Joe Buck and Tim McCarver answer questions about the All-Star Game. Do you think they'll say anything stupid?On the "This Time It Counts" format: McCarver: "I detect a bit more excitement this year it seems, and an example of that is Bobby Abreu, who led the outfielders in the National League in votes and is just so excited because of that. Last year, he was the last guy voted in on the online process. I just feel that this year from a fan's standpoint and from a player's standpoint, things are a little bit more exciting than they've been in past years.
Okay, what is it with former-players-turned-analysts and their baffling inability to answer a simple question? The question was about the winner's league getting home field advantage in the World Series and he chose to talk about a guy on a fourth place team who is excited that he got more votes this year than he did last year. Is this what it is like to talk to this guy in person?
Me: "Hey, Tim. Are you going to finish your french fries?"
Tim: "For my money, I've gotta say Aja
is the best Steely Dan album."Buck: "I think the first year we did it (under the current format), Dusty Baker was the manager for the National League and Mike Scioscia was for the American League. Scioscia kind of bought into the idea, and I don't think Dusty Baker did really at all. I think he was more into the ‘everybody get into the game and give a wave to their family in the stands and the fans back at home,' and Scioscia was really game-planning. He was trying to keep (Hank) Blalock back for the right spot against the right hander. He got him in the game against (Eric) Gagne, and he hit the game-winning home run and the American League hosted the World Series that year.
Okay, maybe Scioscia kept Blalock in for the righty-lefty matchup. Fine. But exactly how much strategy can be used against a guy who at the time had converted like 5,000 save chances in a row? Are we supposed to believe that Scioscia stayed up late cosulting graphs and charts and concluded that Blalock should stay in the game just in case
they bring in Gagne? I would think the smarter strategic move in that situation would be to have Gagne on the mound pitching to close the game. But what do I know?
On whether Barry Bonds will be missed:
Buck: "Yes, I'll miss the countless conversations we'd have around the batting cage, the long walks we'd take in the outfield prior to the game, the moments where he'd confide in me his deepest darkest secrets. "I'll miss him from a baseball standpoint but as far as his interaction with the media and specifically the two of us, you can't really miss something that was never there. He'd make a few overtures and when you get rebuffed enough you just finally forget it, so from that standpoint ... it's not gonna be a big difference."
Okay, first of all, that's just mean. And secondly, who cares that he makes your job as a baseball announcer
slightly more difficult? I thought we were talking about the All-Star game and the guy who has posted the greatest offensive seasons in the history of the game.
The only way I would care that Barry Bonds makes your job harder, is if he were somehow able to make it so hard that you would quit. On whether the game will be missing something with the absence of players like Bonds and Jeter: McCarver: "There's a new (breed) of players to become accustomed to — like Derek Lee, who has a chance to win the triple crown, a guy like David Eckstein. What's refreshing is the guys who have plodded their (way) — I say plodded, but was actually on a World Championship in 2002 — but a guy who if you look at the shortstops around the league, there are probably ten guys with more talent but nobody has more heart than David Eckstein."
Tim McCarver has just argued that the All-Star Game will be better because there will be worse players there. Buck: [F]rom our perspective in the game, sometimes you get worn out with the same guys time after time after time. There's nothing wrong with getting new blood in there and being able to highlight and celebrate new guys, and like Tim mentioned, Eckstein is a perfect example that somebody plays the game hard.
Can we all please jump off David Eckstein's dick please? And again, Joe Buck, nobody on earth cares that your job, which is to talk about baseball,
will be more interesting with new players in the game.McCarver: "I think if Norman Rockwell were alive the guy that he would paint more than anyone else would be David Eckstein."