Tim McCarver needs “minor” heart procedure, Terry Francona to fill in for early ALCS games

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UPDATE: Francona’s role will be a big one, as Ben Grossman of Broadcasting and Cable reports that he’ll be partnered with Joe Buck for Game 1 and Game 2 of the ALCS because Tim McCarver is undergoing a “minor” heart procedure.

Quite a first broadcasting gig for Francona. McCarver, who’ll be 70 years in two weeks, is expected back for Game 3 of the ALCS.

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Terry Francona has no shortage of job opportunities. And unlike the offer from the New England Collegiate Baseball League, he’s actually taking this gig.

Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that the former Red Sox manager will serve as a guest analyst on FOX for the remainder of the playoffs.

It’ll be interesting to see if the FOX crew is willing to press Francona about his future as various rumors swirl. If nothing else the national spotlight would give him a chance to further explain his side of the story and presumably there’s less beer drinking on a television set than in the Red Sox’s clubhouse.

The biggest downside for Francona is that he’ll have to interact with A.J. Pierzynski.

Video: Corey Dickerson breaks scoreless tie with walk-off home run

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Neither the Pirates nor the Tigers could manage any offense during Thursday afternoon’s game at PNC Park. That is, until outfielder Corey Dickerson launched a walk-off solo home run off of Alex Wilson with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Dickerson, 28, has been solid for the Pirates for the first month of the season. He’s batting .314/.348/.500 with a pair of home runs, 13 RBI, and 13 runs scored in 92 plate appearances. The Pirates acquired him from the Rays in late February in exchange for journeyman pitcher Daniel Hudson and Single-A infielder Tristan Gray.