Press Coverage: McCarver Sings, Gus Screams, Serena Yells and Vecsey Rambles

Are you concerned that baseball season is coming to a close and in just over a month we'll be going through Tim McCarver withdrawal? Well, we have the solution for that lonely winter season without Fox's lead baseball analyst. If you were watching this weekend's Phillies-Mets game you, like me, would have learned that McCarver can sing. And he can actually sing! ↵

↵McCarver has a new album coming out called Tim McCarver Sings Selections from the Great American Songbook. My assumption is that there is no actual printed songbook he reads from (if there is, I want video), but rather the concept of great American classics that people have chronicled together. And classics they are. McCarver's dulcet tones serenade us with the likes of "One for My Baby (And One More For The Road)" and "Gone With The Wind." ↵

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↵But here's the thing – by the sound of it, McCarver can really sing. When the Fox telecast cut back from a break they showed the Phillie Phanatic dancing to one of the old classics and play-by-play man Howie Rose made the joke that we weren't listening to Frank Sinatra play over the PA, but McCarver instead. And after hearing his 'talk-as-singing' style that Sinatra made so famous, it was quite a pleasant sound. If you're a sports fan and a fan of old crooners, this album will be right up your alley as nobody in sports is as old and 'croony' as McCarver. ↵

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↵This is not a Barry Zito situation by any means. So Tim, I speak for all baseball fans when I say this: quit your day job. Please. ↵

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↵Cincy Serendipity ↵

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↵If you were watching a game and saw a play you've never seen before in the NFL, who would you want calling that play? I'm not talking about a Super Bowl drive-sustaining catch off a helmet or the Immaculate Reception or anything like that. But if there was just a wacky, Week One play – let's say a long pass that was deflected in the air, caught and run in for a game-winning, last-second touchdown – who would you want calling that play? ↵

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↵If the answer isn't Gus Johnson, I don't know what you've been watching the last five years. Johnson has turned his excitability into somewhat of a cottage industry, and you can make the case that he, more than any other play-by-play man, dials up the emotions for otherwise average plays a little too much. After all, that's his thing. ↵

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↵But watching Denver's Brandon Stokley snare the ball of out mid-air off a Cincinnati tip and scamper 87 yards for the game-winning score, there's nobody else who can make that call. ↵

↵"Orton ... pumps again ... to the sideline ... batted up ..." Words cannot do it justice. Let's just say nobody would be surprised if Dan Fouts signaled for help and EMTs were in the booth with one of those portable defibrillators by the time Stokley got to the end zone. ↵

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↵As Johnson said during the replay, "In ... credible." His call was as well. I'll let Darren Rovell from CNBC have the punch line: "Sources say Gus Johnson's vocal chords are resting comfortably & should be back to 100% by March Madness." ↵

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↵Sererna Meltdown ↵

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↵The most interesting thing about Serena Williams' meltdown in the U.S. Open women's semifinal loss to eventual champion Kim Clijsters was not that she lost the match on a foot fault and subsequent penalty. It was not even the fact that Serena had 'lost it' at an official – it was pretty evident after smashing her racquet earlier in the match that she was frustrated. The most interesting thing was that John McEnroe seemed to be at a loss for words. John McEnroe is known for outbursts just like Serena's, as much as his world-class tennis. While Serena's tantrum was taking place, Mac was somewhat subdued while agreeing with Williams that the foot fault was a bad call, especially in that situation in the match: ↵
↵⇥"Not on the second serve. She wasn't even coming in. I don't see it at all. She's really, really upset. That's as angry as I've ever seen her. You can't call that there." ↵
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↵To McEnroe's credit, he backed off the mic when the discussion about the penalty point was taking place. Dick Enberg and Mary Carillo took more of the 'wow did Serena just go nuts' angle. That said, it would have been a nice touch if Serena had given us a "You cannot be serious." With the Chase Review common in tennis now, there is little room for McEnroe's old antics. I, for one, miss that in the sport. ↵

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↵⇥"It pays to always play your best and always be your best, and always act your best, no matter what," Williams told reporters. "I used to have a real temper and I've gotten a lot better. I know you don't believe me, but I used to be worse, yes yes, indeed." ↵
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↵Now, Serena shouldn't have threatened to shove a ball down anyone's throat, but a little vim and vigor on the court is a good thing, no? ↵

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↵Peter Vecsey: Tale of the Tape ↵

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↵Let's make this one short and sweet, apparently some advice that Peter Vecsey should have taken when he gave a Hall of Fame speech on Thursday. ↵

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↵Is this tape more or less exciting than LeBron getting dunked on? I'll say more.↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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