So John Arguello, grand Poobah and master of all Cub Knowledge writes this fabulous article about filling the vacancy in the Cubs radio booth. It's a killer piece. The thinking is out of the box, ahead of the curve, more in line with the way baseball is being viewed AND covered. And a total compliment to the new Regime and progression of the Cubs from Old-timey relic to future thinking organization. Naturally the idea lasted all of 43 seconds before up and vanishing like a fart in the wind.
Rather we were treated to a list of 8 Cubs, all former players, and all so bland and oatmealish, it makes the managerial search feel like a Supreme Court nominee hearing.
Mark Grace, Doug Glanville, Mark DeRosa, The Riot, Dave Otto, Prancer, Dancer and Vixen. That's your list of candidates. This list couldn't be more "in the box" if it was created by ACME box company itself. You couldn't be more in the box with a survey crew and a staple-gun. How hard did WGN work on this list? My guess is about as hard as it takes to take the TV vacancy list, erase Jim Deshais' name and add Kerry Wood's name.
This of course was followed by a whole evening of Twitter outrage by every single Cub fan who has nothing good to say about every single candidate. Who knew this was such a sore spot for Cub fans. Of course, it should be pointed out that if Mick Gillespie, Arguello's choice for the job, had been mentioned as a candidate, he would have been panned by the masses as well. #thatsthebestwecando. #wereallyareasmallmarketteam. And on and on it would have gone.
So allow me to shout at the rain because as right as I will be with my following announcement, I fully expect everybody to ignore me and go ahead and have an opinion as to who should sit next to Pat Hughes. I for one, have no opinion. I could care less. And I beg you all to not give a darn with me.
When I first lived in New York City, I couldn't afford cable. So I listened to baseball by radio. Jon Sterling was working with Charlie Steiner. 2 play by play guys. I thought they were incredible. What a great way to call a game I thought. Well, Sterling felt threatened by Charlie and got him kicked off and replaced by Suzy Waldman, AKA Georgie Girl. So Sterling felt free to miscall the game as he saw fit, and Waldman would pipe in with out of town scores and how incredible it was that Roger Clemens was sitting in George Steinbrenner's box. Waldman was an express elevator down the Empire State building with no brakes from Charlie Steiner.
And it didn't change my listening habits one iota.
Radio listening is one of two things- Practicality and/or sentimentality. Most people don't want to listen to the game. They HAVE to listen to the game. They're in the car, they're at work. You're going to put it on because you want to listen to the game. Then there are those, that just like the pace of radio better, it agrees with your sitting outside and enjoying the day lifestyle. Well, Pat Hughes has that in spades, and no color commentator is going to ruin that for you. Heck, the past two gave it their all and couldn't do it.
Does anyone really remember Ron Santo as a radio guy? He was absolutely awful. AWFUL. Capitol A. Capitol W. Capitol F. Capitol U. Capitol L. Capitol AWFUL!!!! Couldn't remember names, couldn't really see. And preferred to grunt and scream instead of using actual words. So, other than not being able to see what was going on, and accurately describe what was happening, he was a great radio guy. Almost everyone I know points to his "Oh Nooooooo!!!!!!" (something I heard live at the time....) on Brant Brown's fly ball as the classic radio call of his career. I thought it was a disgrace and should have been fired. But guess, what, the next day, I had the radio on because I was moving out of my Wicker Park apartment and was in the car all day.
Come May, when Darwin Barney is jogging back to the dugout after his 3rd groundout of the day, I doubt anyone is gonna think to themselves, "Boy, really would like to hear Mark DeRosa's thoughts right about now...." You'll listen when you'll listen.
We throw our 2 cents around on so many things. Bench coach, hiting coach, second base, 14th pitcher, etc. And while you might loathe Mark Grace ( line forms at the left...) or think the Riot is a little trader, the truth is the position is kind of irrelevant. So keep your 2 cents on this one, get your self something special.