Kasper took over as the Cubs’ play-by-play man in 2005, and like a lot of fans out there we grew up with him being the voice of our favorite team. I was in seventh grade when Len was hired and for the past 16 seasons he was the one constant when turning on the TV to watch the Cubs.
And I guess the overwhelming feelings of sorrow coming from Cubs fans when the news broke Thursday night is that baseball is just different. You don’t have a local TV broadcast team for your NFL team and that’s only a 16-game regular season. The NBA and NHL are both 82-game seasons and then you have MLB at 162 games every year. It is non-stop for six months and although you may have never met Len, he became part of your life because he was always there for the lows and the highs of watching the Cubs.
So yeah, this fucking hurts. It’s a part of Cubs fans lives that has been ripped away, but how can you be upset with Len Kasper. That’s why most of the anger has been directed at the Cubs, the Marquee Network and Chris Myers, who is reportedly the guy who may replace Kasper in the TV booth.
Negative reaction to Chris Myers
The Marquee Sports Network went live for the first time this past February at the start of spring training and it has been far from smooth sailing ever since.
Even with the short 60-game season and broadcasters not allowed to travel because of COVID-19 protocols, the new Cubs TV network tried shoehorn a third person into the booth. Some of it worked and some of it didn’t and then there were all the unnecessary segments during the middle of games that took the focus away from what fans were tuning in to watch…a Cubs game.
Anyway, prior to all the changes before the COVID-19 shutdown, Marquee hired a bunch of former players and broadcasters to serve in different roles with the network. Myers was brought in to be a studio host and occasionally fill in for Kasper when he did national games for Fox.
So far two Cubs reporters have written that Myers is the favorite to step into Kasper’s role as the team’s play-by-play man in 2021.
Via Sahadev Sharma.
Multiple sources told The Athletic that Chris Myers is a leading candidate to replace Kasper in the Marquee Sports Network booth alongside analyst Jim Deshaies.
Gordon Wittenmyer was a little more confident in his reporting, saying Myers will indeed be the next play-by-play man for the Cubs.
Via NBC Sports Chicago.
One source said longtime ESPN and Fox Sports broadcaster Chris Myers will replace Kasper on the Cubs broadcasts, a year after being brought in as a part-time host for Marquee.
The reaction from Cubs fans has been overwhelmingly negative at the thought of Myers taking over for Kasper. How can you blame them?
There’s nothing wrong with Myers as a broadcaster. He has a solid voice and it’s not like he’s an idiot during broadcasts. Yet, this screams of a corporate decision, giving the job to a suit and having absolutely no feel for what fans want.
Myers would be an extremely boring move and all the good vibes Cubs fans had listening to Len and JD would disappear. Just think about Myers doing a bad NFC game on Fox. Zero personality.
Marquee Press Release
However, despite the reports that Myers is the guy, is it possible that Marquee and the Cubs actually did consider the push back from fans?
Maybe I’m being too positive here and it’s very likely that Marquee is simply taking their time to confirm that Myers will be the play-by-play guy, but there was one interesting line from their press release on Friday.
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) December 4, 2020
In addition to the line of the process beginning to find a replacement, the press release also mentioned the following:
“We have already received interest from several prominent candidates who look at the job as anybody would – as a once in a lifetime opportunity to work with one of the most iconic franchises in sports.”
I don’t think it’s too far off to believe that at least a few guys around baseball were also surprised by Kasper’s decision to pursue his dream of doing radio and are now calling Marquee trying to live their own dream.
Listening to Mike McCarthy and Crane Kenney talk about it, they're saying all the right things about doing a thorough search to replace Len Kasper. Both say big names have already been reaching out about the opening.
— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) December 4, 2020
Let’s hope that’s the case because Chris Myers? I’m sorry, the Cubs should be able to do better.