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Len Kasper, Jim Deshaies will call Cubs home games from booth

Though Kasper said Marquee Sports Network has had only informal discussions about broadcasting without fans present during the coronavirus pandemic, that much is certain.

Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies will be in the Wrigley Field TV booth for Cubs home games, and there’s a chance they’ll be there for road games, too.
Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies will be in the Wrigley Field TV booth for Cubs home games, and there’s a chance they’ll be there for road games, too.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

If baseball returns to Wrigley Field this year, Len Kasper said he and analyst Jim Deshaies will call the action from the TV booth.

Though Kasper said Marquee Sports Network has had only informal discussions about broadcasting without fans present during the coronavirus pandemic, that much is certain. Nothing has been finalized for road games, but The Score’s Bruce Levine reported that broadcasters will not travel. Kasper said the crew could broadcast off monitors from the MSN studio or possibly the Wrigley Field booth, with the empty ballpark as a backdrop.

“I think the best way to do the best telecast is to be there,” Kasper said. “I understand the health concerns, and ultimately it’s not going to be our decision. And I definitely don’t want to be a burden in terms of a traveling party, which will definitely be limited. In lieu of that, we’ll do everything we can to make it as comfortable and normal as we can.”

Without fans in the stands, networks figure to try different things to enhance their broadcast. But considering the game already will look different fundamentally with players social-distancing, Kasper doesn’t want the production of the broadcast to be radically different from what fans are used to.

“When people say they miss baseball, I think they miss the baseball they know and love,” he said. “They don’t necessarily miss something they’ve never seen before. There’s going to be so many new things that could be potentially jarring to people that I want to make sure that that comfort zone still exists.”

Kasper said if there ever was a year to try new ideas, this is it. But he doesn’t want to push it.

“Threading the needle is going to be interesting in trying to keep it all so it’s what we remember and what we love about the sport, especially about the sport on television,” he said.