We’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.