Fox analyst Tim McCarver will miss the first two games of the AL Championship Series because of a medical procedure and will be replaced by former Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona.
McCarver will have a "minor heart-related procedure" later this week, the network said Wednesday. He's expected to rejoin announcer Joe Buck for Game 3 next Tuesday.
Francona is free after the Red Sox announced last Friday they would not pick up his contract option after eight seasons and two world championships. Boston blew a nine-game lead in the AL wild-card race, going 7-20 in September.
McCarver, who turns 70 on Oct. 16, has called the last 21 MLB postseasons. A two-time All-Star, the former catcher played in the majors from 1959-80, winning the World Series with St. Louis in 1964 and '67.
Francona's father, Tito, was McCarver's teammate with the Cardinals from 1965-66.
Ratings down 15 percent
Through five days, the ratings for the division series on TBS and TNT were down versus last year. The first 14 games averaged a 2.3 rating, down 15 percent from a 2.7 for 13 games in a similar period during last year's playoffs. Average viewers per game declined 18 percent from 4,267,000 to 3,513,000. With the Yankees and Tigers going to a fifth game, and both NL series reaching at least Game 4, the networks expect the ratings to rise. There were 15 games in the first round last year, which included a pair of three-game sweeps.
Mets let Wilson go
Mookie Wilson has been dismissed once again by the New York Mets. The team announced several changes to their staff Wednesday, saying Wilson will not be brought back as the first-base coach.
Wilson is among the most popular Mets in team history. He was offered another job in the organization, and there was no indication of whether he would take it. Wilson was let go three weeks before the 25th anniversary of the famed grounder he hit through Bill Buckner's legs in the 1986 World Series.
"Hopefully, he understands he's wanted here," Mets Manager Terry Collins said on a conference call.
Wilson was the Mets' first-base coach from 1997-2002, and felt slighted when he was not rehired then. He returned as the first-base coach this season, with added duties to oversee the outfielders and base running.
■ The Mets are cutting some ticket prices for the third straight year at Citi Field after another losing season. The team will introduce what is known as "dynamic" pricing for individual tickets — meaning the cost of seats may fluctuate based on demand. The Mets said they are cutting the cost of season tickets by up to 39 percent. New York drew 2.35 million in its third season at Citi Field, down from 2.57 million last year.
Hale new A's bench coach
Oakland Manager Bob Melvin is reuniting with Chip Hale, hiring him as bench coach for the Athletics. The A's said Wednesday that Hale is receiving a two-year contract to work under Melvin. Hale had been third base and infield coach for the Mets.