The fan in me has a few ideas -- some I like, some I don't.
The obvious names being bandied about are Matt Vasgersian, the still popular former TV announcer who calls games for the Padres, and Len Kasper, the ex-Milwaukeean now working for the Cubs. But no matter how fondly those two remember their time in Brew City, both markets are a backward step for each announcer, if not only in terms of money but in terms of career. Vasgersian would be great, but the odds of it coming together are akin to the Brewers winning the World Series in 2007 -- it's ain't gonna happen.
The team will surely interview dozens of potential replacements from outside Milwaukee. Many Minor League, and some Major League broadcasters will eagerly apply for the job. However, there's one name being bandied about, and it's worth consideration.
How about Brewers Radio Network announcer Jim Powell? It's not such a crazy idea, and it just might work.
First, the cons of Powell moving to TV. His detailed, narrative style is perfectly suited for the medium of radio, though he could certainly adapt to TV. Powell is also cherished by Brewers fans as the perfect compliment to Hall of Fame announcer Bob Uecker. He plays the straight man to a tee (even though he's a pretty funny guy) and after a few rambling innings from Uecke, he's a change of pace (and a dandy).
After all, continuity means a lot to fans who tune in seven months out of the year, while baseball holds their hands from Spring Training to the end of September. Powell has graced our radio dials for more than 10 years now, and any fan who's spent an afternoon driving, fishing or grilling out will attest to the soothing sounds of Bob and Jim. Those wouldn't be easily replaced.
And who would replace him? Not every radio personality would mesh so well with the quirky Uecker, and at least for now, Bob's not going anywhere. Unless the new guy forces Bob to retire, which would leave the radio broadcast in a shambles.
So what about the benefits of Powell switching to Fox Sports Net's TV broadcasts? If you've ever wanted to listen to a radio game but found yourself watching it on TV, perhaps because you can't stand the radio delay or you like stereo sound or you're in a sports bar, think about it: Powell would make a Brewers' blowout a heck of a lot more palatable on television.
He's also extremely knowledgeable about the game, and he could be a good compliment for former catcher and current analyst Bill Schroeder. They've worked together on a few instances, and the results sounded pretty natural.
And think about this: With Uecker so firmly entrenched in the radio booth, what would you prefer? Jim on TV, or finally leaving the Milwaukee market to be a number one guy for another team? That would be a terrible blow for fans.
In the end, fans should want what's best for each broadcast, as well as their broadcasters -- which is why, first and foremost, we should wish Sutton good luck with the Diamondbacks.
But maybe there's a compromise.
In some markets, TV and radio guys swap innings between the two media. What if, just for example, Powell continues to call the play-by-play on the radio for innings he currently does, then switches over to TV for the other innings. Perhaps the Brewers would bring in a third announcer for the TV innings that Powell served in the radio booth. And if Uecker ever retires -- it will happen someday, fans, Bob is in his early 70s -- Powell can ascend to the radio booth throne, and the organization can reassess things then. There are other permutations to this equation, too, and they've been tried in other cities with varying degrees of success.
No one will ever deny that Brewers fans -- me, in particular -- like the status quo. But we also need to be realistic that something is about to change, whether it's in the TV or radio booth. If we catch a good hop on that hot shot up the middle, we could get the best of both worlds.
Andy is the founder and co-owner of OnMilwaukee.com. He returned to Milwaukee in 1996 after living on the East Coast for nine years, where he wrote for The Dallas Morning News Washington Bureau and worked in the White House Office of Communications. He was also Associate Editor of The GW Hatchet, his college newspaper at The George Washington University.
Before launching OnMilwaukee.com in 1998 at age 23, he worked in public relations for two Milwaukee firms, most of the time daydreaming about starting his own publication.
Hobbies include running when he finds the time, fixing the rust on his '75 MGB, mowing the lawn at his cottage in the Northwoods, and making an annual pilgrimage to Phoenix for Brewers Spring Training.