Cardinals News: Two Possible Replacements for Dan McLaughlin
Dan McLaughlin won't be returning as the Cardinals primary play-by-play broadcaster for Bally Sports Midwest. Who deserves to inherit the legacy of Jack Buck and Harry Caray? Here are my two favorite picks for Bally Sports to pursue.
Before I get into it, let me say my fantasy team has announced they are not available. Joe Buck and Bob Costas have both said they are not interested in calling the St. Louis Cardinals games. That's not surprising, but it would've been fun.
Now let's get real.
John Rooney, who is the current primary play-by-play broadcaster on the radio side of the Cardinals broadcast, would seem to be the most logical replacement for Dan McLaughlin. He joined Mike Shannon in the radio booth in 2006 as the No. 2 play caller. His role has gradually increased in recent years as Shannon's role was gradually reduced.
The 68-year old veteran broadcaster finally took over the lead role on the radio broadcast after Shannon's retirement last year. Ricky Horton slide into the the No. 2 role on the radio, while Mike Claiborne fills in when necessary.
Rooney's ply-by-play calling started in 1980 for the Oklahoma City 89ers at the time a AA minor league baseball team. His career with the Cardinal organization goes back to 1983, when he started broadcasting for the Louisville Redbirds.
He has extensive experience by calling games for the MIssouri Tigers basketball and football, 10 NCAA title games on the radio, and radio for the Chicago Bulls from 1989-1991,
However, his MLB experience before arriving in St. Louis is impressive. He broadcast for the Minnesota Twins in the mid 80's before landing in the role radio booth for the Chicago White Sox in 1988. There he stayed for 17 years, before joining the Cardinals booth.
Rooney's catch phrase has been, "That's a Redbird Winner" after a Cardinal win, and "It's a goner", after a home run. His other signature phrase is, "Top of the order to you", when the lead-off batter is due up in later innings.
According to Dan Caesar of the Post-Dispatch, Rooney has said he is not pursuing the TV gig. "I like radio", he said. "Ricky and I have a good thing going".
Nevertheless, John Rooney would slide in comfortably in the Cardinals TV booth next to Jim Edmonds and Brad Thompson. He is knowledgeable about baseball and able to discuss the game comfortably with whoever is in the booth next to him. If not Rooney, the next option has plenty of experience on TV.