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Tim McCarver needs “minor” heart procedure, Terry Francona to fill in for early ALCS games

Oct 5, 2011, 2:40 PM EDT

Terry Francona AP

UPDATE: Francona’s role will be a big one, as Ben Grossman of Broadcasting and Cable reports that he’ll be partnered with Joe Buck for Game 1 and Game 2 of the ALCS because Tim McCarver is undergoing a “minor” heart procedure.

Quite a first broadcasting gig for Francona. McCarver, who’ll be 70 years in two weeks, is expected back for Game 3 of the ALCS.

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Terry Francona has no shortage of job opportunities. And unlike the offer from the New England Collegiate Baseball League, he’s actually taking this gig.

Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that the former Red Sox manager will serve as a guest analyst on FOX for the remainder of the playoffs.

It’ll be interesting to see if the FOX crew is willing to press Francona about his future as various rumors swirl. If nothing else the national spotlight would give him a chance to further explain his side of the story and presumably there’s less beer drinking on a television set than in the Red Sox’s clubhouse.

The biggest downside for Francona is that he’ll have to interact with A.J. Pierzynski.

  1. lardin - Oct 5, 2011 at 1:43 PM

    As great as it would be to have Joe Buck press Francona about the Sox situation, I dont think its appropriate topic to discuss during a Playoff game. Once the first pitch is thrown the story is about the game unfolding on the field, not what happened at Fenway park a week ago. I also think Francona has way to much class to discuss it during the game. If Buck wants to ask him about that stuff before or after the game, go ahead. Its fair game. But during the game, the game should be the story.

  2. pisano - Oct 5, 2011 at 2:23 PM

    Francona is a good manager and a class guy, he won’t have any trouble hooking on with another team. Good luck to him.

    • 3kittymama - Oct 5, 2011 at 3:44 PM

      I agree 100%. He’s always been a low-key, classy individual, and I predict he’ll stay that way, no matter what team he signs with. Or not.

  3. kopy - Oct 5, 2011 at 2:33 PM

    I really don’t have a personal opinion of Francona, but what would be wrong with getting a color commentator from a MLB team (probably one that doesn’t work for an ALCS team) to fill in? I’d rather listen to an experienced broadcaster than somebody with an important baseball title.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 2:46 PM

      I agree with this. It’s very awkward to listen to a first-timer early in the season…this is going to be his first time and it will be during the freaking ALCS??? Couldn’t they bring in Susyn “Oh, my good goodness gracious!” Waldman?? :D

      • Alex K - Oct 5, 2011 at 2:49 PM

        Bob Brenly is awesome. I wish they would give him the gig.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 2:59 PM

        I liked Brenly until he called TLR “skipper” and then agreed with him about the umpire instead of calling out for being the whiny a-hole that he is.

      • stjamesgate - Oct 5, 2011 at 3:21 PM

        So we are concerned that “first-timer” Francona will be more “awkward” than McCarver, with all that experience. I might even turn the sound bad k on for a Fox game.

      • jwbiii - Oct 5, 2011 at 4:13 PM

        Agree with you about Bob Brenly, but he’s an NL guy. How about Steve Stone?

  4. 4d3fect - Oct 5, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    I don’t wish McCarver ill, but can the guys in the OR just tie him down for a few weeks? Say until just after the last game of the WS?

    • bigharold - Oct 5, 2011 at 3:36 PM

      I’d doubt he’ll be back this season. Look at it this way, when they say “… because Tim McCarver is undergoing a “minor” heart procedure.”, that’s pretty vague. As far as I know a “minor” heart procedure is somebody else’ heart procedure.

      It appears the playoffs will be much quieter.

    • henryd3rd - Oct 5, 2011 at 3:58 PM

      McCarver’s best days as a broadcaster are behind him. There have been times when I watch the Fox broadcast I turn off the sound and turn on the radio. God I miss Jack Buck and Ernie Harwell. They just painted a word picture and kept their personal opinions to themselves.

  5. sdelmonte - Oct 5, 2011 at 2:47 PM

    It’s a bit odd to have a rookie broadcaster who’s never worked with the play by play man starting out in the playoffs. Clearly, celebrity is prized over proven skill.

    As usual, I will be happy to stick with the radio. ESPN has brought Dan Shulman back from the TV side, and is using him as well Sunday night radio regular John Chiambi and even Mets play by play star Gary Cohen.

    • sportsdrenched.com - Oct 5, 2011 at 4:29 PM

      I agree, ESPN radio production on MLB whether it’s Boog Schiambi or Shulman is 1st class.

  6. aceshigh11 - Oct 5, 2011 at 2:49 PM

    Wait…this means he’ll be calling the full games with Joe Buck?

    I love Tito, but that’s a very specific skill set…not sure if everyone is cut out for calling 9-inning games out of the blue.

    However…that’s never stopped Tim McCarver before. ZING!

    Seriously, though…good luck to Francona, and best wishes to McCarver.

  7. phillyphever - Oct 5, 2011 at 2:59 PM

    I wish McCarver well, but I hope. Terry Wally Pipp’s him for at least this playoffs.

  8. foreverchipper10 - Oct 5, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    I know it happens all the time but I can’t believe any type of heart surgery is minor.

  9. 18thstreet - Oct 5, 2011 at 3:31 PM

    Okay, so I’m a Red Sox fan whose opinion should be ignored for that reason alone but … I think Tito’s going to be great at this.

  10. sneschalmers - Oct 5, 2011 at 3:56 PM

    “That surgeon is using his scalpel like a knife!”

    But in all seriousness, I wish him well.

  11. mj888 - Oct 5, 2011 at 5:56 PM

    Get rid of Tim (I Hate The Yankees) McCarver for good please. He is the most condescending sports broadcaster that I know of. His hatred for the Yankees simply SPILLS out of him. Even when he is announcing an NL West game between the Dodgers and Giants, he can’t help himself but say something to bash the Yankees.

  12. 1historian - Oct 5, 2011 at 6:11 PM

    TERRY Francona is the recently fired manager of the Red Sox.

    His father is TITO Francona, former MLB player.

  13. grouchomarx4 - Oct 5, 2011 at 7:07 PM

    They are calling Terry “Tito” now as a nickname. I remember his father with the Indians amongst other clubs. Pretty good player.

  14. montaukcharlie - Oct 6, 2011 at 9:40 AM

    So it took an “act of God” to get rid of Mr. McCarver. Hopefully, he is not in as much pain as he has caused us over all of these years! Thank goodness for the mute button.

  15. sparkycon - Oct 6, 2011 at 10:28 AM

    Terry Francona came to speak at the kickoff banquet for University of Virginia Baseball three or so years back, and i was blown away at how great of a speaker he was. I too do not wish McCarver any ill will but i hate him as an analyst. Francona will be a huge step up! (and for the record, i am a die hard Yankee fan)

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