Although the Cubs and WGN have yet to speak on the issue, CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler just reported that Houston Astros’ color man Jim Deshaies, who interviewed with WGN last month for their open color position on Cubs’ broadcasts, will be the Cubs’ next color man, replacing Bob Brenly.
WGN was thought to be a bit hamstrung by its soon (2014) expiring contract with the Cubs, but Deshaies would undoubtedly be a good get, and a good fit with play-by-play man Len Kasper.
We spoke briefly about Deshaies before when he interviewed:
When Bob Brenly departed, because of the high profile nature of the Cubs’ gig, I expected more names like Deshaies to pop up – non-Cubs-connected broadcasters who just happen to be really good at their job. By all accounts, Deshaies is that. A particularly notable bit from the above-linked Patrick Mooney article, is a selection from Houston Press’s 2008 Best Commentator distinction: “Jim Deshaies had some tough shoes to fill when he took over the Astros analyst spot from Larry Dierker. But let’s just say, as J.D. settles into his second decade as the Astros TV analyst, that he has not only surpassed Dierker, he has perhaps surpassed every other analyst in baseball. The former starting pitcher knows the ins and outs of the game, from pitching to hitting to fielding to strategy. Best of all, he’s not a homer, and if the good guys goof up, he’ll let you know how and why. And then there’s his quick wit and his ability to throw out a Seinfeld reference or obscure pop culture trivia at a moment’s notice. Nothing gets past Deshaies, and, if you pay attention, you’ll learn more from him than just about any baseball geek in the country.” Knows the game, shares stories, calls players out for obvious screw-ups, pop-culture references. Sound familiar?
We’ll see if and when the Cubs/WGN confirm, but I’m tentatively pleased. We’ll spend a whole lot of time with the Cubs’ broadcasting duo next year, so I’m hopefully it will be an enjoyable experience (even if the games are not). Deshaies is loved by Astros fans, and also by impartial observers.
UDPATE: MLB.com’s Alyson Footer says that Knobler’s report is accurate, and that Deshaies has accepted the gig.
UPDATE 2: Just to button it up, Carrie Muskat says it’s happening. Sweet.