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Stone doesn't elaborate, but was under fire

10/29/2004 - Chicago Cubs

CHICAGO -- Longtime Chicago Cubs analyst Steve Stone
announced Thursday he was leaving WGN-TV, less than one month after
coming under fire for on-air comments he made criticizing the team.

"I regret I won't be calling another Cubs game on WGN-TV for
the greatest fans in baseball, the fans of the Chicago Cubs,"
Stone, a Cubs broadcaster for 20 years, said on WGN-AM radio.

Stone did not say why he was leaving the booth. Telephone messages left for him and a Cubs spokeswoman were not immediately returned Thursday night.

Stone's partner Chip Caray also recently left WGN-TV to take a
job calling games for the Atlanta Braves, joining his father, Skip,
in the booth.

Stone, who joined the Cubs as a pitcher in 1974, won the Cy
Young Award for Baltimore in 1980 when he went 25-7.

WGN and the Cubs are both owned by Tribune Co., the parent of
the Chicago Tribune.

Some of Stone's comments this season led to a meeting Oct. 1
with Cubs president Andy MacPhail, general manager Jim Hendry and
manager Dusty Baker after Stone questioned managerial strategy and
criticized the team's approach during a postgame television show
Sept. 30.

Later that night on WGN radio, he also criticized the team for
making excuses in a late-season loss that damaged their chances of
making the playoffs.

"You want the truth. You can't handle the truth," Stone said
at the time. "The truth of this situation 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, don't tell me how rough the water
is, you bring in the ship."

Some of Stone's comments last season also angered several
players, including reliever Kent Mercker, who called the booth
during one August game to complain.