game and his equipment didn't show up. He emerged from the dugout late wearing gear that looked like it belonged to a little league catcher because Gregg was a gigantic ump.

    That game needs to be sold in its entirety on a dvd or blue ray.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    I watched that live and was smart enough to tape it. I had it on VHS for years before my mom accidentally taped over it. (We just started talking again.) I finally found and bought the complete audio of it last year, which is as good as I remembered. You can catch some of it on youtube, including the great Eric Gregg part:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQNjUcdkbqw

  • Always liked Stone.

  • Stone's best days in Wrigley are behind him. Wood? M'eh. He's probably not ready. Sutcliffe and Grace would be decent, but with them not being able to stay sober, it's a tough call. I'd probably pass up on those two as well and look for someone new.

  • If Dan Plesac is available, I'd hire him in a heartbeat.

  • In reply to Alex:

    Another good name. I'm going to have to make a new poll.

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    In reply to Alex:

    I miss Plesac so much on post game live CSN.

  • I would love to see Dan Pleasac replace Brenly. We are going to need some humor with the analysis for a couple of years. One other guy I would consider is Eric Karros.

  • Lots of new names keep appearing. Forgot that Karros once played for the Cubs too.

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    I vote Suttcliffe. Besides, he could be useful to have around in other ways. Namely, he might be a great mentor for Volstad. They have a lot in common.

  • What do you guys think? Should I scrap the poll and start a new one with more of these names?

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I think it would be a good idea. More choices and less Stone and Grace.

  • In reply to Alex:

    Okay...vote goes back to zero but I think it's worth it. I'll keep Stone and Grace even though they seem like longshots.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    good idea

  • I hope its not Dave Otto.

    Hollandsworth or Pleasac would be a good choice. Isn't Pleasac on MLB network? He may not wanna leave that job.

  • In reply to Larry H:

    I haven't heard Otto's name. He's had his interview so I think he had his opportunity.

  • I will be disappointed if it is anyone other than Kerry. The only former player that loved the Cubs and Chicago as much as Wood, died last year. Ronnie was not a good announcer or good at analysis, but we loved him. I have an idea Kerry will be better at both, but we all know that he loves the Cubs, Cubs fans, Wrigley Field, and the neighborhood. He also is man of character and loved by the Cub fans. He is the only choice!

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    Didn't Len Kasper sign an extension thru 2016? The Sun Times article makes the comment that he is expected to be back in 2013, which makes it sound that he might not be back next year too.
    http://www.suntimes.com/sports/15814148-419/bob-brenly-leaving-cubs-tv-booth.html

  • In reply to Dave Boer:

    I think Len is staying.

  • Okay, I added Glanville, Plesac, and Hollandsworth, though I did like the other ideas too. They'll just have to be in the "other" category.

    I added those three because I see they're getting support here and/or on twitter.

  • How about Sandberg? A lot of fans would love it.

  • He's a popular name, but he always seemed kind of shy/quiet. Not sure it's a fit.

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    Isn't Len Kasper signed thru at least 2016? The Sun Times article makes it sound like me might not be back next year too.

    http://www.suntimes.com/sports/15814148-419/bob-brenly-leaving-cubs-tv-booth.html

  • In reply to Dave Boer:

    I hope they keep Len. He's one of the best in the game.

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    Sorry for the double post, looks like my computer fooled me

  • In reply to Dave Boer:

    I actually think it's the system that's running slowly as far as comments go.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Yeah, sorry for the slowness. Comments are appearing with a lag time that it shouldn't have. We're working on it.

  • In reply to Jimmy Greenfield:

    Thanks Jimmy.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Sure thing. Hoping it's working better now, let me know.

  • Do you think that Len Kasper would have any input into who his new parter will be?

  • Mitch Williams does an excellent job on the MLB Network. Would love to hear him do the Cubs games.

  • In reply to Tobias:

    He's a lot better than I thought he would have been.

  • Easy first choice for me is Glanville. He's a well-liked former Cub, he's very smart, very respected and he's very honest but not to a fault.

  • In reply to Jimmy Greenfield:

    Glanville is my guy too.

  • Aramis Ramirez. Just to get Brenly's goat.

  • In reply to Eddie:

    LOL! But he won't hustle to the booth.

  • john I think Dan Plesac is a good choice, I agree brenly sometimes played favorites with players and picked on certain players.But everything else was great, and he will be missed.

  • In reply to seankl:

    He was good and I thought they were a great team.

  • Meanwhile, in Detroit, they haven't started Game 4 yet despite the fact that it isn't raining. It might rain, but they could have had 3 innings in by now.

  • Was looking forward to seeing Detroit put them away.

  • I voted for Glanville, but do you think any of the minor league guys have an outside shot? Maybe Mick Gillespie? He's done some spring training games with Len before.

  • In reply to Furiousjeff:

    Someone asked me that on Twitter and I thought that was interesting. He's good and he definitely would have some first hand knowledge of many of the young players.

  • Glanville would be a good choice and he would immediately be the smartest baseball color analyst, name me another engineering major from a Ivy League school that does color commentary for baseball games? I can see him Plesac, Karros doing this. My favorites would be Plesac and Glanville.

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    Yep...and he's baseball smart to boot. I hope he gets strong consideration.

  • He's not available for the booth, but there was Jay Hook among the science majors. He was a physics major who wrote his thesis on the aerodynamics of the curve ball. Pitched pretty well for the Reds in the '50s and '60s.
    Kudos on the Glanville pick. I like him too.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Nice. And he's got the perfect name for studying the curveball :)

  • I will really miss Brenly and is dry sense of humor.
    Somebody who impressed me this year when he was interviewed by Len and Bob for a couple innings during a game was Andre Dawson. Had great insights into the game, and was more personable than I had expected. Don't know if the gig would interest him though.

  • I was surprised too because I thought he was really quiet, but he didn't come off that way.

  • Who would I like to see replace Bob?......it is very hard to replace Bob. He was so unique on telling us about the game, and plays before they happen. Bob told us strategy, and other on field game insights with players, coaches and umps.

    John gave a list above, and really, I would pass on all of those ex-players and former announcers. Good players, but pass on them. With Stone, his best days were with Harry. Lets keep it at that.

    Whoever the Cubs pick, they will transfer over to the Cubs Network when that time comes around.

    I know when Len was in Miami, he was working with Jon Sciambi. Len would have some input of who his new partner will be. Sciambi is a great announcer. Can connect with the fans.

    Another one, works here in Chicago. A guy who is a big time Cubs fan. A guy who has a great head about stats, stories, etc about the Cubs. I am talking about Les Grobstein. Just a thought.

    I would go with Jon 'Boog" Sciambi as my first choice.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Les Grobstein...I have to say that's the first I've heard that one. You make a good point. My gut here says the Cubs go with a bigger name.

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    As long as it is not Hollandsworth. I cannot stand listening to that man talk. All he does is ramble and ramble about obvious statements. If he is the color guy for Len, then I am going to have to watch Cubs games muted from now on.

  • In reply to Demarrer:

    I agree. Hollandsworth's idiosyncrasies on MLB network make me want to shove pencils in my ears. He's that bad.

  • Not sad to see him go, though he did (finally) start to grow on me this year. Hope vanilla Kasper's next.

    Love Grace or Stoney to fill this slot. Sut would be good too. Hopefully it's someone with some credibility who isn't just going to spit the company line. And *hopefully* it's an ex-Cub. It's important for the broadcasters to be fans of the team and not just taking a paycheck. (Something Brenly's proving now as he's likely jumping ship to go where his true allegiance has probably always been - the Dbacks.)

    Is the next hire a Theo Jed decision, or does it fall under someone else? Be nice if they brought in someone who's going to flavor the broadcasts with sabermetrics.

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    In reply to Carne Harris:

    Kasper said on the Score that the new announcer would primarily be vetted by WGN, although Comcast and the Cubs would have input. I'm pretty sure Theo wouldn't be involved, since this probably doesn't count as a baseball operation.

  • In reply to Kevin Heckman:

    Good to know, thanks.

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    Glanville gets my vote!
    He's very articulate and would likely bring smart, objective analysis to the booth and compliment Len perfectly.
    Stone's ship sailed long ago, so he can stay in Hawk's shadow where he belongs. He's too PC and that's why losing BB really stinks!
    Is Mike Brenly eligible as a rule 5 pick? If so, hello D-Backs!

  • I really think Mitch Williams should get the job. I love watching him on MLB tonight on the MLB network. I think he adds great knowledge and humor to the show

  • Well, he's more than happy where he is, but I would love to see Mark "Mudcat" Grant get the job. You probably have to be plum crazy to leave San Diego, but Grant is nuts. He's also a hell of an announcer, is from Chicago, and I believe might have had a cup of coffee with the Cubs. He also is a scream and can quote Caddyshack at will, not just the famous quotes, the deep cuts too.

    He's my choice.

  • In reply to felzz:

    Can't believe "other" is losing to Hollandsworth. I love him but he is TERRIBLE in the booth. I'm VERY worried that crane d-bag kenney might be involved in the decision because I could TOTALLY see him picking Todd.

    GREAT CALL ON Mark Grant -- he DID get signed by the cubs after he had retired -- think he pitched at iowa. Sut would be awesome, Stoney would be awesome -- i've heard VERY little from glanville, but i trust the love i've read on here.

    But Grant would be perfect! To have great comic wit in the booth would add SOO much character to the great job len does -- and would take some pressure off len to be funny. Plus, Grant is always doing goofy stuff, I'm not saying he's anything close to harry carray, but he'd bring more of a show to the booth -- make it all more of an event.

    1. Mark Grant
    2. Sut/Stoney
    3. Glanville
    4. Grace
    5. Wood
    XXXX- NO hollandsworth
    XXXX- NO sarge matthews

    Does anybody have any info on Grant's contract? Is there ANY chance in hell he'd be anything close to an option?

  • In reply to MikeyB:

    Sorry, forgot to add -- i read an article saying Darrin Jackson could be in the mix -- i knew there was somebody i was forgetting. If DJ or Hollandsworth get the gig, I will be so upset. I'd like to learn something every once in a while when watching the Cubbies. I'd rather not be saying "wrong... that's not correct.... he's such an idiot..." constantly during every game.

  • In reply to MikeyB:

    Not a big fan of Jackson, though it's hard to tell because he was quashed by Hawk Harrelson's obnoxious personality. I get the feeling he must be the most difficult play by play man to work with in sports: attention getting catch phrases, he's consistently waxing nostalgia, romanticizing and making off the cuff anecdotal about who was the best ever at something or another. The homerism...how an intelligent baseball man like Stone ever put up with him for this long is beyond me.

  • In reply to felzz:

    Interesting name. Agreed Grant would probably be nuts to leave SD, but Chicago is a high profile city and he would get so much more exposure. Whether that appeals to him, I have no idea.

  • Everyone has their favorites and beauty is in the eye of the beholder so just my two cents here. I would prefer Stone return. While I have followed baseball for decades I still pick up insights from him. I like his sense of humor and I think it was a sad day when the Cubs lost him. I appreciate Grace and Sut as Cubs but do not enjoy hearing either in the booth. Glanville is smart and articulate but somewhat "mush-mouthed" at times to my ear. I would still prefer him to Grace or Sut. I like Plesac and I could handle Holly. Mark Grant, though I think a long shot, would be great. I hope Dave Otto doesn't enter the picture and I have no idea how well Wood might perform or whether he'd get hurt doing it.

  • In reply to Hubbs16:

    LOL...forgot about the injury factor with Wood.

  • First, the Cubs need to sign Len Kasper to a long-term extension. He's the best, and will make whoever replaces BB sound good. I'm a big MLB network fan and would love to see Plesac or Mitch Williams take the job. I could live with Glanville or Karros.

  • Announcement:

    Kerry Wood has been put on the 15 day disabled list with a Strained Anterior Temporomandibular Ligament.

    Surgery is not required but he has been told to keep quiet and eat mashed potatos through a straw.

  • In reply to eaton53:

    That's going to make it awfully hard for him to interview :)

  • Len is too much of a butt kisser and will not rock the boat so the color announcer needs to do just that. After Watching Mitch Williams as a guest on the Dan Patrick over the last couple years I believe he would be great, the man pulls no punches and is quite insightful on players and game management.

  • I find Kasper to be vanilla......as such tolerable but uninspiring......to me Mitch Williams reports the obvious or what everyone else has already said and he sounds like a dumb jock every time he opens his mouth...for insight I think Stone to Williams is a comparison of Einstein to Epstein (of Sweathog fame)....wonder if Len might want to see what Rob Schneider is doing...aaaarrrrrgggggghhhhhhhhhh!

  • Anyone but Grace. I've listened to him doing D-Back games. He thinks he's funny...he's not. He uses Hawk Harrelson catch phrases (Gas) and took every opportunity to bash the Cubs when they played the D-Backs.

    Stone is someone else who's bitter about leaving the Cubs.

    I like Karros or Hollandsworth. Mitch Williams might be good too. Any chance Darron Sutton, also released by the D-Backs, gets an interview? I believe he was with the Brewers prior to Arizona

  • In reply to AZBOB:

    You know, I've heard that from other AZ people too. That they're not huge fans of Grace and I think they'd welcome the trade of getting Brenly in return, if that's how it pans out.

  • I take back mentioning Darron Sutton. He's a play by play guy, and wouldn't fit the Cubs needs. Fans tend to fall in love with some former players, such as Grace and Wood, but it doesn't necessarily mean they would be good announcers

  • I must say that I am not going to miss Brenly. The dialog here has been very interesting and has given several interesting names (and some not so interesting). I didn't know much about Glanville, but after a little web searching I found some good articles that he has written (e.g., http://www.dougglanville.com/one-among-many.html) and I am convinced that he would be the best choice.

  • In reply to les561:

    Thanks for the link. Glanville to me is the best choice but lots of good arguments being made for lots of different candidates.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John, are there any good broadcasting candidates out there who aren't ex-ballplayers?

  • David Kaplan, maybe? Very rare to have a non baseball guy as your color man these days, though.

  • I voted for Wood because he is a pure Cub, but Sut fits there as well. Plesac and Glanville are two of the best in the business and Cubs would fine it hard to turn either.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Turn down either.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Wood is certainly a fan favorite and he represents the team well. I don't know how much interest he has in announcing but I have to think he is going to represent the Cubs in some public way.

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    Dennis Eckersley.

  • In reply to Lou Sofianos:

    What's Eck doing these days?

  • In reply to Lou Sofianos:

    Eck would be a good choice.

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    Eck would be perfect. He's on the tbs playoff team and he is occasionally in the redsox booth when they need a fill in.

    I bet Theo has some ties to him, and could prob get him if thats the direction they chose to go.

    I think they go w Doug Glanville. Was Joe Carter the last African American in the booth ?

    I also think Bob Brenly came here to work in the booth because he secretly thought he could get himself the manager job after Lou retired. That didn't work as they hired 2 guys w zero experience over him. So since the Dale hire, he's been trying to find his next job.

    Is his son still in the Cubs system? Do they send him to wherever Bob goes (Dbacks) ??

  • Joe Carter was just ghastly as an analyst.

  • Why the hell are so many people voting for Steve Stone?

    First, he's a tool and not that great an analyst. Second, he's coming back to the White Sox for some strange reason. Third, he's already worked for the Cubs and they need to pair a new person with Len Kasper, not a retread like S. Stone.

  • In reply to I miss Ron Santo:

    Never quite understood the Stone love, either. The guy is Captain Obvious and smug about it to boot. Although, it would be fun seeing (hearing?) him knocked down a few notches when Len talks sabr and he has absolutely no idea what Len is talking about.

  • Stone knows baseball and isn't afraid to criticize when it's warranted.

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