Given a choice of having it available to the umps, Fox analyst Tim McCarver, who’ll be doing a record 16th World Series broadcast, remains a traditionalist. But he isn’t against some alterations for the good of the game. “I don’t want to see it, but this postseason has been a good example for those proponents of a replay system,” said McCarver on Thursday. “The human element should be involved, but I’d understand if someone made a strong argument using examples from this postseason to make their case, because they’d have legitimate issues.” “I thought he got better each game,” Fox Sports executive producer Ed Goren said, “and between Joe, Tim and Lou, it was intelligent, fun and easy to listen to.” Said Buck: “At this point, I don’t think Lou is looking for a regular schedule in broadcasting, but if this was a one-shot deal, I think he enjoyed it. He also said to Tim the other night after Game 5 (of the ALCS) that he wished he had done this before he managed because it made him realize that managers, including himself, tend to play it too close to the vest during the postseason and forget they can play the same way they did in the regular season.” The Big Joe Shopping Network: Jared Levine, the agent for longtime L.A. sports talk host Joe McDonnell, says he has not received any concrete job offers since KSPN-AM (710) informed McDonnell two weeks ago that his contract would not be renewed. McDonnell is still under employment of 710 and can not take any new jobs until early next month. Roger Nadel, the general manager of 1540-AM The Ticket, hired McDonnell to work as a sports anchor at KFWB-AM (980) several years ago and says that “if there’s a place on our staff, it would make sense to have him here. I know he’s out there, I know he has great connections and a lot of people swear by him. I know he has a very loyal audience. I have some time to figure things out.” Sources say McDonnell’s agent has also spoke to Don Martin, the program director at KRLA-AM (570), and could be talking soon to representatives at Fox Sports Radio. While the baseball postseason broadcasts have turned 710’s daily programming into a merry-go-round, with Steve Mason and John Ireland’s “Big Show” bouncing all over the time slots, the station has been using Gary Miller and Dave Denholm as a temporary replacement for McDonnell. It is trying to decide who to put in the 1-to-3 p.m. slot – possibility more syndicated ESPN programming – before it moves Mason-Ireland to the afternoon drive. The latest Arbitron rating trends for McDonnell’s 4-to-7 p.m. time slot at KSPN-AM actually jumped from 0.7 to 1.6 for overall listeners 25-to-54, although some of that could be attributed to live Angels road games and pregame shows. More employment postings: TNT says it has a new multi-year agreement with Magic Johnson to have him continue on its NBA studio show where he’s been with Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson for the past four years. … FSN West has hired former UCLA and Clippers guard Pooh Richardson as a studio analyst before and after Clippers broadcasts, which begin early next month. Jack Haley is also expected to return as the Lakers’ studio analyst. … Angels radio voice Rory Markas said he remains confident that he’ll return next season despite the fact his contract is up, as are those of radio partner Terry Smith and TV broadcasters Steve Physioc and Rex Hudler. Markas, who will do some fill-in anchor work at KTTV Channel 11, returns to do USC basketball broadcasts on 1540-AM in December. Angel vision: A FSN West representative says the network and the Angels will continue to work on adding more games through their current deal that goes through 2008 while the team searches for a new over-the-air rights holder, likely to be either KTLA Channel 5, KCOP Channel 13 and/or KDOC Channel 56. Although the original contract with FSN West called for only 50 games a season, the team expanded it to 80 in 2004 and 102 in 2005. KCAL Channel 9’s contract with the Angels has ended and the channel will carry the Dodgers starting in 2006. Tom Hoffarth is at (818) 713-3661 and firstname.lastname@example.org. WHAT SMOKES The next installment of Bob Costas’ “Costas Now” show (HBO, tonight at 9) includes a enlightening feature on the only surviving son of former Dodgers Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson who for the past 20 years has been trying to bring economic integration through a coffee-bean farming co-op in Mbeya, Tanzania. David Robinson, 53, visited Africa as a 15-year-old after his mother sent him there to learn about his heritage and knew he needed to live there. Says Rachel Robinson to Costas in the piece: “I do feel David is carrying Jack’s legacy forward, in some ways at a higher level.” David Robinson, who with his wife of a traditional tribal pre-arranged marriage and seven children live happily in Tanzania, compares what he’s doing to his father’s former team. “The slogan of the Brooklyn Dodgers was ‘Wait’ll next year.’ It’s the slogan of every farmer, too, because if the rains were good this year, the prices were bad … We’re hoping this is our next year.” According to a story on David Robinson in the June issue of Ebony magazine, his Sweet Unity coffee co-op is expected to start selling its product through Levy Restaurants in three major-league baseball parks, including Dodger Stadium. By the way, upon his retirement from baseball, Jackie Robinson worked as an executive at the Chock Full O’Nuts coffee company from 1957 to ’64. Brian Weir, a 36-year-old from Valencia, has the world’s worst golf swing. That’s not our opinion. Last January, viewers of The Golf Channel were asked to send in tapes of their swing to see who had the ugliest game. More than 100,000 voted, and Weir came out the big loser. He was featured in the August issue of Golf Digest and he’s trying to undo 14 years of his bad habits with Golf Channel instructorDean Reinmuth in the next five episodes of “Your Game Night,” starting Monday at 4:30 p.m. through Nov. 28. “While being horrific isn’t really a positive, in this case it’s been an unbelievable opportunity to improve my game and increase my enjoyment on the golf course,” Weir said. WHAT CHOKES Sports Illustrated senior writer Michael Bamberger has taken some notable heat for ratting out Michelle Wie on a rules violation that led to her disqualification and forfeiture of more than $53,000 in her first pro tournament last weekend in Palm Desert. But now SI feels it needs to defend Bamberger’s honor in the lead “Scorecard” piece for this week’s issue. Bamberger may be a former caddie and know the rules well, but to step in a day later and question whether Wie took a proper drop during the third round conveniently crosses another boundary – the media isn’t supposed to be part of the story. “Adherence to the rules is the underlying value of the game,” Bamberger is quoted in Alan Shipnuck’s SI story. “To stand in silence when you see an infraction is an infraction itself.” According to an Associated Press account of the incident, Bamberger said he didn’t alert officials on Saturday but waited a day because “That didn’t occur to me. I was still in my reporter’s mode. I wanted to talk to her first.” That quote didn’t make it into the SI account, but a self-serving antidote about how Wie’s father, B.J., thanked Bamberger and shook his hand was included. The November issue of Esquire magazine, which continues to carry the motto of “Man At His Best” under the masthead, includes ESPN reporter and ESPN.com Page 2 columnist Rachel Nichols on its list of “The Obscure Women We Love.” The 31-year-old seems to have captured their hearts by the way she enunciates “E-S-P-N” as her signoff. The write: “Letters of the alphabet haven’t sounded this hot since Faith Hill guest-starred on `Sesame Street.”‘ Easy, kids. Boston Red Sox pitcher David Wells warns readers in the October issue of Penthouse that he wants to launch a “Wayne’s World-meets-pay-per-view baseball TV show” that’ll be full of foul language and raunchy analysis. Wells says: “I think it would be good because a lot of people are tired of hearing these announcers sucking up to players.” Sounds just like something Bob Costas would want to host for HBO. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Play-by-play man Joe Buck says former St. Louis Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog used to say that umpires had a 50-50 shot of getting calls right, but “I see those odds going down, and I don’t know how that’s possible. On every close play (during the playoffs), I was scared to see the replay for fear of another mistake. We all want to see the plays called correctly, but the number of mistakes takes away from how great the games have been. “I’m starting to sway toward using replay on a limited basis. There are a handful of things where an umpire can check a replay on a questionable call that I wouldn’t be against. But I’m not sure if I thought that before this series.” Too close to home: Current out-of-work manager Lou Piniella, who owns homes in both Tampa and Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., will be helping evacuate his family after the state of emergency was issued for Hurricane Wilma, meaning his availability as a third man in the booth with Buck and McCarver during the World Series won’t be known until after this weekend. Piniella’s performance during the ALCS showed how quickly he picked up on doing TV work – he figured out immediately that the Angels’ Steve Finley was disputing a catchers’ interference non-call as he grounded out into a double play during Game 4 while Buck and McCarver weren’t aware of it – and Fox had asked him to continue on to the World Series. Whether TV becomes Piniella’s calling depends on what kind of managerial jobs appeal to him this offseason.
More than two dozen cameras will be planted around the home parks of both the Chicago White Sox and Houston Astros for Fox’s coverage of the World Series that begins Saturday evening. None of them will be able to assist the six umpires enlisted to make correct calls. All will be able to give viewers at home second, third and 10th looks at disputable plays, and supply even more ammunition for those who insist that some element of instant replay needs to be implemented to help end a lot of the confusion that was evident during the recent league championship series.