Replaces Len Kasper for Marquee Sports Network
I have yet to write the annual “things to look for” items in the new year article, and one of them was who was going to be named the Chicago Cubs’ new play-by-play man to replace Len Kasper?
Well, the question was answered on Monday – and it’s a Boog.
Marquee announced the hiring of Jon “Boog” Sciambi as the team’s new play-by-play man for this upcoming season and beyond, where he will team up with color man Jim DeShies.
Sciambi should be familiar to baseball fans as he was the voice of ESPN’s Wednesday Night Baseball since 2014 and the voice of ESPN Radio’s Sunday Night Baseball. He has served in a variety of roles for the network since 2005.
He also served as the radio voice for Florida (now Miami) Marlins baseball from 1997 to 2004 (calling two World Series championships during that time) and was the television voice for the Atlanta Braves from 2007 to 2009.
“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 Chicago Cubs President of Business Operations Crane Kenney.
In addition to his Cubs duties, Sciambi is keeping his ESPN gigs, including calling college basketball games.
And yes, Sciambi is excited.
“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.”
”I want to be where baseball matters, and baseball matters on the North Side of Chicago,” he added. “Look, I think that this job’s special. That’s really what it comes down to.”
Well, maybe he shouldn’t ask Cubs fans about baseball mattering on the North Side recently, as owner Tom Ricketts and Co. have cut salary and unloaded popular players in a not-so-popular move including trading pitcher Yu Darvish and failing to tender World Series hero Kyle Schwarber.
Marquee launched nearly a year ago as a joint venture between the team and Sinclair Broadcasting to not-so-rave reviews as the channel’s rollout was botched and while it was able to strike a carriage deal with most cable providers, the on-air presentation was not received well as Marquee tampered with what made the WGN-TV, WLS-TV, and NBC Sports Chicago telecasts so successful (having Kasper and DeShies in suits to present a more “nationally televised” look, for one.)
As for the nickname “Boog”, a former colleague gave him the monkier while he worked for a Miami radio station, saying his stature resembled Baltimore Orioles player John “Boog” Powell, who was the 1970 American League MVP.
It is not known how many games Sciambi would work for Marquee and ESPN as Major League Baseball has not decided on the number of games for next season. It is also not known who would fill in if Sciambi is absent, although Chris Myers’ name was floated around a bit given his name was also in consideration for the Cubs PBP job full-time.