Dan McLaughlin has taken his lumps on this site over the years. In retrospect, it was probably his daily association with Al Hrabosky that made Dan an easy target. The duo were unabashed homers, even when some criticism was warranted. Nothing was more infuriating that watching the Cardinals piss away another win and have 2 guys make excuses when all we wanted was some BLOOD!
Then came a DUI. And the subsequent embarrassing details. Luckily no one was hurt or injured and the incident seemed destined to be something that we could trot out from time to time (much like the LaRussa wine video) and have some ball-busting.
Then came a second DUI. And the subsequent embarrassing details. Then shit got serious. We didn't know Dan, but he couldn't possibly be so stupid as to bring this all on himself again without having a drinking problem. And sure enough, he was in rehab pretty soon after.
Dan McLaughlin is in a unique position. Having almost 15 years of tenure with an iconic team in the one sport that still can produce iconic broadcasters, Dan could be the next Jack Buck, Harry Kalas or Vin Scully. Hard to believe for some, but the simple fact is that when you get so used to a certain voice with a certain thing... it becomes iconic. As a younger broadcaster he was poised to make a 50+ year run with a team that's employed 4 iconic voices already (Jack Buck, Joe Buck, Harry Caray, Mike Shannon).
Well the situation is much more fluid. The Cardinals are giving McLaughlin one last chance to prove he's a changed man. And as you can see via the interview from InsideSTL.com below, he's saying all the right things. The opportunity for him to become iconic is still in play... but the door isn't as wide open.
We've seen what a fine line there is between sobriety and drunk for an alcoholic with Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers. And when your workplace is named after a beer, temptation is going to be present daily.
I wish Dan the best. Selfishly, I missed the guy when Rick Horton was on the call. He seems to be a pretty good guy when he's sober. And like it or not, he and Al are the voices that make Cardinal baseball sound, well, like Cardinal baseball. Let's just hope this is the start of year 1 of another long run for Danny Mac.