- Bruce Levine, Chicago baseball beat reporter
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The search for a new radio commentator for Cubs baseball will not include two former North Side pitchers. Rick Sutcliffe and Dan Plesac will not be involved in the search for a replacement for the late Ron Santo.
Sutcliffe, who expressed interest in the job, is about to re-sign with ESPN to do 40 games as color commentator, according to a major league source. That TV schedule would preclude the former Cubs ace from doing a 162-schedule with play-by-play man Pat Hughes. Sutcliffe has been working for ESPN over the past few years. He pitched for the Cubs from 1984-91.
Plesac, a Northwest Indiana native, has become a star commentator on MLB television. The former Cubs reliever is going into his third year and his contract is through Aug., 2011. The always insightful Plesac would have been a popular choice with his background as a pregame and postgame analyst for Cubs baseball on Comcast SportsNet. He pitched for the Cubs in 1993-94 as part of his 20-year career.
The other names on the list that will draw strong consideration are Keith Moreland, Dave Otto and Gary Matthews. All three played for the Cubs and all three have strong following among the fan base. Moreland pinch-hit on television over the last few years when Bob Brenly was on vacation. Otto had been a regular replacement for Santo when he was scheduled for days off or sick days. Matthews has been a part of Phillies' broadcasts since leaving the Cubs as a coach in 2006.
The Cubs and WGN Radio will make a decision on Santo's replacement. Broadcaster Judd Sirott has been a part of the radio team the last two years. He should also get strong consideration for a role in the broadcast booth during 2011. Sirott is also the Blackhawks pregame and postgame host on WGN Radio.