Every St. Louis Cardinals fan, or baseball fan for that matter, has an opinion on Tim McCarver as a broadcaster. That meant there were already opinions aplenty about him making his debut on FOX Sports Midwest last night to begin the 30 games he’ll broadcast with Dan McLaughlin this season.
I’ve never been reluctant to share my feelings about the quality of the broadcasters at FOX Sports Midwest — in a nutshell, as Cardinals fans we deserve better — nor that I take every opportunity possible to listen to optional broadcasts when I can, such as when the Cards play the Cubs or Brewers.
Yet I was curious to hear McCarver last night, willing to forego the chance to listen to FOX Sports Wisconsin. Yes, I too often found him annoying when he did games on FOX all these years. But the games on FOX Midwest are different since they’re local and not national. Would he be different too? (Plus, really, how could he be any worse than what we have to endure with whatever combination of McLaughlin, Al Hrabosky and Ricky Horton is on the air any given night?)
It didn’t take long to notice a difference from the usual broadcast. McCarver impressed me right away when he said that no only did he watch Wacha’s last start against the Mets, but he also picked up the phone and called Bob Gibson to talk more about Wacha’s pitching line from that day as well as his curveball and why he was throwing so many in the game. When the wind is in your face, Gibson said according to McCarver, that’s when your curveball works the best. And the curve worked both to Wacha’s benefit and detriment that day, as he was wild with it also.
Look at that — insightful broadcasting. Beats the heck out of hearing Al read yet again from that day’s media notes. And McCarver mentioned numerous times Cardinals games he’d watched this season and cited specific examples. Continue reading →
The St. Louis Cardinals today announced that every 2014 regular season game will be televised locally or nationally as well as broadcast on the Cardinals Radio Network.
In their 21st season with the team, FOX Sports Midwest is scheduled to carry 150 games in its fourth full season as the exclusive local TV home of the Cardinals. FOX Sports Midwest will also continue to produce the Cardinals Live pre and postgame shows for every regular season telecast on the network. This season, each telecast will originate from the network’s new television studio on the second level of Ballpark Village overlooking the FOX Sports Midwest Live! marketplace.
In 2013, Cardinals telecasts on FOX Sports Midwest generated the second highest local market television ratings in Major League Baseball, the 14th straight year in which the Cardinals ranked among the top three teams. FOX Sports Midwest-produced Cardinals telecasts are shown in nine states and available in approximately four million homes.
One step closer … and, once spring training does arrive, we’ll have more chances than ever to actually see and hear the Cardinals in action. Nearly all of their games will be on FOX Sports Midwest and the Cardinals Radio Network.
FOX Sports Midwest will televise an all-time-high 15 spring training games in 2014, one of the largest spring broadcast schedules in MLB. FOX Sports Midwest’s live spring training coverage has jumped from five games in 2012 to 10 in 2013 and 15 in 2014. The television home of the Cardinals kicks off its live game coverage on Friday, Feb. 28, when the Cardinals open Grapefruit League play vs. Miami at Roger Dean Stadium. That will be the first of six games against the Marlins.
The television schedule also features visits by the Red Sox, Mets, Twins, Tigers, Braves and Nationals. In addition, ESPN will broadcast the game at Boston on Monday, March 17. FOX Sports Midwest will replay each spring training telecast that night.
As in years past, veteran broadcasters Mike Shannon and John Rooney will broadcast 18 games on the team’s flagship station KMOX (AM 1120) and the Cardinals Radio Network, including the Cardinals’ exhibition game against the Memphis Redbirds at AutoZone Park in Memphis on Friday, March 28.
What do the just-retired greatest closer of all time, a Cardinal-turned-Dodger-now-turned Red and the Cardinals rookie sensation all have in common? Nothing, it would seem — yet posts we wrote about those three were what you read the most at Aaron Miles’ Fastball in 2013.
After looking at our picks for the top five stories of the year yesterday, we close out the year today with a look at the most-read posts. And, as you can already see, it’s certainly not a Cardinals only list — although of course they dominate the list. Just not at the top.
No, our No. 1 post of the year (in terms of readership numbers) is one about the man who is used to ending things instead of starting them, Mariano Rivera. Watching the All-Star Game tribute to Mo on July 16 reminded me of the time my Yankees friend Kat and I went to Busch Stadium in 2005 for the Yankees-Cardinals series. We had the opportunity to see something very few people probably even noticed before that Sunday’s game, which I wrote about in The Tale of Mariano Rivera and The Ball Thrown Out of Busch Stadium. It was a fun, entertaining post — and it ended up in Deadspin (which was a surreal moment, and one I had to capture via screenshot). So lots and lots and lots of people ended up reading about what Mo did that day, and it was by far our most read post of the year.
It’s Monday morning, it’s cold and snowy throughout much of the country (which was pretty obvious if you watched any NFL games yesterday) but there’s plenty of baseball talk going on — so it can’t be all bad.
Hmmm. Having never been quiet about my feelings for the Fox Midwest announcers (and rewatching some games lately from this season just makes my feelings all the more clear), I can’t say this would make things any worse than they have been. Who knows — maybe Joe Buck could even come back and do a couple of games with McCarver. Didn’t everyone besides Cards fans think they were always rooting for the team during national broadcasts anyway? But Dan McLaughlin and Tim McCarver together … yikes.
In happier thoughts, there likely isn’t a Cardinals fan out there who doesn’t appreciate what John Mozeliak continually does for the team. (Well, okay, there probably is at least one …) But if you don’t appreciate how he’s built the roster that’s appeared in two of the last three World Series and even retooled the roster for 2014 without giving up any of the Cardinals prospects plus received a compensatory draft pick now that Carlos Beltran has signed with the Yankees, read this about the Seattle Mariners and their general manager Jack Zduriencik. You will appreciate Mo — and be really glad you’re a Cardinals fan.