Quantcast

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.

  • Believe in 2015

    Hey Brett, is there any specific date in which we should hear about who they hired? I like Doug Glanville and I think he would work great with Len in the booth.

  • cubs1967

    Grace I like on D’back broadcasts; not sure if the Wrigley environment will work for his current problems.
    Sutcliffe would be good too.

    A name not a Cub nor mentioned so far is John Smoltz. He does a good job on MLB network and if he wants the daily grind; I’m sure Mad Dog could tell him what a great town Chicago is and the Cubs atmosphere is the best………..despite the unnecessary losing.

    • sclem21

      I think Smoltz and my boy Len would clash hard. Smoltz can’t even stomach advanced metrics, what is he going to do boycott Stat Sundays?

      • http://www.hookersorcake.com Jade

        Clashing is good for a booth as long as both participants understand the game.

  • Jim

    I loved Sutcliffe when he was pitching for the Cubs, but I can’t stand listening to him in broadcasts. Just my opinion. I hope that the Cubs approach Mark Grace with the job. He is available and much easier on the ears!

    • Peter O

      I don’t see the Cubs hiring Mark Grace after how it ended for him in AZ. Too many good candidates for the job to wade into that possible turmoil.

  • Peter O

    Is it crazy to hope for someone that will be more stat savvy in the booth like Len? I would prefer a “new school” analyst as opposed to an old school one.

    • hansman1982

      Most likely not…Ideally you would have a mix so to keep from losing the fans that have no clue what BABIP or wOBA or UZR mean. There will be a large contingent of the fan base that still believes in the importance of the RBI stat or that W-L are a good indicator of the pitchers talent…for them, you want someone “old school”

    • Mick

      I’m not really sure what you mean by “new-school” other than a stat-geek. My preference would someone alot like Bob. Either a previous manager or GM type who can speak from experience, has good insight, and great stories to fill the ends of losing games. Believe it or not but what about Jim Hendry?

      • Ed

        Couldn’t agree more ^.

  • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

    As pissed as Dempster is at us, just throw him the olive branch and tell him to retire and the job is his. That would be one entertaining guy.

    • CubsFan4Life

      I agree that Dempster would be great at the broadcasting job, but I don’t think that he is ready to quit pitching yet. So here is a crazy idea that could actually work.

      The Cubs could offer Dempster a job working in the starting rotation every 5th game and working with Len in the TV booth during the other 4 games that he is not starting. Dempster could start 32 games and still broadcast 130 games next season. If Theo and Jed offer this combination job, I think Dempster would accept it. He would be great in the booth, and we could definitely use a good veteran pitcher like Dempster in the starting rotation for 2013.

    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

      Seriously?
      I think Dempster would be about as annoying as it gets.
      If I don’t see his stupid Will Ferrell impression ever again, I’d consider myself lucky.

      Sign me up for Doug Glanville

      • JR

        The only way Dempster would accept the color job for the Cubs is if his Nanny could do the play by play.

  • mr.mac

    Growing up, Mark Grace was my favorite Cubs player. Whenever he was on Fox doing a national game in Wrigley I couldn’t help but wish that he would some day be doing Cubs games full time. Even though he has had issues lately, I still really want him to get the job.

  • Kevin

    Doug Glanville? Maybe on ESPN as a non-lead analyst – I just don’t think he adds any excitement to the telecast. Sutcliffe would be perfect for the job and Chicago fans just love him. IMO, he will get the offer, it all depends just how lucrative the offer is.

    • Boogens

      Agreed – right on.

    • EB

      Couldn’t agree more, Kevin. Glanville is way too vanilla for my liking

    • calicubsfan007

      @Kevin: I agree, the guy is pretty boring. At least he isn’t at the level of Joe Morgan. At least ESPN got that right.

    • Doug

      I totally agree. Glanville is okay on MLB but 162 games of him a year? UGH. I’m with Kev on Sutcliffe.

  • BluBlud

    I was thinking Sammy Sosa for the job.

    Think about it.

    Len “Wow, Anthony Rizzo with a bomb of a homerun to Right Sammy.”

    Sammy: “I agree Len. Baseball has been Very, Very good to Rizzo.”

    • TWC

      I think you mean “Berry, berry good”.

  • http://ehanauer.com clark addison

    I hope Grace is in an alcoholic program. He has serious personal issues that need to be addressed.

  • Hawkeye

    Brett,

    Who in the organization actually gets to make the hire?

    • MightyBear

      Tom Ricketts

  • MightyBear

    I think Grace would be terriffic. I think his personal problems have been overblown in the media. He wouldn’t have to drink and drive in Chicago. He could take the El.

    • Mick

      2 DUI’s in 15 months, driving on a suspended license, requiring an interlock ignition device on any car he operates. Grace is an idiot, an alcoholic or both. He’s the last person I’d want being broadcasted to millions representing the Cubs.

      • Pat

        Says the guy with the Harry Caray avitar.

        • Eric

          Difference, Harry was lovable. Grace is not. Maybe when Grace is 80 he will be as funny as Harry. But now he’s just an annoying, grating, bitter sounding jerk.

          • Pat

            Where did the goalposts go? Oh, over there.

            Well, that’s certainly a subjective opinion, so no way to argue with you on it. I’ll just say I disagree regarding Grace’s broadcasting.

            • Carne Harris

              Me too. Grace is great. And good call on the Harry thing. Been thinking that every time someone says Grace’s drinking making him a bad broadcaster. Maybe he needs help, I don’t know, but he’s great in the booth just like Harry was.

              • TWC

                Where you see anyone suggesting that Grace’s drinking makes him a bad broadcaster?

                I think he’s just a bad broadcaster with a drinking problem.

                • Carne Harris

                  Anyone that says he’d be a bad choice for the job because of his drinking I take that way… and those posts are pretty numerous. Long tradition of perfectly drunk, perfectly fantastical baseball announcers. Almost as “baseball” as the Mendoza line.

              • Mick

                I didn’t mean to judge Grace and if I could take back what I said about the alcoholism or being an idiot, I would. It’s his decisions I don’t agree with and I want someone in the booth who I respect and represent the organization in a good way, like Bob did. Harry came from a different era with the drinking (have you seen Mad Men) and to my knowledge was never arrested for any crimes.

                • TWC

                  I could take back what I said about the alcoholism or being an idiot, I would…

                  Alcoholism is a disease, but drinking and driving does indeed make you an idiot.

                  • Internet Random

                    That.

                  • Pat

                    Thinking Ryan Theriot is a great ball player also makes you an idiot, and Brenly spent the better part of two years slobbering over him.

                    In this situation I don’t really care about much other than is the person good at calling a ball game.

                    Drinking and driving shows a lack of judgement. So does banging the owners daughter-in-law.

      • Brittney

        wasnt it very common for announcers to be tipping them back in the booth? I think I remember Len and Bob actually talking about it during a game this season. If I was calling a game oh I would require at least 1 beer and 1 hotdog every 3 innings, well 2 innings since they stop serving beer after the 7th inning.

        wait that makes me wonder….if a game goes into extra innings do they open sales back up? I would be a little upset if I was at a game that went, let’s say, 14 innings and I wasn’t able to have a beer for half of the game it would remove some fun for me. Beer & Baseball is like peanut butter and jelly!

    • Cyranojoe

      I admit it’s a small sample size, but the games I’ve heard Grace call were just.. they were awful, so so very awful. I wanted to disbelieve my ears, but there it was. Sutcliffe’s not much better, too, from what I’ve seen. Gave a VERY interesting pitching explanation/analysis in the studio, but during the game, OMG. :(

  • Matty V

    I know he’s been mentioned as a possibility, and I may be in the minority here, but I really like Eric Karros. He’s smart and articulate and I don’t think he’d have a problem calling out bad play or criticizing players or managers who deserve it.

    • Boogens

      I think Karros would be a much better candidate than Glanville.

      • ed

        Agreed.

      • Carne Harris

        Karros isn’t getting nearly enough attention, I’d agree.

    • Internet Random

      I don’t know if I can tolerate Karros’s hair.

      • Carne Harris

        Courage.

        • Tommy

          Classic quote. I’ll never forget that newscast. That went over like a lead balloon. I remember thinking at the time, ‘what the hell is he doing?’

    • Chase S.

      I agree, Karros would be a great choice.

      How about Todd Hundley? How awesome would it be to hear that candidness…

    • Bric

      Anybody else catch when Karros said “Yep, it happened to my Cubs, too” when talking during the pre-game last night. I think he would be a great choice because obviously the short time he was here was memorable in his career. Yet the same could probably be said for both Glanville and Suttcliffe.

      These 3 are all good choices- better than most of the guys we’re listening to now on other channels. Darling’s got a mouth full of marbles, Hershiser sounds like he’s about 12 and Grace is just wierd. Too bad Gwynn or Soup Campbell don’t want the job. I always thought those two guys provided the most interesting anaylis.

  • Richard Nose

    Anybody know anything about Sutcliffe’s lifestyle? Is Baseball Tonight in Bristol? If he has a place in KC, does that mean he has a place in CT as well? What do those guys go through? Multiple plane flights every week?

  • fortyonenorth

    I don’t know if I’d want Grace in the booth–haven’t heard enough of him to know–but I think he deserves a little slack. He has a problem. Hopefully he’s dealing with and ends up in a better place once his ordeal is over.

  • Cheryl

    Isn’t someone coming out of Boston?

  • Lou

    Someone on another blog site stated Mark Grant, analyst for the Padres. That’s a good call. He would work well opposite Kasper.

    • Patrick W.

      Seconded. I like Mark Grant.

      • Patrick W.

  • Patrick W.
  • TSB

    How about Cliff Floyd?

  • J. Edwards

    Glanville is awesome and severely underappreciated as a commentator who knows the game and can lend insights in an eloquent and entertaining way. I would be highly pleased to see him get the nod.

    Especially after Steve Stone says no.

  • Amie

    If I’m not mistaken the color analyst hire is up to WGN where as Len’s position is one the Cub’s fills. That’s why Len is on board through 2016. Mark Grace was a Cub I liked when he was playing here, but I think he does terrible color work. His current problems also take him out of the mix. Hiring him would not show good corporate responsibility. Grace needs to get himself straightened out first. I’d like them to consider someone like Eric Karros, or perhaps Glanville. Sutcliffe seems like great guy but he talks non stop. BB seemed to know that the game needs to breath, and you don’t always need to say something.

  • Carne Harris

    What’s sad is that if Grace hadn’t got that second DUI, this job would have been gift wrapped his, something I’ve wished for for 10 years now, growing up in Arizona and seeing how great he is on the Dbacks broadcasts.

    • TWC

      this job would have been gift wrapped his

      Right. Just like the manager’s job was Ryno’s for the taking!

      Clearly, this Cubs FO’s main goal it to serve the fanbase’s need for legacy hero worship.

      • Carne Harris

        Not the FO’s decision. Kasper said the new announcer would be chosen by WGN, with the Cubs and Comcast having input.

        And for the record, I don’t want Sandberg to have anything to do with the organization, and hiring Grace for the Cubs position is no more hero worship than hiring Brenly for the Dbacks.

        But ramble on…

        • TWC

          Yeah, it was a joke, pal. It’s Friday afternoon. Let’s lighten up.

          • Carne Harris

            Sorry, I was confused by the absence of funny.

  • Shawon O’Meter

    Cubs ties aside, anyone who has listened to Mark Grace in the booth and actually thinks he is good, must be dipping in the same hooch as old number 17. Simply put, he is awful. His voice is nails on chalkboard annoying, he brings extra cheese, his analysis cannot be taken seriously, and he is unable to deliver an objective thought.

    Rick Sutcliffe = Blowhole…he just loves to hear himself talk and that act would where thin in a hurry

    Not sure what his contract status is, but I would love to see current Padres announcer Mark Grant fill the opening. He is funny, engaging, young enough to meld well with Len and he has a local connection as he was born in Aurora and actually had a cup of coffee with the Iowa Cubs in 1995. He currently works with Dick “Oh My” Enberg…that alone would make you want to find work elsewhere.

  • ferrets_bueller

    I really want Eric Karros.

    or Gracie, if he sobers up.

    • Cyranojoe

      Sigh. I loved Grace the player, but as a broadcaster… he really is awful. Sorry, man.

    • arta

      he might be better juiced!

  • Tommy

    Bill Murray and Will Ferrell.

  • TongueInCheek

    Eric Karros – YES!

  • Huey Lewis

    There are some really good former players out there but it might be great to move away from guys who are being considered because they were fun players. Grace was a great player. He is a lousy broadcaster. The idea is too move away from the past. Given Gracie’s lack of skill and legal issues, why should the Cubs be forced to be his rehab? It’s like Sandberg. Move on already. Sutcliffe is different because he is a solid broadcaster. Karros was barely here and is better than grace too. Glanville is underrated and growing. He super smart and honest. He wrote a book and knows new school stats. If it takes him a season to grow who cares? No one really watches anymore. Moreland is terrible and won’t grow. Glanville would. What intrigues me more are guys I don’t know from other cities. I’m sure there is a wealth of talent even of guys who never played. Why not be wise and open. We cub fans spend too much time celebrating the past–when we actually lost. Lets move up or on. Steve Stone, want to come home? Maybe, but your ego better be in check. As long as Hawk , wimpy, farmio, and DJ aren’t hired I’m ok. If pleasac is open I’d listen. So, I did list former players too but they have talent. Grace does not.

    • Bric

      Dude, you’re preaching to the choir. But I’m glad you said it about Moreland and not me. I agree the Cubs should/will probably hire someone who used to play here but there are a lot of broadcasters out there from other teams who are just as interestring to listen to and have different views then us long suffering fans.

      And you’re right, we are somewhat living in the past but at least we don’t have to listen to “Put it in the board… he gone… bad guys 4, good good guys 2″. If I was a Sox fan (thank God I’m not) I would’ve taken the gas pipe years ago for having to listen to that crap 40 times a game.

  • desertrat

    I’d like to see a wide variety of guest color commentators, just like we get guest seventh-inning stretch singers. Among all the people that have been named so far in this thread, I say “All of them!” Then not only would I be looking forward to seeing a Cubs broadcast on WGN, there would be an element of anticipation hoping that Len Kasper’s broadcast partner would be Sammy Sosa, Mike Ditka, Bill Murray, or John Kruk.

  • mysterious4th

    What’s the chances that they try to get nomar from ESPN. I actually like the guy, he has great knowledge of the game from a player standpoint and he has the knowledge of both the old school stats and the submetrics part. And he has expierence as a cub. I think they should get somebody who has tie to the cubs from a players standpoint personally.

    • Huey Lewis

      Nomar. What a fascinating choice. I honestly don’t know how I feel because I can’t seperate out the mess he was for the team (I was there for his first game and rarely has Wrigley been louder). Maybe I just want as far away from 2004 as possible. So, that’s on me. Plus, my Boston friends always try to make me believe he broken down for…well, lets say not cool reasons. There is NO evidence, but I see him and I’m always sad. I’ll need to get over it.

      That said, he does a really good job on TV. Smart. Funny even. An excellent choice.

      My guess he doesn’t leave because I believe he and Mia Hamm are based in LA.

      • Brittney

        during the season Nomar travels around calling games. I like the guys knowledge about the game. He def knows both old school and new school stats. Which if I was in the FO I would really look at somebody that knows both end of it and can break it down for the fans watching the game without causing their heads to spin. Plus I think him and Len would make for an interesting broadcasting pair.

        They could also comb thru MLB network and pluck somebody from there. But I am still stuck on Nomar.

  • anotherjp

    Eric Karros or Mitch Williams please.

    • JK

      ^agreed

Bleacher Nation Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Bleacher Nation is a private media site, and it is not affiliated in any way with Major League Baseball or the Chicago Cubs. Neither MLB nor the Chicago Cubs have endorsed, supported, directed, or participated in the creation of the content at this site, or in the creation of the site itself. It's just a media site that happens to cover the Chicago Cubs.

Bleacher Nation is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Google+