CHICAGO -- Bob Brenly is leaving the Cubs' television booth and informed WGN-TV that he will not return for the 2013 season. Brenly, 58, just finished his eighth season with the Cubs.
"Working here in Chicago was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my professional career," Brenly said Wednesday. "The Ricketts family, everyone associated with the Cubs and WGN and, most importantly, Cubs' fans everywhere, will always be in our hearts, and [my wife,] Joan, and I wish nothing but the best for the organization moving forward.
"I was very blessed to have the best play-by-play man in the game as my partner for eight years and Cubs' fans are very fortunate to have Len Kasper as the voice of the Cubs," Brenly said. "I'll miss working with him, and we look fondly toward returning to Chicago in the future."
Brenly could transition into the Arizona Diamondbacks' broadcast booth. Arizona is looking for both a television play-by-play broadcaster and an analyst to replace the team of Daron Sutton and Mark Grace. The organization decided to not bring back Sutton, who was suspended for much of the 2012 season, and Grace, a former Cubs first baseman, who was arrested for his second DUI offense this past August.
"Obviously, I would be lying if I didn't say I reached out to Bob Brenly right away," D-backs team president and CEO Derrick Hall said last week. "Bob was my first call. We've had a few conversations. We just have to see if we can get creative to get competitive."
Brenly was a television analyst for the D-backs from 1998-2000 and managed the team from 2001-04, leading Arizona to the World Series in '01. A former catcher, he provided great insight into the game, and recently partnered with Dick Stockton to broadcast the National League Division Series between the Nationals and Cardinals.
Kasper and Brenly were together eight seasons, and Kasper is signed to do the Cubs TV broadcasts through 2016.
"I am personally sad today that Bob and I won't be working together anymore, but I am eternally grateful to him for the eight great years we did spend together in the booth," Kasper said. "It is certainly a reminder of how fleeting life is. I wish just the bad stuff were fleeting, but the good stuff is, too. Wherever he goes, they will be incredibly fortunate to have him."
Now, the search begins for a new analyst. The Cubs could try to talk popular pitcher Kerry Wood into joining Kasper.
"Moving forward, I don't doubt there will be a huge group of incredibly talented analysts who will express interest in the job," Kasper said. "Whomever is hired will be welcomed in with open arms, and we will carry on. But Bob's stamp on our booth and our broadcasts is a permanent one."
"Bob Brenly was a tremendous part of the Chicago Cubs broadcast team for eight years and we will miss his smart analysis, as well as his outgoing personality in the broadcast booth," said Crane Kenney, Cubs president of business operations. "We wish him all the best in his future endeavors."
When contacted Wednesday, Brenly repeated that there was nothing about the job or Chicago or the Cubs that prompted his departure.
"I had as much fun as you could have in the last eight years," Brenly said. "I have nothing negative to say. It was great."
And time for a change.