After 13 years at ESPN, a familiar voice is coming home. The Rangers have announced that Dave Barnett will be joining Eric Nadel in the broadcast booth for the 2009 season.
Barnett is replacing Victor Rojas, who left this winter to join the new MLB Network.
"For the last couple of years I've been looking for a situation where I could work with a team again and still work with ESPN," Barnett said from his home in Denton. "I looked at a couple (jobs) involving basketball, a couple involving baseball and this, by far, was the most attractive, hands down.
"No. 1 was the chance to work with Eric again, which was huge. I've known him for 30 years. No. 2, I can still live in Denton, 45 minutes from The Ballpark. No. 3, I'll still be able to work with ESPN, doing most of what I've been doing, except on baseball.
"It only took me 18 years to get back."
Barnett worked Rangers baseball games for Home Sports Entertainment in 1990, following an 8-year stint with the Mavs. He also did San Antonio Spurs games from 1988-'96 after beginning his radio career at KRLD.
"Dave was a natural fit," said Rangers' media relations vice president John Blake, who headed up the search for the Rangers. "Eric is ecstatic to have him back."
Barnett was chosen from more than 100 applicants. He will also sub for Josh Lewin in the TV booth when Lewin is out working San Diego Chargers' games, or the occasional Fox national telecast.
With Nadel and Barnett working together, the Rangers will have two consummate pros in their radio booth. It's difficult to imagine a better broadcast combo throughout baseball.
-- JIM REEVES