Mark Grace is currently a national broadcaster with Fox Sports. You can see him on the Fox pregame and postgame show alongside Jeanie Zelasko and Kevin Kennedy, where Grace is by far the best of the three.
I wish this were a bigger compliment, but it is not. Grace just sort of wins by default. Kennedy is as a reductive and anti-intelligence as baseball broadcasters get. He's all about the "hustle" and the "gamers" and "knowing how to win" and "accountability," all that old-school baseball stuff that has its place, of course, but which gets really old when it's all you hear for half an hour before Game Two of the World Series.
Jeanie Zelasko is Jeanie Zelasko.
Mark Grace wins. He's solid. And because of Bob Brenly's impending managerial return with the Brewers -- at least, those are the rumors -- Grace is among the frontrunners to replace Brenly in the Chicago Cubs WGN booth next year. For his first act, Grace swore at some reporters. Sweet!
Summing up the Cubs' brief appearance in the postseason, Grace said they ''rolled over'' and should be humiliated. ''They [bleeped] it up, honestly,'' said Grace, who's covering the World Series as an analyst for Fox. ''That's twice now that this same group of players has gone out and played tight. ... I mean, come on, dude, are you kidding me? They got swept by the Diamondbacks, and they got swept by the Dodgers. Just went out and played tight. Honestly, I was very disappointed in what I saw, especially this year.''
Maybe Grace is auditioning here, and he knows he has to be sort of a brash analyst to gain the attention of the downtrodden Cubs fan. Or maybe he's being sincere. Either way, he'd be a suitable replacement for Brenly, if not totally up to Brenly's relaxed, intelligent style.
One thing's for sure: Cubs fans are nostalgic. And Mark Grace wins the nostalgia broadcast battle, hands down.