Sources this week revealed Bob Brenly was at times covertly managing the Cubs, taking over coaching duties during now-former skipper Lou Piniella’s in-game naps that occured on an increasingly frequent basis after the manager announced his retirement last month.
While news of the takeover was not public, Brenly’s broadcasts indicated that he was at times either calling the shots or summoning psychic Steve Stone-like color commentary abilities.
“This would be the perfect time for a hit and run,” Brenly announced during a game in which he was stepping in for the slumbering skipper. “In fact, I’d be willing to stake my reputation and all my worldly possessions that they will attempt to execute their first one of the season on this play.”
Much like Alan Trammell–who is not being considered for the managerial vacancy due to the team’s inability to respond to his leadership while he was subbing for Piniella at times this season–the Cubs’ failures during Brenly’s time as pseudo-manager have doomed his bid to take on the role full-time in 2011.
“I hadn’t heard that Bob was managing for us while Lou napped,” said GM Jim Hendry. “But knowing that, there’s no way we can consider him for our managerial job, former World Series champion or not.”
Prior to being removed from contention, Brenly took lobbying for the managerial job to a new level, swapping in his nameplate on Piniella’s office door and insisting on-air partner Len Kasper call him “The Skipper.”
His subliminal in-game remarks also tried to set the stage for his 2011 Cubs managerial campaign.
“Len, did you know that catchers make the best managers?” Brenly said earlier this month. “Sandberg is a nice guy, but he was not a big league catcher. Have you also noticed a pattern of championship-winning coaches in this town with finely groomed mustaches? It must be a trend.”
From the August 2010 issue by Brian Berns. Click here to subscribe today!