Cubs, White Sox announcers’ national profiles make for ‘weird’ broadcasts

Cubs, White Sox announcers’ national profiles make for ‘weird’ broadcasts

White Sox TV voice Jason Benetti called the Cubs-Padres game Monday for ESPN. | Phil Ellsworth/ESPN Images

“It’s a little jarring when ‘Boog’ does a Sox game and I do a Cubs game,” Benetti said. “But it’s a testament to the professionalism of everybody here.”

No city’s baseball announcers have a greater profile than Chicago’s. White Sox TV voice Jason Benetti calls baseball, football and basketball for ESPN. Sox radio voice Len Kasper calls baseball for Fox. Cubs TV voice Jon “Boog” Sciambi calls baseball for ESPN radio and basketball for ESPN TV.

But their national work can make for strange bedfellows. Sciambi called the Sox-Angels game for the first “Sunday Night Baseball” broadcast of the season. Kasper, the former Cubs TV voice, has called three Sox games for FS1 – one with former Cub Eric Karros – forcing him to keep an impartial tone. On Monday, Benetti called the Cubs-Padres game for ESPN with Doug Glanville, another former Cub.

“It’s weird for everybody,” Benetti said. “It’s a little jarring when Boog does a Sox game and I do a Cubs game. But it’s a testament to the professionalism of everybody here.”

Benetti won’t take Sox games off to call a game on ESPN. But to stay in the network’s rotation, he’ll call a game on a night the Sox are off, such as Monday. It’s easier to do this year because local TV announcers are still broadcasting remotely. The game Monday just happened to involve the Cubs.

“I know when Joe Buck was doing Cardinals games, he did Cubs games [for Fox],” Benetti said. “I can be neutral. To me it’s another game. I know there’s a Sox fan here and there that’s like, ‘Come on, what are you doing?’ But it’s part of the gig. Sometimes you have to do a game of the rival.”

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