With Bob Brenly head off to Arizona, the Cubs have some mighty big shoes to fill next to Len Kasper in the broadcast booth, as we’ve discussed the last few days.
Candidates – in the sense that they’ve been discussed in the media, not in the sense that they’ve been put on an official list or interviewed – have started responding to the opening, and some of the bigger names have bowed out, or in.
One of the biggest names, recently-retired Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood, says he’s not interested in the gig. Speaking with Dave Kaplan yesterday, Wood was pretty blunt on his future.
“I have no interest in the position,” Wood said. “I will be at Spring Training with the Cubs and I will work for the organization but I have no interest in becoming a broadcaster.”
Given the recency of the close of his career, and his stated desire to help the Cubs’ organization in a more on-the-field kind of way, you can understand Wood’s reluctance to sign on for a 140-plus game schedule next year. To be frank, it was always a stretch to think that Wood would be ready to take on the gig anyway. With love to Woody, it’s not an easy job.
On the flip-side, another former Cub suggests he’d be into the job if he were considered.
“I had a wonderful experience in my time in Chicago, which always included a positive relationship with the fans and the media,” ESPN analyst Doug Glanville told the Tribune. “I am grateful that the support persists, as seen in all these comments that I would be a good fit for this amazing opportunity. Clearly in this industry, there is a lot of change, a lot of uncertainty. At this time, I am with ESPN, which I am thoroughly enjoying and hopefully I’m representing Chicago well in the process.”
As a currently-employed dude, you can’t state it much more openly than that. Glanville wants the job.
As for Glanville’s ESPN-mate Rick Sutcliffe, it’s a slightly harder read.
“I don’t know,” Sutcliffe told the Tribune about the opening. “They came to me before Joe Carter got it, before Bob got it. They came to [my house in] Kansas City a couple of times. They know the route if they choose to go that way again. I don’t know …. I will spend the rest of my life trying to repay the Cubs and the fans for everything they did for me. If down the line it ends up I go back to working for them, that would be great …. I’m real happy where I’m at. ESPN has been great. They expanded my duties this year. Believe it or not, they wanted my face on TV more. I never heard that before …. I really enjoyed the ‘Baseball Tonight.’ Monday nights were a lot of fun. But as everybody knows, everything that has happened to me in baseball, I owe to the Cubs.”
Although Sutcliffe did say that he expects to buy a house in Chicago again some day, he has a year left on his deal with ESPN, and he might like his more limited assignment there. I read his thoughts as a genuine, “I don’t know.” It’s impossible to believe he won’t at least be approached by the Cubs, and I hope he considers it. I’d like to at least have him in the mix.