• Back In The Days Of Big Stein

    Posted by on May 26th, 2008 · Comments (6)

    Via Richard Sandomir

    [Tim] McCarver was quickly hired by Fox-owned Channel 5 to call Yankees games. In July 2000, during the first game after the All-Star break, he and Bobby Murcer addressed the subject of Roger Clemens’s beaning of Mike Piazza less than a week earlier. The famous clip rolled, leading George Steinbrenner to burst into the Channel 5 booth, where he “went ballistic,” an astonished stage manager told McCarver and the producer, Leon Schweir.

    Steinbrenner threatened that showing the clip — which he felt had been seen enough — imperiled the MSG Network’s contract renewal. (Channel 5 subleased its games from MSG.) “Thank God I had my headset on and couldn’t hear him,” McCarver said.

    Flash ahead to Game 2 of that season’s World Series when Clemens fired the shard of a broken bat at Piazza. “The crowd was unusually quiet,” McCarver recalled, “and I said something like, ‘It’s clear that the crowd here tonight is embarrassed by the antics of Roger Clemens.’ ”

    Steinbrenner did not appear, but a Yankees executive, whom McCarver would not identify, asked him that night to confirm what he had said. He did.

    What happened next, McCarver insisted, was a tiny bit of retribution. After games, he said, he had typically left the booth, opened a door to enter the Yankees’ executive office and walked to the elevator, a route designed to avoid the crowd on the concourse. “That door to the office was locked,” he said. “I’m positive it was because of what I said.”

    Schweir, who is now the executive producer of the Big Ten Network, said he rarely fielded complaints from Yankees officials about McCarver. But he related an episode when Steinbrenner entered the MSG production truck and beckoned him outside to show him the multitudinous peanut shells that were littering the parking lot. “He felt our technicians were not picking up their shells properly,” he said. “So the next day, there were chained posts into the pavement beyond which our crew couldn’t eat peanuts.”

    Man, Hank is a Care Bear compared to his dad – when Big Stein was in his prime. Funny stuff, now, looking back.

    Still, whatever the cause, getting rid of McCarver was a blessing, no?

    Comments on Back In The Days Of Big Stein

    1. May 26th, 2008 | 9:26 am

      FYI, I penned this one on Saturday AM – but, it failed to get published. It was stuck in my draft folder and I didn’t notice it until now. Sorry about that. Better late than never, right?

    2. redbug
      May 26th, 2008 | 10:45 am

      getting rid of McCarver was a blessing, no?

      I’d take McCarver over Michael Kay.

    3. ken
      May 26th, 2008 | 10:50 am

      —I’d take McCarver over Michael Kay.—


    4. hopbitters
      May 26th, 2008 | 12:17 pm

      Michael Kay is annoying, but he’s so obviously doing it on purpose that it’s amusing…for a while. McCarver is actually a very smart guy, but for some reason he just starts babbling when he gets to the ballpark. If you put him in a studio, far, far away from an actual game, he could be good.

    5. May 26th, 2008 | 12:53 pm

      Looking back, I can’t believe McCarver ever did Yankees games. When the Yankees are on FOX, I dread watching the games because of him (as well as Joe Buck).

    6. Rich
      May 26th, 2008 | 3:15 pm

      I hate McCarver, but given what we now know about the strong possibility that Clemens used ‘roids, McCarver’s decision to highlight Clemens’s rage, in retrospect, would seem to have been a lot more reasonable than it may have seemed back then..

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