When it was widely reported last year that Chicago Cubs’ broadcaster and former World Series-winning manager Bob Brenly had “removed his name from consideration” for the Chicago Cubs’ open managerial spot, most people assumed that was a euphemism akin to an ousted CEO being allowed to tell the world that he had “resigned.” The truth, we assumed, was that Brenly, who had gone for a couple managerial jobs over the last few years and come away empty, had been told that he was not being seriously considered for the job.
But might it genuinely have been a case of Brenly running for the hills? Yes, at least according to Brenly.
“I kind of saw things that made me uncomfortable moving forward, trying to get that manager’s job,” Brenly told the Chicago Tribune. “Unfortunately, a lot of them came true.”
While I’m just speculating, it’s not inconceivable that when he says “uncomfortable things … came true,” in addition to the Cubs’ poor play, Brenly is referring to Jim Hendry being fired. If you anticipate that your prospective boss is going to be fired just a few months after you get your job, might you not also think twice about putting yourself in the position to be replaced by the next boss? Again – just my own speculation.
“It doesn’t make me Nostradamus or anything,” Brenly continued, “but for me personally and professionally, I was much better off being where I was this year.”
Where he was, of course, was in the broadcast booth with Len Kaspar. And Brenly’s criticism of the team this year – almost always on point – has noticeably increased, which is understandable given the product on the field. But Brenly, who was in a better position than most outside candidates to know that the 2011 team might struggle, says it’s tough to take shots at the team, even when they are living into the struggling vision he had for the team before the season.
“It’s not always easy, and sometimes I have to bite my tongue,” Brenly said. “My job is not to just sit up there and bash guys, which would be very easy to do in a season like this. Sometimes I have to think back to my playing days and remember how hard this game is. What should happen doesn’t always happen, but it’s not because you didn’t have the right intentions.”
So, with 2011 almost over, and the Cubs – among many teams – almost certain to once again be in the market for a manager, will Brenly pursue a managerial gig this Winter?
“Managers jobs are so closely tied to the general manager or the owner or some kind of a connection,” he said. “I’m not so sure I have those connections anymore, so … I look forward to sitting next to Lenny again next year.”
He says that, but, just a guess: if the Cubs’ next GM comes a-calling, though, I’m not so sure Brenly would remove his name from consideration this time around.