Tag: Tim McCarver

Thought Provoking Tim McCarver Comment Highlights HOF Awards Presentation

On October 10, 1964, the late Mickey Mantle led off in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 3 of the World Series. The score was tied at 1-1, and the Yankees and the St. Louis Cardinals were tied at one game each. Barney Schultz was pitching for the Redbirds. Tim McCarver was calling signals behind the plate.

A knuckleball specialist pitching in his first ever World Series, Schultz had just been summoned into the game by St. Louis manager Johnny Keane.

Mantle deposited Schultz’s first pitch into the third tier of the old Yankee Stadium.

In accepting the Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in broadcasting during the Second Annual Hall of Fame Awards Presentation this afternoon in Cooperstown, New York, McCarver, the longtime Fox Baseball analyst, got off the line of the day when he told the crowd at Doubleday Field what he remembered about that homerun.

Watching Mantle round the bases McCarver was reflective. “As a catcher,” he said, ” I have never been prouder than seeing a pitch that I called travel that far a distance,”

The crowd at Doubleday roared with delight. But it was another McCarver observation that really got the audience’s attention.

According to McCarver, three decades ago the number of African-Americans in the major leagues was at an all-time high. Twenty-eight percent of the players in The Show were African-Americans. Today, he indicated, only eight percent of all the men playing in the big leagues are African-Americans.

“We need to increase African-American participation in baseball,” McCarver contended.

McCarver doesn’t just talk the talk, he walks the walk too. He recently made a significant monetary donation to help build a new baseball facility in his native Tennessee so that inner-city youth and disadvantaged children will be afforded the opportunity to play baseball. While that certainly is commendable, I doubt that it will be successful.

The Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) Program has been attempting to remedy this since 1989.

Torii Hunter, of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, has been vocal about this issue for years. So has Hall of Famer Joe Morgan. So have a lot of columnists.

And yet, the numbers are what they are. What can be done over and above what has already been done since the inception of RBI 23 years ago?

Seems to me that basketball and football have long been acknowledged as an African-American teenager’s ticket out of poverty. Frankly, I just don’t see that changing anytime soon. No matter how well intended cerebral thinkers such as Tim McCarver may be.

Bob Elliott, the first Canadian to ever win the Baseball Writers Association of America’s JG. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing, was also honored at today’s ceremonies.


 (Doug Gladstone is a Contributor for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained first-hand.)

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Tom Tresh’s Clutch HR in Game 5 of the 1964 World Series Raised Fans’ Hopes

The New York Yankees were trailing the St. Louis Cardinals, 2-0 in the top of the eighth inning of Game 5 of the 1964 World Series. It was time for me to leave the television and go to the bus stop. I had a five o’clock statistics class at NYU.

I took my books and, of course, my small, blue transistor radio. As I waited for the bus, I heard Harry Caray say that Pete Mikkelson was taking over for Hal Reniff with Cardinals’ runners on first and second and one out. The radio reception on the bus wasn’t good, but I managed to figure out that Reniff got out of the jam.

Bob Gibson retired the Yankees quickly in the bottom of the eighth inning and it took Mikkelson even less time to retire the Cards in the ninth.

I was feeling depressed because things weren’t going well when, with two outs and Mickey Mantle on second base, Caray’s voice made me feel happier than a fat kid whose mother had just given him a cookie and more tense than a father waiting the birth of his first baby.

Tommy Tresh had hit a home run to tie the game.

By the time I stepped off the bus and started walking to the subway, it was the Cardinals’ half of the 10th inning. I walked very slowly because there would be no radio reception once I walked down the stairs.

It was a nice sunny fall day, but that was irrelevant to me. I didn’t see people, I didn’t see the traffic and the only reason that I almost saw the Ridgewood Savings Bank was because I had seen it so often.

There really was a problem. I had to go into the subway but I had to listen to the game. I really didn’t care if I were late to the statistics class, but I knew that something would make me enter the subway and wait about 40 excruciating minutes before I found out what happened.

Mikkelson, whom I never trusted because he often lacked control, walked Bill White to lead off the 10th inning. White was fast and Mikkelson had trouble holding runners on.

Ken Boyer, the cleanup hitter, bunted. I’ll repeat that for younger fans who will never see a cleanup hitter bunt. Boyer pushed a bunt toward the right side and beat it out.

Now we were in trouble. I stopped just before the entrance to the subway. The Ridgewood Savings Bank was to my right and the roar of Queens Blvd. traffic, which interfered with the sound coming out of my cheap $2 “Boy’s Radio,” was on the left.

I held the radio close to my ear. Bill White stole third to put runners on first and third with no outs, but Dick Groat hit a ground ball to Pedro Gonzalez to force Boyer at second. White held third.

I no longer was concerned about being late to class. I no longer felt any tension. I no longer felt any joy. To this day, I will never forgive Tim McCarver or Pete Mikkelson.

McCarver hit a three-run home run, Gibson pitched a complete game six-hitter, striking out 13, not allowing an earned run.

I raised the hand carrying the radio and turned toward the wall of the bank. As I was about to smash it  to smithereens, I remembered that I would need it for the sixth game. It was not a happy subway ride.

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World Series Game 2: Tim McCarver Was Wrong, Albert Pujols Did Not Make an Error

Albert Pujols did not make an error on center fielder John Jay’s throw toward home plate in Game 2 of the 2011 World Series. Tim McCarver made an error because he doesn’t know the meaning of Rule 10.12(a)(8).

“The official scorer shall charge an error against any fielder.. whose failure to stop, or try to stop, an accurately thrown ball permits a runner to advance.”

Here is a link to a video of the play.

John Jay’s throw home was weak. Jay got his hand on the side of the ball, as the throw had some curve action to Pujols’ glove side, ducking down and away and ultimately under Pujols’ glove.

Pujols was coming over from first base to be the cutoff man. He lined up at a slight angle to home plate, took a step and then a second.

Pujols then lunged in an attempt to get the slightly errant throw that wound up to the third base side of home plate, at least 15 feet off the mark.

Since it was not an accurate throw, under Rule 10.12(a)(8), Pujols did not make an error.

If Jay had made an accurate throw, Pujols would have cut it off easily. A fielder doesn’t have to lunge for an accurate throw.

Tim McCarver spoke. Who has the temerity to challenge the words of Tim McCarver? Certainly not Jack Buck’s son and certainly not official scorers Jeff Durbin, Ken Davidoff and Joe Ostermeier.

According to McCarver, it was simple. Some things are difficult, such as predicting where the batter will hit the ball, but this was easy.

Albert Pujols had to be charged with an error because, according to McCarver, Pujols actually touched the errant throw. That prevented catcher Yadier Molina to throw out Elvis Andrus at second base.

The key is that the official scorers did not charge Pujols with an error, McCarver continued to whine, apparently to no avail, but the mainstream media allows the public to know only what they want the public to know.

Well after the game had ended, the official scorers decided that McCarver was right. After all, he is a former player. He is an expert analyst. He is Tim McCarver.

Pujols was charged with an error. So much for integrity.

That bastion of fair, unbiased reporting, the New York Post, reported that the official scorers changed their collective minds after numerous reviews. Other media outlets’ “experts” agreed with McCarver’s snap judgment which, based on the rule and replays, was dead wrong.

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Baseball and Pro Wrestling: More Similar Than You Think

What image do you get when you think of both baseball and professional wrestling?

You never think of the two as being “peas in a pod.”

And the only similarities you might think of are the vast amounts of steroids used by their stars.

However, the two sports share a similarity that goes beyond comparing Barry Bonds’ physique to that of Triple-H. Both sports are American institutions.

American institutions that are slowly losing interest.

The reason ironically is because of their attempts to “cater” to the casual fan.

Baseball has Yankees-Red Sox, while pro wrestling has John Cena-Randy Orton.

Both are long rivalries that were exciting at first but now we’re just sick of, and both will intensify again after Thanksgiving, with the Yankees and Red Sox fighting over the latest prize free agents, while at least the WWE will go into a different direction with Cena and Orton, and Orton will be a face while Cena will be the heel.

These rivalries are what Major League Baseball and the WWE think that people want to see.

There might be some truth to that—the Yankees and Red Sox do pull in higher ratings than most other teams—while the WWE’s ratings are higher when John Cena is around.

But this has done nothing but turn off the die-hards.

In wrestling, the die-hards want to see newer wrestlers get a push. They’re waiting for the day when John Morrison, The Miz, Alberto Del Rio, and other newer, fresher faces get their turn.

In baseball, true fans want to see teams be featured on ESPN and Fox other than the Red Sox, Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs, Cardinals and Phillies. 

Thankfully in baseball, as long as the good teams win, they get the attention of the press—well, sort of.

The San Francisco Giants had an excellent team with a great pitching staff this year. Because of that they won their first World Series since 1954, which was four years before they moved to San Francisco.

But all I heard about this series from ESPN were questions about where Cliff Lee was going to wind up and if the Yankees, who ironically were eliminated by Lee and his Rangers, would make a push toward him.

ESPN might as well hire Michael Cole based off of how they talk about the non-marquee franchises, especially compared to their constant over-hyping of the Red Sox. They were doing everything but dismissing the Giants like they were just a mediocre NBA team who won the eighth seed in the East.

So what will the solution be for baseball? Oh, more wild cards, great.

The current system in baseball is fine. Three division champions, one wild card per league. Four playoff teams in each league, one goal.

Now their plan is to have two wild cards face each other in a play-in series, which is a mistake. 

Say a team finishes with the second best record in the National League, yet is second in their division. Why would they have to play against a team that finished second in a weaker division and is more than five games back of the first wild card team?

Isn’t 162 games enough?

Wrestling fans probably feel the same way about Vince’s “Brand Extension,” which looks more and more like it will be slowly phased out.

The Brand Extension, for those of you who aren’t into wrestling and clicked on the article because I mentioned baseball, was the splitting up of the WWE roster into Raw and Smackdown, their two shows. The reason being to cut down on travel and employ more wrestlers.

But this ended up just diluting the titles. Right now there’s a WWE Champion, and a World Heavyweight Champion. 

Who’s the real champ?

Yes, I know, maybe wrestling and baseball are completely different, but not in the treatment of the hardcore fans in an attempt to appeal to casual fans.

To bring in casual fans, both need drama. With baseball its already there, but it isn’t being packaged correctly, unless of course its Yankees-Red Sox. Adding more playoff teams won’t solve this problem, it will only make it worse.

Wrestling its all about packaging to create the drama, and they seem to be back on the right track.

Maybe Baseball needs to take some pointers from pro wrestling, and no I don’t mean they should start fixing games, but knowing how Bud Selig, Fox and ESPN think, I wouldn’t put it past them.

After all the last time they did, attendance did go up.

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