Snake Charmers: D'Backs Bring In Berthiaume, Brenly For TV Booth In '13
The D'Backs on Thursday hired former Comcast SportsNet Chicago and WGN-TV Cubs analyst Bob Brenly and will pair him with ESPN's Steve Berthiaume for the team's telecasts on FS Arizona, according to Nick Piecoro of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. Brenly will return "to the analyst position he held for the first three years of the Diamondbacks’ existence before serving as the club’s manager for 3 1/2 seasons." D'Backs President & CEO Derrick Hall said that Brenly "received a five-year deal while Berthiaume agreed to a three-year deal that includes two option years." Brenly said, "WGN was very generous to me in my time here in Chicago, and put us into a position where we could choose what we thought was best regardless of compensation." Berthiaume worked for "12 years at ESPN in two stints with the company, spending a year in between at SportsNet NY, but he has limited experience as a play-by-play man." He said that he "got hooked after his first experience calling a game at the end of last season," when he called the Rays’ comeback win over the Yankees in the final game of the year. Hall said that by "hiring Berthiaume the team is 'gambling on his upside'" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 10/19). Brenly and Berthiaume will be introduced Nov. 5 at Chase Field so Berthiaume can honor his commitment to ESPN through the World Series (D'Backs).
MOVING ON: WGN Dir of Productions Bob Vorwald said that he would get together with the Cubs and CSN Chicago "as soon as possible" to go over a list of potential candidates to replace Brenly. Vorwald said, "We don’t rule out anybody. We’ll start with a clean slate." In Chicago, Paul Sullivan reports the new analyst "would be a WGN employee, though the Cubs probably would have the most say in who is chosen." Vorwald said that the analyst "doesn’t necessarily have to have a Cubs’ background." Former Cubs P Kerry Wood "told WGN-AM’s David Kaplan he has 'no interest' in replacing Brenly," while ESPN's Rick Sutcliffe said that he "might consider the opening if asked." ESPN MLB studio analyst Doug Glanville also said that the "job intrigued him." In addition, Dodgers TV analyst Steve Lyons as "shown interest in the job" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/19).
CHANGE IS COMING: THE BIG LEAD's Jason McIntyre cites a source as saying that "SportsCenter" anchor Cindy Brunson, Berthiaume's wife, "will be leaving the network as well and going to Arizona with her husband." Sources said that the moves come as "SportsCenter" "braces for a significant shakeup in the coming months." The "buzz right now is nobody’s anchor seat is safe." A lot of the moves "remain fluid and decisions haven’t been finalized." But the one change that "appears to be a lock" is that Lindsay Czarniak is headed for the 6:00pm ET "SportsCenter" "full-time, starting sometime in December" (THEBIGLEAD.com, 10/18).