In 2004, in the wake of fallout from the Dusty Baker-Steve Stone imbroglio -- wherein Dusty became upset at then-analyst Stone for criticizing his decisions and the team's effort -- the Cubs hired former manager and Fox Sports broadcaster Bob Brenly to analyze baseball. It was a good hire. In four years at the helm, Brenly has been a calm, reasoned analyst, rarely prone to the sorts of things that make fans scream. He's rarely too much of a homer; he doesn't dwell on lost calls too often; and his overall perspective is one of interest but not intense Cubs fandom, making him the perfect antidote to the wheezes and squeals of the Cubs' radio mascot, Ron Santo.
If there is one thing Bob Brenly seems to be, it is "reasonable." In our sometimes unreasonable world, there are worse things to be called. That cool customer reputation existed before the Cubs hired him, and it will exist afteward. In the meantime, it's earning him consideration for open managerial positions.
The other side to a good-guy manager, of course, is his long-term relationship with the players in a sport burdened with guaranteed contracts. Like an NBA coach, a manager, for many reasons, can be undermined by players with financial security. Yost had almost full clubhouse backing in his refusal to publicly criticize players, but there exists a near-unattainable balance reached by only the best people-handlers in sports, such as Joe Torre, Phil Jackson and Jerry Sloan.
(Quick aside: I love how guaranteed contracts are a "burden." Oh, those poor professional sports owners. Paying their players is truly a cross to bear.)
Anyway, Hunt has it on good authority that Brenley is "said to want the Brewers job," meaning he'd be willing to give up the $1 million he makes every year from the Chicago Cubs. Such a trade-off seems insane, but if that's what Brenly wants, that's what he will get. He's done his time on the sidelines. He deserves to get back in the game.
For their part, Cubs fans will have to find a new inoffensive analyst to moderately enjoy. Steve Stone, unfortunately, is a taken man.