Fans continue to await news of former XM Radio star Mark Patrick -- one of the most gifted sports broadcasters ever to wait by a telephone for months.
Though earlier rumored to have been the beneficiary of a customary, 90-day, contractual severance package since he being fired by the network in November -- which would have provided him income through much of this month -- the supposed arrangement has been called into question.
For all appearances, Patrick is languishing in his Brownsburg, Ind., "trailer" as major league catchers and pitchers prepare to report to spring camps in Florida and Arizona.
Ironically, Patrick and former "Baseball this Morning" broadcast partner Buck Martinez had reached the apex of their satellite radio endeavor when the struggling network pulled the plug on Patrick. Patrick's dismissal came even as he and Martinez had perfected an informative, entertainingly bright and yet often mockingly self deprecating and sarcastic repartee that held fans in rapt attention.
But program developer Charles 'Chuck' Dickemann -- with a more limited understanding of major league baseball than his two morning hosts -- reportedly had his share of disagreements with Patrick over form and content, with Patrick none too shy about speaking his mind, according to knowledgeable sources.
While the talent shined, the network failed to take advantage of its entree with key baseball sources to respond to tips or develop exclusives that would have greatly advanced XM Channel 75. Even the channel's hourly sports news breaks, for example, were especially repetitive, untimely and wholly unoriginal -- sometimes bordering on illiterate.
Wall Street analysts urged speculators and investors to sell their interests in XM as the network's descent into the realm of penny stocks threatened its listings on major stock exchanges. At the same time, Patrick found his contract renewal on the endangered species list.
Why haven't the powers-that-be given Patrick another chance as the new baseball season approaches? Why is it that decision making lies with all the wrong people?
(By the way it is widely accepted that Charles "Chuck" Dickemann is no relation to Charles "Bud" Dickman, talk show host Phil Hendrie's intern formerly on XM Channel 152. It was Bud, not Chuck, who was the one with the steel plate in his head, or was it the other way around?)