One day closer to baseball! The problem is, that rings a bit hollow when we don’t know when that baseball will be. With some of the projections this weekend indicating a second wave might come if the current guidelines are relaxed after April 30, there seems to be a long time still before we hear the words “play ball”, if we even do in 2020.
Which makes me think about one of the men that says those words for us, Mike Shannon. Shannon will be 81 this July and has already cut back his workload to just home games. He started broadcasting in 1972, so perhaps he’ll want to hang on until 2022 when he’d mark 50 years in the booth (even if one of them, this season, might not actually be a season). But I also have to wonder if, as we’ve said before about others, if he’s going to find it hard to gear back up after an extended period of time.
If baseball does take the year off, Shannon’s going to spend the summer golfing and being with his family. It’s a powerful lure, I’d think. It’s not like he’s turning down millions to broadcast, either. A story from 2016 (about his conflict with the Cardinals over his restaurant building) says he gets $860,000 a year, though that probably has crept up since then. That’s obviously serious money for the rest of us, but when you reach 80 and you’ve done it for a while, it doesn’t make quite as much of an impact. Sure, it’s more money he can leave to kids and grandkids, but at some point you’d rather leave some memories with them rather than a few more dollars.
The contract has been year-to-year for a while now and it would not be surprising if a year gap, like with Adam Wainwright and perhaps even Yadier Molina, is the final straw that gets him wanting to hang them up. Hopefully not, because Shannon is someone that needs to be recognized when he’s done his last game. That might not happen anyway, of course, because often he decides on the next season after the current one is done. But it would be hard as Cardinal fans to have him slip away in the night and jarring to think that the next time we hear John Rooney it could be with another partner.
We’ll have to see. It’s a worse case scenario, of course, but it’s also something to think about. After all, we have the time.