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Friday, December 04, 2020

Len Kasper is leaving Marquee Sports Network… for White Sox radio

Len’s reasons for switching Chicago jobs had nothing to do with any displeasure with his position with Marquee, writes Sharma:

Kasper, who turns 50 in January, has always been passionate about radio and relished his opportunities to sit in on radio broadcasts with Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer during the fifth inning of nationally televised games. Sources indicated that there was no bad blood between Kasper and management at Marquee and the decision came from Kasper’s desire to shift mediums.

It’s also well known that Kasper has always wanted to call a World Series. With games on national television come playoff time, this would be Kasper’s best chance….


Next question: Who will replace him? Sharma’s article has the likely answer:

Multiple sources told The Athletic that Chris Myers is a leading candidate to replace Kasper in the Marquee Sports Network booth alongside analyst Jim Deshaies.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 04, 2020 at 10:08 AM | 48 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs, white sox

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   1. Voodoo Posted: December 04, 2020 at 10:30 AM (#5992413)
Wow. This is a most unpleasant surprise. Chris ####### Meyers? Are you kidding me?
   2. Greg Pope Posted: December 04, 2020 at 10:43 AM (#5992414)
No kidding. The Cubs have had one of the best TV crews for quite a while now.
   3. asinwreck Posted: December 04, 2020 at 10:43 AM (#5992415)
The Sox now employ the two best announcers the Cubs have had this century.
   4. Brian C Posted: December 04, 2020 at 10:59 AM (#5992417)
“Passion for radio” seems like an awfully weak cover story seeing as how it’s not 1935 anymore.

I don’t live in Chicago anymore so this won’t affect me as much as it would have a couple years ago, but Kasper is a true pro and has been really fantastic throughout his Cubs tenure. I’m sad to see him go.
   5. . Posted: December 04, 2020 at 11:04 AM (#5992418)
Chris Myers is just an awful announcer. I'm a Lions fan and he's one of the lower rung announcers so I often get saddled with him on Sunday Ticket and he totally sucks. Literally one of the worst in the business. Shitty, weak pipes, no sense of timing, etc. Dreadful. Moving out Len Kasper for him is just completely insane.
   6. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: December 04, 2020 at 11:15 AM (#5992419)
“Passion for radio” seems like an awfully weak cover story seeing as how it’s not 1935 anymore.

Yeah, that was my first reaction too. But that really seems to be the case. I don't care how much cost cutting the Cubs are doing, I refuse to believe the White Sox can pay their radio guy more than the Cubs pay their TV; not to mention, Len surely would have choice of another TV job if it were just money (he's also dabbled in national TV). I think I actually believe this.

Having said that, I feel like the Cubs could have come up with a plan for him to scratch this itch if they wanted to. He's also gonna still do some TV with the Sox, and Pat Hughes takes breaks every game already. So, I still reserve the right to also hate the Cubs over this.
   7. . Posted: December 04, 2020 at 11:21 AM (#5992422)
Dan Dickerson of the Tigers booth much prefers radio to TV and I think blanched a lot when they did crossover with the TV booth a year or two back. There are guys out there like that.
   8. Rob_Wood Posted: December 04, 2020 at 11:28 AM (#5992424)
Multiple sources told The Athletic that Chris Myers is a leading candidate to replace Kasper in the Marquee Sports Network booth alongside analyst Jim Deshaies.


So it's a Lose-Lose situation.
   9. Brian C Posted: December 04, 2020 at 11:51 AM (#5992425)
I can totally believe that there are lots of guys out there who prefer working in radio but I doubt many of them spent the last 20 years doing TV and being generally recognized as one of the best in the biz.

But it could be. Just seems odd, especially coming off the Marquee stuff and the general weird vibes coming out of Wrigley these days. I wouldn’t even expect it’s about money as much as Len maybe deciding that he wants out of the org.
   10. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: December 04, 2020 at 12:29 PM (#5992434)
There are guys out there like that.

Sick #####, if you ask me.

---

Jordan Bastian @MLBastian
Len Kasper emotional on Zoom call with reporters while talking about impact Ernie Harwell had on him. Ernie sent him a letter when Len got the Marlins job. Got a call from Ernie when he got the Cubs job. Said he's thinking about Ernie today as he makes the move to radio.

Jordan Bastian @MLBastian
Kasper emphasizes again that "The Cubs and Marquee did everything they could" to keep him, but he wanted to live out a childhood dream by moving into a radio booth.

Jordan Bastian @MLBastian
Len Kasper says Cubs came to him with an offer that "blew me away." But it only "crystalized the decision" for him. It showed him what his priorities were. In this case, the priority was to chase that dream of moving to radio. And that opportunity existed with the White Sox.


If the Cubs really do have that much money they're willing to spend, use it and steal someone else's top guy. #### it, steal Jason Benetti from the Sox. They're already paying Chris Meyers (for some unknown reason), and he's completely unacceptable.
   11. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 04, 2020 at 12:49 PM (#5992441)
@KeithOlbermann
If this were not bad enough, the rumored replacement is Chris Myers who is, flatly, the worst human being I’ve ever worked with and I once worked with the guy who later blackmailed Letterman #TheNewCubsDroughtHasBegun


What???
   12. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: December 04, 2020 at 12:51 PM (#5992442)
WHOAH!

Well, that sucks for the Cubs and Cubs fans. Good news for White Sox fans.

So is Ed Farmer demoted to color and Darrin Jackson exiled, or do the Sox dump Farmer altogether?
   13. Brian C Posted: December 04, 2020 at 12:55 PM (#5992445)
What’s the real difference between TV and radio for a guy like Kasper anyway? He was always good about staying focused on game action and will barely need to change his style to accommodate the medium. And if anything the radio guys have to shill even harder than the TV guys - some of the sponsorship crap that Pat and Coomer have to read is truly amazing in its inanity. Seems like basically the same gig but lower-profile. Maybe he just hated wearing a suit during games.
   14. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: December 04, 2020 at 12:56 PM (#5992447)
This legitimately upsets/saddens me more than any personnel move they've made in years.

I remember being so skeptical of Kasper/Brenly when they stepped in for the jettisoned Stone/Caray duo. Len won me over pretty quickly. He was a big part of why Cubs games were watchable during those lean years.

I wish him well, but I can't again articulate how crushed I am to see him move on. Across town, no less.
   15. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: December 04, 2020 at 01:00 PM (#5992448)
So is Ed Farmer demoted to color and Darrin Jackson exiled, or do the Sox dump Farmer altogether?

Phrasing?
   16. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: December 04, 2020 at 01:05 PM (#5992450)
This legitimately upsets/saddens me more than any personnel move they've made in years.


I felt the same way after the Red Sox let Orsillo get away. It's just such an unforced error by the team. You've got a guy people love, keep him around. It's so basic. More than anyone else in the organization the PBP and color guys connect with the audience on a personal level unlike anyone else.
   17. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: December 04, 2020 at 01:06 PM (#5992451)
Oh, sorry - I totally forget that Farmer died.
   18. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: December 04, 2020 at 01:12 PM (#5992453)
Len Kasper is outstanding at his job and this bums me out.
   19. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: December 04, 2020 at 01:13 PM (#5992454)
No problem, just wanted to make a joke. To seriously answer your first question, DJ will be his partner. DJ will easily be the worst in booth partner Len's had.

I felt the same way after the Red Sox let Orsillo get away. It's just such an unforced error by the team. You've got a guy people love, keep him around. It's so basic. More than anyone else in the organization the PBP and color guys connect with the audience on a personal level unlike anyone else.

Yeah, same for me here. This is upsetting. However, I'm willing to believe Len here and say this really isn't the Cubs fault. Like I said before, maybe they could have tried to do something a little different like have him rotate between radio and TV, but the one thing they can't do is force out Pat Hughes to give Len the radio job.
   20. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 04, 2020 at 01:20 PM (#5992456)
Between this and the Cubs' utter failure at player development, I think I might also transfer my rooting interest to the White Sox.
   21. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 04, 2020 at 01:23 PM (#5992457)
the one thing they can't do is force out Pat Hughes to give Len the radio job.
Is the PBP/color thing really necessary, or are those roles really just conventional wisdom BS? I mean, could a Kasper/Hughes radio booth possibly not be awesome?
   22. CFBF's Results are Certified Posted: December 04, 2020 at 01:24 PM (#5992459)
What’s the real difference between TV and radio for a guy like Kasper anyway?


On radio you get to wear suspenders and a fedora and say things, "Bryant really socked that one! That's a fine how-do-you-do for the opposing nine's ace hurler!" before transitioning to an ad for Clem McGillicudy's Genuine Hard Tack.
   23. asinwreck Posted: December 04, 2020 at 01:50 PM (#5992462)
"Demoted to color" is the new "joined the choir invisible".
   24. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: December 04, 2020 at 01:54 PM (#5992464)
Is the PBP/color thing really necessary, or are those roles really just conventional wisdom BS? I mean, could a Kasper/Hughes radio booth possibly not be awesome?

Probably a little of both. Most broadcasts these day usually have some ex-baseball person (way too often just a player) as the color guy, but it doesn't mean it has to be that way. A number of people have done both, but usually that's the better of the ex-baseball people (and Hawk, or the more modern exception like Vin Scully). Len and Pat have both been around baseball enough they surely could do it, though I'd speculate both of them think of themselves of PBP guys and not there to provide the "analysis" even if they surely could.
   25. puck Posted: December 04, 2020 at 02:13 PM (#5992467)
Wow, Chris Myers must be really bad. I don't think I've heard him.
   26. Brian C Posted: December 04, 2020 at 02:22 PM (#5992468)
On radio you get to wear suspenders and a fedora and say things, "Bryant really socked that one! That's a fine how-do-you-do for the opposing nine's ace hurler!" before transitioning to an ad for Clem McGillicudy's Genuine Hard Tack.

You joke, but when you put it like that, it's honestly not really all that different than listening to Pat Hughes. He'd even look in his element wearing suspenders and a fedora.
Is the PBP/color thing really necessary, or are those roles really just conventional wisdom BS? I mean, could a Kasper/Hughes radio booth possibly not be awesome?

Serious question because I admittedly don't have my finger on the pulse of Cubs Nation outside of this forum: would anyone care even one bit if Coomer never did another Cubs game? Is he a popular guy with the fan base?

At any rate, I could certainly listen to a Hughes/Kasper broadcast but I would also understand if neither of them would be all that interested. I think the PBP/color framework is probably inherent to the structure - basically, someone has to take the lead in telling us what's happening - and why would two guys used to being the lead want to take the secondary role?
   27. . Posted: December 04, 2020 at 03:13 PM (#5992478)
@KeithOlbermann
If this were not bad enough, the rumored replacement is Chris Myers who is, flatly, the worst human being I’ve ever worked with and I once worked with the guy who later blackmailed Letterman #TheNewCubsDroughtHasBegun


Wow, jesus my working assumption was that he's so shitty that they only way he could be getting gigs like this is that he's a good guy who management types and everyone else likes. If he's actually a mega douche, I think the Earth just broke off its axis.
   28. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 04, 2020 at 03:19 PM (#5992480)
Wow, jesus my working assumption was that he's so shitty that they only way he could be getting gigs like this is that he's a good guy who management types and everyone else likes. If he's actually a mega douche, I think the Earth just broke off its axis.

Yeah, incompetent and unpleasant generally doesn't hold a job for long.
   29. Brian C Posted: December 04, 2020 at 03:20 PM (#5992481)
Eh:

1) Consider the source
2) Lots of terrible people are really good at making friends
   30. Lassus Posted: December 04, 2020 at 03:27 PM (#5992486)
Oh, sorry - I totally forget that Farmer died.

This is totally going to throw off those who are exactly as old as he is.
   31. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 04, 2020 at 03:33 PM (#5992489)
Oh, sorry - I totally forget that Farmer died.
”Bought the farm, but the Farmer done died,” in the immortal words of Scott Wieland. Who also died.
   32. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 04, 2020 at 03:39 PM (#5992492)

Wow, Chris Myers must be really bad. I don't think I've heard him.


Sure you have, he has been bland generic guy at FOX for a decade and was bland generic ESPN host before that.
   33. . Posted: December 04, 2020 at 03:47 PM (#5992493)
He obviously edits his own Wikipedia page, too:

While at ESPN, Myers coined popular [sic] phrases such as "That deserves a 'Wow'" and "I kid because I care". He was also the first to use the term "3-ball" (*) when describing a 3-point shot in basketball and "a hoop and some harm" when describing a basket and foul.


(*) No he wasn't.
   34. Lassus Posted: December 04, 2020 at 03:50 PM (#5992495)
And even if he was, so TF what?

I actually also didn't think I knew who Chris Myers was until I clicked on #32's link, but of course, I realize I do.

It MIGHT be a positive that's he's too boring to be terrible? I mean, he's not as actively, aggressively bad as Hudler or that miserable MLB.com international feed pitcher dude I keep blocking out.
   35. Perry Posted: December 04, 2020 at 04:01 PM (#5992496)
Is the PBP/color thing really necessary, or are those roles really just conventional wisdom BS? I mean, could a Kasper/Hughes radio booth possibly not be awesome?


As long as I can remember, the Rockies have never had an ex-player doing color on radio. It's always been two professional announcer guys swapping the PBP/color role. Sort of the opposite of the Giants TV duo, where both guys are ex-players.
   36. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 04, 2020 at 05:43 PM (#5992503)
While at ESPN, Myers coined popular [sic] phrases such as "That deserves a 'Wow'" and "I kid because I care". He was also the first to use the term "3-ball" (*) when describing a 3-point shot in basketball and "a hoop and some harm" when describing a basket and foul.
"Tries to coin catchphrases" should be an automatic disqualifier.
   37. mathesond Posted: December 04, 2020 at 06:00 PM (#5992507)
"basically, someone has to take the lead in telling us what's happening - and why would two guys used to being the lead want to take the secondary role"

For the longest time, the Jays went with 2 PBP guys, with the lead (doing about 90% of the talking) alternating every couple of innings, and the other chiming in every now and then.
   38. asinwreck Posted: December 04, 2020 at 06:59 PM (#5992511)
Back in the early 80s, the A's paired up Bill King and Lon Simmons, which worked pretty well. That two-PBP booth will come up again next year. On the press conference today, they said Kasper will do 20 or so TV games next year, some subbing for Benetti and some paired up with Benetti when Steve Stone is on vacation.
   39. Walt Davis Posted: December 04, 2020 at 07:44 PM (#5992515)
Heck of a midlife crisis. :-)

I felt the same way after the Red Sox let Orsillo get away. It's just such an unforced error by the team.

I see no reason not to take Kasper at his word in which case the Cubs/Marquee made him an offer that blew him away. So this wasn't an error on the team/network's part, it's Kasper deciding to go elsewhere. It will be interesting to see how long he sticks with this or does he move back to TV in a major/national market in a year. I'd imagine there are a few teams' radio networks that wish they'd known about his desire.
   40. For the Turnstiles (andeux) Posted: December 04, 2020 at 09:58 PM (#5992526)
The A's have continued to do that on their radio broadcasts, with King/Korach, and now Korach/Cotroneo trading off PBP every 2 innings. Cotroneo isn't nearly as good as the others at either role, but as a format it still works fine.
   41. depletion Posted: December 04, 2020 at 10:30 PM (#5992532)
For what it’s worth, Ralph Kiner said he preferred doing radio broadcast over TV. Perhaps not having to watch the video feed allows the announcer to improvise more. I love baseball on the radio, particularly on long car rides. I will listen to any game on the radio, but on TV I get bored if it’s not my favorite team.
   42. Cooper Teenoh Posted: December 04, 2020 at 11:20 PM (#5992537)
I see no reason not to take Kasper at his word in which case the Cubs/Marquee made him an offer that blew him away. So this wasn't an error on the team/network's part, it's Kasper deciding to go elsewhere. It will be interesting to see how long he sticks with this or does he move back to TV in a major/national market in a year. I'd imagine there are a few teams' radio networks that wish they'd known about his desire.


I saw somewhere in the Twitter reporting on this that Len also said that he wouldn't have switched jobs if he had to leave Chicago. Sounds like the opportunity perfectly fit. Happy for him, bummed at the idea of listening to Chris Myers.
   43. Walt Davis Posted: December 05, 2020 at 02:32 AM (#5992548)
I love baseball on the radio, particularly on long car rides. I will listen to any game on the radio, but on TV I get bored if it’s not my favorite team.

Arguably difficult to watch TV on a long drive. :-) I suspect you'd find outer market radio kinda boring at home or in a hotel room.

Anyway, two "cool" experiences. One was firing up Cubs radio on my phone as I drove across NSW one morning -- wasn't really an experience I ever thought I'd have again. Simillarly on some flight through the US a couple of years ago on my way back, I had a few bucks left on a travel card and the in-flight entertainment system had a live Cus-Pirates game on there at the right price. I don't believe the notion of in-flight baseball ever occurred to 10-year-old me. Amazing world we live in (as long as you can afford it).
   44. puck Posted: December 05, 2020 at 01:01 PM (#5992572)
It MIGHT be a positive that's he's too boring to be terrible?


Maybe that's it. If I've heard him and he's just generic, I'm sure I just tuned him out.
   45. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 05, 2020 at 02:53 PM (#5992601)

Anyway, two "cool" experiences. One was firing up Cubs radio on my phone as I drove across NSW one morning


They broadcast the Cubs in New South Wales? Maybe Kasper should have gone there.
   46. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: January 04, 2021 at 12:21 PM (#5997339)
Cubs announced today they hired Boog Sciambi to replace Kasper. That's a great hire and he'll be a perfect fit with JD. Thank god it's not Chris Myers. Also, there was no announcement, but Mark Grace was not included in the press release of the other guys involved in Cubs broadcasts, which is just as good news as the Sciambi hire.
   47. Zonk Can Sell Culture Posted: January 04, 2021 at 12:37 PM (#5997342)
Between this and the Cubs' utter failure at player development, I think I might also transfer my rooting interest to the White Sox.


Let's not say things we cannot take back.

But yes, this sucks... If we're in for lean times ahead, it would have been nice to at least have Len and JD describing the futility.
   48. Andere Richtingen Posted: January 04, 2021 at 02:45 PM (#5997369)
Cubs announced today they hired Boog Sciambi to replace Kasper. That's a great hire and he'll be a perfect fit with JD. Thank god it's not Chris Myers. Also, there was no announcement, but Mark Grace was not included in the press release of the other guys involved in Cubs broadcasts, which is just as good news as the Sciambi hire.

Agree on both counts. The Kasper/Deshaies team was just about perfect, and things were looking dire enough without the tv broadcasts going down the toilet. I like Sciambi a lot.

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