Yes, I know Marty Brennaman is still alive…but the old, senile man isn’t too far away from, well, you know.
With the exception of the fact that Dusty Baker is managing a first place team, things couldn’t have gone better this weekend for the Cubs. They got to see Tony LaRussa sitting in a sky box as he served a much deserved 2 game suspension. They beat up the Cardinals “ace” on Saturday. Aramis Ramirez and Derrek Lee (before his usual back problems) looked…well…good! And Marty Brennaman has to thank the Cubs for putting the Reds back into first place.
The Cubs head back home today to play the first place Padres. First place? Really? UGH!
But I wanted to talk about the Cubs radio booth today.
Ron Santo is great…he’s a legend…he probably belongs in the Hall-of-Fame. There are aspects of his radio color-commentary job that I enjoy, including his banter with Pat Hughes.
Unfortunately, as anyone who regularly listens to the games on the radio, he has begun missing a large number of games over the last couple years including the entire series this past week. Ron has not been in very good health for a number of years now, and it has become apparent that long road trips are increasingly difficult for him to go on (especially if the Cubs suck).
The fact that he missed a series in St. Louis this weekend speaks volumes about his ability to continue to be the full time color commentator for the Cubs. After his trip to the hospital earlier this year, he has significantly cut down on the number of road trips he has taken.
Now, I’m not saying that he should retire, but I think the time has come for the Cubs to consider putting a third man in the booth with Hughes and Santo. This would keep a little more continuity in the booth when Santo isn't able to go on road trips. It isn't without precedence that the Cubs would have a 3 man radio team. When Santo first started on WGN radio, he was joined by Bob Brenly and Thom Brennaman (Marty's boy! full circle see!) and before that, when I first started listening to Cubs games, the radio team was Milo Hamilton, Vince Lloyd and Lou Boudreau.
They don’t have to name anyone immediately. The first thing that needs to happen is to see if Bob Brenly remains in the booth on the TV end. If Brenly leaves, he should be immediately be replaced by Keith Moreland. Moreland has filled in for both Brenly and Santo a number of times over the last few years and he has easily demonstrated that he could be one of the best color commentators in the game.
If Brenly doesn’t leave…easy enough, just throw Moreland into the booth with Pat and Ron.
Others to consider for the job? Dave Otto seems to be a favorite of everyone that doesn’t listen to him. Many people would hope the Mark Grace would come back at some point (though he seems to be comfortable in the Arizona sun right now). Promoting Andy Masur 3.0 (a.k.a Judd Sirott) had better not be an option as he has proved quite inferior to the previous two Andy Masurs (Andy Masur…who is currently in San Deigo and Cory Provus…who is in Milwaukee).
I’m sure there are plenty of other options out there too…anyone have any thoughts on this?