Deshaies has reportedly accepted a four-year offer from WGN to be the color commentator for the Chicago Cubs telecasts. WGN's Bob Vorwald would not comment on the hiring Monday, but MLB.com has confirmed Deshaies will be switching teams. "J.D." replaces longtime Cubs announcer Bob Brenly, who in October accepted a similar job with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Deshaies will pair with Cubs play-by-play television voice Len Kasper.
Deshaies, who had been a part of the Astros' broadcast team since 1997, was contacted by WGN officials in October and later flew to Chicago to meet with network executives from both WGN and Comcast SportsNet Chicago. He also met with representatives from the Cubs.
A CSN Chicago report originally identified Dan Plesac, Rick Sutcliffe, Eric Karros, Gary Matthews and Todd Hollandsworth as targeted interviewees. Deshaies' name emerged later and, at one time, he was considered by some as a longshot to land the job, only because it was widely assumed WGN preferred to have a former Cub as its color commentator (although Brenly had no previous history with the Cubs, either).
But Deshaies may have been WGN's preferred choice all along. Somewhat of a cult favorite among Astros fans, Deshaies long ago established himself, along with his TV partner, Bill Brown, as a trusted and entertaining source of baseball analysis in Houston. The news of Deshaies' possible defection to Chicago created a small firestorm among dismayed fans on the Internet. A combination of Deshaies' strong interview with network and club executives, the outcry from the Houston fanbase and support from Kasper may have swung the pendulum in Deshaies' favor earlier than expected.
I don't know enough about Deshaies, but I know GW here likes him so I'm guessing I will too. It will be hard to dislike him as much as I did Bob Brenly. I'm also glad the Cubs passed on some of the other candidates and Plesac was the only one that really interested me.