Booth Review

By Chris Rewers on Tuesday, April 5, 2011

We're just five games into the new season, but Cubs TV broadcasters Len Kasper and Bob Brenly, now in their seventh season together, are already in midseason form.

Their finest moment during Tuesday's 6-5 Cubs victory came in the bottom of the third as Tyler Colvin was batting against Arizona starter Barry Enright.

"At some point, Tyler Colvin, Koyie Hill (ha! More on him later), Kosuke Fukudome - one of these lefties in the lineup is gonna step in the bucket, anticipate that fastball inside, and hit a ball across the street on to Sheffield Avenue," Brenly said as Colvin awaited a 2-and-0 pitch. "He has just consistently tried to pound those lefties in, he'll probably go away on a 2-and-0 count..."

Colvin connected.

"And Colvin gets a hold of it, deep to right-center, gone!" Kasper said. "That's a two-run homer for Colvin. Well, he might not have stepped in the bucket but that works."

"It sure does!" Brenly said. "Just judging by the movement of Miguel Montero, the Diamondbacks catcher, it looked like on the 2-and-0 pitch, they wanted to go away with a fastball but when a guy has been so consistently pounding lefties in and tries to go away, inevitably they leave it over the heart of the plate and Tyler Colvin cranked that ball to right-center field."

I've had my first couple of opportunities to listen to the Cubs radio broadcasts the last two days and am also quite pleased with what I've heard.

Pat Hughes has been as great as ever. Keith Moreland, with more polish than I anticipated, has provided sound analysis, some nice recollections about his Cubs playing days, and a great sense of humor. Moreland has assumed the play-by-play duties in the fifth inning and has delivered his accounts smoothly along with his sidekick for that one inning, Judd Sirott.

Moreland told his audience on Tuesday that Steve Goodman contacted him in regards to lyrics in his song, "A Dying Cubs Fan's Last Request."

"He told me that there was a line about Keith Moreland dropping a routine fly," Moreland said. "He asked me if that was OK. I said that it was fine. I dropped a ball or two out there. Right field at Wrigley when it gets to be 4 o'clock, 4:30, that's tough, especially during the summer."

Great stuff, Keith.

Back to Kasper and Brenly.

When I was single and friends would try to set me up on a date, I knew the girl was ugly when they would talk about every single one of her attributes except about how she looked.

That's what Koyie Hill's inclusion on this year's roster has come to.

All Cubs fans know that he's "a great handler of pitchers" and my dad excitedly likes to point out that he's "a switch-hitting catcher!"

That's great, Dad, but Koyie can't hit from either side.

My friends and I agreed on Opening Day while discussing Hill's inclusion on the roster that the only logical explanation was that Cubs brass decided that Welington Castillo would be better served by playing every day at Triple-A Iowa.

As Hill batted in the bottom of the second, Kasper and Brenly did their best to convince Cubs fans that the switch-hitting catcher was worth giving the benefit of the doubt.

"That's when I first really became aware of who Koyie Hill was, when he was catching with the Diamondbacks," Brenly said. "Of course, I knew the name from his Dodger days, but Koyie Hill was run over at home plate one night at old Bank One Ballpark by Ty Wigginton and broke his ankle on the play. (He) stayed in the game and finished the inning, took his at-bat the next half inning, and was gonna go back out to catch defensively with a broken ankle before they finally pulled him out of the ballgame, and we've seen numerous examples in his days with the Chicago Cubs of this guy does not recognize pain."

Kasper added, "He about severed every tendon in his hand in that table saw accident and has been able to come back from that."

"I wish I could give credit where credit was due, but I heard a football player one time when a reporter asked him what he attributed his success to and he said, 'The inability to immediately recognize pain.' And I think Koyie Hill fits that description very well," Brenly said.

I'm sure he's a helluva guy, Len and Bob, but Hill still can't hit.

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