Brenly for Grace Would be a Lousy Deal for the Cubs

Cubs color man Bob Brenly interviewed for the Brewers' managerial job on Thursday, leading Paul Sullivan to wonder if former Cub and onetime Chicago playboy Mark Grace would replace Brenly in the Cubs' booth, assuming BB lands the Milwaukee job.

According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Brewers GM Doug Melvin will probably limit the number of candidates to three, with Brenly competing for the slot against former Mets manager Willie Randolph and former A's manager Ken Macha. Brenly's appeal vis a vis the other two options includes his having won a World Series with the Diamondbacks and his deep knowledge of the Cubs personnel. Melvin expects to make his selection next week.

Grace, meanwhile, has been a TV analyst for the Diamondbacks in addition to working for Fox. Notwithstanding his frank assessment of the Cubs' aborted '08 post-season run, that "they just laid down," I can't say that I've been very impressed with his work as an announcer.

I liked Brenly and Kasper the first time I heard them together and as they have grown more accustomed to one another in the booth, I have grown to like them a lot. I would hate to see Brenly leave that post—whether he's replaced by Grace or anybody else—and to the extent that his inside knowledge of the Cubs might be an asset to the Brewers, I would also hate to see him in charge of Team Bratwurst.


Grace is awful...

Brenly is decent, but he's got some weird grudges/biases it seems like. Gets on Soriano a lot and then excuses every stupid thing Theriot does.

Bring back Steve Stone!!! 

I will never understand the love for Steve Stone. He was a good color man, but not the greatest that everyone makes him out to be. More often than not, it seemed like he just wanted to hear himself talk. I would gladly take Grace over Stone.

stone's terrible on his radio show, but an awesome  color guy.

mark grace is'll hear some fun behind-the-scenes stories, but won't tell you shit about the game.

I grew up listening to Steve Stone and would love to see (or more appropriatley hear) him come back to the Cubs. His insightful comments during the 80s and 90s are one reason I think Cubs fans are generally more knowledgable than almost any other. I don't think he's being talked about nearly enough.

One of the things I have heard about him is conflicting reports over whether or not he could get out of his Sux contract. That's just Friday afternoons, right? Surely he could get out or have some backdoor for a full time gig.

I love Grace, but he was a better player than announcer. Of course he's new at it and given his stature as a former member of the Cubs I think we should give him a chance to hone his broadcasting art. I would be most comfortable with him as a third member of the booth. Either Len, Bob, and Gracie or Len, Stony and Gracie.

Karros would be a decent choice.

Haven't heard Plesac.

Loved Big Red, but in the booth I think he'd be more like Joe Carter 2.0

i f'n love mark grace in the booth.

that's cuz i enjoy hearing him blab on and on about stupid crap covering a team i don't care about. he's done some classic funny stuff, a ton of corny stuff, a lot of odd stuff, but very little stuff that would make him a top tier color guy.

i kinda prefer him where he is at least until he hones his craft a bit more (if possible).

Pretty much agree with Cubnut -- I like Brenly (and Kasper) and Grace not so much.

Hopefully the Brewers go with Macha or Randolph. If I were them, I'd choose Macha, Brenly, Randolph, in that order.

As a Cub fan, I hope they go for Macha. BP put it politely in a 2007 Q & A: "Citing a 'disconnect' between the manager and his players, Beane unceremoniously fired Macha after the 2006 season." At the time, the SF Chronicle reported that Macha had "trouble communicating with his players and [a] 'callous attitude' toward injured players." Also, he never got his rather talented A's teams through the playoffs. You would think the Brewers have had enough of clubhouse problems and late-season chokes, but maybe not.

Bring on Gracie!!!!

I like Brenly but he was the wrong choice for the Cubs. Good luck in Milwaukee Mr. Brenly, may you never finish first in the central.

I'm curious. How was Brenly the wrong choice for the Cubs? I'd rather have a knowledgeable and listenable-to color guy than some boring and annoying homer.

Plus he'd done Cubs game before going to Arizona. Not sure why/how he'd be "wrong," unless Chad wants someone who played for the Cubs.

"less Chad wants someone who played for the Cubs."

I not only want someone who played for hte cubs but i want someone who loved playing for the Cubs.

Gracie may never make it to the hall but if he does, he'll wear a cubs hat.

Brenly never played for the cubs and i'm not quite sure why the hired him. I enjoyed him as an announcer but he should be in San Fran.

the funny thing is the Krukow is one guy who (IMO) is qualified for both the Giants and the Cubs announcing gigs.

brenley used to work cubs radio and is/was generally considered a good color man.

eventually he'll manage somewhere again, if not next year...

he's VERY in tune with youth and youth culture (well, 20-30 year old "youth"). he knows the music, the dress, and how to communicate without sounding like someone's 80 year old grandfather. he's known for being an announcer that the players don't mind in the lockerroom (which is kinda rare to have a guy like that in the booth who isn't treated as an outcast in the lockerroom).

aka...he has shown and projects to be a good manager of personalities. he's also got that ring-thing going on.

"enley used to work cubs radio and is/was generally considered a good color man"

does not qualify. i want a chicago cub. a guy who wore the jersey. and more so, a guy who really enjoyed his time as a Cub.

todd hundley?

i don't know. i've never heard him announce.

it was a bad joke anyway...todd (and for a while his dad, randy) were outwardly pissy toward the cubs.

didn't randy announce for a while?

Yeah, then that's just your definition of a bad hire. I want a good color man, interesting and knowledgeable, rather than someone who necessarily played for the Cubs. If I want to hear homerism enough to pull at my heart strings, I'll turn on Pat and Ron.

What's Joe Carter up to?


Grace was an over-rated, self-promoting ballplayer (Yeah, Mark, we know; most-hits-and-doubles-in-the-80's), and the only interesting thing abut him was his former model wife.

Leave him to the vapid fans in Arizona.

I like Brenly, and it's always more enjoyable to watch when there is obvious chemistry in the booth.

However, as a manager, one game sticks in my mind -- may have been vs. AZ(?). Cubs down a run in the 9th, LH reliever on the mound, DLee singles with 2 outs, Rammy due up. Lou pinch-runs Pie for Lee, knowing that the LH reliever goes to a slide step with a fast runner on first, and his slider flattens out when he does that.

Pie doesn't run, Brenly is baffled ("why pinch run Pie if he's just going to stand there?"), then Rammy hits a flat slider for a game-winning HR. Brenly had no idea what was going on (neither did I, at the time).

Woops -- that should have been "90's", not "80's".

Also -- for all the DPLee fans -- Grace led the league in GIDP in 1993 with 25.

Also -- for all the DPLee fans -- Grace led the league in GIDP in 1993 with 25.

Not sure how this is relevant. Lee didn't lead the league in GIDP, Tejada did.

Further, Carlos Lee and Albert Pujols tied for the league lead in GIDP in 2007.

Double plays happen.

the last thing we need in chicago is a straight-talking veteran of the cubs, the city, the world series. we have more than we can handle on the radio. having to listen to 'fibber mcgee and ronnie' is too much criticism for me!

Goat Riders reporting Brenly's been offered the job. They don't mention any hint of a source though, so who knows.

Karros has been pretty decent on Fox, the articles Glanville has written are good and his interviews seem like he'd be pretty good.

as long as it's not Dan Plesac or Dave Otto.

Karros would be great too. While he is a dodger and forever will be, he LOVED being a Cub and talks about all the time.

I was in the bleachers in 04 when the A's were in town and during warmups karros was in the outfield. Lot of fans were yelling for him (nice things) and cheering him. Right before he ran into the dugout, he turned and waved his cap at hte fans and they all went nuts.

And of course that whole 1 page ad he took out in the trib.

Class guy.

I second Karros and Glanville. If it's Plesac, my TV will forever be on mute. Hell, I might even just buy one of those giant flat screens without speakers that they use in nice office buildings. He is absolutely impossible to listen to.

Apparently Grace though RIPPED the Cubs yesterday, per ESPN Radio. I don't remember the exact quote, but to the effect that "the Cubs choked and froze and should be embarrassed". I don't disagree with that, but who knows if the powers that be want that kind of straight talk. They sure didn't with Stone after the 2004 late season collapse.

I used to not like Kasper/Brenly, but they have grown on me.

Steve Stone was not fired. He left on his own deision, mainly because his witty banter buddy, Chip Caray was not happy with the salary the Cubs presented to him and left for ATL. The The Mercker incident was just the straw.
I like Stone somewhat, but his arrogance is off-putting. Let Milwaukee take Randolph. They want Brenly for insider stuff. Actually, I'm a little disappointed with their choices of coaches. Hell, get McKeon (going on 78) if you want someone old who knows how to coach the young-ins.


Another good choice.

I mentioned the other day that Tyler Colvin had missed a week of AFL games. Here's the injury report (Jason Grey blog,

On an additional injury note, Cubs outfielder Tyler Colvin has been pulled from the AFL due to a bone spur in his elbow, and he's scheduled to have surgery this week.

I heard Plesac on Mac, Jurko and Harry one day a few weeks ago, and they were grilling him on the possibility of doing Sox radio, like they had inside info that it was a done deal. Plesac did not discourage the speculation.

I'd say NSFW definitely, but in the words of Bronson Pinchot's character in "Risky Business," those are some "sublime breasts."

They were paying Brenly 850k, so they have room in the budget to get a top-flight guy. My vote goes to Orel Hershiser, who does a great job on ESPN despite being saddled with Steve Phillips most of time. Stay clear from Grace as he sounds like a bonehead on D'backs telecasts I watched this past year on

Orel Hershiser would be great.

But is the Cubs full-time job a better gig than the ESPN part-time job? I am not so sure about that...

Money wise it would be better, since I doubt ESPN pays him the 850k the Cubs did Brenly to a game or two a week. Though if Hershiser values being around the house it might not be worth it. Of course, the Cubs Media department was accomdating to Brenly whenever he wanted to take a day here and there to watch his kid. I am sure his successor could get the same sort of clause. If we did not lose everytime he annouces one of are games, stealing Ron Darling from the Mets wouldnt be a bad option. His a good color guy, but we would go 0-162.

Yeah, Hersheiser would be among my top choices but I don't know if the Cubs could get him.

Announcing derby-

Grace-I guess, if we can have a lobotomy patient doing radio color we can't be too critical

Sutcliffe-Yes, especially if they bring Harry's Styrofoam cooler back for him. "Did you hear about that?"

Orel Hershiser- no thanks

Darin Jackson- dear God no!

Dan Plesac- as Chad and I has pointed out too npr-

didn't randy announce for a while?

Oh, no...not another dadgummit analyst.

Sutcliffe was previously offered Brenly's job (before Brenly was hired) but turned it down, primarily because he didn't want to work a full game schedule. Did anyone catch Harold Reynold's work in the beginning rounds of the playoffs on TBS? Hard to believe this was the same guy who came off so badly during his "Baseball Tonight" tenure on ESPN, but I thought his work was excellent. Never said too much, always insightful, and let the game come to the viewer. Maybe being surrounded by Phillips and Krukie made him catch a case of the stupids.

I used to like Stone, but he's become way too enamored with himself these days. He's always calling pitches from the booth, and if you happened to listen to him and Farmer last season, it was like hearing two narcissists argue over who gets to use the mirror.

I lived in Arizona during the D-Backs 2001 Championship season with Brenly at the helm. You can go back to some stories in the Arizona Republic after that season and find more than a few comments by players that they won that championship 'in spite of Brenly, not because of him'. He was not a very-well liked or respected manager....never exactly sure why.

Brenly was smart enough to pitch Johnson and Schilling as much as he could Manuel is likely going to cost the Phillies by not giving Hamels 3 starts in the series and giving Moyer atleast a start in the series. The Phillies pitching situation just screams 3 man rotation.

All good and well, except for the fact that the Phillies won Moyer's start (which was actually well pitched) and they are now one game away from winning it all.

i don't like bob that much, i mean he's better than len. but he's still sub par. i don't hate 'em like

but um...brenly as manager of the brewers? hm. i can't even think of anything to say.

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  • 2nd in defensive WAR, NL.

    6th in NL in RBI

    Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.

    The E-Man 7 hours 29 min ago view
  • Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.

    billybucks 8 hours 45 min ago view
  • Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.

    billybucks 9 hours 28 min ago view
  • There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!

    billybucks 9 hours 29 min ago view
  • Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.

    billybucks 9 hours 30 min ago view
  • Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.

    Jackstraw 9 hours 34 min ago view
  • Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.

    Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.

    billybucks 9 hours 34 min ago view
  • Baez still learning

    jacos 10 hours 2 min ago view
  • heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.

    he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.

    crunch 11 hours 6 min ago view
  • stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.

    that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.

    crunch 12 hours 12 min ago view
  • brock stewart...steven times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.

    crunch 13 hours 1 min ago view
  • Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.

    VirginiaPhil 17 hours 31 min ago view
  • video of Maddon.

    always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.

    Rob G. 1 day 8 hours ago view
  • from Muskat:

    #Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs

    Rob G. 1 day 8 hours ago view

    Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.

    Rob G. 1 day 8 hours ago view
  • great defense

    Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.

    Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.

    I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.

    Rob G. 1 day 9 hours ago view