Tim McCarver announced on Wednesday via conference call that this will be his last season as a baseball analyst for FOX Sports, vowing to not seek an extension on his contract which concludes at the end of 2013. The 71-year-old McCarver has worked 28 consecutive Major League Baseball postseasons on network television dating back to 1984, providing color commentary and analysis for a record 23 World Series.
In terms of opinion on McCarver’s ability as an analyst, a rather large discrepancy exists between older baseball fans and those whose love of the game is based in a more modern approach. To read Roger Angell in Game Time: A Baseball Anthology, McCarver is one of the smartest men in baseball. Presumably, that wasn’t meant to reflect negatively on the rest of baseball.
However, a younger generation of baseball fans are likely more familiar with McCarver’s blunders, including miscounting the number of letters in the word “strike.”
And then, there’s also the time McCarver offered his opinion on why there are more home runs being hit these days.
It has not been proven, but I think ultimately it will be proven that the air is thinner now, there have been climactic changes over the last 50 years in the world, and I think that’s one of the reasons balls are carrying much better now than I remember. I think they’re going to find that out one of these days, yes I do … that’s a theory, but we’ll see.
Despite climactic change being a term that more accurately represents the conclusion of The Sixth Sense, I think the majority of us gathered McCarver’s meaning. It’s just too bad that despite the “thinner air” across North America, the home run rate at the Major League level and the home run rate at the Minor League level haven’t increased at the same rate.
But whatever. He obviously loves baseball, and we’d all be lucky to be doing what we love into our seventies, so … there’s that. I just wonder how much of the sentiment attached to McCarver exists because his many years in the broadcast booth lent a familiarity to his voice that – through no skill of his own – resulted in an association of his analysis with lazy Saturday afternoons.
Nonetheless, we wish him all the best.