Tim McCarver, shown bottom right with the 1980 Phillies broadcast team with Andy Musser, Harry Kalas and Richie Ashburn, will retire from broadcasting at the end of the 2013 season. Photo: Phillies.com
Tim McCarver, a former Philadelphia Phillies player and broadcaster and the longtime voice of baseball analysis on national network television coverage of Major League Baseball, will retire at the end of the 2013 season.
RT @richarddeitsch: Tim McCarver will end his Fox Sports broadcasting career at the end of 2013. "It is time to cut back."— Macho Row (@Macho_Row) March 27, 2013
RT @ourand_sbj: Fox's big announcement: This will be Tim McCarver's final season calling MLB games.— Macho Row (@Macho_Row) March 27, 2013
McCarver's days were certainly behind him but his career as a baseball broadcaster remains one of the more respected in the industry. He started his announcing career right here in Philadelphia, as a member of the Phillies broadcast team with WPHL. McCarver joined the dynamic duo of Harry Kalas and Richie Ashburn and picked up gigs hosting a show on HBO and pitching in with broadcast duties for NBC's game of the week in 1980. McCarver has been one of the top in-booth analysts since then, taking on roles along side the likes of everyone from Howard Cosell to Al Michaels and Sean McDonough and of course Joe Buck and our very own Tom McCarthy.
In fairness, this decision comes at a good time for FOX Sports. The FOX Sports brand continues to expand with a new cable network and expanding sports coverage, which means the network needs to attract as many new viewers as possible in order to compete with the competition from ESPN and the growing NBC Sports and CBS Sports brands. McCarver has long been criticized for his broadcast style and commentary, with many younger viewers easily turned off by his commentary throughout a game. With this being the final year for McCarver in the booth, FOX Sports can now begin to figure out who the next partner for Buck will be for the big games airing on FOX. This figures to be a role filled by a former baseball player that fans are in favor of and may have even seen play a game or two.
While the retirement of McCarver will surely bring a season-long retirement party on the airwaves in every new city he visits, it may get a bit nauseating at some point. This is just pure speculation on my behalf of course, but I am sure there will be pregame ceremonies of some sort for McCarver in St. Louis, where he played the first decade of his playing career, and in Philadelphia, where he played in the late 1970s as the Phillies were building a World Series champion and contender and started his broadcast career.
We'll deal with it. McCarver's career is a storied one for sure, and I for one wish him the best in his final year on the job and after that. We may have heard all of his baseball stories, some multiple times, but I admit I would not mind sitting and talking baseball with McCarver any time.