Wednesday, July 29, 2009

When the Dave Niehaus era ends

I am huge Dave Niehaus fan--he's like an uncle in our family. Outside of her late husband, sons, grandsons, great grandsons and father, Niehaus is probably the most important man in my grandmother's life. I have a hard time imagining the Mariners without Niehaus.

There will come a day when Niehaus will no longer be calling Mariners games, and the thought of bringing on someone else brings fear to the summer joy and stability that is baseball. I like Rick Rizzs. I like Mike Blowers. I like Dave Sims (though I don't hear too much good about him). I'm glad that the team finally moved on from other broadcasting mediocrities like Dave Valle, Ron Fairly and Wes Stock. Even though the Mariners have decent guys in the booth, none of them are THE guy. They don't have the pipes. They don't have the storytelling ability. They don't inspire listening to the game with hope for a dramatic turn in the ballgame.

Though I'm not the first person to come up with an idea for Niehaus' replacement, I want to get out the word into web land that Kevin Calabro needs to be the guy that is placed in Niehaus' spot on the air. Even though the Mariners have not always put the best club on the field, outside of the Vin Scully's of the world, I can't think of many clubs who have a Niehaus-type storytellers ability or pipes (Bob Uecker in Milwaukee is almost in the same class, I enjoyed him for a few years). In broadcasting, Seattle now holds the high standards set by Niehaus. After suffering through the Twins and Royals game calling for several years, I love the free and easy access to Niehaus on my home radio. Calabro meets the high standards for baseball broadcasting in Seattle.

Calabro has all the attributes of a great baseball broadcaster and he loves Seattle sports. He is not a newer version of Niehaus, but he has the broadcasting skills to want to welcome him into the Mariner fan mindset for 162 regular season games a year. I hope the appropriate leaders are making plans for Calabro in the future. When I ask the question "who would I want to listen to for 162 games a year? Who might actually take the job?" Kevin Calabro is the only answer to this question I know. If there is another answer to these questions, I would like to know.

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