We’ve heard a lot about MLB players opting out of the 2020 season, but not much about broadcasters. On Wednesday, a significant name in the broadcasting has decided not to participate in the 2020 season – St. Louis Cardinals analyst Tim McCarver.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, McCarver was keen on calling games in 2020, and said as much last week. But then his doctor gave his opinion, and the long-time national and local analyst decided to stay in Florida instead of going to St. Louis for game broadcasts on Fox Sports Midwest.
Cardinals Hall of Famer Tim McCarver, who also is a Hall of Fame broadcaster, said Tuesday night he had decided not to travel from Florida to do Cardinals telecasts for Fox Sports Midwest, even though the travel would be to St. Louis for every game.
In an interview last week with the Post-Dispatch, McCarver said he was “ready to go” for the 2020 telecasts.
“My doctor obviously had an input in this,” said McCarver, 78, on Tuesday. “He recommended that I not work because of the travel and because of the obvious things (the coronavirus).
“I told him I started my Cardinal career (in 1959) with a mask on and it is not my intention to end it with a different one with a different texture,” said McCarver. “I got a laugh out of it from him.”
The travel is where it seems like the issue is with McCarver. If he was already in St. Louis, I wouldn’t be surprised if he called games this year for the Cardinals. But the risks in traveling, especially from Florida, to St. Louis for a 78-year old were probably too much when looked at objectively.
McCarver himself also seems to have made peace with the decision, and said he has no regrets.
“It wasn’t a tough decision once I analyzed my health and my age, even though I feel fine,” said McCarver. “There’s no damage as far as I know.
“But I know I’m making the right call. I’ll be 79 in October, but I feel young. I’m not sure whether I look young but I feel young. But next year seems like 15 years from now, for all of us.”
Asked if he would miss his job, McCarver said, “I’m not sure what I’m missing. I don’t know whether I’ll miss it or not. But I have no regrets about anything. The choice is clear — at least it was for me.”
I’m not sure if McCarver is the first broadcaster to opt out of the 2020 season, but I don’t think he’ll be the last, even with the season set to start next week. Last month, Brewers radio broadcaster Bob Uecker, now 86, said he would be returning to the booth for his 50th season with the franchise. As of today, there doesn’t appear to have been a change to those plans.