The World Series has started and Joe Buck and Tim McCarver are still terrible, the same as they’ve always been since I can remember. Buck constantly gives off the impression that he doesn’t even like baseball, while McCarver constantly confirms that he doesn’t really know anything about how it works. My favorite McCarver moment happened in 2007. I don’t remember who was playing, or what got the old guy going, but he said this:
“We had our friends at Stats, Inc. check and see whether more multi-run innings came with a lead off homer or a lead off walk. You would think that a lead off walk would lead to more big innings than a lead off home run. Not true. A lead off home run, this year, has lead to more multi-run innings than lead off walks. It’s against conventional thinking.”
In 2007, I didn’t really follow baseball all that much. I certainly wasn’t as consumed with the sport as I am now. I’m also not any kind of hot shot mathematician—I haven’t taken a math class since I got a C- in calculus or some shit my junior year of high school. The point is that it took me, a casual math-fearing baseball fan, about .04 seconds to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this was a completely insane thing to say. I know I was not alone in this. I think there were house cats who knew that McCarver was being an idiot.
When highly paid people say stupid things about baseball (and really, sports in general) on national television, people get really angry. These people usually assume that they could do a better job than the person saying the stupid things, that they should be allowed to talk about a sport they love to a national audience and get payed all that money for doing it. God help them, they’re probably right—it wouldn’t take much to improve on the current offering. But where’s the fun in that? Owning to a black and empty soul coupled with complete disillusionment with modernity, I’m one of those people who is only happy when he’s angry, so this shit is music to me. Some of the most fun times I’ve ever had were spent cracking wise about asinine statements made by baseball announcers, and it’s a real boost to my fragile ego feeling like I’m smarter than a rich guy. A lot of people claim they turn their televisions down when they watch baseball—they either crank up a local radio broadcast manned by likable people they respect, or just sit alone with their own haunting consciousness. Neither option seems enjoyable to me. If I did something like that, I would have missed out on that golden phrase turned by McCarver up above, or failed to hear when he claimed the word “Strike” was made up of 5 letters last night. Terrible announcing is at least partially responsible for the existence of perhaps the greatest website of all time, and allows frail, pale-skinned non-baseball players to feel intellectually superior to world-class athletes who actually once played the game. All of this in combination is hysterical. Game two of the World Series is happening right now. Joe Buck and Tim McCarver are talking. I would encourage one and all to settle in, turn the volume up, and let the nerd-rage soar.