JD Stays in the National League–With the Cubs!

The other shoe fell Monday when it was revealed in Chicago that Jim Deshaies would be joining Len Kaspar in the Cubs TV booth.  Fans of JD from his time in the Astros booth are having a fit on line, twitter and facebook.  They can’t imagine a season without JD and some can’t imagine him taking a job with the long-hated Cubs.

But hold on there.  JD’s move to the Cubs was instigated by the Cubs (or more correctly WGN and ComcastChicago which holds television rights and hires announcers with the Cubs approval.)  Jim was perfectly willing to wait until the Astros called him in to discuss 2013 after the first of the year.  That was–until Chicago came calling.

To all who have had a dislike for the Cubs as Astros opponents, but have never experienced the atmosphere in Wrigleyville or lived in an area of the country where baseball does not take a back seat to football,  JD’s move is hard for them to understand.

JD was an Astro player…He lives here.  He has been an analyst for more than ten years.  Why, Jim, why?

OK, if the Cubs Wrigleyville atmosphere or un-dying love for the Cubs win or lose is not enough, how about the business end of the deal?

It has been reported JD received a multi year contract for as long as four years.  In the past the Astros have hired year to year.  On top of that while we don’t know what salary Jim will be receiving, it has been reported that the departing Bob Brenly was pulling in as much as $900-thousand.  Brenly was the highest paid analyst in baseball.  Since Bob also did some other post season network assignments we don’t know if that reported figure was his approximate gross or just his Cubs salary.  Either way JD will receive a huge boost from his dollar figures from 2012.

No fan should blame the Astros for having JD move on.  They didn’t fire him or tell him his contract would not be renewed.  They just had not signed him to a new one yet and the Cub option opened.  Maybe they could have matched what the Cubs offered financially, but that is doubtful.  Once the Cubs job was offered Jim had no choice.

It might also be instructive to remember that when JD moved into the TV booth he was replacing Larry Dierker.  Dierk had the same love then that Jim developed later.  Of course, Larry didn’t go anywhere.  He was named manager of the team.  Would Dierker be interested in returning in at least a less than full schedule role?  Would the club consider more of a rotation like some teams have?  Or will the next Jim Deshaies be only a hire away.

Stay tuned.  A lot of decisions other than just who will be playing the outfield for the team have yet to be made.  And spring training is still almost four months away.


About gregclucas

Author, "Baseball-Its More Than a Game" available through Amazon.com, BN.com or by order. Veteran sportscaster with extensive play by play experience in MLB, NBA and college sports. "Houston to Cooperstown- The Houston Astros' Biggio & Bagwell Years" is available at many Barnes and Noble stores, Costco, Sam's Club and other selected locations. Also can be ordered through Amazon as hard copy of Kindle.
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