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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.

  • Cheryl

    Who do you nominate Brett?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Will have to think about it over the next couple days. Seems like the candidate list is pretty obvious, but I’m not sure I like any of the obvious choices. I was kind of digging the former manager vibe.

  • Huey Lewis

    People! Unlikely Mark Grace comes with his DUIs etc. And Steve Stone clearly said last week that he plans to fulfill his contract (one more year) with the Sox (why? God, only knows–I figured he would have tossed hawk out of the booth down on to those empty seats). The Cubs won’t poach him, particularly since he works for WGN part time. Stone won’t be back. Holly could come around. He might not given his radio gig and studio analyst job. The Cubs, I know for a fact, would like Rick Sutcliffe to be their guy, but he is unlikely to leave ESPN. May the idiots like Otto, Hundley, etc stay far away. We’ve seen how a blah–Keith Moreland–color guy can drag down the best. I want Len to have someone worth his space in the both. I don’t want it like the radio side where it is an idiot. Len deserve more than some recycled Cub or dunce former player. There is plenty of talent these days. Not sure if Doug Glaville wants to announce–but his intelligence and spirit are ideal. Does he do TV? not sure.

    • EB

      Glanville seems like a great guy, but I don’t feel like his voice is really suited for TV/radio. He is very soft spoken, and I can hardly hear him when he talks on Baseball Tonight

    • Boogens

      Back in the day I loved Glanville as a player and was severely disappointed when he was traded. I really loved it when he hit that key triple in the NLCS back in 2003 but…
      I’ve read his book and listened to his commentary and I just can’t stand him now. I certainly don’t learn anything from listening to him and it just seems like he speaks in cliches. I really hope he isn’t a candidate for the job.

  • Cheryl

    Don’t suppose there’s a woman that could do it? So far you’ve named all the men who couldn’t.

    • Alex

      Sarah Spain. Done deal..

      • TWC

        Sarah Silverman!

        • hansman1982

          Sarah the hot chick that is 2 rows over from me at work!

        • Carne Harris

          Seconded. At the mall today.

    • Tommy

      How about that Sarah Kustok. She’s gorgeous and smart!

    • Dan

      Sarah Palin

    • CF

      There are binders of women who are qualified…I digress

      • TWC

        heh

    • Katie

      Ahem. Aside from my constant use of vulgarity and profanity I’d be awesome.

      • Cheryl

        I think you would be.

        • Katie

          Thank you Cheryl! :)

  • Mike

    Kerry Wood?

    • MichiganGoat

      Does Kerry have any experience? It looks easy enough but doing it is not as simple as being a great player or a Cub favorite isn’t enough.

  • Fishin Phil

    I am bummed. :(

    • Boogens

      Agreed.

  • jason

    Whoever Bleedcubieblue nominates, stay away from

  • http://www.hookersorcake.com Jade

    Wood has come out and said he didn’t want to be a broadcaster.

  • Kevin

    Sutcliffe would be crazy not to leave ESPN to be the full time color analyst for the Cubs. WGN needs to be very careful hiring the right person or people will stop watching a losing ballclub.

    • Katie

      See, I don’t think leaving ESPN would be bad for him. I realize it’s a larger audience but impersonally think ESPN sucks.

  • Boogens

    Brett, in a tweet yesterday you mentioned that you had heard some runblings of a possible departure in the front office. Is there any way that Bob’s departure from the booth could have been misconstrued as a front office change? If not, are there any developments that you can share yet re: potential FO changes?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      This was not specifically what I had heard. It’s conceivable it is related or that some wires got crossed, but I don’t think so. Wish I could take some credit out of an otherwise crappy situation, but no dice.

  • Larry Bittner

    I hated Stone, then… I loved him, now I really dislike his shtick. He is just too analytical without enough excitement. He needs to be the smartest one in the room. I wish we can clone the Mets announcer Gary Cohen(?). He’s awesome.

  • Rocco

    Meh. Bob “Happy-Zone” Brenly is no huge loss. It’s gotta be rough to do the color for 162 games of the product the Cubs put on the field, but the dude is pretty played out. I recall hearing the same stories and anecdotes repeated over and over again over the last eight years.. It’s hardly been entertaining to watch the Cubbies make the same rookie mistakes over and over, but to hear Bob repeat the same lousy stories about his wife and hard times in the minor leagues makes the broadcasts even tougher to watch.

    There were some good moments, but it’s good for Bob and the Cubs that he moves on. Let’s bring in Grace. At least he’ll makes us laugh during next years anticipated 90 loss season.

  • JR

    I loved Brenly’s straight shooting comments, and thought he did a solid job filling tons of dead time. I can only imagine how difficult it would be to sit thru another season of crap baseball, when you have the accolades he has.

  • bpatt

    lets just go with everyone’s favorite ex-manager… LOU PINELLA!!! (yes, that is a joke)

  • Shawn

    I would like Rick Sutcliffe. Maybe even Eric Karros.

  • Timmy

    Bring back Steve Stone! Brenly was good — he will be missed.

  • Cubs1967

    GRACE!!.. This bud’s for you……..

    OR sutcliffe

    OR karros.

    or just repeats of Harry’s best………..no one is gonna watch the team next year anyway so what the hell.

  • Josh

    Kerry Wood with Len that’d be cool

  • HeyHey55

    Bill Murray. Just until we start winning again.

  • StevenF

    This is not good news. The Cubs got lucky with Brenly after the Stone departure. The same cannot be said for the radio side. Mark Grace and Sutcliffe and not so good in the booth, especially when the bar is Stone and Brenly. Don’t let emotions of these former Cub players taint your perceptions. IF, and this is a big IF, Gary Mathews can be stolen from the Phillies – now that would be a fairly good get. You’d be surprised how good he is. Glad to hear Kerry Wood is not inerested. I don’t see him excelling in that role. Too bad Dempster isn’t ready to retire. That one could work. This is going to be interesting, but I’d rather have Brenly back. I want to know the real back story on this.

    • Cubs1967

      i think the real story is the cubs choose to not hire brenly to manage under JH and now theo thinks sucking for 3 more yrs is the way to go and brenly is sick of watching shiity baseball for the past 3 yrs knowing there is 3 more of it at least……….so might as well move on and arizona is hell of a lot better place to live than the bankrupt state and city of chicago and there aren’t any troughs in the damn restroom!

      but just a guess………….

  • Manntastic

    Bring Grace in. He can’t be as dangerous as Ronnie behind the wheel even after a few.

  • Zach

    Kate Upton?? haha

  • whiteflag

    Dan Plesac?

  • Jesse

    Stacey King? Anyone?

  • Kevin

    Marla Collins

  • Kevin

    Wish List

    1) Sutcliffe
    2) Mathews
    3) Kruk
    4) Bill Murray

    • Timmy

      YES Bill Murray!

  • Kevin

    5) wild Thing
    6) Pleasac

  • http://bleachernation.com Dean Lothamer

    How about a Guest color commentator!!! Could you imagine what Ditka might have to say after a boner!!!….just kidding of course

  • Jeff

    Will Ferrell was awesome on Chelsey Lately…lol! Cubs Jersey and all!

  • Carne Harris

    Hopefully Kasper’s next. Love to see Stoney or Grace take this gig.

  • cubmig

    BB’s advice: “Yes Dear. I’m sorry Dear. You’re right Dear.” will be a big loss to newly wed husbands……….

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