Brenly regrets Soriano 'dart' comment

Bob Brenly says the chance to return to Arizona was too good to pass up. AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

Former Chicago Cubs television analyst said his only regret over eight years of calling games was when he made a "harsh" comment making fun of outfielder Alfonso Soriano's defensive ability in 2008.

"I think looking back some of the comments I made were a little glib," Brenly said Tuesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "The 'throw a dart in the dugout and you'd hit a better defender than Alfonso Soriano ...' obviously that was quite a few years ago, but after I said that I felt like that was maybe a little too harsh, making fun of a guy's shortcomings in the outfield. I regretted that one a little bit.

"But other than that, no, I really don't regret anything I said. I got no feedback in a positive or negative way from the players."

Soriano lost a fly ball in the sun with two outs in the ninth, allowing the tying run to score in an 11-inning loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on May 25, 2008. Asked about his Brenly's criticism at the time, Soriano was quoted in the Chicago Tribune as saying: "Who's Bob Brenly? The guy that used to be the manager for Arizona?"

Soriano was a frequent target of Brenly's, from his baserunning to his defense to his perceived lack of hustle. But the veteran outfielder won't have his frequent critic around next season after Brenly left the Cubs last month to return to Arizona as the Diamondbacks' TV analyst.

Returning to the franchise he led to a World Series win as manager in 2001 proved too good to pass up for Brenly, whose Cubs contract was up after the 2012 season.

"Everyone has to make decisions in life based on what's best for their family and what's best for them," Brenly said. "Circumstances change throughout your life. I mean if I was 38 years old there is absolutely no way I would have walked away from (the Cubs) job regardless. I would have stayed there forever. But I'm sneaking up on 60 here and this is where all the old people go to retire anyway so I thought I would just get a jump on the crowd."

Brenly's last season in Chicago proved to be the team's worst with a 101-loss season as the franchise began a makeover under new president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer.

Brenly said he enjoyed the season despite the Cubs' struggles on the field.

"As rough as last season was, it was one of my most enjoyable seasons with the Cubs," Brenly said. "Not because of the way they played, but it was something different. We were seeing a transition in the organization. We were seeing Jeff Samardzija step forward and look like he's going to become a stud at the top of the rotation. And Darwin Barney elevate his game especially defensively to the point where he wins a Gold Glove. The beginning of Anthony Rizzo's career which I think is going to be fantastic. And then Starlin Castro is going to be one of the great superstars in the game eventually. He's a really good player right now, and it's been fun to watch his progress too."