Marquee Sports Network wants to create a good impression in its season-opening telecasts of Chicago Cubs baseball. But in trying to look completely professional, are executives torturing broadcasters Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies?
The Athletic’s Jon Greenberg began his Sunday column by calling attention to viewer concerns over Kasper and Deshaies having to wear ties, button-down shirts, and suit jackets while temperatures over the weekend were sweltering in Chicago.
Wearing uncomfortable warm-weather clothing seemed especially concerning on Sunday with 95-degree heat at Wrigley Field and the broadcast team working in an open-air booth. Friday’s season opener wasn’t much cooler, with temperatures reaching 85 degrees.
So why are Kasper and Deshaies being made to suffer for appearances?
According to Greenberg, Marquee executives are behind the shirt-and-tie attire for the broadcast team:
“Marquee Sports Network, run by New Yorkers in Mike McCarthy and Michael Santini, has been vocal about presenting these games as “national network quality” broadcasts, so yes, they’re making Len and JD wear ties, shirts and coats for games.”
That’s led to a hashtag movement among Cubs fans who want to see their favorite broadcasters dress more appropriate for the heat: #FreeLenAndJD.
Kasper and Deshaies have been allowed to wear cooler polo shirts during broadcasts, but apparently that was a preseason, “Summer Camp” concession.
Don’t you feel cooler just looking at Kasper and Deshaies in polo shirts? Let those guys breathe! As Greenberg points out, making those guys dress that way will seem even more silly when the Cubs are playing on the road and the broadcast is being called remotely from the Wrigley Field booth.
Temperatures don’t figure to get much cooler in August, so might the Marquee bosses relent on what Kasper and Deshaies have to wear on camera? Especially considering that the broadcast team is on camera for so little of the telecast? This isn’t an ESPN-style KBO telecast when the play-by-play announcer and analyst are on-screen with a sidebar during the game.
Check out Greenberg’s column for more on Marquee, including season-opening ratings for the network, in addition to the number of ads visible at Wrigley and who stood out for the Cubs during their first three games.