Brenly ‘grateful' for 8 years in Cubs booth
The Cubs television broadcast team of play-by-play man Len Kasper, left, and analyst Bob Brenly had been together since the 2005 season.
Since 2005, Bob Brenly teamed with Len Kasper to form arguably the best local TV broadcast duo in baseball.
The party ended Wednesday when Brenly said he was leaving the WGN and Comcast SportsNet booth to pursue another broadcast opportunity.
It's likely Brenly will move to the Arizona Diamondbacks' booth. Brenly has a home in the Phoenix area.
"I can't really say much more," Brenly said by telephone. "I'm very grateful and happy for the eight years in Chicago. Working with Len was a pleasure every day. All good things must come to an end."
Kasper said he had mixed emotions.
"I'm crushed, but I'm happy for him," Kasper said. "Everything is fleeting. You wish only the bad things were fleeting, but the good things are fleeting, too. I'll never forget how easy it was to work with Bob. He made it so easy."
Brenly, who managed the Diamondbacks to the 2001 world championship, is likely to replace former Cub Mark Grace, who was put on leave after a DUI arrest this past summer.
Speculation figures to begin immediately on a replacement for Brenly. One name surely to come up will be popular former pitcher Kerry Wood, who retired as a Cub last May.
Kasper and Brenly replaced the team of Chip Caray and Steve Stone after the 2004 season. Stone, also extremely popular with many Cubs fans, has been working in the White Sox' TV booth, and he has said he will return there.
"It's the most coveted job in baseball, and it should be," Kasper said of broadcasting Cubs games. "Bob set the bar very, very high, and I will do everything I can to make it as comfortable as it can be (for the new analyst)."
Kasper and Brenly developed a special chemistry over the years. During blowout games, the two could talk music or entertainment while letting the picture tell the story of the game. And Brenly was not afraid to criticize the Cubs for poor or sloppy play.
"Run it out!" was one exclamation after several Cubs failed to run out grounders this year.
There had been speculation Brenly would apply to be manager of the Cubs following the 2010 season, after Lou Piniella resigned and Mike Quade took over.
But Brenly took his name out of consideration late that season, saying he wasn't sure the Cubs were on the right path. Quade ended up keeping the job and was fired after the 2011 season after Theo Epstein took over as Cubs baseball president.
Kasper said it didn't take him long to feel comfortable with Brenly.
"I think back to that first broadcast in spring training (of 2005)," Kasper said. "I was nervous, but it took me about two minutes to realize I had hit the jackpot. He was a dream from Day One."
Comcast SportsNet issued this statement: "All of us at Comcast SportsNet truly appreciate the standout efforts that Bob has provided to our Cubs telecasts over the years, and we wish him well in his next broadcasting venture."
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