Suggestions for replacing Buck

Buck Martinez’s departure from MASN has left an empty seat in the broadcast booth for about half the games on the Orioles’ 2010 schedule, and the network could choose to go in a few directions.

Former pitcher/pitching coach/team executive Mike Flanagan is one possibility. The network also could promote from within and expand the role of Dave Johnson, who’s part of 105.7 The Fan’s pre- and post-game shows and the Wall-to-Wall Baseball program that airs Saturday mornings on MASN.

According to some insiders, MASN could corral other former Orioles for special assignments, depending on where the games are played. This also would create an occasional three-man booth with play-by-play announcer Gary Thorne and analyst Jim Palmer.

Over the last few years, Nationals analysts Don Sutton and, most recently, Rob Dibble have teamed with Thorne and Palmer for the beltway series (or “parkway,” as I prefer to call it), so it’s worked quite well in the past.

A number of former Orioles could be under consideration. For example, Brady Anderson could join the booth during a West Coast swing, or Ben McDonald could do the same when the Orioles travel to Arlington, Texas, which is near his home in Denham Springs, La.

B.J. Surhoff still lives in the Baltimore area. Chris Hoiles has a home in York, Pa. Billy Ripken would make sense to me, and he could work around his schedule on the MLB network. And I’d personally endorse any opportunity to bring back Brooks Robinson and relive some fond childhood memories.

Which former Orioles would you like to see and hear in the booth? Perhaps your suggestions won’t go unnoticed.

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