Baseball Broadcaster Impressions project today with a look at the Chicago Cubs broadcasting teams.
TV Broadcasters: Len Kasper, Bob Brenly
My mother can name only five Giants from the 80's. Kuiper and Krukow for obvious reasons. Will Clark for being great. Brett Butler because he was good looking. And Bob Brenly. I wasn't even born yet when Brenly played for the Giants, but heard enough stories about him from my father and Kruk & Kuip to fully know Brenly. And one thing to know about Brenly is that he's funny and self-deprecating.
So it's refreshing to see Brenly is still funny and self-deprecating when calling Cubs games on CSN and WGN. Brenly is also good at breaking down what has happened in the field while shutting up and not putting down the advance stats that Kasper will talk about.
I would also be lying if I said I didn't wish Brenly was the Giants broadcaster. I love Mike Krukow, but his excuses for the Giants when they're playing bad are quite annoying. I've listened to Brenly the past couple of years on WGN and he never makes excuses for Cubs bad play. He's refreshingly honest about the Cubs which is nice to see and I wish I had that take with the Giants.
Len Kasper isn't going to dazzle you with great home run calls or wit. Casper does bring to the broadcast a knowledge of advance stats that is refreshing. It's nice to know there's a broadcaster out there that is willing to talk about advance stats during the game with a partner who doesn't put him or the stats down.
If you don't like wandering broadcasters during blowouts than these two might not be your cup of tea. Brenly though will break out a great story from his career so it makes up for everything.
Radio Broadcasters: Pat Hughes, Keith Moreland
Pat Hughes is really everything you want in a radio broadcaster. He's descriptive of everything that happens in the game. He tells stories during the dead parts of the broadcast. He gets excited during moments to get excited for. He has a nice rap with his partner Keith Moreland. If you were looking for a broadcast to clone, Pat Hughes is probably that guy after Scully and Jon Miller.
Keith Moreland was better than I expected as the analyst in the radio booth. I've talked about this in the past in these posts, but I dislike having a analyst in a radio booth. You're not watching what is happening so I feel like it's more important to be descriptive instead of analysts of what has happened. Moreland though makes you appreciate the analysis. Also a positive about Moreland is that he doesn't get too cliche-y when talking about the game. He doesn't say things like, "this guy can hit or pitch". Which is also refreshing to hear.
It's a shame that such a good group of broadcasters have to broadcast such crap. They deserve much better than what they get.