Steve Stone’s resignation
Chicagosports.com has submitted his resignation. I quote from them:
Dear Cubs fans:
Since I put on a Cubs uniform in 1974, I’ve seen lots of Cubs history. There has been heartache and joy, agony and ecstasy, not to mention 21 managers and 10 general managers.
Through all of these years and more than a few broadcast partners, I have always felt a strong connection to the greatest, most loyal fans in baseball, Cubs fans.
My love for the city of Chicago and the people who came to beautiful Wrigley Field has been a constant. Over three million of you Cubs fans came to the ball park in 2004 and the TV ratings showed you watched the Cubs broadcasts in staggering numbers.
Unfortunately, the 2004 season did not end as we had hoped. It was devastating for all of us who invested our hearts, our time and in many cases our lives, in the hopes and dreams of the Cubs winning a world championship.
I am sure you have read many things about this past season and my involvement in one or two controversies. However, you have never heard my story or my perspective of the events that have brought us to this point in time.
As has always been my personal policy, it is not my intention to divulge the content of private conversations I’ve had with others. Likewise, I do not want to be forced into sharing my side of the story.
I came to Chicago on the high road with my credibility and integrity. Thirty years later, I choose to leave the same way.
The phrase I used that angered certain people was “I regret nothing.” Well folks, I was wrong about that and want to set the record straight. I regret I won’t be calling another Cubs game on WGN-TV for the greatest fans in baseball…the fans of the Chicago Cubs.
It’s been a great ride. I will never forget you. Most importantly, I thank you all for every minute of happiness, you, the fans have given me.
That makes me sad, but it’s not unexpected. The grief he took for shooting straight would be hard to take for anyone with even a shred of integrity. He wasn’t perfect, but he was better than most, and I liked his style. The voice of the announcer provides continuity from season to season. Just as the logo and uniforms should be changed sparingly to provide visual consistency to a sport where the roster can turn over 90 % in five years, announcers’ voices provide aural consistency. He’s been here a long time and has become a part of Cubs broadcasts.
With the ousting of Chip “Crap” Caray, the Cubs now have an opportunity to start anew with a twosome whose voices and personalities can stamp Cubs broadcasts as watchable even if they’re 67-95 the year before, as Chip’s grandpa and Stoney did for so many years. Part of that is giving the announcers freedom to be themselves, which we discovered that the increasingly cranky Mr. Stone did NOT have. Here’s hoping they have the long term in mind and not the bottom line. If they open the purse strings for professionals instead of giving the job to blowhards like Joe Carter, and they let them be themselves, Stone’s resignation can allow the Cubs to usher in a fresh new team which will be around for many years. If they go cheap and hire puppets, you may as well hand Cubs broadcasts over to Fox, ‘cuz that’s how bad it could be.