Monday, December 20, 2010

Who will sit next to Pat Hughes in 2011?

It is a tough discussion to have, because nobody can replace Ron Santo. However, somebody will have to serve as the color man on WGN Radio next season. Let us break down the candidates.

Dave Otto
Since retiring from baseball, the former left handed reliever has been a frequent fill-in on both TV and radio broadcasts. Dave joined Chip Caray on Fox Sports Net in 2001 and 2002 during Steve Stone's two year absence. Otto has been filling in for Ron Santo often since 2003. He pitched for the A's, Indians, Pirates and spent one seasons ('94) with the Cubs. Many, including Steve Stone, feel like Dave is the frontrunner to take over the gig.

Todd Hollandsworth
The ex-outfielder has been the pre- and post- game analyst on CSN for the past two seasons. He also fills in for Bob Brenly from time to time, and frequently appears on radio programs to talk Cubs. Holly played on the North Side in 2004 and 2005. He also spent time with the Dodgers, Rockies, Rangers, Marlins, Braves, Indians and Reds. Holly said on 670 The Score last week that he has "thrown his hat into the arena" for the radio job.

Keith Moreland
Keith might have the most on-air experience out of any of the candidates. He has been the color man for college baseball and football at the University of Texas on the radio for several years. He has also spent time pinch hitting for Ron Santo or Bob Brenly the past two or three seasons. Moreland was a Cubs outfielder from 1982 to 1987. He also played for the Phillies, Padres, Tigers and Orioles. The question with Keith is whether or not he is willing to give up his positions at the University to travel for six month out of the year. His commitment to his alma mater has always been important to him.

Dan Plesac
The only hurtle with Dan could be a contract with the MLB Network, where he is currently an analyst. Plesac lives in the Chicago land area, so a position closer to home than the MLB Network studio in New Jersey would be welcome. Before joining MLBN, Dan was the pre- and postgame show man on Comcast Sports Net. He also appeared on Chicago Tribune Live covering the Cubs and White Sox. A reliever for the Cubs in 1993 and 1994, Dan could be a good match for Pat Hughes. His corky personality would compliment Pat's dry sense of humor.

Mark Grace
Although many fans would love a return to Chicago for a Cubs legend, Grace leaving a TV position for a spot on the radio is unlikely. He seems happy in Arizona and will likely remain there. Mark also does FOX games on Saturdays. There is some mixed reaction among fans as to whether or not he is a good broadcaster. Again, Mark is a candidate that will most likely NOT take Ron's chair.

Judd Sirott
There is also a small chance that the Cubs will go in a different direction with their radio booth. In Milwakee, the Brewers use two play-by-play men instead of a color guy. Bob Uecker does six innings and former Cubs pregames show host Cory Provus does the other three. If the WGN Radio does not feel like it is right to replace Ronnie, they may have Pat call the game solo and then have him take 2-3 innings off where Judd does play-by-play. It is also possible that Judd will just replace Ron and do eight innings of color and one of play-by-play. However, it is unlikely that the station will chose to go without a former player in the booth.

Other Options
Eric Karros, Cory Provus, Andy Masur, Randy Hundley and Rick Suttcliffe

Thoughts? I'll have a poll up on this topic later in the week.


  1. Dan Plesac would be an excellent choice. He did a great job with the pre-post game analysis. I hope he gets some serious consideration.

  2. Anonymous,

    I enjoyed Plesac and his Blue Train as well. He is a goofball and that is what they need to go along with Pat's dry sense of humor.