With apologies to Peter Gammons, until Chip Caray finally records his cover of Big Black’s “Fists Of Love”, the above recording will probably be the most disparaged baseball-broadcaster/musician CD this year, regardless of the actual contents. “If I don’t listen to the critics of my baseball broadcasting,” McCarver tells the Philadelphia Daily News’ Stan Hochman. “Why would I listen to the critics of my singing?” Take your best shot, Pitchfork.
“My father was a huge Sinatra fan,” McCarver explained the other day. “He loved the music, the history of the music. I was 8 or 9 listening to Sinatra, listening to the Harry James band.
“In ’61, I was 19, playing in Puerto Rico in the International League. Dean Stone, lefthanded pitcher, was a big Sinatra fan. After games we’d carry this 120-pound hi-fi set up on the roof. Bring a case of India or Corona beer. I remember the case cost about $4.80. We’d drink the beer and listen to Sinatra.”
He handles the venomous darts the way he handled Steve Carlton’s slider. Talks too much?
“There was a time when I did, when I first started,” McCarver said. “I remember [legendary producer] Don Ohlmeyer told me in 1980, Phillies-Kansas City World Series, ‘If you have something to say, you never talk too much.’ ”
That he favors one team over another? “Laughable,” he said. “You can go back to ’86, Vince Scully and Joe Garagiola, lambasted for being fans of the Mets. Scully wasn’t even a fan of the Dodgers.
“If Boston is involved, and you [the announcer] don’t carry that Red Sox banner, they rip you. It’s inevitable. It’s unavoidable. But that doesn’t make it right.”