12/3 Deshaies new Cubs TV analyst

The Cubs added a new voice to the television broadcasts, reportedly hiring long-time Astros analyst Jim Deshaies to join Len Kasper in the booth and fill the opening created by Bob Brenly’s departure. Brenly, 58, left after eight seasons with the Cubs to join the Diamondbacks broadcast team.

Deshaies, 52, reportedly accepted a four-year offer from WGN. MLB.com has confirmed the deal. Deshaies had been a part of the Astros broadcast team since 1997, and was considered a longshot because it was assumed WGN preferred to have a former Cubs player as the color commentator. Dan Plesac, Todd Hollandsworth, Rick Sutcliffe and Eric Karros, who all played for the team, were mentioned as possible analysts. However, Brenly never played for the Cubs.

Deshaies pitched for six teams over a 12-year Major League career and established himself as a rookie with the 1986 NL West champion Astros. As a broadcaster, he is well-respected for his extensive knowledge and keen insights, but it was his quick wit that won Astros fans. He’s an easy conversationalist and is known to keep things entertaining during tough stretches. Brenly, popular with the Cubs fanbase, had a similar reputation. The parallels between the two broadcasters may have been a big selling point as WGN searched for a new color man.

Kasper is entering his ninth season as the Cubs’ television play by play broadcaster.

Deshaies does know Wrigley Field. His last game as a pitcher came against the Cubs on July 30, 1995, at Wrigley. Brian McRae doubled to leadoff and one out later, scored on Mark Grace’s RBI single. One out later, Todd Zeile hit a two-run homer off a 3-2 pitch to go ahead, 3-0. Jose Hernandez led off the Chicago second with a home run to left, and one out later, Deshaies walked Jim Bullinger and then McRae singled to left. Deshaies was pulled and that was it.

– Carrie Muskat

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