By Adam Harris-
WRIGLEY FIELD (CBS) Jim Deshaies was not that fantastic at Wrigley Field during his career with various teams, starting eight games, going 2-3 with a 6.98 ERA.
“My career ended here. It came to a crashing end.” Deshaies recalls. “My last career start was here in July of 1995 when I was on life support with the Phillies.”
“The wind was blowing out and I was an extreme fly ball pitcher,” Deshaies continues. “We were staying at the Hyatt on Wacker and I was walking in between the two towers and saw the heat radiating. I remember it was the most surreal feeling because I said, ‘my career is going to end today.’ At least I was a good scout because I nailed it.”
Deshaies will now work at Wrigley Field exclusively, day in and day out, but in the broadcast booth as the Cubs new TV analyst, replacing Bob Brenly.
“I think Bob [Brenly] and my style are similar,” Deshaies said.
Deshaies used the word “goofy” to describe himself, and it showed through in the introductory press conference today. Deshaies made jokes at his own expense, and professed how the fun and entertainment value is very important to a baseball broadcast.
“My perspective when I’m doing my job is I’m talking to people in their living rooms,” Deshaies said. “I feel like I’m an honest guy. I’m fair, but I’m hesitant to just bury guys. You have to tell the truth but you have to have fun.”
Deshaies seems open to the sabermetric baseball perspective, but likes to mix in the view purely from a player’s mind.
“I believe in the advanced metrics,” Deshaies explains. “Our challenge is how to use it so we are not beating our audience over the head with it. Our audience consists of people who want all they can get of that, but it also consists of people who are like, ‘come on man back off a little bit.’ So you have to find a good marriage with it.”
Deshaies was an Astros’ broadcaster for 16 years, but was ready for change, especially to Chicago.
“You don’t leave that situation easily,” Deshaies said. “You leave it when you have the best opportunity in the game for guys that do what I do. I’ve received a lot of messages from colleagues all around the league who work for other clubs, and who I have worked with in the past, and they are really, really jealous. So, hang with ’em fellas.”
“This is the place to be,” Deshaies reiterates.