The I-70 Teams seem to view their former players, managers, and traditions a bit differently.
I make now excuse or attempt to hide the fact that I am a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals. I have been for a very long time. That being said, I do live in the Kansas City area and have an affinity for the Kansas City Royals. What has happened this past week is surprising to me.
The St. Louis Cardinals have two former players that are up for election to the Baseball Hall Of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York this year. Tim McCarver, once a catcher for the Cardinals, is currently a national broadcaster. Mike Shannon, former outfielder for the Redbirds, is the voice of the Cardinals radio booth currently.
Neither deserves the enshrinement, in my opinion.
That being said, Mike Shannon has been a part of the organization for a considerable amount of time. His announcing is passable, filled with long winded stories of yesterday that sometimes distracts him from describing the game action of today. His speech is sometimes hard to understand and he tends to leave fans exasperated at times.
But you know what? He is part of the Cardinal family. The team respects what he does for the franchise and the amount of time he has given to the club. They know that Mike Shannon deserves respect.
Frank White was part of the construction crew that broke ground on Royals Stadium. He spent his entire career in Royal blue, giving everything he had to a franchise that surrounded him with quality personnel. He wears a World Series Ring, the only one in history to bear the Royals logo, from 1985. He has coached, announced, and been a part of numerous celebrations for the Royals over the years.
Recently, he was fired.
Now White was not horrible as a television analyst. By no means am I claiming he was great, but he added something to the broadcast that gave it a better feel. He made it feel like “home” for the Royals fans. Like him as an announcer or not, just the mention of Frank White allowed fans to talk about one of the greatest Royals in the history of the game. There is a reason you keep guys like that around.
I am not a fan of Mike Shannon as an announcer. I was a fan of Frank White as one. I was a fan of the tradition and respect that both men brought to the franchises that supported them over the years.
The Royals sacrificed the respect and tradition for reasons unknown and unexplained.
Maybe the Royals front office should drive across Interstate 70 and take some lessons in tradition and respect from the other team in Missouri. Even though they don’t have the perfect man for the job, they have the perfect formula.
Respect those that have supported you.
Kansas City, you’re doing it wrong.