While Cubs fans continue to wait on official word from Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer on whether they have signed Japanese reliever Kyuji Fujikawa, the team did open the first day of the Winter Meetings with an addition. However this one involves the void in the Cubs television booth as opposed to a hole on the playing field.
The Cubs have hired Jim Deshaies to replace the void left by Bob Brenly’s departure earlier this off season. After the attention immediately went to candidates with past connections with the Cubs, talk of the Brenly replacement took a back burner in the minds of most Cubs fans, thanks to the distraction caused by some of the moves the Cubs front office has made regarding the roster.
Deshaies has experience in the role with former division rivals, the Houston Astros, for whom he also pitched for. The TV analyst signed a four year deal announced by both team and WGN today.
Cubs fans all across the United States are use to an analyst with some sort of Cubs connection, so it will be interesting to see how Deshaies is received in his first season doing Cubs games along side Len Kasper. Team connections aside, Deshaies also has to take on the challenge of filling the shoes of Brenly, who was immensely popular with the fan base.
It appears Kasper was allowed to have input on who was finally chosen, and that Deshaies was the veteran play by play man’s choice for the job. Deshaies style is said to be comparable to that of Brenly, so at the very least the chemistry between Kasper and Deshaies should not take long to settle.
Dan Plesac, Eric Karros, and Todd Hollandsworth were among the Cubs connection choices considered for the job opening. All three have spent time in some sort of television sports role in recent years, in addition to being former Cubs players. There was even word a couple days ago that Mark DeRosa was a candidate, but the super utility player appears to still be considering a return to the playing field for 2013.
Regardless, it is now time to welcome Deshaies both to the booth and a living room near you come Opening Day.