The fun thing about older sports announcers is that with age they tend to slip a little and they’re susceptible to saying silly things. Joe Morgan has occasionally claimed things about his career that aren’t true, Harry Caray was adorably aloof toward the end, and Vin Scully has grown a little slow, but he’s still pretty damn good. And it’s fine, because most of the time these guys are just rambling off the top of their heads to fill airtime between pitches or during visits to the mound. Tim McCarver, on the other hand, likes to use airtime to pull out his soapbox.
During the fourth inning of Saturday’s Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees broadcast on Fox, McCarver likened the Yankees organization’s treatment of Joe Torre to the Axis Powers of World War II. Basically, because the Yankees haven’t retired Torre’s number, they’re essentially treating him like a dead Nazi general. This shouldn’t linger in the New York sports media for too long.
Let’s recap a terrible time in
world history baseball broadcasting, NY Daily News:
“You remember some of those despotic leaders in World War II, primarily in Russia and Germany, where they used to take those pictures that they had taken of former generals who were no longer alive, they had shot them.” McCarver said. “They would airbrush the generals out of the pictures, in a sense that’s what the Yankees have done with Joe Torre.
“They have airbrushed his legacy. I mean, there’s no sign of Joe Torre at the Stadium. And that’s ridiculous. I don’t understand it.”
I don’t have a problem with announcers who want to introduce their opinion into a broadcast, because they have hours of time to fill and God knows that McCarver isn’t going to sit there babbling about Nick Swisher’s hilarious clubhouse antics or which indie band Joe Maddon is playing in the clubhouse that day. But why invoke the Third Reich in a conversation about baseball? Forget that it resurrects imagery of a horrible period of history. Where is the common sense filter that tells McCarver: “Hey, maybe instead of the Nazis, compare the Yankees to Menudo for kicking boys out because they get too old.” Or how about: “Maybe anything but a Nazi reference.”
McCarver has since apologized – sort of – in a response to the NY Daily News:
“Although my analogy was inappropriate, in my opinion the underlying point remains true,” McCarver said, according to the New York Daily News. “That Yankee management — not the players, they have embraced Joe Torre and always will — has erased Joe Torre from their history, for the most part.”
Just kidding, he didn’t apologize at all. Much like Hitler didn’t apologize for killing 6 million people. If the shoe fits, Tim.