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New Voices: Len Kasper
by alex ciepley
Last week the Cubs hired Len Kasper to be their play-by-play guy. I know absolutely nothing about Kasper's game-calling, so I asked a couple other writers for their thoughts.
Since Kasper spent several years working for the Brewers, Al from Al's Ramblings was a natural choice for an opinion:
The time Kasper spent in Milwaukee was mostly as a pre-game host, though he did sub a few times. He did an OK job, a bit generic, but credible. We are blessed in Milwaukee with two outstanding radio guys, Bob Uecker and Jim Powell. Compared to those two, almost anyone will seem mediocre.
I must say, I am surprised by Kasper's meteoric rise. I was shocked he got the Marlins' job, and even more so with the Cubs, one of the top five jobs in sports. I was expecting a Costas-type name, maybe not Bob himself, but a well-known network guy.
Congrats to Len, he always seemed to be a very good guy.
Kasper moved on from the Brewers to Florida, where he'd been their play-by-play guy since 2002. Mike from The Book of Mike covers both the Marlins and, *gasp*, the White Sox. We at TCR will try not to hold that against him. His thoughts:
My initial reaction on hearing that he was leaving for the Cubs was that I was happy; now I might leave the sound on when I'm watching the Marlins on television. He's probably a good fit for the Cubs because it sounds like they won't have the issues with him that they had with Stone. Kasper is most definitely a company guy and isn't afraid to put lipstick on a pig, if that's what the situation calls for.
To me, Len Kasper's style is most definitely new school. By that I don't mean that he's sabermetrically or statistically oriented (he's not), but that he sounds pretty similar to almost any other announcer that's come onto the scene in the last ten or fifteen years. There's no confusing Kasper with a Scully, a Steve Stone, or even that screaming guy from Seattle - all of whom at least have their own unique style, whether you like them or not.
In the end, I'm glad that you guys have him, because that means I won't have to listen to him day in and day out. I'm hoping the Marlins put Boog Sciambi (currently one of their radio guys) on television.