The Chicago Cubs recently announced that television play-by-play man, Len Kasper, has agreed to a five-year extension to remain the voice of the team through at least 2016.
Kasper has been very well-received by fans in his seven years with the Cubs, after having the same job with the Florida Marlins for the three years before that. The chemistry that he's had with color commentator, Bob Brenly, has especially gotten terrific reception. Together, they create a very entertaining broadcast, while also being very informative and professional. And when Cubs games are so widely available to watch in America because of WGN, it's nice to have broadcasters that can be tolerated by non-Cubs fans that are just tuning in to enjoy a ballgame.
At just 40, it's likely that Len Kasper will be the Cubs' play-by-play man for much longer than 2016. The Cubs are going to do everything to keep him around for a long time, and Kasper absolutely loves the job.
From The Daily Herald:
“I thought it would be the greatest job in the world when I got here, and it’s been beyond my expectations. Of course, it’s more fun when the Cubs win, but to get to call half the games at Wrigley Field, it never, ever, ever feels routine.”
“From every angle, professionally and personally and from a family standpoint, being back in Midwest (after working in Florida) felt very familiar to me,” Kasper said. “Being from the Midwest, I feel like I have a good read on how people view the world here, and I’ve felt accepted here from Day 1. Cubs fans have been absolutely wonderful to me.”
As for Brenly, his contract expires after the 2012 season, and it will be interesting to see what he decides to do. Like Kasper, the Cubs will surely want to keep Brenly around, but the former World Series-winning manager (for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001) may want to get back into managing/coaching. It's also worth noting that his son Michael is a catcher in the Cubs' organization for the Daytona Cubs (Class-A Affiliate), so that could somehow play into his decision-making.
Great article. I'd like to see him team up with Brian Billick and take the number 2 team, or maybe replace Albert. I don't think they will ever replace Joe Buck with Gus and frankly that's fine with me. I know I disagree with this column when I say this but I don't mind Joe Buck.
Anyways, back to Gus. Even if he rises to the #2 maybe even the #1 NFL guy for FOX I won't be satisfied. The NFL simply doesn't have the last minute excitement that allowed Gus Johnson to become so beloved by sports fans. Don't get me wrong, the NFL is my favorite sports league, by far, but it will not provide near the opportunities for excitement that March Madness provided.
Also, maybe this is unfair, but I find him difficult to fit in at FOX for their NFL coverage. Their coverage seems so much more calm (almost boring) to me than CBS does and its difficult for me to imagine someone that exciting and passionate being on that network. Sure a lot of that has to do with the fact that their current slate of announcers is really sub-par, but nonetheless, I'm not sure if his personality will fit. I guess we'll all find out!
Few questions for Gus's future at FOX: How far up the NFL on FOX food chain does he go? Above the Kenny, Moose, Goose blowhards? Albert is the #2 guy but the chemistry or lack of with Aikman forced them to put Brennaman as Buck's feature game replacement. Gus and Moose? Gus, Moose and Goose? Gus and Charles Davis? Or they keep (waste?) him in the middle tier behind KMG and Brennaman/Billick??
Also,will we see Gus call MLB Saturday Regional? Maybe too subdued, but can you imagine Gus calling a walk off?
Finally, is there enough bad blood for CBS to deny TBS from grabbing Gus for Tournament/Final Four coverage in 2016?