Watching the Cubs has soured Bob Brenly on managing again

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As a former World Series-winning manager Bob Brenly’s presence in the Cubs’ broadcast booth naturally leads to speculation about him moving into the dugout, but watching the team go 145-176 during the past two seasons may have soured him on getting back into managing.

Here’s what Brenly told Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune:

I kind of saw things that made me uncomfortable moving forward, trying to get that manager’s job. Unfortunately, a lot of them came true. It doesn’t make me Nostradamus or anything, but for me personally and professionally, I was much better off being where I was this year.

Brenly was briefly under consideration for the job last year before pulling his name out of the running and he clearly preferred spending the season alongside Len Kasper rather than alongside Carlos Zambrano.

Brenly has been pretty open with his criticism of the Cubs all season, which is one of the reasons why the Brenly-Kasper duo is one of the best in baseball, but he largely defended Mike Quade and said a turnaround is very possible for 2012. As for his 2012 plans, Brenly is under contract for more television work and said he won’t actively pursue any managerial openings.

MLB crowds jump from ’21, still below pre-pandemic levels

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PHOENIX — Even with the homer heroics of sluggers like Aaron Judge and Albert Pujols, Major League Baseball wasn’t able to coax fans to ballparks at pre-pandemic levels this season, though attendance did jump substantially from the COVID-19 affected campaign in 2021.

The 30 MLB teams drew nearly 64.6 million fans for the regular season that ended Wednesday, which is up from the 45.3 million who attended games in 2021, according to baseball-reference.com. This year’s numbers are still down from the 68.5 million who attended games in 2019, which was the last season that wasn’t affected by the pandemic.

The 111-win Los Angeles Dodgers led baseball with 3.86 million fans flocking to Dodger Stadium for an average of 47,672 per contest. The Oakland Athletics – who lost 102 games, play in an aging stadium and are the constant subject of relocation rumors – finished last, drawing just 787,902 fans for an average of less than 10,000 per game.

The St. Louis Cardinals finished second, drawing 3.32 million fans. They were followed by the Yankees (3.14 million), defending World Series champion Braves (3.13 million) and Padres (2.99 million).

The Toronto Blue Jays saw the biggest jump in attendance, rising from 805,901 fans to about 2.65 million. They were followed by the Cardinals, Yankees, Mariners, Dodgers, and Mets, which all drew more than a million fans more than in 2021.

The Rangers and Reds were the only teams to draw fewer fans than in 2021.

Only the Rangers started the 2021 season at full capacity and all 30 teams weren’t at 100% until July. No fans were allowed to attend regular season games in 2020.

MLB attendance had been declining slowly for years – even before the pandemic – after hitting its high mark of 79.4 million in 2007. This year’s 64.6 million fans is the fewest in a non-COVID-19 season since the sport expanded to 30 teams in 1998.

The lost attendance has been balanced in some ways by higher viewership on the sport’s MLB.TV streaming service. Viewers watched 11.5 billion minutes of content in 2022, which was a record high and up nearly 10% from 2021.