- Bruce Levine, Chicago baseball beat reporter
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The sad news that Bob Brenly will be leaving the Chicago Cubs broadcast booth was announced on Wednesday. The sound that you heard was a collective sigh of resignation by the Cubs fan base which will miss the friendly but gruff Brenly. They had grown to love the Len and Bob Show even when the team was unwatchable.
In truth the fan base has been treated to some of the best and most insightful color commentary from 1983, when Steve Stone joined the broadcast, right through the Brenly years. Brenly replaced Stone, who resigned with a year left on his contract after the 2004 season.
The real treat of a Brenly or Stone broadcast is that they both can walk the line of being critical while still being looked at as supportive of the team and the goal of winning. That special talent alone takes a great wordsmith and a strong stomach.
Losing Brenly will be difficult for viewers to get used to next year. Regardless of how bad the product was and has been of late you could always count on Kasper and Brenly to work hard, inform and have some fun.
Luckily Kasper is under contract for another four years. The Cubs play-by-play man works the clubhouse hard like any beat reporter and shares the information he has stored away at appropriate times.
Hopefully, the Cubs will come up with a solid replacement for Brenly. Regardless of who it is, the act will be a tough one to follow. The Cubs are a combined 72 games under .500 over the last three seasons.
Kasper and Brenly made Cub baseball watchable and interesting. Many times that was preferable to the price of admission at Wrigley Field.