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So Tim McCarver Sings Better Than Placido Domingo, Eh?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009 , Posted by Christopher Byrne at 11:58 AM, under ,

When baseball "newstologist" Bill Chuck sent me his latest guest column this morning, I thought he was joking when he mentioned that Fox baseball analyst Tim McCarver has released his first solo album entitled Tim McCarver Sings Selections from The Great American Songbook. But no he was not. I listened to a few tracks on eMusic and thought to myself, "What was he thinking????"

But the real humor of this album comes from these listener reviews on They have to be sarcastic. There is no way they can be serious. Judge for yourself while I pull out my old copy of William Shatner's The Transformed Man  (and you can enjoy a music video of Shatner singing "Rocketman" at the bottom of this article).

Whoda thunk it? (5 Stars)
You don't have to be a fan of St. Louis baseball--hell, you don't have to be a fan of baseball at all--to appreciate this AMAZING debut record by the Bard of the Bases, Tim McCarver. He sticks to tradtional American jazz standards, delivered Sinatra-style. No "getting out there" for the 70-ish, plucky McCarver. No siree. If you love your vocal stylings of the meat-and-potato variety, you'll love this tasty collection of mixed metaphors. Personally, though, I was disappointed he didn't include Bob Gibson or Joe Garagiola as duet partners, but we can always hope for the follow-up effort. Not to be eclipsed by McCarver's future platnium effort, I understand Joe Morgan is cutting a tribute to Judy Garland and Joe Buck is putting the finishing touches on a recording of William Shatner covers.

Americana personified (5 Stars)

There used to be two things I brought to every Fourth of July fireworks celebration - the American flag and a slice of my grandma's apple pie. Next year I'll add a third item that begins with "Tim McCarver" and ends with "American Songbook."

To pre-order a copy of this disk is to give yourself an incomparable sensory gift. Can't get enough FOX game of the week? Your iPod lacking in folksy narratives? Order yourself a copy.

You see, America used to be a simple place, didn't it? The pilgrims set the tone by using religion as a unifier, not a bludgeon. Our neighbors, such as the Native Americans, were respected as natural inhabitants and were treated as such. Our country could do no wrong and you can hear that perfection in McCarver's voice.

From the first note it is clear that even a legend like Plácido Domingo has nothing on McCarver. So dewey, so tender, so ... American.

During the 2004 World Series Mr. McCarver said of Curt Schilling's noticeable ankle injury: "The blood on his sock looks exactly like Oklahoma." I say to you, Tim, the totality of the songs on your album is shaped like my grandma's apple pie. It's time to order myself another slice.

Transplendental (5 Stars)

Tim Lincecum might have a bionic arm, but surely Tim McCarver has a bionic throat, delivering just a stunningly gutty performance that's not afraid to celebrate music the traditional way with hard vocal work that just sings the songs *right*. As Tim McCarver is fond of saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words," and in the process of listening to an entire great American songbook, your brain will take you away to anywhere between three and seven pictures, idylls and reveries that tap into the collective unconscious memory of what it meant to walk amidst eden.

Each song is delivered with what I can only describe as a kind of calm-eyed beauty that seems to recursively calm the process of singing the song itself. Indeed, Tim McCarver is so supremely convinced of the sublimity of his own delivery and interpretation that perhaps even Tim McCarver would say that Tim McCarver has gotten to Tim McCarver. Slight disappointment that this album does not include the rumored covers of Brandon Arroyo's songs, nor does McCarver follow his broadcast partner and Natalie Cole's lead and do a duet with his own dead father, but easily the quality of what remains overshadows that shame. This offering presents a real change-up from the rest of Tim McCarver's career. Well, they call change-ups like that "cement mixers," so don't let it throw you a curve. Bear down and take it in stride, and soon it'll have you trying to "sing" for the fences. This is a musical feast fit for a Jeter.

Brilliant!!!!!! (5 Stars)

I thought Mr. McCarver had reached his apex with his brilliant baseball analysis but I was pleasantly shocked to discover that it pales in comparison to his musical talents. His version of "This Will Be My Shining Hour" is destined to be a classic and would bring even Zeuss himself to tears. My only regret was to discover that this is his only album and since he is getting up there in years it's not likely there will be many more. Bravo Tim!!!

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