Apparently Cardinals management has a short memory. Having a potential bomb ready to go off and hurt people is not a good thing.
It appears Cardinals broadcaster Dan McLaughlin will be getting his old job back.
Without going into all the gory details, McLaughlin was caught driving drunk in 2010 and again in 2011, 10 months after he received a “No-Points” and “No Record” probation by Judge Rick Brunk—the Chesterfield municipal judge who has shown little interest in protecting the residents of West County.
In both cases, McLaughlin was falling down drunk and each time he violated the Missouri Implied Consent Law by refusing to take a breath test.
After the second arrest and guilty plea McLaughlin was suspended by FOX Sports Midwest. The Cardinals have the right to choose announcers, even though the primary employer is FOX.
But, the Cardinals have McLaughlin on the Cardinal Caravan that travels across rural Missouri and Illinois during the winter to fuel the hot stoves of Cardinal fans.
I really think St. Louis sports fans are getting tired of the local teams putting drunk drivers on our roads.
After a game, Rams defensive back Leonard Little got drunk, ran a red light and killed a South County mom going downtown to pick up her teenage daughter at a rock concert.
On April 29, 2007, a few hours after a Cardinals game, pitcher Josh Hancock’s blood alcohol level was already at .15 percent and he was speeding on I-64/40. A couple whose car had broken down in the left lane next to a center wall were assisted by a passing Good Samaritan tow truck driver who parked behind their car. The tow truck's overhead lights were flashing when Hancock’s SUV crashed into the rear of the truck, killing Hancock.
If not for the tow truck, Hancock’s SUV would have crashed into the stalled car, and the death toll could have been much higher.
After Hancock's death, the Cardinals announced they would no longer provide beer in the locker room after games for players.
Now McLaughlin said his first DWI in Chesterfield was a “wake-up” call. Then he did it again, in Chesterfield again, this time crashing his SUV three times—until it could no longer be driven.
Second chance, not third
I believe in giving people a second chance. McLaughlin had his. The Cardinals don’t need his arm or his bat.
There are a lot of good baseball announcers across the country. Several were friends of mine while I was a baseball writer. They simply never got the break to make it to the big leagues.
I am surprised the Cardinals and FOX Midwest want to gamble by giving McLaughlin a third chance. They run the risk of a fatal drunk driving car crash by a high profile employee.
About this column: This article is the work and opinion of its author John Hoffmann.