Ben and Sam talk about Tim McCarver's impending retirement and share their thoughts on broadcasting, then discuss whether changes in players' routines have reduced the importance of clubhouse chemistry.
David Robertson walked two consecutive batters on Saturday night, which was something he'd done either zero or 12 times before, depending on whom you ask.
Tim McCarver is a baseball broadcaster. His job is to talk during the hours that a baseball game is in progress—usually about baseball, but sometimes about TV shows, if a FOX sitcom star happens to be in the booth. Once in a while, in the course of those hours, he says something that isn't entirely accurate. So I just got this brilliant idea: catch him saying one of those inaccurate things! For too long has Tim McCarver's reputation gone unbesmirched by baseball bloggers. For too long has the broadcast team of Buck and McCarver been universally beloved. Well, no more. I'm here to tell you something you won't want to hear: even Tim McCarver makes mistakes.
A writer who never saw Jack Morris pitch watches him in action for the first time and comes away even less convinced that the traditionalist case for his candidacy should earn him a call to Cooperstown.
Sitting down to talk to Pete Macheska, lead producer of Fox Sports' MLB coverage.
For many baseball fans, especially those like me who don't reside in a major league city, broadcast television is the most common way to enjoy a game. Don't weep for us-watching a game at home in high definition, with player close-ups and Super Slo-Mo shots of Tim Wakefield's knuckleball to enrapture us, is in many ways better than attending the game in person. But as I've written before in this space, the statistics displayed and discussed during a baseball broadcast haven't evolved along with the technology used to display them-even straightforward measures like OBP and SLG have not yet found their way into standard use. To me, this seems like a waste of an immense opportunity to improve the casual baseball fan's understanding of the game, which in turn would create more devoted fans and better ratings.
Kevin chronicles the minute-by-minute suspense of a postseason Game 7 as only he can.
7:02 p.m.: As a Mets fan looking for some reason for hope, it's interesting to note that every once in a while this year Oliver Perez pitched like Oliver Perez. In his fourth and final start for Triple-A Norfolk, he put up a 7.0 1 0 0 2 11 line, and he five-hit the Braves on September 6. There's something there and I agree with the decision to start him on a short leash with the other Oliver (Darren) having more experience coming out of the bullpen.
With Tim Wakefield's personal catcher Doug Mirabelli traded to San Diego, Keith wonders how successful the personal catcher strategy really is.
Though there are examples prior to the 1990's--Tim McCarver catching Steve Carlton almost exclusively, for example--the phenomenon of the personal catcher has become more prevalent in the the past 15 years. Greg Maddux' preference of Eddie Perez (also Paul Bako or Henry Blanco in later seasons) over regular catcher Javy Lopez is well documented. John Flaherty was Randy Johnson's personal catcher in 2005. The unique demands of catching the knuckleball has meant that Mirabelli has worked with Tim Wakefield for the past several seasons, giving Jason Varitek the night off.
Giving the primary catcher periodic rest is one of supposed benefits of this arrangement. With the personal catcher playing every 5th day when his pitcher's turn in the rotation came up, it created a pattern of 25-30 games per year the regular catcher would have off. This rest, in theory, would help the regular catcher from getting worn down over the course of a long season, remaining fresh enough even in September to contribute offensively. It is this question that interests me today--do personal catchers provide a measurable boost to their primary counterparts by allowing them periodic rest? Does the fact that Tim Wakefield has Josh Bard (and previously, Doug Mirabelli) as a personal catcher help Jason Varitek stay productive in September?