The Cubs take on the Diamondbacks today, Jeff Samardzija will get the start and we will hopefully see the longest start of the Spring. MLB.com has a free webcast of today’s game with Len Kasper handling the broadcast (audio only) beginning at 3:10 PM CST. Here is how the Cubs will get things started, the ever exciting Javy Baez gets the start at shortstop today.
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Per Danny Knobler of CBS, the Cubs have hired the now former color man from the Astros Jim Deshaies. MLB.com’s Alyson Footer says that Knoblers report is accurate and Deshaies has the job. Deshaies interviewed for the Cubs job about a month ago, and now it’s his per the report. Not a name that many will recognize as everyone, myself included thought immediately about past Cubs players that are now in the business, but the Cubs went in the exact opposite direction, and I think that’s a good thing.
Brett at Bleacher Nation had a good bit of info on Deshaies from when he interviewed for the job.
“When Bob Brenly departed, because of the high profile nature of the Cubs’ gig, I expected more names like Deshaies to pop up – non-Cubs-connected broadcasters who just happen to be really good at their job. By all accounts, Deshaies is that. A particularly notable bit from the above-linked Patrick Mooney article, is a selection from Houston Press’s 2008 Best Commentator distinction: “Jim Deshaies had some tough shoes to fill when he took over the Astros analyst spot from Larry Dierker. But let’s just say, as J.D. settles into his second decade as the Astros TV analyst, that he has not only surpassed Dierker, he has perhaps surpassed every other analyst in baseball. The former starting pitcher knows the ins and outs of the game, from pitching to hitting to fielding to strategy. Best of all, he’s not a homer, and if the good guys goof up, he’ll let you know how and why. And then there’s his quick wit and his ability to throw out a Seinfeld reference or obscure pop culture trivia at a moment’s notice. Nothing gets past Deshaies, and, if you pay attention, you’ll learn more from him than just about any baseball geek in the country.” Knows the game, shares stories, calls players out for obvious screw-ups, pop-culture references. Sound familiar?”
Really sounds like a nice hire, and I’ve personally enjoyed listening to Deshaies via highlights of Astros games here and there. The Cubs and WGN have yet to confirm, but it sounds like a done deal. How about that, the first signing by the Cubs coming out of the Winter Meetings is Len Kasper’s broadcast partner.
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