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Chicago Cubs baseball is back on the air!

By bullpenbrian - March 13, 2013 - 10:15 am 2 comments.

Bullpen Brian

  I’ve twice run my ipod through the washing machine, on accident of course. It still works to this day, and is now seven years old.

This week I accidentally ran my hand held radio through a full spin cycle—after leaving it in the pocket of my sweatshirt.

The front case, as you can see, was knocked off, so was the battery flap, and the tuning knob was spinning like a pinwheel.

As a sports radio junkie, this devise goes just about everywhere I go around the condo—kitchen, bathroom, Man cave. It’s a part of my daily routine, or was, until I gave it a thorough cleaning.

No way it would work again, right? Well, much to my surprise, after drying out for 24 hours it did! Chicago Cubs baseball is back on the air!

Truth be told, I shouldn’t be so shocked this little guy survived. It has, after all, endured two National League Division sweeps and a 101-loss season.

Thankfully, it should also be around for better days ahead, assuming I don’t accidentally iron it, flush it or cook it in the microwave.


WGN’s TV Promo for Cubs 2013 Season | Video

By bullpenbrian - March 12, 2013 - 4:00 pm Leave a comment.

Wrigley Field

Ernie Banks narrates the 30-second spot reminding us “it’s time to get young again.” No doubt the Cubs have a youthful roster, the fifth youngest in the bigs to be exact.

But I’m already looking forward to next year’s “it’s time to get good again” campaign. Is that jumping the gun? Either way, this spot gets the juices flowing.

We’re now just 20 days out from opening day (April 1), and 27 days away from the home opener against Milwaukee (April 8). Can’t wait.


Dave Otto Joins Cubs Jan.24, 1994

By bullpenbrian - January 24, 2013 - 8:00 am Leave a comment.

Cubs transactions January 24, 1994

The Cubs signed Chicago, Illinois native Dave Otto. It was the tall (6’7") left-hander’s last of eight seasons in the majors. He pitched in 36-games, all in relief, going (0-1, 3.80).

After being selected by Oakland in the 2nd round of the 1985 Draft, Otto spent the majority of his career with the A’s in the minor leagues. He pitched in just 9-games over four seasons with Oakland before signing as a free agent with the Indians in 1991.

In two seasons with Cleveland Otto appeared in 36-games making 30 starts with an overall record of (7-17, 5.49). The Pirates selected him as part of the minor league draft in 1992 where he was transitioned to a reliever going (3-4, 5.03) in 28-games before being released in August of 1993.

Otto was a standout athlete at Elk Grove High School and later attended the University of Missouri where he excelled as a DH and pitcher. In 2000 Otto was inducted into the Tiger’s Hall of Fame.

Although Otto’s professional career is far from memorable, when have grown familiar with him as a fill-in member of the Cubs’ broadcast teams. First working alongside Chip Caray in replacement of Steve Stone and then filling in for the late Ron Santo on WGN Radio. Otto is still visible as a fill-in commentator for Comcast SpotsNet on Cubs pre and post game broadcasts.


Dan Plesac Wants Aboard Cubs Big Blue Train

By bullpenbrian - November 2, 2012 - 12:15 am 2 comments.

Dan Plesac will interview with WGN for the Cubs’ television analyst opening according to Bruce Levine of ESPN 1000.

This is music to my ears. I was totally bummed when MLB Network plucked Plesac away from Comcast SportsNet Chicago after the 2008 season.

I had a real appreciation for Plesac’s opinions and on-air enthusiasm. I loved watching Dan wear his train engineer’s cap and tooting the horn for the ‘Big Blue Train’ as the ’08 Cubs captured the best record in the National League.

Those were good times. Lots of good baseball and lots of good analysis on Chicago’s North Side.

It’s obvious why MLB came calling for Plesac to help launch the league’s new network in January 2009, and no surprise Plesac’s recent 5-year extension with the network likely poses the largest hurdle to him joining Len Kasper in the Cubs’ broadcast booth.

But of all the possible candidates rumored to replace Bob Brenly, I believe Plesac is at the head of the class.

In fact, if the decision were left up to me I’d hire Plesac in an instant. In addition to his television experience (2005-present), he’s smart, honest, opinionated, polished (on and off the air) and has a good sense of humor.

What more could Cubs fans ask for? What more would Cubs fans want?

I’ve also clamored for Doug Glanville to get a look at the position, in large part because he’s a carbon copy of Plesac with but a few exceptions.

I’d be thrilled for either guy to get the gig. But Plesac remains my No.1…Glanville comes in a close second.

I don’t have much of an opinion on the rest of the field. If money isn’t the issue (which is just ridiculous to say!) there are really only two candidates for the job in my opinion–Plesac & Glanville.

I’d be disappointed if WGN and the Cubs went 0-for-2


Talking Cubs Baseball With WGN Radio’s Jordan Bernfield

By bullpenbrian - September 17, 2012 - 6:30 am Leave a comment.


You may not recognize his face, but you’ll recognize his voice as a host of Cubs Central Postgame on WGN Radio. Jordan Bernfield is also a writer & podcaster for miCubs.com in addition to other broadcasting ventures.

I recently caught up with Jordan to talk about the on goings of the Cubs’ 2012 season, including everything from Kerry Wood’s early season retirement to how long before we’ll see a winner on the North Side.


Will Bob Brenly Return to Cubs Broadcast Booth?

By bullpenbrian - August 27, 2012 - 12:30 am 4 comments.

Cubs fans are wondering if Bob Brenly will be back in the broadcast both next season. His current deal is set to expire at the end of the regular season.

However, I’m wondering if Brenly wants to come back?

From the outside it seems broadcasting Cubs games is a wonderful gig, Brenly is certainly paid well, but does he want to sit through another three or four losing seasons on the North Side?

Brenly has always been keen to the idea of what it would mean to be part of a Cubs World Series championship–legendary for all parties involved. But the window that opened in 2007 and 2008 to cement Brenly’s place in Cubs championship lore has closed for the foreseeable future.

Watching the rebuild may not be worth it for a guy like Brenly whose on-air candidness and occasional humor would be welcomed with open arms in markets with competitive teams like Arizona or Los Angeles.

Of course, who’s to say Bob doesn’t want to manage again? Houston has an opening, and so too might the Rockies. Brenly’s hometown Indians could be another possibility.

Or is it the Cubs have someone else in mind to be the color commentator? Todd Hollandsworth, Kerry Wood? I’d recommend Doug Glanville.

Brenly has spent eight years covering the Cubs. He’s definitely grown on me as an analyst, and I would assume the rest of the viewing audience.

There are, without debate, far worse broadcasters in major league baseball, which explains why he and Len Kasper are often regarded as one of the best broadcasting duos in the game.

Personally, I’d enjoy if Brenly returns to the Cubs booth in 2013 and beyond. But I wouldn’t necessarily be surprised if he opts to move elsewhere.

Losing is hard to swallow, even when you’re being paid handsomely to watch.


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