The Cubs still haven’t done anything to address an offense that “broke somewhere along the lines,” but Marquee Sports Network knocked it out of the park by hiring ESPN vet Jon “Boog” Sciambi. Initial reports in the immediate wake of Len Kasper’s surprising departure after 16 years in the TV broadcast booth had Marquee part-timer Chris Myers as the choice to take over. That possibility was met with harsh criticism and may have been a trial balloon of sorts for network decision-makers.
Crane Kenney quickly refuted the notion that a choice had already been made, saying they planned to take swings at some big names. Then he offered what felt at the time like a damning indictment of the way the organization is being run.
“It needs to be someone who fits with our culture,” Kenney said. “And I mean the Cubs culture, not ownership culture. Because the Cubs culture is very special and as you know something we cherish. So we have a lot of work ahead of us.”
While I admit to being highly skeptical of business operations’ understanding of what fans really want, I think this is a great move. Sciambi has served in numerous roles with ESPN since joining the network full-time in 2010, most prominently as the voice of ESPN Sunday Night Baseball for MLB on ESPN Radio and as the regular play-by-play voice on Wednesday Night Baseball telecasts for ESPN since 2014.
He also has held play-by-play duties for both the College and Little League World Series. In something of a coincidence that ties him to Kasper, Sciambi previously served as the radio voice of the Florida Marlins from 1997-2004. And like White Sox broadcaster Jason Benetti, Sciambi has even worked alongside Bill Walton calling college basketball.
If you’ve never seen a Walton broadcast, just know that anyone who can keep up with the eccentric Deadhead for more than 30 minutes is doing a helluva job.
“There was no shortage of interest in this position, and deservedly so. It is one of the premier spots in sports
broadcast history, and no one is more deserving of the seat than Jon. His personality, energy and baseball
credibility make him the perfect choice to succeed the legends who have preceded him,” said Marquee Sports
Network General Manager Mike McCarthy. “We welcome “Boog” to Marquee!”
Again, I really believe this is a tremendous choice and I am very much looking forward to seeing and hearing Boog on the mic when baseball gets started again. Assuming, that is, I still have access to Marquee by then.
“Having the opportunity to come to Wrigley Field and call games for the Chicago Cubs every day is surreal,” said
Sciambi in a statement. “It really doesn’t get better than that. Chicago is one of the best cities and Wrigley is the best ballpark out there.”