Mar 4, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; ESPN baseball analyst John Kruk talks with New York Yankees guest instructor Reggie Jackson before a spring training baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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Since mutually agreeing to leave ESPN, the fan-favorite Kruk has been looking for opportunities to stay in the booth.
He acknowledged the desire to stay in broadcasting, although he joked about getting into personal fitness.
ESPN and I have mutually agreed to part ways. I can’t thank them enough for all they have done for me and my family.
Kruk has the experience, personality, and history with the fans needed to be successful on the broadcast team. He is an early favorite to join Tom McCarthy, Ben Davis, Greg Murphy, and Mike Schimidt on the broadcast team.
Aug 1, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Brad Lidge the Philadelphia Phillies closer from the 2008 World Series hugs catcher Carlos Ruiz (51) after he threw out the first pitch prior to the game against the San Francisco Giants at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
If Kruk is not the answer, Brad Lidge would be a strong second choice for me. The hero of the 2008 World Series team, Lidge worked on MLB Network following his retirement.
Lidge has many of the traits Kruky brings to the booth: broadcast experience, personality, and a connection with the fans. I’m not sure the team has reached out to Lidge (who currently lives in Colorado and has younger children) but he would be on my list of finalists.
Jun 26, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Former Cincinnati Reds player Pete Rose (left) waves to the crowd during his number retirement ceremony prior to a game with the San Diego Padres at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Ok, I’ll admit this is a major stretch. But at the same time, how much fun would Sundays with Schmidt be with those two together behind a mic for three hours?
Fans enjoyed seeing baseballs all-time hits leader during the World Series coverage, and he brings unlimited knowledge of the game.
You might have to check on the specifics of his suspension and see if he can work for a team in this capacity, but baseball has loosened it’s stance on Rose lately.
He might get in trouble behind the mic, but he’s more than entertaining and would bring the hitting insight that leaves with Matt Stairs.
August 10, 2012; Philadelphia, PA USA; Philadelphia Phillies hall of fame third baseman Mike Schmidt jokes with Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins (11) during pre-game ceremony before game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
While J-Roll is not officially retired, he has not played since the beginning of the season with the White Sox. After going unsigned for the remainder of the season, Rollins joined Fox Sports and worked on their season coverage. Rollins also joined the booth during his playing days when the Phillies were out of the playoffs.
Rollins obviously has an attachment to the camera, and having him and Schmidt together would be an interesting combination. What other team has their franchise’s top two hitters in one place all season long?
Jimmy would have to officially retire, but that should not be a major issue considering he went unsigned last year after being cut.
May 15, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies former player Darren Daulton acknowledges the crowd before throwing out the first pitch before game against the Cincinnati Reds at Citizens Bank Park. The Reds defeated the Phillies, 9-4. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
I believe Darren Daulton is a dark horse in this race, and has just as strong of an argument as anyone else on this list. He is an ultimate fan favorite who worked for 97.5 The Fanatic before his cancer diagnosis. Now that he is healthy, Daulton can jump back behind the mic and continue to make fans swoon from home.