Tim McCarver

Sports Media Weekly No. 169- Tom Hoffarth, LA Daily News

With Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I being avid Red Sox fans, we hope you can understand why we have an abbreviated version of Sports Media Weekly this week on the doorstep of game one of the World Series.

Our guest this week is Tom Hoffarth, sports media columnist for the Los Angeles Daily News.

We begin the show discussing this year’s Fall Classic, the last for Fox Sports analyst Tim McCarver.  The three of us acknowledge that McCarver may not be as sharp an analyst as he once was, but I, for one, applaud his long broadcasting career.

We next tap into Tom’s expertise in asking whether the Dodgers have taken some of the luster off the Lakers shine as being the most-favored professional team in southern California.

We resume our talk from a few weeks ago about the naming controversy surrounding the Washington Redskins by examining how much damage ESPN College Football Gameday analyst Lee Corso may have caused by appearing in war paint and native American dress in picking Florida State to beat Clemson last Saturday.

We conclude the show looking at the final pieces of ESPN’s NBA Countdown being put in place with the announcement that Sage Steele will serve as host of the Friday and Sunday editions of the show.

McCarver Stepping out of Fox Baseball Booth at Season’s End

Fox Sports announced today that longtime baseball analyst Tim McCarver is stepping down from his lead MLB on FOX position upon conclusion of this season’s World Series.

Here are the details from Fox PR:

“I’ve informed FOX Sports that I will not seek to extend my contract to broadcast baseball past the 2013 season,” said McCarver.  “Although I am neither tired of broadcasting baseball nor have I in any way lost my interest in baseball, with which I have been associated as a player and broadcaster for 55 years, it’s time to cut back.  Since 1996, my time with Joe Buck has been filled with some of the most memorable moments in the game’s magnificent history. I am very proud to have been a part of all the things that make this game so special for all of us who follow it day-to-day, week-to-week and year-to-year. Finally, to the gifted men and women at FOX with whom I’ve worked with over the last 17 years, your work has been exemplary and unmatched. You’re the best in the business and it has been a privilege.”

“Tim’s longevity as a lead network analyst is the result of hard work and his commitment to provide the best, honest analysis possible, and his decision to step down came as a surprise to us,” said FOX Sports Co-President and COO Eric Shanks.  “On behalf of everyone at FOX Sports and generations of baseball fans, David (Hill), Ed (Goren), Randy (Freer) and I would like to thank Tim for everything he has done for FOX since 1996 and baseball over the last 55 years.  We’re just glad we get to enjoy his friendship and savor his expertise one more season.”

McCarver, whose uninterrupted run as a major league player and broadcaster began in 1959, has worked 28 consecutive MLB postseasons on network television dating back to 1984, providing analysis for a record 23 World Series and 20 All-Star Games.  His voice and spot-on analysis are synonymous with many of baseball’s biggest moments over the last 30 years, earning him wide critical acclaim, three straight Emmy Awards for “Outstanding Sports Event Analyst” (2000-02) and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s 2012 Ford C. Frick Award for his unparalleled broadcast career.  McCarver has teamed with Joe Buck, his MLB on FOX play-by-play partner, a record 17 years as the network’s lead national baseball broadcast team.  No baseball broadcasting tandem has called more World Series (15) and All-Star Games (14).

“It was my great fortune to be paired with Tim as a kid back in 1996,” said Buck.  “It gave me instant credibility and helped shaped my career.  Tim is the best ever to do what he does, the ultimate professional and the best first-guesser in the history of this business.  I have always been proud to call him my partner, and I’m prouder still to call him my friend.  I will be forever grateful to him for both parts of our relationship, and I’m going to miss him next year.”

Sports Media Digest- December 7, 2011

Here are some sports media news briefs from today…

  • The big news of the day comes from the NFL as it was announced that the week 15 NFL schedule will remain in tact.  NBC was looking to flex the New England/Denver match-up to Sunday Night Football but was thwarted by CBS.  CBS will still have that game at 4:15p.m. ET.  NBC will stay with its original match-up of the Baltimore Ravens at San Diego Chargers.
  • NFL action continues to register well in the ratings.  For week 13, NFL games were the number one rated program once again in 28 of the 30 NFL markets.
  • The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum today announced that Fox baseball analyst Tim McCarver has been named the 2012 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually for excellence in baseball broadcasting.  McCarver has been an analyst on Major League games for over three decades and will receive the award during Hall of Fame Weekend, July 20-23, in Cooperstown, New York.
  • Tiger Woods’ first professional win in two years translated in solid ratings numbers for NBC.  Sunday’s final round of the Chevron World Challenge registered a rating of 2.4 , an increase of 13% over the 2010 tournament.
  • HBO’s next card of professional boxing takes place this Saturday night from Washington, DC.  Amir Khan will take on Lamont Peterson and Seth Mitchell will battle Timur Ibragimov beginning at 9:45p.m. ET.
  • CBS Sports Network has entered into an agreement with the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) to televise 27 live events a year.  The network is scheduled to provide over 55 hours of live coverage beginning with the first event of the PBR season on January 7, 2012 from Madison Square Garden.

Francona to Join Buck in Fox Booth for First Two Games of ALCS

Fox Sports today announced that former Red Sox Manager Terry Francona will serve as color analyst with play-by-play man Joe Buck for the first two games of the American League Championship Series (ALCS).

Francona will fill-in for Tim McCarver, who will be sidelined due to a minor heart-related procedure he will undergo later this week.  McCarver is expected to return to the booth with Buck for game three of the series on Tuesday night.

The ALCS begins this Saturday at 7:30p.m. ET.

Why Live Blog?

I consider myself pretty savvy when it comes to trends in technology and the sharing of information.  Heck, I started a blog, didn’t I?

But there is one aspect of blogging that I cannot entirely embrace…the practice of live blogging.

First of all, let’s all agree that live blogging is a misnomer.  Live blogging is by no means live.  I refuse to use the term any further.  Let’s call it what it is…event blogging or, in the world of sports, in-game blogging.   By the time a blogger pens an in-game post and it’s sent to the blog, appropriate time has passed to classify the information as old news. 

I’m not saying that event blogging doesn’t have its place.  If you’re a blogger at an exclusive event, or one that is not well attended,  providing insight from that event adds some exclusivity for the blogger.  The inside scoop if you will.

Much was made last spring when the NCAA came down on Brian Bennett of the Louisville Courier-Journal for providing in-game blogging of an NCAA Regional Baseball game involving the Louisville Cardinals.  Bennett had his credential revoked, with the NCAA claiming he violated a rule of providing “live” updates of an event to which he did not have the rights. 

What I find puzzling is in-game blogging of a sporting event like the World Series.  What information can one blogging from the event provide readers that they aren’t getting from the nationally televised broadcast of the game?  It makes no sense to me.

Looking at the four major newspapers that cover the Red Sox and the Rockies in Game 1, three of the four have blogs for the teams.  Both Boston papers, the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald, provided in-game blogging of the Sox’ 13-1 rout of Colorado.  In Denver, only the Denver Post provides a sports blog on the Rockies, but there was no in-game coverage of Game 1.

Back to Boston, Rob Bradford’s Herald Blog provided more than just what was happening on the field.  Bradford mixed in statistics and notes that was probably not noted by Joe Buck or Tim McCarver on Fox.  That’s great, but how many people were glued to their computer monitor waiting for these tidbits?  Bradford could have easily assembled those facts and posted them as part of the Herald’s online post game coverage.

The most disappointing in-game blogging came from the Boston Globe.  In its Extra Bases Blog, reporter Amalie Benjamin used the space to rehash what happened after each inning.  I’m sorry, that’s a waste of good bandwidth. 

The Herald, Globe, and Denver Post do a good job of using their blogs to provide the pre-game flavor at Fenway Park.  That’s cool.  You won’t get that information in too many places.  That has a purpose. 

The newspapers are not alone in providing this useless in-game blogging.  Many independent blogs also attempt the practice.  At least the reporters at the game can provide some insight into the action.  Independent bloggers often provide nothing in terms of pertinent information.  The independent bloggers often use this in-game blogging as a way to criticize and mock either the players, announcers, or both.  Again, why can’t they assemble this material for a comprehensive post-game post?  Why is the in-game aspect a draw?

As much as I don’t think in-game blogging is effective I would never say a blogger shouldn’t partake in the process.  I’m sure if there wasn’t an audience they wouldn’t do it.  It’s just not for me.