Yes. After last night, we will no longer be subjected to Tim McCarver trying to call an All-Star game. About 20 years too late, but I’ll take it.
I’m going to give McCarver the benefit of the doubt a little bit. I’m going to assume that SOME of the stupid things he says are based on commands from FOX. Like the Manny Machado play last night. I’m sure that once Machado entered the game, the truck told McCarver that they had his play from a few weeks ago all cued up. He just needed a way to get it on the air. So, when Machado backhanded a ball and threw out a slow runner, he made a big deal about it. Then he could easily segue from that “great” play to another great play by Machado. I get that.
What still baffles me is the baseball stuff. He’s been watching baseball for a long time. His seemingly spontaneous amazement over mundane things is incredible. Take the Brandon Phillips double play. I’d understand if he had direction from FOX once again to find a reason to replay the double play he turned from earlier in the year. I even get it if he was trying to make a bigger deal out of it than it really was as a way to promote the game, or Phillips himself. It was the giggling. He actually chuckled to himself before he could get out an amazed, “bare handed double play.” Was this the first time McCarver had seen a bare handed double play turned? He didn’t realize that not only are they fairly common…but they’re the way you’re supposed to do it? I think it was Barry Larkin that I once saw give a tutorial on how when he absolutely needed to use his glove to slow down a hard toss, he didn’t catch the ball. He just used the back of his glove to deflect the ball to his bare hand. But, last night using a bare hand makes McCarver giggle with glee? Huh?
Unfortunately, I’m guessing that having McCarver gone won’t solve all the problems with the broadcast. The in-game interviews are beyond annoying. Last night they interviewed Tom Seaver during the game. Seaver was going on and on about how exciting the game was. While he’s doing this, FOX is showing him on screen. Not the game! Sometimes they would go split screen with it. But, they made the Seaver portion bigger than the actual game. They didn’t take the hint and actually show the game that was apparently so good to watch. And they kept doing it. Here’s a hint FOX. If you constantly imply that the actual game is the least interesting part of the broadcast, people are going to start to believe it. If you want to use the audio to have an interview, I’ll allow it. But, keep the camera on the game! The whole reason that MLB manages to get away with the ridiculous fan voting is that they think it lets the fans select players they want to see play. Then FOX ignores those players to show us off-field antics.
Why would they do that?