By Mick Gillispie / Smokies Radio Network
Our third game in a row yesterday was fun even though the Cubs had a tough 12-2 loss to the D’Backs. The day began with news that there would be more roster cuts as some seven guys were assigned to Triple-A Iowa and Double-A Tennessee. Most notably, former Smokies Josh Vitters, Alberto Cabrera, Jeff Beliveau and John Gaub were assigned to Iowa while Junior Lake and Matt Szczur were assigned to the Smokies.
These assignments are just a part of spring training, but I feel like all of these guys benefitted from wearing that Cubs uniform and participating in big league games.
Yesterday was the first split-squad game of the spring with half of the Cubs playing against the Rockies at Talking Stick in Scottsdale while the other half stayed in Mesa to play the D’Backs, which is the game Len and I had on Cubs.com. The crowd wasn’t as huge as days before, but still had about 7,000 there which is really good for this time of spring training.
One of the things we take pride in about our broadcast is that fans can listen to us and really feel like they are at the ballgame. Our microphone behind home plate plays a big part of this, and I love how the sounds of the game and crowd resonate on the air with our broadcast.
At HoHoKam Park there is a picture in the press box that I really like. It’s a baseball card of 2012 Hall of Fame Inductee Ron Santo, and it serves as a great honor to a Cubs legend. I’m really glad Ronnie is getting into the Hall of Fame this year, and we all miss him around the ballpark.
While the Cubs may have lost, I feel like we had a fun broadcast. Patrick Mooney of CSN Chicago stopped by and had a great chat with Len about how camp is going and what he thinks the roster will look like on opening day.
Also it was good to see a former Southern League colleague and my friend Wayne Randazzo who stopped by the booth. Wayne spent the last four years as the broadcaster of the Mobile BayBears, and is now headed back to his native Chicago to serve as the voice of the Kane County Cougars. Wayne also works in Chicago doing updates on 670 the Score and does a fantastic job covering Chicago sports. He flew back to Chicago yesterday, but it certainly was fun visiting with him and Len in the booth.
Yesterday was a great thrill for one of our friends as Cubs catcher Michael Brenly hit a solo homer against the D’Backs. Michael is a guy that will probably be with the Smokies this year, he was the catcher for Daytona the past two seasons. He is also the son of Len’s television partner, Bob Brenly, who managed Arizona to a win in the 2001 World Series. Bob has been at nearly every game this spring even if he’s not working, and was in the booth next to us when Michael hit the homer. It was a great moment for us upstairs, and I’m really looking forward to getting to know Michael better when he’s a Smoky.
Now it’s time for me to get set for today’s game, as the Cubs play the Giants at 4:05 p.m. ET / 3:05 p.m. CT. Check the post below for all the listening information and we hope you’ll join us for Cubs baseball!