Some updated info I found about the Cubs announcers next season.
Brenly to be Cubs' analyst
Play-by-play man still to be named
By Ed Sherman
Tribune media reporter
November 9, 2004
The Cubs will have a World Series-winning manager in their broadcast booth next year.
Bob Brenly is set to replace Steve Stone as the Cubs' television analyst, according to broadcast sources. Brenly, who guided the Arizona Diamondbacks to the 2001 title, is the first piece in a revamped booth that also will include a new play-by-play announcer to take the place of Chip Caray.
John McDonough, the Cubs' senior vice president for marketing and broadcasting, declined comment on Brenly's status Monday. Brenly couldn't be reached for comment.
Considered one of the top analysts in the game, Brenly, 50, will rekindle his relationships with the Cubs and manager Dusty Baker. After retiring from the San Francisco Giants in 1989, he joined Ron Santo and Thom Brennaman in the Cubs' radio booth for the 1990-91 seasons.
Brenly then went to Baker's staff as a coach in San Francisco. Brenly, an All-Star catcher in 1984, spent the bulk of his nine-year playing career with the Giants.
When told Monday that Brenly was getting the job, Baker said, "I've known B.B. for a long time—we were together in San Francisco. He's a good broadcaster, a good baseball guy, and he's honest. He'll do a great job."
Brenly remained with Baker until 1996, when he went back into broadcasting. He called games with Brennaman for Fox Sports' Saturday and postseason baseball package. Brenly then joined Brennaman in Arizona's booth in 1998. He worked for both Fox and the Diamondbacks through the 2000 season before becoming Arizona's manager.
As an analyst, Brenly has earned high marks for his candor and wit. When Brenly was fired from Arizona last summer, Fox quickly tabbed him again to work the National League playoffs.
"Before becoming a manager, I thought Bob was the best television analyst in baseball," Brennaman said. "There's no reason to think he won't pick up where he left off. He's smart, fun and insightful. He knows the game and he knows television. If he goes to Chicago, the Chicago fans will be extremely fortunate to have had Steve Stone and then Brenly."
In a recent interview, Brenly said he was aware of what happened to Stone. The longtime Cubs analyst declined to return in 2005 after enduring a season in which some players reacted bitterly to his analysis.
At the time, Brenly did not see the situation as being a deterrent to taking the job.
"I'm hired to do a job," Brenly said. "I'll call them as I see them. I'll never intentionally take shots at somebody. Being a manager, I know that unless you know all the facts, sometimes you're better off refraining from saying something."
Brennaman said Brenly wouldn't have any problem being candid.
"You'll know exactly how the game is being played by the Cubs with Brenly in the booth," he said.
Brenly said working in Chicago was two of the most enjoyable years he had in baseball.
"Just going to Wrigley Field as a player, manager and a broadcaster is a special experience," Brenly said. "You walk into the building, and you know you're watching a big-league game. The enthusiasm of the fans and my partners made it a tremendous experience."
Brenly chose the Cubs over several other options, including a possible return to the field. He posted a 303-262 record in 31/2 seasons as a manager.
Brenly rode the pitching of Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling to Arizona's 2001 World Series title over the Yankees in seven games. The Diamondbacks then won the National League West in 2002, posting a 98-64 record.
The Diamondbacks slipped to 84-78 in 2003, finishing third. The bottom fell out this year, when Brenly was fired with Arizona owning a 29-50 record.
O'Brien has inside track for Cubs job
Posted Thursday, November 11, 2004
Barry Rozner By Barry Rozner
Dave O'Brien has vaulted into the lead for the Cubs' play-by-play job and could have the job by the end of business this week, according to a source.
Barring a collapse in negotiations, which could get serious today, O'Brien should become the sixth different man to sit in the No. 1 seat in the Cubs' booth in the last 10 years, following Harry Caray, Thom Brennaman, Wayne Larrivee, Josh Lewin and Chip Caray.
The 41-year-old O'Brien just finished his second year with the Mets and his fourth year with ESPN. He also calls NCAA hoops for ESPN, so there may be some contractual dialogue still in play, which means there's always a chance the deal could hit a snag over money or freedom.
Assuming there's no major hiccup, the Cubs could announce a deal in the very near future.
If a pact with O'Brien falls through - and that's hard to believe with the Cubs suddenly throwing money around like they're printing it - they still have interest in Florida's Len Kasper and San Diego's Matt Vasgersian, though the latter has been unable to get out of his contract and also has interest in the Dodgers.
A Boston native, O'Brien - who's married with three children - has been in the business for 15 years. Before joining the Mets, he handled radio play-by-play for the Braves, including during the 1991 World Series, and was with the Marlins from 1993-2001.
O'Brien also called college football and basketball for Georgia and Miami.
I've also heard rumors about Thom Brennaman being alongside Brenly instead of O'Brien. I would be ok with either of these candidates, Brenly is very good and while I don't know much about O'Brien I don't remember anything particularly bad so he should be ok. It'll take some adjusting to but atleast it's not Dave Otto