The Chicago Cubs have made a non-roster related addition to the team in 2021.
The Chicago Cubs are bringing in someone who won’t replace Yu Darvish on the mound, or Kyle Schwarber in left field, but he will fill a void in the broadcast booth. Jon ‘Boog’ Sciambi will be the new play-by-play announcer for Marquee Sports Network, the team announced on Monday.
"“We are excited to welcome Boog to the Marquee Network and the Cubs organization. We’re confident he’ll add to the incredible legacy of Cubs broadcasters and quickly become a trusted friend to our amazing fans,” said Crane Kenney, Chicago Cubs President of Business Operations."
The Cubs’ play-by-play position has been vacant since Len Kasper departed for the South Side as the new radio voice of the White Sox last month. Wow, that still sounds weird to say. It makes me wonder if Len had some insight about the direction the Cubs were heading, but that’s neither here, nor there.
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Kasper will pass the torch to Sciambi, who joins a list of some historic names in the Cubs’ broadcast booth, such as Jack Brickhouse, Harry Caray and Pat Hughes. Known as a great storyteller with a sense of humor, Sciambi’s modern style of play calling is one that has many fans excited for his arrival, and he says the feeling mutual.
"“I feel honored to get a chance to sit in this seat and call games for one of the signature franchises and … the city of Chicago loves its baseball,” Sciambi said. “I think it’s as great a city as there is. And I’m pretty humbled and I don’t take lightly the position I’m being put in because I know how much this team (and) this job means to the fans. … So I’m thrilled to get this opportunity. It’s going to be fun.”"
Having been at ESPN since 2005, Sciambi worked as the play-by-play announcer for ESPN Radio’s “Sunday Night Baseball”, the TV network’s Wednesday night MLB telecasts, and ESPN college basketball. Sciambi will continue to work at ESPN, but says the Cubs will be his top priority, and he will navigate his schedule accordingly. If the season consists of a traditional 162-game season, Marquee General Manager Mike McCarthy says Sciambi broadcasting 130 games is “a reasonable number to expect”.
Sciambi has close ties with manager David Ross, who was also in the ESPN broadcast booth before his return to the Cubs’ dugout.
"“I have some notes that he sent me,” Sciambi said. “(Ross wrote) ‘Make sure that you get these in: “I missed him. He’s the best.” ‘ … I’m looking forward to being around him all the time because he likes to play and he’s serious and he and I like to talk and even argue baseball at times.”"
Sciambi will team up with Jim Deshaies, who’s been the team’s color commentator since the 2013 season. The duo will lead a personnel list at Marquee Sports Network which includes studio host Cole Wright, and reporters Taylor McGregor and Elise Menaker. The network analysts also consist of former Cubs Ryan Dempster, Mark DeRosa, Rick Sutcliffe, Dan Plesac, Sean Marshall, Ryan Sweeney, Carlos Pena, and former manager Lou Piniella.
Well, for what it’s worth, this move is arguably one of the best acquisitions the Cubs made so far this offseason. I think Sciambi is a great addition, now it’s time to add some players who can improve the team on the field.