St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson once told Tim McCarver, "The only thing you know about pitching is you can't hit it." Frankly, I'm not sure what McCarver knows about because I don't feel I'm learning anything new when I listen to him and Joe Buck broadcast the World Series games on Fox.
In fact, I often find myself correcting McCarver. For instance, during Philadelphia's 8-6 victory over New York in Game 5 Monday night, McCarver said American League hitters are "unfamiliar" with Phillies' left-hander Cliff Lee's ability to cut his fastball inside to right-handers.
Huh? On the contrary, American League hitters are quite familar with Lee, who spent five-plus seasons with the Cleveland Indians. McCarver seemed to catch his mistake mid-sentence. He tried to talk his way out of it by saying Lee is a "completely different" pitcher now than he was in Cleveland.
Again, bogus. Lee was just as good in Cleveland as he is now with Philadelphia. You don't need a real long memory to recall that Lee went 22-3 and won the AL Cy Young Award just one year ago. He's had tremendous success in both leagues the last couple years. For that reason, he hasn't changed his repertoire one bit.
When I saw Lee pitching against New York last night, I saw the same pitcher who competed against the White Sox for several years in the AL Central. Lee has excellent command of his fastball. He works both sides of the plate. He's got an excellent change that he throws to right-handed hitters and his breaking ball is above average. He's getting guys out in Philadelphia the same way he got them out in Cleveland.
If I know this, shouldn't McCarver know it? After all, he is Fox's color commentator for the World Series. He's paid to know this stuff. I'm just a lowly sports copy editor at a newspaper in suburban Chicago. I shouldn't have more knowledge about baseball than these guys who have national gigs.