Analyzing Bob Brenly the way he "analyzes" Starlin Castro

Bob Brenly has a lot of natural talent as a broadcaster. He was born with the gift of intelligence.  There are times, however, when Brenly loses focus when he covers Starlin Castro.

A good example was in his first AB when Brenly incessantly talked about how the Cubs are a team that works counts — except for Castro.  Yet, Castro was in the middle of a full count, 8-pitch AB (in fact, Castro is 26th in the NL in pitchers per plate appearance this year).  Had Brenly been focusing on the game in front of him instead of losing himself in extraneous thought, he may not have missed that AB.  It was undoubtedly a frustrating misplay from an announcer who has the talent to do better.

But Brenly’s struggles didn’t end there.   The next mental error occurred when Junior Lake came up to bat.  Brenly didn’t really have a play there, but he forced the issue anyway, saying that Lake was “yet another player” who was moved off of SS because of Castro — except that is completely false.  Lake was moved off of shortstop because he didn’t have the hands or feel for the position — or the infield in general.  Not only was Lake not able to stick at SS, he was also unable to stick at 3B.  The only player blocking third when Lake was in the minors was Ian Stewart, who was just a short term fix — and not a good one at that.

Why an intelligent broadcaster like Bob Brenly did not know that is surprising.  Perhaps it was a lack of preparation when studying the game notes.  It’s too bad such a naturally talented announcer should make an error on such a routine call — a call that any analyst should have been able to handle.

Later, Brenly was talking about how many full counts Diamondbacks starter Josh Collementer was getting into early in the game, but as Castro stepped up to the plate, Brenly remarked that he doesn’t have to worry about that with Castro.  This was especially puzzling after already missing the full count AB in his first plate appearance.  It’s one thing to make an error — that happens to everyone, but to make the same error twice within a few innings, you really have to question why he reverted to old habits instead of learning from his mistakes. That’s not the kind of attitude you want to see out of an analyst.

If it was just a one time thing with one player, we could probably forgive him, but Brenly has fallen into similar habits in the past.  Some may remember he struggled analyzing Aramis Ramirez.  He also had issues with Alfonso Soriano, questioning his work ethic and “grit” — that is, until he learned how much preparation and hard work he had to do everyday to play with a lot of pain in his knees.    Soriano answered the bell and was out there everyday.  He played the OF, and was productive late into his career.  Brenly eventually made the adjustment late in Soriano’s tenure and even praised him at times. but it was just too little, too late.

Perhaps it’s still not too late for Brenly when it comes to Castro.  Today is another day.  Perhaps the next time Castro comes to the plate, Brenly won’t have such an aggressive approach and announce the at-bat with better focus and a less negative attitude.

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  • Looks like a few unforced errors due to laziness...

  • In reply to Eldrad:

    Well played.

  • In reply to Eldrad:

    Seems like more like a burr in his saddle than laziness.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Definitely sounds like he has an ax to grind. The question is why.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    does it matter? Whatever it was a long time ago with another regime.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Another Castro apologist. What the opposing teams broadcast team says about Starlin Castro doesn't change the fact that he's made 9 errors already this season. The axe that Bob Brenly has to grind is that he knows the game of baseball and was with the organization for years and he knows that Starlin Castro has been hurting this team and that this Cubs team has outgrown the childish antics (on and off the field) that Starlin Castro brings to it. I'm Hispanic. Last name is Martinez. 3rd generation Mexican. I doubt this is a race thing and more of a Starlin Castro would be better off on another team thing.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    It could be that he spent years watching castro as a most undisciplined hitter swinging at balls out of the zone unwilling to take a walk. Furthermore, if YOU'RE paying attention, Castro hasn't changed. Castro's mental lapses aren't only in the field, he's a demoralizing player to have on your team.

  • In reply to menny:

    Sounds like Brenly has gotten to you too.

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    In reply to Eldrad:

    First time poster, but long time follower. I think Bob has fallen prey - like all of us at times - to a specific cognitive biase. This is the "anchoring bias", which is nothing more than the tendency for first impressions to hold influence in our minds regardless if new information challenges the first impression. I *think* Castro was much more aggressive early on in his career (before the failed attempt by Sveum). However, I don't have the "pitches seen" stat to prove that. Once that impression is formed, it takes a LOT of information to overcome it....like stringing multiple Joey Vottoesque seasons together. Clearly, that's not ever going to happen to Starlin, so even if his pitch selectivity is better, it's not so much better to change Bob's opinion.

  • In reply to Phil Peters:

    100% agree.

  • Sounds like he has a bias against supremely talented Latin ball players who are to to very good instead of HOF worthy. Or maybe Starlin, Sori, and Rami stiffed him on an autograph request. Terrible.

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    It really seems unfair how he singles out certain players. He tries to shape the facts into his preexisting view. And if the facts don't support him he just ignores them. That's not a flattering quality. I would like to see announcers open to change their views based on developments during a game. I can't help but wonder if Bob helped solidify the negative cloud over Starlin's head. And as I said last night, I really hope the fact all three players he attacked are Dominican is just a coincidence. Bob is too intelligent to stereotype players like that.

  • In reply to Sean Holland:

    Exactly. Well said.

  • In reply to Sean Holland:

    In fairness, I wouldn't want to put that label on Brenly. He wasn't the first or only to criticize those three guys and they all invited the angst in there own way. Castro does with inconsistency, Soriano chasing sliders in the dirt for years, and Ramirez not respecting 90. Bob should do it professionally and not belabor.

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    In reply to 44slug:

    I tend to agree with you. We know Castro has been lots of people's target for a long time. And Soriano too was often a target. The way he does it is really grating. He seems to form an opinion at first seeing a player play and never changes it. Which I don't think is a good quality.

  • In reply to Sean Holland:

    The only problem I have with Castro is his effort on defense. If he puts in the same amount of effort as Andrelton Simmons does on Defense then I'm completely wrong and I'm sorry for wasting everyone's time. If not why not?

  • In reply to Bearscut15:

    I think the fact that Andrelton Simmons is a GG and possibly the best defensive SS in the game gives the impression that he puts more effort on defense than Castro.

    From all I've heard from Maddon and his teammates, Castro is one of the hardest workers, especially on defense and now working hard on his base running.

  • In reply to Caps:

    Those that follow the team hear about how hard working he is, but many think that he relies on his talent & doesn't put in the hard work to improve. I think this arose bc he still makes the same mistakes & is in his 6th year now. With Rizzo you see his intensity & many associate that with a good work ethic. With Castro they see him laughing & goofing off & just assume he doesn't care or is lazy. In truth you need both types of guys in the locker room. When your in a slump & everyone's down you need Castro types to lighten the mood & ease some pressure.

  • In reply to Bearscut15:

    If not why not? Talent maybe?

    Otherwise wouldn't there be 28 other Andreton Simmons caliber

  • SS's in MLB?

  • In reply to Bearscut15:

    Simmons is in a league of his own. Castro puts a ton of work on his defense -- and this is per his teammates. He just isn't as good as Simmons. Nobody is.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I hadn't heard of Andrelton Simmons before so I went to YouTube. Judging from these highlights, he's surely a defensive wizard!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m38fxtOA6Tk

  • In reply to Sean Holland:

    He and Dave Kaplan have that in common with Dominican players. Pretty egregious on both of their parts.

  • In reply to ced landrum:

    I think the older guys like Lester's stoic demeaner. They think that's the right way to play the game. They view guys like Castro & Puig as diva superstars bc the have personalities & flair on the field. Whenever they do something it's that they don't respect the game or they are selfish. I don't think it's they are racist or dislike Latin guys bc I see some similar things with Harper. Many dislike Harper for the same reasons.

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    John, I have the package from Comcast here in Florida, I was also stuck listening to that idiot. I was not really paying attention but started to when BB was talking Castro. What a stinking piece of crap BB was. He wouldn't let up on Castro and picked on him the whole game.

    I believe he went off on the pitcher about throwing Castro a strike (which he doubled on) and said something like "there you go throwing Castro a strike when you don't have to.

    If it was that f###ing easy, Castro wouldn't have nearly a 1000 hits and is only 25.

    It is an interesting perspective to hear the announcers from other teams and what they think. But BB was just being an ASS!

  • In reply to Randy Michelson:

    My wife even commented on it and she doesn't normally watch baseball. She noticed right away...and pretty much said the same thing you did. That's how obvious it is.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    That comment made me chuckle because my wife noticed the exact same thing. That's kind of funny.

  • In reply to Tim McCann:

    Haha! At one point she asked, "Who's the grumpy old man?"

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    By the way, I loved this write up. As soon as I read the headline I knew exactly where it was going!

    I always liked Brenly but now I'm just kind of annoyed. Perhaps I gave him a pass when he criticized Castro while in the Cubs booth. Now he's coming across as a Bobby Valentine, and I want to yell at him to quit picking on our players!

  • In reply to Randy Michelson:

    Right on Randy...apparently, Brenly forgets how mediocre he was as a ballplayer.

  • In reply to JollyCharlieGrimm:

    Lol

  • Maybe he had some bad experiences with Dominican players when he was managing, and either consciously or subconsciously looks for flaws, real or imagined, in their performance.

  • In reply to clarkaddison:

    It's possible. The rumor is he lost the team late in his tenure and maybe Castro (and others) remind him of some of those players, not necessarily as Dominicans, but perhaps in the way he perceives the way they play the game.

  • Thank you John for this post; I was hoping someone else picked up on the negative vibe Brenly integrates into his "analysis." He still thinks he is very knowledgeable of the Cubs, but yet he is so out of touch. I was telling one of my co-workers that I feel sorry that they have such a pathetic broadcast duo in Brenly and Bethuame (sic). The latter was just nauseating in his over-emphasis of Lester's hitting woes. And then their comment about Lester, how he can't hit and can't throw to first, but yet he is worth $155M. Brenly has to big of an ego and Bethuame just does not seem knowledgeable at all.

    Listening to other teams' broadcasters just makes me appreciate Len and JD that much more. Anyhow...no need for me to listen to the game tonight, as I am fortunate to have tix behind the AZ dugout, compliments of KTAR, the local sports station here. I WILL be wearing one of my Cub shirts----LET'S GO CUBS!

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    Brenly was openly biased last night against Castro. I was thinking right along with you John during that full-count at bat. Brenly was completely illogical in his remarks. During a later at bat he was commenting that Collmenter did not need to throw anything over the plate to get Castro to chase and sure enough Starlin fouled off a pitch a foot outside, but on the next pitch he roped a double to left. All Brenly would say is the pitch was too good. Not one positive word about Starlin the entire game.
    Of course the worst thing that could have happened was Castro's throwing error, I thought Brenly would never shut up about his fielding the rest of the game. I had to eventually mute the sound portion of the game. Both of Arizona's announcers are like nails on a chalkboard. And by the end of the game if I saw one more shot of a super hero in a stupid outfit I was ready to puke, and I wasn't even drinking.
    Now I am not the biggest Castro fan in the world and I would not shed crocodile tears if he were to be traded. But Brenly went completely overboard last night. He appears to have a hard-on for for Starlin for some reason. Anyone have any ideas why?

  • Well thankfully I live in Chicago so I get to listen to Len&JD. I don't know how the rest of the Cubs fan base feels, and also every other team's fans feel about their broadcasters, but I've always thought that Cubs fans have been blessed with the best broadcasters in baseball.
    I watch every game and I watch a lot of other teams play if it's available, but man it's brutal watching other team's games because of the broadcasters. Besides Len&JD, all the other broadcasters make the baseball games so boring, it's almost unwatchable and baseball is like a religion to me haha.
    The one thing I wish Len&JD would do, is express their personal feelings just a little bit, it's fascinating how listening to them you can't really tell I guess who they're rooting for, anybody know what I mean? But I guess maybe in a way that's what makes them so good, they really don't get enough credit.

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    In reply to WJL3:

    I'm sorry, I've never thought Chicago had the best broadcasters at all. I'll take Vin Scully over anyone who broadcast the game in Chicago. Yes that means the beloved Harry. Scully is so good he doesn't need a color man He does it all and does it better than anyone else.

    As to Bentley, it's clear that latin players can't meet his idea of excellence. Soriano was nothing but the best player the Cubs had and this idiot attacked him every time he came to bat, he does the same for Castro. There is a reason that he hasn't had any managerial offers since he got fired in Arizona, it's because he was a terrible manager and except for being a big mouth he isn't any better as a color man.

  • In reply to BubbaMike:

    I must agree that Scully keeps you into the action of the game. While other announcers go off on their self-serving tangents, Scully keeps the game alive and fresh.

  • In reply to WJL3:

    Well, Len and JD are genuinely nice guys and professional. JD is funny.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Len and JD are good. Ueck is still one of the best listens to in all of sports

  • John, your diplomacy and your thought process would defeat any presidential candidate running in either party for 2016.

    Have you ever thought about running?

    seriously, well stated, well-founded facts presented and that's why you're the number one source for Cubs baseball fans!

    Please excuse the formatting this was sent from my iPhone which I'm still trying to figure out from time to time!

  • PS I really like Brenly and if you're listening or reading my good broadcaster friend….Lighten up buddy!

  • B B was hard at it again on Starlin as he was a guest on the SCORE this A M.90% of his time was blasting Starlin, stating how he was the same as in previous years. Not focused and not a team player. .In my opinion, he was disgusting

  • And to some of the earlier commenters above let's please not turn Brenly into a racist or Ferguson Mo and to some of the earlier commenters above let's please not turn Brenly into a racist or Ferguson Missouri type figurehead because he is not that. Thank you and good night

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    In reply to SteveBB:

    PS SteteBB, maybe not but he sure acts like when he's deals with latinos.

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    In reply to SteveBB:

    I did not read any comments that should lead you to think that anyone is calling Brenly a racist. What most people said is he appears to biased against Castro and possibly a couple of other Latin American players. Now the word biased to me means an inclination towards something or a predisposition to believe something about someone or something.

    So let's not go throwing the racism card out there just because we happen to believe your "buddy" is biased in his unrelenting criticism of Starlin Castro.

    It's one thing to point out faults, traits, or trends of a player, it's another to beat it to death throughout an entire game. I enjoy the Cubs broadcasts because I deem the announcers to be fair to the other team and players, of course they want the Cubs to win, but I can not remember them berating another team's player endlessly.
    Oops, that's right Brenly doesn't work for the Cubs any more.

  • In reply to Dafoxx:

    how about the one right above you, for starters.

  • In reply to SteveBB:

    I didn't say anything about that. If someone wants to infer something because the three players he targeted most were from the Dominican, that's their interpretation, but it was not my intention to imply that. I don't know enough about Brenly to turn him into anything. I am just relaying my observation and describing his analysis in the same way he has described Castro's performance.

  • This is funny (no doubt Brenly can be a bit of a douche when it comes to Starlin), but I have to be honest, the people relentlessly defending Starlin has gotten a little old. You'd think he was Bryce Harper or something the way folks talk about him.

    Cumulatively, going back to the start of '13 the guy has been worth less than 2 WAR. He may be 24th, or whatever, in PPA, but his at bats are routinely awful. There seems to be no rhyme or reason as to why he swings, or why he takes a pitch. Most AB's seem to end with an ugly strikeout or a weak groundball. Yet the Starlin defenders celebrate every time he makes good contact (even if it doesn't result in a hit) like he's some sort of special needs kid.

    I like Starlin a lot. I think he's a good guy, who means well, and really wants to help the Cubs win (all of the "lazy" talk is nonsense). But I also don't think he's this great baseball player that some make him out to be.

    Personally I'm hoping he bounces back from this slump to regain some value, and Theo is able to use him (along with other pieces) to fill some holes on this roster. Even though Javy scares, I'd much rather take the chance on his potential greatness (with LaStella as an interesting Plan B if he falls flat on his face) rather than stick with Castro and his maddening mediocrity.

    (sorry for ranting in what was obviously meant to be more of a fun post, but I just had to get that out)

  • In reply to Juiceboxjerry:

    We're just asking for balance. People who defend him are trying to do that.

    We have tried to point out his flaws as well as his strengths here. And we have been open to the idea of either trading him or keeping him. But the incessant criticism, even at the expense of accuracy, is what is getting really old.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Fair enough. Guess it's a fine line. People getting personal is where I think it gets crossed. I just think his game leaves a lot to be desired. Pulling for him, though.

  • Brenly was on the score today and he was all over castro. He was so over the top negative it is one thing to point out that he is not your kinda player. But to imply that he is selfish and that all he cares about is hitting when from all accounts is that he is a guy that works hard and is respect by his teammates. This is the same thing he put out there about alfonso soriano it wasn't until the end of soriano cubs career we found out he was a good teammate and was a hard worker same thing with aramis Ramirez.

  • In reply to larry the cubs fan:

    It just makes him sound like a curmudgeon to me.

  • Wow John, you give Brenly a lot more credit as a broadcaster than I do. He was a pretty standard issue former ballplayer turned color commentator as far as I'm concerned. Not particularly interesting, insightful, or funny. JD runs circles around him every day of the week and twice on Sundays

    His main goal for working for the Cubs always seemed to be the fleeting hoped that they'd name him Manager one day. To me, that was his pretty transparent motivation for criticizing guys like Aramis, Soriano, Starlin and especially Sveum (though that was well deserved). Brenly always seemed to be making the case that all the Cubs needed was a great Manager, like Bob Brenly for example, who happened to be right upstairs in the Cubs broadcast booth, to instill some discipline in the team and all would be right in the world. After waiting far too long to realize that pipe dream would never happen he finally took off.

    BB will NEVER have a less negative attitude on Castro. In fact if anything, it'll become more negative to feed his confirmation bias. Doing otherwise takes an evolving and confident broadcaster. Waiting for Brenly to make that 180 would be like waiting for Guilfoyle to say something nice about Danesh...

  • In reply to YouCannotBeSerious:

    You might have exposed the ax he is grinding.

  • In reply to YouCannotBeSerious:

    I toned this down a bit. And one thing I thought was ridiculous -- and inaccurate, again -- was when he credited Castro stretching out an extra base hit to his speed, not heads up baserunning or hustle.

    The problem is Castro has not been fast since he filled out physically. He is maybe an average runner now.

    And who knows, maybe you are right. Brenly never was seriously considered for the Cubs managing job. He has said he didn't want it, but sometimes that just sound like the kid who says, "Well, I didn't want to play with you guys, anyway!"

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Exactly. Brenly was an incredibly lucky (I'd say overrated but nobody rates him very highly) Manager and an exceedingly average ballplayer and broadcaster. His saying he wasn't interested in being the Cubs Manager was like Clark Griswold saying, "How could I like a girl like that? She's ugly!" in reference to Christie Brinkley...

  • In reply to YouCannotBeSerious:

    I agree that BB was angling for manager later on. But will also add that initially, after replacing Stone (and the circumstances surrounding him being replaced), he seemed to try way to hard to not come across as not being a homer. With Aramis getting the brunt of it. Then Alfonso. Then Starlin. That aside, I did enjoy him and Len together and not sold on DJ. BB offered a lot more insight IMO. but he did seem to go off the rails at the end and would harp on a narrative incessantly near the end during his "angling for manager phase".

  • In reply to YouCannotBeSerious:

    Unbelievable post. Couldn't agree more. Great SV reference.

  • John...this actually could be analyzde on a broader scope. Think of all the broadcasters, narrators, reporters, news show analysts, anyone that has a microphone and/or camera in front of them, how they spew out their narrative without fact-checking. Or how most ordinary listeners believe what is said because they fail to know the topic that is discussed themselves. It is just so sad and shameful.

  • In reply to JollyCharlieGrimm:

    They have a huge impact on how players are perceived. The info on Castro is questionable, no matter how he got it or who he got it from. There is enough evidence to the contrary that Castro at least deserves a more balanced view.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Great point JCG! This is a sore spot of mine in regards to broadcasting in general nowadays. Especially national broadcasts. With all the access we as fans have now to be informed, it drives me nuts some of the things spouted off that are so blatantly false or miss the correct narrative competely. Not to mention taking the easy way out and relying on old, false, disproven "talking points"/narratives.

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    At least when Steve Stone criticized the club, it was constructive and relevant...
    Brenly just sounds like whiny, rejected teenager talking about the girl who wouldn't go with him to the prom.
    Get over it, moustache.

  • In reply to Eric Foster:

    Exactly...and I feel the same way about JD, even when I disagree, I respect the more nuanced analysis.

  • Brenly's comments remind me of the Round Rock Express broadcaster who was picking on Javier Baez in similar fashion and even when Baez hit a 480 ft over the stands and completely out of the stadium he said it was foul, the other home runs he hit in the series, he said they were wind blown.

    Even after Baez completely dominated the RR team he kept belittling hI'm through the whole series, I think even John wrote an article about it.

    Broadcasters should do like umpires and try to leave personal feelings for players or teams aside... Very unprofessional.

    I also remember Brenly taking a cheap shot at ARam is Ramirez after he left Chicago, saying he only padded his stats and never got "the big hit" among other comments.

    Ramirez, showed him some Class by saying "I don't know why he would say that, my time in Chicago was special and I tried my best everyday".

  • In reply to Caps:

    Oh man, I remember that. That was when Baez was playing well, too, much as he is now.

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    This all strikes me as a bit over the top. First, Brenly hasn't been here for two years. Move on. Second, he was a player for a long time and won a world series as a manager. That should count for something. He isn't a fool. Third, he isn't the first or only person to have issues with Castro. JD does too from time to time and I'm not sure he is our shortstop of the future either. There are valid issues with him despite his talent. Fourth, I think Brenly was better than Santo back when he was on radio, a lot better in fact, and I think he is probably better than JD too. A lot of people around here have the same knee-jerk reaction to Brenly that he is accused of having for Castro. Of course he isn't as knowledgeable about the Cubs now as he was when he was in Chicago. You can't know every team as well as the one you cover every day. He's gone now. Time to move on.

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    In reply to Terry Huebner:

    So because BB isn't with the Cubs he's immured to criticism? Yet by that same logic it's fine for BB to berate Castro even though he's now with AZ. That's messed up. BBisa public figure and open to the same analysis as our teammates,announcers and FO. At least this criticism is based in fact and not a mirage based on bias. If BB was managing sounds like he'd have Lake at SS over Castro. But hey the guy is a World Series winning manager so he must be right.

  • In reply to Terry Huebner:

    I am not going to apologize for Brenly. And if you are going to laud his exploits, you should note that he had a heck of a team, including arguably the best two pitchers in baseball -- and he still eventually lost the clubhouse. Do you ever wonder why a manager who won a WS and went to the playoffs was never seriously considered for managing after he was fired? I do. All the time.

    I'll take JD any day over BB. I prefer a more balanced, nuanced analysis. When JD does a critique, it doesn't sound like he has an ax to grind.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Look, I'm not saying that Brenly is the baseball version of John Madden, but let's move on. Compare him to Santo. He was a great player, but as an analyst, he was pretty awful really. You may be right about Brenly the manager. It is odd that he never got another job just like Billick never got one after winning the Super Bowl with the Ravens. Maybe Brenly was too old school for modern game. But some of Brenly's comments about Castro, Aramis and Soriano were legitimate. He said things about Zambrano too and no one is arguing with those.

  • In reply to Terry Huebner:

    But Santo never took his personal axes to grind on the air. I will take a guy who makes a few honest mistakes over someone who makes them because he can't see past his personal dislikes for players.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Still, a lot of the criticisms of Castro are valid. I am hoping that Baez comes around because I would prefer to move Castro than the other young middle infielders. Castro seems like a constant source of frustration. As for Aramis and Soriano, they often didn't run hard. That's a fact. Castro seems to lose focus. Hard to deny that either. Brenly came around a lot on Soriano toward the end though and he wasn't entirely negative toward Aramis. There's something about Aramis though. With his numbers at third base, he should at least get some talk for the HOF, but he seems often overlooked. Not sure why.

  • In reply to Terry Huebner:

    There are certainly some valid criticisms, but there are also many valid reasons for positives. But Brenly not only ignores the positives, he also invented negative things. That is inexcusable and it makes him look unprofessional.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Agreed on all accounts.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    And Santo was very fun, especially because he had an entertaining rapport with Pat.

    Counted for a lot.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Except when it came to Traschel and the time it took for him to finally throw a pitch...Santo was more than a little ticked off.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Agreed, Brenly is a media guy and if he dishes it, he should be able to take it.

    Castro showed a good approach yesterday and was waiting for his pitch and aiming CF.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    You can't take away his WS ring regardless of how loaded they were. A lot of loaded teams don't win. Because AZ signed some good FA and drafted well doesn't make him less of a manager. You can't say when the
    Cubs win a WS that joe
    Isn't a good manager cause FO signed Lester and others and drafted well. It takes some great skills as a manager to win it all.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I am not taking it away from him. But I also don't think he was special as a manager. It didn't exactly end well for him there. Did the act get old? Why hasn't he managed since?

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Good point.......Cubs have had some real loaded task during Lou and Dustys time, but never even got to WS and that's just our franchise.

    I think as an announcer ( and us as Americans ) have a right to our opinion. Does he Prob have a personal issue against Castro? Probably, but so do a lot of people. So many feel he has so much talent to be the player he is ESP the fielder. I read somewhere a couple years ago, he has Derek Jeter type skills /ability but hasn't been able to maximize it yet. He still may, but the odds keep going Down as he ages.

    Someone just give BB a managing job so he can stop critiquing our Cubs and Castro for gods sake.

    Too bad for bad managing and bad rodon, or we should be going for the sweep to really shut this mouthpiece up

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    You can't take away his WS or lessen they fact he won as a manager cause they were stacked at pitching. Because AZ signed good FA and drafted well doesn't mean he wasn't good. When the Cubs win a WS ppl can't say well Cubs signed Lester and drafted well so joe isn't good. A lot of stacked teams never win.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I loved Ron Santos as a broadcaster. My grandpa and I loved him to death and Cub games on the radio are just not the same. He's a great man and always was positive about players and the team no matter how bad the team was.

  • In reply to Tyler Brown:

    The real question with any of the recent Cubs announcers is that none of them is analytical. I don't recall any of them saying whether someone has the correct approach at the plate or not. Santo was clearly a beloved homer, but I'm not so sure that's what the current fan wants.

  • In reply to Tyler Brown:

    I think Ron Santo was better most of the time. Santos just left me feeling flat and empty most games.

  • In reply to Terry Huebner:

    Ozzie Guillen was a player for a long time and won a World Series as a Manager. Is he not a fool either?

  • In reply to YouCannotBeSerious:

    Ozzie being a fool had nothing to do with his knowledge or skill level of the game.

  • In reply to Terry Huebner:

    The whole point is, BB has not been here for 2 years and he is carrying over a 2 year narrative that he road into the ground when he was here.
    Comparing anyone to Santo is apples to oranges. But I will say that, in general, the thing I notice the most about opposing team broadcasters (not just BB) is not the homerism, which is to be expected and ok, but there need to rip our team using old narratives, axes to grind or not.
    I just do not see this from our side. Radio or TV.

  • I've had the misfortune of having to the StL announcers on occasion. When Hrabowsky was an analyst, he was THE worst. No respect what so ever for the Cubs. He once mentioned that he didn't know of any Cubs worthy of being in the HOF.

    Since he's been gone from the booth, the announcers sometimes actually acknowledge positive things about the Cubs. It's funny that they can acknowledge things that Brenley cannot.

  • In reply to giamby:

    Even the STL announcers were more balanced about Castro, except on the play when he mimicked Bryant. They talked about it for an inning and a half.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    They hate fun?

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    if you do a backflip onto the field, then they're okay with it. otherwise, fun isn't the cardinal way.

  • Good article, John. I loved it. Brenly seems to have swung & missed quite a few times. Very pedestrian, much like his playing career. He needs to get w/some better broad casting coaches who can help straighten him out. I believe Joe Maddon could do an excellent job "straightening" him out on Castro, especially...

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    Haha! Maybe he has been coached and hasn't listened. Or maybe he hasn't put enough practice time in :)

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    Sorry but JD is awful. He's just so awkward. I like Brenly. I don't always agree with him but he has the guts to say what he believes he is seeing. I think that is what makes a good color commentator.Compare that to JD's awful stories and silent pauses.

  • In reply to Wabuffet:

    I don't agree. I like JD. I'd rather have silent pauses than someone filling the empty spaces with nonsense.

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    In reply to Wabuffet:

    I think JD and kasper are terrible, they just put me to sleep.

  • I personally like it when a announcer calls a player out or calls it like it was. If the player did a mental or got lazy I have no issue in calling him out. But then the announcers need TO LET IT GO. Regardless of what you think BB won a WS so he knows something but it is odd that 2 years later BB still complaining about him.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I like the way JD does it. He'll criticize Castro but he'll give him his due on a nice play too. I think people tolerate criticism when it's balanced, but when it is only negative it just gets old and tired.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I agree. I just don't understand why he still does it. I do think cub announcers are to PC. Sometimes a little stale.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Len always wears his 'goody two shoes' to work, but that's better professionally over time. JD veers off occasionally and Len brings him back. They are a bit too pc for my taste and sometimes I want scream 'give me something'.

  • My above post makes me realize that I will never post from my iPhone again because there's no way of editing it or making it correct once it posts. Steve Stone is a genius in baseball it doesn't make them right or wrong but he is very smart and

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    I do understand that BB was way over the top last night, it was annoying the hell out of me...but sadly he made some good points, you don't have to throw strikes to Castro, he grounds into a lot of double plays, and his defense is still below par...but BB clearly has other issues with this kid besides those points

  • In reply to Scott Buchanan:

    The point of the article is not to defend Castro. It shows just how easy it is to critique if that is all you want to do. I used Brenly's own words about Castro to describe his own performance as a broadcaster...easy as pie -- and I didn't even have to make any negative criticism the way Brenly does! When he ran out of material, he just invented stuff. He saw what he wanted to see. It's bad enough when a fan does that, but he is supposed to be a professional analyst.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Excellent contrast

  • Personally, for me, one of the worst things that ever happened to the Chicago Cubs was for Steve Stone to leave and go to the Darkside. Steve Stone makes most baseball and all of us look like idiots yet again I'm probably biased up on his baseball knowledge which I think is in Normas soy impactful even today.

  • In reply to SteveBB:

    I really like Steve Stone as well. He's one of the best color guys in the game.

  • I just have to say that this website is very unfriendly to people using iPhones. Thank you and good night

  • In reply to SteveBB:

    I have heard that. Maybe it's something WordPress can work on. Thanks for the feedback.

  • Steve Stone and Ryan Sandberg have something very much in common with the Chicago Cubs. They were both screwed by them in different times but in the very same way. Thank you and good night

  • In reply to SteveBB:

    Maybe it's the iPhone. My android spells it "Ryne" Sandberg.

  • If we all tweet at him during the game and talk about his errors that would be hilarious

  • In reply to Mnozilman:

    Ha! Does he even have a Twitter account?

  • In reply to Mnozilman:

    I was just thinking that. We could also tweet at Len and JD. I wouldlike to hear Len's take on bb's comments last night and this morning.

  • Balance will never be racist - and there has been that hint of that in the air here.

    If Brenly is a racist - due to his often-time scrutiny of Castro's play - allow it to be what it is - not what has been any easy out for so many..to suggest it's otherwise.

  • If anything survives our politics and confused fear of the middle east - it should never come from baseball.

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    In reply to SteveBB:

    So I took your original posts to be serious, but now it's obvious you're just trolling.

  • Cardinals continue to lose....#justsaying

  • Awesome job by KB to lean in & take that pitch off the arm to extend the inning. I love his baseball instincts. A lot of guys would of tried to get out of the way. Great job by Rizzo to capitalize & give the Cubs the lead

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    Hawks just won in double OT, not it's the Cubs time to shine.

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    Both Castro and Bryant double clutch. I can hope that Bryant learns not to but I don't think Castro will change. That hurts and has in this game.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Are we blaming Russell's error on Castro again? Must be nice for Russell.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    It's disgusting to see the Starlin Castro cheerleaders come out. It seems like the worse he plays then the harder they come out to defend him. It's so weird. Do you have a crush on the guy or something or is it the low .obp, lack of power, high number of errors and grounding into double plays that you love?

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    No. Russell was off the bag when he got the ball, and Casto's toss was perfect.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Yeah, I think Russell was just in a hurry to turn 2 there. Still learning

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    John, I get the feeling that Soler is flying under everyone's radar. He goes and does his job and I think is having a decent rookie year but everyone is talking up Bryant and Russell.
    He just hit it far!

  • what terrible managing there by the dbacks.

  • The douche baggery of DBack fans behind the glass really takes away from the game

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    In reply to Bamacub:

    Totally agree!

  • In reply to Bamacub:

    Really the guy with the sign last night made me dislike the glass fans. Also my ADD kicks in & I get distracted easy. Wasn't fair to label them all dbags

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    In reply to Bamacub:

    Yes it was.

  • In reply to Bamacub:

    They distracted & annoyed me as well. Yesterday's sign guy, and the "strikeout" guys today. Rizzo's blast shut them up, though!

  • they were quite butthurt back there when rizzo hit that bomb.

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    Rizzo, Rizzo, Rizzo, Rizzo!!!!!

  • These types of wins are huge. Arrieta has a poor outing & they are still able to pull out a win. Cubs keep getting closer to the Cards

  • One positive about Bob brenly. He is a douche bag with Arizona

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    Well there was a certain edge to that post, John. It almost sounded cathartic. "Get your frustration out!" But it was hilarious.

    A friend of mine (and fellow baseball nut) commented about Brenly: "He couldn't manage his way out of a paper bag. He won the WS with epic performances by the two best pitchers in the league. While there was a lot of sentimentality for NY in 2001 most people could have won with Johnson and Schilling."

    I HATED Brenly as a color man. I have only liked 2 color men: JD and Stone. Brenly and Carter was dumb as rocks and contributed to the general ignorance of fans.

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    Brenly claimed that Aramis Ramirez.was overrated because his batting numbers were inflated -- Ramirez padded his numbers somehow with big hits that didn't matter while not hitting when it did matter. What are the stats? What did Ramirez hit in late-inning-close games?

  • In reply to Ron Becker:

    Ramirez was better in high leverage situations than he was overall, IIRC, and by a pretty good margin. That is rare in baseball. Most of the time it evens out over time but Ramirez has an incredible .926 OPS in high leverage situations and .844 in low leverage. Another false Brenly narrative.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Thanks John (and thanks for all your work on this site -- I have learned a lot)

    IIRC -- For every year as a Cub, Ramirez is barely average on the Average Leverage Index, and 2007 was his only fairly good year for "Clutch." Would you agree?

    http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=1002&position=3B#advanced

  • I don't believe they were errors. This has become a trend for BB based on his bitterness from being let to walk by the Cubs and his long lasting disdain of Castro. It was painful to listen to at times. If I had the option of watching the Cubs broadcast I would have switched instantly.
    On top of that in the mist of his rants about Castro's lack of fundamentals he completely ignored the misplay by their SS in the 4th. With 1 out and 2 run lead he attempts to get Bryant at 2B. The obvious play was take the easy out in that game situation. That could have opened the gates to a big inning. Had Castro done that he would have been hammering him for it all night and revisit it 5 times today.
    It's a shame. I really enjoyed him while he was here. But I had no clue he was this petty. Though it might explain why he hasn't been able to land another managers job. It's rare that a mgr. with a WS ring doesn't get another shot.

  • The extra $20 for the premium version of MLB is well worth the price, since it lets you choose the game feed you want to watch (and hear...).

    Brenley's bad, but still doesn't sink to the level of Joe Morgan. I still laugh about his 10-minute dissertation on playing field temperature differentials being dependent upon the amount of sunlight reaching specific areas of the ballpark. My young son asked, "Dad, is he trying to say 'it's cooler in the shade?'"

    When is your column on Thom Brennaman scheduled, John?

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    MLB blackout rules are ridiculous. I get the Cubs on MLB Extra Innings though rarely with a choice of broadcasts. If I get the premium package the Cub games are blacked out even though they shouldn't be. This needs to be fixed. Their fan base is getting older. With the youngsters if you're not on TV you don't exist.

  • In reply to Cubmitted:

    Agreed. MLB TV only makes sense if you live away from the team's area, as I do, and even then certain games are blacked out. I understand that they don't want to compete with the team's TV carrier, but people who pay for the service should be able to see the games they want.

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    I definitely agree about Joe Morgan. He was awful. He always took shots at Sandberg in order to make himself look better.

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    I want Stoney back. He's one of the best analysts I've ever seen in any sport. If he calls you out, you deserve it. Absolute shame that the Cubs couldn't handle the truth at the time.

  • Brenly is correct on Castro. He is not a guy who works the count like the rest of the club. Regardless of his pitches per PA. He's a guy who can foul off just about anything, but he is not a guy who works the count. Never has been and likely never will be. If he can get his bat on it, he wants to swing at it.

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