If nothing else, Chicago Cubs color man Bob Brenly is candid. He says things in such a way as to get his message across clearly, but even when the message is harsh, you respect him.
Yesterday, Brenly made very clear why he pulled himself out of the running for the Cubs managerial role. Part of it is going to sting, but you sure can’t blame Brenly.
“It’s no secret that the fan sentiment out there is for Ryne Sandberg to get this job, and certainly it appears he’s done everything the organization wanted him to do as far as fulfilling his minor-league obligations,” Brenly said Tuesday on “The Waddle & Silvy Show” on ESPN 1000. “And it seems it’s time for him to get his chance at the big-league level.
“Now that being said, I think [interim manager] Mike Quade has done an outstanding job with this club over the last month and a half. But for whoever it is, if your last name isn’t Sandberg, you’re going to have that cloud hanging over your head. The first time the ballclub loses two games in a row, the uproar is going to start.”
Brenly, who managed the Arizona Diamondbacks to the 2001 World Series title, said he can comprehend the magnitude of being the first Cubs manager to win a World Series since 1908. But he doesn’t see that happening anytime soon.
“If you’re that guy who takes the Cubs to the Promised Land, your ticket is punched for the rest of your life,” he said. “That is a highly attractive proposition.
“But I think it may take a while for that ticket to get punched for whoever the manager is.’
Brenly said he would love to return next season as the Cubs’ television color analyst, and his passion for that job contributed to his decision not to manage the Cubs.
“What I’m doing right now is the best job in the world,” he said. “If something came along that would take me back down on the field and give me an opportunity to possibly get to the postseason and maybe win another World Series, I would absolutely listen to what people had to say.
“If that never happens, I’m perfectly content to stay in the booth.” ESPN Chicago.
Ouch. It’s not too hard to read between those lines. Brenly essentially had two reasons for taking himself out of the running (three if you count a belief that he wasn’t going to get the gig anyway). First, the innocuous reason: he didn’t want to be looking over his shoulder at Ryne Sandberg. While I can certainly understand the reason, I suspect it will not play out that way – primarily because if Sandberg doesn’t get the Cubs job, he’ll get one of the other 14 open MLB gigs. Just my guess.
The second reason? Brenly will only leave his broadcasting job (which he loves) for “an opportunity to possibly get to the postseason and maybe win another World Series.” In case it was unclear, Brenly doesn’t believe that team is the Cubs. He even went so far as to make explicit that he doesn’t see the Cubs winning it all for “a while.” That’s the reason that stings. Not because it’s mean-spirited, hostile, or overtly hurtful. No, the explanation stings because there’s truth to it – and we all know it.
For what it’s worth, Brenly says he believes Sandberg, interim manager Mike Quade, and Yankee skipper Joe Girardi are the three favorites for the job – no real surprise there.