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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.
  • Die hard

    Moreland should be considered as coach

    • Chris S

      Since Moreland wants to spend time with his family. I’d find it pretty unlikely that he’ll want to take a coaching job.

  • James

    BRING SAMMY BACK!….. Just kidding I would like too see maybe Ryan Dempster if he decides to retire. Ryan is a character and would be great to here and he could easily impersonate Harry Carry.
    As far as a coach goes i would have liked to see some consideration in ozzie guillen he would be exciting to watch along with aproven ability to win. His tenure in miami was an unfair showing of what he can do. all the players miami signed were alll huge busts. they all tanked their season and players just stoppedbeing as good as they were suposed to be and they still arent.

    • Rich

      Can we please stop talking about Ryan Dempster’s impersonation of Harry Carry. It stinks, worse than Will Ferrell’s

      things Cubs fans should never say..

      that was #1.

      # 2 Bartman

      # 3 Ronnie Woo Woo..

      • MichiganGoat

        Its not even an impression of Harry its an impression, and a bad one at that, of Will Ferrell’s Harry. And I enjoyed Ferrell’s Harry, but Dempster’s was always as annoying as anyone else who has tried to mimic a comedians act. He might be entertaining and good as a broadcaster (I have no reason to say he would or wouldn’t) but if he’s going to do bad impressions and stupid 1990′s sportscasters bits I will hate him.

    • JulioZuleta

      I have a sneaking suspicion that Ryan Dempster will never be back with this organization in any capacity. I hope not at least.

      • Tony_S

        Why?

        Charity work, seemed liked/loved/respected by everyone from the FO on down, including media, players and fans…

        • JulioZuleta

          He was a fraud, in many ways. I’m not just referring to the 2012 episode where he said “Of course I’ll accept a trade that will help the team…” only to hold the Cubs’ feet to the fire and make them lose out on an insane trade offer by the Braves. He had other, much more serious, much more personal, indiscretions.

          PS: Remember when he threw 3 or 4 straight pitches at A-Rod until he hit him this summer? Quite the impressive feat he accomplished by turning A-Rod into a sympathetic figure, albeit temporarily.

          • Tony_S

            Ok, so let’s do this. You be cryptic and say weird shit implying that Ryan Dempster, I don’t know, kills chickens, or slept with your wife or husband or something. I, without your obvious first-hand insider knowledge, am going to rely on the man’s widely held national reputation, and the things like interacting with sick children that I’ve seen him do with my eyes, and we’ll just agree to disagree, cool?

            Kthxbye

            • JulioZuleta

              He certainly has a reputation for being INCREDIBLY nice and “giving” to the nannies that take care of his children. Also, I think you’re confusing his “national reputation” with his reputation among Cubs fans that thought his jokes and impersonations were charming.

              Now, I think it’s admirable that he helps with sick kids. But, I think to be fair you have to point out that TONS of athletes, including several that are huge jerks, volunteer their time in similar ways. I also think it’s fair to point out that he started his charitable kick *after* his daughter was born with a serious condition. Again, not going to completely ignore that he has some redeeming qualities, he’s just a big fraud. Do a little google search…

              • RD

                You were upset to see him throw at A-Rod?? I’m suprised half the pitchers in the league haven’t done this and I’m glad that Ryan Dempster was man enough to do it after all that scum bag has put the game of baseball through. If anything, that made me and a lot of others like Dempster even more.

                • JulioZuleta

                  If he stopped after the first pitch I would have been fine with it. What he did make a mockery of the game. I don’t think one person defended what he did.

    • Mrs. Howell

      Dempster screwed us. F him! He went from one of my favorites to being despised. He blew his long range prospects.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Dempster did not screw the Cubs. If anybody did, then it was whoever it was in the Braves organization that talked about the trade before it was finalized. Dempster simply exercised his rights.

        • Mrs. Howell

          Aw, Dempster wittle feelings were hurt. If it was a Braves guy, then he still screwed the Cubs. He had an ABSOLUTE RIGHT to reject a trade. However, he still screwed the Cubs, fans and city he professed to love so much. The 2 are not mutually exclusive.

        • JulioZuleta

          I’d buy this if he wasn’t soaking up the great PR early in the year by saying things like “I want to help the Cubs organization…blah blah…” You can’t take the good, but then fall back on the “I had every right to veto that trade” response.

        • Boogens

          “Dempster simply exercised his rights.”

          Not exactly correct. Dempster didn’t exercise his rights. He threw a hissy fit that he wasn’t notified before it was leaked and he dragged his heels, saying he needed a few more days to make a decision. By then the Braves rescinded their offer.

  • Satch Dobrey

    Smart move by Moreland to jump off this Epstein fueled train wreck.

    • Fishin Phil

      Now if you would just be so kind as to step in front of said train, we’d all appreciate that.

      • MichiganGoat

        Now that would be a true squeal moment… we need more squeal moments around here.

      • Cheryl

        Phil, This is completely wrong. Said train doesn’t deserve that carnage. Better to have him leap from a tall building of his own accord.

        • MichiganGoat

          What if said train was full of Cardinals… hmmmmm. Well I guess voodoo magic would cause the train to leap and land safely in the playoffs.

          • Tony_S

            #bestfans

        • Fishin Phil

          Sorry Cheryl, I don’t know what I was thinking!

    • YourResidentJag

      I see Mr. Crap is back with his crap comments.

    • TWC

      Swell. Yesterday’s trolling was such a success that you’re back for more? That’s wonderful.

  • hansman

    “Keith Moreland is stepping down.”

    OH NOES!!!!!!

  • miggy80

    I would like to hear Mike Stafford work with Pat. I know he is a play by play guy, but I’m sure he could make the transition.

  • CubFan Paul

    The Cubs shouldn’t settle for less than $900K-$1.2M for each of those 70 games (WGN pays $300K per game…Dodgers get a little less than $1.7M per game).

    “Fair Market Value” has to be at least $1M per game is what i’m thinking.

    Add in an offseason trade of Superstar player (Price, Tulo, CarGo, Stanton, Kershaw…) and the business side/Kenney can sell future sustained success.

    • MichiganGoat

      I think that range is exactly what they are expecting and I hope they get that, hopefully Fox decides that they want to start a foothold and CSN realizes if Fox overpays for these 70 games they are in a better position to win in 2019. But with our luck nobody will bid and WGN will get the games for leftover Old Style.

  • Bubbleshargrave

    I liked Keith Moreland. Him and pat were just beginning to develop some real chemistry. Dempster is a good suggestion but with par Hughes you need a straight man and a funny man. That’s what made pat so funny is neither santo or Moreland saw a lot of his jokes coming.

  • josh ruiter

    How about Gracey? Seems like could be a fun fit!

    • Voice of Reason

      The cubs are not going to hire a guy who is fresh out of the pokey.

      Next….

      • Tony_S

        Harry Caray’s drunk ghost wonders why…

        • Mrs. Howell

          Tony S…very sharp catch.

    • TWC

      Mark Grace, though probably a lot of fun at a bar, is a terrible broadcaster.

  • ncsujuri

    Gracie!!! Purgatory post DUI’s should be over at some point and it would be a show me deal anyways if its just a one year contract.

  • Voice of Reason

    I’d like to hear pat Hughes do games all by himself. Even if just for one year.

    He is a master at his craft.

    • Tony_S

      Although I don’t believe they’ll see that as realistic, I totally agree that would be awesome.

      I had about a 15 min conversation with Pat at the Cubs Con last year, mostly about Ron but about Pat too, he is a great guy in person, and I love listening to him do the games.

  • ssckelley

    Is Kerry Wood interested or able to work as a color man in the radio booth?

    • Voice of Reason

      Kerry wood? Lol

      What makes you think of that bum?

      He would get injured walking up all the stairs to broadcast the games and miss half of the season.

      That’s one guy I never need to hear from again!

      • ssckelley

        It was just a suggestion. What do you have against Wood?

      • On The Farm

        How quickly forget how awesome Kerry was on those 1998, 2003, and 2008 playoff teams.

      • Carew

        Not much of a Cubs fan if you think Kerry Wood is a bum.

        • Voice of Reason

          “Not much of a Cub fan if you think Kerry Wood is a bum”

          … I’m not a fan who sips from the Cubs Kool Aid! I call it like I see it.

          He had that one great game against the Astros and lived off that one great game for the rest of his career. That’s great that he did that. He made a ton of money on POTENTIAL!

          He couldn’t stay healthy.

          • Mrs. Howell

            Having the misfortune of getting injured does not make a guy a bum. Just unlucky. Look at Wood’s numbers when healthy. INCREDIBLE

    • hansman

      That took less time than I thought.

      • ssckelley

        How about Bob Brenly?

        • Joe

          Meh.

        • hansman

          I’d like him back. I really have no “favorites” for the job as I have no clue who most color men are. The only name that comes to me is Kerry but that is just my ignorance shining through.

        • Fishin Phil

          Why would Brenly give up his TV gig in AZ to come back and do radio only?

          • ssckelley

            I was joking…..jeez

            • Fishin Phil

              Puppethead full of sawdust, missed joke.

            • hansman

              You are skating on thin ice dude. Next thing you will rail against WGN for hiring a guy because he can speak english!

              • ssckelley

                well, moving on to the Ozzie Guillen idea then………….

    • ClevelandCubsFan

      Wood makes a lot of sense. He doesn’t have experience so we can probably get him on a short term deal. Fans will love him even if he is not all that great. if he is good he can probably get hired on with the next organization, or if he doesn’t do a great job he probably won’t be so invested in rhe work that he’d be terribly upset to lose it.

  • Kevin F.

    Doug Glanville. I know, it’d take a guarantee of more than one year, probably a lot of money, and he may not want to give up the ESPN gig. Might as well take a big swing though. The guy also has a tremendous, dry sense of humor, he and Hughes would be highly entertaining.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

    Kerry Wood would be on my “worth asking” list as well.

    There are some good radio voices in the minors – Boise and Tennessee in particular. I’d be curious to hear how they would mesh with Pat Hughes.

    • ClevelandCubsFan

      Anyone from 2003 or 2007-2008… even 1998… recent success… could be a winner. What about a one-off like Gary Gaetti?

      Or hey… since he wants a job and it’d be fun… Pat Hughes and…. Ozzie Guillen!

      • hansman

        “Anyone from 2003 or 2007-2008… even 1998… recent success… could be a winner.”

        Unless I am mistaken, that was Ronnie.

      • Mrs. Howell

        Ozzie! Now that is some out of the box thinking. If I could just understand what he is saying, that would be entertaining,

  • Voice of Reason

    Is Steve Batman available?

    • Tony_S

      No, because he’s fighting crime in Gotham, not doing radio, although I never knew his first name was ‘Steve’… What’s Superman’s first name?

    • ISU Birds

      His voice might not translate to radio it’s probably too raspy and deep.

    • fortyonenorth

      Batman and Hughes–the dynamic duo.

  • Mikelach13

    I won’t really miss Moreland, unless they hire Dave Otto, he’s awful!

    • Fishin Phil

      Agreed, please no Dave Otto!

  • Eric

    Boston. Grrrrr….

  • ISU Birds

    Brett for the new Color man! Brett for the new Color man! C’mon everyone let’s start a grassroots movement and get him the job. Brett for the new Color man!!

    • Tony_S

      I kinda like this idea, but I don’t know about pushing a guy with two kids and one of them being brand new…

      Brett, what say you?

      • MichiganGoat

        I don’t know, Brett would need at least 2 innings of banter before he start calling the games. ;)

        • Fishin Phil

          He could talk about his Glory Days of kickball.

          • MichiganGoat

            And whatever show was on the TV last night or cats.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          All true. Most folks would *hate* me if they had to listen to me on a regular basis. I would also talk over Pat all the time, and my sentences would last a half inning.

          • MichiganGoat

            “I would also talk over Pat all the time”

            I’m not sure, you might just become a 16 year old girl swooning over his every word and tell him “here’s my number” – is voice is that good and you would be sitting a few feet next to him. You would be putty.

          • On The Farm

            That or Brett would let his co-host go off on some random tangent and then after he finished he would just say, “..yeah.”

  • Aaron

    Keith Moreland was a likeable personality on the radio but never really added much insight into the game he was covering. As a former player in the college ranks and a fan of the game, tell me something I don’t already know. I feel the same way for the TV team as well.

    • Mrs. Howell

      Absolutely fair. He added little or no insight.

  • Senor Cub

    I love radio and many times I would prefer listening then watching mainly because I can do a project around the house and then run in to watch the excitement on TV. Personally anyone next to Pat will sound great, Pat makes the radio part very exciting not the other way around.

    • YourResidentJag

      I agree.

  • Cubbie in NC

    Conspiracy theory:

    Cubs never seriously considered Lovullo but heard that the Red Sox would not grant him permission to interview with the Cubs. So they feigned interest for payback for their previous douche-baggery…

  • Spencer

    Your parenthetical was a bit confusing at first read.

  • On The Farm

    I can’t believe everyone is skipping over the fact that Kris Bryant stole another base last night. Is it possible we got a triple threat at the #2 overall pick (Speed tool, hit tool, power tool)?

  • Tony_S

    A note on the Gammons article: I don’t necessarily disagree with the synopsis above, but my interpretation was slightly different: yes, this was a horseshit move, but it was OWNERSHIP’S fault, not dear Ben Cherington, which, actually, I can almost see. Reading between the lines, it sounds like Theo went straight to Lucchino or Henry, and if only he’d have called Ben, maybe Ben could have smoothed it over with them. Although I find that scenario hard to believe, it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

    The crappiest part is the whole Lovullo didn’t know what he wanted… Of course he didn’t, that’s part of the interview process!!

    And the saddest part to me, is that Peter Gammons used to be a respected national guy, and now I don’t know what he is… He’s like part time Boston lackey, part “Hey I still have connections and am relevant!” -guy. Sad.

  • Fishin Phil

    I know…. Let’s bring Joe Carter back!

  • Crazyhorse

    The spin came out of Chicago. All the Cubs had to do was formally ask the Redsox and then give compensation if The Cubs signed Lovullo. The Cubs Front Office could have stopped all this hype and confusion- and they did not.

    I dont blame the Cubs . I doubt the front office wanted to give any type of compensation if they hired Lovullo.The redsox had every right to stay quiet and let the process play out.
    The process played out and the redsox on some media was protrayed the as villian and some made the Cubs looked two faced. back stabbers that do care to honor aggreements .

    All this is petty and a symbol of what this current Cubs front office and The Cubs organization has become.

    The Cubs signed Renteria . I do not know if renty will become a good manager but i think he make a good employee and trained puppet of the front office (and perhaps that will make him a good manager) Yet Renteria is good choice for a last place team and hopefully with his skill set he can bridge the gap the Vision the front office has for the younger Cubs that will soon test the waters at major league level. Ret is experience he is bilingual and that is plus (even if you agree or disagree) He is professional and he is dedicated. The decisions he makes on the field should be his evaluation as a manager until then the Cubs made a logical good choice.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      “All the Cubs had to do was formally ask the Redsox and then give compensation if The Cubs signed Lovullo.”

      You are mistaken. The Cubs were not even permitted to ask.

      • MichiganGoat

        “You are mistaken”

        Nah not Crazyhorse?

      • Crazyhorse

        How can team not even be permitted to ask?

      • Coldneck

        “The Cubs were not permitted to ask.”

        What does that even mean? If the Cubs wanted to ask for permission they easily could have, Perhaps it would have been denied (or perhaps it was through back channels). I don’t blame the Cubs here at all but your response is a little flimsy.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Apparently the 2011 agreement, when enforced with respect to Lovullo, completely took him off the table as any kind of possibility. That was the Red Sox’s position: in other words, “you can’t even ask us to interview him.”

          I agree that it’s flimsy. The whole thing was a joke.

    • BT

      You must feel better now that you’ve pulled all of those points straight from your rectum. Sitting down must be easier at least.

      • Boogens

        Wow. I didn’t realize how twisted this was. That puts the Peter Gammons “report” in a whole different light. So the Cubs weren’t even permitted to ask but the Red Sox, using their pitchman, claimed that they never denied permission because they were never asked. Man, that’s really pathetic. Thanks for the better insight, Brett.

        • Boogens

          This comment was meant as a response to Brett’s comment, not to BT. Sorry for the fat-fingering.

    • Coldneck

      And dear lord, I hope nobody else calls Renteria “Renty.” If so, I’ll call for his firing tomorrow. I don’t think I can handle another years of hearing that.

      • Hee Seop Chode

        once things go poorly we can call him Renty the Rental, as in Rental Manager until there’s a 1/2 decent squad.

    • mjhurdle

      “trained puppet of the front office”

      How exactly does one train a non-living thing?

      • Fishin Phil

        Well, if it involves whips or electro-shock therapy, I’m out!

        • Boogens

          That’s not what I heard. ;-)

          • hansman

            He meant he’s out as in heading out to the Cubs FO…

  • ssckelley

    To bad Bill Murray just signed up to do another movie. Could you imagine having either Bill Murray or Jim Belushi in the booth?

    • Tony_S

      Oh. My. Word.

      I’m voting this comment of the week, at a minimum. I SO want either of these guys!!

      BFM? Yes please!!!

      • ssckelley

        Woo hoo, I went from the outhouse (see last night bilingual rant) to the penthouse all in one post!!!!!

        • MichiganGoat

          Um the penthouse speaks spanish so too bad for you

          • ssckelley

            Goat, I am going to learn!!!!

    • ColoCubFan

      We could kill 2 birds with 1 stone! Belushi could announce games, and do “Take me out to the ballgame” and end that endless parade of celebrity singers.

    • Mrs. Howell

      For a year, having Murray and Belushi alternate would be fantastic. Could be the only thing to compel me to listen to another year of bad baseball.

  • N.J. Riv

    Girardi wanted to broadcast… that’s probably why the Cubd wanted him, they knew Morland wanted to call it quits.

  • dying cubs fan’s last request

    Mark Grace.

  • Crazyhorse

    And if a team is not pernitted to ask , then why bellyache about it?

    • BT

      Because they could be given permission?

      • Crazyhorse

        and they did not recieve it . so move on. the Cubs front office knew that ,hence the pettiness

        • BT

          The circular logic is strong in this one.

          • Boogens

            Dude, that’s hysterical!!! Too f-ing funnny!

    • Crazyhorse

      hmm- how that get there? lol

  • Jim

    I’m not sure if he would want to do it or would have the time, but how about Jim Belushi? He is definitely a Cub fan and witty. Could be fun.

    • ssckelley

      Rick Vaughn!

      #winning

      • Tony_S

        LOLp

    • Tony_S

      See above, he and BFM are officially on the BN table….

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