Well, position 1 of 2 in the Cubs broadcast booth has been sorted out, with the hiring of former Arizona Diamondbacks manager, Bob Brenly. However the most important position, the play by play position, remains vacant. There are rumors and names floating around, but it does no good to name them when nothing is official. Instead, I would like to talk a little about Brenly.

I am excited about Brenly being our guy for next year. He knows Chicago, having worked in the WGN radio booth in the early 90′s, and from what he says, the city was good to him. He is also a good friend of Dusty Baker, having worked as one of his coaches in San Francisco. In my opinion these two things can be big assets or big liabilities. On one hand, it’s nice to have someone in the booth that at least has some ties to this Cubs team, but in the same aspect, perhaps we needed someone in there that had no ties. Let me explain my thoughts on both.

Asset
Brenly could be an asset for this team in a number of ways. First, he is a former manager, so he has a good knowledge of the game and the strategies behind it. Because he’s been in the trenches, he can bring a good perspective in terms of managerial decisions. Also, being close to Dusty, he could bring better insight as to what is going on in Dusty’s head when he makes various moves.

Brenly is also a pretty decent color guy. Watching HIM on Fox wasn’t as bad as watching The Corpse, Tim McCarver fumble through the job he had to do. He will not be as good at what he does as Stone, but won’t be nearly as bad as Darrin Jackson, Joe Carter or Dave Otto.

Liability
Brenly may be a liability for this team in the booth. Because Brenly is a former manager and member of Dusty Baker’s staff, he may be too critical of moves made from the dugout. Sometimes when you’ve been there before, you tend to be more critical than when you haven’t. For example, I spent a few summers as a server for a country club in Wilmette, IL. When you spend the time serving rich people in a fine dining atmosphere, you tend to feel confident in your ability to do the job and do it well. So, when I go to a restaurant with my wife, a lot of the time, I am comparing the server’s ability and performance to the job I feel like I could have done. I fear that this may happen in the booth with Brenly. He’s been there before, won before, and may be critical of moves he disagrees win. This was the main reason Stone came into such hot water with the organization and players. He had a reputation, as does Brenly, for telling it as it is and it cost him.

Time will tell how Brenly does as a color guy. He has mighty big shoes to fill, as did Chip. If he can live up to the hype and pressure of the most prestigious media jobs in baseball, he will be a great addition to this team. If he pulls a Stone and tells EVERYTHING like it is, look out. We could be in for a heck of a ride.

Just for a good Laugh
I ran across this post on Baseball Blogs and it made me smile. Check it out

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail