McCarver Prepping For His Final World Series Call, But He Wants Focus On The Games
Fox' Tim McCarver will call his 24th and final World Series beginning tonight, and MLB this morning released a special commemorative online video honoring him. The three-minute clip, developed by MLB Productions, showcases McCarver during historic moments of many World Series over the past two-and-a-half decades (Eric Fisher, Staff Writer). McCarver on Monday said that he is "a little concerned about people making a big deal out of his swan song" broadcast of the World Series. He said Fox has "just been terrific ... in understanding what I want, and what I want is for the Series to be about the players and the game. But believe me, I'm elated, I'm delighted, and I've made it perfectly clear that the person I'm going to miss the most after things have subsided is Joe Buck." Fox Sports co-President & co-COO Eric Shanks on Monday said that it is "too early to speculate" on any talent hirings for '14 (MLB.com, 10/21). In St. Louis, Dan Caesar writes Fox has been "remarkably restrained regarding McCarver’s exit all season, honoring his wishes." This despite the fact that TV networks "love to drum up publicity for anything they think can lure extra viewers" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 10/23). In San Diego, John Maffei writes he has "never been a McCarver fan," as he finds him to be a "master of the obvious." Maffei: "Often I question his commentary where strategy is concerned. That, however, doesn't mean I don't respect the man for what he accomplished on the field and his longevity in the booth. And I think it's fitting his last hurrah as a player and broadcaster finds him calling one of his old teams ... the Cardinals" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 10/23). The N.Y. TIMES' Richard Sandomir gets some of McCarver's former broadcast partners to speak about his career.
UTILITY PLAYER: In Baltimore, David Zurawik writes MLB Network's Bill Ripken, who will be part of the net's World Series coverage, is "engaging and insightful" as an analyst. Ripken called one game with Bob Costas this year, but said he would rather be in the studio "if you were going to give me the choice." Ripken: "There's a lot more you can do. ... In studio, you have a way and you have some time to see something that maybe happened the night before. And in your pregame, you can really address it." He said of how he feels he has done this season, "The people up at the network seem to think I have enough versatility to get the job done. I seem to be in pretty decent standing up there. I don't know, maybe I found a niche" (Baltimore SUN, 10/23).
ENERGETIC ECKERSLEY: SPORTS ON EARTH'S Kevin Koczwara profiles NESN analyst Dennis Eckersley, whose "energy practically pulses off the television." He "feels the game," and even though he "used to play, he says he's not there to educate fans." He said, "I'm not there to teach. I'm there to bring excitement to the game." Koczwara notes Eckersley "feeds off the exhilaration that live TV brings." It "took time for Eckersley to harness his energy and adjusting to working in the moment." NESN's Don Orsillo "helped him focus and bring out the personality that Eckersley displayed this season during games." Orsillo let Eckersley's "famous and particular way of speaking emerge, too, by giving him the comfort he needed to be himself" (SPORTSONEARTH.com, 10/23).