There's a lot of hate going around regarding certain baseball sportscasters, and I don't get it. I love them all. You heard right. I love Tim McCarver, Ken Harrelson, and all the rest. I even love Joe Morgan! Sure, they ramble a lot, but every once in a while they say something I didn't know or pay attention to before.
In a way, I feel sorry for them. They've played baseball all their life. They don't know anything else. If a player can't play any more, yet still wants to stay in the game somehow, there are two options open to them: coaching or sportscasting. If their body can't handle coaching (as I imagine McCarver's can't, after 21 years of catching in the majors), then they don't have any other choice.
I don't think coaches or managers would be very good sportscasters, because they're not used to dealing with regular people. All of their discussions would be so specialized that the only people that would fully get what they were saying would be other baseball players.
Of course, you can get into sportscasting via studying the game, as people like Tim Kurkjian and Peter Gammons have done. While I think these guys are great, I'd rather listen to people like Harold Reynolds or John Kruk (more on him next week). Knowledge of stats and history doesn't compare to actually playing the game and being part of history.