When you turn on the College World Series final, you won’t hear the soothing, unmistakably Louisiana sound of Ben McDonald.

That’s not necessarily anything new. The former LSU and Baltimore Orioles pitcher has never been on the call for the College World Series finals, despite his growing popularity in the sport. Instead, Chris Burke and Kyle Peterson will be color analysts for the Ole Miss vs. Oklahoma best-of-3 series.

With all due respect to those guys, both of whom are excellent at what they do, it was a bummer seeing this tweet on Thursday morning from McDonald.

There’s a question that needs to be asked, and again, it’s not to discredit the fine work of Burke and Peterson.

But why, given the plethora of ways to broadcast championship events, is McDonald only in the CWS booth through the semifinals? Shoot, if we can tune into an alternative ESPN broadcast with college football coaches like Gary Patterson and Mike Gundy during the national championship, how is there not an option to get McDonald on some sort of CWS finals broadcast? If we can have an “Ump Cam,” why can’t we have a “Bayou Ben Broadcast” for the CWS finals?

There’s no direct answer to that. There is, however, an answer as to why McDonald himself has become such a fixture calling games on SEC Network and ESPN.

His personality shines through no matter who he’s on the call with. You can hear him say a pitcher’s slider is “as dirty as a Bourbon Street martini” or debate whether his pronunciation of the word “error” is different than others (he says it like “era”). McDonald is laugh-out-loud funny in the booth, and not just when he and Eduardo Perez are going back and forth about who/what Dua Lipa is.

One thing McDonald does know well? Armadillos. Specifically, how to wrangle them … like he did during a post-SEC Tournament nightcap that quickly went viral.

The armadillo-wrangling, high-and-tight haircut rockin’ former pitcher is more than just an infectious personality. The 1989 Golden Spikes Award winner can break down spin rate and tell you why Jacob Palisch’s slider is so challenging to pick up. He can tell you about the psychology a pitcher deals with knowing an opposing team takes a lot of pitches. He can diagnose when a cruising pitcher needs to start mixing up the eye level so that hitters keep having to adjust at the plate.

McDonald does what every great color analyst should do — he makes the viewer smarter in a digestible, entertaining way. A 4.5-hour marathon of a game goes by a whole lot faster when he’s on the call. You could stick McDonald next to a pair of silent monks and he would still be the same version of himself. Talk to someone who shared a booth with him like Tom Hart and the first word he’ll use is “authentic” (the other words Hart used were “finer than a frog hair split 4 ways” and “comfortable as an old shoe”).

In a profession wherein it often seems the approval rating is low, it’s hard to find a bad word to be said about McDonald. Search his name on Twitter and you’ll have the rare instance of winning and losing fan bases giving McDonald his praise. And that’s not to say he just panders to fans. Listen to McDonald and you’ll hear him talk to parents about the downside of having their kids pitch year-round. He’s also not afraid to say whether he agrees with an ump’s strike zone from inning to inning.

And if you want to hear his take on why a snow cone should be called a “snow ball” or about how his wife is from the “coon-ass capital of the world,” he’ll sprinkle that into a broadcast, too.

McDonald has been making his presence felt in Omaha since 2017. He certainly hasn’t been a CWS fixture as long as Peterson, who started calling games for ESPN’s CWS coverage in 2003 when the tournament’s broadcast rights shifted from CBS.

But this isn’t really about McDonald’s chops in the booth compared to Peterson or even Burke, who is on the call for the CWS finals for the first time. It’s about recognizing the value that McDonald provides to an audience. Sooner or later, perhaps that’ll result in getting the former LSU star on an even bigger stage in Omaha.

Now, though, McDonald will head back to his full-time gig of calling games on MASN for the Baltimore Orioles, who drafted him No. 1 overall in 1989. When McDonald tweeted out his farewell from Omaha, a fan responded by saying “Wish you were sticking around for the final! Absolute gold in the booth!”

McDonald replied by tweeting “Appreciate the kind words Chris … maybe one day!”

We can only hope.