Deal With It: McCarver Wins the Ford Frick Award

Forgive me, but this post is (largely) not very funny. Some of you might argue that my posts are never funny. Those people are wrong. Wrongity, wrongity, wrong. To quote the great Lt. Steven Hauk:


Anyway, there are a couple agitators in the comments section around here who are distraught…in every post…that Tim McCarver has won the Ford C. Frick Award. On the one hand, it’s a little understandable. Tim McCarver has been off the top of his game for quite some time now. He still has a strong handle on what a pitcher and catcher are thinking at a given moment, and especially about catcher technique, but it’s entirely reasonable for someone to conclude, based on his recent body of work, that McCarver’s selection is ridiculous.

But one of my favorite things about baseball is being able to talk about the past. In the past, Wally Moon’s unibrow was deemed by God so beautiful that He modeled the caterpillar on it. In the past, a doof like Ron Davis was considered an intimidating closer. In the past, Don Zimmer had an average face. And, in the past…perhaps the distant past…Tim McCarver was a very good broadcaster of baseball games. He provided timely insight. His homespun wisdom was a little less homespun. He did his homework before games. And his clichés were not quite so clichéd. I have DVD evidence of this from the 1991 World Series.

I’m tired of the commenters I’ve read elsewhere denigrating Ron Santo, and the Veterans Committee’s decision to finally rectify one of the biggest oversights in Hall of Fame history. And I’m tired of people pretending that Tim McCarver didn’t have a career before he met up with Joe Buck. The guy was a very good color commentator, is undeniably an important figure in broadcasting history, and not every winner can be Vin Scully (though I wouldn’t mind Vin winning every year). So Timmy, this one’s for you:

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Mike Bates used to have a stupid pseudonym. Now he doesn't because people want to pay him to write about baseball on the Internet and he's really a sell out that way. He is also a Designated Columnist at SBNation, co-founder of The Platoon Advantage, and is an American Carpetbagger on Getting Blanked, the finest in Canadian baseball-type sites. His favorite word is paradigm. Follow him on Twitter here:

9 Responses to “Deal With It: McCarver Wins the Ford Frick Award”

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  1. nubillybaroo says:

    obviously the author of this post didn’t live NY in the 80’s and have to tolerate his horrible Mets broadcasts on WWOR channel 9.

    I roundly boooo this post.

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    • Bill@TPA says:

      I’ve never seen those, but I’ve recently rewatched the entire 1987 World Series, and he was excellent. Completely different from the McCarver I knew and hated.

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  2. SAmmy says:

    He ain’t no RIzzuto.

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  3. nubillybaroo says:

    Perhaps if/when he prepares he’s different… but 162 games a year with that grating voice on a small TV…

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    • I sympathize, Nubilly, but he’s also called 22 World Series (including the last 12), more than any other television broadcaster. Like it or not, he’s part of the fabric of October at this point.

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  4. Adam S says:

    I think because we have a high comfort level with what’s familiar, old broadcasters tend to stick around until they die (literally), long after they stop being good. And because they’re in the job so long, what was true, or at least generally accepted wisdom, 20 years ago may not be true today. Some adapt, but most don’t.

    McCarver is one of a number of Hall of Fame broadcasters who was had negative WARB in his later years.

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  5. Big Jgke says:

    Shoulda gone to Tom Cheek. Until he gets it, the award is dumb.

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  6. bowie says:

    a thought just occurred inside my brain… Tim McCarver and Huey Lewis, separated at birth

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