No surprise. Bob Brenly informed the Cubs today he won’t return to their TV booth in 2013. He is expected to become the new analyst for the Arizona. Brenly lives in the Phoenix area and guided the Diamondbacks to the 2001 World Series title.
So who’s in line to replace Brenly?
Rick Sutcliffe: I think he’d be No. 1 on the Cubs’ wish list. The big righthander would be ideal. However, he has a great national gig with ESPN, and I’d be surprised if he wanted to do a full slate of games. Still, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Dan Plesac: After Sutcliffe, I’d expect the Cubs to take a long look at Plesac. He’s from the Chicago area; pitched for the Cubs; and did studio work for them at Comcast SportsNet Chicago. He’s excellent as an analyst for MLB Network. If he’s interested, he would be a terrific fit for the Cubs.
Kerry Wood: In my haste to do this last night, I didn’t include the recently retired pitcher. Judging from Twitter, he would be a popular choice in Cubs nation. However, a couple of things factor against him. According to Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com, Wood wants to spend time with his family and likely won’t be interested in a 150-plus game grind.
And here’s the key point: Does he have enough personality to help carry a telecast? He was a valiant warrior, to be sure. But colorful? Not exactly. I think he’s still a longshot.
Mitch Williams: Another former Cub who has shined on MLB Network.
Doug Glanville: Former Cub, who is bright, insightful on ESPN.
Todd Hollandsworth: Could the Comcast SportsNet studio analyst for the Cubs move up to the broadcast booth? Perhaps.
Steve Stone: Nope. He said he is returning to the Sox for 2013. Also, I don’t think the Cubs want to go down that road again.
Mark Grace: His personal problems are the reason why there’s an opening in Arizona. Too much baggage for the Cubs to take him on now.
Dennis Eckersley: The Hall of Famer has the former Cubs connection. Does studio work for Red Sox and TBS. Just throwing his name out there.
An analyst from another team: I don’t think it is a must for the team to hire a former Cub. Aside from a short radio stint in the early 90s, Brenly wasn’t a Cubs guy. And he worked out terrific.
An inexperienced analyst: Besides Wood, don’t think the Cubs will go with a first-timer unless they are really, really sure it will work. I reference the name below.
Joe Carter: How about a second chance? Right. Don’t think so.
Any other names? Send me your suggestions.