Results tagged ‘ WGN Radio ’
Ron Coomer will join play-by-play broadcaster Pat Hughes as the analyst on Cubs’ radio broadcasts. Chicago media columnist Robert Feder first reported the news on Thursday, and WGN Radio made it official on Friday. Coomer will replace Keith Moreland, who decided he wanted to stay close to his Texas home.
Coomer, 47, who played for the Cubs in 2001, was working for Fox Sports North and KTWN radio in Minneapolis. He played six seasons with the Twins.
Asked via Twitter if that was him in a suit near the Tribune Tower last week in downtown Chicago, Coomer admitted it was, adding, “Happy to be coming home.” He grew up in the Chicago area.
Feder reported that Coomer agreed to a two-year contract with WGN Radio, which had trimmed the choices to the former first baseman and Todd Hollandsworth, who currently has a morning show on MLB Network Radio and handles the Cubs’ pre and post-game shows on Comcast SportsNet Chicago.
— Carrie Muskat
Todd Hollandsworth doesn’t know yet about whether or not he will get the WGN Radio analyst job to do Cubs broadcasts but he is keeping busy. Hollandsworth hosts a show called “First Pitch” on MLB Radio from 6-9 a.m. five days a week, and has been doing so for two years. He has moved his show to Lake Buena Vista, Fla., at the Winter Meetings hotel, so you can tune in. Hollandsworth, 40, who played for the Cubs from 2004-05 and also does Cubs pre and post game shows on Comcast SportsNet Chicago, is believed to be one of two finalists to partner with Pat Hughes. The other finalist is Ron Coomer, 47, who played for the Cubs in 2001.
— Carrie Muskat
Two former Cubs players are apparently the top candidates for the job as color analyst on WGN Radio broadcasts. Todd Hollandsworth and Ron Coomer are the favorites for the job, according to a source. The Cubs have been searching for a partner for play by play man Pat Hughes after Keith Moreland announced he was leaving. A decision was expected to be finalized next week during the Winter Meetings, which begin Monday in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
The source said there are other candidates being considered.
Hollandsworth, 40, played for the Cubs from 2004-05, and has done pre and post-game analysis for Comcast SportsNet Chicago since 2009. Coomer, 47, who grew up in Lockport, Ill., played for the Cubs in 2001. He was an analyst for Fox Sports North, the primary television broadcaster for the Twins.
The Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, Ill.) reported Coomer as a candidate last month. Media critic Robert Feder wrote Wednesday that Coomer and Hollandsworth were finalists.
WGN Radio has begun its search for a new color analyst to join Pat Hughes on the Cubs broadcasts. Keith Moreland surprised WGN Radio officials when he announced last week that he was leaving. WGN Radio sports director Dave Eanet told the Chicago Tribune the next person does not necessarily have to have played for the Cubs, using Jim Deshaies and Bob Brenly as examples. Hughes was to meet Tuesday with Eanet and others to discuss the next hire.
Fans who can’t get to Arizona to watch the Cubs’ Spring Training games will be able to keep up either on TV, radio or the internet. The Cubs will televise six Cactus League games (four on WGN TV, two on Comcast SportsNet), broadcast nine on WGN Radio network, and 25 via Internet radio broadcast on Cubs.com. The Cubs webcasts on Cubs.com and MLB.com will be free for fans who register for a log-in account with the website. In total, 36 of the 39 games will be available to Cubs fans.
Two games also have been added to the Cubs’ spring schedule. They will play a World Baseball Classic opponent at HoHoKam Stadium on March 15, plus play the Dodgers in Tucson on March 21 to benefit the Christina-Taylor Green Memorial Foundation. The Cubs close out their 2013 spring schedule against the Astros in Houston, March 29-30.
WGN Radio will broadcast Chicago’s first spring game on Feb. 23 against the Angels. The first televised game will be on WGN TV on March 16 when the Cubs play host to the Royals in Mesa, Ariz. Comcast SportsNet’s first game will be March 25 against the Giants.
Cubs TV play-by-play announcer Len Kasper will join Mick Gillispie, radio broadcaster for Double-A Tennessee for most of the Cubs.com broadcasts, presented by United Airlines. The first Cubs.com game with Kasper and Gillispie will be Feb. 24 against the Giants.
All games start at 1:05 p.m. Arizona time unless otherwise noted.
Feb. 23: at Angels, Tempe, WGN Radio
Feb. 24: vs. Giants, Mesa, Cubs.com
Feb. 25: at Dodgers, Glendale, Cubs.com
Feb. 26: vs. Rockies, Mesa, Cubs.com
Feb. 27: vs. Dodgers, Mesa, Cubs.com
Feb. 28: vs. Athletics, Mesa, Cubs.com
March 1: vs. Diamondbacks, Mesa, Cubs.com
March 2: at Giants, Scottsdale, WGN Radio
March 3 (ss): vs. Brewers, Mesa, Cubs.com; vs. Angels, Tempe
March 4: vs. Indians, Mesa, Cubs.com
March 5: at Rockies, Scottsdale, Cubs.com
March 6: at Rangers, Surprise, Cubs.com
March 7: vs. White Sox, Mesa, Cubs.com
March 8: at Reds, Goodyear, Cubs.com (7:05 p.m. MT)
March 9: vs. Indians, Mesa, WGN Radio
March 10: vs. Padres, Mesa, Cubs.com
March 11: at Diamondbacks, Scottsdale, Cubs.com
March 12: Off day
March 13: vs. Rockies, Mesa, Cubs.com
March 14: at Dodgers, Glendale, Cubs.com
March 15 (ss): vs. World Baseball Classic team, Mesa; at White Sox, Glendale, Cubs.com
March 16 (ss): vs. Royals, Mesa, WGN-TV; vs. Rangers, Las Vegas, WGN Radio
March 17 (ss): at Athletics, Phoenix, WGN-TV; vs. Rangers, Las Vegas, WGN Radio
March 18: at Padres, Peoria, Cubs.com
March 19: vs. Rangers, Mesa, Cubs.com
March 20: Off day
March 21 (ss): at Mariners, Peoria, WGN Radio; vs. Dodgers, Tucson
March 22: at Brewers, Maryvale, WGN-TV, Cubs.com
March 23: vs. Angels, Mesa, WGN Radio, WGN-TV
March 24: at Indians, Goodyear, WGN Radio
March 25: vs. Giants, Mesa, Comcast SportsNet, Cubs.com
March 26: vs. Reds, Mesa, Cubs.com (7:05 p.m. MT)
March 27: at Royals, Surprise, WGN Radio (6:05 p.m. MT)
March 28: vs. Mariners, Mesa, Comcast SportsNet, Cubs.com
March 29: at Astros, Houston, Cubs.com (7:05 p.m. CT)
March 30: at Astros, Houston, Cubs.com (1:05 p.m. CT)
— Carrie Muskat
Attention all musicians and Cubs fans: WGN Radio is looking for the next great Cubs song, which will be played on-air in conjunction with the station’s Cubs broadcasts and promos this year. To enter, write an original song about the Cubs and email it as an mp3 file attachment to email@example.com by Feb. 29. The lyrics must mention the Cubs and WGN Radio, but may not mention names of individual players, coaches or Cubs management. Songs longer than four minutes will be disqualified. Include your name, address, daytime phone number, email address and age in the email. Entries on behalf of a group must provide the required information for each member of the group.
WGN Radio will select up to 10 finalists and post them at wgnradio.com for listeners to vote. Plus, the winner will have the chance to record the song in a professional studio session at WGN Radio and perform live during Jonathon Brandmeier’s Opening Day broadcast on April 5. For official rules visit www.wgnradio.com/cubssongcontest.
Now, what rhymes with “Wrigley?”
— Carrie Muskat
Matt Garza starts Saturday for the Cubs in Peoria against the Padres and will be followed by Braden Looper. The game will be on WGN Radio and WGN TV. Looking ahead, Randy Wells will start Sunday against the Giants at HoHoKam Park and Andrew Cashner will start Monday against the Angels in Tempe. Here’s Saturday’s lineup:
— Carrie Muskat
New Cubs radio analyst Keith Moreland arrived at HoHoKam Park on Saturday to get prepped for his first broadcast on Sunday with partner Pat Hughes. Moreland is taking over for the late Ron Santo.
“There’s excitement, obviously, and sadness, too,” Moreland said. “Ron was a great friend and a major part of this organization for 50 years. I have sadness and excitement all at the same time. You can’t replace Ron and all I can do is be me. It’s nice to have a Hall of Fame type guy sitting beside me because Pat makes you feel so comfortable.”
Moreland remembers when he first met Santo, and Santo told the young third baseman that he liked how he played the game.
“He was self-deprecating,” Moreland said of Santo. “He would pick on himself awful bad. He would pick on himself so much, he made it so much fun to be around him.”
Will it be tough to criticize players?
“The first thing is there is no substitute for hustle,” Moreland said. “Effort is the one thing you can control. The game of baseball is a game you cannot control the outcome. You can hit the ball four times right on the button or make five really good pitches in a row and two could leave the ballpark. You don’t have control sometimes of the outcome but you do have control of your effort. If there is a point that I could be critical of it will be effort.”
Is he nervous?
“Heck, yeah, I’m nervous,” Moreland said. “I just hope people allow me to be me. Again, [Santo] is irreplaceable, and that’s not my intention in any capacity. Because of that, I have some apprehension. I get to turn to my right and look who’s sitting beside me — he’s the best straight man in the world.”
Hughes has said he wants Moreland to shine and be the star.
“All I can do is be me,” Moreland said. “There’s nothing other than that. I can butcher the English language with the best of them and I’m not sure what words mean sometimes. I try my best to get a point across of what’s taking place on the field.”
— Carrie Muskat
On Sunday, Pat Hughes will begin his 16th season as the radio play by play voice of the Cubs but for the first time, he’ll have a new partner. Hughes begins his first season without popular color man Ron Santo, who died Dec. 3 at the age of 70. Friday would’ve been Santo’s 71st birthday.
“The reality is hitting me this week,” Hughes said.
Former Cub Keith Moreland takes over for Santo in the WGN Radio booth, and makes his debut on Sunday when the team opens Cactus League play against the Athletics. Hughes has worked with Moreland in the past, including two series last year.
“I said, ‘You be yourself and relax,'” Hughes said Wednesday night of his advice to Moreland, who was broadcasting University of Texas baseball and football. “[I told him] ‘I’ll try to make you a star and make you shine.'”
That’s always been one of Hughes’ strongest characteristics on air. He never tried to top Santo and his passion. He’s been a steady voice, letting the emotional Santo show his displeasure or glee at plays on the field.
Santo played for the Cubs from 1960-73, and joined the WGN Radio team in 1990. The Cubs retired his No. 10 in September 2003, and players this year will wear a No. 10 patch on their uniform sleeve in his honor. The 2011 media guide features a montage of Santo highlights from his days as a player and broadcaster.
Hughes has asked fans to be patient with Moreland. No one can replace Santo.
“I really do think we’ll be OK,” Hughes said.
He joked that the pressure really is on Cubs manager Mike Quade and the players.
“The best [Moreland] and I can hope for is a winning team,” Hughes said. “If we’re winning, people will think we’re doing a better job than we are.”
— Carrie Muskat