Would Brenly leave Cubs' booth?

August, 25, 2012
8/25/12
4:21
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
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Bob Brenly, a color analyst on Chicago Cubs broadcasts, may be calling games elsewhere next season with his WGN television contract set to expire when the Cubs wrap up the 2012 campaign.

[+] EnlargeBob Brenly
Doug James/Icon SMIBob Brenly's eight-year tenure with the Cubs could come to an end with his contract set to expire.

Brenly is wrapping up his eighth year in the booth. Brenly and broadcast partner Len Kasper are considered to be one of the top announcing tandems in the industry.

The former major league player and manager will be a highly pursued free agent on the open market if he does not re-up with WGN television.

One viable option for Brenly could be calling Arizona Diamondbacks games. Brenly, a fan favorite who managed the Diamondbacks to a 2001 World Series title, could stabilize a shaky situation on Diamondbacks broadcasts.

Arizona’s current game-calling duo of Mark Grace and Daron Sutton have had rough seasons away from the booth. In June, Sutton was suspended with pay by the Diamondbacks for “insubordination,” according to a report by ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. He has not returned to the booth. Grace is taking an indefinite leave of absence from his job after his second drunken driving arrest in 15 months this week.

Brenly is closing out the final year of a four-year contract he signed before the 2009 season. Industry sources insist that he is the highest paid color commentator on local baseball broadcasts, making in excess of $900,000 a year.

“Bob loves his job and broadcasting for the great Chicago Cub fans,” said Brenly’s Northbrook-based baseball agent Barry Meister. “Bob has had a wonderful relationship with WGN and it is his hope to continue this partnership for many years to come."

(Though Brenly calls games on both WGN and Comcast SportsNet Chicago, his contract is negotiated with WGN.)

The Los Angeles Dodgers may also have interest in Brenly once they decide how to reconfigure their broadcasts. Hall of Fame announcer Vin Scully continues to reduce from his full-time duties after more than 60 years in the Dodger booth.

Brenly started his broadcasting career as a color commentator on Cubs games on WGN radio in 1990. He held that job for two years before taking a coaching position with the San Francisco Giants in 1992.

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.

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