A Call to Arms

Each autumn, his voice enters homes all over America through the television; no, I’m not talking about the Fox promo-guy making the new fall line-up sound like World War III.  

He has made remarkable strides towards ruining every baseball postseason of the 21st century; and I’m not referring to George Steinbrenner.  

You can almost hear Joe Buck cringe as he bumbles his way through playoff game after playoff game; and now we all know who I’m implying, the infamous Tim McCarver.

I considered saving this blog until the playoffs, building up material against McCarver and listing them here, but that’s been done before and this matter is too urgent to wait that long anyhow, (I have this fantasy that thousands of Frappers will simultaneously rise from their computer screens upon finishing this reading and form an impromptu march on Fox Sports headquarters).   It’s been well documented and discussed that McCarver says stupid things on the air; I even found a website dedicated to compiling these “gems.”  While these inane comments certainly irritate me, they are not what inspire the deep level of disgust that McCarver brings to my life.  After all, most popular “color-men” make their share of stupid comments; John Madden and Rex Hudler come to mind.  And while my reaction to the latter two is often an eye roll or groan, my reaction to McCarver usually involves my roommates stopping me from taking a hammer to our TV.  

I find it interesting, when watching a McCarver announced game with someone new, to wait for them to react before I do . . . and they invariably do.  In fact, I’ve heard people bring up how much they hate McCarver during games he’s not even announcing.  What I find most fascinating is that most people tend to believe that McCarver is biased against their favorite team.  At first, I took this as a sign that these fans were being irrational, and simply looking for something to complain about; after all, how could the man be biased against all 30 major league teams?  But the more I thought about it, I realized that this gets to the heart of what I hate about him so much:  He is biased against every team!  This washed up catcher will watch a slow motion replay of a bunt down the third base line while ripping apart the fielder for thinking it would roll foul, which of course is painfully obvious in slow motion.  He’ll criticize pitching moves by the manager with the best bullpen in baseball, as if it was dumb luck that got the coach through the regular season.  Apparently, McCarver is of the school of thought that a good TV announcer finds each mistake – or even potential mistake – and dissects it, explaining to the fans at home why said player or manager should replace their local village idiot.  Obviously we want our announcers to discuss errors or misplayed balls, but second guessing decisions that happen in a split second, when it’s not even clear that it was the wrong decision, is a bit hyper-critical.  

What I’m most concerned about is that McCarver’s style will catch on.  He must be stopped before the new generation of color analysts is making it impossible to watch games without the sound on mute!  And while we’re at the job of getting McCarver fired, let’s start auditioning for the soon to be vacant microphone in the booth, I vote we give the Fox promo guy first dibs.  

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