Tim McCarver left the Fox television booth after the World Series following his record-shattering 34-year run as a network baseball analyst. But he never said he was retiring from broadcasting.
Could his next stop be into the Cardinals’ announcer mix?
Sources said there have been discussions about him being a part of the team’s broadcasts next season, probably in a limited role.
Officials at Fox Sports Midwest, which has the Cardinals’ local TV rights, declined to comment. And Dan Farrell, the Cards senior vice president who oversees their broadcast operations, could not be reached.
McCarver, contacted Thursday, did not want to talk about any specific job possibilities for next season. But he did reiterate that he hasn’t retired at age 72.
“As I (said) this past summer I was not retiring — I never used that word,’’ he said. “And yet it was used all over the country’’ when his Fox run ended. “I can‘t quit cold turkey, (at least) I hope I can’t quit cold turkey. So we’ll see. I just don’t want to crawl in a hole some place for the rest of my life. That’s unrealistic.’’
But it’s realistic to see how a spot could be open for him with the Cardinals.
Longtime radio broadcaster Mike Shannon’s contract expired after the World Series, but he is expected to return. But Shannon, now 74, had significantly reduced his schedule of road games last year — and that was before he was sidelined in August for most of the rest of the regular season after undergoing aortic-valve replacement surgery.
Cards television analysts Al Hrabosky and Rick Horton helped fill in on radio for Shannon, and if he has a significantly reduced schedule in 2014 there would be room for another voice — and McCarver has plenty of experience calling games of individual teams as well as at the network level. He has worked in the booths of the Phillies, Mets, Yankees and Giants.
Also in his favor is that he was a fan favorite when he was a standout catcher for the Cardinals in the 1960s, with a brief return engagement in 1973-74.
And McCarver previously said that one of the reasons that he wanted to leave Fox was to be able to do things he never had done. To that end, he just returned from a two-week trip to the Burgundy region of France.
“What an experience,’’ said McCarver, a wine aficionado. “I loved it.’’
Meanwhile, Shannon is a finalist for the Ford C. Frick Award, the winner of which is to be announced Wednesday. The award is given by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum to a “baseball broadcasters of long and meritorious service.’
Former St. Louisan Dewayne Staats, who has broadcast in the big leagues for 36 years, 16 years with Tampa Bay, also is one of the 10 finalists.
SAVARD'S HEALTH ISSUE
Steve Savard, who is in his 14th season as the Rams’ radio play-by-play announcer, is expected to be back on the air Sunday when the team plays at Arizona. He missed their game last week, at San Francisco, because of a heart condition.
“I’m one of the 2.5 million Americans battling atrial fibrillation,’’ he said. “While it is not life-threatening, it does interrupt your life. There are plenty of people reading this who understand that. We have family history with AFib. The good news is I have great doctors who tell me I am otherwise in perfect health. Plus, new meds are working and I am scheduled to have a corrective procedure next week. My doctors are confident this will be a distant memory in a few months.”
He said his doctors didn’t want him to travel last week and Randy Karraker filled in, working with analyst D’Marco Farr. Both are on the afternoon drive-time show at WXOS (101.1 FM), the Rams’ flagship radio station.
“It was very difficult (not to be there), but it was the right decision and I know it was in the right hands’’ with Karraker, Savard said. “I plan to be in the booth for the remaining four games.’’
The condition also led to him missing several days last month at his primary job, a news anchor at KMOV (Channel 4). Plus he couldn’t make it to Maryville, Mo., to be inducted into the sports hall of fame at Northwest Missouri State University — where he played football.
“It’s been a challenging few months but I know how many people out there are battling far more serious afflictions,’’ he said. “To make any more out of this would be disrespectful to them. I’ll be fine.”
PANG BACK WITH BLUES
Blues television analyst Darren Pang returned Thursday after missing the team’s last three games, all on the road, because of the death of his sister-in-law — Tracy Dort-Kyne. She suffered a broken neck two years ago in a cycling accident and was a quadriplegic.
“With all that we’ve all gone through, when news came down that she wasn’t going to make it this time I just felt for the first time in my hockey and broadcasting life it wasn’t time to be on the road,’’ Pang said. “It was time to be with my family,’’ including his wife, Lynn. “I thought maybe I could go to Colorado (last week) and do the game and come back, but she literally was on her deathbed.’’
He thanked Fox Sports Midwest for letting him take the time off, and Bernie Federko for filling in.
“Bernie Federko is a world-class guy,’’ Pang said. “It’s Thanksgiving (week), he’s got plans. He’s supposed to be at home and the minute he heard, he was on the road. A great deal of gratitude to everybody to change plans. This is where you feel fortunate to be part of a family. We’ve got a hockey family, and we’re pretty lucky.’’
IN THE BOOTHS
Broadcast assignments this weekend for the major area football teams:
Missouri, vs. Auburn, SEC title game in Atlanta, KMOV (4) • Verne Lundquist (play-by-play), Gary Danielson (analysis), Tracy Wolfson (reporter).
Rams, at Arizona, 3:25 p.m. Sunday, KTVI (2) • Dick Stockton (play-by-play), Ronde Barber (analysis), Kris Budden (reporter).