What About Bob?

bob brenly 9 15 What About Bob?

Mike Quade’s Cubs continue to play better than Lou Piniella’s Cubs, now 13-7 since the latter drifted away weeping.  Small sample size, sure, but still nice for the candidacy of a seemingly good guy.

Even as Quade’s audition rolls on, Jim Hendry is conducting a very public search for other options.  Add the name of Bob Melvin, now,  to the list that already includes Ryne Sandberg, Eric Wedge, Pat Listach and others.

But why talk to Melvin when his mentor is right there in your TV booth?

Melvin was Bob Brenly’s bench coach in Arizona when they won the title.  Brenly appears to be ready to manage again, as he’s delicately discussed his future without quelling such speculation.  It would make sense to interview the man who helped teach Melvin, and who has been watching this team closely for years.

Odd that Brenly’s name is not mentioned as prominently as it once was as a possibility.

* * *

Talk to former NFL union reps, and ask about how differently they were viewed by management upon accepting the job, particularly during contentious times.  NFLPA President Kevin Mawae, for example, wanted to continue playing this year, but retired.  Here’s what the National Football Post wrote about that:

“The elephant in the room regarding Mawae is whether the unresponsiveness from NFL teams is due to his stewardship for the union. If pressed on this, every team would say of the eight-time Pro Bowler something like “We like Kevin but we are (a) looking to go younger at center or (b) happy with what we have.” Of course, no team would mention labor publicly, but inside NFL personnel offices it was likely discussed.”

Dave Duerson is another rep who believes his involvement with the union hastened his ouster.  The long-held wisdom is that influential, union-active players have a target on their back.

Which brings us to Hunter Hillenmeyer.  He is out for the year — apparently against his will — suffering the aftereffects of a preseason concussion.  Hillenmeyer is a prominent union leader, and a vocal proponent of concussion awareness.  Easy for management to force him to practice what he preaches, while removing him from the locker room.

Yes, players on IR can still be with the team, and Hillenmeyer can continue his work as a rep.  But injured players are ghosts:  the connection with teammates dissipates and weakens, and the symbolic power of leadership is lessened when not in a helmet and pads.

I am not accusing the Bears of outright nefariousness, but it would be naive to ignore the facts and the league’s history.

Hub Arkush takes your calls on the Bears and the NFL at 5:00, and Zach Zaidman will report from Lake Forest.

  • Brendan D

    I know you’re not accusing the Bears of anything nefarious, Dan, but to be honest, I’d like to hear you give the organ-I-zation a little more credit. Yes, there is a disturbing trend of tension between management and union reps. However, you’ve been (rightfully) erring on the side of, at the very least, caution when it comes to concussions and their treatment, and you and Terry continually talk about what an outrageously dangerous game football (particularly, though not exclusively, at the NFL level) is. As you’ve put it yourself, “You only get one brain.”

    I guess what I’m saying is, whether or not there is any nefariousness (be it outright or subtle), this is a net positive. I don’t really care if Hillenmeyer wanted to play; is there *really* an NFL player who doesn’t? If he had a concussion, has a history of concussions, and the concussion was making him severely ill, I’d prefer him to sit the year out and get his head better — maybe even retire. I love football, but these guys’ health has to come first.

  • Chet's Inflated Ego

    JohnnyCakes seems not to be respected as a potential Manager. The 2001 D’Backs WS win was seen as something of a fluke, that he inherited Showalter’s team and won not because of his own managerial skill. For a WS winner he seems to have been Cito Gaston-ized, not given a second shot (or only so after a long time as with Cito). I’d love to see JohnnyCakes manage The Cubs. I think that Ryno has also earned his spurs in the minors.

    Now that the Sox are done, The Bears can break my heart full-time.


      That’s about the long and short of it. Maybe, the Diamondbacks couldn’t afford Bob Brenley after they, literally, mortgaged the team’s future to pretend to be the Yankees for one season.
      That more speaks to why wasn’t he the first choice after Baker?

      To swerve off the path a bit, any football fan should watch Leatherheads. Ignore some of the factual errors (involving government intervention), and it’s a good tale of a sport that was little regarded. A side show like professional wrestling. The players liked to compensate for lack of organization or physical ability by cheating. That carried well into the unionization of the game (unsure of when).
      When the corporate world finally separated the players and the coaching staff, that probably strengthened the organization against the players.
      There is no clean break from the past that leads us up to today. The CBS T.V. rights were a long time ago.


    20 year Cub fan here…
    I dont really care who manages them, I just want to see more wins next season.
    Ownership needs to do whatever it takes…
    No more excuses!
    Is there a way for the common fan to know if the ball club is in the green with profit or losing money?
    Common sense would tell me that they have been losing money for some time now…
    Dan, do think profit levels for the Rickets will effect who they get to become the Cubs coach?

    • bigtime sucker

      i wanna see rickets stick to his plan, if you have to stick with soriano and ramirez and dempster and zambrano etc, fine because nobody else will take on those contracts,but continue to develop those young players and beef up your developmental organization. The twins win on the front end because their back end is rock solid. The yankees for all their buying championship stuff, still have major players coming through their system. Isn’t Robinson Canou(spelling) an MVP candidate, well the Yanks didn’t buy him!!! Rivera home grown, jeter home grown, posada, home grown. The Red Sox have great players that they didn’t buy as well. Pedroia, Buckholtz, Papelbon(i might be wrong about that one) and others came from the farm system. if you beef up that area, and you are the cubs, you create your core and then suppliment it with great free agents that you can afford, but the cubs tried to buy a core and that’s not a winning formula

  • jahova

    nefariousness…stop googling synonyms to make ur self look impertinent

    • Chris in Scottsdale

      Uh… have you LISTENED to Bernsie before?

  • Scott in Lake in the Hills

    I like that the Cubs are being proactive and public about their coaching search, but their problems go far beyond their managerial position. I’m sure whoever they select will be a competent manager with World Series ability, but with all the bad contracts and no new stadium and their losing money, it seems like their team is going to polar opposites, getting younger and older at the same time. The way this is shaping out, we will see a mirror image of this 2010 season over and over.

  • Scott in Lake in the Hills

    And Clinton Portis should not have had to apologize for his comments regarding Ines Sainz in the Jets locker room. A man walking into a locker room full of naked women, how would that be viewed?? I don’t really think she was as upset as that women’s coalition was, but she should have known what she was getting herself into. And she was Miss Mexico in the Miss Universe thing? Come on. It’s an NFL locker room. That’s just being naive.

    • bigtime sucker

      Every team has people in place that handle the scheduling, the whens and where’s a player does interviews. You will never catch a reporter approach a player on the street or restaurante and get an interview, the response would be, call our pr guy and arrange it, and if he doesn’t the player gets in trouble. So the while the players get the heat externally, i am sure the pr rep who scheduled the interview to occur in the locker room on on the sideline at practice is getting major heat internally. You don’t do that. There is usually a hallway or green room or something that you can tell mark sanchez to be at at a certain time to interview a certain media person. Someone at the Jets organization screwed up huge and lacked total common sense. Unless of course the interviewer requested the lockerroom for whatever reason and was forwarned of the potential possibilities that this could happen, then it’s on her

      • Chet's Inflated Ego

        I am fairly sure it took place on the practice field because of the report that an Assistant Coach kept overthrowing footballs to land near the interviewer.
        Good angle BTS, the PR guy with The Jets effed-up big time.
        I am 99.99% sure that this is the same hottie who dressed up in a wedding dress during “media day” at the Patriots-Giants Super Bowl a few years back and on-camera asked Tom Brady to marry her as her publicity stunt/shtick.

      • Beverly Brewmaster

        For the record, it was a different chick. They spell and pronounce their names differently.


    One name that Bernsy didn’t mention as far as the Cubs’ search for a new manager is Fredi Gonzalez. For anyone who thought the ex-Marlins’ manager was a frontrunner for the job, forget it. The SCORE’s Brian “The Whipping Boy” Paruch has mentioned in his updates this morning that Fredi has decided NOT to interview for the Cub job, raising speculation that Fredi could very well be the next Braves’ manager once Bobby Cox fills out his final lineup card in Atlanta.

    As for the White Sox, if last night’s 9-3 loss to the Twins doesn’t put the final nail in the coffin, it should have. This team has stopped hitting in clutch situations, such as Paul Konerko & Manny Ramirez striking out with the bases loaded in the bottom 7th. (Why the hell is Manny even on this roster anyway?) The bullpen absolutely imploded like Jim Carrey’s character “Fire Marshal Bill” on “In Living Color” as the Twins batted around to score 5 times at the expense of Matt Thornton & J.J. Putz in the top 8th. Anyway, now that the 2010 White Sox season will end without a playoff appearance, Ozzie should be giving his young, minor league reinforcements such as 3B Brent Morel, 1B/DH Dayan Viciedo, C Tyler Flowers & pitchers Carlos Torres & Lucas Harrell more of a look with only a handful of games left. They will have some very difficult decisions ahead, and there’s a good chance that Paul Konerko & A.J. Pierzynski may end up in other uniforms when both become free agents after this season. I don’t think the Sox keep both.

  • Jon, Montgomery

    well, the sox season is over, unfortunately I bought tickets for tonights game thinking that it would mean something, of course that was two weeks ago. this is actually a test post, I wanted to see if it worked, if it goes through, I’ll be happy to share I’m posting this from my iPhone 4, sorry to brag, just wanted to try it.

  • Bill

    Was Kim Johannson the player rep of marital affairs?

    • Beverly Brewmaster

      I though he was the defenseman we got from Minnesota for Cam Barker.

  • Gary F

    Sometimes you interview someone you are not interested for multiple reasons. During the interview Brenley may say something that gives insight into his abilities or possibly someone else’s (Melvin) that you may not have know about. He may have organizational ideas that have not been tried. Those are just a two reasons.

  • kinghog

    I dont see why you need to interview a world series winning manager as a curtousy. He is a known . It hurts you if you want him as an announcer. It also hurts you if he is mentioned and an inferior manager (Ryne Sandburg is hired ) turning off some of your fan base, lowering your bottom line and affecting your ability to win

  • Bill

    Thats fine if it is acceptable in Mexico, but if you go to another country you have to adapt to that culture.

    In the Middle East she would be arrested or worse.

  • Scott in Lake in the Hills

    I understand that is how it is in Latin culture, and that is how she wants to dress. It’s not HOW she’s dressed that is bothering people. It is the expectation of what is going to happen when she goes in there. This is America, in a male-dominated locker room in a male dominated sport. People should just know better. Dan and Bigtime sucker are both right; she shouldn’t have been in that position. PR mistake for sure.


      Shoving a stick in a hornets nest is perfectly acceptable now in the entertainment business.
      Rod Blagoievich on The Apprentice (I should say “entertainment” business)–the whole reality T.V. thing in general
      The team in question is now currently “The Program”–or whatever HBO wants to call it.
      Steve Dahl always mentions how he can’t get press credentials, but some uninteresting senorita(s) get to parade around asking “So, what does your team need to to get back into this game?”

  • Matt T

    One more item on the blatant mis-handling of concussions: Read this article and tell me the story doesn’t change:


    First “blurred vision”, then “couldn’t remember the plays”? After starting the article applauding the determination of Crist and spending more than half of it apologizing for the Irish’s over-cautiousness in deciding to let him play again, the Irish (and the booyahs) are changing their story and expecting us to buy in.

    Here’s another theory: The Irish were playing so poorly offensively without Crist that they were willing to sacrifice Crist’s long-term health in order to make Brian Kelly 2-0. Did you see the cameo’s by their other two qb’s? Somebody got some splainin to do.

  • George Visger

    I developed hydrocephalus (water on the brain) while playing DT for the 81 SF 49ers (Super Bowl), and underwent emergency VP shunt brain surgery. My hydrocephalus was a result of numerous concussions during my 12 years of football. My career started at age 11 in Pee Wee Pop Warner and I was hospitalized at age 13 when I knocked myself out in a tackling drill playing Pop Warner.

    Concussions followed me through a 20-1-1 record at AA Stagg High in Stockton, CA, trip to the Orange bowl in 77 while playing at Colorado, and into my 2 yr career with the 49ers in 80 & 81. Now on emergency VP shunt brain surgery # 8.

    For a look into what happens when you don’t take concussions serious, take a look at my last 29 yrs post NFL life.

    Sac News and Review Cover story

    NPR: A Brain, A Life, Battered by Football

    Visger Rules – Recommended changes to NFL Rules 071810

    George Visger Interview on KCAA Sports Parade 071210 Regarding NFLPA Poor care of retired players
    http://www.kcaaradio.com and go to the Sports Parade…

    CNN – Concussions, Visger

    Dave Pear’s Blog ‪- 6 visits‬ ‪- Aug 17‬ (Hit George Visger for Difference between working for Kmart and the NFL)
    http://www.davepear.com/ – Cached
    Garden City Group
    The Honeymoon’s Over
    Alan Schwarz
    George Visger
    Oakland Raiders
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    Mike Ditka

    George Visger
    Brain Damaged Wildlife Biologist/Motivational Speaker
    Visger & Associates Environmental Consulting

    SF 49ers 80 & 81
    Survivor of 8 NFL Caused Emergency VP Shunt Brain Surgeries
    Benefactor of ZERO NFL Benefits

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