Following broadcaster Jason Benetti’s shocking departure to the Detroit Tigers, attention has quickly shifted to his eventual successor in the White Sox’ booth.
According to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, one name to keep an eye on is rising broadcaster Mike Monaco. As Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com confirmed in a Monday article, NESN’s backup play-by-play man for the Boston Red Sox is a candidate to replace Benetti on a full-time basis.
Monaco, 30, has regularly filled in for announcer Dave O’Brien on NESN broadcasts dating back to the 2019 season. Fresh off a three-year extension with ESPN, Monaco also calls college football, a variety of baseball (MLB, college and Little League World Series), college basketball, and the NHL for the network. The Notre Dame alum has even stepped in for Benetti on White Sox broadcasts in recent years, while occasionally calling Bulls games for NBC Sports Chicago.
As it relates to the future of the Red Sox’ booth, Cotillo says it’s believed that O’Brien has signed a contract extension to keep him around full-time for the 2024 season and beyond. Unless Monaco is content with continuing in his backup-style role, the natural next step for the versatile broadcaster and Chicago resident would be to pursue a full-time gig elsewhere.
While this situation seems favorable for the White Sox, the idea of Monaco’s departure already has many Red Sox fans upset.
Though Monaco is the only known candidate to surface so far, many fans have pointed to a familiar name in ESPN 1000’s Connor McKnight as another possible option. It’s unclear whether there’s a mutual interest between both sides, but McKnight’s familiarity with the team and previous work filling in for Benetti would certainly seem to place him in the conversation. With the White Sox saying Len Kasper is fully committed to radio, an outside hire will be coming one way or another.
As we continue to learn more throughout this ongoing process, we will provide further updates.
Who would you like to see in the booth next season?
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