Tim McCarver has been known to go on random tangents during Fox baseball telecasts. We've seen him opine on climate change, the evils of social networking, hard rock lyrics, and Lord knows how many other completely-unrelated-to-baseball topics. The late innings in Game 4 of the ALCS doesn't seem like quite the best time to float into the outer reaches of McCarver Space, but that's exactly what happened last night when the analyst went on a rant about the unwritten rules of golf and comparing them to baseball.
Seriously, this happened. There was even a prepared graphic, which means that Fox had planned on Tim McCarver talking about golf etiquette during Game 4 of the ALCS. More specifically, making fun of golf etiquette. Here's the image via Geoff Shackelford...
What is the point of all of this? Well, according to PGA.com it stems from a tweet sent by golfer Hunter Mahan showing disgust and fatigue over baseball's out of date, ridiculous, stomach-churning unwritten rules. You know how the Braves and Cardinals are trying to ruin baseball's postseason by taking all of the joy out of baseball? That's what Mahan and most sane people are arguing against as one of the many reasons why fans are tuning out baseball.
But why is a telecast of a MLB playoff game concerned with what an above average PGA Tour pro has to say about baseball? Could you imagine Jim Nantz and Phil Simms taking time during the 4th quarter of the AFC Championship to get in their shots at the NHL? Isn't this somewhat... petty?
Of course, any sports fan with an appreciation for baseball, golf, and common sense knows there's no comparing an archaic set of "unwritten rules" upheld by people like Brian McCann with actual events that impact competition. Jump on third base after a triple or stare at a home run? No effect whatsoever on the outcome of the game. Yell when someone is hitting a golf ball or stomp in their line? Definitely an effect on the outcome. Besides, considering the fact there are hundreds of thousands of rules in golf's rule book, the game really doesn't leave anything open to interpretation. There are even rules about embedded acorns in the putting green for goodness' sake. In fact, almost everything listed in McCarver's bullet points is actually referenced in Rule 1 of the USGA rule book:
"A player is deemed to have committed a serious breach of Rule 1-2 if the Committee considers that the action taken in breach of this Rule has allowed him or another player to gain a significant advantage or has placed another player, other than his partner, at a significant disadvantage."
The responses to McCarver's golf etiquette rant on Twitter were disbelief, as you would expect:
Tim McCarver explains the unwritten rules of golf, Joe Buck immediately points out that it is written. This has devolved.— Steve Lepore (@stevelepore) October 17, 2013
Man, I walk out the room, I come back to the game and Tim McCarver's rules of golf are on TV? What happened?— Joe Posnanski (@JPosnanski) October 17, 2013
Tim McCarver comparing unwritten rules in baseball to written rules in golf is a hilarious train wreck of epic proportions.— Josh Shepardson (@BChad50) October 17, 2013
Taking time away from an MLB playoff game for a tangential, fruitless discussion trying to defend baseball's holier-than-thou unwritten rules by taking shots at golf? Is this a good time to remind everyone Fox takes over golf's US Open coverage in 2015?
GIF via bubbaprog
The team of McCarver and Buck is just awful. If McCarver is not off on some stupid tangent, then he's probably just stating the obvious in some pompous, overblown way. And Joe Buck seems to spend most of his time reading trivia notes about players that are no doubt fed to his monitor by the Fox research staff. The prospect of these two bozos doing the Cards/Sox series is just depressing. When will TBS get the series??? Or when will Fox get a clue and dump these clowns?
I am aSox Fan and have been one for most of my 67 years. Tim McCarver is more than likely the worst Announcers of all time. This guy lives in the past and Joe Buck is not as good as His Old Man, but he sticks to the game he is watching not like Tim who goes off to much for me. I turn on the Radio and listen to it.
This took a grand total of maybe 20 seconds. No action was missed, no analysis was missed. This is just a pile on article. What should he have talked about...Yasiel Puig's bat flip? John Madden and Harry Carey were praised for going on weird tangents.
The bottom line is respect the game and the sport you are playing. Mahan wants baseball to have a little more fun, but he wouldn't do the same in golf.
I'm sure Mahan respects the long traditions, or unwritten rules, that golf has as well. Even American golfers came to the aid of Colin Montgomery when he was senselessly jeered at US events.
Remember when Leonard sank the long birdie putt for what SEEMED to give the US a victory in the Ryder Cup? Actually, Olazabal had a chance to tie with a long putt as well. JMO just glared at the Americans as they ran on the green. I seem to remember the US taking a lot of crap about that.
McCarver is old school, and he wanted to compare some un-etiquette things between the two sports. He should have just said, 'respect the game, your opponent, and don't 'show up' either." I think Mahan would agree with that.