cubs broadcast boothWe’ll have much more on the now-concluded managerial search later today, and there should be a press conference at some point. Until then …

  • Three seasons after replacing Ron Santo as the color man in the WGN radio booth for Cubs broadcasts, Keith Moreland is stepping down. He indicated in a statement on WGN Radio’s site that the decision was personal, and that it was just time to be home with his family. I am only an occasional radio listener (who doesn’t like hearing Pat Hughes?), and I have no opinion of Moreland’s ability, but I always got the sense that reactions to him were mixed. Feel free to toss out your suggestions for his replacement.
  • Of course, with the WGN radio contract under renegotiation, with indications that WGN may not be happy carrying Cubs games anymore, Moreland’s job was assured through only 2014 anyway, so he’s not walking away from much. For that same reason, as Bruce Levine points out, the Cubs may have trouble recruiting a big name to replace Moreland, given that WGN can only guarantee the position for next season.
  • Ready for some spin coming out of Boston? After a week in which they’ve been brutalized, both in Chicago and from national folks, for their decision to forbid bench coach Torey Lovullo to interview with the Cubs for their managerial job, there’s a report suggesting maybe they were just misunderstood. Peter Gammons (consider the connections) reports that the Cubs never called the Red Sox about interviewing Lovullo when their search began, and thus the Red Sox front office never had a chance to see if they could work something out with the Cubs. So it was the Cubs’ fault for not reaching out to the Red Sox – before their playoff run had ended, mind you – to try and work something out while the playoffs were going on. Forget the fact that the issue all along was the Red Sox’s refusal to even entertain a request to interview Lovullo because of a 2011 agreement that the Cubs wouldn’t raid the Red Sox’s personnel (Lovullo was a Blue Jays employee at the time). If the Cubs had only pressed the issue at a completely inappropriate time to do so, all could have been well. Slipped into Gammons’ report? Red Sox GM Ben Cherington made things right with Lovullo by giving him a new three-year contract with a raise. Yes, I’m sure that’s equivalent to being the manager of a major market team. The Red Sox aren’t the bad guys after all! Good thing this report trickled out!
  • A little more on the Cubs’ decision to opt out of the TV deal with WGN here from Crain’s. And then a great deal more inside joojoo from the Tribune, a report that indicates CSN is not inclined to bid on the soon-to-be-available WGN games (about 70) right now. And CSN is the Cubs’ only available bidder on cable, thanks to an exclusivity agreement. That could leave local Fox as the only other bidder for the WGN games (which may not sound like much of a market to get the bidding up, but Fox could have an eye on a regional sports network in Chicago come 2019 when the full slate of games are up. Getting these 70 games now would get their foot in the door.).
  • In AFL action yesterday, Kris Bryant was 2-3 with a walk and a stolen base (his third), and Wes Darvill was 0-4. Each of Lendy Castillo and Armando Rivero threw a scoreless inning with a strikeout apiece.
  • Leroy K

    I’ll do it! I went to school for radio broadcasting. Where do I apply?!!!!

  • JulioZuleta

    So far I’ve seen Dempster, Grace, Glanville, Wood, Gaetti, and Brenly as desirable candidates on here. What, no DeRosa?

  • Mrs. Howell

    Moreland is a good guy in the wrong job. I was not compelled to listen to him (or DeShays-spelling?). Certainly we can do better in a major market. That goes for the south side too. Len Casper and Stone Pony are the only 2 worthy of work in this major market.

    • ssckelley

      I mentioned this idea earlier, probably unlikely since he just signed up to do another movie. But I am sure the ratings would skyrocket with him in the booth and he could make it interesting during another potentially long season.

  • Dane

    Is grace out of jail yet?

  • Kyle

    So the Ricketts Cubs are about to enter a majorly important business negotiation with shaky, at best, leverage and the hopes that *maybe* they can drum up a second interested bidder?

    This is not going to go well.

    • itzscott

      Nothing ever seems to end well when it comes to Ricketts and the Cubs, except for the Epstein hire.

      You have to wonder how this family ever managed to make their billions.

      • cavemencubbie

        I think it was the kids old man who made the money. Just because you are a child of a genius doesn’t make yoy one.

        • Cubbie Blues

          Incapital, Mesirow Financial, ABN AMRO & TD Ameritrade would say yoy are wrong.

  • Erin T. Hart

    Just a thought here. I’d bet Bill Murray would be willing to give at least one season on radio a try. I think that would be pretty interesting but not sure he and Pat would be a good fit. Any thoughts out there on that?

  • ssckelley

    Move Jim Deshaies to radio and hire Kim DeJesus for the TV gig.


    Just for 2014, get us through next year.

    • On The Farm

      I would happily listen to that/watch Kim in the broadcast booth any game.

    • Big Daddy

      Yes, please.

    • Cub Lew


  • Bwa

    Wait… Bryant steals bases?

  • Kyle

    OK, so let me make sure I’m clear on the Cubs’ TV rights situation. The Cubs want what other teams have gotten, but their leverage for making that happen seems murky at best. That’s a recipe that worked so well in the Wrigley Field expansion…

    • YourResidentJag

      Yep. Exactly. I just wish NBC Sports Network would just get involved and show the 70 games on their station to folks regionally. They could show A’s, Giants, Phillies, Braves, and any other teams with CSN affiliations to the markets those affiliations serve. Out of market subscribers would unfortunately be blacked out….but at least it’s better than nothing.

  • YourResidentJag

    You know who they should hire. Dave Campbell. Why not? With the future of WGN being so uncertain. Ask him for the year. I really enjoyed when he filled in for Bob Brenly on assorted road trips over the past years. Good voice for radio as well.

  • papabear

    The national tv deal goes from 25 mil to 54 mil this year – according to mlb

  • notcubbiewubbie

    now if we could just find a way to get rid of kasper the ghost on tv.

  • ryanissamson

    The churn continues. I wouldn’t have guessed we’d still be experiencing a turnover of everyone from managers to broadcasters two years ago. Let’s hope that the staff we have going into this season is the staff that takes us into the promise land and that we aren’t going through this same thing two years from now.

    • DarthHater

      A radio announcer’s decision to spend more time with his family has nothing whatsoever to do with the state of the Cubs organization.

  • fang2415

    Pat should do the broadcast solo. Color guys add more irrelevant chit-chat than anything else. When broadcasters go solo, the signal-to-noise ratio goes up considerably.

    • Aaron

      I didn’t think of that, but actually don’t mind that idea. Part of the problem, though, is that Pat takes breaks during the game, so you’d need someone else who could go at it alone, too.

      • fang2415

        I got the idea from occasionally listening to Brewers games and realizing that not only is Uecker great on his own, but whoever takes Ueck’s off-innings is also better alone. At the moment they’ve got Joe Block backing up Ueck, who is terrific — young, classically golden-voiced, smart, and funny. I’d be very happy with Pat solo most innings and then a guy like Block solo during the off-innings.

        Mind you, I thought even Zonk was better when he went solo. Much more talk about the game and much less about bands and food and golf and stuff.

  • Cubfan Budman

    How bout Lovullo in the booth

    • Patrick W.

      Well done.

  • YourResidentJag

    Well, since Scott Miller and Danny Knobler have just been let go….maybe the Cubs should do an experiment and see if a baseball writer can be a baseball analyst on radio.

  • Funn Dave

    Should I act surprised when WGN offers me the radio gig? I suppose I’ll just reluctantly accept.

  • guy

    just an opinion from a primarily radio listener, i think its a bummer that moreland is leaving. obviously nobody could replace ronnie, but keith did a good job and mixed well with pat. on tv however, i hate listening to jim deshiles. i miss bob brenley. JD just doesnt mix well with len.

    • another_guy

      I’m with you. I listen / watch all my games on mlb.TV cause I live out of market. I always listen to the radio feed over the video. Pat and Keith are miles ahead of Len and JD who just don’t mix.

      I am sad that Keith is outta there, IMO he did an good job taking over from a legend. I actually learned a thing or two about playing the game listening to keith.

  • Rebuilding

    Personally glad to hear the WGN news. Now they are just a buyout of CSN away from having a Cubs station which is where the real money is. With respect to Moreland, I know a lot of Cubs fans that despise him, but I always enjoyed his homespun, folksy style.

  • Tank

    I have been asking for his dismissal since he started. He’s terrible and only states the obvious. When he comes up with a prediction for the game or situation he is always wrong. I’m sorry but the radio broadcast is only going to get better from here.

  • Harry Knuckles

    Steve Bartman! It’s time he feels the love and is welcomed back to Wrigley Field.

    • someday…2015?

      Haha I can see it now… *Pat Hughes commentating** ” High fly ball, left corner, Soler has a beat on it aaand OH NO, a fan has interfered and the umps missed it!!! I can’t believe this! What the hell was that guy thinking!?!”

      **Bartman** “Well Pat, as a seasoned vet on these type of things let me break it down for you. You see the way the guy put his hands up at a 180 degree angle? If he had gone up at a 90 degree angle Soler would of caught that ball negating the interference. Quite simple actually.”

      **Hughes** “Great analyst as usual Steve!”

  • wilbur

    so long zonk, wgn probably wouldn’t renew his deal, so may as well part ways. wgn has been coasting with the cubs for years, good time for a shakeup. I wouldn’t miss any of them. Hughes does have a great voice but he’s about as wooden as they come. And he has one joke, thank you for asking…

    hire someone good for a change.

  • Rich

    How about Pat Hughes goes to tv and then radio broadcasts the tv audio
    I mean Pat is the best and Len is the worst

  • Jason Powers
    • MichiganGoat

      Great write up Jason and I love the Shakespeare quote at the end.