When news broke Saturday night that the Cubs had Jim Deshaies on their short list of replacements for Bob Brenly, Astros fans were quick to react. Even though the Astros long time color commentator had yet to receive a formal offer from WGN and the Cubs, some of the Astros faithful were outraged. After everything else that has happened lately, the thought of losing Deshaies sent some of us over the edge.
Many fans are convinced that the new regime is hell-bent on cutting ties with everyone associated with the Drayton McLane era. After all, that certainly appears to be the case. Deshaies has been calling Astros games for the last 16 seasons and his contract expires at the end of February. Will JD join radio announcers Dave Raymond and Brett Dolan as casualties of the Crane/Postolos era? Only time will tell.
How did the Cubs opening come about, anyway? It all started when Diamondbacks announcer Mark Grace decided to get behind the wheel of an automobile with an expired registration. Did I mention that Grace was drunk (allegedly) and his license was already suspended as the result of a 2011 DUI charge?
With Grace out of the picture in Arizona, and facing a possible trip up the river, Cubs commentator Bob Brenly took the opportunity to return to Phoenix. Brenly, who had been working for WGN and CSN Chicago for eight seasons, was the manager of the 2001 Diamondbacks team that won the World Series. Needless to say, Brenly is a cult figure in Arizona.
Brenly’s exodus means the Cubs have an opening to fill. Although it has been confirmed that Deshaies interviewed last week, the search is far from over. The position is one of the most high-profile in the industry and the Cubs will surely take their time in making a decision. Other candidates for the job include Gary Matthews, Eric Karros, and Todd Hollandsworth.
At the end of the 2012 season the Astros told Deshaies they would like to have him back. Whether or not that is actually the case remains to be seen.