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.”


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.

  • Kansas Cubs Fan

    Damn it Bob. Ill miss him for sure.
    I vote for Bill Murray.

    • Tommy

      ohhhhhh, Bill Murray! I like it!

    • baldtaxguy

      X 2

  • The Dude Abides

    Todd Hollandsworth or Steve Lyons are possibilities

  • Curt

    bring Stoney back

  • RicoSanto

    Get Grace , he can get a place by Wrigley, like the old days, And walk home from the bars

  • fortyonenorth

    Todd Hollandsworth is a good idea. He’s no Brenly, but I do like him.

    I’m sure there’s a lot that contributed to Bob’s decision–the WGN TV deal, etc.–but I wonder if he ultimately soured on the Cubs because they weren’t advancing Michael through the system. A dad is a day, you root for your kid. I’m sure this wasn’t the deal breaker, but perhaps it made it easier for Bob to say goodbye.

    In any event, I really, really enjoyed Bob as a color guy and will miss him tremendously.

    • fortyonenorth

      sorry – *a dad is a dad

      • Brandon – AA Correspondent

        Hopefully, the status of advancing Michael through the system was NOT a factor in his decision.

        Let me first say that Mike Brenly is a good teammate, funny guy and a decent catcher.

        But, having watched him in 2012 at AA Tennessee…I don’t believe he has a future as a MLB catcher. There is no way that he should have ever been considered for promotion to AAA last year either. His arm is below average, he is no threat with the bat, and from where I sat…..his “backups” were actually better catchers (Apodaca). I believe he returns to AA next year; and if improvement is not made fairly quickly; his potenial MLB career could be in jeopardy. While I am rooting for him (as I do all current and former Smokies) I would be shocked if he progressed to a MLB backup job.

  • ReiCow

    This makes me really sad. I really enjoyed Brenly’s work, and he will be difficult to replace. I wish him luck in his future endeavors, and will miss his work.

    Moo :(

  • John

    Too bad that Len isn’t the one leaving. I personally think that he is one of the worst play by play guys around. Bob carried him the last 8 years. I enjoyed listening to Chip and Stoney in 03 and 04 and hated to see them go.

    • Carne Harris

      Same here. Love to have them both back.

    • Diesel

      Honestly brenley while a good guy annoyed me. Len annoyed me. Even when winning. I wyt a real play by play guy and a former cub whom the fans will get behind as a color guy. Someone we can cheer for.

      • baldtaxguy

        I don’t cheer my announcers. I like or dislike them.

        For example, I hate Hawk.

        I like the idea of Steve Lyons – wasn’t he the announcer that helped magnify the Bartman process? I think he would be great.

  • whiteflag

    I think Len is one of the best in the game.

    • Njriv

      I agree whiteflag, Len and Bob were a dynamic duo.

  • Believe in 2015

    Doug Glanville would be a nice addition

  • Dustin S

    Definitely sad news to hear, but I kind of got the feeling the last couple of seasons (especially this one) were wearing on him. A bit suprising with his son in the system but I’m sure there were a lot of factors to consider.

    Bill Murray, Rick Sutcliffe (still remember almost every game from 84 like yesterday), Mark Grace (always great stories)…any of those 3 and I would literally do cartwheels.

  • Diesel

    I will admit that brenley got me fishing with my dad again so that was a positive. I do wish him the best.

  • mudge

    Keith Moreland is much maligned here, but I enjoy his commentary; first, he’s a truly decent guy, which shines through at every turn; and while his play-by-play is often clumsy (it will improve), he has a feel for the psychological turning points of games, the sorts of things that fascinate me, which don’t show up in statistical analyses. He has that mythological thing we dinosaurs call “clutch.” And he was as a player as well. Reliable. Not owning a TV, I’m happy with the radio team. Except for the trivia questions. But it was that sort of a year.

  • daveyrosello

    Sutcliffe won’t get the job, because he can’t work/travel as frequently as would be required to be the Cubs color announcer (he’s had colon cancer). That’s why he does ESPN, his work/travel is limited.

    Kerry Wood would be a popular choice, but it seems unlikely he’d want the job this early after retirement. And he certainly doesn’t need the money.

    Pitchers and catchers as a general rule make the best color announcers, so I’ll back the earlier mentions of Dan Plesac and Mitch Williams. Eck has been doing work of late, he’d be a great choice.

    And please, no Mark Grace. Egads.

    • necusfan

      I’d like to see Koyie Hill. He’s a Cub and a catcher. Most importantly, if he’s hired we can be assured he will not be behind the plate for the Cubs next year.

  • Nick Nesler

    The guy I would love even though he’s probably happy with his MLB network gig is Harold Reynolds. I think he is knowledgeable and entertaining. I wouldn’t mind Dan Plesac either

  • Dr.K

    How about Harry Doyle? Knowledgeable and entertaining. Look at how he covered the season with Serano and Wild Thing. Is he available????

    • Katie

      In case you haven’t noticed, and judging by the attendance you haven’t, the Cubs have managed to string together a couple of wins and are threatening to climb out if the cellar.

      Sounds good to me.

    • Brandon – AA Correspondent

      Pure gold!!

  • colocubfan

    I think he’s “Just a bit outside” the realm of possibility.

  • Fastball

    I want Harry Doyle as well. That would be perfect. Harry and Len would be hilarious to listen too. I think Glanville is polished and an ex cub

  • notcubbiewubbie

    very sad to see BB leave wish there was a way to take the worst play by play announcer in baseball with you. the wrong guy is leaving. good luck BB.

    • Fishin Phil

      Apparently you’ve never seen a White Sox broadcast.

      • Tommy

        I think Phil is on to something here.

  • bluekoolaidaholic

    I truly have enjoyed Bob Brenley.
    The stories were great, his relationship with Len was great, and his knowledge of baseball and ethics regarding the game are great. He played the game the right way, managed the game the right way, and commented the game with the same dignity and class. I can’t tell you how badly I feel about this,and will miss him. (sigh)
    I wish him well in whatever he moves on to now. I suspect that the Diamondbacks will be his next project unless he wants to manage again, which I doubt. He already has a ring so what’s the point?
    In any case, thanks Bob for all the enjoyable moments and laughs and for making the sucking not quite so bad.
    For replacement I suppose Rick Sutcliffe or John Kruk would top my wish list.
    I don’t think Stoney or Gracie make sense (burned bridges), Please not Otto or Moreland
    I don’t expect to watch much next year anyway.

  • MI6

    Hey Brett: do you want the job?

    • Brett

      Ha, thanks, but I am massively unqualified.

  • ERK

    Dan Plesac!!!! He would be TERRIFIC in that job!

  • hardtop

    Dick Tidrow

    • TWC


      Dick Tidrow doesn’t call games. He sits in the booth and the players move about the field according to his whims.

      • hardtop

        lets be clear: dick tidrow does what ever the hell he wants to do. if we wants to be the best color guy in baseball… thy will be done.


      • Katie

        Nobody can channel Dick like TWC.
        Wait! Has anyone ever seen TWC and Tidrow in a room at the same time?

        • hansman1982

          Yes, but that proves nothing. Dick Tidrow can be in the same room as himself AND be on the other side of the world getting Mt. Everest to climb him.

          • Cubbie Blues

            A short little musing I put on the message board.

            Brenly, you will be missed
            upon hearing I was pissed
            Then I thought it was faked
            If Stoney replaces I will get baked
            Who will replace him some have queried
            The one with too many DUI’s from being too merry
            Everyone wants a familiar face
            The search should go no further than Dick Tidrow, our Ace.

  • MightyBear

    I say let Kasper just call the game and not have a color man like Vin Scully. Analysts are over rated and annoying. Cub fans are knowledgable enough. We don’t need an analyst, we have BN!

  • Cubbie Blues

    Kevin Millar wouldn’t be terrible (his schtick would probably get old though). Another name I haven’t heard mention is Brian Kenny. Kenny would definitely fit in with Len’s Sabermetric view (although maybe too much and that is all they would talk about).

  • Cubbies4Life

    How come nobody has stated the obvious? Al Hrabosky!!!

  • Pingback: Bob Brenly’s Exit: More Thoughts, Reactions, and an Early Look at Possible Replacements | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary()

  • jim

    Chuck swirsky perfect for this team 😉 . I cud run this operation better! Btw, who is runnin it?

  • Stevie B

    Kids, don’t read this:


    I just heard this…..

    I can only take so much.

  • PRcajun

    how about Jon Lovitz?

  • Kalamazoo Cubs

    Nobody wants this gig. 2 yrs is not security. Can’t wait for the Cubs to ditch WGN and create their own TV network…a la Yankees.