MLB on FOX lead analyst Tim McCarver is entering a new phase of his career: the one in which he must be referred to as "Hall of Fame broadcaster Tim McCarver." Thus, we enter the 2012 baseball season wondering if McCarver might actually step up his game and provide color commentary worthy of such an honor (or, at least, stop dragging down Joe Buck). After one week of watching, the signs point toward "no." (We were out of town for Opening Weekend, and thus missed Buck & McCarver's first game together this season.)
What's the key to a Yankees victory? "Keep shaking hands," says McCarver, meaning the victory handshakes that come after a victory. Wait, the key to winning is..to..win? No wonder McCarver rejects advanced baseball statistics; he ignores the events of a baseball game itself entirely! In the McCarver cosmology, sports are predestined and only the "elect" go on to win. Is Tim McCarver Lutheran?
Tim McCarver helpfully informs the audience that "14 flat" refers to seconds. Thanks, Tim! That's the kind of inside baseball to which casual fans are usually blind. Also, thanks, but "14 flat" is actually inaccurate according to the expert on such matters, Larry Granillo.
Maybe a bit nit-picky here, but if you're going to talk about the Minnesota Vikings' famed Purple People Eaters you should probably already know it was a 4-3 defense, thus lacking a nose guard. (Yes, some 4-3 defenses use nose guards. The Vikings did not.)
The way to avoid hitting the ball to the left is to go right! Or up the middle! You could also strike out and thus not hit the ball in any direction! Baseball is truly a game of unlimited options.
Right, nobody ever talks about how great an athlete Jackie Robinson was, other than everyone. (Even b/r!)
To induce ground balls, throw the ball outside, not inside. (Actually, throwing inside works too.)
Ahh, here's some classic McCarver. Sure, the importance of a starting pitcher is debatable, but is the closer really the second-most important player on a team? Let's ask Mariano Rivera, who has a long career as the game's most dominating closer and yet is not even in the top three on his own team in career WAR.
All told, McCarver actually did pretty well last week. Most of his inaccuracies were barely relevant to baseball anyway, and he avoided the usual mistakes like not knowing Egypt is in Africa. Our grade for McCarver this week—using the standard professional baseball system levels—is AAA.