Tim McCarver enters the broadcast wing of baseball’s Hall Of Fame this summer, so what better time could there be for The Sherman Report’s Ed Sherman to quiz the Fox analyst about player responses to his occasionally scathing criticism?
Early on, you had a reputation for being extremely candid, perhaps more so than what was the norm back then. How did players react to you?
Remember, I had played with a lot of the guys. One night, I did a Phillies game and Mike Schmidt hit a ball off the top of the wall. He always hustled, but he watched the ball and got a double. I said, ‘Schmidt should be on third base.’ Then I said, ‘Often, hitters are like artists. They step back and admire their work. They don’t run as hard. It’s understandable why he’s on second, but he really should be on third.’
Mike and I are close friends. The next day, he was acting cool towards me. Common sense says you should deal with it right away. I said, ‘Schmidty, is everything OK?’ He said, ‘No, it’s not. Don’t ever on the air say I didn’t hustle.’ That’s what his father told him I said.
I said, ‘I didn’t say that.’ I explained to him what I said and we were fine.
In New York, I guess I got this reputation (for being overly candid). Listen, I played with a lot of guys who were very direct and honest. Bob Gibson, Bill White, Curt Flood. They said what they felt. I learned it from them. I always approached playing the game in a candid way. I guess it carried over into broadcasting.
Some players may be upset with me from time to time, but overall, nobody can question my fairness. I have no regrets in the way I approached things back then and the way I approach things today.