All that stuff stinks. But I could better tolerate such erosion if it didn’t coincide with the continuing loss of my heroes and personal icons. Time has taken Mickey, Cronkite, Carson, DeBusschere, Orbison and the great Bob Sheppard; Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy and the Great One, Mr. Gleason; Ray Charles, Johnny Maestro and Vada Pinson. And Lou Grant, Andy Sipowicz and Big Dan Ingrahm have retired. There isn’t enough Willis Reed and Elgin Baylor to suit me. And now McCarver says he’s got one more season in him before he yanks his earpiece for the last time.
In my 5 1/2 decades of obsessive baseball monitoring, I’ve reached these conclusions about the guys in the booth—Vin Scully is the most entertaining/knowledgeable color or play-by-play man, and Tim McCarver is No. 2, not far behind. These are not unpopular views.
...But now in the same year Mariano Rivera is preparing to wrap it up, Timmy is too. And how many more times can we count on Scully saying “One more year”? The game will be diminished by the absence of any one of the three. Three of them leaving at one time is likely to cause a baseball sinkhole.
I’ve never heard enough Scully, though these days, the network folks routinely provide priceless snippets of his genius. McCarver’s years working Mets and Yankees games were treasures I was pleased to experience. He was funny, knowledgeable, objective, insightful and passionate, traits that he has brought to his network telecasts and his own syndicated show. Timmy has taken his share of measured swings at the strategies implemented by the men in the dugout. But that’s how he sees his job. And so often he is proven prescient. Whoever called him an accomplished first guesser had it right.
...If his final public words come in the last game of the next World Series, may they come in the 14th inning of the seventh game after a much-analyzed play has decided the eventual outcome. I always want as much as I can get from him.
Posted: March 28, 2013 at 04:11 AM | 17 comment(s)
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