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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Tim McCarver gives emotional final sendoff

Oh Baby, I Loved It!

We’re not big fans of Tim McCarver as a broadcaster. In fact, we were turned off by most of his analysis. But we do respect the career he had as both a player and broadcaster and recognize that he has been a big part of baseball over the past several decades.

Wednesday night marked McCarver’s final night calling games for FOX as their lead MLB analyst alongside play-by-play partner Joe Buck. His final sendoff was emotional and touching and we wanted to share it in case you missed it.

Repoz Posted: October 31, 2013 at 06:12 AM | 78 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: media

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   1. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: October 31, 2013 at 07:53 AM (#4590990)
Now if we can just get Joe Buck to quit.
   2. billyshears Posted: October 31, 2013 at 08:14 AM (#4590995)
I always loved listening to McCarver as a Mets fan growing up. I felt like he taught me a lot about how to play baseball.
   3. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 31, 2013 at 08:20 AM (#4590998)
His last words are "Ditto"?
   4. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 31, 2013 at 08:22 AM (#4591000)
I like McCarver, always have and will miss him. One thing that strikes me about him is that he genuinely loves the game of baseball. I think that always came through.
   5. Jim Overmyer Posted: October 31, 2013 at 08:29 AM (#4591004)
When Tim McCarver was doing Mets games on Channel 11(?), now a long time ago, I thought he was about the best announcer I ever listened to on TV on the East Coast. As a national broadcaster I do believe he just got to be too inclined to offer too much analysis (because there's a limit to how much anyone can be on point). But that may have been at least in part a function of national broadcasting (especially Fox) needing to fill up every nanosecond of air time with something. Nonetheless, I have always enjoyed listening to him, and I will miss him on the air.

Did you know that, in addition to his other non-baseball hobbies, he recorded an album of American Songbook classics awhile back? He'll never hit Broadway, but it's good listening.
   6. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: October 31, 2013 at 08:33 AM (#4591005)
His last words are "Ditto"?

That's a replacement-level word right there.
   7. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 31, 2013 at 08:36 AM (#4591007)
Did anyone dump a cooler of water on him?
   8. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: October 31, 2013 at 08:43 AM (#4591016)
Now if we can just get Joe Buck to quit.


Not a bad idea, but Buck did seem better and more involved this year. Or maybe I'm just mellowing as I get older.
   9. TRBMB Posted: October 31, 2013 at 08:56 AM (#4591024)
I favor having no announcers, just give me the video and silence from the booth.
   10. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: October 31, 2013 at 09:01 AM (#4591028)
So, who's doing the Series next year?
   11. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 31, 2013 at 09:10 AM (#4591032)
I like McCarver, always have and will miss him. One thing that strikes me about him is that he genuinely loves the game of baseball. I think that always came through.


In stark contrast to.....
   12. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: October 31, 2013 at 09:14 AM (#4591035)
I favor having no announcers, just give me the video and silence from the booth.

That actually is an option with MLB.tv either on their balky web interface or on a Roku box hooked to your TV. I found it interesting at the end of games, but the best combination is the radio broadcast with the TV video.
   13. Moeball Posted: October 31, 2013 at 09:16 AM (#4591036)
As an analyst I thought McCarver was just ok, but at least he did have some funny stories, particularly the ones about guys like Bob Gibson. My favorite was the one about the game McCarver was catching Gibson and Bob kept shaking off everything Tim was calling. So McCarver finally called time out and went out to the mound to chat with Gibson and see what was going on. According to McCarver, Gibson just turned his back on him and told him to get back behind the plate. "The only thing you know about my pitching", said Gibson, "is that you can't hit it."

So if McCarver ISN'T what people want in an analyst, who DO they want?
   14. Morty Causa Posted: October 31, 2013 at 09:20 AM (#4591043)
The consumer, as a class, is a zombie who pretends he cares about nutrition.
   15. Rob_Wood Posted: October 31, 2013 at 09:32 AM (#4591045)
I am no big fan of McCarver but I give him a lot of credit for his "first guessing" about strategy. That includes defensive positioning. I distinctly remember a playoff game many years ago when the team in the field was up by two runs late in the game. For some unknown reason the third baseman was playing right on the line. McCarver pointed it out and said they should be trying to prevent the much wider part of the field (essentially a single vs a double). Of course, the batter hit a hard grounder right down the line and the third baseman threw him out. For the rest of the inning McCarver kept saying how bad that defensive positioning was!
   16. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 31, 2013 at 09:43 AM (#4591050)
So if McCarver ISN'T what people want in an analyst, who DO they want?


Someone that can not only mix in funny stories, but also speak in coherent sentences. It would also help if they had a grasp of what wins ballgames, not what is aesthetically pleasing like bunts. McCarver also used to be really good about giving insights like Rob is talking about in #15, but it seems like the last 5-6 years or so he's trying too hard to come up with some insight no one else knows about, and he ends up sounding like an idiot.

David Cone, Ron Darling, Orel Hershiser, John Smoltz, Duane Kuiper would all be acceptable replacements for me.

It will probably be Kevin Millar or Rex Hudler though. IN YOUR FACE!
   17. bunyon Posted: October 31, 2013 at 09:50 AM (#4591060)
I think the main problem with McCarver is that he aged. He used to be excellent. Then he got a little older, a little more set in his ways, a little more distant from the game and, to my ear, it became more of an act. He still clearly loved baseball but his announcing was a schtick. If you are 30 years old, you probably think he's just an old fart. But he used to be very, very good and, like anyone who loses a step to age, could, at times, still be very, very good.

I won't exactly miss him but he probably takes too much crap because it's a "what have you done for me lately" kind of world.
   18. Davo Dozier Posted: October 31, 2013 at 09:56 AM (#4591068)
Norman Chad criticized Tim McCarver in Sports Illustrated by saying that he’s someone who “when you ask him the time, will tell you how a watch works."
That's a fantastic line--I don't think I've seen it before.

Announcing a baseball game is, I imagine, another job that is about a thousand times more difficult than it seems. I never really cared for McCarver, but the guy clearly loved the game and knew a ton about it, and enjoyed getting the opportunity to share some of that knowledge with us over the past two decades.
   19. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 31, 2013 at 09:57 AM (#4591070)
I won't exactly miss him but he probably takes too much crap because it's a "what have you done for me lately" kind of world.


I think he takes too much crap because he has been the face of broadcast baseball FOREVER. Unless you're a Vin Scully, people get pretty sick of you after 20 years.
   20. tfbg9 Posted: October 31, 2013 at 10:17 AM (#4591083)
Good luck Timmy. You clearly love our game. Best wishes.
   21. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 31, 2013 at 10:22 AM (#4591091)
David Cone, Ron Darling, Orel Hershiser, John Smoltz, Duane Kuiper would all be acceptable replacements for me.

Kuiper's a PBP guy. Cone and Hershiser aren't in the same stratosphere as McCarver. I like Darling and Smoltz and they'd be fine; neither is prime McCarver.

The odds that the next guy will be better than McCarver are very low.

   22. Morty Causa Posted: October 31, 2013 at 10:28 AM (#4591095)
And as Edna Krabappel would say, "That is so depressing."
   23. PreservedFish Posted: October 31, 2013 at 10:34 AM (#4591099)
McCarver's major sin is overexposure. People just got tired of him. When you listen to the various local broadcast teams, it's clear that he was better/smarter/more professional than most of his peers. I think there's a great chance that Fox's replacement next year is going to be awful, and we'll miss McCarver. I also think there's a good chance that they'll squeeze two new ex-players into the booth.
   24. I Am Not a Number Posted: October 31, 2013 at 10:44 AM (#4591107)
"It looks like Gomes was hit on his elbow protector. That probably hurt, but would have hurt more if he wasn't wearing it."

That pretty much sums up McCarver's pedagogical approach. In his mind, his audience consists not only of baseball neophytes, but of complete and utter morons.

   25. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: October 31, 2013 at 11:05 AM (#4591117)
neither is prime McCarver.

The odds that the next guy will be better than McCarver are very low.

Well, yeah, if they're going to be held to a standard you imagined existed in 1986.
   26. SoSH U at work Posted: October 31, 2013 at 11:12 AM (#4591120)
McCarver's major sin is overexposure. People just got tired of him. When you listen to the various local broadcast teams, it's clear that he was better/smarter/more professional than most of his peers. I think there's a great chance that Fox's replacement next year is going to be awful, and we'll miss McCarver.

I don't think we'll miss McCarver next year, because of the overexposure. But I think you and bunion hit on the chief problems. He got older and a little too removed from the game and its players* and we simply have heard him doing games for too long that all of his little flaws became things that drove us nuts.

He clearly still loves the game, and for that, I can't be too critical.

* Though, to his credit, he never became a crank about it.




   27. Mom makes botox doctors furious Posted: October 31, 2013 at 11:15 AM (#4591122)
"You're the best to ever do this", said Joe Buck


I don't buy into 'age' being the factor to his perceived diminished skills, I'm thinking it's just that some people lose touch with the core cylinders of a matter - the urgency, the freshness, the challenge - when they've been at something for a longer period. All relationships need a little work and tweaking to keep the spark alive.

These are two different things.

   28. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: October 31, 2013 at 11:21 AM (#4591125)
No, McCarver's major sin is Fox. They wanted him to explain the game to casual viewer and he did that. For the baseball nuts, this style just didn't work. I've never been a huge fan of McCarver the announcer.

That said, my goodness he is a pleasure to listen to when he does interviews on sports radio. Smart, insightful, and funny. I don't think that it comes through on the game broadcasts, though.

I can never totally hate on Timmy though. His love of the game is obvious and I can't fault anyone for that.

I think Kenny Singleton would be a great replacement, but I'm guessing it'll be Smoltz.
   29. rpackrat Posted: October 31, 2013 at 11:35 AM (#4591140)
McCarver was really, really good when he was doing Mets games way back when. Whether it was because of Fox's demands or something else, he turned into something of a self-parody, where his formerly insightful comments became simplistic and went on way too long. At his best, though, he was really good. Also, agree with the comments about his love for the game always coming through.
   30. Davo Dozier Posted: October 31, 2013 at 11:44 AM (#4591146)
Let's just face it: There's no way a nationally televised baseball announcer will call games the way we'd like to hear them called. It will always be someone who--to us--sounds dumb, or who "talks down" to us, who over-explains things that are patently obvious, etc etc.

Those are just the breaks. We're gonna watch baseball no matter what; they're targeting casual fans.

So, just accept that we're never going to get a perfect guy for the job.

Tim McCarver was very sharp--he picked up on a lot of small details that only former players could see, and he did a great job of explaining them to an audience. He clearly loved the game--he never sounded board. And he was pretty damn funny: Those anecdotes he shared about those Cardinal teams he played on in the 60s and 70s...those are important, they resonate more than a stat page.

I'm gonna miss him. I'm 28--his voice is the only one I've ever known for World Series baseball.
   31. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 31, 2013 at 11:57 AM (#4591166)
I really don't get the praise that he "loved the game." That really should be a prerequisite for his job. I understand that is something Buck doesn't have, but for someone being paid to talk about baseball I don't give extra credit for the fact he really liked baseball.
   32. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 31, 2013 at 11:57 AM (#4591167)
Some positives about McCarver (some already noted above);

- He picks up on stuff, or at least makes note of stuff, that a lot of other announcers don't. Was it Doubront who was nodding only fastballs earlier in the series? A little thing but announcers rarely mention that stuff.

- He loves baseball.

- Rob's point about McCarver "first guessing" is a good one. Like it or not Tim told you what he thought.

- He had a fairly dry sense of humor. The comment in #24 is actually pretty funny to me. Not everyone's cup of tea, fair enough, but I liked his style.

He did things I didn't like, he got a bit holier than thou at times and he would repeat himself like no one's business. I think he was very very good though.
   33. tfbg9 Posted: October 31, 2013 at 12:05 PM (#4591178)
Two words: The Eck.
   34. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 31, 2013 at 12:15 PM (#4591188)
I thought McCarver was fine and then he published that book "The Thinking Man's Guide to Baseball" and I think he went downhill from there. He started to sound like a blowhard who had to explain the most mundane and obvious things and I wonder if it partly wasn't to live up to this image he had created as the professor of baseball. So my feelings on him are mixed, which I suppose is to be expected of a man who had a career as long as he had. I think I'd like to see David Cone take his spot but I'm 100% sure he won't and, while there are a lot of good choices for the job, I fully expect Fox to #### it up in the worst way possible.
   35. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 31, 2013 at 12:18 PM (#4591190)
There's no way a nationally televised baseball announcer will call games the way we'd like to hear them called. It will always be someone who--to us--sounds dumb, or who "talks down" to us, who over-explains things that are patently obvious, etc etc.


I'd listen to Dan Shulman broadcast baseball games all year long, if I could.
He's got a fantastic voice that will express excitement when it's required, but not overblown shouting at unnecessary times.
   36. bunyon Posted: October 31, 2013 at 12:24 PM (#4591193)
It isn't that he loved the game. I suspect Buck loves the game.* The point is he could communicate that love to you. Buck can't, so he gets criticism. I've heard Buck talk on any number of subjects and he just talks in this emotionless monotone. I don't think he sounds like he loves football, either. That's just how he sounds.
   37. esseff Posted: October 31, 2013 at 12:26 PM (#4591195)
Debuted in the majors at age 17. Damn, that's a long career.
   38. Davo Dozier Posted: October 31, 2013 at 12:28 PM (#4591198)
I listened to the first couple of innings last night's game on the radio--Orel Hershiser and Dan Shulman, for ESPN.

I think it was the second inning. The game was still scoreless, but the Cardinals had guys on first and second with two outs. Jon Jay was at the plate, and Lackey got ahead in the count 0 and 2.

Hershiser explained that Lackey typically threw curveballs in this spot, as Jay was a lousy curveball hitter, and would probably chase. And sure enough, Lackey throws a curveball....but wildly, and it got past Ross and both runners moved up a spot.

Hershiser again: "Boy, this is a test for Lackey. That curveball is his best pitch, but he's going to be scared to death of throwing another wild one here. I think he has to cave in and throw a fastball--I don't think he can risk another offspeed pitch after that last one."

On the next pitch, though, Lackey breaks off a beautiful curveball and strikes out Jay and ends the innings. And pretty much the second the pitch leaves his hand, Hersh: "It's a curveball and WOW!!! Strike 3!!! MY GOODNESS, WHAT a PITCH by LACKEY!!!"

And it's just so great, because we know that the reason that particular strikeout got him so excited is because Hershiser used to be a pitcher, and almost certainly faced that exact situation before, and he just knew--he'd literally been in Lackey's shoes--and just knew how much temerity it took Lackey to throw that pitch in that spot. It was a really wonderful moment to listen to.

...what I'm saying is, I have no issue with Orel Hershiser being named as McCarver's replacement.
   39. SoSH U at work Posted: October 31, 2013 at 12:29 PM (#4591200)
I really don't get the praise that he "loved the game."


Not everyone who has been in the game in a professional capacity for as long as McCarver has still love the game after all that time. And a great many of them continue to stay in those jobs just because that's what they do. That never happened to Tim.

   40. winnipegwhip Posted: October 31, 2013 at 12:30 PM (#4591201)
Bobby Valentine...for one year. The ratings will be the lowest ever for a World Series. Then the network will bring in another analyst and the ratings for a Toronto vs Miami World Series (which Toronto sweeps) will dominate the NFL head to head.

Game 3 will go head to head versus 7-0 Cowboys vs 7-0 Redskins matchup on Sunday night.
Game 4 will go head to head with a Patriots vs Broncos matchup on Monday night. Both games the Blue Jays score early and often to leave no suspense in the outcome.
   41. Ron J2 Posted: October 31, 2013 at 12:31 PM (#4591204)
#28 Same kind of thing happened with Joe Morgan. Before he got his national gig my friend Bob Rich got to hear him on a local broadcast and was a big fan. To put it mildly, Bob's not an easy guy to please when it comes to baseball broadcasting so I was looking forward to hearing him when he first got his big gig.

And when I asked Bob what he'd been talking about (because like most of us I wasn't a fan of Morgan as a broadcaster -- though he did have his moments) he said that all he could say is that he wasn't the same guy.

You'll see the same kind of thing happening on EPL broadcasts.

Aussie rules was very different. The broadcasters just called the game and they tried to work detailed explanations into dead time on the broadcasts.

   42. PreservedFish Posted: October 31, 2013 at 12:40 PM (#4591210)
I've also liked Hershiser. But, I've liked a lot of the new color guys: Tony Gwynn, Al Leiter, Ron Darling, Keith Hernandez, John Smoltz, Terry Francona ... it's one of those unusual jobs (like golfing in the senior league) in which the rookies are almost always the best. They have been brewing up fresh commentary for years in the game, and then they let it all out when they're new to the job, and then they have no new material, and they either get bored of the job, start spitting platitudes, or just become repetitive.
   43. I Am Not a Number Posted: October 31, 2013 at 01:01 PM (#4591226)
He had a fairly dry sense of humor. The comment in #24 is actually pretty funny to me.

It's not clear to me that McCarver was making a funny.
   44. Gamingboy Posted: October 31, 2013 at 01:06 PM (#4591231)
I got to say, the last feature with McCarver was great. Say what you will about how he has been the last, oh, decade or so, but the man clearly loves baseball and has seen some amazing things in his time with the game.
   45. BDC Posted: October 31, 2013 at 01:36 PM (#4591257)
I first heard McCarver as a broadcaster c1980, when he wasn't playing much for the Phillies. If there was a long rain delay, they'd send down to the clubhouse and get McCarver into the booth to tell stories while the rain lasted. This was really pretty good stuff, entirely improvised, and it was clear he had a future as an announcer. He was out of his depth at the Olympics, but he knew baseball as well as anybody. For McCarver broadcasts of the last decade or more, I've had a simple principle: keep the sound off so that he doesn't drive me out of my tiny mind droning on about a four-seam fastball or whatever. But then, if something weird happens, like umpires changing their decision or making an obstruction call, unmute the TV so that McCarver can explain what's going on. He has always been really good at that. In that sense, I certainly will miss him.

It's also a milestone of coincidence for me personally. McCarver was a rookie the year I was born. He played in the first World Series I ever watched on TV. He was on the Phillies teams that I lived and died with in the late '70s, including the only World Championship team I ever followed (though as I said, by 1980 he was pretty much retired, just getting in his "4-decade" creds). I've been listening to him all my adult life. Now that he's retired, it seems like the home stretch.
   46. bobm Posted: October 31, 2013 at 01:40 PM (#4591260)
When Tim McCarver was doing Mets games on Channel 11(?), now a long time ago, I thought he was about the best announcer I ever listened to on TV on the East Coast. 

Mets on channel 9. There are (were?) clips and whole games on Youtube, for those who want to experience the stark difference between 1980s McCarver and now.
   47. Sunday silence Posted: October 31, 2013 at 01:58 PM (#4591283)
his career trajectory is similar to John Madden's. Yes?

He still had some good insights, I think he was right in game 5, when Lester (?) batted, that bunting was a reasonable option. WHy was everyone so mad about that? It's not likely to be a double play.
   48. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: October 31, 2013 at 02:12 PM (#4591299)
his career trajectory is similar to John Madden's. Yes?

this--Madden was EXCELLENT at first, but then he went.. (oh, never mind)
   49. Jeltzandini Posted: October 31, 2013 at 02:27 PM (#4591323)
I first heard McCarver as a broadcaster c1980, when he wasn't playing much for the Phillies.


If it was actually 1980, he only played a few games on the expanded roster in September, getting seven PA. Three of them on the last day, after the Phillies had clinched the division the day before. It meant he played in four decades, though I don't remember if that's exactly why they did it.
   50. tfbg9 Posted: October 31, 2013 at 02:29 PM (#4591327)
Yes, McCarver was very good in the 80's with the Mets.
   51. Chase Insteadman Wannabe Posted: October 31, 2013 at 02:58 PM (#4591355)
If I recall the late 90's correctly, I think the run of the Yankee dynasty hurt how many people viewed McCarver. Between his long friendship with Joe Torre and his unabashed love of Derek Jeter, his praise for the Glory of the Yankee Way, the Yankee Character, the Yankee Aura and Mystique could sometimes go over the top. Torre getting fired helped tone that down.
   52. OsunaSakata Posted: October 31, 2013 at 04:10 PM (#4591413)
Let's just face it: There's no way a nationally televised baseball announcer will call games the way we'd like to hear them called. It will always be someone who--to us--sounds dumb, or who "talks down" to us, who over-explains things that are patently obvious, etc etc.

Those are just the breaks. We're gonna watch baseball no matter what; they're targeting casual fans.


Is that the same way with the other sports? I hear mindless blather on football broadcasts ("That there's a football player!"), but not explanations of simple concepts. I thought I knew basketball above a casual level until I listened to an audiobook of Phil Jackson's memoir and was totally lost on technical strategies.
   53. stanmvp48 Posted: October 31, 2013 at 04:13 PM (#4591417)
"Someone has to step up and make a play" Gruden
   54. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 31, 2013 at 04:30 PM (#4591438)
I'm not sure about all NFL games, but I noted that Phil Simms said during the Chiefs game "now many fans haven't heard of Jamaal Charles, but he's been one of the top rushers in the NFL."

Charles has been in the top four in rushing in three of the last four seasons and a few years ago was the runner-up in the Madden cover contest. He almost certainly was a top five pick in every fantasy football league.
   55. JE (Jason) Posted: October 31, 2013 at 07:18 PM (#4591547)
Debuted in the majors at age 17. Damn, that's a long career.

That reminds me: The dude's big-league career spanned four decades.
   56. Robinson Cano Plate Like Home Posted: October 31, 2013 at 07:31 PM (#4591551)
I haven't heard of Jamaal Charles
   57. depletion Posted: October 31, 2013 at 08:01 PM (#4591570)
"Precious seconds ticking away" - Frank Gifford.
   58. dejarouehg Posted: October 31, 2013 at 08:56 PM (#4591602)
McCarver was must see-TV in the mid-80's with the Mets. His anticipation was eerily accurate. He also did not go into some of his cringe-worthy analogies. I also thought he did a solid job with the Yankees.

After suffering through 3 minutes of Bengals-Dolphins just now, (Holy Sh**, talk about unwatchable!!!!) I'd be happy to sit down to a McCarver-broadcasted game right now. (It's going to be a long off-season.)
   59. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: October 31, 2013 at 09:25 PM (#4591622)
That turnover crap the other day they were talking about was silly . I was better company this morning when they picked me up off the floor and put me in a taxi blind drink
   60. Publius Publicola Posted: October 31, 2013 at 10:13 PM (#4591653)
I thought McCarver's greatest sin was his failure to acknowledge Jeter's defensive shortcomings. It was the corpse in the driveway everyone watching was thinking and he would just prattle on about his professionalism and leadership.
   61. Tim McCarver's Orange Marmalade Posted: October 31, 2013 at 11:20 PM (#4591691)
Orange marmalade will never taste the same.
   62. china_dave Posted: November 01, 2013 at 12:05 AM (#4591709)
+ 1 for hershiser. you want to talk about a guy who loves and knows (and can capably explain, which is not the same thing) baseball...particularly with shulman. listening to them call and then (immediately) dissect the botched rundown the other night was an genuine treat
   63. Howie Menckel Posted: November 01, 2013 at 12:20 AM (#4591713)

"McCarver was must see-TV in the mid-80's with the Mets. His anticipation was eerily accurate. He also did not go into some of his cringe-worthy analogies. I also thought he did a solid job with the Yankees."

It's 100 pct true. He really WAS good at first, and then he went too far.
I was amazed at his early insights, and then - well, he didn't have 30 yrs worth of those insights.

   64. Cabbage Posted: November 01, 2013 at 03:23 AM (#4591744)
After suffering through 3 minutes of Bengals-Dolphins just now, (Holy Sh**, talk about unwatchable!!!!) I'd be happy to sit down to a McCarver-broadcasted game right now. (It's going to be a long off-season.)

watch hockey!

   65. Dan Evensen Posted: November 01, 2013 at 10:43 AM (#4591893)
I have an insanely large collection of baseball games on DVD and in various computer video format (mostly MKV dumps). McCarver is a broadcaster in something like half of them. It's going to be very strange to watch baseball without hearing his voice.

That said, I don't care for his analysis. I do have a few games from his years with the Mets (a game from 1984, two from 1985, and a few from 1986), but don't find them anything special. I'm guessing that I would have felt differently if I were growing up in the New York area at the time, rather than watching digitized versions of VHS recordings nearly 30 years later.

I don't think his approach to analysis changed that much over time. His book, "Baby, I Love It," which I owned at one point in time (not sure what happened to it), is incredibly pompous and self-serving -- almost as much as Cosell's many books (I own some of those as well).

McCarver did have some good stories. He has always been a good "first guesser," and never got much credit for that from people like me. Honestly, I've always felt frustrated when he makes an accurate "first guess" prediction -- I guess I've been subconciously hoping for him to fail.

I do think that he suffered from overexposure. He had more exposure at the national level than any commentator I can think of -- even more than Joe Garagiola (who also has his share of critics on this site). I also think that McCarver suffered occasionally from working in less than ideal conditions (I'm thinking of the 3 man booth that ABC ran for the '85, '87 and '89 World Series) and with some less than superb baseball announcers (Joe Buck is notorious, but McCarver also had to work with Keith Jackson in the 1980s).

I, too, hope that Joe Buck will resign, quit, get fired, or something. Then again, I really start worrying when I think about who Fox would replace him with. Can you imaging Dick Stockton broadcasting World Series games? The man could barely accurately broadcast NBA Finals games in the early 1980s during his peak!

EDIT: #64 is right. Start watching hockey. I got the NHL streaming package, and have no regrets.
   66. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: November 01, 2013 at 11:20 AM (#4591937)
I heard Brian Billick on Dan Patrick this morning and he said production folks are constantly in his ear if they think he is getting too technical. I would imagine that Tim ran into some of the same problems.

To Billicks credit, he did say that he personally thinks fans are more savvy than ever and deserve more respect than they are usually given.
   67. bobm Posted: November 01, 2013 at 12:05 PM (#4591971)
[65] From Wikipedia:

Stockton was part of the broadcast crew for NBC Sports' coverage of the 1975 World Series, and on television called Carlton Fisk's famous, game-winning home run in Game 6 of that series
   68. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: November 01, 2013 at 12:51 PM (#4592009)
I was on the road for most of the WS, and had to listen to the games on the radio. I thought Shulman and Hershiser were damned good as a team, and would have no problem with them on a nightly basis.
   69. Srul Itza Posted: November 01, 2013 at 01:16 PM (#4592033)
That's a fantastic line--I don't think I've seen it before.


Really? I first heard a version of it over 35 years ago, applied to MIT grads --You ask an MIT grad what time it is, and they'll tell you how to build a clock.
   70. Srul Itza Posted: November 01, 2013 at 01:18 PM (#4592036)
And I will second what every says about McCarver when he first started doing Mets games on Channel 9, WOR (Ch. 11, WPIX, was the Yankees), some 30+ years ago -- He was a breath of fresh air, and one of the best in baseball at the time.

Then he went too far . . . /meme
   71. Ron J2 Posted: November 01, 2013 at 01:51 PM (#4592066)
#70 Speaking of which, an old favorite from James Weisberg. (All comments are from James' post)

#!/usr/local/bin/perl

use JoeMorgan;

until ( defined &havewestartedyet; )
&banteraboutnothing;
}

sub sig_alrm {
$SIG{ALRM} = \&sig;_alrm;
&shutup;
}
$SIG{ALRM} = \&sig;_alrm;

$BSTIMEOUT=300; # Do not BS on any one thing longer than 5 minutes.
$SILENCE=2; # At most two seconds of silence.
$REPEAT=3; # Number of times to repeat same useless garbage.

for ( $now = time; ; ) {
next if ( (time - $now) < $SILENCE );
alarm(0); alarm($BSTIMEOUT);
if ( defined (($date, $names, $event, $stats) = &meaningless;_tidbit) ) {
&bullshit;($date, $names, $event, $stats);
} else {
$analysis = &situation;($menonbase, $score, $play, $teamA, $teamB);
if ( not defined $analysis ) {
&makeupshit;();
} else {
for ( $retries = 0; $retries < $REPEAT; $retries++ ) {
&repeat;($analysis);
}
}
}

last if ( defined &arewedoneyet; );
$now = time;
}


The analysis module still needs to be written along with some error checking (well, actually, you can probably forget about that in Joe's case). Note that the Morgan module is only slightly more complex than the McCarver module, which only calls the makeupshit() function repeatedly with a different $BSTIMEOUT parameter and a $SILENCE = 0.
   72. dejarouehg Posted: November 01, 2013 at 06:00 PM (#4592265)
watch hockey!


Not sure I could name 5 active players; haven't been a hockey fan since the Islander's run in the early 80's. (All really good guys except for Billy Smith, who made Barry Bonds look like Mister Rogers.)

As much as I enjoy post-season baseball, I am convinced playoff hockey might be the most intense and entertaining sporting experience there is.

The skill level of NHL players is incredibly underappreciated and in the playoffs, there are always one or two goalies whose performances are consistantly extraordinary; like throwing a no-hitter game after game.
   73. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: November 01, 2013 at 07:55 PM (#4592319)
the best combination is the radio broadcast with the TV video.

NESN gums that up by broadcasting with a couple second delay. At least on my cable system.
   74. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: November 01, 2013 at 07:59 PM (#4592321)
I like McCarver, always have and will miss him. One thing that strikes me about him is that he genuinely loves the game of baseball. I think that always came through.



In stark contrast to.....


Thom Brennaman, for one.
   75. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: November 01, 2013 at 09:07 PM (#4592348)
I've been listening to him all my adult life. Now that he's retired, it seems like the home stretch.


Jesus, man. You & I are the same age.

Don't say things like that.
   76. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: November 01, 2013 at 09:10 PM (#4592349)
Norman Chad criticized Tim McCarver in Sports Illustrated by saying that he’s someone who “when you ask him the time, will tell you how a watch works."

That's a fantastic line--I don't think I've seen it before.


No offense, but I've heard that line probably 100 times (no, not directed at me ... well, maybe behind my back). Sometimes I think I grew up on a parallel Earth.
   77. Buzzards Bay Posted: November 01, 2013 at 10:03 PM (#4592369)
Then he gives you insight on the pop fly in foul territory---- Catcher perspective, to paraphrase, 'go to the boundary first then find it' ----probability and solution! I'd invite him to spring training and talk to catchers every other day- that's a tough play and might be won or lost before it really happens
   78. Greg Franklin Posted: November 01, 2013 at 10:04 PM (#4592370)
On a broadcasting board, I get the impression that the peak of McCarver's career was right before CBS got the national game of the week package in 1990. The producers liked McCarver's style and hoped to replicate the Madden phenomenon with baseball, and decided that McCarver, not the play-by-play man, should be the center of CBS game coverage. The broadcasts were set up to encourage Tim to talk about everything and anything happening on the field, filling in any dead air.

Jack Buck wasn't the type of gamecaller that easily put up with this format, and he had a strained relationship with his partner. Sean McDonough, and Buck later, were better able to pull back and let McCarver be McCarver.

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