McCarver stepping down after this season

Legendary baseball broadcaster Tim McCarver is stepping down from his job as Fox's lead baseball analyst after this season.

A former catcher with the St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies, McCarver has held the job since 1996, when the network acquired rights to broadcast the national pastime. He has also covered games for NBC, CBS and ABC and spent many years calling New York Mets games.

"Although I am neither tired of broadcasting baseball nor have I in any way lost my interest in baseball, with which I have been associated as a player and broadcaster for 55 years, it's time to cut back," McCarver said in a statement. On a conference call with reporters, McCarver added the decision was "not a tough call" nor a "sad thing."

Occasionally criticized for being long-winded and dwelling on details, he is also considered one of the sharpest analysts to have covered the game.

Fox is leaving the door open to McCarver to come back and do work for the network and its soon-to-launch Fox Sports 1 cable channel. McCarver said he didn't know whether he would take up the offer.

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