Tuesday, January 4, 2011

WWDD? On Replacing Dave Niehaus

There is no replacing Dave Niehaus.  No, really, there appears to be no replacing him - both literally and figuratively. 

M's VP of Communications, Randy Adamack has suggested that 2011 could be a "transitional season" relative to the broadcast booth and instead of seeking out a long term replacement for the great Dave Niehaus, the team will go with a mish-mosh of Rizzs, Blowers, Sims, and perhaps a cast of old Mariner characters (Bone, Hendu, Wilson) and/or a cast of old Mariner broadcasters (Fairly, Levine, etc.) to provide play by play and color analysis for the upcoming season. 

That the M's brass has conducted no interviews for the gig, according to Larry LaRue's article is "out of respect for Niehaus, his family, and fans."

Look, I know it can't be fun to follow a legend. Yes, we want to honor Dave. I'm glad the M's want to be sensitive to the situation.  But whether someone starts tomorrow or someone starts in 2014 as the full time guy/gal, they're immediately the person who replaced Dave. They just are.

There's going to be a lot written about this.  In fact, there HAS been a lot written about it and most sites seem to be competing in some odd one-upmanship about who loved him the most. But everyone seems to fail to ask the simple question - if you want to honor Dave, then what would Dave do?

I didn't know Niehaus, but I felt like I did, just like thousands of other fans. He seemed pretty practical to me.  And my bet is he'd like nothing more than to give some young, talented voice a shot instead of leaving a vacant seat while we worry about the proper way of honoring his legacy.  In fact, it might very well be the single most appropriate thing to fill his seat with that young talented voice in order to honor his legacy.

It's a quandary.  But I just think it's off the mark to think that passing the baton somehow disrespects Dave Niehaus. Give somebody a shot and let them honor Dave by working their butt off and trying to achieve the level of entertainment and joy that he brought us.


Jason said...

Just ask Rizz what it is like to follow a legend. Different situation here, but it didn't work out so well in Det. What about raising the bar and bringing in Harry Reynolds as a 1/2 color punch with Blow?

Michael said...

Jason - in lieu of finding a permanent replacement, I'd certainly like to hear HR do some color commentary.