After Bob Brenly left the Cubs for the Diamondbacks in October, Chicago had a vacancy in their booth next to veteran Len Kasper. We outlined some of the potential choices a couple of weeks ago, and of course, none of the finalists we listed got the job. Instead, the Cubs went with former long-time Astros color man Jim Deshaies as reported by Danny Knobler of CBS. Cubs fans seem pleased with the choice to replace Brenly with Deshaies.
Deshaies had been with the Astros since 1997 as the color commentator alongside Bill Brown, and the two gave Astros fans something to be positive about in recent years where the team has been terrible. Working for a (now former) NL Central rival for 15 years, Deshaies should have some familiarity with the Cubs and the rest of the division as he transitions into a major market with a heavily watched team. Deshaies had this to say to the Chicago Tribune:
"It was a very tough choice," Deshaies said of leaving the Astros' booth. "The Astros have been very good to me and I've spent the lion's share of my life here. As an Astros guy, I was very hesitant to leave. As a baseball guy, going to the Cubs and watching games at Wrigley Field, I look at that job as the best in the game."
Prior to the 2012 season, the readers of Fangraphs ranked the Brown/Deshaies team as the fourth best among all TV commentators in the league, ahead of even the Kasper/Brenly duo (who ranked sixth). Pairing Deshaies with Kasper could give the Cubs an even better commentary team, something thought to be potentially impossible coming into the offseason search for a replacement for Brenly.