Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

CBS Says Goodbye to Baseball

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

CBS Says Goodbye to Baseball

Article excerpt

FROM pennant races in every division to outstanding individual performances, baseball in 1993 had something for everybody:

John Olerud flirted with .400. Dave Winfield got his 3,000th career hit. Jim Abbott threw a no-hitter. Nolan Ryan and George Brett said goodbye. The Rockies broke attendance records in Denver. The Braves and Giants went the distance in the NL West. The Mets went under in the NL East.

Great stories were everywhere.

"It's been a remarkable season," agrees CBS analyst Tim McCarver.

On Sunday (7 p.m. on Channel 4), McCarver and broadcast partner Sean McDonough will be in the home park of the American League champion for Game 2 of the 1993 World Series, which continues all this week. First pitch is set for shortly before 7:30.

A former catcher who played in three World Series for the Cardinals during a 22-year major-league career, McCarver will be broadcasting his fourth - and last - series for CBS. The network's $1 billion TV contract, a huge money-loser throughout its four-year run, ends after this season.

"It was unfortunate that in the first year of the CBS deal, with everybody talking about how much money we were losing, that the World Series would be over in four games," comments McCarver. "Sure, that's disheartening, but you also understand that you have no control over it."

CBS and McCarver got luckier in 1991, with a great seven-game Series between the Minnesota Twins and Atlanta Braves. "Some people say it was the most exciting World Series ever played," McCarver reflects. "I agree that it ranks right up there."

Another seven-game series would be a welcome end to the national pastime's stay at CBS. The network would love it, the fans would love it, and McCarver - would love it.

"In a long series, it's the players who take over the broadcast," he says. "All of a sudden, we are no longer setting up the action. Instead, we're watching and enjoying the games along with the fans."

Asked to name the best moment from his time at CBS, McCarver doesn't hesitate:

"Sid Bream of the Braves scoring the winning run in game seven of last year's NL playoffs was one of most dramatic things ever to happen in postseason play. That, without a doubt, is the highlight."

Off the field, McCarver has nothing but praise for the job the network did during a sometimes-difficult four years.

"My time here has been terrific," he says. "To see so many people work so hard to get the production up to such a professional level has been great. We - had some problems early, but none that weren't solvable."

When the series ends, McCarver will likely get offers to work on next season's ABC/NBC baseball package, a six-year deal that cuts down regular-season TV games while adding an extra round of playoffs. …

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