Mark Grace taking an indefinite leave of absence as Arizona’s television analyst following a DUI arrest has led to some speculation that former Diamondbacks manager Bob Brenly could take the job when his contract with the Cubs expires at the end of this season.
Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune asked about that possibility and Brenly pretty clearly shot it down, calling it “rain delay filler” and adding that “I have every confidence that we’ll get something done” to remain with the Cubs.
Brenly and play-by-play man Len Kasper are among the best television duos in baseball and announcing Cubs games is certainly a much higher-profile (and presumably higher-paid) gig than doing the same for the Diamondbacks. Brenly has been the Cubs’ analyst since replacing Steve Stone in 2005 and is currently finishing up a four-year contract.
Major League Baseball and Fox won’t openly root for any specific team to make the World Series. But you can bet they’re pretty happy with the Cubs making it thanks to the ratings they’re delivering.
The Indians win over the Chicago in Game 1 last night drew a 12.6 overnight rating. That means, on average, 12.6 percent of the TVs in the largest 56 markets were tuned in to the game. That’s the best World Series first game rating since 2009 when the Phillies-Yankees game drew a 13.8 overnight rating. Last night’s rating was up 20% from last year’s 10.5 between the Royals-Mets and up 58% from the Giants-Royals in 2014.
Now the rooting, however quiet it may be, will continue: for the Cubs to make a series out of this so as to keep the magic numbers coming.
Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine has been hired as the Twins’ next General Manager. It has not been made official, but multiple outlets are reporting the hire. Levine will join Derek Falvey, who was named the Twins’ new president of baseball operations last month.
Levine has been the Rangers assistant GM since the 2005 season, working as GM Jon Daniels’ second in command. He’ll still be second in command in Minnesota, but with an elevated title as is the style of the day. He previously worked with the Rockies. He has, according to various reports, been conversant in statistical analysis as well as traditional scouting and player development. As is also the style of the day.