Bummer: Exit Bob Brenly

Despite statements of confidence from both insiders and Bob Brenly, himself, the Cubs’ color commentator, who has been paired with Len Kasper for the last eight years, will not be returning to the Cubs’ booth in 2013.

WGN-TV, with whom Brenly was contracted through the 2012 season, announced that Brenly has told the team he will not return next year, and will seek other broadcasting opportunities. Brenly, who is thought to be the highest paid local color man in the game, is expected to at least explore the possibility of filling the color vacancy with the Arizona Diamondbacks, the team he managed a decade ago.

Brenly offered a statement on the departure, wish is, of course, all class.

“Working here in Chicago was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my professional career,” Brenly’s statement said. “The Ricketts family, everyone associated with the Cubs and WGN and, most importantly, Cubs’ fans everywhere, will always be in our hearts, and Joan and I wish nothing but the best for the organization moving forward.

“I was very blessed to have the best play-by-play man in the game as my partner for eight years and Cubs’ fans are very fortunate to have Len Kasper as the voice of the Cubs. I’ll miss working with him and we look fondly toward returning to Chicago in the future.”

Damn.

We don’t know right now whether it was a matter of money, a matter of Bob not wanting to have to call another 162 crummy games next year, or simply a matter of Bob wanting to go somewhere else, or WGN’s refusal to offer him more than two years (given their expiring contract with the Cubs in 2014), but this loss stings. No, Bob didn’t impact the games on the field, but he sure made watching them a heck of a lot more enjoyable.

I guess the search is on for his replacement, but it’ll be hard to find his equal. For now, let’s just thank Bob for eight great years, and wish him well.

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

147 responses to “Bummer: Exit Bob Brenly”

  1. TC

    I have come to get angry at people who suggest Mark Grace as a replacement

    I’m really going to miss Bob:(

  2. Corey Costello

    Mark Grace for Bob Brenly. He’s so funny.

  3. TWC

    Ha. ^^^ I love these first two comments. ^^^

  4. Katie

    I am so very very bummed but I wish him well. He was one of the few bright spots over the last few seasons. I hope this isn’t because they refused to pay him because he’s worth every penny. I wish him all the luck in the world.

    1. TC

      Same here. I am wondering if any of this has to do with the soon-to-expire WGN TV deal? Is there a chance WGN couldn’t offer him a longer term deal cause they know they wont even have the games in a few years?

  5. die hard

    Could next stop be mgr of AL team?

  6. Ed Wiese

    Bob, thanks for the great broadcasting that you do. I hope you find a new job soon. GO CUBS!

    1. Julian Douglass

      He is joining the Arizona Broadcast team.

  7. Jof

    Really enjoyed all your broadcasts Bob. Best of luck wherever you go.

  8. florida Al

    sutcliff…..

  9. Kevin

    (1) I am majorly bummed about this, (2) Brett, care to speculate at all about possible replacements? Any chance that (gasp) Kerry Wood might try and fill in? Otherwise, what about Grace or Stone???

    1. TC

      blegh, no to both, please.

      Stone has become incredibly irritable and close-minded since working with Hawk and the white sox, and Grace is a drunkard who is painfully bad at calling a ball game

      1. Pat

        So you’re saying they should build a statue of him instead?

    2. Karena

      If you want funny, how about John Kruk!!

    3. Mike

      Please GOD no Steve Stone.

  10. sclem21

    As much as I love(d) Grace as a Cub and for his impression of Fetters he really isnt that great (read: not good at all) in the booth, especially following the likes of Brenly
    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20021211&content_id=184550&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=null

  11. DAn

    How about Sammy Sosa as a replacement?

    1. Karena

      Nervousness and excitement bring on his inability to speak English

  12. Captainplanet54

    Damn this sucks him and Len were one of the few reasons to watch the Cubs last season.

  13. Mr. Cubster

    I think that Jimmy Piersall is available… “lol”

  14. DaveB23

    I can’t believe its been 8 years already, it feels like it was only a season ago that he came here. I remember how skeptical people were of him, and even up until a few years ago people were still posting negative stuff on any of the BN articles related to him. Judging to the reaction of Nick and all the other readers, looks like I wasn’t the only one who was always a big fan of his. I will definitely miss how much more enjoyable he makes watching the games, even during those times when the game is moving so slow that it feels as if time has stopped. Thanks for the great times Bob, wish you the best for your next endeavors

  15. justinjabs

    NOOOO. NOOO. Ugh. Eff the Diamondbacks. The only way I am no longer upset about this is if Kerry steps in. I really liked Bob.

    1. Alex

      Irrelevant, dude. :)

  16. Josh

    That’s disappointing..

  17. CM

    Brenley might be the best color man in any sport today. Horrible loss for Cubs fans.

  18. ottoCub

    ugh. bummer. Brenly is one of the best.

    please, if anyone in the Cubs front office is reading… not Mark Grace. listening to his broadcasts is like watching Aaron Rodgers act in those State Farm ads (sorry everyone, for the GB Packers reference. i have the unfortunate luck to live in Wisconsin)

  19. Clark Addison

    Huge loss. Brenly was the best color man in baseball.

    How about Doug Glanville as his replacement?

  20. Ben (BG2383)

    Damn :( Cubs should have traded him before he hit free agency
    (kidding)
    I will miss Bob. He did a great job.

  21. Dan

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  22. CM

    I’m putting my vote in for Jerry “The King” Lawler as his replacement.

    1. Jesse

      NO. Dont’ wanna turn this into a wrestling site but Lawler sucks as a commentater. =)

  23. Alex

    If Dan Plesac is available, I’d hire him in a heartbeat.

    1. whiteflag

      I would like to see him in there too.

  24. ihop

    At least now we could finally cut michael brenly!!! :-)

  25. Dane

    what about David Kaplan?

  26. Dan Fredrickson

    I have always liked Stone Stone. “This next pitch should be a curveball low and away, because this batter swings and misses at curveballs with 2-2 counts on grass fields with men on first and third between 3:00 and 3:30 in the afternoon 81% of the time….. and it would be NICE if the left fielder took two steps to his left.”

    That’s why I didn’t like Joe Carter. “You should always hit the ball hard.”

    1. Kyle

      It sounds impressive until you realize that Stone is predicting a breaking ball on every 2-strike count and a fastball every time the pitcher is behind in the count.

  27. Mr. Gonzo

    What about Bill Murray?! You could even just watch with your eyes closed..

  28. brandon

    Mitch Williams would be great

  29. MichiganGoat

    Sad goat

  30. Eric

    No Ron, so why listen to cubs games. No bob, so why watch cubs games. I can’t really think of anyone who would add the fun and love that I miss with ron and bob. Sutcliff maybe is the closest one. His voice isn’t annoying (to me) and he is kind of funny at times, and you can def sense his love for the cubs when he talks. So I guess that’s my vote.

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