Tonight when the St. Louis Cardinals face the Boston Red Sox in game one of the 2013 World Series Fox Sports will be there to broadcast the action nationally starting at 8 p.m. EDT. It will mark the 24th and last World Series to be broadcast by Tim McCaver, who has served as the lead analyst on the “Fall Classic.” He is the only man to serve as lead analyst for the World Series on all four networks that have broadcast the event. Not bad for someone who began his career in broadcasting in 1981 at Jack Russel Field in Clearwater as a member of the Phillies television crew.
McCarver has many Bay Area friends and fans as he was also the Mets analyst when they played at Al Lang and later in his career worked with the Yankees on broadcasts from Tampa. So most springs McCarver has been a Bay Area fixture.
He and broadcast partner Joe Buck, will be calling the 16th straight World Series together another record. But in talking this week to the duo they want to keep the focus on the two teams playing in the World Series and not on the retirement of the Hall of Fame broadcaster, McCarver.
Both men agree that the Red Sox and the Cardinals are the two best teams in the game and fans should be treated to real classic battle. Two teams that are built on pitching, timely hitting and solid defense, all important qualities when runs will be hard to come by in this series.
“That’s why this series is so exciting to me,” Buck said. “These are two teams that don’t quit, and they’re two teams who play the game fundamentally well. This is as exciting a matchup as we’ve had in the 16 times we’ve done it. With the way these two teams hammer away, nobody’s going to roll over. They just coming, and that’s what’s going to make this fun and a long series.”
“The list of really terrific players is on both sides,” McCarver said “How can you respect anybody more than Dustin Pedroia? He told me that he thought about, with runners on first and third against the Tigers and nobody out in the sixth inning of Game 6, when he made the play on Victor Martinez and getting Prince Fielder in a rundown, that he thought about pulling off a triple play. I’ve never talked to any infielder who thought about a triple play before a double play happened. That, to me, is the type of player you’re getting with Boston. Pedroia is the blood and guts of this team.”
Both teams have won at least one championship at the expense of the other. St. Louis beat Boston in 1946 and (with McCarver catching) 1967, while the Sox swept in 2004.
“I don’t think anybody in baseball was going to beat the Red Sox in the World Series in 2004,” McCarver said. “Once they came back and won the Yankee series like they did, nobody was going to beat the Red Sox. But this year is different. The Cardinals can match them with their young pitchers and the bullpen.”
The DH will play a big role in the World Series the games in St. Louis. Playing under National League rules with no designated hitter, the Sox will be forced to sit David Ortiz or Mike Napoli.
“It’s huge,” said Buck. “The Red Sox are built classically like a great American League team, and that means they have the best DH in the history of DHing. Ortiz still has that flair for late-inning magic, but you balance that with Napoli — who’s getting hot — and one of those guys is going to have to sit for three games.”
The pregame will air at 7 p.m. EDT on Fox Sports 1 and then it will the World Series at 8 p.m.