One of the most frequently asked questions about the Cubs' impending new radio contract is: Will Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer be moving from WGN to WBBM?
"The answer is yes, I'm going," Hughes said Wednesday, before the Cubs played the Mets at Wrigley Field.
The Cubs and WBBM will announce their multiyear deal during a Thursday afternoon news conference at Wrigley Field. After this season, the Cubs will end an association with WGN radio that began in 1924 and one that has been exclusive since 1958.
The emotional attachment fans feel to the station is fueled by their relationship with the announcers. For years, Vince Lloyd and Lou Boudreau formed a bond with fans. Harry Caray did most of his work on TV after coming from the White Sox after the 1981 season but he did the middle innings on radio for some years with the Cubs.
Hughes teamed with Ron Santo, and they reached Vince-and-Lou status with their broadcasts until Santo's death in 2010.
This is Coomer's first year as analyst, but already he and Hughes have formed a bond with each other and with the fans.
"What's impressive is how quickly Ron has been embraced," Hughes said of Coomer. "The team isn't winning, but Ron has done it. He's a great guy, and this is just the beginning."
Hughes looked at the station switch philosophically.
"I'm going to a great station, and I'm leaving a great station," he said. "I've had this bond with WGN for so long. But I'm just as proud to be going to WBBM. I've always admired them for their organization and their accuracy in news. They are a top-notch organization."
Hughes is signed through the 2015 season, and he said he hopes to broadcast Cubs ball beyond that.
WGN reportedly had lost money on the Cubs, who hope to benefit from several cross-promotional activities and events involving WBBM and CBS stations WSCR 670-AM (the Score, an all-sports station that carries the White Sox) and WCFS 105.9-FM, a station that currently simulcasts WBBM's all-news programming.
Minor league honors:
Minor league phenom Kris Bryant is the Cubs' minor league player of the month for May. Bryant is tearing up the Southern League for the Class AA Tennessee Smokies.
Right-hander Paul Blackburn of the Kane County Cougars won the monthly honor for pitchers.
Bryant has been one of the bigger stories in all of organized baseball. In 29 games in May, he led the league with a .407 batting average on 44-for-108 hitting. He also led with 30 runs scored, 7 doubles, 12 home runs, 34 RBI and 17 walks. His league-leading .492 on-base percentage and .806 slugging percentage combined for an OPS of 1.298.
The 22-year-old third baseman was the Cubs' first-round draft pick last season.
Blackburn, 20, was 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA in 5 starts for the Cougars. He walked just five and struck out 26. He was a "sandwich-round" draft pick (56th overall) in the 2012 draft.