Bob Brenly Says He Didn’t Want to Manage the 2011 Cubs Because He Knew They Would Struggle

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.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

18 responses to “Bob Brenly Says He Didn’t Want to Manage the 2011 Cubs Because He Knew They Would Struggle”

  1. Cliffy

    Give a shout out to Rock Shoulders @RockBigFly24 on Twitter today is his 20th birthday. He is part of the 2011 draft that will be known as the Cubs Fab five. Baez, Maples, Vogelbach, Dunston Jr. and Rock Shoulders.

    1. Steve

      Unfortunately, it’s going to have to be one of Shoulders or Vogelbach. I hope they both develop nicely, but I think only one will make it to the big league club hopefully the other can net a player via trade. But seriously, Rock Shoulders might be the best name in baseball.

  2. CubFan Paul

    ..makes me seriously wonder if perspective GMs will “kind of see things that make them uncomfortable moving forward”

    1. TWC

      Well, Pauly, we sure know YOU do.

      1. CubFan Paul

        LOL, we’ll find out real soon, because Ricketts will be calling the loser GM of the AL Wildcard team (hopefully Theo) and we’ll get a real life sense of how perspective GMs actually view this job ..and Ricketts

        1. JulioZuleta

          Yeah, no doubt about it there are tons of uncomfortable things, but I think that’s actually a big draw for some GMs. If I were a GM with a solid reputation, who would be given some time and the benfit of the doubt, I can’t think of a better job than one where you have a relatively large payroll, an owner committed to player development, and a roster full of guys that the fans aren’t really emotionally attached too, making it easy to let them go.

          Bob probably passed the job up for the same reasons that some GMs will want it. A manager doesn’t have a whole lot of control over those kinds of things, but a GM can make it his own, and fix it over time.

    2. Wilbur

      … isn’t that skill a prerequisite for the position?

    3. Jeff

      Paul, just curious.  Do you post on the Tribune site and CCO?  There is a guy named Paul on both of those sites that has a similar disposition to you.

      1. CubFan Paul

        LOL, thats not me ..but he sounds like a swell guy ..i’m a BN kinda guy

  3. RY

    I think Brenly is awesome and right on queue and even though Len is pretty much a glossed over homer, they both deserve an award for having to sit through day in and day out of the shit product this team puts on the field. i am quite impressed that Brenly has not dropped multiple F-bombs during most games this year! Here is a trivia question: Which organization is the bigger joke:
    Cubs
    Bengals
    or
    Clippers

    1. Jeff

      This isn’t even close, as bad as the Cubs have been, you can at least tell that they try to win most of the time.  Mike Brown won’t even hire a scouting staff for the Bengals, and Donald Sterling is by far the worst owner/person in professional sports.

    2. Deez

      Brenley & Kaspar don’t deserve ISH!
      They got paid & fed to watch that ISH!
      More say than the average fan.
      Also, it’s easy in hindsight to acknowledge all of these problems “YOU SAW”
      How presumptuous of you!
      He took himself out of position for the job so he should “Shut The F..k up & color.”

  4. Spencer

    I would absolutely love Brenly to be the next manager.

  5. die hard

    If Brenly knew so much why keep quiet and not share with Ricketts BEFORE season…monday morning quarterbacking at its worse

    1. jstraw

      WTF. Brenly has called it as he saw it *while it was happening* as much or perhaps more than anyone in his position and with his experience would normally do. You honestly think that occupying the job he’s in, he should have tried to set an appointment with the owner to school him on what’s wrong with the way the GM the owner hasn’t fired is running the club? The Next GM will bring in the next manager. Why would anyone with the insider’s view Brenly’s got, have wanted to go to work for Hendry this past season?

      I don’t think Brenly is likely to be the next GM’s guy but I would love to be wrong.

    2. T C

      It’s because he’s the frikken color guy for the TV broadcasts. He has ZERO grounds to go suggest things to the owner

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