Look for Wood to replace Brenly in Cubs booth
Former Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood, here getting a standing ovation in his last appearance at Wrigley Field on May 18, could be the favorite among contenders seeking Bob Brenly's broadcast job with the Cubs.
George LeClaire | Staff Photographer
Bob Brenly is gone from the Chicago Cubs broadcast booth after eight years, and I liked Brenly both personally and professionally because he was unbiased about what he was watching.
He wouldn't get too high when things went well for the Cubs, and wouldn't get too down when things didn't. I just think after eight years he had enough, even though I can't fathom somebody wanting out of the Cub booth voluntarily.
To most guys it would be a lifetime gig. But believe me, Bob will never let you know if there were any issues. He had fun, made some money and definitely has other opportunities.
Bob and I also have a professional connection. You might recall a few years back I was questioning the Chicago White Sox lineup when Ozzie Guillen called me during my radio show. The Sox were playing the Cubs at Wrigley Field. When Ozzie and I were sparring, Bob Brenly was sitting next to me. Bob had come across the street to an establishment, Hi-Tops, where we were doing our broadcast at the time.
The call came during some pleasant banter I was having with Bob. Ozzie started swearing, and Bob's face turned ashen.
To this day, I don't remember if Bob said anything after that except goodbye!
Bob will be missed because he is the last of the truly unbiased analysts in Chicago when it comes to Chicago sports teams.
The problem in this city is the other color commentators have one big thing going against them. They all have Chicago ties from when they played here.
I have interviewed all of them and listened to them for a living. Brenly always struck me as a guy who was going to just tell the truth and he did. He never played one game wearing a White Sox or Cub uniform, and he had no ties from the past.
That will end soon. There are reports that the Cubs will interview 12 people or more. Believe me, they know who they want already.
I will be stunned if it isn't Kerry Wood. Cub fans love him. He's a good guy, and he won't bite the hand that has fed him.
The PR spin has been basically akin to a guy who had the career of a Mariano Rivera or Justin Verlander. That aside, Wood is charitable, articulate and a fan favorite.
Right now I have the odds in this order:
• Wood — even money.
• Rick Sutcliffe — established at 4-1.
• Mark Grace, with some off the field DUI issues, three years ago might have been the favorite. I have him at 15-1.
So, good luck to Bob. And Cub fans, you better get ready for a more politically correct broadcast in the future.
Last week, I was 2-0 with my picks. I had Oakland (+ 8 ½) and they lost by 3 points. I had Seattle (+ 3 ½) and they won straight up over New England. My record is now 8-7-1 on the season.
This week, I like Cincinnati (+1) over Pittsburgh, and Minnesota (-6) over Arizona.
Monday night, catch Dan Jiggetts and Mike North on Bears Pregame Show at 7 p.m. on WCIU-TV (Ch. 26, The U).
• Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at dailyherald.com. For more, visit northtonorth.com.
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