A month ago, Len Kasper left Marquee Sports Network and the Chicago Cubs to take the Chicago White Sox radio job. The move was met with shock by Cubs fans, who had come to adore Kasper over his years calling games for the team. Several possible replacements were rumored for Kasper, with Fox’s Chris Myers being linked most tightly.
Today, Marquee announced Kasper’s replacement, and while it’s not Myers, it is another experienced play by play broadcaster for a national network: ESPN’s Jon ‘Boog’ Sciambi.
— Marquee Sports Network (@WatchMarquee) January 4, 2021
Here are a series of quotes from the press release about Sciambi’s hiring from Crane Kenney of the Cubs, Mike McCarthy and Jim Santini of Marquee, and Sciambi himself.
“We are excited to welcome Boog to the Marquee Network and the Cubs organization. We’re confident he’ll add to the incredible legacy of Cubs broadcasters and quickly become a trusted friend to our amazing fans,” said Crane Kenney, Chicago Cubs President of Business Operations.
“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!”
“Having the opportunity to come to Wrigley Field and call games for the Chicago Cubs every day is surreal,” said Sciambi. “It really doesn’t get better than that. Chicago is one of the best cities and Wrigley is the best ballpark out there.”
“Jon’s deep baseball knowledge coupled with his dry humor and quick wit will no doubt bring Cubs fans a new level of entertainment as they watch Cubs games on Marquee beginning with the 2021 season,” noted Marquee Sports Network SVP of Programming & Production Mike Santini. “We are very fortunate to have him.”
Of note: Sciambi will remain with ESPN, calling select regular season MLB games on TV and radio and college basketball. Dan Shulman has a similar role with the network after leaving Sunday Night Baseball following the 2017 season. Shulman still calls some regular season MLB games for ESPN on TV and radio and calls college basketball games, while also serving as the Toronto Blue Jays play by play broadcaster.
At Marquee, Sciambi will work with established Cubs analyst Jim Deshaies in the booth. The Cubs will also have a rotating cast of guest broadcasters calling games, much as they did in 2020, including Myers and a host of ex-player analysts, including Ryan Dempster, Mark DeRosa, Dan Plesac, and Carlos Pena of MLB Network, Rick Sutcliffe and Doug Glanville (former partners of Sciambi at ESPN), Sean Marshall, Ryan Sweeney, and Lou Piniella. Taylor McGregor and Elise Menaker return as field reporters, and Cole Wright returns as Marquee’s primary studio host.
When Kasper made his decision to leave Marquee, I was skeptical that the network could find a suitable replacement that the fans would get behind. Incredibly, not only did Marquee manage to do that, but they potentially upgraded in the booth with Sciambi. I tip my cap to the network for the hire