Earlier this year Tim McCarver announced he was retiring from the Fox booth after this baseball season and his 23rd World Series this fall. But lest you think McCarver is walking away from announcing to be with his wine collection and cut another album or two, think again.
McCarver spoke with Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated and made it clear he was still leaving Fox, but wanted to stay in the broadcasting business in a more part time capacity. From the SI media column:
McCarver is not retiring from broadcasting. He emphasized this when Fox announced last March that he was leaving the booth at the end of season and again last week when SI.com sat down with him at Citi Field. He will take a long-awaited vacation in France after the baseball season is over, and as a wine connoisseur, plans to spend plenty of time at his home in Napa, Calif. “I don’t want to speculate on what I am going to do, but I am not retiring,” McCarver said. “I’m just backing away from the All-Star Game and the postseason. I will be involved in baseball, perhaps minisculely, if that is a word. I was prepared to do nothing next year or something, and what that something is, I don’t know. I don’t know the answer to that, but I think I will after I’m away from it for a couple of months.”
What will be next? McCarver would be a major name for a local baseball broadcast or for the MLB Network. If he were willing to consider a studio role, he’d likely have his pick of spots, including Fox Sports 1. (He has ruled out ESPN as a landing spot.) As for a studio role, McCarver said he still likes going to the ballpark. “I have not had any feelers or anything like that,” McCarver said. “I just don’t know. That’s why I just can’t speculate … I have never been a position where I am backing off and not being in this sport. Can I do a few games if I want to? Yeah, but I don’t know if a network wants a part-time guy who comes in when he wants to. I would think from their standpoint, they would want to bind me to them contractually in some way.”
If McCarver doesn’t want to travel a lot and still likes being at the ballpark, I can certainly see him making an arrangement with a west coast team to call some of their games as an analyst. With 162 games over the course of the year, you already have several franchises that split their TV broadcasts between various personnel. If Fox Sports 1 picks up MLB games, that’s always an option as well for select telecasts. The same would be true for MLB Network. As he tells Deitsch, it’s unlikely to picture Tim McCarver in a studio since he’s been calling games in the booth for more than a generation. However, given his long affiliation with Fox, I’m willing to predict the two will find some arrangement to work out so McCarver can continue to call a few games each year.
If McCarver does stick around in some way, at least that ensures his spot on our Mount Rushmore for the foreseeable future.