This news broke very late Thursday night, so you might have missed it: Ron Coomer will be joining Pat Hughes on WGN radio Cubs broadcasts, reported by longtime Chicago media writer Robert Feder:
Former Cubs infielder Ron Coomer will succeed Keith Moreland in the Cubs radio booth alongside play-by-play announcer Pat Hughes, sources confirmed Thursday. Coomer agreed to a two-year contract as color analyst to be announced Friday by the Cubs and WGN AM 720. A Chicago area native who played for the Cubs in 2001, Coomer, 47, most recently worked on Minnesota Twins’ pre- and post-game shows for Fox Sports North.
Coomer played high school baseball in Lockport and was picked by the Athletics in the 14th round of the 1987 draft. He spent eight years in the minor leagues before being traded to the Twins in a deal that featured two other future Cubs: Mark Guthrie and Kevin Tapani. His one year with the Cubs was nothing special: .261/.316/.390 with eight home runs in 349 at-bats, and he departed as a free agent. Here's the rest of his playing record.
I haven't watched much Twins baseball via MLB.TV or Extra Innings, so I haven't heard much of Coomer's work. He's been widely praised for his on-air work; here's a clip of him giving a speech to the Mankato Moon Dogs, a team of college players in the summer Northwoods League:
Here's a little more conventional video, from a Twins pregame show on Opening Day 2013:
The two-year length of Coomer's deal implies that the Cubs and WGN might be on track to re-up their deal after it expires at the end of 2014, although the contract could also be transferable to another station if the Cubs do wind up leaving WGN (something I still consider unlikely).
This Twins-centric site contains the following about Coomer:
If this is the last we’ve seen of “Coom Dawg,” it’s been a wild and strange adventure, including the infamous quote “you will always screw the game.”
That ought to make for interesting times in the WGN radio booth. Welcome home, Ron.