After a lengthy broadcasting career that included a noteworthy 15 years as an analyst in the New York Mets television booth, the oft-pilloried Tim Carver used a preseason conference call with the sports media earlier today to announce he’ll not seek an extension to his Fox deal when the 2013 season concludes. From USA Today’s Michael Hiestand :

“I want to take cooking classes in Italy,” said McCarver, who spoke on a conference call from his home in Napa, Calif.

“And I love to read, although I know reading gets old after a while.”

“How about painting?” joked Buck.

“I’m not a painter,” McCarver responded.

“I wanted to step down while I could still do the job,” says McCarver. “It’s not a tough call, it’s not a sad thing for me. … But I’m going to miss Joe Buck a lot.

After 34 years in TV broadcast booths, McCarver isn’t sure if he wants or will be offered a role on the upcoming Fox Sports 1 cable channel. “There’s no plan in place right now. I just don’t know,” he said. “I don’t want to speculate.”

Fox has left open the possibility of using McCarver on the new channel, which debuts Aug. 17. “We’ll continue to do what we can to fit in his schedule,” says Fox Sports co-president Eric Shanks, who added he has a “man crush” on McCarver.