Opening this up for more discussion -- Kurt
This morning I tuned to the MB Network to catch some of the discussion about the upcoming Hall of Fame announcement. as well as to see if any free agents had come off the board and I was pleasantly surprised to see former Tiger, Sean "The Mayor" Casey sitting in on the panel. I've seen his MLB appearances a few times since he hung up the spikes and I really enjoy his comments, his input, and his interaction with others on the panel. From what I have seen so far, Casey is relaxed in front of the camera, has a pleasant voice, deep baseball knowledge, and is never at a loss for words. If Rod Allen should get the call to work for FOX Sports nationally, or if Jim Price decides to retire one of these days Sean Casey would be a terrific fit in the broadcast booth for either radio or TV coverage of the Tigers.
It's not out of the realm of possibilities that Rod Allen may move on to bigger things one day. He has filled in as an analyst on the national FOX games and would seem to have a bright future with the network. Because we hear him 155 games a year some of his comments become redundant and some Tiger fans have been critical of that aspect of his performance, but in fairness even the great Ernie Harwell at times repeated himself and if you listened to enough games you heard some of the same stories over and over. I am also of the opinion that Rod occasionally goes a little overboard in praise of the coaching staff. Too many times during last season I heard him sing the praises of Lloyd McClendon when many of us thought that the hitting coach might just be part of the problem. But this is nit picking, Rod's baseball experience and knowledge is deep and he often offers comments and insight that I did not pick up on. He also appears to work well with both Mario Impemba and the national game, FOX play by play guys that he has partnered with. I suspect that he is on the FOX , TNT, or even MLB radar and may move on at some point.
Jim Price's role as analyst on the radio broadcasts is a much different situation. First Jim is much older and will soon be approaching a time when retirement is just the natural progression. The rigors of travel over a long season could also cause him to consider retirement in the near future. Price had a serious health scare, kidney cancer, in November, and while we all wish him the best, if the health problems reoccur he would have to stay home for the treatments. Jim has been with the Tigers in some capacity for 35 years and has done a pretty good job working with Dan Dickerson to call the games on the radio and in general would be missed. I enjoy his insight about pitchers and catchers, but his "art of pitching" and "nice area" catch phrase are getting old to the point they make me cringe every time he uses them. And at some point he uses them in virtually every game. His memories of the 1968 team are terrific, particularly for us older fans, but even I recognize that 1968 was 42 years ago. It may be time for a fresher perspective.
Whenever either position becomes open I hope Sean Casey gets consideration. Though still learning broadcasting he is doing a great job on the MLB network. He banters well with Harold Reynolds and whoever else is on the team and is never at a loss for words. The more recent stories he could bring to the analysts chair would appeal to newer Tiger fans. Just like I have a fond memories of 68 and 84, the younger fans remember the magical season of 2006 when Sean Casey was a key contributor. He played the game as recently as 2008 and would offer insights into free agency and other parts of the game that occurred long after Jim Price and Rod Allen retired. Casey also seemed to enjoy his time in Detroit, and was a fan favorite while he was here. Detroit fans love their World Series heroes, and while the season of 2006 was memorable, the Series itself was a different story. Casey had some of the more memorable moments in the 2006 fall classic. During the season he was a "go to" interview guy after games, win or lose, and was always willing to talk to the FOX Sports Detroit analysts after games.
There will be many possibilities for the analyst position once Rod or Jim moves on. Dan Petry has filled in admirably during Rod's absences, Jack Morris does a good job on Twins broadcasts, and if Gibby ever takes off the uniform again he would be a natural fit for the booth. But because of his overall appeal, baseball knowledge, historical link to Tigers history and his ability to talk about anything during dull games, I believe Sean Casey would make a great analyst in Detroit.