Deconstructing McCarver

There used to be a baseball announcer named Richie Ashburn (Google him, Youtube him, do what you gotta do). If you were ever fortunate enough to listen to him you'll know why we dislike Tim McCarver.

Ashburn knew baseball inside and out... played it, lived it, cherished it. But he never seemed to care if you knew how much he knew. He knew the gift of silence. The gift of humor. The fact that baseball at its core is still a relaxing, pastoral game where every nanosecond does not need to be filled with insight.

To listen to 'Whitey' Ashburn and Harry Kalas was to hear things like -- "He looks hitterish Harry." "This umpire's calling balls and strikes like he has someplace to go." At 4 a.m. during an insane extra-inning game "I know it's late for a lot of people Harry but for you it's the shank of the evening."

Maybe the time for a soothing, self-deprecating Ashburn style is past. Maybe now every announcer needs a Joe Buck level of self-appreciation. But if you've ever watched a game where a broadcaster who never got beyond Little League takes 17 minutes to explain where to position the corner infielders in the 8th inning with a three-run lead and less than two out with a sinkerball pitcher on the mound and a pull hitter up and it's a Tuesday and the pollen count is low and what happened when Van Lingle Mungo faced Ted Kluszewski in a similar situation... thank Tim McCarver. He started it all.