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Caray says goodbye; Stone unsure


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Caray says goodbye; Stone unsure

Cubs TV broadcaster moves on to Atlanta

By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com

 

CHICAGO -- Chicago Cubs television broadcaster Chip Caray will join

the Atlanta Braves telecasts next season, deciding he wanted to work

with his father, Skip, and be closer to home.

 

Caray, 39, said Sunday he made his decision two days ago and that it

had nothing to do with criticism by the Cubs players this season.

 

He joined the Cubs television team in 1998 and was to work with his

grandfather, Harry Caray. But Harry died in February 1998, and Chip

was paired with Steve Stone in the booth.

 

"To go from a first-class situation to another first-class situation

is a dream come true," said Chip Caray, who will be closer to his

home in Orlando, Fla.

 

The Cubs did make a counteroffer but Caray chose the Braves for

family reasons. His parents were divorced when he was young and Chip

said he didn't spend much time with his father.

 

"I want to know my father," Chip Caray said. "I want my children to

know my father."

 

Stone, 57, was unsure about his contract status for next season. He

did receive a standing ovation from the Wrigley Field crowd Sunday

after the seventh inning stretch, and they chanted "Stoney, Stoney."

 

"I don't know anything about my status," Stone said Sunday. "From an

emotional standpoint, I would like to work the rest of my career with

Chip."

 

WGN-TV holds an option for the 2005 season, he said.

 

"It isn't in my hands," Stone said.

 

The broadcasters found themselves in the spotlight this week after

Stone criticized the Cubs and manager Dusty Baker's moves this week.

On Thursday, during the postgame interview with Baker, Stone

questioned the manager's moves in the 12th inning of the Cubs' 2-1

loss to Cincinnati. Stone also criticized the team during an

interview on WGN Radio on Thursday after the game.

 

"You want the truth? You can't handle the truth," Stone said on WGN

Radio. "Let me tell you something, guys, the truth of this situation

is [this is] an extremely talented bunch of guys who want to look at

all directions except where they should really look, and kind of make

excuses for what happened.

 

"At the end of the day, boys, you don't tell me how rough the water

is, you bring in the ship. The best eight [teams] go on, the other

teams go home," Stone said. "This team should have won the Wild Card

by six, seven games. No doubt about it. They have the talent to do

that. They're life-and-death right now."

 

Baker said he was "shocked" by the tone of Stone's comments and Cubs

general manager Jim Hendry said he felt the attacks were "personal."

 

"This has been a trying season for a lot of us," Stone said.

 

"The players situation had nothing to do with my decision," Caray

said. "I have nothing but the utmost respect for Dusty Baker and the

players."

 

Caray said he has always adhered to the advice his father Skip gave

him, which was to "be honest and tell the truth." Stone agreed,

saying Harry Caray taught him he had to be honest.

 

"I feel when it's good, I say it and when it's bad, I say it," Stone

said.

 

Stone was Harry Caray's partner for 15 seasons, and returned to the

booth in 2003 after a two-year absence. He is getting married Nov.

14.

 

"I love this city. It's been great to me," Stone said. "I would feel

uncomfortable going anywhere else as a home broadcaster."

 

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject

to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs

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