Googling God has some good insight into Bob Sheppard-Gate with some (alleged) insights into Bob's health. While I can't verify the accuracy of the story, I know the author of the blog and his Sheppard info has always been correct in the past.
"Bob's been sick for a long time and is 98 and needs to get his weight up to about 155 pounds or so and has struggled to do that. He may be there now but is still very feeble. One source said that they'd find it 'surprising if he can even stay awake for nine innings never mind announce nine innings.'"
As I said, unconfirmed, but GG hasn't been wrong about Shep in the past.
As for why Bob can't just do the games from home...he's 98 and has pneumonia. I assume he just can't.
Bob, we all wish you well, hope you get another 100 years, and hope you have another game in you.
I still think the Times screwed up and published a story that wasn't meant to go until today...and now everyone is covering. See my story yesterday where I noticed that the permalink was coded "April 2."
(Damn, the Mets Police got suckered into Yankees talk yet again. Jerry Manuel needs to stab someone. Where's Willie when I need him?)
The Mets Police at www.metspolice.com