Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Noooo doubt about it -- Lanny has had all he can take 

Lanny Frattare is retiring as the Voice of the Pirates after 33 years with the team.

I can't really imagine the Pirates broadcasts without him. It's weirder than a change in players or managers or anything else.

Truth be told, he isn't the same vibrant, energetic Lanny that I remember from my youth. But I firmly believe that isn't his fault. The Pirates haven't given him anything to work with or be even remotely excited about on the air for the better part of two decades. I've long said that he sounds prematurely beaten down by all the losing (In a line of work where you can rock on until you're hobbling, Lanny is quitting at 60).

On the rare occasions that I let myself ponder the possibility of seeing winning baseball in Pittsburgh again, I never fail to think that one of the most fun results of that would be hearing Lanny get excited again. Guess that's not going to happen.

Don't get me wrong -- it's also possible he was forced out (he's had his differences with management over the years) or has something else in the pipeline. But my money says, if the Bucs were winning, he'd never leave.

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