UPDATE: The original article below might not be true, per this tweet:
The absence of Mark Grace’s name on press release was an oversight, according to Marquee. He may still return for some games in 2021.— Paul Sullivan (@PWSullivan) January 4, 2021
We’ll see what happens. Here’s the original article as posted earlier Monday.
I didn’t hold back during the 2020 season in criticizing Marquee Sports Network for hiring Mark Grace as an analyst for Cubs broadcasts.
While Grace was and remains a beloved former Cubs player, his broadcast style is grating and unknowledgeable — and it’s been that way since he first joined Fox Sports Arizona as a Diamondbacks analyst in 2004. (He’s still employed by that network on a part-time basis.)
In the release sent out by Marquee Monday announcing the hire of Jon ‘Boog’ Sciambi as Cubs play-by-play announcer, the channel noted all their on-air personalities:
Sciambi joins color analyst Jim Deshaies and an impressive lineup at Marquee Sports Network, including studio host Cole Wright, and sideline reporters Taylor McGregor and Elise Menaker. Also contributing are former Cubs players Ryan Dempster, Mark DeRosa, Doug Glanville, Rick Sutcliffe, Dan Plesac, Sean Marshall, Mike Sweeney and Carlos Pena, former manager Lou Piniella, and Emmy Award-winning broadcaster Chris Myers.
That’s basically everyone associated with the Cubs who appeared on the channel in 2020 — except Grace. The only conclusion I can draw from this is that Grace is out.
That’s good news. Marquee management obviously must have seen he wasn’t a good fit.
(Also, it should be noted the Marquee contributor is actually Ryan Sweeney, not “Mike Sweeney.” Mike Sweeney played 16 years in the big leagues from 1995-2010, mostly for the Royals. Ryan Sweeney is the former Cub, playing on the North Side in 2013 and 2014.)
I wish Mark Grace well. As I mentioned above, he’s certainly a beloved former Cubs player, one of the best of the 1990s. But the broadcasts will be better without him.