Tim McCarver's seat in the Fox MLB broadcast booth hasn't even cooled yet, and while his replacement hasn't been announced officially, a front runner has emerged: Harold Reynolds of MLB Network.
In September, a report from Richard Deitsch of SI stated that Reynolds was one of a handful of analysts in contention for the position alongside Joe Buck as Fox's A-team. In his media notebook column, Chad Finn of the Boston Globe reveals that Reynolds is the front runner and that his hiring seems like a formality at this point.
Keep in mind, Reynolds is mainly a studio guy and has limited experience in the broadcast booth. He called the Little League World Series during his days with ESPN, and was a part of MLB Network's World Baseball Classic coverage in March. He's not well-liked among fans online, as this Real Tweets from Real People focusing on Reynolds' work during the 2013 MLB Draft will attest to. His role opposite Brian Kenny on MLB Now has effectively turned fans off to both parties as Reynolds takes the closed-minded "old-school" persona.
And now, Fox is planning on making him the lead analyst for their MLB telecasts. There's a world of difference between Reynolds and Tim McCarver, a long time baseball voice that had been doing commentary for nearly 30 years and was getting overtaken by Father Time. Reynolds' "analysis skills" are mainly comprised of mindless cliches reminiscent of Chris Berman trying to break down a football game.
Fox has a chance to move the dial in a difference direction with their new national color commentator. They have a chance to give a much needed reboot to their baseball coverage and give fans a smarter, more contemporary analyst like John Smoltz or Tom Verducci or Pedro Martinez.
Giving the job to Reynolds would keep the status quo intact, and it would even possibly drive more people away from the product.