Sports commentators, perhaps more than the players who actually play the games, are often berated to no end by the informed sports fan set. For the casual fan, the commentator is a voice that explains what’s happening, their word can be taken as gospel. This is why it’s not uncommon for Jeannie or Ted from the mailroom to butt-in on some hardcore water cooler sports talk and exclaim things like “boy, how about all those RBI player X has picked up lately”. You and I may shrug this off as ignorance, but it’s not Jeannie or Ted’s fault that Tim McCarver probably rambled on about how many runners Mark Trumbo has sent home, all the while ignoring the obvious flaws with in his game.

For me, there are a handful of commentators who, over the course of my life, I’ve come to accept as the perfect background noise accompaniment to a live sporting event. Tim McCarver is not among this group. I couldn’t care less how misinformed or biased some of the ramblings from the likes of Jon Miller, Joe Morgan, Marv Albert, and Jim Hughson may be. The mere presence of their voice is something I take comfort in. If I stopped to really pay attention to what they said then I’d probably guffaw at how wrong and/or homerific it may be.

This all leads us to the unsurprising announcement that FOX Sports’ Tim McCarver will pack it in following the 2013 baseball season. For many young sports fans and the web savvy population, McCarver is but an aging colour man whom we laugh at opportunistic screenshots of. Hell, McCarver, during Game One of the 2011 World Series, actually uttered “It’s a five-letter word, S-T-R-I-K-E”. Good Gawd, man.

I recall the “S-T-R-I-K-E” incident rather vividly, as it was after a long night of McCarver mockery on Twitter in which I had engaged in that a friend many years my senior reached out via email. Her concern was that all these whippersnappers were taking advantage of a simple slip-up from a man pushing 70 years of age. My friend asked me if I had ever listened to McCarver call any New York Mets or Philadelphia Phillies games, when he was a younger man. I had not. I never bothered to seek out such recordings, but I was informed that he was once a very great announcer who didn’t deserve the level of ridicule that my generation levied upon him.

I’ve probably laughed at McCarver since that day, in fact, I know I have. Still, he’s enjoyed a very long and successful career. McCarver, now 71-years old, has worked 23 World Series in a row, and 28 Major League Baseball postseasons. With this coming season to be his last, McCarver says “it’s time to cut back”. I’m sure many baseball fans will revel in that. For others, though, it will signify some sort of changing of the guard. I’m of the thinking that it’s best to let them have it.

In the meantime, buckle up for one more season of bewilderment and goofy screenshots courtesy one of baseball’s elder statesmen.

Comments (22)

  1. When I read “buckle up” I couldn’t help but think that without McCarver we’d have to “BUCKle up” in preparation of hearing the inanities of Joe Buck call baseball games for decades to come.

  2. i’m laughing at wilner already.

  3. I’ve never minded McCarver, I feel like Joe Buck made him seem worse than he was.

  4. i’m not that old and i can remember when mccarver was good, breaking down pitch selection in the lofton-bonds-aurelia-schmidt-hernandez, etc giants’ run to the world series. i’ve looked at pitch counts differently since then.

    being more informed now, i simply can’t listen to him. but it’s only rarely that i have to. what i will be regularly subjecting myself to, unfortunately, is jerry and jack, as well as buster on the podcast, telling me whose birthday it is today. grow up, buster, and quit.

  5. wow, congratulations, in one fell swoop you just managed to disrespect all of the best commentators from the past 30 years in one terrible article. f*ck you scott lewis, F*uck you…

  6. I started reading this article, then I read “I could care less”. It’s bad when people speak this way, but how is it that someone who is paid to write things writes things such as this down for other people to read. The statement is “I couldn’t care less”. The two are not even close to the same.

    • Hey, look, I amended this minor error that slipped past first review.

      • I don’t see a reason for you to reply to JD’s comment with such snark. You get paid to write; he has a valid point. Grow up.

        • I could have amended it and not acknowledged the previous error, ESPN style. The “paid to write” argument can rub a guy the wrong way when it’s over something so minor. My apologies if my response came off snarky.

          • No problem, I actually feel like a bit of a dick for adding in the “grow up” comment. I am just going to assume that you wrote the original reply while you were still riled up from the ‘scottlewisisgay’ commentor/douche.

            • The comment stream is all messed up, but in response to matt_cc: Thanks. Yeah, the ‘scottlewisisgay’ bit really set me off. Still, you were right about the snarky reply. Anyway, on to the next day for which I am paid to write.

              • I have to say, I don’t find the remark snarky. Just happy to not find anyone who swears that there isn’t a difference.

  7. It’s finally happening. Thank you baseball gods.

  8. The playoffs are going to be unbearable this year. Buck wont shut up about the retirement. We will have to sit through all kinds of ball polishing of McCarver over the years.

  9. So Tim McCarver released an album. He sings the Great American Songbook. This is real.

  10. Good god that photo. Somebody get the man his orange juice already.

  11. Buck and McCarver are rather unbearable, and will likely be worse this year as Buck spends half a game complimenting his booth partner, but Miller and Morgan used to put me to sleep during Sunday Night Baseabll broadcasts. I could have just drank a pot of coffee and the second I hear Miller and Morgan I’m out like a light.

  12. I can understand why someone would write an article on why McCarver is a bad, or at least unenjoyable, baseball announcer. What I cannot understand is how such an article could be published with grammar-challenged sentences such as, “For many young sports fans and the web savvy population, McCarver is but an aging colour man whom we laugh at opportunistic screenshots of.” Most people could spot at least 3 errors in that sentence that could be classified as “homerific” (I hope I am using the writer’s coined term correctly).

    Ironically, the writer of this article chose to advance the premise that McCarver makes many errors on the air by publishing an article that includes the above assault on grammar. I am fairly certain the irony was unintentional.

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