WGN-AM sports director Dave Eanet said they are now putting together a list of candidates and hope to "compare notes with the Cubs and see where we are." Longtime play-by-play man Pat Hughes will meet Tuesday with WGN-AM President and general manager Jimmy de Castro to provide his input, though the ultimate decision will be made by WGN and Crane Kenney, Cubs president of business operations.
One thing Sullivan's article does not mention is the re-opening of the WGN radio contract; the article seems to imply (at least the way I read it) that the Cubs and WGN will reach agreement on a new deal. There really isn't any other suitable radio place in Chicago for the Cubs, and the Cubs, despite ratings being down in 2013, are a big part of WGN radio's identity. This, of course, is separate from the WGN-TV deal.
Sullivan listed 11 men who might be considered for the position, and his thoughts on them. Here are my thoughts on those 11, plus one more who's been mentioned here.
Mark DeRosa: Sullivan notes his player option was picked up by the Blue Jays. I suppose this wouldn't preclude him from taking the Cubs' job, although it likely wouldn't pay anything near the $750,000 he'll make playing baseball in 2014. DeRosa would be a popular choice, and his work during the playoffs on TBS was solid.
Kerry Wood: He's got three young children and is said to not want any full-time baseball job at this time.Cliff Floyd: I have not heard his on-air work (Sullivan says he's worked for FSN Florida, SiriusXM radio and MLB Network), so I really can't judge. Mark Grace: Sullivan says he "could" be interested. I cannot say this enough: hiring Grace would be a really, really bad idea. Despite his popularity with Cubs fans, he is a really, really bad broadcaster. If you never heard him while he worked for Diamondbacks TV, consider yourself lucky.
Todd Hollandsworth: I like Holly and he's insightful. He'd have to tone himself down a bit for radio, though.
Doug Glanville: Seems to me he's probably interested in more high-profile broadcasting and writing gigs than WGN radio. He'd be very good, though, as he always has excellent insights into playing.
Steve Stone: He's not going anywhere. I will say that when Stone filled in for Ron Santo during the 2003 playoffs, he and Pat Hughes made an excellent team.
Andy Masur: Sullivan says the Cubs are "focused on hiring a former player." I hope they're open-minded enough to consider Masur, since that would also allow them to jettison the awful Judd Sirott.
Steve Lyons: He does pretty good work, though you have to wonder about the reasons he was let go by the Dodgers. Though the Cubs say they don't necessarily have to have someone with a Cubs connection, there are plenty of qualified people who do have Cubs connections, so why go outside?
Rick Sutcliffe: He'd be another popular choice, but I agree with Sullivan that Sutcliffe is unlikely to leave ESPN to do radio.
Dave Otto: He was on the "short list" to replace Ron Santo. That's where he should stay; if you didn't like Keith Moreland, you won't like Otto, who monotones most of his on-air delivery.
That's all of Sullivan's list; to those, I would add Mick Gillispie, who does nice work for the Cubs' Double-A team in Tennessee and also teams well with Len Kasper on the Cubs' online spring-training broadcasts.
There isn't really a clear-cut favorite nor one who stands out in that list. If I'm choosing just one, I think I'd go with Masur, who has familiarity to the audience and knows the Cubs and Chicago. If I had to pick one of the ex-players? Hollandsworth.
I'm sure you have an opinion here. Vote in the poll and weigh in, in the comments.