It's become sport to bash Fox Sports analyst Tim McCarver.
If you think that sentence was a lead-in to some sort of call for people to stop doing that, look elsewhere. I'm intending to pile on.
As long as 20 years ago, people were noticing McCarver talked too much:
McCarver is the preeminent overanalyst of his day. Ask him what time it is, and he'll tell you how a watch works.
That same article quoted one of McCarver's increasingly frequent non sequiturs:
"Pitch count is a broad gauge of a pitcher's effectiveness. [But] I think how the hitters are approaching a pitcher is a better gauge of how effective he still is."
The passage of twenty years hasn't changed things. During the 2011 World Series, McCarver tried to spell an important baseball word and got the number of letters wrong:
After a strikeout to end the top of the 7th, McCarver uttered a soon to be famous phrase. "It’s a five letter word. S-t-r-i-k-e."
That was only a few days after his analysis of Brandon Inge's hitting tendencies turned out to be 100% incorrect:
It’s no secret Fox baseball analyst Tim McCarver makes a few mistakes on his broadcasts. ... But it’s rare to find him proven wrong mere moments after he makes a baseless claim, as happened Wednesday night when Detroit’s Brandon Inge pulled a home run to left field… right after McCarver said he’d definitely not do that.
This year, there was McCarver's wacky claim that "global warming" was increasing the number of home runs hit because "the air is thinner", and it got worse during the postseason. During this year's NLCS, fans at a Cardinals forum found this gem:
Tim is having a rough day. Missed the 1B coach's first name, then flubbed Matt Carpenter's first post-season AB (should have been CS). He also said this:
"I wonder if Cain took the bunt sign as a sign to bunt the ball."
And I'm sure you remember Tim's shout-out to singer Barry Manilow during the World Series:
McCarver: "That's a sound he has not heard too often in this ballpark. That sound of 'Barry! Barry!'"
Joe Buck: "They used to say it for someone else around here.
McCarver: "When Barry Manilow was here at concerts."
I even found one myself, when McCarver was going on and on and on in Game 4 of the just-completed World Series about Ryan Theriot facing Max Scherzer; Tim blathered something about Scherzer playing college ball at the University of Missouri, and Theriot possibly playing against him then -- never mind that Theriot had already been in pro ball for two years when Scherzer threw his first pitch for Missouri in 2004.
The point of all of this isn't to bash McCarver.
The point of all of this is to wonder why Fox-TV, which has paid multiple billions of dollars for the right to broadcast Major League Baseball's postseason exclusively since 2000, would continue to put on the air a broadcaster who literally is liked by almost no one. Wouldn't you think that Fox would try to find someone who, besides getting things right, might actually be a person at whom viewers wouldn't want to hurl a brick through their TV screen?
McCarver is 71, and lest you think this is a campaign to get the old guys out of baseball broadcasting, I should point out that I very much enjoy listening to 77-year-old Bob Uecker and 84-year-old Vin Scully, two older men who are still among the very best at their profession.
Tim McCarver isn't. This was even more pointedly seen during the 2011 postseason, when McCarver had to miss a couple of games and Terry Francona -- a man with almost literally zero broadcasting experience -- filled in more than capably. McCarver's like your weird old uncle who keeps showing up at family reunions because he thinks he's the life of the party, when all you'd like to do is not even be in the same hemisphere with him.
Please, Fox. Please, Tim. Find a way to gracefully announce McCarver's retirement from broadcasting, so we can hear someone more competent on the 2013 postseason games.