Mike Shannon, the longtime Cardinals broadcaster, is scaling back his radio duties in the 2013 season.
It’s not uncommon for broadcasters to start scaling back as they get older in age. Everyone does it from Jack Buck to Vin Scully to Tommy Heinsohn.
The 74 year old is starting his 43rd season in the booth. If it were up to me, I would have given him the Ford Frick Award for excellence in broadcasting a long time ago. Maybe 2014 will be the year that the Hall of Fame awards him the honor?
Anyway, Shannon usually misses about 15 games per season but starting this year the number will double to thirty games.
He had been taking off about 15 games in recent seasons, but that number is set to roughly double this year. Cardinals senior vice president Dan Farrell, who oversees the team’s broadcast operations, said most — if not all — absences will be for road games and primarily on three-city trips beginning with one in mid-April. Shannon is set to miss either part or all of those long voyages.
I can’t say that I blame him.
Not considered a surprise at all but Rick Horton and Al Hrabosky will be filling in as an radio analyst when Shannon is not on road trips. To show some consistency, the same broadcaster will fill-in during the road trips.
Former Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog, inducted into the Hall of Fame in the Class of 2010, is not being shy when it comes to giving advice to Mike Matheny. Herzog arrived to camp in Jupiter this week.
“One of the things he told me was there is no ‘book,’” said Matheny. “I kept putting him in different situations and would ask him, ‘What’s your rule of thumb?’ He said, ‘There is no rule of thumb. The game situation is never the same twice.’”
Herzog was very complementary of the Cardinals bullpen, especially Trevor Rosenthal.
“With Rosenthal, you’re going to have to beat the Cardinals in six innings,” said Herzog. “And he’s going to get better. Look at the curve he’s got.
“I told Mike, ‘The strength of your club is going to be your bullpen.’ I don’t care what they talk about. Their hitting is good. Still, last year it was streaky. It should be more consistent.”